Top 10 Reasons to Visit a Lactation Consultant

  1. Difficult latch– Many mothers and babies need additional help with latch. Even mothers and babies who breastfeed well in the hospital may struggle when the milk comes in.IMG_5537 2
  2. Nipple pain– Soreness in the 1st week is normal. Cracks, bleeding, or blisters are not normal. These are signs of poor latch. The Lactation Consultant can observe a breastfeeding and assist with positioning and latch. Mothers don’t transfer milk well if their baby is not latched correctly.
  3. Poor infant weight gain– A baby who continues to lose weight after mom’s milk is in, or gains too slowly, may not be effectively breastfeeding. The Lactation Consultant can observe a breastfeeding and use very sensitive scales to measure the amount of milk transferred from mom to baby and assist with a plan to increase milk intake.
  4. Hospital discharge before the establishment of breastfeeding- Moms and babies often leave the hospital or birthing center very quickly after delivering. Any mother and baby discharged before successfully latching should see a Lactation Consultant for assistance.
  5. Concerns regarding milk supply– Many mothers worry that their milk supply is insufficient for their baby’s needs. This is rarely the case. Most milk insufficiency is perceived.  True milk insufficiency is uncommon, but can be identified and addressed with the help of a Lactation Consultant.
  6. Observed breastfeeding– Breastfeeding should be observed by the Lactation Consultant after the milk comes in to verify milk transfer. This is an excellent opportunity to receive education regarding nutritive vs non-nutritive suckling, and the importance of each.
  7. Pumping Education– Mothers often receive a breast pump in a box without knowing how to assemble or use it. A visit to the Lactation Consultant is an excellent opportunity to learn about pumping and storing milk. Flanges should also be fitted properly.
  8. Mother is returning to work– Moms are often anxious about maintaining their breastfeeding relationship after returning to work. Lactation consultants can provide education regarding pumping and storing milk, paced bottle feeding, and transitioning from breast to bottle.
  9. Nipple shield use– Nipple shields are necessary at times, but should always be used under the guidance of a Lactation Consultant. The underlying need for a nipple shield should be determined and the issue corrected, if possible.
  10. Reassurance- Lactation Consultants are a great resource for providing mothers with reassurance that breastfeeding is progressing well. Mothers often begin to worry when baby cluster feeds during a growth spurt or teething. Observed breast feedings and weight checks are a great way to provide that reassurance.

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