Breastfeeding support groups are a fundamental resource for any mother who wants to breastfeed. They are an important meeting point for mothers in very similar situations.
What is a breastfeeding support group?
There are many different support groups for mothers, and among them, there are those that are dedicated breastfeeding support groups. There are also more general groups about parenting and maternity.
In a breastfeeding support group, you can find:
- Other mothers like you who are interested in breastfeeding, either in getting off to a good start or ending the breastfeeding journey in the most respectful way possible.
- Breastfeeding guides or counselors: mothers with experience in breastfeeding who have some lactation knowledge and lead and coordinate the group, answer questions, and offer information.
- Babies: Together with their mothers, they are the main focus of these meetings. Whenever possible, always come to these groups with your babies.
- Partners, family members, and friends: Mothers attending these groups can bring anyone they want to help and support them, listen to the helpful information provided, and take turns in walking the baby if needed.
- Breastfeeding equipment and resources: Some groups offer resources to lend to mothers, such as books, magazines, breast pumps, nipple shields, etc. Each group has its lending policy, but this is always a helpful service.
Once you have found your local breastfeeding support group, make sure you find out about all the services they offer, as they may vary.
What does it cost to attend a breastfeeding support group?
Mother-to-mother support groups are usually organized by non-profit organizations. The services offered by support groups are often, but not always, free of charge, depending on the local area. Breastfeeding counselors/monitors are often volunteers who offer their own time for the cause.
The groups are maintained through membership fees and donations by grateful mothers, who pay money to help the group and, in turn, other mothers and sometimes also by public subsidies or in collaboration with other organizations, for example, religious entities who support the group by providing premises.
Breastfeeding support groups do not accept funding from infant feeding companies or companies that violate the Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
Where can I find my support group?
As with so many other things in life, there are local areas that have many groups and services for mothers and other areas where there is a complete lack of offering and desert of support. On the following websites, you can do your own search and see which breastfeeding support groups could be near you.
Online breastfeeding support groups
If there are no breastfeeding groups nearby or if you are unable or unwilling to travel, virtual groups can be of great help. You can find them, for example, on Facebook or on other platforms. LactApp offers virtual support groups in Spanish led by expert guides from different Spanish-speaking countries.