This week is the kick off of National Breastfeeding Month, starting with World Breastfeeding Week!
I'm an advocate for encouraging mothers to breastfeed their children. I think there are lots of benefits to it, for both mom and baby. I know that breastfeeding can be a challenge, and that there are real roadblocks for mothers on their path to providing breastmilk for their child.
For several years, I've had an interest in getting involved in a breastfeeding support group, to give my support to other moms, and to find support at the times I struggle.
I first looked into La Leche League, but the closest group is 30 miles away, in a direction I rarely travel.
I then found that a hospital about 20 miles away (where I had my first child) had a weekly breastfeeding and baby weighing clinic. I attended a few times, but the drive was a bit much (also not quite the direction I usually travel), and I was starting to feel like I was "aging out." When I found it, N was already 9 months, and I had one of the oldest babies in the group.
I thought about trying to start a breastfeeding group, but I don't really know many other moms in my area who breastfeed. I would especially like to be part of a group here in my own county, rather than going across state lines, but I don't have a good sense of what all would be needed, or how I would even find other moms.
Just this week, though, I learned that some WIC locations have peer to peer breastfeeding counselors. As far as I know, my area does not have one, and I've been giving serious though to seeing if our WIC office would be interested in getting one for our area. Typically, it's a paid, part-time position (they provide some training), but I would be interested in being a volunteer if they were still willing to provide the training.
I also found out that the hospital in the town in which I do my regular weekly shopping just this week started a breastfeeding and baby weigh-in group. I suspect it will be much like my experience with the other hospital, but I've been thinking about getting involved there. They have an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) running that group, and I have had some serious thoughts about becoming a certified lactation consultant. Perhaps visiting that group would be a resource to connect with someone who's been doing this for years!
I'm not currently breastfeeding any of my children (Both of my children were done at about 20 months), but I plan to with baby Cakes. I would hope that my 3 years of nursing experience would be a resource for other moms. I know 3 years pales in comparison to others (like my mother-in-law, who had to have nursed babies fro something like 20 years!) but I want to help mothers who want to pursue a breastfeeding relationship with their child to be as successful as possible.