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How a lactation consultant can help with all things breastfeeding
Even though breastfeeding is the most natural and incredible way to nourish your new baby, breastfeeding doesn’t always come easily. That’s why the help of an international board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) is absolutely priceless. A one-on-one consultation with an IBCLC will give you the tools and confidence you need to hit your next nursing milestone. But when’s the right time to schedule a consultation? The short answer: anytime.
There’s no shame in asking for help. Breastfeeding will only get easier with an expert by your side. But if you need a little nudge, we’ve got the top five reasons to bring in an IBCLC.
#1 Baby is struggling to nurse
If you’re having trouble latching, noticing that Baby isn’t gaining weight properly, or think you see some signs of reflux or symptoms of thrush, call an IBCLC. They’ll show you the best breastfeeding positions for you to help improve latching and take care of your sweet baby, all in the comfort of your own home. Plus, for mothers of premature or immunocompromised babies, lactation consultants can develop special feeding and storage plans tailored to your baby’s exact needs.
#2 Painful breastfeeding
An IBCLC is a certified health care professional whose number one priority is to help moms on their breastfeeding journeys. They work with moms on every aspect of breastfeeding. If you’re experiencing nipple soreness, mastitis or plugged ducts, engorgement, or any other symptom that’s making it difficult for you to nurse, talk to an IBCLC. In some cases, these can be serious complications that require more immediate attention, so it’s best to talk to a professional early on.
#3 You’re breaking out your breast pump
If you are getting ready to head back to work or ready to build up an extra stash of breast milk, an IBCLC can help you with everything from pump setup and sizing to a pumping schedule that works for you and your baby. It’s best to bring in an IBCLC before you start to pump so they can help familiarize you with the parts of your pump and properly size you for comfortable breast shields. You can also get step-by-step instructions on how to safely clean your pump and store breast milk.
#4 You’re headed back to work
As much as we’d love to bring baby to the office every day, going back to work does throw a curveball at your nursing routine. Now, you’ll have to devise a pumping schedule and storage plan for when you’re back on the 9-to-5 grind—not to mention keeping your supply up during the workweek. There’s no one better equipped to help than an IBCLC. (Psst! If you’re facing some unfriendly people at work, keep your cool and check out our back-to-work resources here. They’ll get up to speed on your workplace rights, and give you the tools to set the haters straight.)
#5 Anything else you need. Seriously.
Whether it’s for some tips on boosting your milk supply, or just to get a little reassurance that you’re doing okay, call an IBCLC. It’s never too early or too late to talk to a lactation consultant. They can even help you prepare for breastfeeding during pregnancy! Their job is to support you 100%, which means that they’ll be there for you with anything you need. (Except a chocolate milkshake. Not not speaking from experience).
So, how do I get started?
With the click of a button, we offer free in-home lactation consultations through your insurance. We go above and beyond for our patients, and offer personalized support for new mothers and moms-to-be.
Breastfeeding support is everything for nursing moms. Trust us, we’ve been there and wouldn’t have gotten through it without friends to vent to and a partner to occasionally blame. In all seriousness, breastfeeding takes a village, and we get that. You’ll always have the Lactation Network to rely on, and you have a team of breastfeeding experts at your disposal, too.