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Breastfeeding Support
We are your Scenic City Birth Collective!

A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three. ~Grantly Dick-Read


Find Lactation Support

Who Can Provide Support?

It can sometimes be confusing to mothers when they are looking for breastfeeding support. Many individuals with different training, education, and skills offer lactation services, from basic support to complex medical consultations.


Nurses, midwives, and other health care providers working with women and babies often provide hands-on support and education to breastfeeding mothers. Additionally, you will find basic breastfeeding support and educational opportunities from many of our Scenic City Birth Collective Professionals, such as our Doulas, Childbirth Educators, or Certified Lactation Educators or Counselors. The list goes on for breastfeeding support provided in Chattanooga, including breastfeeding support groups, classes, the WIC program, La Leche League meetings, and highly trained lactation professionals.

What is in the Title?

When receiving help from someone who holds a certification as a Lactation Educator (CLE) or Lactation Counselor (CLC or CLEC), it is helpful to understand that their requirements for educational hours vary between 20 to 45 hours or more of classroom instruction. Practitioners already working in the childbirth community and experienced in helping with breastfeeding are the most likely recipients of this type of certification, such as nurses, doulas, or other providers. They are an invaluable source to mothers who need guidance and education on basic breastfeeding issues.

Not everyone gains accreditation to help women with breastfeeding through the health care industry. La Leche League International, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping breastfeeding mothers through mother-to-mother peer support, bases its accreditation process on personal experience with breastfeeding and educational criteria. La Leche League Leaders can help women with many aspects of breastfeeding and are trained to answer questions or concerns you may have about nursing your baby. They hold regularly scheduled meetings in Chattanooga and North Georgia and are always an excellent resource for mothers seeking breastfeeding support.

When it comes to the nitty gritty of breastfeeding advice, it is the Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with 90 hours of formal education and up to 1000 hours of clinical practice that you want to seek help from. If you are not receiving the guidance you need from other sources for any reason, contact an IBCLC.

Basic Breastfeeding Support

Many women find all the support they need from breastfeeding groups, educators, or the support offered by their midwife, doula, nurse, or lactation specialist. They often just need a little reassurance and general assistance with some of the following common concerns: 

  • Position and latch

  • Nipple pain

  • Engorgement

  • Plugged ducts

  • Reassurance about how baby is breastfeeding 

  • Pumping

  • Going back to work

  • Feeding baby by bottle

  • Weaning 

When You Need Further Help

It is always a good idea to involve or consult an IBCLC or your pediatrician in any complex or abnormal breastfeeding situation, especially if the baby is challenged or not feeding properly in the early days or weeks. IBCLC recommendations for more challenging situations include but are not limited to the following:​

Before Birth
  • History of surgery to nipple or breast (augmentation, reduction, biopsy, piercing, etc.).

  • History of hormonal or anatomical challenges.

  • Flat or inverted nipples.

  • No breast changes during pregnancy, or history of asymmetrical breasts.

  • Earlier difficult or unsuccessful breastfeeding experience.

  • Adopted baby – Yes, you can breastfeed!

At Birth
  • Premature baby, multiples, or special needs baby.

  • Mother and baby were separated at birth. 

  • Baby’s mouth or tongue is preventing easy breastfeeding (cleft lip or palate, tongue-tie, or other challenges).

Early Breastfeeding
  • Breast or nipple pain or trauma at any time beyond initial pain and tenderness.

  • Baby is not nursing at least eight times each day (that’s a feeding about every 2-3 hours, counting from the beginning of one feed to the beginning of the next, but not always evenly spaced).

  • Breastfeeding is difficult in any way.

  • You are concerned that your baby is not receiving enough milk.

  • Milk is not transitioning to mature milk (“coming in” or “becoming engorged”) by day five.

  • Your baby is still having meconium stools after day three.

  • Stools that are not soft and mustard yellow by day five.

  • Fewer than three large stools every 24 hours by day five.

  • Your baby isn’t urinating 6 times a day by day six.

  • Your baby is very sleepy and not waking for feeds.

  • Your baby is crying, colicky, “never stops nursing,” or “never seems happy” at he breast.

  • Your baby hasn’t regained birth weight at two weeks.

Contact a Collective Lactation Educator, Counselor or IBCL Consultant.

Please Visit Our Parent Resources Page for other Breastfeeding Support.

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