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Feeding your baby from your body is one of the most beautiful and rewarding experiences of parenthood, but it can also be one of the most challenging. Whether you’re a first-time mom or a seasoned pro, there may come a time when you need a little extra help and support with breastfeeding and there’s no shame in that!

In this post, I’m sharing my knowledge and experience to help you know when you should seek breastfeeding support and where you can find it. Like I said, this is my knowledge and experience so if you have any questions about if you should seek support scroll down to Where to Find Breastfeeding Support below and reach out to a professional in San Jose.

When to Seek Breastfeeding Support

The first few days after birth can be an overwhelming time for new parents, and this is when seeking breastfeeding support is crucial. In these early days, it’s common for both mom and baby to be learning the ropes and adjusting to the new experience of breastfeeding.

If you’re experiencing:

  • Difficulty latching your baby
  • Potential low milk supply
  • or you think your baby isn’t getting enough milk…

Don’t hesitate to seek out professional help. Experts can help you with proper positioning, latch techniques, and other tips to ensure successful breastfeeding.

Support can often prevent more significant breastfeeding challenges down the road, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help as soon as you need it (and we’ll talk more about those options in this blog post).

If you experience pain or discomfort while breastfeeding
While some mild discomfort is expected as you and your baby adjust, ongoing or severe pain is a sign that something is not right.

If you’re experiencing pain, soreness, or discomfort while breastfeeding, it’s time to seek support. There are professionals who can assess your breastfeeding technique, check your baby’s latch, and offer suggestions to improve your comfort while breastfeeding.

Delaying seeking help can lead to more severe pain or even infection. For the most part, breastfeeding should be a comfortable and enjoyable experience, and there is no need to suffer in silence.

I remember I had so many people in the hospital telling me all these different ‘tips’ and ‘tricks’ to feed my baby. One or two may have been a little traumatizing for me, to say the least. And then about a week home, there was so much discomfort, plus dealing with my recovering from a c-section, I was at my wit’s end. I called a local lactation consultant, Christine Vermeersch, who came within hours of my call. She sat with me and my baby while we discussed my pains, both physical and mentally, surrounding my situation. Rather, she listened to me for almost an hour before sharing her support. It was the best use of my energy and time to have her come over. In the end, she validated my instincts, bolstered my confidence, and I continued to breastfeed for years after that.

If your baby isn’t gaining weight or is losing weight.
If your baby isn’t gaining weight or is losing weight, it might be time to seek some breastfeeding support. While it’s normal for babies to lose a little weight in the first few days after birth, if they’re not gaining it back or continue to lose weight, that’s a red flag that something isn’t right.

Don’t panic – there’s help available! Keep reading to find out where you can get support you need!

If you’re struggling with milk supply
If you’re worried that your milk supply isn’t keeping up with your baby’s demands, it might be time to seek some help.

But before you do, let’s make sure you’re actually struggling with milk supply.

Are you getting fewer than six wet diapers a day? Is your baby fussy and seems like they’re still hungry even after a feed? If so, it’s time to seek some help from a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider. They can help you determine if your milk supply is the issue or if there’s something else going on.

And if it is a milk supply issue, don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to boost your milk production and keep your little one well-fed, such as eating food to help. Staying hydrated is one of the best tips I can suggest, because it can be one of the first ways you can increase your supply quickly.

I loved making my own version of these lactation cookies I found a recipe for online. I refused to limit myself on the delightful cookies. The best part? YOU CAN (and should!) FREEZE THE DOUGH! I remember making 3 batches at a time, scooping the cookies, freezing them overnight on trays, and then bagging them all up in freezer bags. I got to pop a handful into the oven and have fresh cookies daily if I really wanted to. It was one of the best things I did for myself postpartum.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed about breastfeeding
I wish someone had told me this! If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed when it comes to breastfeeding, that in and of itself is reason to seek support! Check back to the previous section about discomfort for contact information on the lactation consultant I hired in San Jose! I love that she came directly to my home in order to support me.

I had a heavy supply in the first 3 or 4 months postpartum, and then suddenly I had a perceived decline at that time. This was my body adjusting to how it would respond moving forward; the first few months of breastmilk supply is hormone-driven, while at around 12 to 16 weeks postpartum, the rules of supply-and-demand take over.

I had also returned to work, and was trying to pump at work. It was a stressful environment, and not very supportive of my needs as a breastfeeding/pumping parent, and often forgot to stay hydrated. California’s laws protecting breastfeeding hadn’t kicked in yet, either.

(If you didn’t know what those details are, review them here. In short, Pursuant to Labor Code Section 1030 every employer, including the state and any political subdivision, must provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee’s infant child each time the employee has a need to express milk.)

Both of these were major factors of how my milk supply would look.

Breastfeeding can be a challenging and emotional journey, and it’s totally normal to feel like you’re struggling to keep up. Use the resources in this blog post to reach out to either a professional or a friend.

Sometimes, all you need is a listening ear and a little encouragement to help you through the tough times. You’re doing an amazing job providing for your baby, and it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.

Where to Find Breastfeeding Support in San Jose

There are a lot of resources both online and offline for new moms who are seeking breastfeeding support. Here are some of the most common options:

Your Healthcare Provider can be a great resource for breastfeeding support. They can provide guidance on common issues like latching and positioning, as well as refer you to a lactation consultant if necessary.

Pros: Covered by most insurance plans, convenient, reliable.

Cons: Limited time during appointments, may not be specialized in lactation support.

Lactation consultants or breastfeeding counselors are highly trained professionals who can provide one-on-one support to help you overcome breastfeeding challenges. Some hospitals and birth centers have lactation consultants on staff, and there are also private lactation consultants available for hire. Breastfeeding counselors may not have the same level of training as lactation consultants, but they can still provide valuable support and guidance.

Pros: Highly specialized, personalized support, reliable.

Cons: Can be costly, may not be covered by insurance (in the US).

La Leche League is an international organization that provides breastfeeding education and support to moms. They offer local meetings, online forums, and a 24-hour helpline. Here’s the link where you can learn more about San Jose’s local chapter.

Pros: Free or low-cost, supportive community, reliable information.

Cons: May not be available in all areas, may not be as personalized as other options.

Online breastfeeding communities and forums where you can connect with other moms who are breastfeeding are also worth looking into. These can be a great source of support and encouragement, as well as a place to get answers to your breastfeeding questions. I found quite a bit of support from some forums. Most were recommended to me, and other I searched for on my own. It definitely took some time to find the right ones.

Pros: Convenient, accessible 24/7, free.

Cons: May not be reliable sources of information, may not be as personalized as other options.

There are many local breastfeeding support groups where you can connect with other breastfeeding moms and get support and guidance from a facilitator. These can be found through hospitals, community centers, and other local organizations. Check with your local hospitals and birth centers for more information.

Pros: Free or low-cost, supportive community, reliable information.

Cons: May not be available in all areas, may not be as personalized as other options.

Look for friends and family members who have breastfeeding experience. Don’t discount the value of support from friends and family members who have breastfed before. They can provide encouragement, empathy, and practical advice based on their own experiences.

Las Madres, while not specific to breastfeeding, is a local community that connects you with other parents that are not only in your neighborhood, but also within your child’s age range. I suggest this because there is nothing like a community to fall back on to help you feel grounded and not alone in this.

Pros: Free, personalized support, convenient.

Cons: May not have the same level of expertise as other options, may not be available if you don’t know anyone with breastfeeding experience.

When deciding on the best source of support for you, consider factors like cost, convenience, reliability, and the level of personalized support you need. Don’t be afraid to try out different options until you find the one that works best for you and your baby.

Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help or support when it comes to breastfeeding.

Seeking assistance from a professional or a support group can make all the difference in your breastfeeding journey. Don’t hesitate to reach out and take advantage of the many resources available to you as a breastfeeding mom. You’ve got this!

I hope reading Don’t Struggle Alone: Discover Where to Find Breastfeeding Help Today has given you some solid ideas! If you’re looking for a San Jose Birth Story, Newborn, or Family Lifestyle Photographer, click here to see more of my birth story and session photography.

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