(Chester County Moms)

Every year, August 1-7 is designated as World Breastfeeding Week. This year's theme focuses on the connections and networks of support mothers turn to when they are breastfeeding. With mothers of newborns often living apart from their extended families, more women are turning to the virtual world of the Internet for breastfeeding information and support. Fortunately, there are many breastfeeding resources available to moms right here in Chester County.

It is easier for mothers to reach their breastfeeding goals, whether their baby is two weeks or 2 years, when they have some source of support. In fact, research shows that when mothers get breastfeeding help from family, friends, employers and professionals like their physicians and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), they resolve their questions and problems faster and report being more satisfied with their breastfeeding experience. This, in turn, helps mothers and babies achieve the significant health benefits of breastfeeding.

The best place to prepare for breastfeeding is in a prenatal class at your local hospital. However, even when you've taken a class, applying all that you learned when your baby is wiggling around and crying can be a real challenge. So, after you've given birth, if you still need hands-on help in the hospital, don't be shy. Ask your nurse for help or ask her to send in the lactation consultant. Babies are sleepy after birth and not all that hungry so be patient and keep trying. Many babies really get the hang of it after the first few days.

If you have already left the hospital but still need breastfeeding help, you can also locate lactation consultants in your community. Check out this Breastfeeding Resources page for people, organizations and informative links that can help you locally - right here in Chester County.

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, help us to build a network of resources for new moms. Share a comment, an inspirational story or tell us where you went to find support and information about breastfeeding.

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