Nursing is beautiful, incredible, and so, so … hard! From just learning how to do it to navigating social norms around it, you’ll probably experience plenty of frustrations on your nursing journey. While breastfeeding may be natural, it sure is a lot of work, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help.
Lactation Consultants will assess everything from your baby’s mouth and tongue to your breasts and nipples. They can help you troubleshoot problems and prevent future issues by watching how you nurse.
But you also don’t want just anyone telling you how to feed your baby!
If you’re planning to hire a Consultant, check to see if they’re an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), which means they’ve trained, have hundreds of hours of experience, and have passed an exam in order to help you nurse effectively. Educate yourself on lactation practices and methods, so that you can ask meaningful questions and verify if the consultant is a good fit. You’ll also want to find a lactation consultant that’s convenient for you, so you aren’t having to drive a ton to get the help you need.
Lactation Consultants can range in price, so you’ll want to make sure that they fit your budget, too. If you’re worried about whether or not your insurance plan will help cover the consultant, try to find a consultant who is also an RN, as the insurance company may look more favorably on this. (However, hiring a Consultant may be less costly than formula in the long run.) Your hospital may also offer a free consultation with a specialist, or you can try La Leche League groups, which are led by women who have successfully breastfed for at least a year.
Once you do find the right Lactation Consultant, they can help you breastfeed your baby longer, sustain your milk supply, and avoid early weaning.Sources: Parents.com, BreastfeedChicago.org, mamanatural.com.