In the last few years, there has been an explosion of resources for nursing families. With 77% of moms trying to breastfeed, it seems that everyone is getting on the bandwagon!
However, exercise caution. One Booby Trap® we’ve identified is articles or websites that LOOK like they are supportive of breastfeeding, but actually spread myths and misinformation, or provide information that is not evidence-based. Some websites & magazines have clear conflicts of interest, so we cannot recommend any websites that are not WHO-Code compliant. Some breastfeeding companies have conflicts of interest too, such as pump companies that want you to think you can’t breastfeed without one (not all pump companies do this). As you can imagine, it is really hard to police the information on the web. Therefore, we’ve created a list of our favorite sources of good breastfeeding information. We will work hard to continuously develop these resources.
Final word of caution: No resources you find on the internet are a substitute for a consultation with an IBCLC or a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician.
C.A.R.E.-Code Media, Outreach, and Education Allies: Not only do these resources provide good, evidence-based breastfeeding information, they have also pledged to uphold our Credo and the International Code. Respected allies include Kellymom.com, The Boob Geek, The Badass Breastfeeder, and Human Milk News.
NancyMohrbacher.com: Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA is a breastfeeding rock star. Her blog is full of excellent information for parents, and she has a Breastfeeding Solutions app so parents can access good information on the go! Nancy is also a member of the Best for Babes Advisory Board.
La Leche League: There is a vast database of breastfeeding information on this website, and a good index page of general topics. To find answers to obscure issues (e.g. how to handle lipase in breast milk), use the search feature. Make sure to check the date on any post to make sure you’re reading the most current information.
Best for Babes: Our fantastic Booby Trap® Series takes you step by step through the prenatal, hospital, and postpartum barriers you might encounter. It also sets you up to navigate them successfully and meet your breastfeeding goals.
InfantRisk Center: A HUGE Booby Trap® is misinformation about what medications are safe to use during breastfeeding. Run by Dr. Thomas Hale, this puts accurate, evidence-based information directly into your hands. InfantRisk also has an app called MommyMeds that is geared toward mothers. In addition to the website and app, you can call InfantRisk Center directly and get your question answered by a live person! Call (806) 352-2519 Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm Central Time for all breastfeeding and medication questions.
Dr. Jack Newman: Along with his IBCLC partner Edith Kernerman, this pediatrician has created one of the most comprehensive breastfeeding websites in the world. They provide fantastic handouts (for free!) that you can take with you to your pediatrician’s office. Their excellent videos are available in many different languages.
WomensHealth.gov: The Office of Women’s Health, part of the Department of Health & Human Services, has some good resources. They also have a helpline for breastfeeding questions: 800-994-9662, Monday – Friday, 9am-6pm Eastern Time.
WorkandPump.com: This is a terrific website for moms who are planning to go back to work after having a baby. There is lots of great information on your rights, how to enlist your employer’s support, pumping tips and more. It is run by yet another selfless mom who wants to see other moms succeed.
Breastfeeding Coalitions: The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) works to effect policy and practice changes to increases breastfeeding support. USBC maintains a list of state, tribal, cultural, and community breastfeeding coalitions that drive policy change at the local level. The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition happens to be one of the best and most active in the country. They have great handouts for breastfeeding, an awesome resource page for working mothers, and latest breastfeeding news.
Human milk donation
Parenting Blogs & Sites
There are scads out there but only a few that are truly breastfeeding-friendly and WHO-Code compliant. A few we like, and we expect this list to grow:
- MOBY® Wrap: This blog is more than just babywearing – it touches on many different areas of parenting and, well, life! There is practical advice on breastfeeding and organizing life, as well as fun stuff like poetry and celebrity Q&As.
- BabyGooRoo.com: A non-judgmental, positive parenting site with lots of great health and breastfeeding info. It was founded by a top-level breastfeeding expert but tailored to all of us sleep-deprived moms!
- PhDinParenting.com: This site is no longer active, but the archives are full of extremely interesting and thoughtful posts that are supportive of breastfeeding yet very pro-moms-doing-the-best-they-can-and-no-one-is-perfect, which we love.
Finding Local Support & Resources
Breastfeeding support people
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC): If you have a breastfeeding problem, you need an IBCLC! These healthcare professionals have the skills to assist mothers and babies with a wide variety of lactation issues. Find an IBCLC through the International Lactation Consultant Association’s directory. If you’re in the USA, you can also search the United States Lactation Consultant Association’s directory.
Other breastfeeding credentials: While an IBCLC is needed for complex breastfeeding issues, there are other breastfeeding certifications that can provide basic support and education for breastfeeding families. These certifications show that a person has had some formal training in lactation. The amount and type of education varies among the different organizations. You can learn more about the scope of practice for each certification one the respective websites.
- CLS: Certified Lactation Specialist
- CLE: Certified Lactation Educator
- BC: Breastfeeding Counselor
- BEC: Breastfeeding Educator
- CLC: Certified Lactation Counselor
- CBS: Certified Breastfeeding Specialist
- PC: WIC Peer Counselor
- LLLL: La Leche League Leader
La Leche League: The pioneer in the breastfeeding movement has mother-to-mother support groups all over the world. La Leche League Leaders provide help over the phone, at meetings, or even through home visits. Everything they do is provided free as a service to moms through a vast volunteer network.
Breastfeeding USA is a new mother-to-mother support group that is experiencing exponential growth and may have a chapter in your area. It is staffed by volunteers, all of whom are trained extensively in evidence-based breastfeeding help as well as counseling skills. Their website is also full of original articles and good resources.
IBCLCs: Some hospital-based and non-hospital based lactation consultants run private breastfeeding support groups that meet in libraries, coffee shops or maternity stores. An IBCLC is a wealth of knowledge about breastfeeding groups and other local resources.
Finding birth help
My Best Birth: We particularly like the mainstream, supportive attitude of MyBestBirth.com. This site also has a great community and celebrity interviews.
Doulas of North America (DONA): Since your childbirth experience impacts breastfeeding, we strongly urge you to consider hiring a doula (some of whom may be covered by health insurance). You can search DONA for both birth doulas, who specialize in labor, and postpartum doulas, who are educated in baby care, breastfeeding, caring for mother, etc. While “baby nurses” usually only care for the baby, postpartum doulas practically do it all! Doulas also usually have a good handle on who are the best local pediatricians and lactation professionals.
Other resources for birth help:
- International Childbirth Education Association
- Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA)
- Lamaze International
- Birth Boot Camp
- Bradley Method
Finding a Hospital: We encourage you to utilize a Baby-Friendly Hospital if you have the opportunity! Learn about “The Ten Steps” that hospitals must follow to achieve “baby-friendly” status, and why they are so successful in helping moms breastfeed! Baby Friendly USA has a list of US hospitals that have already earned the Baby-Friendly designation (find a Baby-Friendly hospital in Canada here). As of January 2016, 326 hospitals and birthing centers in 48 states and the District of Columbia hold the Baby-Friendly designation. If there is not a Baby-Friendly hospital nearby, you may want to see if your hospital does not give out free formula bags. These bags have been shown to undermine breastfeeding goals. Ban the Bags has a list of birth centers & hospitals that do not allow formula marketing in their facilities. Best for Babes is working to raise awareness of Baby-Friendly and Ban the Bags and apply social marketing to increase those numbers! Please support these worthwhile organizations.
Finding a health care provider: Unfortunately, there is no website (yet!) that lists breastfeeding-friendly health care providers by zip code. A good place to start is by contacting an IBCLC, a breastfeeding support group, or a doula. These folks can give recommendations of good providers that are truly supportive of breastfeeding. Doctors who use the designation FABM are Fellows of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM). These physicians are members of ABM and have proven their expertise in lactation. If you can’t find a health care provider who is also an IBCLC, a physician with FABM would be our next choice.
Finding a pediatrician: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a Section on Breastfeeding (SOBr) that members with a special interest in breastfeeding may join. To find a pediatrician who has joined SOBr, find the chapter coordinator for your state here.
For more information on choosing a pediatrician or ob/gyn, see our suggestions on assembling your A-team, or Dr. Newman’s handout “How to Know a Healthcare Practitioner is not Supportive of Breastfeeding.”
The information in this document is in no way intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and is not a substitute for an in-person evaluation by a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician or qualified, independent Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).