If breastfeeding is so natural, why doesn't it seem to come naturally?
That's a good question! Before your baby arrives, it seems like all you need to do is put the baby to the breast, let him or her attach, and away you go. But in reality, it's not always so simple.
True, some babies do just go right to the breast, and never experience any problems. But many of us need some help. In times gone by, before the 20th century, when every mother breastfed and families weren't so mobile, you'd turn to your mother, grandmother, or aunt for breastfeeding help. Unfortunately, today we've lost that breastfeeding community. That's where La Leche League steps in to fill the gap. Pick up a copy of the WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING, our breastfeeding guide. Breastfeeding really is a learned art.
If you're pregnant, try to think beyond the labor and birth of your baby, to the months of breastfeeding ahead of you. While you're pregnant is a good time to prepare, by going to several La Leche League meetings. It will help you build your support network
Have some of your friends said, "I tried breastfeeding, but it didn't work; it was painful; I didn't have enough milk; I leaked too much; my baby didn't seem satisfied, etc.?" Try an LLL meeting, and meet Leaders and mothers who are breastfeeding or who have successfully breastfed their babies. If you can't make it to a meeting, consider an online chat meeting, or getting to know the Leaders and mothers on our Mother-to-Mother support forums. Ask questions and read about the experiences of others. Our collection of articles and other resources on preparing to breastfeed will also reassure you.
A little preparation will reap long-term benefits! Learn what is a normal newborn behavior and what is a potential problem (for example, the "good" baby who sleeps all the time, and isn't waking to feed).
Breastfeeding is one of the most important things you can do for your baby. If you are pregnant, or a new mother experiencing difficulties, give a Leader a call, and consider attending a meeting. You'll be glad you did. LLL members are warm, intelligent women, dedicated to learning to be the best they can for their babies and growing families.
Our FAQs present information from La Leche League International on topics of interest to parents of breastfed children. Not all of the information may be pertinent to your family's lifestyle. This information is general in nature and not intended to be advice, medical or otherwise. If you have a serious breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to a La Leche League Leader. Please consult health care professionals on any medical issue, as La Leche League Leaders are not medical practitioners.