World Breastfeeding Week: Lactation Support Provider Spotlight

Ta'Hirah Williams is pictured outdoors at a table with the tablecloth on it that reads Maternal, Child, and Family Health. She is wearing a black t-shirt.

Did you know that the Philly Loves Families team and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health have our very own Lactation Support Provider? Ta'Hirah Williams, IBCLC, is available for one-on-one lactation consultation at no cost to you. Get to know Ta'Hirah and some of her best advice for families starting on the lactation journey.

How long have you been an IBCLC?

I became an IBCLC in 2019. It has been 4 years.  

What is your favorite part of working with families?

My favorite part of working with families is the joy it brings families when we first get baby to latch or the first time they pump and see how much milk they are producing for their baby. I can tell that the parents just want what is best for their babies. 

What are three of your top tips when someone is just starting to breastfeed/chestfeed?

Three tips I would give someone just starting to breastfeed/chestfeed is: 

  1. Do lots of skin to skin. Skin to skin makes breastfeeding/chestfeeding easier. It also helps to keep baby calm and baby's body temperature regulated.
  2. The first week or two after baby is born is vital for establishing a good breast milk supply in the long term. The more frequently your baby breastfeeds/chestfeeds or the more you pump, the more milk you'll make, through a process of supply and demand. Aim to nurse or pump every 2-3 hours both day and night. Make sure you use both breasts/chest equally.
  3. It's normal for a newborn baby to want to nurse very frequently. Baby's belly is small, frequent feeds are necessary. Offering bottles and pacifiers too soon after birth can cause nipple/flow preference and baby might have trouble nursing.

What can families/spouses/partners do to support breastfeeding?

Partners and/or family members can support the nursing parent by doing household chores such as cooking and cleaning, so that the mother/nursing parent can focus on nursing. The support people can change baby’s diaper before feeds and burp baby after feeds. They can also help care for the older children.  

More breastfeeding/chestfeeding support and resources here.

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