This post has been on my list for a while. When I finally had it on the calendar, I knew just who to call and ask! Breastfeeding is an extraordinary journey, and I wish every mama could have Allison Morgan of Holistic Birth & Beyond on speed dial. While I cannot give out her phone number, she agreed to an interview to share her best breastfeeding tips!
I’m honored to share Allison’s top five breastfeeding tips along with her list of resources so you can find the support you need! Allison’s responses are edited for clarity, but I mostly left them as they are for you to enjoy.
Breastfeeding Tips and Finding Support | Seacoast, NH
1) Can you share about your business and what you do?
I’m primarily a birth and postpartum doula and agency owner at Holistic Birth & Beyond. I serve families in Southern New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts. My goal is to help families find the best fit for finding a doula. I also do lactation and childbirth education and placenta encapsulation as well.
2) What are the top 5 tips for breastfeeding mamas?
1 – Get to know your baby and pay attention to their cues. Every baby has different hunger cues. They have early cues, mid-cues, and late cues. The early cues are the cuter ones that include stirring, maybe opening their mouth, and looking for the breast. The mid-cues are more obvious which is when they look for their hand and latch on to that. Finally, the late cues are when they’re a little more vocal and show that they’re agitated and ready with their body. So getting to know the cues can really help because when you catch those earlier cues, you can then be a little more proactive to get the process started because sometimes it’s hard to know when they’re ready. So getting to know their cues is the first tip.
2 – It’s all about the latch. There are several different things that can help get the best latch possible. Many people think it’s about the pillow that they get or the nipple cream, but it’s really about the latch. Having a great latch helps because if it’s too shallow, then there’s a lot of pain associated, or maybe the baby isn’t getting that milk transfer as well as it could be. Bringing the baby to you can help with your posture to result in a nice, deep latch!
3 – Learn different nursing positions. There are different positions to nurse in, with cradling your baby being the most popular. But one position that surprises moms and many fall in love with is the side-lying position. Knowing you can be lying down in your bed, comfortable on your side, and being able to nurse the baby from the side is good to know. Learn a few different positions, and don’t be afraid to try them to see what works best for you and your baby.
4 – Get to know your local lactation consultants. There are different levels of lactation educators, and consultants, with the highest level being the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Getting to know those in your area is nice so that whether you’re still pregnant or in the thick of it, you know where those resources are. And getting to know others who feel like peers to you that you can talk with, maybe vent to or exchange some tips and get some kind of encouragement from.
5 – Find breastfeeding support. The bottom line is knowing that it’s okay to ask for help. So many times, we think that breastfeeding has to be this natural and instinctive thing, but it might not be for everyone. It’s challenging because we want to follow certain steps and be successful. But, the reality is that breastfeeding looks different for each mom! I think that sometimes there’s a stigma that you should know all of this and it’s just not true. It’s nice to know that you can ask for help when you’re nursing or transitioning back to work and pumping.
3) What are some local resources/support for breastfeeding mamas?
There are a couple of IBCLCs around the state that do a great job. Nourish Lactation and Motina Lactation are really popular in southern New Hampshire. There are many great options all throughout Massachusetts and up the Seacoast, and even further north. There are also your postpartum support groups which are offered in-person and virtually.
We host one here in Manchester, New Hampshire. There are lactation groups that exist too. CMC, Thrive, and Relief Parenting are really good resources for having that group community aspect.
4) What’s your advice for a pregnant mama as she prepares for breastfeeding?
We do so much preparing and planning for the birth that we tend to forget this whole chapter right after. I think a lactation class can really make a difference for people. So instead of on-the-job learning, you get this orientation beforehand where you can familiarize yourself with some of the language and tips, habits to get into, and ways to be prepared. Taking a class can make a huge difference where you get the foundation before you head into that chapter.
5) How can readers get in touch with you?
You can learn more about Holistic Birth and Beyond at https://www.holisticbirthandbeyond.com/
A great way to get in touch with me is through Instagram
Additionally, the wellness collaborative I co-founded and operate my business out of will be opening soon as a Milk Depot for Mothers Milk Bank Northeast. This will be a great resource for families! Mothers with a breastmilk donation will be able to drop off excess breastmilk and share it with other families that need it. You can stay tuned by following on social https://www.instagram.com/wellnessvillage.nh/