How do I Choose the Best Breastfeeding Support Group?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
A breast pump.
A breast pump.

When choosing a breastfeeding support group, consider the philosophy of the group, your own experience with breastfeeding, as well as recommendations from people you trust. Different breastfeeding support groups may promote lifestyle choices or religious beliefs that may or may not be compatible with your own. If you are new to breastfeeding, you will want to find a group that can provide you with breastfeeding help and education. Your doctor or midwife may be able to recommend a good breastfeeding support group, as may your friends or relatives.

Breastfeeding mothers should consider the philosophy of a support group.
Breastfeeding mothers should consider the philosophy of a support group.

Many women find breastfeeding to be a rewarding yet challenging endeavor. Hospitals often provide new mothers with information about breastfeeding as well as the opportunity to speak with a lactation consultant. You may need more support than books or a one-time consultation can provide. By joining a breastfeeding support group, you will be able to connect with other women who can provide you with support and guidance as you breastfeed your baby.

Mothers new to nursing may be able to find the best source of support from other nursing mothers.
Mothers new to nursing may be able to find the best source of support from other nursing mothers.

In some cases, a breastfeeding support group may have a religious or philosophical bias. If you are uncomfortable with a group's religious orientation, this can inhibit your ability to benefit from its offerings. On the other hand, if you are a part of its religious tradition, you may find the group to be a great source of both practical and spiritual support. Similarly, some groups may advocate certain parenting philosophies such as women staying at home with their children instead of holding outside employment. Again, if you agree with the group's philosophy, it may be well suited to your needs, but if you lead a different lifestyle, you may find interactions with group members to be oppressive or uncomfortable.

If you have never breastfed a baby before, make sure that your breastfeeding support group has leaders or members who can mentor you. If the breastfeeding support group is geared toward experienced breastfeeding mothers, you may not get the support and education that you need. If you really like a group that appears to be geared more toward women with experience in breastfeeding, you may want to connect with the outside lactation consultant who can assist you with any challenges that arise. Keep in mind that the first days and weeks of being a new mother can be incredibly stressful, so finding a group that meets close to your home and at a convenient time can make a huge difference. Your hospital or birthing center may keep a list of breastfeeding support groups in your area.

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    • A breast pump.
      By: Vladan Andrejevic
      A breast pump.
    • Breastfeeding mothers should consider the philosophy of a support group.
      By: Svetlana Fedoseeva
      Breastfeeding mothers should consider the philosophy of a support group.
    • Mothers new to nursing may be able to find the best source of support from other nursing mothers.
      By: MNStudio
      Mothers new to nursing may be able to find the best source of support from other nursing mothers.