August is National Breastfeeding Month, a month dedicated to advancing advocacy, protection, and promotion of breastfeeding.
Research shows that breastfeeding provides many health benefits for infants and mothers, but it also can be difficult to manage breastfeeding in today’s fast-paced world. Many new moms need support and information when learning to breastfeed. Below are some good ways for you to access and receive breastfeeding support.
- Ask your doctor or the staff at the hospital where you delivered your baby to suggest a breastfeeding support group. Some pediatric practices have an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant on staff who leads regular support group meetings.
- Although social media can provide gathering places for new mothers, if you choose to partake in these online communities, do not rely on these resources for medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about any medical questions you have.
- Call the Office on Women's Health (OWH) Helpline at (800-994-9662). The helpline is staffed with breastfeeding peer counselors who can answer your breastfeeding questions in English or Spanish, support you through breastfeeding challenges, and connect you with other resources to help if needed. The OWH Helpline is staffed Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
- Many state Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Programs offer food, nutrition counseling, and access to health services for low-income women, infants, and children. Breastfeeding mothers supported by WIC may receive peer counselor support, an enhanced food package, breast pumps, and other supplies. Breastfeeding mothers can also participate in WIC longer than non-breastfeeding mothers. Many WIC offices have an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant as well. Find contact information for your local WIC program on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Contact Map.
It is the Department’s policy to support maternal and child health by enabling employees to continue breastfeeding when they return to work after the birth of a child. The Department provides private spaces to express breast milk and reasonable time during the workday to do so. For details on worksite lactation at your worksite, contact your Component’s nursing mothers program coordinator or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.