Rates of breastfeeding have improved greatly since the 60’s and 70’s, when they were at an all-time low in Canada. The short-term health benefits of breastfeeding are now fairly well-known (e.g. fewer ear infections, colds and allergies). The long-term benefits for both mother and baby are well-researched, but not as well-known: women who have breastfed experience a lower rate of breast cancer, and in adulthood, their breastfed children enjoy a much lower rate of Crohn’s disease, colitis and diabetes.
It is important to receive good support and information when starting breastfeeding, to help you successfully overcome any challenges you may encounter. Here are some good organizations that can help:
La Leche League – breastfeeding support and information. Based on ‘mother-to-mother’ information and support through monthly meetings in your community, as well as telephone contact with Group Leaders.
Newman Breastfeeding Clinic – free online breastfeeding resources. Will respond to email help requests.
Breastfeeding.com – free information and resources.
If you need one-on-one professional advice and support, a certified Lactation Consultant can visit you in your home to help you with latch, positioning, sore nipples and milk supply issues. Sometimes one visit will identify the source of the problem:
Mercedes McLean, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) phone: 604-945-7401
If you are fortunate enough to have an oversupply of breast-milk, you can donate it for mothers and babies in need:
Breast Milk Bank – See listing at bottom of page for info. on Breast Milk Bank at Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Vancouver.