It is doubtful that you could find a midwife who doesn’t support and promote breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has been shown conclusively in research studies to provide benefits to baby and mother that just are not reproducible with artificial formula. Besides, it’s nature’s way,and midwives believe that nature knows best.
Most women today have heard about the advantages of breastfeeding, but many are not so sure that they can do it or want to do it. After all, our society promoted bottle-feeding for over a generation, and the knowledge that had been passed from mother to daughter from the beginning of time was lost. That’s why young women today need as much assistance as they can get to succeed at breastfeeding. Fortunately, resources are out there. Midwives certainly help their patients to breastfeed – from the first few minutes of life! Many nurses on maternity units are skilled at helping get started. Specialists in problems with breastfeeding, called lactation consultants, are available for the difficult cases, like babies with cleft lip and palate, premature babies, or babies who don’t gain weight. There are pumps available to help working mothers and others who cannot breastfeed 24 hours a day, and storage systems for breast milk, a boon to working/nursing mothers.
The Center for Breastfeeding Information, Department of Education, La Leche League International has established a website with a database of bibliographic information on over 15,000 breastfeeding-related professional articles . Those who are interested in obtaining information for research purposes are welcome to use the site. There is no fee to access the Center for Breastfeeding Database.
Motherwear, an online source of clothing for nursing mothers, invites you to browse, download, print and duplicate its Essential Breastfeeding Guide at
http://www.motherwear.com. This indispensable guide for breastfeeding mothers and mothers-to-be is filled with breastfeeding tips, information, and strategies, including information about how a woman’s body makes milk, nursing during the first six weeks, nursing in public, and nursing and returning to work.
A good source for pumps is Medela, which has many other products and resources for the nursing mother as well, including an online lactation consultant.
Mother’s Milk Mate is a safe and convenient answer to packaging and storing breast milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Find out more and order the system on their website.
Another online resource is www.breastfeeding.com. This wonderful new site offers comprehensive information about breastfeeding, including advice for almost every conceivable problem. If you’re frustrated in the middle of the night and don’t want to call your midwife one more time, log on! They also provide an online directory of lactation consultants.
Click here to browse Powell’s Books section on breastfeeding.