Breastfeeding peer support is incredibly important. Nursing moms need a safe, supportive place to ask questions. I am sharing some struggles I had when I didn't have the support I needed and why I am passionate about helping other moms.
Having other moms to talk to that are going through similar situations is a must. They don't have to be family members or close friends. They don't have to be your neighbor. You can meet with other women in person or virtually. The important thing is to have someone (preferably a few someones) that you can reach out to when you have questions, are worried, or just need to vent.
Why You Need a Breastfeeding Peer Support Group
When I had my first baby, I planned on breastfeeding, but I didn't really have any mom friends at the time. Obviously I knew people with kids, but they weren't at the same stage of motherhood. Or, for whatever reason, I didn't feel comfortable asking them questions that made me feel vulnerable.
I loved the idea of community support groups, such as local La Leche League meetings. I was interested in attending, but at the time I found it confusing to figure out when and where the meetings took place. I wish I had figured that out before my baby was born, because when I needed help the most, I didn't have anyone to reach out to for help.
Even though a breastfeeding peer support group (or any mom's group, for that matter) is not designed to diagnose issues, sometimes our sleep deprived mombie brains just need a little help to sort out what is going on. This may mean calming a mom down and reassuring her that what she is experiencing is normal. It can also help reassure a mom that she is NOT hysterical and her instinct to call the doctor matches what other moms would do.
Professionals are important resources to have as well, but it's not always realistic to reach out to them with every question you have. I also understand there are multiple reasons why some moms may not feel comfortable talking to their medical provider or may not have one to contact.
The most important thing is knowing you are not alone. It's nice about knowing you have a safe place to vent your thoughts at 3AM. Somewhere you can receive emotional support from other moms who get it.
There were so many times I felt alone as a new mom. This is one reason why I provide a judgement-free breastfeeding group where moms can support each other. I strive to offer what I wish I had when I became a nursing mom.
The amazing part about breastfeeding peer support groups is how beneficial they are for new moms and veteran moms alike. From commiserating about cluster feeding and growth spurts to encouraging each other through difficult situations.
Darcy lives outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband, their two kids under 7 years old, two cats, and a rescue dog. She loves to share kids crafts, simple recipes, and parenting tips to help other moms. She's passionate about education (which is why she is a PTO board member and Box Tops Coordinator) and all things babies. Darcy loves purple, geek culture, and making an ordinary life feel extraordinary. She and her family enjoy exploring Wisconsin and planning local adventures. Author of Breastfeeding 101: Beauty in Breastfeeding, available on Amazon. Her writing has also been featured on Babble, CafeMom, and Mom.me.