“I had no idea breastfeeding would be so hard”
last updated in 2018, resources may have changed
Breastfeeding Resources in Boise (recommended by local moms!)
I had the pleasure of taking photos of a first time mom and her son recently and she said one of the most common phrases I think I hear out of all new moms: “I had no idea breastfeeding would be so hard.” 3 weeks ago today I had my 3rd son and 3 times now I have uttered that same phrase. How is it possible for breastfeeding to be SO HARD? And so different 3 times, each baby with his own challenges? The one thing I will say is that after 3 babies, I know who to call and the breastfeeding resources in Boise are far better now than they were 6 years ago when my first son was born. So without further ado, here is my list of who to call when breastfeeding isn’t the magical experience you’ve been dreaming about for 9 months!
Please note: These obviously aren’t ALL the providers out there, this is my list of favorites and who I have personal experience with OR the names that repeatedly pop up within my circle of mom friends and boise mom groups as the best in the area. If you have someone you absolutely love, let me know! I’m always interested to hear about amazing new providers.
Even if breastfeeding is seemingly easy for you, it’s still a good idea to see a lactation consultant that first week! They can help you with posture and positioning so that you and baby are as comfy as possible. This is the first stop for me with every baby- they evaluate your latch, whether baby might have a tongue/lip tie and help you trouble shoot. If you feel like one lactation consultant didn’t help all that much, don’t be afraid to see someone new! (I did with our second born when I didn’t get answers on how to deal with all his feeding issues) They also weigh the baby and make sure they’re getting back up to birth weight and transferring milk well.
Baby Bonds: Melanie Henstrom
Offering: Home visits! (this is huge those first couple days), Office Visits, Classes and supplies
8601 West Emerald Street, Suite 160
Boise, Idaho 83704
Take Insurance: Yep!
My personal experience: I have used them for all 3 babies- Melanie, who I saw the first week for our new baby, Bo, is fantastic and quickly saw that he has a pretty major tongue and lip tie. She gave me lots of exercises to do with him to help loosen up his tight jaw, some healing tips for nipple damage and a suggested treatment plan to follow. Major bonus that they come to your house!
Family Seasons: Lynnelle King
Contact: (208) 856-0564 or Email: familyseasonsidaho@
Offering: Home Visits (for newborns under 2 weeks old), Office Visits, The Art of Breastfeeding Classes, Cranial Sacral Therapy
Office Location: 600 E State St Suite 100, Eagle, ID 83616
Take Insurance: Provides a Superbill for visits, Many insurances taken for lactation visits by our contractor The Lactation Network
My Personal Experience: I’ve never seen Lynnelle personally, but so so many moms I’ve met have spoken so highly of their experience with her that I had to include her in my list. She has 8 kids of her own, I guarantee she’s had her fair share of different struggles with her babies. And the fact that she offers cranial sacral therapy at the same time as lactation is a pretty sweet combo of knowledge. (read more about cranial sacral therapy options below)
Tongue and Lip Ties
My 1st born didn’t need anything beyond a meeting with the lactation consultant. We worked out some positioning and over production/engorgment issues (I.e. I’m a cow and make way more milk than necessary) but generally I was just a first time mom figuring it out. Along came baby 2. He arched his back, he clicked while he was latched, it HURT, he spit up everything, etc etc etc. Got a nursing issue? He had it. The lactation consultant I saw when he was born (not practicing anymore) wasn’t as convinced that I was that he had a tongue tie, but I knew he did based on the fact that the poor kid couldn’t get his tongue past his gum line. (And by then I had seen 3 years of other moms in my online mom’s group deal with this issue and knew the signs) At the time I was told there was a new dentist in town who had been trained by Dr. Ghaheri out of Portland (generally he’s viewed as THE guy to see on this side of the country) but I was nervous to be a new patient. I called Ghaheri’s office and was told it would be 8-9 weeks for an opening. 8 weeks to wait while my baby wasn’t latching, sleeping, and was a miserable mess? NO CHANCE. I called my dad crying and he pulled some strings to see an amazing doctor out of Seattle who took one look at the baby and said “yep, he definitely has a posterior tongue tie!” And clipped it the same day. (he was 3 weeks old). Immediately he latched better. His clicking stopped, it no longer hurt me and he transferred milk effectively. The exercises to prevent reattachment are no fun, but worth it for all the benefits of having it clipped.
Fast forward to Bo. I was so so hoping to avoid the tongue tie this time, but no such luck. Melanie from Mother’s Milk and More diagnosed Bo with a class 4 tongue and lip tie. It’s a bummer, but the wonderful thing is that new dentist is now 3 years into revising tongue ties and everyone I talked to had nothing but good things to say about him. And they were able to get us in at a week and a half old to have it lasered. No 8 week wait! No pulling strings and calling in favors! No flying to Seattle because there aren’t good choices here.
Read more about tongue and lip ties here: http://drghaheri.squarespace.com
Who to See: Dr. Joel Whitt
Website: http://drbaby2th.com (there really isn’t any information on his website regarding tongue ties however)
Contact: (208) 888-7711
Location: Meridian (3235 N Towerbridge Way, Suite 200- Meridian, ID 83646)
Take Insurance: Yes, dental. Check to see if your dental will cover the procedure, otherwise it’s about $580 to have the tongue and lip clipped. Our insurance is going to cover it, but I’d pay the $580 every time for how much it helps the nursing process (plus I’d probably spend that in formula costs if I didn’t do it!)
Personal Experience: Dr. Whitt’s office made it smooth and easy- they take you back and explain what they’re going to do and what you’ll need to do for follow-up care. He and his assistants are all incredibly nice! The only part that just really is awful about the whole experience is that they don’t let you stay with the baby, so you hand him off and then go in the waiting room. Thankfully it is a very fast procedure and they put you and baby in a quiet room to nurse afterward (hopefully pain free!)
Cranial Sacral Therapy
My second son had shoulder dystocia during birth and was tight and tense throughout his whole body. His shoulders were up by his ears and he just seemed like he was in pain every time he nursed. It was particularly difficult to get him to latch on my left side. The midwives suggested cranial sacral therapy, something I knew nothing about at the time. It’s an incredibly gentle therapy where they attempt to balance the connection between the spine and the brain. As a total layman I have no idea what exactly they are doing but I can attest that it works. You could visibly see a difference after one appointment with baby 2. His shoulders dropped down and his whole body relaxed into putty. It didn’t solve all our nursing issues in one session of course but I definitely think it helped considerably in the healing process.
Who to See: Kathy Wienert at Lotus Tree
Contact: (208) 433-9152
Location: SE Boise in Bown Crossing (3169 S. Bown Way, Boise ID 83706)
Take Insurance: Yes- but you’ll need a referral (I got one from the lactation consultants at Treasure Valley Midwives)
Personal Experience: Kathy is fantastic! It doesn’t seem like she is doing anything but it’s crazy to watch the tense/tight baby just turn to butter in her hands. She’s given me exercises for both my boys with tongue ties that were specific to their individual weaknesses and issues and it has definitely made a difference. They recommended we see Kathy before the tongue tie release and again after to help with the healing process.
Who to see: Pat Babendure
Contact: (208) 939-2239
Location: Eagle (2967 E State St. #120, Eagle ID 83616)
Take Insurance: private pay
Personal Experience: None, and I can’t find a website for her. However, numerous moms I know highly speak her praises so if you’re in the northwest side of town and looking for an option she is definitely worth looking up!
Who to See: Jenn Dorn or Kyle Blevins at Bodo Chiropractic
Location: Downtown Boise (405 S 8th St)
Take Insurance: Yes and also offer monthly plans
Personal Experience: I’ve seen them through 2 pregnancies and after Bo’s birth Jenn was kind enough to do a home visit on a Sunday. I see Jenn and Kyle equally and they’re both amazing with me and all my kids. They’re incredibly gentle with the baby and give suggested exercises for tight areas. Highly recommend for all things before, during and after pregnancy!
Who to See: Jennifer Anacker
Contact: 208-288-1776 (Meridian) or 208-287-2299 (Boise)
Location: Meridian (1560 N. Crestmont, Suite E, Meridian ID 83642) and Boise (300 Main Street, Suite 103, Boise ID 83702)
Take Insurance: private pay
Personal Experience: Haven’t ever been personally but she is another big time recommendation from moms who live on the Meridian side of town.
Lactation Support Groups
Where to Go: Breastfeeding Bunch at St Lukes, Boise
When: Every Wednesday from 10am-12pm
Contact: (208) 381-9000 or (208) 706-5770
Location: 211 W. Main Street, Boise ID 83702
Free- Registration is not required
Where to Go: St. Al’s breastfeeding support group in Boise
When: Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m
Location: Family Center- 900 N. Liberty Street, Suite 204, Boise, ID 83704
Free- Registration is not required
Where to Go: St. Al’s breastfeeding support group in Nampa
When: Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m
Location: Birkeland Maternity Center Haglin Conference Room- 4402 E. Flamingo, Nampa, ID 83687 – 1st Floor
Free- Registration is not required
The Breastfeeding Bible
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
Make More Milk!
Some things to try if you’re not making enough milk:
Mothers Milk Tea- you can buy it at most grocery stores in town
Lactation Cookies- try this dairy free recipe!
Or, the Oatmeal Power cookies from local boise bakery Wildflour are AMAZING. And addicting, so beware.
Read this: https://kellymom.com/hot-topics/low-supply/
Help, I’m leaking!
I was just introduced to this about a week ago and figured at $15 it was worth it just to try it. Basically you squeeze it and then leave it- it suctions to your breast and pulls the milk out. It’s one piece, easy to clean and definitely helps if you have an overflow. The only thing I don’t like about it is unless you’re football holding the baby you can’t really use this on one side while nursing the baby on the other, so for leaky moms I’d say the Milkie is the better choice.
Basically this is just a collection cup- you put it on the side you’re not nursing on to collect any drips. Its absolutely vital to my life in these early stages, although I wish they came in a bigger size- it holds about 2oz and if it’s been awhile since the baby has eaten I tend to overflow the cup. Not so cool when you’re nursing in public and suddenly have a drenched shirt! Although still better than wasting all that milk.
I know, this blog is about breastfeeding, but another topic that often comes up alongside breastfeeding issues are bottle issues. I always thought you just gave the kid a bottle and that was that- and that’s how my first son was. (how he spoiled me). But my second and my third both have had bottle aversion and it’s been tricky to find the one that they like the best. Here’s the bottles that have come recommended by Cranial Sacral Therapists, Lactation Consultants and other moms:
Tommee Tippee (My second son’s bottle of choice)
Playtex Ventaire (also consider the angled nipple for these bottles)
Dr. Browns (you can also get the preemie nipples that are suppose to be slower)
Unfortunately bottle roulette is an expensive game- ask friends and other moms if they have bottles you can borrow. Or call me- I have them all now!
There are so many options out there to help with breastfeeding and the most important thing to do is to get help. You don’t have to suffer alone! Find a lactation consultant, go to a nursing support group, read some books or peruse kellymom.com. Talk to a friend, join a group like Boise Babies and Tots on meetup.com and get advice from other moms. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned in the past 6 years not only from nursing my own kids but from hearing about the struggles from other moms and listening/reading the advice from mom’s who have gone through it already. Breastfeeding is hard, but it doesn’t have to be lonely.