A full guide to finding a good lactation consultant to support your breastfeeding goals. We cover the following topics:
Why see a lactation consultant?
When should I see a lactation consultant?
How to find a certified lactation specialist.
Why see a lactation consultant?
There are many benefits of breastfeeding to both baby and mom. If you made a decision to breastfeed, a good lactation consultant can make your breastfeeding journey much easier.
A lactation consultant is a trained medical professional who helps new moms with breastfeeding. An experienced lactation consultant can help you with existing lactation problems. They can also help prevent any future breastfeeding problems such as breastfeeding latch difficulties, painful nursing, and low milk supply. A certified lactation consultant has a certificate from ILCA
When should I see a lactation consultant?Here are situations when you need to see a lactation consultant. You can learn more by clicking on the link below.
- Prenatal consultation to receive information and discuss concerns about breastfeeding
- Low milk production
- No breast changes during pregnancy or after birth
- Sore nipples or pain during breastfeeding
- Sleepy baby, or baby that won’t latch onto the breast
- Baby weight gain issues
- Infants with a tongue-tie
- Infants with cleft palate/lip
- Returning to work or school
- Previous breast surgery or trauma
- Pumping/breastfeeding with multiples
- Special needs baby
- Adoptive breastfeeding
- Overactive let-down/oversupply
- Mastitis/blocked ducts
- Use of breastfeeding aids (nipple shields, etc)
- LGBTQ resources for breastfeeding
How to find a certified lactation specialist?
A certified lactation consultant will have an IBCLC next to her name.
Many hospitals and birth centers have certified lactation consultants on staff. They observe your breastfeeding to ensure that the baby is latching properly and is getting breastmilk during the breastfeeding sessions.
If you did not see a lactation consultant or need an additional follow-up lactation session here are five ways you can find a certified lactation consultant:
1. Ask your pediatrician if they have a lactation consultant. Many breastfeeding-friendly pediatric offices have a lactation consultant for their moms to help with breastfeeding. That is the most convenient option.
2. Search for a local birth center online. They usually have lactation consultants on staff and they accept new patients. You’ll have to drive to the appointment with your baby as they don’t do home visits.
3. Find an independent practice. Independent lactation consultants do home visits but remember that you will deal with an independent nurse. They usually charge upfront, and many do not file for insurance. Make sure you ask these questions before the consult (five questions to ask a lactation consultant before the appointment).
4. Search the web for an online lactation services appointment. That way you can use telemedicine and will not have to drive to an appointment. Make sure that you trust the source.
5. Find a local breastfeeding support group and ask for advice and recommendations. You will receive honest feedback from real moms about a good lactation consultant and whether it worked for them.