The act of breastfeeding involves two very important people — you and your baby — but the experience can be made a lot easier when you have community support and the opportunity to connect with other moms and families. Learning from others, whether they’re new moms or already experienced with breastfeeding, can be reassuring, validating, and just plain helpful. Communities like these, whether in person or virtual, can encourage sharing practical tips and positive support. They can be places to talk through normal struggles and share your feelings. They can also be places to find and feel a sense of belonging, surrounded by other folks on the same journey you are.
Where can you find a breastfeeding community?
Fortunately, there are so many ways you can connect with communities of breastfeeding moms and families.
One way to find in-person breastfeeding group meetings is through your health care providers. Often hospitals or birth centers host breastfeeding support groups or can recommend a nearby group for you. The same goes for the practice where you see your OB/GYN or midwife or where your baby sees their pediatrician, so you can ask them for a recommendation too. You can also ask your healthcare provider if they have any information about peer breastfeeding counselors — as it can often be valuable to connect with another mom who has breastfed her baby for help and advice.
If you’re eligible for WIC (The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), they can also provide you with breastfeeding support, including access to a peer counselor. The peer counselor is a mom in your community who has experience breastfeeding her own child and special training to help support and mentor you as you breastfeed your own little one. You can contact your local WIC office for more information.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health also has trained peer counselors available to speak to in either English or Spanish. You can call 1-800-994-9662 Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.
Breastfeeding organizations also offer a lot of meaningful resources that can help you find community. La Leche League International has local support groups across the world — where breastfeeding folks can meet and support each other — an online database to help you find meetings near you, as well as online community support options. KellyMom also offers a resource list of further local and online support options.
And there are a lot of other online options available to you as well. Message boards, blogs, and various social media accounts provide opportunities for peer conversations, space to ask and answer questions, and find community with other folks who are also breastfeeding. It can take time to find the right fit, but there are amazing choices out there. Remember, it’s important to keep in mind that you should speak with your healthcare provider or a certified lactation consultant if you have specific medical questions about breastfeeding or any questions about your or your baby’s health.
Power in numbers
Community support can be so important in helping you along on your breastfeeding journey. Whether you’re struggling with breastfeeding or looking to find a sense of belonging, you have a lot of options available to you. There’s power in numbers, and you deserve all the support you can get.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- “Breastfeeding Support Facebook Group.” La Leche League International. La Leche League International. Retrieved July 30 2020. https://www.llli.org/get-help/breastfeeding-support-facebook-group/.
- “Breastfeeding Support Groups.” KellyMom. KellyMom.com. Retrieved July 30 2020. https://kellymom.com/pregnancy/bf-prep/bf-links-support/#onlinesupport.
- “Finding breastfeeding support and information.” Office on Women’s Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, December 6 2018. Retrieved July 30 2020. https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/learning-breastfeed/finding-breastfeeding-support-and-information.
- “Get Help.” La Leche League International. La Leche League International. Retrieved July 30 2020. https://www.llli.org/get-help/.
- “Get Support for WIC.” WIC Breastfeeding Support. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved July 30 2020. https://wicbreastfeeding.fns.usda.gov/get-support-wic