As a new parent, you will be experiencing many things for the first time. Among those things will be how to feed your baby. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months and nursing to two years and beyond is encouraged. For many parents, breastfeeding may not come easy. Both you and your baby are learning a new skill. Be patient with yourself - it takes time!
If you need extra support, here are several free Calgary resources available to help you in your breastfeeding journey:
1. La Leche League. Le Leche League Canada (LLLC) offers a prenatal breastfeeding class and virtual support meetings throughout the month. LLLC provides mother-to-mother/parent-to-parent/peer support for pregnant women, new parents, and beyond.
2. Riley Park Maternity Clinic. Riley Park Maternity Clinic is an excellent resource for new moms who need that extra boost of support on their breastfeeding journey. Not only do they offer free breastfeeding classes twice a month, but they also offer free private lactation consultation that is covered through Alberta Health Services.
3. Westglen Medical Lactation Clinic. Westglen Medical Lactation Clinic is a full-service, physician-based clinic in southwest Calgary that offers free breastfeeding support. They can help with tongue-ties, latch issues, low/oversupply, and other problems that arise!
4. Circle Medical Breastfeeding Clinic. The Circle Medical Breastfeeding Clinic is a joint endeavor between Circle Medical and the South Calgary Primary Care Network to provide breastfeeding help to families in south Calgary. Patients are either referred by their family doctor or a nurse but can also call and book an appointment without a referral.
5. Well Fed. Well Fed Clinic, previously known as The Alex Breastfeeding Clinic, has a team of physicians dedicated to helping you with your breastfeeding journey. All their services are covered through Alberta Health Services.
6. Healthy Parents, Healthy Children. Healthy Parents, Healthy Children is a great online resource with a plethora of information to support the new parent embarking on their journey of breastfeeding. With numerous pamphlets and information sheets available, you can usually find answers to your breastfeeding questions here if you don't need in-person support.
7. NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank. NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank is an incredible resource for the expectant parent in their breastfeeding journey. Each month, they offer a free breastfeeding basics class run by the Executive Director, Jannette Festival. Jannette is a registered nurse (RN) and a lactation consultant (IBCLC) who began the milk bank back in 2012 to provide hospitals in Alberta and NICUs across the country a reliable source of donor human milk. Breastfeeding moms who would like to become donors can donate their excess milk to the milk bank, which is then pasteurized and provided to sick and fragile babies in need. Jannette offers a free breastfeeding basics class to all expectant parents.
When preparing for your new little love to arrive, check out some of the resources in this article to help you feel comfortable in your breastfeeding journey. When able, breastfeeding is an amazing way to bond with your baby and to help your child gain the best start in life through the nutrients found in your breastmilk. Remember, you and your baby are in this together and learning how to breastfeed will take time! There is a multitude of support in Calgary waiting to help you in your nursing journey.
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