Dubai-based lactation consultant Dr Delphine Dupuis on how to seek help if you are struggling with breastfeeding in the UAE
“Ideally, breastfeeding support should start in the hospital where the baby is born – or even before with good quality antenatal information – and continue later when the mother is at home and at work.
In the UAE help is available, but there is still great inequality between emirates, and it depends on whether you make use of public or private facilities, what area of the city you live in and the economic status of your family.
Hundreds of healthcare professionals are being trained in breastfeeding support each year and more IBCLCs (board certified lactation consultants) and breastfeeding counsellors are available for support in private practice.
If you are struggling with breastfeeding in the UAE then I would say: get information and skilled breastfeeding help as soon as possible. Just one consultation with a trained breastfeeding specialist can make all the difference. You will need a lot of patience as mothering can be really hard, but be assured that with perseverance, things almost always get better. In my experience the successful mother is not necessarily the one who doesn’t face issues, but the one who perseveres through hardship. Parenting in itself is a challenge!
And in your struggles, know that you are not alone. There are many who have been through it before. Try to reach out to them. Their help, testimonies and reassurance in this hard time will be invaluable. In UAE there are breastfeeding support groups like ‘La Leche League’ or online support groups on Facebook like ‘Breastfeeding Q&A UAE ‘or ‘Breastfeeding Mums in Dubai’ where you will feel understood.”
Dr Delphine Dupuis is a family medicine physician and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant at Healthbay Polyclinic in Mirdif. She will be speaking at the Natural Birth and Breastfeeding conference in Sharjah on November 3 at 4.50pm. To register to hear her speak click here.
Where to find breastfeeding support in the UAE
•Dr Delphine at Healthbay Polyclinic is probably Dubai’s best-known lactation consultant, and as she is a GP you can visit her for any other medical issues you may have, which may be covered by your insurance.
•Taking breastfeeding classes in the third trimester can help you get off to the best start from the first feed, which should happen within 30-60 minutes of the birth. Amy Vogelaar’s three-hour Breastfeeding Basics workshop costs Dh350 per couple. www.amyvogelaar.com.
•Midwife Cecile De Scally holds a weekly ‘Mommies Corner’ every Tuesday from 9am at Baby Senses in JLT, where you can pick her brain for feeding advice as well as other newborn issues. The meetings are free to attend but you will need to sign up in advance. See the Facebook page for event details.
•Andrea Allen at the Doting Doulas is a certified Breastfeeding counsellor and can offer practical and emotional support.
•The midwives at Healthbay Polyclinic offer Specialist Lactation Visits to your home by their lactation consultant (IBCLC) Muriel Woum. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 04 348 7140.
•Dr Bertille Bouvier of Koster Clinic offers one-hour breastfeeding consultation for Dh480, www.kosterclinic.com.
•Breastfeeding Q&A Dubai UAE
Is a friendly and supportive Facebook group of mums who can answer all your nursing questions, plus it offers many useful resources, including lists of the cafés and malls around town with the best nursing facilities.
•We love Abu Dhabi-based midwife Skye Brown, who heads up the team at Bayti Baby in Abu Dhabi. They offer postnatal care at various price levels, which includes feeding support.
•La Leche League
Holds free monthly meetings for breastfeeding mothers on the third Sunday of every month 10am-12pm in Abu Dhabi, or every other month on a Thursday evening. Contact email@example.com.