Fortunately, in the last few years there has been an explosion of resources for the nursing mom. With 77% of moms trying to breastfeed, it seems that everyone is getting on the bandwagon!
However, exercise caution. One of the “booby traps” that we’ve identified is articles or websites that LOOK like they are supportive of breastfeeding but actually perpetuate myths and misinformation, or provide information that is not evidence-based. Sometimes those articles pop up on super-popular parenting websites that get millions of page visits per month . . . you know the ones we mean. Some websites & magazines have clear conflicts of interest, so we can not 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, so we are going to provide you with a start of where you can find great breastfeeding information, and will work hard to continuously develop this resource list (Let us know if you have suggestions!) Final word of caution: No information you find on the internet is a substitute for a consultation with an IBCLC or a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician.
Best Breastfeeding Information Websites & Blogs
Kellymom.com: This is one of the most respected breastfeeding sites. You can rely on it for a vast store of evidence-based information and rest assured that there are no conflicts of interest. A lot of breastfeeding professionals turn to this site. The site is being overhauled to update the information and fix broken links, it’s one of our favorites for breastfeeding information.
LaLecheLeague: 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 breastmilk), use the search feature. Unfortunately, some of the information on this site is out of date too, but it is still an excellent resource.
Best for Babes: Our fantastic Booby Traps Series takes you step by step through the pre-natal, hospital, and post-partum barriers you might encounter, and sets you up to navigate them successfully and meet your breastfeeding goals. BfB also has a growing database of content pages for new and expecting moms on a variety of topics.
The Motherwear Blog: This blog has been discontinued, but the content, posted by one of the best writers on the ‘net, Tanya Lieberman, IBCLC, is still available. There are great links for breastfeeding help on the left column of her blog, and she has covered incredibly diverse topics from breastfeeding after reduction surgery to helping victims of sexual abuse breastfeed successfully, to hand expressing milk to important advocacy news.
Womenshealth.gov: The Office of Women’s Health, part of the Department of Health and Human Services has some good resources, and a helpline: 800-994-9662 for breastfeeding questions.
WorkandPump.com: This is a terrific website for moms who are planning to go back to work after having a baby, with huge amounts of great info on your rights, how to enroll your employer, pumping tips and more. Run by yet another selfless mom who wanted to see other moms be able to succeed.
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: 60SecondParent.com Great information for busy parents, and all breastfeeding information is evidence-based. BabyGooRoo.com: A wonderful, non-judgmental, positive parenting site with lots of great health and breastfeeding info. Founded by a top-level breastfeeding expert but tailored to all of us sleep-deprived moms! PhDinParenting.com posts extremely interesting, thoughtful posts, is willing to tackle tough issues, and is supportive of breastfeeding yet very pro-moms-doing-the-best-they-can-and-no-one-is-perfect, which we love.
Finding Local Support & Resources
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, and 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 staffed by volunteers, all of whom are trained extensively in evidence-based breastfeeding help as well as counseling skills.
IBCLCs: Some hospital-based and non-hospital based lactation consultants run private breastfeeding support groups that meet in libraries, coffee shops or maternity stores. To find an IBCLC in your area, plug your zip code in at ILCA.org or USLCA.org, contact them and ask if they can direct you to a breastfeeding support group!
Finding birth help: We particularly like the mainstream, supportive attitude of MyBestBirth.com and which 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 post-partum doulas, who are educated in baby care, breastfeeding, caring for mother, etc. While “baby nurses” usually only care for the baby, post-partum doulas practically do it all! Doulas also usually have a good handle on who the best pediatricians and lactation counselors are. Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA) is another great resource, as is BrioBirth.com and Lamaze.org.
Finding a Lactation Consultant: International Lactation Consultants Association ILCA is a professional association but they have a terrific search tool to find a lactation counselor in your area by zip code. Or you can go on to Breastfeeding.com which has a zip code lookup too.
Finding a Hospital: Baby-Friendly Hospital: Learn about “The Ten Steps” that hospitals are following that have achieved the designated “baby-friendly” status, and why they are so successful in helping moms breastfeed! Also has a list of hospitals that have already earned the designation. While there are 3,000 maternity and birth centers in the U.S., only a small fraction–3% as of March 2009–are designated Baby-Friendly. Since there are still so few Baby-Friendly hospitals, you may want to check if your hospital at least does not give out free formula diaper bags, which have been shown to undermine breastfeeding success–Ban the Bags has a list of birth centers & hospitals. 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 an Ob/Gyn or Pediatrician: Unfortunately, there is no website (yet!) that lists breastfeeding-friendly physicians by zip code. A good place to start is by contacting a breastfeeding support group, a doula, or a lactation consultant and asking for recommendations of good physicians that are truly supportive of breastfeeding. There are a very few physicians that carry the title MD, IBCLC after their name, these are the most expert in lactation science. Doctors who use MD, FABM are committed and highly knowledgeable about breastfeeding (they are members of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine) and would be our first choice to seek out. For more info on choosing a pediatrician or ob/gyn, see our suggestions on assembling your A-team, or Dr. Newman’s handout.
State Breastfeeding Coalitions: Most states have an active coalition of volunteers and experts that are leading advocacy efforts and have a wealth of information and resources. 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.
More to come soon . . . this list is not yet complete! . . . will be adding resources by category . . . bear with us!
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).