It’s National Breastfeeding Week in Ireland. This means it’s time to celebrate all that is good and great about supporting women feeding their babies. It’s not something I feel particularly well-experienced in to write much about. My experience revolved around 9 weeks of supplementing, of panic and of not enough support – not exactly a ringing endorsement. There’s definitely a lot I’ve learned since. There’s lots that will be put into practice if there’s another baby to make it a better experience for everyone. However, this year the slogan for the week is “Every Breastfeed Makes A Difference”. Here is a stash of breastfeeding resources which I have found to be EXCELLENT. In celebration of the boob-tastic women who fuel their kiddies themselves, I hope you find this helpful.
Information Centre of Breastfeeding Resources
The one stop shop for breastfeeding resources is really KellyMom. It’s got answers for every conceivable question you could have about nursing. In particular, the section dealing with “Can I Breastfeed If?” is excellent – it breaks down into illness/medical procedures, medications, lifestyle choices, use of herbs/natural treatments and exposure to chemicals. It’s backed up by proper science, no old wives tales here! It’s a good one to have bookmarked for the little niggly questions. For questions about pumping and that whole second-hand-pump debate, they’ve got a great piece here.
The Association of Lactation Consultants In Ireland has a great lactation-consultant finder on their website here. Handy for if you need a bit of help getting started and don’t know where to go.
Cuidiú is a fantastic resource for pregnant/new mums, with lots of non judgemental advice and tips. They host meet-ups regularly for members, including specific breastfeeding support groups attended by lactation consultants. They’ve also got a deluge of information available on their website.
La Leche League Ireland is also a wonderful resource, similar to Cuidiu with support groups, information and other breastfeeding resources on their website.
Breastfeeding.ie is full of information and run by the HSE. It also includes the services of a lactation consultant who will answer questions you can put to her. It’s a great service, just incase the information isn’t clear on there already.
The International Breastfeeding Centre, headed up by Dr Jack Newman, is also a haven of information about everything breastfeeding. It provides a lot of information sheets on the topic of breastfeeding, on topics like blocked ducts/mastitis, reasons to continue breastfeeding after six months, expressing breast milk and many more. They’ve also got a section of information videos about dealing with a bad latch, tongue tie release and examples of good drinking.
This fab “Timeline of A Breastfed Baby” over on The Alpha Parent was recommended to me by a friend and it’s brilliant. Lots of medically-backed up information about each stage, which in itself is a great booster on the tougher days.
This is a really interesting piece on the cultural differences between Western European norms and others around the world – Why African Babies Don’t Cry. Really worthwhile read.
Bloggers Who Tell It As It Is
Aside from all the medical jargon, it’s good to get actual lived experience in your arsenal of breastfeeding resources. Thankfully, that is there in abundance, in particular in Irish Parenting Blogger circles. These women share their stories, the good, the bad and the stingy nipples. They do it with compassion and humour. I really found them to be a great support, and have recommended them to other friends now in those shoes.
The lovely Mind The Baby is a blog I started reading just after giving birth. Her posts range from humorous to emotional and passionate. Ones I’d especially recommend would be about not over-preparing for the worst when it comes to breastfeeding, one particular bonus of extended breastfeeding, the tongue-tie being not spoken about enough in Ireland, and some must-follow tips for those planning to breastfeed. On the more emotional than practical side, her telling of ending her breastfeeding journey is just gorgeous. And one which I definitely learned from – the economics of breast pads! There’s something in there for every step of the whole process.
Lisa from Mama.ie has lots of fab breastfeeding posts in her archives. She deals with the idea of “bressure” being a stick to beat breastfeeding mothers with, looking back at her memories of feeding, night-weaning a reluctant toddler onto a bottle and using a breastpump at work.
Kellie from My Little Babog has written a lot about her adventures in breastfeeding her youngest daughter. From the (very relatable) Thoughts Of A Breastfeeding Mother, to her reasons for previously choosing not to breastfeed (and how much she has changed), to how to create a fab Tree of Life Breastfeeding Picture. She’s recently hit the one year mark feeding her youngest, and is a great advocate for nursing.
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Helen from The Busy Mamas has a fab A-Z of Breastfeeding over on her blog, as well as this helpful list of tips and experiences from breastfeeding her kids which will be useful to any new parents.
Sinead at Bumbles Of Rice was one of the blogs I read most while I was pregnant and in the early “What the hell is sleep?” days. She writes openly and honestly about being in “the middle ground” as far as breastfeeding is concerned. While she does give an honest impression of parenting (she has three kids), she’s also well versed in why it is we don’t tell those coming behind us the brutal truth in advance. She writes about the importance of normalising breastfeeding in society, and a post which I found to be really reassuring, to the “failed breastfeeders” like me.
Sarah from Mummy’s Whine Club talks about the road she took through breastfeeding and how she found that every journey is different. She’s also written a lovely piece on ending her breastfeeding experience after her son turned two.
Tracey from Love of Living documented her breastfeeding journey with her son Billy over on her blog over the last few years. From the difficult early days where he had trouble latching, to the initial fears of feeding outside of the house, to the very emotional last feed, it’s all there. She also writes a lot about tips she found useful for breastfeeding, and things people would say to her when they found out she was “still breastfeeding”. Tracey is also a Vlogger, and has a brilliant video on all things Breastfeeding here.
If you’re looking for a mix of humour and support, you can’t go wrong with The Clothesline. With pieces like Why Breastfeeding Is Like Getting High, pieces detailing the Bonuses of Breastfeeding and of course, a very comprehensive list of Where You Can Breastfeed In Ireland it’s a good mix. She writes about feeding long past the 6 month mark and is definitely a good model for normalising it.
Fellow Cork blogger The Two Darlings has written about finding her middle ground with breastfeeding. Now a SAHM with four little ones, she has written about tips that worked for her, finding a good breastfeeding pillow and the ups and downs of breastfeeding when it’s not always easy!
Sandra from Prosecco Powered Mum has written about the ups and downs of her own breastfeeding journey and advice she learned along the way.
Sinead from Shinners and The Brood has an excellent Do’s and Don’ts List for Breastfeeding From A Non Expert.
Sabrina, who writes at The Chaos Of Three, has written about her Top Tip for Successful Breastfeeding, and also 5 Hospital Bag Items You Should Pack For Breastfeeding.
Though her breastfeeding days are now behind her, the archives of Awfully Chipper contain lots of experience of becoming an accidental extended breastfeeder. She writes about the things people say about breastfeeding a preschooler, the trials and tribulations of night weaning and becoming a lactivist.
So, there we have it. There are definitely so many more out there, but those are some of my favourite breastfeeding resources. I hope you find them useful, or can pass them on to someone just starting out on their journey. Sharing the wealth of knowledge is what will hopefully allow us to increase the rate of breastfeeding in Ireland. Hopefully, it will help to support new mums when they need it most. (There are social media share buttons below)
Are there any other breastfeeding resources in particular that you think I should include? Let me know in the comments or over on Facebook.