It’s easy to idealize breastfeeding as a natural, and therefore easy, undertaking. But, the reality is that breastfeeding is a learning process for both mom and baby. It takes time and patience to get it just right. A bad habit, like a poor latch, is very hard to break, causing pain for mom and frustration for both mom and baby. For breastfeeding success, it helps to get adequate breastfeeding support from day one.
Tips for breastfeeding success
Get off to a good start by attending breastfeeding classes before your baby arrives, and take the time now to check out the number and whereabouts of your local La Leche League breastfeeding support group. Make an appointment with a lactation consultant within the first few days of nursing.
If you are in the hospital, get a lactation consultation — if they don’t offer you one automatically, ask for one. If you are at home, you can get support from a private practice consultant. Some pediatric clinics in the area also offer breastfeeding support.
Where to turn
La Leche League Support Groups meet in King County. To find one near you, go to lllofwa.org
Public Health: Seattle & King County offers a useful list of breastfeeding support resources, programs and contacts in King County. Go here to check out their resources.
Washington State Department of Health supports breastfeeding through several programs. For more information, click here.
The hospital where you birth will also have on-site lactation consultants and usually breastfeeding hotline as well. Be sure to ask to see a lactation consultant before discharge. Ask for the hotline number before you’re discharged.
The Lytle Center for Pregnancy & Newborns: IBCLC support; 206.215.9853; swedish.org
If you birth at home or in a birth center with midwives they will offer breastfeeding support and also referral to IBCLC-certified lactation consultants. Be sure to ask for a list from your provider.
Below is a non-comprehensive list of well-known and highly rated IBCLC consultants and organizations that rent or sell breastfeeding equipment.
- Catherine Fenner / Nurture New Life: IBCLC–certified lactation consultant: 206.920.3084; NurtureNewLife.com
- Betsy Hoffmeister / Betsy’s Baby Services: IBCLC–certified lactation consultant: 206.353.9334; Betsysbabyservices.com
- Beyond Birth Seattle offers clinic, home visit lactation support and drop-in group support; beyondbirthseattle.com/breastfeeding
- Nurturing Expressions: IBCLC consultants; 206.763.2733; NurturingExpressions.com
- Krystal Silva, ND: 206.409.6406; KrystalSilva.com
- Second 9 Months: IBCLC–certified lactation consultant: 206.356.7252; Second9Months.com
Village Maternity: 206.523.5167; 2615 NE University Village St, Seattle; villagematernity.com