How Lactation Consultants Help with Breastfeeding

Smiling woman in a business suitIf you are a new mom having difficulty breastfeeding, don't despair. There are professionals who can help you through the process: lactation consultants.

A lactation consultant helps breastfeeding mothers and their babies. The lactation consultant may work in a hospital, clinic, physician's office, or private practice.

While a lactation consultant may or may not be certified, it may be in your best interest to seek out an Internationally Certified Breastfeeding and Lactation Consultant (ICBLC), as the education and training levels of lactation consultants may vary.

An Internationally Certified Breastfeeding and Lactation Consultant is a special type of health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. This type of lactation consultant has passed a special exam given by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). In addition, he or she has received specialized training to help nursing mothers and their babies. This credential of IBCLC is the highest level of certification for lactation consultants.

At your first consultation, your lactation consultant may take your medical history and the breastfeeding history of you and your baby. He or she may also observe you nursing in order to develop a plan. This plan may include referrals to other healthcare professionals, community services, and support groups.

According to the IBLCE, the lactation consultant can help you with the following:

  • Breastfeeding education, instruction, and equipment.
  • Prenatal counseling where breastfeeding is concerned, including breastfeeding risk factors.
  • Breastfeeding issues or concerns like nipple pain, latching issues, or inadequate milk.
  • The correct way to express and store milk if you must be separated from your child.
  • Correct positioning and latching of your baby.
  • Information about practices that promote successful breastfeeding, including how you can continue to breastfeed after returning to work.
  • Special or challenging breastfeeding situations. If you are nursing multiples or a preemie, the lactation specialist can help you. Also, if your baby is sick or has special medical conditions, the lactating consultant can find solutions for you.

Consider working with a lactating consultant. He or she will be able to add valuable support and education and help make your breastfeeding experience comfortable and healthy for you and your new baby. You can find a lactating consultant by contacting the International Lactation Consultant's Association (ILCA), or ask your physician.

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How Lactation Consultants Help with Breastfeeding

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14 comments

  1. Niki says:

    how long does it take for your milk to fully back whenever your mild production has slowed down, since 6 am this morning I have noticed a small change in the fullness of my breast but nothing like it has been these 5 months offul breastfeeding. any suggestions would be great.
    I feel like a bad mother or like s something im doing thatis making my milk slow down, ive had no problems up until last night and today?

    • Hi Niki! The fullness of your breast is not the best indicator for supply. It can change from day to day or even hour to hour. Is your little one showing any signs that there is an issue? It may just be that he or she is going through a growth spurt and is nursing efficiently and more often to help stimulate your supply for a boost. I wouldn’t change anything at this point, other than to nurse on demand. You’re doing great!!

  2. LIZ says:

    even though i read about before i got my baby, its was hard to start i was getting frustrated because the milk didnt come down but after the second day everything works for me, i miss those moments now

  3. Tangee says:

    had a great start, then no milk production at 2 weeks..went to a lactation support group and was thrilled at all the helpful tips and new moms and babies sharing their stories, baby gained lots of weight! Now at 3 months and just went back to get more tips on keeping her less side tracked when she nurses and less gassy. It’s also nice to just get out of the house and interact with mommy’s!

  4. Samantha says:

    I breastfed my first born and plan to do so again with this baby boy. A lactation consultant helped me out with finding the best way for my body and breast type. They show you tips and tricks on how to do so properly and it not hurt. Please consider breastfeeding your babies! Not only is it FREE but it is so healthy, I mean after all, they can’t recall your boobs lol.

  5. emily says:

    definitely getting a lactation consultant!

  6. Theresa says:

    When my baby was 6 weeks old, i ended up getting a plugged milk duct, It hurt soo soo much. I talked to a LC and she told me to continue feeding as I normally would as te baby would unclog it. That definitely worked and the next day, I was a little sore. The day after that, I was fine. Those LCs know what they are talking about! 🙂

  7. Sierra-Dawn says:

    I had breast augmentation when I was 17 an my one question was will I be able to breastfeed.

  8. PrettyBoogs says:

    I am looking for a article about what you start to leak or lactate during pregnancy. If anyone can help me that would be great.

  9. Jeanetta says:

    I’m grateful the hospital I’m having my baby at offers a free breastfeeding support group.

  10. zoila says:

    I work 12hrs a week and I pump while @ work because I know ITS THE BEST THING FOR MY BABY:)

  11. MissMichell says:

    best thing for baby

  12. I’m a breastfeeding mother but recently stopped but would love to go back to brestfeeding.

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