Although breastfeeding is natural, it is a learned skill. Most women in America do not have exposure to breastfeeding before they attempt to breastfeed their babies. Unfortunately this leaves women to fend for themselves, trying to learn how to breastfeed successfully, usually with much frustration. Lactation Consultants are women who are specially trained in breastfeeding. They help teach new moms how to breastfeed as well as work with moms to overcome challenges. Many lactation consultants also rent or sell breast pumps for moms to use when they are not able to breastfeed. Anyone can call themselves a Lactation Consultant, but women with the acronym IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) after their name have completed extensive training and passed an in depth exam.
Some things a Lactation Consultant will teach you:
- Best positions for breastfeeding
- How to achieve a good latch
- To recognize the baby's signs of hunger
- How to overcome challenges such as:
- Sore nipples
- Milk reduction
- Tender breasts
If you give birth in a local hospital, you may be provided with the services of a Lactation Consultant during your stay. If not, you may want to contact the women listed below.