Breastfeeding support: where to find it
Breastfeeding is a natural but learned skill that can be challenging at times but I want you to know that there is support available to all mothers in Aotearoa. I've compiled a list of services that can be accessed from the tippy top to the very bottom of our nation as well as services local to us here in Hamilton.
- The BreastFedNZ app is a valuable resource that provides information, support, and guidance on breastfeeding, from birth to weaning. It is available whenever and wherever you need it.
- Most hospitals in New Zealand offer public-funded access to community lactation consultants, such as the Community Breastfeeding Support Service in Waikato. To find your local breastfeeding support service, visit smartstart.services.govt.nz/services-near-me.
- If you're a Hamilton local like me then the Hamilton Breastfeeding Clinic is a community-based service that offers one-on-one personalised breastfeeding counselling and support to mothers who have given birth at River Ridge East Birth Centre or have accessed postnatal services. This service is free to all breastfeeding mothers with babies up to one year old. You can contact them to make an appointment.
- If you are struggling to access a lactation consultant locally Plunket offers an online Lactation Consultant service. Call 0800 933 922 to book an appointment with one of their International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC®). These consultations are free and available to all breastfeeding women, even if Plunket is not your WellChild provider. You can schedule appointments during the day, evenings, and weekends.
- La Leche League is a group of trained leaders who offer mother-to-mother breastfeeding support over the phone, at informal meetings, or via email and social media. All support is free and confidential. You can find their accredited leaders and group meetings across Aotearoa on their website and join their online community.
- The Mama Aroha app provides a more visually informative resource with visuals and kupu Māori. It includes information on the importance of breastfeeding, support for breastfeeding skin-to-skin, supply and demand feeding, feeding cues, latching and positioning, hand expressing, and milk storage.