Breastfeeding provides a protective effect against:
- Respiratory illnesses
- Ear infections
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Allergies including asthma, eczema and atopic dermatitis
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Breast and ovarian cancers
Many mothers stop breastfeeding before they want to as a result of a lack of good care and support. This premature discontinuation may cause disappointment and distress for the mothers and health problems for both themselves and their infants.
Support for breastfeeding can include:
- Reassurance, praise and information.
- The opportunity to discuss and respond to a mother’s questions.
- Both lay supporters and professionals having a positive impact on breastfeeding outcomes.
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
A Board Certified Lactation Consultant is an invaluable asset to breastfeeding mothers by reassuring them when breastfeeding is going well, and by providing information and support to help prevent and manage common concerns. IBCLCs help with:
- Prenatal counseling about risk factors that may affect breastfeeding.
- Basic position and latch of the infant.
- Information about practices that promote successful breastfeeding.
- Preventing and managing common concerns such as poor latch, inadequate milk transfer or supply, nipple or breast pain, and calming a fussy baby.
- Milk expression and storage for mothers who must be separated from their babies.
- Strategies for breastfeeding after returning to work.
- Breastfeeding in challenging situations, such as breastfeeding twins or triplets, a premature or sick infant, or infants in special medical situations
La Leche League
La Leche League is an international, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing education, information, support, and encouragement to women who want to breastfeed. All women interested in breastfeeding are welcome to attend the monthly group meetings or call a Leader for breastfeeding help.
Check with social media groups such as Facebook and Meetup.com for local peer support in your community.
This easy-to-read publication by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health provides women the how-to information and support needed to breastfeed successfully.
- It explains why breastfeeding is best for baby, mom, and society and how loved ones can support a mother's decision to breastfeed.
- Expert tips and illustrations help new moms learn how to breastfeed comfortably and how to overcome common challenges.
- The wisdom of real moms is shared in personal stories that reassure and encourage.
- The Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition is an affiliate of the United States Breastfeeding Committee that represents five coalitions across the state. Local breastfeeding coalitions bring individuals and organizations together. They enable women, families, and community members to share ideas, break institutional and cultural barriers, and solve problems related to breastfeeding, in addition to empowering and educating the public.
- BABE( Breastfeeding Advocacy Benefits Everyone) Coalition of Northeast Tennessee
- East Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition serving the greater Knoxville area
- East Tennessee Breastfeeding Coalition (Facebook)
- Nashville Breastfeeding Coalition serving Nashville / Middle Tennessee area
- Shelby County Breastfeeding Coalition serving Memphis and Shelby County
- Chattanooga Area Breastfeeding Connection