A Lactation Consultant is a health professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. They are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.
The main function of a lactation consultant is to educate and guide a mother on the initiation, exclusivity, duration and support of breastfeeding. In addition, they work with other healthcare professionals to help mothers in their efforts to breastfeed their babies.
They also provide advice on what foods, drinks, medications and other therapies are safe to take while breastfeeding. They are especially helpful for new mothers who aren’t getting enough support from their families and friends.
These healthcare professionals work in hospitals and clinics. They help their patients by taking their medical histories, vital signs, preparing them for checkups or procedures, explaining upcoming practices and answering any questions.
You may want to contact a lactation consultant if you’re experiencing any of the following:
Your baby isn’t gaining enough weight after birth – It’s normal for babies to lose some weight in the first few weeks of life but this can be caused by underlying issues with breastfeeding or your milk supply. Your doctor or midwife will monitor your baby’s weight and if they think that there is an issue with your breastfeeding they may refer you to a lactation consultant.
You’re having trouble with engorgement and clogged ducts – A lactation consultant can offer some natural remedies to alleviate engorgement and clogged dilators. They can show you how to use a warm, damp cloth to clear your dilator and they can give you tips on how to manage the pain of engorgement.