As a mother, you already have the single most beneficial breastfeeding resource in your toolbox - you and your baby!
Breastfeeding doesn't happen on it's own; there is a mother and a baby. A dyad. Learning to trust your mothering instincts ( heightened by all those wonderful breastfeeding hormones) and the reflexes that you and your baby already possess, will go a long way towards making your transition into motherhood and breastfeeding a whole lot easier.
Learning about the kinds of interventions that can upset those wonderful hormones and reflexes will also help you to protect breastfeeding if you and your baby have had a less than optimal start (we discuss pro-active ways that will help you and your baby overcome obstacles in my Breastfeeding Preparation Class).
My number one tip for anyone even a little bit interested in breastfeeding is to pop along to a breastfeeding support group before your baby is born.
The last trimester of pregnancy is a time when you'll probably be feeling very excited and perhaps a little bit anxious about finally meeting your little one. It's also a time when you might notice that you're slowing down a little and starting to 'nest'. This is the ideal time to start seeking out your support network.
There are lots of online breastfeeding websites and social media groups available. Many mothers cite the peer-to-peer support that they received from such groups as being instrumental in reaching their breastfeeding goals.
Seeking out your breastfeeding tribe now, before your baby is born, will give you the opportunity to see (and I mean really see) how breastfeeding looks and works before you get to try it yourself.
Attending an in-person Breastfeeding Support Group, such as those offered by Cuidiú, La Leche League, Friends of Breastfeeding or the HSE, will give you great insight in to local hospital practices and the particular supports available in your area.
You'll also gain lots of confidence about your journey ahead. There will be lots of happy breastfeeding mothers and babies with positive breastfeeding stories. And, in case you need just one more reason to attend, there's usually some yummy cakes on offer too.
Breastfeeding Support in Galway & mayo
There are many breastfeeding support options available in Galway and Mayo. To find out where your nearest mother-to-mother or peer-to-peer support group is, click on the following links and select your location.
Find a lactation consultant
The Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland is the professional association for Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) in Ireland.
Other breastfeeding support links
Irish Premature Babies is a non-profit organisation that provides support, information and practical help for parents of preterm babies.
If you're interested in reading breastfeeding research, the International Breastfeeding Journal is open access.
Kellymom is a website developed by a mother and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. It provides evidence-based information on breastfeeding and parenting.
Verify that your Lactation Consultant is a Registered Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) here: The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners
First Steps Nutrition Trust is a UK based independent public health nutrition charity that provides information and resources to support eating well from pre-conception to five years.