Breastfeeding Resources: Books, Groups, and Lactation Consultants in Long Island

Many new mothers are surprised to learn that breastfeeding isn’t necessarily instinctive; instead, it is a skill that must be developed over time. Background knowledge, a group of empathetic mothers, and professional support are often keys to success.

Medical research overwhelmingly favors breastfeeding. Breastfed children have a lower likelihood of future obesity, developing allergies, and will typically have fewer issues with their gastrointestinal tract. Breast milk is more than just a source of nourishment. “Breastmilk is a living substance full of antibodies, hormones and other disease fighting agents that can never be recreated,” says breastfeeding counselor Lindsey Murphy.

Since breast milk is antimicrobial, it can be used to treat a baby’s eye or ear infection, scrape, or bug bite. For moms, it lessens the likelihood of developing post-partum depression, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer. It’s good for Mom’s emotional health, too. Breastfeeding mothers report a fierce sense of accomplishment and confidence in their parenting abilities.

The Long Island Mamas Network has developed a list of resources for expectant moms and new families.

Book Resources

If pregnant and interested in breastfeeding, gathering information is the best way to prepare. A low-budget, low-tech way to research is with a good book such as the following:


Breastfeeding Groups

The most well-known breastfeeding group is the La Leche League (LLL). The organization was created to “help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.” La Leche League offers weekly meetings in different sites throughout Long Island.

Pregnant women are always welcome – and so are their partners. Formula-feeding families often cite the need for Dad’s assistance as the reason for their choice. The same is true for families that choose breastfeeding. Dad’s help is invaluable. The LLL reminds us that, “…the support of a baby’s father can help the breastfeeding relationship succeed. The father can head off discouragement, deflect negative comments from friends and relatives, help calm a fussy baby, and bring the new mother food and drink while she is breastfeeding.”

LLL of Nassau – http://www.lllusa.org/NYE/Nassau/nassau.HTM

LLL of Suffolk – http://www.lllusa.org/NYE/Suffolk/suffolk.htm


Breastfeeding Classes

If planning to deliver a baby in a local hospital, check with the facility to see if they offer a breastfeeding class. Expectant couples can attend together or mom-to-be can come alone. Parents that do their homework on breastfeeding are more likely to reach their goals, so the classes are well worth attending. They are very affordable and usually meet after business hours.

Good Samaritan Hospital Breastfeeding Class – West Islip
When:
Call for available dates, 7:00 pm
How Much:
$50
Contact Info:
(631) 376-4444

http://goodsamaritan.chsli.org/index.php/calendar/month.calendar/2012/03/10/-

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Huntington Hospital Breastfeeding Class – Huntington
When:
Wednesday, 1:30 pm-3:00 pm
How Much:
$30 per couple
Contact Info:
(631) 351-2358

http://www.huntingtonhospital.com/Main/ChildbirthParentingClasses.aspx

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North Shore LIJ Breastfeeding Class – Throughout the North Shore
When:
Call for available dates; classes meet every month at various hospitals
How Much:
$50 per couple
Contact Info:
(516) 470 5134

http://www.northshorelij.com/NSLIJ/LIJ+Obs+Prenatal+Breastfeeding+Classes

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South Nassau Breastfeeding Class – Oceanside
When:
Monday, 7:00 pm
How Much: $35
Contact Info:
(516) 377-5310

http://www.southnassau.org/news/events.cfm

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St. Charles Hospital Breastfeeding Class – Port Jefferson
When:
First Tuesday of every month, 7:00 pm
How Much:
$25
Contact Info:
(631) 474-3700

http://www.chsli.org/component/jevents

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Stony Brook Breastfeeding Class for Expectant Parents – Stony Brook
When:
First Wednesday of every month, 7:00 pm-9:30 p.m.
How Much: Free
Contact Info:
(631) 444-2201

http://www.stonybrookmedicalcenter.org/midwives/classes

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Winthrop Hospital Breastfeeding Class – Mineola
When:
Classes are offered three times a month on a Wednesday evening from 7:00 pm– 9:00 pm, or on Saturday or Sunday.
How Much:
$20 for mom or $40 for a couple
Contact Info:
(516) 663-2858

http://www.winthrop.org/resources/communityprograms/childbirth-prep.cfm


Lactation Consultants

No matter how many books parents read or classes attended, attempting to breastfeed newborns in the hospital or during the early post-partum days can be an intimidating task. Lactation Consultants are breastfeeding experts. If mothers need help, Lactation Consultants are easy to find.

Lindsey Murphy tells us that “LCs work hospitals, clinics, and independently. They can help you right after delivery, shortly thereafter and as your baby grows. LCs can be the saving grace to you and your family and are the ‘know-alls’ of the breastfeeding world. A consult with a Lactation Consultant costs less then a several week supply of formula. Moms who meet with LCs are more likely to reach their breastfeeding goals.”

Lactation Consultants can help a new mother fix latching issues, solve production problems, refer to doctors for medical problems (for issues like tongue-tie) and have access to breast pump rentals or other necessary supplies.

A private consultation with a Lactation Consultant can include: observing a nursing session, weight check, pump rental, referral (in cases of tongue-tie or other medical issue), and/or suggestions for dietary supplements if needed. They can also help moms figure out their options if they require medicine that’s questionably compatible with breastfeeding. A consultation can run $200-300. Remember that early intervention is important. If mothers find themselves having trouble, call as soon as possible.

Find a Lactation Consultant:


Support Groups with Other Mothers

Practitioners’ offices or local hospitals may also offer support groups. They give new mothers the opportunity to share tips with other breastfeeding moms and discuss the challenges and victories they’ve encountered. Many are free!

Breastfeeding Basics and Beyond – West Babylon
When:
3rd Saturday of every month, $50 registration fee
Contact Info:
(631) 379-5306 / alyson@healthymomshappybabiescenter.com

http://www.healthymomshappybabiescenter.com/

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Plainview Hospital, Breastfeeding Support Group – Plainview
When:
Every Wednesday from 10 am-1 pm
Contact Info:
(516) 719-2238

http://www.northshorelij.com/NSLIJ/Obstetrics+and+Gynecology+at+Plainview

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South Nassau Breastfeeding Group – Oceanside
When:
Tuesday, 10:30 am
Contact Info:
(516) 377-5310

http://www.southnassau.org/news/events.cfm

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Garden City OB/GYN Breastfeeding Group – Garden City
When: Monday, 7:30 pm
Contact Info:
(516) 222-1033

http://www.healthgrades.com/physician/dr-steven-sherwin-2p485/office-locations

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For qualifying families, WIC also provides breastfeeding and nutritional information for pregnant and nursing women.
WIC - http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/wic/breastfeeding/count_on_wic.htm


By Rachel Minkowsky

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8 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Resources: Books, Groups, and Lactation Consultants in Long Island

  1. Jenn

    What credentials does Lindsay Murphy have? My LC cost $250 for my first visit – which was far more than the $20 I spent on formula for the week? Although I struggled to BF – and my goal was a year – I found the LC to not be at all helpful in my situation. I had physical issues which didn’t allow me to pump enough to feed my baby when back at work. It was fine when baby was on tap – but me and the pump didn’t get along.

    I took such offense to my LC who bashed formula companies, formula etc. and basically told me what a disservice I was doing to my child by supplementing when I was away from home. She was breast feeding crazy and offered no support for my situation. Thankfully my pediatrician and friends were my best support.

    Although the right LC is a great resource at helping a mom, they can also make you feel worse for the choices that you make as a parent (regarding how you feed your child with formula). If it wasn’t for formula – my baby would not have thrived. I BF for a year, but with the help of formula. I just hope that some LC can understand that formula is not poison and sometimes a working mom just can not pump enough to exclusively feed her child – despite supplements and doing everything right.

  2. Rachel M

    Earlier in the article it states that Lindsey is a breastfeeding counselor. She works for WIC and runs a BFing support group and LongIslandBreastfeeding.com, a site that refers breastfeeding professionals and post-partum doulas to new families. Regarding Lindsey’s math, formula costs vary, but lets assume that an average can of formula costs $25, and the “average” formula-fed baby goes through one can per week. After 12 weeks, formula has cost the family $300 – the same cost as an LC. I believe that is what she meant. That being said, breastfeeding is a personal choice and no one should judge a mom’s value based on this. The article was simply providing resources for those who choose to use them.

  3. Silvana

    I found this to be a very objective and helpful resource, thank you.

    @Jenn: the experience you had with your LC is unfortunate but it’s great that your pediatrician was supportive; I had a pediatrician who was not very encouraging each time I saw him and when I told him I was still exclusively breast feeding, he basically told me that as a working mom I was going to too much trouble and should just give my baby formula even though I had not uttered a single complaint about pumping at work. So everyone’s experience is different.
    In terms of cost I see how $250 might seem like a lot, but I planned ahead for these costs by setting aside flex spending money, which does cover breast feeding related costs but not formula. $250 is basically the cost of 12 weeks of formula. So if you breast feed for three months or give formula, it’s a wash. if you are able to exclusively breast feed after that period, it of course works out to be cheaper than formula.

    The article certainly wasn’t saying anything negative about formula or even comparing the two at all, which is why I found it objective and a great resource.

  4. Marybeth

    I breastfed for about 8 weeks and then pumped until my son was just about a year. I came in contact with 3 Lactation Consultants, all of which were very encouraging.

    Working full time, I never was able to pump enough to fully feed my child, so we supplemented with formula. I dont feel bad at all about that because one drop of breastmilk is better than none.

    So in response to Jenn, I am sorry that one lactation consultant made you feel like you were inferior for feeding your child formula, but frankly you are taking it out on a whole occupation.

  5. Jenn

    so she works for WIC – that’s great..they are a very good resource for breastfeeding moms. But is she a certified LC?

  6. Eileen

    Great article with lots of wonderful information for expectant and breastfeeding moms. St.Charles also holds a weekly breastfeeding support group on Thursdays from 1:00-2:30.

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