It’s taken me awhile to get started on writing Part II of the nursing post. To read Part I of the nursing saga, click here. In Part I we talked about breastpumps and accessories that I found useful in helping me continue pumping (heading on 1 year in a couple weeks). Some helpful resources for me that I either wish I found during pregnancy or used a lot of were:
- La Leche League Meetings: I went to a couple meetings during the 1st couple months of the newborn phase and they provided me with such wealth of information. I didn’t know how great they would be prior to Kiggster’s arrival but got desperate when I was having a lot of nursing/bottle feeding issues so I went to one. I can’t make anymore of the meetings because the times just haven’t worked in my work/home life balance but if I had the time, I’d totally still go. I highly recommend going even during pregnancy to hear what other moms are going through, advice being given, and just the support you’ll get from the group. The meetings are free to all, although you can also pay for a membership (they’ve never been pushy about joining though they offer it).
- Breastfeeding Support Groups: A lot of the hospitals and baby stores will have these and if you’re in the San Francisco area, Newborn Connections at CPMC is pretty awesome. They have a lactation consultant moderating their breastfeeding support group each week and the fee is only $5 to attend. This was great when we couldn’t get Kiggster to take a bottle when I started back at work (we practiced with her a lot before I went back to work but the day I actually went back to work, she said no more bottles). People said just to let her starve and cry until she takes the bottle, she won’t have a choice and she’ll eventually get hungry enough and take it. But we knew there had to be a different way that was less traumatizing (for Kiggster and for Honey and I)! So we went to the support group and the lactation consultant was great, she took Kiggster and showed us different methods we could try to help her get reacquainted with the bottle again. It worked, slowly, but they worked and all that without her thinking the bottle was punishment! We have different issues with the bottle and milk now but that’s for another time!
- Lactation Consultant/Counselor Hotlines on Speed Dial: I called the Newborn Connections lactation consultant hotline (415-600-6243) A LOT! Especially the first 5 months, they probably heard from me about once a week with a different issue or a follow-up issue. I asked everything from how come Kiggster nurses every hour to how come I’m not getting any milk when I pump? They were really helpful and super patient AND calling is free compared to if you were to see them in person…$150 for ~1 1/2 hours. However, I also heard from friend that there is a group called the Nursing Mother’s Counsel, which also has a hotline you can call (650 327-6455) and they also provide a lot of great advice. I have never personally used them but heard from my friend that they are great too.
- Nursing Mother’s Counsel: So one thing to note is the NMC consists of lactation counselors (at least I’m pretty sure so don’t quote me) and not consultants. I previously thought they were the same things, however, after some research, I realized that consultants are licensed through a lot of training, exams, hours of practice before earning the title of consultant. I found this blog article from Lactation Laura to be super helpful in understanding the difference. Doesn’t mean NMC isn’t as good as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) but they for sure are a lot cheaper to see. I had to fork out the $150 to see a consultant but was later told by my friend that she saw one from NMC for free! I don’t know if they really are free but I did see that other lactation counselors out there were at least half the price of a consultant. I would have tried the NMC counselors first then escalated to paying for the consultant if I had a do over.
- Kelly Mom: Love this website. I’m one of those that self-diagnose through WebMD (not saying it’s a good thing) but I also love being informed and having all the facts, knowing my options, alternatives, etc. So Kelly Mom helped me be prepared with questions to ask because I had an idea of what doctors were talking about or an idea of what I think I might be going through. It has a wealth of information and they’re not just some Jane Doe’s opinion but are mostly facts from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant! Check it out, you’ll know what I mean!
- Feeding Baby Green Book: This book was so helpful for me to know how to eat well during my pregnancy and when Kiggster was born, how to feed both of us and eat healthy as a family. It has a lot of great tips and information, even research studies that were done. Talks about how important it is to feed your baby a variety of foods and try to make your own baby food. I’ve used this book a lot and so far Kiggster has been a pretty good eater, loves veggies and almost anything we give her!