A Lactation Consultant is a Health professional who can assist Mom's to get Breast feeding off to a good start, and maintain a healthy and happy Breast feeding relationship. They are usually knowledgeable in all areas of baby care, and are thus a source of invaluable information and guidance to any Mom.
The following situations are possible reasons for calling in a Lactation Consultant:
- If your baby seems to be struggling to latch.
- If your nipples are painful- a possible cause could be an incorrect latch.
- If your milk flow is very fast (over-active milk ejection reflex), which is causing your baby to gulp milk and swallow air.
- If your baby is suffering from gas, Colic or Reflux and you are concerned.
- If your nipples are bleeding, cracked or bruised and don't seem to be improving with time.
- If your baby has a tongue tie. A tongue tie is when the little piece of skin under the tongue is holding the tongue in such a way that the tongue cannot protrude out of the mouth. For efficient breast feeding the tongue needs to be able to protrude over the bottom gum. Babies with tongue ties struggle to latch and often need extra help. A baby with a tongue tie could be assessed by a Lactation Consultant, and possibly referred on to a Paediatrician for assessment and possibly "snipping" it.
- If your baby is not gaining weight adequately.
- If you have had any breast surgery.
- Or if you just want to ensure that you are able to breast feed your baby successfully with as little stress as possible.
It is best to start off on the right foot, and a lactation consultant can certainly help you to obtain the most joy and benefit from breast feeding, without the stress and pain.
A Lactation Consultant can also be available during your pregnancy, to explain to you how to get breast feeding off to a good start.