Why In-Home Breastfeeding Support?
Working with mothers and babies experiencing breastfeeding difficulties in our Birth and Postpartum Doula practice, we discovered three important things:
1) Many women want to breastfeed, but aren’t sure exactly how to do it, and often don’t have the support at home they so desperately need to ensure a satisfying nursing relationship.
2) They are often so tired and overwhelmed that to get themselves and their babies ready, pack up the diaper bag, load everything into the car, and head to an appointment at a hospital is more than they can face.
3) We found that for many women, a small problem with breastfeeding that might only take an hour or so to correct is enough to sabotage the entire breastfeeding experience. That formula the hospital sent home can look awfully appealing to an exhausted mom in the middle of the night, with a crying baby and very sore nipples.
What problems can we address at your home?
Basic education that is tailored to you and your baby’s needs: Such as how often should I feed? For how long? How do I know my baby is getting enough? How do I pump? How long can I store breastmilk? When should I introduce the bottle?
By far the majority of problems we see are associated with the latch. The way the baby attaches to the breast defines how much milk she gets and how comfortable or painful it is for you to nurse. The latch varies with each mother/baby pair and a tiny issue can result in big problems. We can begin to address these problems immediately and often there is no need for us to come back to your home.
How to manage your sleepy or fussy baby
We can teach you a variety of techniques to arouse the sleepy baby and keep him nursing at the breast; and to soothe the fussy baby so he can calm down and nurse.
Is it really worth it to breastfeed?
Breastmilk is the best nutrition for a baby. It’s not only optimal for your baby’s growth and development, but also offers protection from disease for both of you. More reasons to breastfeed.
It hurts when I nurse! What should I do?
No pain …. MUCH gain! A good latch shouldn’t hurt and will ensure that your baby is getting plenty of milk. During our visit, we will focus on teaching you and your baby how to get the latch right.
Is my baby getting enough milk?
We bring a portable infant scale to your home to weigh your baby. We will also teach you how frequency and duration of feedings, counting diapers, and weight gain determine if your baby is getting enough.
Can you help me figure out the breastpump?
Certainly. We can help you select a pump and teach you how to use it.
When should I introduce the bottle?
We recommend waiting until your baby is 3 to 4 weeks old before introducing the bottle. This timing is optimum so that your baby doesn’t get confused or develop a preference for the bottle, and soon enough that she will take the bottle once you go back to work.
Are there specific bottles that you recommend?
Yes, there are different bottles that we recommend depending on what is going on with you and your baby.
Are there problems you can’t fix?
95% of breastfeeding difficulties can be addressed by us in your home. Occasionally, a mom and baby have a more serious problem that will result in a referral to a specialist who has the equipment and expertise to address that particular issue.
What are some good additional sources of information?
We recommend the following:
Desert Doula Birth & Postpartum Services, Inc.
Breastfeeding after Reduction
La Leche League
International Lactation Consultants Association – ILCA
American Academy of Pediatrics
More websites on breastfeeding and parenting: