Top Tips on Setting Yourself Up for Breastfeeding Success
How can you set yourself up for success at the start of your breastfeeding journey? Local experts share their top tips.
1. “The best way to meet breastfeeding goals is to keep baby close to mom and provide many feeding opportunities. Find champions to support mom and seek out help in the community to get evidence-based help. Follow baby’s lead instead of restrictive feeding advice.” –Amy Slotten, RN, IBCLC
2. “Attend a support group prenatally and then continue once your baby comes. Getting support from other mothers who have been there is invaluable, and seeing babies breastfeeding before you have your own baby increases your odds of reaching your breastfeeding goals.” –Barbara Robertson, MA, IBCLC, RLC, Owner of The Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor
3. “Don’t wait to get help! Utilize the lactation specialist wherever you give birth. Getting help early (within the first few days of delivery) is key. It can be much harder if you wait until 2 or 3 weeks out, as you need to establish breast emptying in the first hours or days to establish good milk supply.” –Dr. Lisa Hammer, board-certified pediatrician and lactation consultant, IHA
4. “Breastfeeding is a natural thing, but there is a learning curve! Researching and establishing resources for yourself in advance is a great way to set yourself up for success. The Le Leche League of Ann Arbor offers support meetings and breastfeeding cafes where you can bring your little one for hands-on support. They also offer a helpline for questions.” –Cynthia Greene, La Leche League of Ann Arbor
To find upcoming La Leche Ann Arbor events, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/LaLecheLeagueOfAnnArbor/.
5. “Record your baby’s feedings in the feeding log you were given at the hospital. This will help you feel comfortable with knowing that your baby is feeding often and having the wet and dirty diapers that indicate breastfeeding is going well. -St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Breastfeeding Club
Some local moms shared the best/worst comments they heard with us, all in good fun!
Your own mother may have told you “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This rule should especially apply when speaking to mothers to be! However, sometimes the comments make great stories…
“When I was 9 months pregnant in July my almost two year old and I went to Veterans Memorials Park Pool daily. When I am pregnant, I look pregnant. My babies give me a huge belly. One day a woman came up to congratulate me on my twins. I told her I was having just one baby. She continued that her sister had twins and she was as big as me and was I sure I was having only one baby. Not the best way to make this pregnant momma feel more comfortable about her giant state!” -Laura E., Ann Arbor
“Probably the best comment I heard was from my husband. When we were expecting our first child, one night our dog got sick all over the house. We were cleaning up the vomit (with my huge belly in the way) and he looked at me so sweetly and said ‘You’re gonna be the best mom.’ Heart melted. -Britt H., Ann Arbor
“Probably the worst thing I heard when I was pregnant was ‘You’re naming your baby what? Why would you choose that name?’ Well she’s almost 1-year-old now, and I still love her name, Elliotte!” -Jasmine E., Ann Arbor.
“I was waiting in my OB’s office for an appointment and a woman asked me “Boy or girl?” I answered that it was a girl, and she said something like “Oh, I’m sorry. I bet you were wanting a boy?” WHAT? I was really just confused more than angry, haha!” -Suzanne T., Ypsilanti
“I was doing a rotating internship when I was about 25 weeks pregnant. I hadn’t seen the people in my office in about 3 weeks. When I came in one morning, a woman coworker greeted me with ‘Whoa! Your boobs are HUGE!” -Ainsley D., Ann Arbor
Local Resources for New Moms
From La Leche League to story time, Ann Arbor has some great resources for growing families!
Ann Arbor Baby Beginnings
Serving Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County (location depends on chosen classes)
734-221-0158 | annarborbabybeginnings.com
Ann Arbor Baby Beginnings offers birthing classes, newborn care classes, mothers groups and post-partum therapy.
Ann Arbor Babywearers Group
This group of parents meet the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month to help new parents learn about babywearing— how to find, and properly use, carriers and explore options.
Ann Arbor District Library Tumy Times
Westgate Branch: 2503 Jackson Ave
734-327-8301 | aadl.org/node/369277
For new or expecting parents, ages 0 to 12 months. Meet other new parents and converse with adults while your child has fun with new toys and socialization.
Black Mothers Breast Feeding Club-BMBC
555 Towner St, Ypsilanti | 734-544-6800
(Events happen quarterly, next events are July 25th and October 24th from 5-6pm)
Join other new mothers for free mother-led breastfeeding support, fellowship and food. Older children and supportive partners are also welcome to attend.
ICAN of Greater Ann Arbor
Serving Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County
1-800-686-(ICAN) 4226 EXT 157 | ican-online.org/greaterannarbor/leadership
ICAN of Greater Ann Arbor is led by Kristen Paquin, who is a local mom, doula, and childbirth educator. She is passionate about supporting parents who have had cesarean births. Find them on Facebook.
La Leche Ann Arbor
Serving Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County
442-229-0327 | lllaa.weebly.com
Offers breastfeeding and technique support, meetups and moms groups. Find a full schedule at facebook.com/LaLecheLeagueOfAnnArbor.
Arbor YMCA Together Time
400 W Washington St, Ann Arbor
734-661-8045 | annarborymca.org
Swim classes, gymnastics, mommy and me yoga— The Y offers different parent/child classes depending on the age of the child and the time of the year.
MOPS Ann Arbor
Multiple Locations in Ann Arbor
Refer to the website to find phone numbers for each chapter | mops.org/groupsearch/index.php
MOPS, an acronym for “mothers of preschoolers,” was formed to meet the needs of every mom of a child from conception through kindergarten. The groups hosts meetups and activities.
Nurturing Families Washtenaw (Catholic Social Services)
4925 Packard St, Ann Arbor
734-971-9781 EXT 331 | csswashtenaw.org
New parents can learn effective parenting skills and receive supportive services throughout pregnancy up to the time their child reaches 3 years old.