Breastfeeding is an important part of a baby’s development, and it can be a challenge for new mothers. If you’re struggling with a painful nipple, a low milk supply or have questions about how to breastfeed your baby, there’s help on hand to support you.
Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are healthcare professionals who specialize in clinical management of breastfeeding and lactation. They’re certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultants and are often hired by hospitals or clinics to provide professional lactation consultations and/or teach breastfeeding classes to expecting and postnatal women.
IBCLCs work in a variety of settings: hospitals, medical offices or community clinics, WIC (a supplemental nutrition program for new mothers), and private practice. They offer home visits and lactation consultations in their office or at a breastfeeding clinic.
You’re struggling with painful nipples or a low milk supply
A common reason that moms reach out to lactation consultants is because their nipples are feeling painful or they think they’re not producing enough milk for their baby. A lactation consultant can assess your nipples and recommend ways to alleviate the pain.
Your baby is in the hospital or has special needs – If your baby has a condition like cleft palate, Down Syndrome or a tongue tie, they might need some additional support to nurse. A lactation consultant can teach you how to express your milk using a breast pump so that your baby can have it when they’re in the hospital or at home.