Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

Videos

Chocolate Milk: Cambreisha

Cambreisha talks about how breastfeeding was challenging for her due to medical issues. She reminds us of how health care professionals may be able to help you overcome breastfeeding challenges.

 

Chocolate Milk: Leah

Sometimes babies may have health conditions, such as elevated palates and tongue ties that can make breastfeeding hard. Leah shares her breastfeeding struggles and triumphs as a young mother. 

  

PBS – Can Doulas Make a Difference?

Doulas are trained professionals who support the moms before, during, and after childbirth. “By My Side Birth Support” is an example of a doula program that provides their services free of charge to women in an effort to improve the health of moms and their babies.

PBS - Why are black mothers and infants far more likely to die in U.S. from pregnancy-related causes?

As women of color, we carry our life experiences even in our wombs.  Hearing the stories of other moms and their experiences with the healthcare system, can make us more aware of what we need to advocate for.

  

Staying Healthy and Eating Well

A few tips on how to stay healthy while breastfeeding.

 

Health and Healthcare: What's on your mind?

  • Are there any medical reasons why I may not be able to breastfeed?

    Are there any medical reasons why I may not be able to breastfeed?

    There are very rare reasons why some moms are unable to breastfeed. This is an important question to ask your doctor or nurse during a prenatal visit. In the meantime, check out this detailed resource from KellyMom.com that asks, “Can I breastfeed if…

  • What is a lactation consultant and how can they help me?

    What is a lactation consultant and how can they help me?
    There are many different types of professionals and specialists that can provide you with breastfeeding support, such as a lactation consultant. A lactation consultant can help you with preparing to breastfeed, as well as help you with solving any problems you may be having with feeding your new baby. There are many different types of lactation consultants or breastfeeding support specialists who you can turn to. Below are some details about the types of help that may be available to you and your new baby:

    International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC)
    IBCLCs are recognized as the gold standard credential for professionals who work with breastfeeding mothers. These health care providers specialize in the clinical management of breastfeeding and perform professional comprehensive clinical lactation consultations, assessing difficulties that a mother and baby may experience. IBCLCs are typically hired by hospitals and clinics, and often teach breastfeeding classes to expecting parents and postnatal mothers. The title International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is the only breastfeeding certification recognized by the US Surgeon General, and the only one used as a quality metric by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more

    CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS
    Upon completion, those who pass the certificate program will be able to answer common breastfeeding questions and concerns, offer tips and guidance, and recognize when breastfeeding situations are outside of their scope of knowledge and refer to the appropriate professionals.

    Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)
    The Certified Lactation Counselor credential identifies a specialist in lactation counseling who has completed a minimum of 45 hours of training and successfully passed a criterion-referenced examination. CLCs demonstrate the competencies and skills required to provide safe, evidence-based breastfeeding management for pregnant, lactating and breastfeeding women. CLCs come from a variety of different educational and employment backgrounds, including doulas, nurses, mothers, social workers, midwives, and many others. Learn more

    Certified Lactation Specialist (CLS)
    The Certified Lactation Specialist Course is designed for the aspiring lactation consultant and those who wish to improve their knowledge base and skills in working with the breastfeeding mother and child. A CLS has taken a 5-day course and obtained a certification to be used a stepping stone to the IBCLC credential. Learn more

    Certified Lactation Educator (CLE)
    CLEs educate, counsel, and support families and the community by providing evidence-based information about breastfeeding. Certified Lactation Educators have completed a 20-hour breastfeeding training course and passed a final online examination. They can be found working as public health educators, WIC peer counselors, hospital/community educators, and a variety of other breastfeeding support roles. Learn more

    Breastfeeding Counselor (CBC)
    Certified Breastfeeding Counselors have completed a mentored online training course and have provided 30 hours of breastfeeding support. Learn more

    Lactation Educator Counselor (LEC)
    Lactation Educator Counselors are typically health professionals who have received 5 days of on-site or online education and training and satisfactorily completed periodic testing. Learn more

    MOTHER-TO-MOTHER SUPPORT
    With mother-to-mother breastfeeding support, experienced mothers model optimal breastfeeding practices, share information and experiences, offer support to breastfeeding women in an atmosphere of trust and respect.

    WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor
    Peer Counselors are women who have at least 6 months of personal experience with breastfeeding and have received 20 hours of on-site training to provide mothers with breastfeeding information and support from pregnancy through weaning. Learn more

    La Leche League Leader (LLLL)
    The La Leche League is an international nonprofit advocacy group where leaders hold local chapter meeting to provide breastfeeding information and support. A La Leche League Leader has breastfed her baby for at least 9 months, offers practical information and encouragement through monthly meetings, and is expected to keep up-to-date with current breastfeeding research. Learn more

    Breastfeeding USA Counselor
    Breastfeeding USA Counselors have breastfed for at least 1 year and have completed a comprehensive training course to provide evidence-based breastfeeding information and support to breastfeeding mothers. Learn more

    [taken from Motherlove®. (2018, February 20). Who’s Who? Different Types of Breastfeeding Support. Retrieved from: https://www.motherlove.com/blogs/all/who-s-who-different-types-of-breastfeeding-support].

  • What is a doula and how can they help me?

    What is a doula and how can they help me?

    According to the world’s largest doula association, DONA, a doula is a “trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.” Research confirms that having the continued support of a doula during labor has been found to be beneficial. You can find out more about what to look for in a doula, as well as review a directory of African American/Black doulas who are members of the National Black Doula Association.

  • What should I do to be healthy during my pregnancy?

    What should I do to be healthy during my pregnancy?

    There are several things you can do to be healthy during your pregnancy:

    + Refrain from drinking and smoking
    + Eat a healthy diet
    + Drinking plenty of water daily, at least 8-10 glasses per day
    + Light exercise as permitted by your healthcare provider
    + Get enough sleep

    Check out the American Pregnancy Association for more tips on healthy eating

  • What should I do to be healthy while I am breastfeeding?

    What should I do to be healthy while I am breastfeeding?

    Much of those great habits that you practiced while you were pregnant as mentioned previously should continue during the postpartum period.  Of course, exercise as indicated by your health care provider.  While breastfeeding you may find that you get hungrier.  Your caloric need may increase but you still want to choose healthy options.  You also may find you need to increase your water intake a little more or stay consistent if getting your 8-10 glasses a day.  Staying hydrated is very important.  A good practice is to the drink water while you breastfeed.   For more information about how what you eat may affect your breastmilk, click here.

  • What questions should I ask my health care provider (e.g., doctor, midwife) about my decision to breastfeed?

    What questions should I ask my health care provider (e.g., doctor, midwife) about my decision to breastfeed?

    Here are a few questions that can you could begin the conversation with:

    + What can I do to be prepared for breastfeeding my new baby?
    + When can I begin breastfeeding?
    + Does your practice or the hospital where I will deliver have any free breastfeeding classes I can participate in?
    + Does the hospital where I will deliver have a “Baby-Friendly” designation?
    + Can you refer me to any local breastfeeding support groups or other community resources?

    In addition to speaking with your provider, you should also find out if your new baby’s pediatrician is “breastfeeding friendly.” Here are some key questions you should ask: click here.

  • If I plan to work after having my baby, what questions should I ask my child care provider about my decision to breastfeed?

    If I plan to work after having my baby, what questions should I ask my child care provider about my decision to breastfeed?

    While going back to work after having your baby may be hard, knowing they are in good hands with the right child care provider can make it much easier for you. Here are a few tips on things to consider when choosing a child care provider, and here are a few more resources on breastfeeding and child care that may be helpful!