Breastfeeding Support in Sacramento

When I was pregnant with my first child, the idea of giving birth frightened me. How was I going to push an 8-lb baby out of me? How would I deal with the pain? I spent hours reading about childbirth and the different methods (Bradley, Lamaze, hypnobirthing), going to birthing classes (two separate ones at two different hospitals!), and watching educational videos on the Baby Center website. If anything, I was going to be as prepared as possible for my baby’s birth.

After my water broke, I labored for 18 hours and my beautiful baby girl was born. She was perfect and beautiful, and I felt a high of happiness I didn’t expect.


Me and my third child soon after birth. <3


Something I also didn’t expect — the challenge of breastfeeding. And for me it was a real challenge, an exhausting and self-doubting struggle. The day after birth, the hospital’s lactation consultant made her rounds and stopped by to check on us. But by then I had gone through a whole cycle of questioning myself — am I doing this right? Is she really hungry again? Is there even any milk coming out? And, oh my gosh, it’s starting to hurt! I kicked myself for not reading up on breastfeeding like I did childbirth.

I spent the next few days dreading every feeding session from the sheer pain. I was told that once her latch was right, I would just know, but I never did. At her check up about a week after she was born, we found that she had not gained weight like she should have. My milk hadn’t even come in yet. The doctor strongly encouraged formula supplementation, but I was so adamant about exclusive breastfeeding that she eventually brought in the lactation specialist who agreed with her. This was heartbreaking for me — I felt like I wasn’t doing my job as a mom and my goal of exclusive breastfeeding was interrupted.

Throughout our journey of new parenthood, my husband and I saw a total of three lactation consultants, set up a ridiculously comical contraption involving a hat for SNS (supplemental nursing system) feeding, purchased a baby scale for daily weight checks, and rented a hospital grade pump. At around 6 weeks of age we finally–finally!–broke through and my daughter and I finally fell into sync with our breastfeeding. In the end I nursed her for just over a year before she stopped on her own. Breastfeeding, in all its ups and downs, was one of the most special ways our bond was forged.

Five years later, I’ve mostly got breastfeeding down. I nursed my son for 22 months and my youngest baby has been a champ from day 1. In retrospect, I wish I had taken advantage of resources to not only learn how to make it work, but to gain the social support that would have uplifted me during the hardest and most stressful days of newborn parenting. To this end, here’s a compilation of Sacramento breastfeeding resources found through my own experience and online searches.


Sacramento Breastfeeding Resources

Hospital Lactation Help

Your hospital may offer prenatal educational classes focused on breastfeeding as well as postpartum lactation services. If they aren’t introduced to you by your provider, it might be worth proactively checking what resources are available to you as a patient. My current baby-friendly hospital offers breastfeeding classes and a breastfeeding clinic.

Lactation Consultants

Local La Leche League Groups

Sacramento Breastfeeding Groups


  • Kelly Mom – my personal go-to for online breastfeeding help
  • Baby Center – articles on nursing basics, problems and solutions, as well as pumping and weaning

If you know of other resources that would be useful to successful breastfeeding, please email me so I can include them to this blog post. Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

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Julienne ratanasen is a family photographer serviing sacramento, elk grove, carmichael, & davis, ca, with beautiful, heartfelt imagery of families, maternity and newborn shoots, baby & child portraits, and mini sessions.

Sacramento, California | | (916) 282-9102