Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Photo: United States Breastfeeding Committee
Updated July 7, 2016
Knowing what to expect in a good breastfeeding helper can make all the difference when you are looking for support with challenges
La Leche League is a great place to find help and encouragement from knowledgeable and caring mothers. If your difficulties exceed our skills, we will know where to refer you.
After having supported thousands of mothers in Merced, California, for over 45 years, LLL Leader Betty Barber, on her retirement at the age of 73, said:
“Women often have their doctor telling them one thing, their mother-in-law telling them something else, and their friends telling them something else. We Leaders provide factual information and support, and we don’t judge. Most of the time moms just need encouragement and information. They just want to hear that they’re doing a good job and that what they’re feeling isn’t unusual or wrong.”
Michelle Byus, who sought Betty’s help after the birth of her first child, said the Leader had “a gift for putting people at ease.” “There are some things that mothers can only learn from other mothers. Betty reaffirms your ability to be a good mother and that you are right to follow your instincts.”
For real help for individual challenges and continuing support, use a helper who has multiple resources and experiences and can provide a shoulder to cry on.
In The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding you find the following suggestions:
The right person can shorten this extremely frustrating time and can help you find not only answers but ways of streamlining your efforts.
Expect your helper to:
- Ask questions before giving ideas
- Be kind and respectful to both you and your baby
- Be endlessly patient
- Be fully supportive of your choices and goals
- Know other people and places to turn to for help
- Have books on how to help
- Keep up to date on research
- Adjust the information and ideas to your situation
- Be ready to change any suggestion that’s not working for you
- Leave you feeling stronger than you were
- Stick with you as long as you want her to.
There’s a wealth of resources right here!