This group of women, in particular, need extra support in the earliest attempts at nursing to boost their confidence and skills in nursing their new baby. This is an area where our hospitals must improve. Nurses in hospitals need better training regarding breastfeeding and I believe each hospital should have a lactation consultant for further expertise when it's needed. Many women struggle at first and having help during the first few days can make all the difference.
Until hospitals meet this need, we can still support moms who want to try and breastfeed. Moms should educate themselves before their baby arrives by taking a class, reading, and attending La Leche League or other supportive meetings. It is wise for a woman to know how supportive her partner is about breastfeeding, since being supported daily at home can help her reach her breastfeeding goals. Another good idea is to hire a doula for support during labor as they can help get the baby latched on soon after birth and they can help with some breastfeeding problems.
For women who are having difficulty breastfeeding, there are many resources available. One of the best is the La Leche League as they offer support from a diverse group of breastfeeding women, many of whom have experienced difficulties with breastfeeding themselves. There are different online resources such as breastfeeding.com and kellymom.com that offer helpful information and support. Many WIC offices have Breastfeeding Peer Counselors available to teach and assist moms. There are also IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) who are breastfeeding experts with vast knowledge and skills; they usually work in hospitals. Hopefully we can do a better job of encouraging breastfeeding in our communities and support moms that want to breastfeed by providing the help they need.