I’ll be updating this page periodically as new info comes to me. Feel free to add your own favorite links in the comments!
Pro-breastfeeding info and resources
BreastfeedingOnline: The Importance of Human Milk.
I love this article called “Nursing is more than breastfeeding and every mother can do it.” We hear so much about the nutritive benefits of breastfeeding that the emotional, psychological, and developmental benefits of the breastfeeding-type contact get sidelined. Even mamas who don’t feed their babies from the breast can still engage in a valuable nursing relationship with their babies.
PhDinParenting’s The Scientific Benefits of Breastfeeding and The Economics of Breastfeeding: A cost-benefit analysis are excellent pieces. I like her whole blog, particularly the breastfeeding posts.
Nature magazine ran this fascinating article about breastfeeding from an evolutionary standpoint.
The rate of breastfeeding is depressingly low in minority groups. Blacktating.com brings you (very entertaining) “Breastfeeding News and Views from a Mom of Color.”
Partner support matters!
This Controlled Trial of the Father’s Role in Breastfeeding Promotion concluded that “Teaching fathers how to prevent and to manage the most common lactation difficulties is associated with higher rates of full breastfeeding at 6 months.”
During my own grueling couple weeks of nursing my firstborn, my husband’s support was essential. Knowing that he wanted to help me overcome the challenges of breastfeeding meant the world to me. He also was faithful to keep my water bottle filled and bring me snacks so I could sit very still to maintain that tenuous first-timer latch.
It’s 2am and you can’t figure out how to get that latch the midwife helped you perfect right after birth. You can watch the videos online from Dr. Jack Newman’s Breastfeeding Clinic and Institute.
(His Resources Page is also helpful.)
Check out PeacefulParenting’s Latch Trick.
My favorite parenting blog in the world, AskMoxie: Why is it so hard to breastfeed a baby?
I appreciate the honest of Custom Made Milk’s essay called “Does Breastfeeding Hurt? Well… Yes and No. Mostly No.”
AskMoxie again: What’s the normal learning curve for breastfeeding?
And again: Getting your feeding support in place.
Here’s a helpful website about maintaining your milk while pumping. It’s geared toward working moms, but I know several at-home moms who relied on pumping for at least part, if not all (in one case) of their baby’s sustenance.
Problems during Breastfeeding
Here’s a whole bunch of Natural Remedies for Problems in Breastfeeding.
My own post on what to do about flat nipples.
AskMoxie discussing oversupply.
Another resource on oversupply.
Oh, mastitis - avoid at all costs! Here’s how: herbs for plugged duct and mastitis relief
Kellymom is probably the premier breastfeeding support website out there. Here is her article on plugged ducts and mastitis care.
Kellymom again, with help for Sore Nipples!
Kellymom’s page on Milk Blisters.
Help for Extreme Breastfeeding Issues
Kellymom talks about Tongue-tie.
MOBI Motherhood International is a great resource, especially for those dealing with low supply issues.
BreastfeedingBasics on Low Milk Supply.
Please inform yourself about D-MER - Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex: “the wave of negative emotions or dysphoria, prior to letdown, when nursing, expressing and with spontaneous letdowns, that then lifts within another 30-90 seconds, and then usually repeats with each letdown.” It is not your fault, it is not your baby’s fault. You are not crazy.
Should you need to supplement with formula (the actual medical need to supplement is very rare, mind), list of formula types from NormalFed.com is a good place to start your research. Also read the La Leche League’s piece onSupplementing the Breastfeeding Baby.
The PhDinParenting blog has an excellent post weighing the risks of formula vs. informal breastmilk sharing.
MOBI Motherhood International’s list of lactogenic foods and herbs.
Hilary Jacobsen’s book: Mother Food For Breastfeeding Mothers.
Kellymom reviews medications, herbs, vitamins, vaccines…you name it, in this directory called: Is this safe while breastfeeding?
Also helpful for the mediphobes like me: Natural Treatments for Nursing Moms.
Kellymom answers the age-old question, Does my baby need vitamins? Lots of good links and research data cited.
Do Sick Babies Need to Nurse?
Me: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gah! :)
Somewhat related: Breastfeeding a Preemie.
Good FAQ Lists
In case nothing else here answers your question…
Nursing in Public (aka NIP)
If you’re going to return to everyday normal life with a breastfeeding baby, learning to nurse comfortably in public is essential. Practice at home and then head out into the wild! Most people are either totally sweet and supportive or totally oblivious. Don’t be intimidated by the horror stories; they’re very rare!
- AskMoxie Q&A.
OMG! My baby nurses All.The.Time.
Your baby will go through periods of intense nursing and clinginess. This is normal. So is feeling like you might lose your mind or crawl out of your skin. Take a deep breath and reach out for moral support. If you don’t have nursing support, please EMAIL ME!!! I have counseled many a nursing mama long distance; it’s something I love to do. :)
Kellymom assures you, This is normal!!”
Kellymom discusses Cluster Feeding and Fussy Evenings.
Dr. Jay Gordon coaches you on Nursing through a growth spurt.
Will I ever sleep again?
No. Ahahahaha!!! But it does get better :)
AskMoxie and her commenters talk about Going Insane from Lack of Sleep.
KellyMom addresses the fear: Am I doomed to always nurse him to sleep? (Yes, forever. Even when he’s grown up and married. Psssh.) :)
AskMoxie readers weigh in on nursing to sleep (in the comments). Basically, do what it takes to get you through the night/growth spurt/first three years most comfortably. Nothing is going to be set in stone forever. Relax!
KellyMom’s review of research on infant sleep.
The American Pediatric Association recommends introducing solids no earlier than 6 months of age (and when the baby can sit unassisted). I personally believe this is too early for most babies - it certainly has been for mine. When you introduce solids that early, you are really just introducing spoon-feeding: shoveling mush into their mouths. The way I’ve introduced solids is to actually wait until they are ready for….solids! My babies began eating teeny bits of soft table food around 9-10 months.
Here’s something you may not know: You can exclusively breastfeed for a year - possibly even longer if you and your baby really want to (which is doubtful). But don’t get guilted into the idea that you’re depriving your baby of some magical experience by delaying solids for a bit.
Here’s AskMoxie’s Q&A about introducing solids.
The Babybond’s slideshow on the history of weaning - really, really fascinating!
A nice overview of starting solids, with some info about vitamin supplementation for the breastfed weanling.
I followed my gut with the solids thing, and found out after the fact that I had inadvertently practiced “Baby-led Weaning.” Nourished Kitchen’s wonderful explanation of Baby-led Weaning really resonates with me. For more info, the research behind the Baby-led Weaning movement is here.
Here are some ideas for soft foods to start with, as an alternative to bland white mush. :)