As birth and postpartum doulas, our role is to do everything in our power and within our scope of practice to support and encourage breastfeeding. This includes education before birth, encouraging skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, and on-call support following birth. We can help make a breastfeeding support plan, we can counsel you on helpful hints and ideas, and we can do general troubleshooting, either hands-on or over the phone 24-7. If with this level of education, encouragement, and support you do not feel completely confident that things are going smoothly, we may refer you to a certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). There are many different kinds of lactation educators, counselors, consultants, doulas, and nurses with golden intention and varying styles and credentials. There are local support groups, 1-800 numbers, walk-in breastfeeding clinics, and internet troubleshoot sites. Some are invaluable and phenominally accessible in just the right moment. Some oversell themselves and are a gross waste of time or even blatantly incorrect during a crucial point in what could make or break the whole breastfeeding experience for you and your baby. In our experience, this can be a very overwhelming time with many people- professionals, family, friends, and even unsolicited strangers, offering conflicting advice. Breastfeeding is simply too important to get blurred by information overload. Do not let your energy get hijacked by a source who is questionable. If you feel in any way like it's not working, ask your doula for help. And once she's listened, uplifted, inspired, encouraged, and listened again, if through her own knowledge, networking, experience, and assessment there is any question in her mind that you could use additional support, she will (with your approval)connect you with one sturdy IBCLC to follow through consistently with your family to make sure that it's "a go" (in the quickest, smoothest possible straight path from Point A to Point B!).