Breastfeeding can be a challenge for all mothers. Image Credit: Supplied

One of the most common misconceptions about breastfeeding is that it should be easy. Although it is a natural process, it comes far from naturally for many women, and days or weeks of pain and worrying about whether baby is feeding enough can mean many new mothers give up before breastfeeding is ever properly established.

Now, how you feed your baby is an entirely personal choice and "fed is best", regardless of how you do it. But if you are struggling with breastfeeding and would like to continue with it if possible, a little help from a trained lactation consultant can make all the difference.

We've gathered together the contact details of some of the UAE's most highly regarded and recommended lactation specialists, most of whom come with IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) qualifications - the internationally recognised accreditation for a lactation consultant. These specialists can assist with baby's latch and positioning, help to identify underlying problems such as a tongue tie or mastitis, and offer moral support and reassurance for the mother at such a sensitive period in her life. Most of the below experts are able to offer either virtual or in-person support with full precautions during the pandemic.

Lactation Consultants in Dubai

Dr Delphine is a family doctor and one of Dubai’s best-known and best-loved lactation consultants. She is an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) and speaks English and French. She’s based in Medicentre, and over the past 7 years, she has dedicated her practice to almost exclusively treating mothers and babies with medical issues related to infant feeding and breastfeeding. As she is a GP you can visit her for any other medical issues you may have, which may mean your appointment could be covered by your insurance. Call as soon as you start having problems as she gets booked up quickly. 

The fantastic Breastfeeding Q&A Dubai UAE is a welcoming 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. It is a closed group so you will need to be accepted first – it’s worth joining even before you’ve given birth, so that you can get on there with any questions right away.

Babies and Beyond is based in the Marina/ JBR area and in normal times offers breastfeeding support home visits from their friendly midwives, or teleconsultations during the Covid crisis. In normal times they hold a regular Drop-In Clinic from 10am to 12pm every Wednesday at their lovely facility in Media City to have baby weighed and talk to their midwives and health visitors for free, but during the Covid crisis they are holding several online support groups for pregnant women and new mums - check their website to sign up to the latest one.

The midwives at Healthbay Polyclinic offer Specialist Lactation appointment or visits to your home by their lactation consultant (IBCLC) Muriel Woum. Resident midwife Dru Campbell is also IBCLC. Email or phone: 04 348 7140.

Midwife Cecile De Scally is based at Malaak in Time Square Centre on Sheikh Zayed Road, which offers breastfeeding and lactation support as well as maternity nurses and other parenting education services. In normal times you can go along to their free Mama Mornings every Thursday 9am-11am to get baby weighed, meet with their specialists and get some complimentary advice. During the Covid crisis they are holding regular Instagram Live talks, online workshops, and you can also book appointments directly.

More than Birth Doulas is a new joint venture of a group of well-known and well-loved doulas who've been in Dubai a long time and are also able to do home visits to assist with breastfeeding. You can arrange a private two-hour visit, or you can check our their events page to see if they have any free events happening near you soon.

Belly Baby Mom is a registered doula agency that offers doula services, parenting education services, and also one-to-one breastfeeding support. For Dh600 you can have a certified breastfeeding counsellor visit you in your home for up to two hours of advice and support.

Andrea Allen at the Doting Doulas is a certified Breastfeeding counsellor and can offer practical and emotional support.

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.

Lactations Consultants in Abu Dhabi

We love friendly Abu Dhabi-based lactation consultant Jackie Wasserberg, who offers evidence-based breastfeeding support via Amana Baby, part of Amana Healthcare, across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. She is able to offer online consultations during the Covid crisis, but can also do home visits wearing all of the protective gear. Call Jackie to discuss your needs on 052 619 7168.

La Leche League UAE in normal times 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. During Covid contact for advice on breastfeeding support in Abu Dhabi.

Sarah Smith is a  trained midwife and IBCLC recommeded by the Breastfeeding support UAE group who offers home visits in Abu Dhabi: 050 378 6065.

Johanne Jolicoeur is an IBCLC who also offers cranio-sacral therapy, which many believe can help with tongue ties, among other problems. She is offering consultations at Dr Mai Al Shamsi integrative clinic, call 02-2222818 / 0559871491 for appointments.

Yafa Ajweh, aka The Lactivist on Instagram, is an IBCLC , speaks English and Arabic, and offers home visits and online consults, Tel: 0521453439,

Breastfeeding Support in Sharjah

Dr Kamini Naik, Ob-Gyn and IBCLC Doctors Medical Centre Tel: 06 5632100

There is a lactation clinic in the Maternal and Child Health Center, Markaz Tazeez Al Usra (Tazeez Family Centre)