Lactation consultants are specially trained in lactation management, and work with mothers that are having a difficult time breastfeeding their babies. Many mothers are concerned because breastfeeding is supposed to be as natural as things can get. But there are times when babies and mothers do not bond immediately in this manner. Many new mothers do not know what to expect. They may not know how to start the process, and how to work through normal difficulties. The lactation consultant is trained to help new mothers and their babies create a healthy and happy feeding ritual.
Possible Reasons for Seeking Lactation Consulting
- Breastfeeding is painful
- You fear your baby is not getting enough milk
- You have had surgery in the past and wish to breastfeed now
- Your baby was born premature and unable to breastfeed
- Your baby is having issues with other methods of breastfeeding and you are beginning to rethink your desire to breastfeed
Lactation Consulting and Breast Pumps
Not all mothers will need a breast-pump. The lactation consultant can teach mothers hand expression, so they will not need to use a pump. It will take practice, but over time, this may feel more natural to the mother when the need arises to leave milk for her baby.
How do you know that you do need a pump? If you are going to be separated from your baby for a very long time, will need a pump. For instance, mother’s returning to work will need to supply a full day’s worth of milk, and will need to relive themselves throughout the day. High quality breast pumps sustain milk production much the same way as a baby would, and will not cause damage to the breast.
What You Should Know About Breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding helps new moms to lose their pregnancy weight
- Helps the uterus return to its original size
- Can help prevent excessive bleeding after birth
- Is healthier for the baby
- Breastfeeding decreases stress level
- It releases hormones that induce a state of euphoria
- Breast milk is easy to digest
- Breastfed spit up does not stain clothing
- Breast milk contains less iron, which is not easily absorbed by the baby
- Some research as shown that breastfed babies are less frequently victims of SIDS
How Can A Lactation Consultant Help
Lactation consultants are respected members of the modern health care system. Mother’s and their obstetricians will want to discuss their lactation options. Lactations consultants are specially trained and licensed. It is important for new mothers to interview consultants to ensure they have made the correct choice.
The consultant will help prepare new mothers for breastfeeding. They are a source of encouragement, information, and reassurance that new mother’s will succeed at breastfeeding. They can offer hands-on assistance, and address specific problems that new mothers experience.
A lactation can help you with the following issues:
- Your baby will not latch onto the breast
- Your doctor has recommended supplementing breastfeeding with formula
- You are the mother of multiples
- You need to take medication while breastfeeding
- You have been told to wean and you are not prepared to do so
- You need assistance choosing your breastpump
- You have concerns about breastfeeding and your babies sleeping patterns
- Your baby is teething
Lactation consultants are health-care professionals and are paid for their services, just as a doctor or nurse would be. Fees may vary, but typically range between $65-80 per hour. This may include follow up information sessions, and additional literature. Many consultants are self employed, and may have to limit their number of clients, so it is important to shop around early in your pregnancy for a consultant.
Difference Between a Breastfeeding Counselor and a Lactation Consultant
There are women that have experience breastfeeding, and they would like to help other women during this magical, but stressful time. They will offer advice to other women, and run groups for new mothers that are seeking support. Breastfeeding counsellors will offer support, but if they encounter a problem they cannot handle, they will refer the mother to a health care professional that can assist. Breastfeeding counsellors generally offer their support free of charge.
Mothers can find lactation consultants in a variety of settings such as hospitals, home care services, health agencies, and private practice. They will have a consultation with the mother, take a health history, observe the mother and baby while they are feeding, and help create a breastfeeding plan for mother and baby. Together, with the baby and mother’s doctors, they will create the ideal plan for both mother and baby, to ensure a safe, nutritious feeding routine.