How & Why to Work With a Lactation Consultant

Breast milk. It does a baby good.

But what if you’re having troubles? Where can you turn for support, coaching and help?

Try working with a lactation consultant!

A lactation consultant is like a personal trainer in all things breastfeeding. As health care providers, they specialize in offering nursing assistance and education for families.

Many hospitals have lactation consultants on staff. Or you can hire one to come to your home for a personal consultation. To me, they provide “life and death” assistance since not being able to feed your baby can be a scary emergency.

Here’s a video that shows exactly how a lactation or breastfeeding consultant works to help you and your baby

If you have insurance, you can probably see a lactation consultant for free

Good news! It seems that the US healthcare system is finally getting hip to just how helpful a lactation consultant can be. The Affordable Care Act now requires most insurance plans to cover lactation support! You can learn more in my post, How to Get a Free Breast Pump, but the short version of the story is to call your healthcare provider and ask about lactation consultant coverage.

Looking for a lactation consultant in your area?

Here’s a full post on how to find a lactation consultant who’s a good fit for you.

Need breastfeeding help?

Here are more breastfeeding resources

How about you?

Did you work with a lactation consultant? How was your experience? Share with us in the comments below!

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7 Comments

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  1. You’re so right in how much lactation consultants can help with breastfeeding, especially for new mothers. Great post! I’d also suggest that moms find a dentist that can properly identify tongue ties and upper lip ties in infants, as these can cause difficulty with latching and creating proper suction. Some lactation consultants are not familiar with this type of diagnosis, so it’s good to branch out to other resources.

  2. My baby is almost weaned off the breast onto cows milk. I though this was going to give me my freedom back. However today when I was cooking dinner my baby grabbed for her bottle instead of cling to me until I feed her. It hurt to see her choose her bottle over my breast. Is this normal, I was excited to wean and now that’s it’s almost at a end I’m hurt.

  3. Hey Mama Natural,
    I have a question about the first three days after the baby is born. As far as I have learned, you are not supposed to give the baby any food other than your colostrum (first milk), although my mother-in-law disagrees. What was your experience?

    Thanks so much!!!

    • Hi Larisa!

      Yes, it is VITAL that babies only receive breastmilk if possible, especially in those early days and months.

      In fact, babies do best with only breastmilk as their nourishment up to 6 months. I didn’t start solids with Griffin till then and still at 9 months the majority of his nutrients come from breastmilk. This is ideal up to his 1 year birthday when solids become more of his calories.

      Remember this is YOUR baby. Mama knows best :).

      • I completely agree with you, Genevieve!
        And your response made me even more confident in my own judgement and in the fact that nature is so smart that it wouldn’t give you a baby and nothing to feed it with in the first days of his/her life!

        Thanks

  4. our lactation consultant basically saved my life (and my sanity). one of the most patient and caring women i have ever met and i will honestly never forget her. breastfeeding was tricky at first and had me in tears more often than not and she sat next to me, helping henry re-latch, playing instructional dvds and telling my husband to run and get me some dinner 🙂

    i’m totally in love with your blog. your videos are funny and beautiful and your little griffen is so adorable. i’m excited to read more!

  5. Sharing some comments on this post from our Facebook page.

    Gina Mac Gillis-Hirt
    I needed help in the worst way…in my moment of weakness, my LC came to the rescue! I enjoyed BF and the work she did to help me. It became my long term goal to become an IBCLC and I just passed my boards. Gotta love the empowering feeling that you get when you see your little one turns into a chubby, healthy baby…ALL FROM YOU!!!

    Christina Foley
    Mine was pushy..and I ended up quitting :/

    Rachel Anne Leigh
    I saw 2 different ones and they were so tough on me I never saw either again

    La’El Pierce
    I had some MAJOR issues while nursing my first baby. Went to the doctor, she told me the pain was in my head, went to WIC and they didn’t have a Breast Feeding Peer Counselor for this area, went to LLL and they tried their best to help to …

    Jessamina Longislandgoddess
    A good LC can be a real Goddess of Mercy…after bf 3 kids, I thought i knew it all!!! No! I had a clogged duct that my midwife said would go away, don’t worry..I had it for 3 weeks after that..LC had my boob all better in 2 days. luv her.

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