A very common question new moms ask is, “How do I find a lactation consultant?” If you’re having difficulty finding one and aren’t comfortable enough to ask your regular doctor, we have compiled a list of resources that may help you locate the perfect lactation consultant. Resolving this issue can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth the effort!
What is a lactation consultant?
Lactation consultants are registered nurses who have specialized in breastfeeding (certified breastfeeding specialist). They are specially trained and certified to help mothers breastfeed their babies and can be hired by various facilities. For example, they may be fully trained in the same hospital as your baby’s birth, or you can find one in a community-based facility.
Why do I need a lactation consultant?
Lactation consultants are essential in the early days of breastfeeding. If you are experiencing difficulties, your baby may develop a milk protein allergy or intolerance to the milk your body produces. Or, if you have suffered from a breast infection (mastitis) or underdeveloped milk supply, you may have difficulties producing sufficient milk for your baby that allows them to thrive.
When should I call the lactation consultant?
If you notice any of the following symptoms, call your lactation consultant:
- You are experiencing engorged breasts, hard nipples, or nipple cracks.
- You have difficulty transitioning from breast to bottle/breastfeeding.
- You have a history of breast cancer.
- Your baby’s weight gain is more than two pounds per week.
- Your baby is refusing feedings or doesn’t seem to feel hungry.
- Your baby is below the tenth percentile in terms of weight gain.
How do I find a lactation consultant?
There are a few different ways to find lactation consultants. The first is to find one in your local hospital or birthing facility. If you can’t, keep an eye out for them at the community-based La Leche League Leader’sLeader’s and Breastfeeding Center. You can also contact the La Leche League leader in your area or visit their website at www.lalecheleague.org to find one near you.
What fees does a lactation consultant charge?
Fees for lactation consultants vary depending on the location of your sessions and their level of education. Hopefully, they have met the qualification for and passed the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBCLE) exam. If they are IBCLE certified, they will charge according to the number of sessions you have with them. Prices range from $200 to $350, depending on where you live.
What should I do to prepare for the session?
Do your research! Gain as much breastfeeding knowledge as possible before you meet with your consultant. Find out if they’ve worked with a mother experiencing similar symptoms. Have your nurse or doctor check you for any allergies, and ensure the lactation consultant is well aware of any medications you are taking.
What should I bring to the session?
You need to be prepared for your session. Make sure you have all necessary medical records available, as well as your breastfeeding journal. In addition, you may want to bring a few pictures of your baby at different stages in this life and some pictures of you breastfeeding or pumping.
What do I need to tell my consultant?
It would help if you were completely honest with your consultant. You will want to tell them if you have had any breastfeeding difficulties, like engorged breasts or a sudden drop in milk supply. You also want to tell them if you had trouble recovering from the birth and how long it took you to heal. You need to be completely honest when discussing your difficulties in nursing your baby.
What do I need to know about my baby?
You need to know where your baby’s weight is daily. You want to ensure that your bottle-feeding routine has been working for the time being and that your doctor has given your baby an all clear for returning home. You should also have a list of questions written out that you want to ask your consultant, such as:
Can I exclusively pump? How do I know when my baby is ready to return home? Can I start breastfeeding my baby immediately?
If you are having problems breastfeeding, don’t wait to get help! Contact your local lactation consultant or La Leche League leader and schedule an appointment with them. Don’tDon’t feel afraid to ask questions, because you will want to be prepared for the sessions. Don’tDon’t forget to call your lactation consultant immediately if you notice any of the breastfeeding symptoms listed above.
Contact us for more information about how we can help you and your baby. We are always happy to hear from you, and can help you resolve this issue in no time!