A lactation consultant is an experienced professional that is specially trained to assist breastfeeding mothers. She may or may not be certified and will likely have varying experience working with mothers and their infants. In addition, their training will vary significantly. For instance, some Lactation Consultants are also Licensed Practical Nurses, or LPNs, and have successfully completed nurse training. Whereas some Lactation Consultants are certified IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants), who have completed course work, clinical practice hours, and passed an exam that covers breastfeeding, milk production, management of breastfeeding complications, etc. Unlike a nurse or physician, the IBCLC designation does not mean that they have a certain amount of experience; it just means that they have passed their exam and have been certified.
That said, if you’re a new or experienced mother that is looking for support from a professionally trained person, then a Lactation Consultant is the way to go. Here are 7 Benefits of hiring your very own Lactation Consultant:
1. Your lactation consultant can help you with your breastfeeding concerns, which can include breast infections and clogged ducts, offer treatment suggestions, address milk production issues, etc.
2. She can answer all of your breastfeeding questions. Just
consider her your real live breastfeeding guide.
3. She can show you proper positioning or “latch on” techniques that can eliminate any physical discomfort.
4. She can help you diagnose signs of a breast infection and offer recommendations. For instance, if you have any redness or pain and/or have flu-like symptoms, she may conclude you have mastitis and give you a regime of warm compress, rest, more frequent breastfeeding, pain medication, etc.
5. She can provide general information about breastfeeding, as well as how to successfully wean baby when you’re ready.
6. She can help you recognize signs that your baby is “rooting” or ready to feed so that you can respond to baby’s hunger cues.
7. Your lactation consultant can help you increase your milk supply by suggesting you breastfeed more frequently, eliminate all pacifiers, or recommend holistic remedies like Milk Thistle, Fenugreek or other Galactogogues in order to increase your milk supply.
In conclusion, a professional lactation consultant can be your key to successful
breastfeeding. By hiring the right person and following her advice, you can receive the support you need and handle any breastfeeding issues with strength, knowledge and confidence.