You need to be careful where you get your breastfeeding information. In this digital age, anyone with an opinion can post it on the internet and pretend to be an expert. It’s not difficult to find two websites offering exactly the opposite advice – so how do you know which one you should believe?
Well, I have good news: help is at hand! I’ve compiled a list of books, websites and organizations that you can trust to give sound advice. You’re welcome!
Let me start with a confession: I’m a book junkie! I realize, however, that not everyone devours books as hungrily as I do, so here are the two best ones I’ve read. My advice to you is to read the book before the baby comes; you won’t have a lot of time afterwards! These also make great baby shower gifts.
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, published by La Leche League. If you only read one thing about breastfeeding, let it be this book! La Leche League has decades of experience in helping women to breastfeed successfully, and this book combines that with the most up to date scientific knowledge about breastfeeding and all related matters. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
- Breastfeeding Made Simple by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett. This book does an excellent job of explaining how breastfeeding is supposed to work, why it gets messed up and what you can do to make breastfeeding as easy as possible.
Breastfeeding Information on the Internet
Now this is the real minefield. The internet is full of excellent advice, but it is equally full of nonsense. Stick to these websites, however, and you’ll be safe from misinformation.
Breastfeeding and related information
- La Leche League is the most well-known of the breastfeeding support organizations. On their website you will find:
- La Leche League South Africa also has a very active, very helpful Facebook group . It is a closed group, so you will have to ask to join (and it also means that anything you post here doesn’t show up on your timeline – only group members can see it). Once you have joined, you can ask and answer questions and get advice from LLL leaders.
- Kellymom.com is one of the best known resource sites on the internet. You can get an answer to nearly every question you have on this site.
- Best for Babes is another excellent website for breastfeeding information. Their series on the Booby Traps is especially worth reading while you are still pregnant – it will teach you a lot about what you should avoid if you want to breastfeed without too much drama.
- Jack Newman is one of the gurus of the breastfeeding world. His website offers some good information and a number of useful videos.
- The Milk Meg is one of my favourite breastfeeding blogs. Meg Nagle is both an IBCLC and an experienced breastfeeding mom. She blends great breastfeeding information with excellent storytelling in a way that I really enjoy. Be sure to follow her on facebook.
- The Leaky Boob is another great blog by a very experienced breastfeeding mother.
- This blog, of course!
Breastfeeding Information to Share with your Doctor
- The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) website is aimed more at medical professionals. It contains clinical protocols for a range of breastfeeding-related conditions, all aimed at supporting continued breastfeeding. These protocols are extremely useful when you need to convince your doctor that you can carry on breastfeeding and/or don’t need to give formula top-ups!
- Bobby Ghaheri’s blog focuses specifically on tongue tie and lip tie – it is probably the best one-stop resource for these problems. It is also very professionally done and suitable for sharing directly with your doctor.
- WHO growth charts: From this page you can access the WHO growth charts for babies and children. These are the only growth charts that should be used to assess growth, since they are the only charts that are based on breastfed babies. (Note: The South African Road to Health Booklet is based on the WHO charts, so it is also suitable – but other clinic cards are not.)
I could go on (and on, and on, and on some more!), but I think this covers most of what you could possibly need to know. If you have a problem that you can’t find an answer to using these resources, it is almost certainly time to go see a medical professional (link through to this page if you need to find breastfeeding help). Having said that, though, please add any other excellent resources you know of in the comments.