Frequently Asked Questions
What are breastfeeding classes?
Breastfeeding classes are a good place for you and your partner to learn about breastfeeding while you are pregnant in a more structured environment. return to Before Delivery
How can a breastfeeding class help me?
In a breastfeeding class you will learn about the benefits of breastfeeding, breastfeeding positions, latching your baby, common breastfeeding concerns, and how to juggle breastfeeding and work. Classes are taught by various individuals with breastfeeding expertise. Taking a breastfeeding class before baby is born can help you feel more confident breastfeeding and can help you avoid common breastfeeding challenges. return to Before Delivery
What are breastfeeding support groups?
Breastfeeding support groups bring together nursing mothers and lactation consultants or trained breastfeeding educators in an informal setting to share experiences and problem solve. return to Before Delivery
How can a breastfeeding support group help me?
Breastfeeding support groups can be a fun and comfortable atmosphere to get help with breastfeeding and a great place to meet new friends. While support groups are really designed to help mothers with breastfeeding, you may choose to attend a support group while you are pregnant to learn how other mothers have adapted to breastfeeding. return to Before Delivery
What is WIC?
The Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program is a federally-funded health and nutrition program for children ages 1 to 5 years (including foster children), infants, pregnant women, breastfeeding women up to 1 year, and postpartum women up to 6 months. WIC provides nutrition education, vouchers for healthy foods, breastfeeding support and education, immunization screenings, and referrals to other community resources free of charge to qualifying Georgia families. The Georgia WIC Program supports breastfeeding in the form of breastfeeding classes, breastfeeding support groups, one on one breastfeeding support by WIC Peer Counselors, and breast pump issuance for qualifying mothers. return to Before Delivery
What is a WIC Peer Counselor?
A WIC Peer Counselor is a mom that is a current and/or past WIC Program participant who lives in the community and has breastfed her own baby. She has been carefully selected by WIC to offer breastfeeding information and support to new WIC moms. Peer Counselors contact mothers during pregnancy to answer questions regarding breast changes, infant feeding, and how to get a good start with breastfeeding after delivery. If desired. the WIC Peer Counselor can continue to contact mom after delivery by telephone, home visits, and/or hospital visits to answer any breastfeeding questions or concerns that may arise. The Peer Counselor makes herself available outside the usual 8am-5pm working hours for new mothers who are having breastfeeding challenges. Peer Counselors can also connect new moms with more help from other healthcare providers if needed. return to Before Delivery
How do I know if I qualify for WIC?
What is a doula?
A Doula, also known as a birth companion and post-birth supporter, is a non-medical person who assists the mother before, during, and/or after childbirth, as well as her partner and/or family, by providing physical assistance and emotional support. return to Before Delivery
How can a doula help me?
The provision of continuous support during labor is associated with improved maternal and fetal health and a variety of other benefits, including lower risk of induction and interventions and less need for pain relief. Doulas help women identify their needs, communicate more openly, and gain access to quality health care services. Doulas help women prepare emotionally for the birth; have a sense of physical and emotional safety; understand the birthing process; and translate their doctors’ advice during clinical appointments. Most doula-client relationships begin a few months before the baby is due. Before labor, the doula and the family can develop a relationship where the mother and her partner feel free to ask questions and express fears and concerns, and where the mother can take an active role in creating a birth and infant feeding plan. A Doula may or may not be well educated in breastfeeding. Select a doula according to your goals. return to Before Delivery
What is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)?
International Board Certified Lactation Consultants are the "Gold Standard" when seeking lactation assistance as they are the only healthcare professionals certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. IBCLCs are required to complete health sciences coursework, 90 hours of lactation education coursework, lactation specific clinical experience, and pass the IBCLC exam to become International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. IBCLCs have specific clinical expertise and training in the clinical management of complex problems with lactation. Both Athens-area hospitals employ IBCLCs; the Northeast Health District WIC Program contracts with an IBCLC; and there are community-based IBCLCs who make home visits to breastfeeding families.
How can an IBCLC help me?
IBCLCs are available to assist with initiating breastfeeding while in the hospital, and help if difficulties with breastfeeding arise. IBCLC consult can improve breastfeeding outcomes and lower health care costs for mom and baby. Reasons you may wish to consult with an IBCLC include, but are not limited to, latch problems, baby not gaining weight, previous breast augmentation, and physical pain with breastfeeding. There is usually a fee for outpatient services, but most IBCLC services are covered by insurance.
What is a Certified Lactation Consultant (CLC)? How do CLCs differ from IBCLCs?
CLCs are breastfeeding helpers who have taken a Lactation Counselor Training course and passed the CLC exam. The CLC training course is a 45 hour course designed to provide a solid, up-to-date, research based body of information regarding lactation as well as the art of counseling. CLCs are qualified to support normal breastfeeding and help with basic breastfeeding challenges.
Are there online support groups for breastfeeding?
Some community groups offer private breastfeeding/parenting support via Facebook.
Do I need a breast pump or other supplies to breastfeed?
No, breast pumps and breastfeeding supplies are not essential for most women to successfully breastfeed their baby unless your lactation expert and/or healthcare provider says otherwise. Breast pumps and/or other breastfeeding supplies may be recommended to overcome certain challenges for example, the baby is unable to latch correctly and/or if mom is going back to work or school and will be separated from baby for extended periods of time.
Where can I get a breast pump?
The Affordable Care Act states private insurance companies are to provide breast pumps to nursing mothers; check with your insurance on how to obtain a breast pump. The Georgia WIC Program can provide a free breast pump to postpartum WIC participants based on breastfeeding status and/or breastfeeding challenges. Breast pumps may also be available for purchase online and at major retail stores.