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A breastfeeding expert, a lactation consultant is a specialist in assessing and treating both serious and common nursing problems. Most often, their responsibilities involve supporting mothers in how to increase milk supply, finding the best nursing position, managing breastfeeding pain, etc. After delivering the baby, a staff lactation consultant sees women in the hospital as part of routine care. Such a consultant can also treat patients in their homes.
Who is a lactation consultant?
Specialising in caring for breastfeeding mothers, a lactation consultant is a healthcare professional, who is a breastfeeding advocate. They can help from before the baby is born until the final weeks of weaning. These experts are qualified in treating common nursing problems as well as more serious matters like clogged milk ducts, mastitis, etc. They are certified consultants, who follow strict standards. To be accredited, they have to complete long hours of training, clinical experience, and extensive health science assignments.
How can a lactation consultant help you breastfeed?
A lactation consultant will help you whether it is your first time breastfeeding or not. They will help you staying on track and reaching your breastfeeding targets. The truth is that breastfeeding is not easy. It is sometimes painful and laborious. Unfortunately, if problems arise with it, then the mother is not comfortable at all. As much as 60 percent of mothers are not able to breastfeed for as long as they want to, a study has shown.
Mothers stop breastfeeding early owing to the following reasons:
· Problems with latching
· Issues with milk production
· Inequitable access to healthcare
· Taking medications while breastfeeding
· Lack of breastfeeding support at the hospital
· Worry about infant nutrition and weight
· Unsupportive work policies or lack of parental leave
According to the researches, with a lactation consultant in the healthcare team, mothers can breastfeed longer. Also, they are more likely to breastfeed exclusively. They are more likely to initiate breastfeeding when a lactation consultant supports them.
A lactation consultant can help in the following:
· Improve your baby’s latch
· Boost your milk production
· Put you on a pumping schedule
· Increase your baby’s weight gain
· Determine the best breastfeeding positions
· Select, set up, and start using a breast pump
· Treat nipple soreness and breastfeeding pain
· Treat mastitis, plugged ducts, and engorgement
· Develop feeding schedules, especially for premature infants
Working with a lactation consultant
Your lactation consultant will be with you and will help you in evaluating and treating issues, whenever needed. All this may seem awkward in the beginning but you will start feeling normal and comfortable with the passage of time, especially when you are struggling to help your baby nurse.
For establishing successful breastfeeding, the first couple of weeks of lactation are the most crucial time. Appointing an experienced lactation expert in the beginning helps new moms a lot. They get all the required support. For the initial meeting, you can connect with them in their office, clinic, at your home, or over a phone call. Make sure that you share your medical history and other concerns clearly with them.
Breastfeeding is supposed to be natural for the mother as well as for the baby. But unfortunately, some women may face challenges such as sore nipples, latching problems, not enough milk, etc. Due to all this, they may get overwhelmed and would want to quit breastfeeding. In such cases, seeking professional help is a better idea. The experienced lactation specialists at Momkidcare are ideal if you need help and support in breastfeeding. They will provide you specialised guidance on practices, methods, and positions for resolving such matters.