Lactation consultants are professional specialists trained to teach new mothers how to breastfeed and help tackle issues such as latching difficulties, painful nursing, and low milk production. These professionals also help women return to work while meeting their breastfeeding goals. Mothers can use their guidance in efficiently using breast pumps and safely storing breast milk.
In addition, lactation consultants can help babies who aren’t gaining enough weight. It is normal for babies to lose some weight after birth, but if the weight loss is more than expected a lactation specialist can help. Most often these trained professionals are mothers themselves. Their training and own experience aid them to understand the root cause of the problem and thus find the most applicable solution – from feed quantity to quality of feeding.
Mothers with one new born have it tough, and so when you have twins or triplets women around the world will understand your challenge. This is another area where lactation consultants come in handy. Mothers expecting twins or triplets should ideally contact these consultants before birth so that they can prepare you to handle feeding multiple babies at once. Post delivery, they can work with you to see if the babies intake and your supply are sufficient or any changes need to be made.
With special needs children, those born with a cleft lip or Downs Syndrome, these professionals guide mothers in the use of special products if there is a need, ensuring that the child’s nutritional needs are completely taken care of.
Yes breastfeeding is a natural process, but it doesn’t come naturally to all mothers and babies. In such cases it may improve child and self care by reaching out to an International Board certified lactation consultant Lactation Specialists can be recommended by the hospital or the pediatrician
Here are some situations in which it might be needed and helpful to reach out to a lactation consultant.
• You’re full of frustrations, questions, and doubts and need some encouragement! Lactation Consultants have seen and heard it all – and many are moms themselves, so they can field any questions you throw at them. All International Board Certified Lactation Consultants have been through training and have many hours of practical, clinical experience with moms and babies. Sometimes all you may need is an experienced, patient cheerleader by your side to help you overcome whatever hurdle you’re facing in your breastfeeding journey.
• Your baby isn’t gaining weight.
It’s totally normal for babies to lose a few ounces after birth, but if your pediatrician is noticing a more alarming weight loss, it may be time to work with a Lactation Specialist. She can help pinpoint the problem and offer a solution – whether it’s an issue with low milk supply (uncommon) or a latching problem.
• Your breasts or nipples just hurt. There are a few reasons why you might experience pain while breastfeeding: mastitis, engorgement, plugged ducts, or cracked nipples. An experienced lactation consultant will be able to assess and recommend a treatment plan to deal with these painful conditions safely without disrupting your breastfeeding routine.
• Your baby has special needs.
If you have a baby with conditions such as cleft palate or Down Syndrome, you can still feed them your breast milk! It may just take a bit more effort to work through the challenges your little one faces. There are products that your Lactation Consultant can find and instruct you to use that can help you achieve this goal.
• You have twins, triplets, or more!
You have a lot to think about when expecting multiples; contacting a lactation consultant should be one of them! Before the babies are born, she can help you prepare for what you’ll face when breastfeeding multiples. After your babies arrive, she can assist with showing you the correct way to support and feed two babies at once, and check to make sure your supply is keeping up with their nutritional needs.
• Baby Won’t Attach
Breastfeeding is instinctive for babies. However, there are various things that can cause attachment difficulties after birth. For example, if your breasts are very engorged, this can make it hard for some babies to attach. Sometimes, pain relief used during labour, or other birth interventions, can contribute to making some babies extra sleepy and perhaps even dull their feeding behaviours – all of which can make attaching more difficult. IBCLCs have a thorough understanding and first-hand experience with things such as how breastfeeding works and how to get breastfeeding off to the best start possible. This means IBCLCs are well placed to troubleshoot why a baby may be having trouble attaching and help work out the best ways to: Ensure your baby continues to receive enough milk, Support your milk supply, Provide ongoing guidance about what to do as things progress/change.