Lactation is the process of making milk, which is secreted through the mammary glands. Breast milk from mothers contains all the nutrients a newborn baby needs, and milk comes right after giving birth. The World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding infants up to six months of age.
Breastfeeding might be the most natural thing, but it isn’t always smooth-sailing. New mothers and even second or third-time mothers can experience problems with lactation. If you are experiencing issues with breastfeeding, you are not alone. Approximately 60 percent of mothers are unable to breastfeed as long as they would like, and in many cases, it’s because of lactation issues.
A lactation consultant specializes in helping mothers breastfeed their infants and provides advice on how to maintain or increase their milk supply and troubleshoot problems as they arise.
What Makes a Good Lactation Consultant?
A lactation consultant is a professional who helps breastfeeding mothers and their infants. They offer advice on topics such as how to get started breastfeeding, how to keep up milk supply, and how to troubleshoot any problems that may arise.
A lactation consultant can help with the most common lactation problems, as well as the most complex ones, such as:
Sore nipples, usually due to poor positioning and attachment of the baby
- Low milk supply, which may be caused by poor latching and other issues
- Breast engorgement, due to breasts being too full of milk
- Cracked nipples, which usually develop as a result of a fungal infection
- Plugged milk ducts, which cause pain and inflammation
- Mastitis or breast infection
- Poor infant weight gain, which usually means inadequate nutrition
A good lactation consultant will have the following characteristics:
The IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) certification program is a rigorous program where consultants study child anatomy, development, and physiology, and spend thousands of hours with mothers and infants. Completion ensures the lactation consultant is highly qualified to provide knowledgeable lactation advice. To get expert care, choose a registered lactation consultant.
It is wise to choose a lactation consultant highly experienced in treating the specific problem you have with regard to lactation. Don’t hesitate to ask the lactation consultant how much experience they have in helping mothers who have your specific breastfeeding issue.
Patient and An Excellent Listener
A good lactation consultant listens to you attentively and takes time to answer your questions and address your concerns. A lactation consultant’s patience reveals itself with how well they listen to you and guide you on what to do to keep up your milk supply, and more.
Very Supportive and Compassionate
A good lactation consultant provides physical and emotional support to mothers and offers practical advice throughout their breastfeeding journey. Experiencing breastfeeding issues can make you feel anxious. Lactation consultants play an important role in your health and emotional well-being.
You do not have to wait until after giving birth to arrange for a lactation consultant. Prenatal breastfeeding classes are led by lactation consultants and are available to those who would like to breastfeed or gain more confidence in breastfeeding.
Registered Lactation Consultants in Wooster, OH
Our internationally board-certified lactation consultants at the Wooster Community Hospital (WCH) Women’s Pavilion provide comprehensive breastfeeding support to mothers and mothers-to-be. We can meet your specific needs and offer one-on-one support in the hospital or on an outpatient basis.
The Women’s Pavilion has a free breastfeeding support group and offers virtual visits, making our services more widely available and easily accessible. To find out more about our women’s health services or to schedule a breastfeeding consultation, call our office today at (330) 202-5567.