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Sandpoint offers a lot of support for breastfeeding moms

Breastfeeding an infant

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More and more women are choosing to breastfeed these days after a few of generations of mothers for whom nursing wasn’t the norm. Consequently, many new moms don’t have the constant support of a breastfeeding veteran as they are learning to breastfeed their own newborns. That can be daunting.

If you are planning to breastfeed your baby, but you’re confused or nervous about how it will go, consider these suggestions for how to get breastfeeding off to a good start.

1. Learn about breastfeeding beforehand. “It’s definitely a learned skill,” says Charis Schreiber, mother of 5-month-old Eloise. “It’s natural, but it’s not always easy.” There are many good books out there about breastfeeding. You can also ask your friends or relatives who are breastfeeding or who breastfed in the past what you might expect. Also, look into attending a few meetings of a breastfeeding support group, such as La Leche League, to hear what other moms are experiencing.

2. After you give birth, breastfeed your baby as soon as possible. Also, get lots of skin-to-skin contact with your baby. Of course, that soothes your little one and helps him/her adjust to the new situation—and it also tells your body that it’s time to start milk production! If you’re giving birth in the hospital, ask for the lactation consultant immediately if you have any questions or concerns. We are so fortunate to have excellent, skilled lactation nurses at BGH, as well as independent lactation consultants in Sandpoint.

3. Get help. I cannot state that often or emphatically enough. “There can be complications when you start to breastfeed,” says Heather Appold, who is finishing her certification in Breastfeeding Counseling. “But you can get through it with the proper support. When it becomes difficult, or it hurts, so many new moms are so overwhelmed, they want to quit. I know because I was one of those moms!” With good support and advice, she was able to overcome her hurdles and successfully breastfed.

Melissa Morgan, IBCLC, CLE, is a Certified Lactation Consultant and Certified Lactation Educator based in Spokane. She recently started a free breastfeeding support group here in Sandpoint, with Heather Appold as her co-leader. The group meets every other Wednesday morning, and is open to all moms and babies. Call Heather at 610-2172, or Melissa at 509-228-8710, for more information about the group.

Don’t go it alone. There is plenty of support, advice, and guidance in our community. If you need help breastfeeding, please ask!

Denise Midstokke, Licensed and Certified Professional Midwife, has been a midwife for 32 years, and has been practicing in North Idaho for 25 years. Pend Oreille Midwifery Services is located at 723 Pine Street, Sandpoint. (208) 263-0776 www.pendoreillemidwifery.com

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