When I had Eli I remember thinking - that doesn't look too difficult but as natural as breastfeeding is I was reminded that it is a learned skill and can be really, really challenging at times. Wherever you are located in Aotearoa there is breastfeeding support available to you and the first thing you should do is download the BreastFedNZ app!
- The BreastFedNZ App is information when you want it, where you want it and as you want it. The purpose of the app is to provide simple 'in the moment' support and information, aiding them to achieve their breastfeeding goals from birth to weaning. I find it an excellent resource.
- Most hospitals in New Zealand will offer public funded access to community lactation consultants. I know that here in the Waikato there is a Community Breastfeeding Support Service. To find your local breastfeeding support service visit smartstart.services.govt.nz/services-near-me
- The Hamilton Breastfeeding Clinic supports, enables and encourages mothers to maintain long term breastfeeding of infants - it's supported by the Hamilton Breastfeeding Trust, community agencies and by River Ridge East Birth Centre. It provides a relaxed, one-on-one, personalised breastfeeding counselling and support service. Clinic consultations are free to all breastfeeding mothers who have accessed River Ridge East Birth Centre for the birth of their baby and/or postnatal services and who are experiencing challenges with breastfeeding their baby. The Hamilton Breastfeeding Clinic supports all breastfeeding mothers with babies up to one year old. Click here to send them a message to make an appointment.
- Did you know that Plunket also offers an online Lactation Consultant service if you’re struggling to access a lactation consultant locally? All you need to do is call 0800 933 922 they’ll do an assessment and book you an appointment with one of Plunket’s International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC®). These breastfeeding consultations are free and available for all breastfeeding women even if Plunket isn’t your WellChild provider. Once you’ve booked an appointment they'll send you a link for a Zoom consult and the best bit is they have appointments available during the day, evenings and on weekends, to make things as easy as possible for you
- La Leche League are a group of gems who provide mother to mother breastfeeding support through their leaders who are trained to give lactation information and support. They offer help over the phone, you can go along to one of their informal meetings, or ask a questions via email and on social media. All of this is free and confidential. You can find details for their accredited Leaders and group meetings across Aotearoa here and join their online community
- The Mama Aroha app connects visuals and kupu Māori to provide a more visually informative resource that is easier to understand. It includes information on the importance of breastfeeding, support for breastfeeding skin to skin, supply and demand feeding, what to expect, feeding cues, latching and positioning, hand expressing and milk storage.
- Lastly, I must share my own work as the founder of Lila Jasmine a brand committed to supporting women in the 4th trimester with information and an edible lactation product. My Lila Jasmine Instagram and Facebook is where you'll find all the good stuff. X
Photo Credit: Imagery from my own birth of our youngest son Xavier in 2017