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Breastfeeding Resources

Latch onto this!

by Karen Dawson, owner and principal of Dawson Communications Group, lives in Maple Valley with her husband and children. 2007

Sometimes, it’s the little things that count. If you’re a new mom just finding your way with breastfeeding, it can make your whole day to find the perfect spot to nurse when you’re out with Baby. And for questions, problems, and a feeling of community and connection, finding a wonderful breastfeeding support group or lactation consultant can mean a lot.

Our region boasts a rich breastfeeding support community. Here’s a guide to getting started — and getting around — with breastfeeding.

Getting started

At first, it can be hard to know who to turn to for help with breastfeeding. Friends and family may chime in, but everyone’s experience is so unique that you can come away more confused than before. There are places that offer how-to advice along with assistance in overcoming some of nursing’s biggest challenges, such as poor latching or inverted nipples.

The importance of getting breastfeeding support from community resources cannot be overstated. A 1991 study published in the Human Lactation Journal shows that home visits that deal with the new mothers’ concerns with breastfeeding assist with problem solving and involve family members in support can be very effective.

For instance, Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland offers free access to its lactation support help line 24 hours a day (425-899-3494). Services are available to all breastfeeding mothers, regardless of whether or not they gave birth at Evergreen. The Breastfeeding Center at Evergreen is an outpatient clinic that features private exam rooms for consultations with breastfeeding moms and their families. Check to see if your visit will be covered by insurance; most insurance companies will deny the claim or put up a tireless fight. Evergreen also houses a retail store that features breastfeeding supplies, including a Lactina breast pump rental station and professional nursing-bra fitting.

The Community Birth and Family Center in Seattle also offers free telephone consultations seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (206-615-8078). In-home visits by a certified lactation consultant are available for $150, and in-clinic consultations are available for $90. According to Barbara Orcutt, R.N., M.N., coordinator of breastfeeding services, the First Weeks class offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from noon to 2 p.m. is an excellent place to start for new moms. This class is on a drop-in basis and is supported by donation only. No registration is required.

Another resource that has a long history of helping mothers all over the world with breastfeeding support and advice is the La Leche League ( Monthly meetings are hosted all over the Puget Sound region for nursing mothers at all stages of breastfeeding. According to Steffi Flath, librarian for the Sammamish group, topics discussed at monthly meetings include early challenges, nutrition and weaning, advantages of breastfeeding, the breastfed baby and the family, places to nurse, how to nurse and conceal, frustrations, positive things associated with nursing (such as dads’ involvement and support) and attachment with baby. “I have had moms say that if it weren’t for the support from the mothers in LLL, they wouldn’t have nursed as long as they did,” says Flath, who nursed her son, Matthew, for 18 months and is currently nursing her daughter, Grace.

For moms looking for a group to meet with to share breastfeeding stories and wisdom, the Seattle chapter of Attachment Parenting International offers a “Breastfeeding Café” on the fourth Monday of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (location varies). This meeting is based on the book The Breastfeeding Café by Barbara L. Behrmann. It’s a time for support and also for breastfeeding in public so the whole community can benefit from seeing mothers nurse their babies. The group is currently setting up a support group for nursing adoptive mothers. You can get more information at

On the Eastside, Overlake Hospital’s Women’s Services (425-688-5516) also provides support for breastfeeding mothers through board-certified lactation consultants.

Medela’s Web site ( offers free online support from a lactation consultant.

Supporting Each Other

Sometimes, the biggest support to nursing moms can be other moms, whether nursing now or in the past, or men whose partners nursed. Every woman’s experience is different, but she does not need to embark on the nursing journey alone. Whether you are a new mother, an experienced nursing mother of a toddler, or a mother who recalls fondly her nursing days, remember how it felt. Maybe you will have the opportunity to help another mother some day, whether it’s helping her find a place to nurse in your office or changing seats on an airplane so she can have a little extra room. She surely will be grateful.

Recommended reading

  • How My Breasts Saved the World: Misadventures of a Nursing Mother by Lisa Wood Shapiro
  • Dr. Mom’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Marianne Neifert, M.D.
  • Bestfeeding: Getting Breastfeeding Right for You by Mary Renfrew, Chloe Fisher and Suzanne Arms
  • Nursing Mother, Working Mother by Gayle Pryor and Kathleen Huggins, R.N., M.S.
  • The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins, R.N., M.S.

Support, Classes & Further Breastfeeding Resources


  • LactMed - database of drugs and dietary supplements that may affect breastfeeding. From the National Institutes of Health.

Milk Donation, Bottles, Storage and more

  • PEPS article, Getting Support, has lots of resources on local milk donation programs at Swedish and Providence, as well as links and info on storing breast milk and using bottles for feedings

Helpful Web sites

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