For a mom who wants to breastfeed there is a ton of information out on the internet. There is a lot of good information out there, and there is also a lot of bad information out there. These are some of the best resources and sites I used when researching breastfeeding and looking for support in general. You may find some that work even better for you on your own, and I would love to see them in the comments. If you start having serious problems nursing, like pain or your baby isn’t gaining weight, contact an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant).
First, some websites with good community support and answers to a lot of questions related to breastfeeding:
The Leaky B@@b on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheLeakyBoob. A great online community where you can ask questions and get answers form other moms. Also a great place to read other people’s questions and get info and appreciate the challenges you don’t have. This site is dedicated to supporting all moms, whether they are breastfeeding or using formula.
The Leaky Boob blog: http://theleakyboob.com/. The lady who runs the above Facebook page has a blog with articles relating to breastfeeding, opinion pieces, and moms’ stories of struggles and triumph in all sorts of situations. Also a link to her husband’s blog, which is all about parenting.
Kelly Mom: http://kellymom.com/. A great resource with articles relating to breastfeeding including links to scientific papers which contain the actual data. Great information on how to handle being a working breastfeeding mom with guidelines about the amount of expressed milk to leave for the baby and storage guidelines. There are even some example schedules of how to space out and fit in pumps within your schedule.
La Leche League: http://www.llli.org/. This is the international site, which you can use to find online resources and also use to find a local group, which can be a great resource to find other nursing moms. All La Leche Leaders have undergone training to be able to answer your questions, help with common problems, and most of them have lists of local IBCLCs in case you need a referral.
Lactmed: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. A site put together by the National Institute of Health (NIH) which gathers together all of the studies ever done on medications with breastfeeding mothers and infants. The Physicians Desk Reference, which many doctors will go to if you ask about medications, only has the companies’ insert that comes with the drug. Almost all of them say not to use while breastfeeding. This is an overreaction in many but not all cases.
Infant Risk Center: http://www.infantrisk.com/. A website run by a doctor at Texas Tech who does studies on breast milk and measures the actual level of any drugs the mother is taking. There is a hotline you can call, listed on the website, if you have a question about a drug.
Ask Dr. Sears: http://www.askdrsears.com/. A website with some good attachment parenting resources (for parents who are interested) and breastfeeding resources.
Next, my favorite: nursing bras and clothes (most of which work for maternity). Nursing clothes are not a necessity, though a good nursing bra is. Nursing clothes with concealed openings can make it much more comfortable to nurse in public. I do not consider a shirt with a stretchy neckline to be a nursing shirt as that still requires a cover to be discreet (aka breast not visible to the world). Actual hidden panels allow discreet nursing with no cover needed :
Cake Lingerie: http://www.cakelingerie.com/. My favorite nursing bra site. They have very well made, comfy bras that are fine to wear during pregnancy. You can shop based on trimester as well as size. They have a large size range (32B-40M), and the band has six sets of hooks, giving a range of four inches in band fluctuation for the end of pregnancy. This site also has some nursing nightgowns and camisoles.
Hot Milk Lingerie: http://www.hotmilklingerie.com/. My second favorite nursing bra site. They have maternity and nursing bras in sizes 30B-42G. They scale the width of the straps to the size of the cups, which is great for proper support. This site also has some great nursing nightgowns and camisoles.
Milk Nursingware: http://www.milknursingwear.com/. I love these nursing clothes. Milk mainly has shirts and dresses. All of their shirts have either an empire waist, which lifts to reveal a nursing opening, or have overlapping panels that pull apart for nursing (there are great pictures of these on their site). Most of the clothes are good for maternity as well. They have regular sales so checking regularly can save a lot of money.
Other bra and clothing companies I have heard of that can be good (though I do not have personal experience): Royce lingerie, Anita (nursing bras), Majamas (shirts and pj’s), Hadley Stilwell (nursing clothes), and Best for Babes.
When looking at nursing clothes it is important to find a brand that fits your body and nursing style. Look at the openings on the shirt and think if they will fit your body properly. if the shirt has specific openings (like circles cut out) for the breasts rather than overlapping panels, do the holes look like you will line up with them? I had one shirt I got which had the undershirt area with cutouts for the breasts, but they were way too far apart and I can’t use the shirt at all.