As a new mom, I thought it would be so easy to breastfeed (it’s natural, I don’t get why it would be hard). Little did I know how many things can get in the way of breastfeeding, when everything we do now is fast-paced and no longer a sit and relax kind of environment. I learned quickly that newborns do not just latch to your breast (if your infant did that then consider yourself lucky).
Once my newborn and I got the hang of latch, milk supply issues (whether overproducing or under producing), engorgement, nipple soreness, blocked milk ducts, and you can’t forget the stigma of feeding your infant publicly – I had to go back to work and learn about the pumping world. Why would you breastfeed if it seems so difficult?
Well for one, it’s definitely cheaper than formula. Second, it’s better for your infant than formula (it is better for your baby’s development and immune health). Lastly, it is a very rewarding experience and so relaxing to be able to just sit quietly (even though some women do it on the go) and just enjoy the moment.
Needless to say, it is important to have support on a normal basis for breastfeeding issues that may occur, whether it is a professional lactation consultant, a friend, a family member, a class, a support group, or a combination of everything. Reliable support is so important and so valued by new mothers. The Office of Human Service Emergency Preparedness and Response just released an infographic on how disaster responders can deal with supporting breastfeeding mothers, but some of the federal support we have in the United States is available year round. Here is some information on a few of those programs:
Of course, last but not least there are great deals of nongovernmental resources that are essential resources to have for support efforts:
LT. Tala Hooban works as a Preparedness and Community Resilience Team Lead in the Office of Human Service Emergency Preparedness and Response. OHSEPR provides leadership in human services preparedness, response, and recovery promoting resilience of individuals, families, and communities prior to, during, and after nationally declared disasters and public health emergencies.