Best Online Breastfeeding Resources of 2020
Best Online Breastfeeding Resources
April 17, 2020

Best Online Breastfeeding Resources

Best Online Breastfeeding Resources.
Photo by @blairpysngr
Best Online Breastfeeding Resources

Breastfeeding a newborn is one of the most common struggles that new parents face. There are many ways to help you figure out how to make it work, like taking a course or working one-on-one with a lactation consultant. But what if in-person help isn’t an option? Meet your new breastfeeding BFF: the internet.

Harnessing the power of tech—whether it’s through a virtual breastfeeding course, an online support group or even a one-on-one Zoom—can be a lifesaver during the times when IRL breastfeeding support isn’t possible. You just need to know where to look.

Virtual Breastfeeding Courses

Many parents-to-be choose to take a breastfeeding class or course prior to their baby’s arrival. Hospitals often offer these types of classes, as do doulas and international board certified lactation consultants (IBCLCs for short—trained and certified experts who provide breastfeeding and lactation care). When an in-person class isn’t an option, however, or when you simply can’t fit another thing into your already packed schedule, you can take an online breastfeeding course right from the comfort of your own home.

Benefits of an online breastfeeding course include being able to take the class at your own pace and fitting it into your schedule when it’s most convenient for you. You also don’t have to leave the comforts of your couch–something you’ll appreciate even more if you’re in the home stretch of your pregnancy.

Here are a few favorites to check out:

  • Krystal Duhaney, an RN, IBCLC, breastfeeding parent of two and founder of the site Milky Mama, has designed an on-demand course you can take at home. Breastfeeding 101 is perfect for expectant parents, new parents and even experienced parents. “It is designed to prepare, educate and empower parents to have successful breastfeeding journeys, helps answer some of the most common questions that new parents may have about breastfeeding and even some questions they didn’t think to ask,” says Duhaney.
  • Lactation Link, started by a labor and delivery nurse, Childbirth Educator and IBCLC-certified Lactation Coach, offers free and paid classes and live webinars. Topics include breastfeeding basics, information on pumping and storing breastmilk, how to overcome breastfeeding hurdles and more. You can even schedule live, one-on-one eConsults.
  • Breastfeeding parents rave about Milkology, a site launched around the mission of creating the highest quality breastfeeding content to educate and empower breastfeeding parents. The site features a huge freebie library packed with checklists, cheat sheets, guides and printables as well as several informative breastfeeding courses.
  • Popular breast pump brand Medela offers the Medela Breastfeeding University, a collection of free online courses and videos designed to prepare parents for the experience of breastfeeding. Classes are about 10-15 minutes each and cover topics like the basics of breastfeeding a newborn, life with a breastfed baby and the breastfeeding lifestyle.

Virtual Breastfeeding Support Groups

There’s something about meeting others you can relate to during times of struggle that provides comfort and makes you feel less alone, especially as a new parent. Breastfeeding support groups are an invaluable way to connect with other breastfeeding parents—and they don’t have to end just because you’re stuck at home.

“Whether it’s a first-time or an experienced situation, breastfeeding and pumping can certainly be an overwhelming and anxiety-inducing time, especially if support is limited,” says Ashley Georgakopoulos, Motif Medical Lactation Director and IBCLC. “Having an outlet in place to discuss these anxieties, and perhaps obtaining knowledgeable help from these outlets, is the best way to overcome it.”

Groups are priceless platforms for breastfeeding parents to “support each other, ask questions and get information to other resources available to them,” she notes. “Social media has grown and evolved in a way that can make virtual breastfeeding support a reliable resource. Many lactation consultants and peer counselors supervise organized forums and groups that are both private and filled with mother-to-mother support. I highly recommend finding one to be a part of, no matter where you are in the breastfeeding journey, even if still pregnant,” she says.

These are the groups to head to first:

  • La Leche League is a favorite destination for breastfeeding parents. The organization promotes breastfeeding worldwide and helps parents to breastfeed through support, encouragement, information and online education. Their popular local breastfeeding support group meet-ups have gone virtual–simply check the organization’s Facebook page to find one local to your area.
  • KellyMom is one of the best evidence-based websites that provides information on breastfeeding. The site runs an active, informative Facebook breastfeeding support group where you can ask questions and discuss breastfeeding topics and issues.
  • With over 100,000 members, the Milky Mamas Breastfeeding Support Group is a great place to ask questions, share your struggles and get support from other breastfeeding parents.
  • The Leaky Boob is another popular Facebook support group that has over 300,000 followers. It aims to be a safe place for open conversation about breastfeeding and helps to support breastfeeding mothers through laughter.

Virtual Lactation Consultant Visits

In addition to running classes or breastfeeding support groups, most lactation consultants also offer in-home, one-on-one visits with new parents to help them address any breastfeeding challenges they may be having. While an online consultation isn’t quite the same as the real thing, a virtual appointment can still be extremely helpful when you’re trying to figure out the ins and outs of feeding your little one.

“Do a local search for an IBCLC,” says Georgakopoulos. “Some now provide virtual consultations through Telehealth, a secure platform for medically based appointments. Some also organize their own online support groups on Facebook or post knowledgeable content on Instagram.”

The IBCLC Directory Search Form is the best way to find a lactation consultant in your area.

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