Deciding to breastfeed might be great for your baby and your own health. But there are many bumps along the way. Breastfeeding comes with sleepless nights, body pain, and a lot of other issues that might be physically and emotionally disturbing. Nursing is a natural process; breast milk is the perfect temperature and eventually adjusts its flow as the baby gets older. However, there are many times when nursing women may need some expert help.
Without some professional guidance about breastfeeding, many women have been known to quit the practice during the very first month. This is where the lactation consultant job rules the healthcare industry.
What is a Lactation Consultant?
Lactation consultants are professionals within the healthcare industry. They’re certified to help out mothers who are having any issues with breastfeeding. In many cases, the hospital or clinic where you deliver the baby will have a lactation consultant come in and guide you about proper positioning, latching, what to expect, etc.
So, just how does a lactation consultant help?
Below are just a few of the top reasons:
A certified International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is qualified to educate new mothers (and fathers) about how to best go about breastfeeding their child. They’re essential in not just educating people about the practice but also preparing expectant parents for what’s to come.
Getting the help of these consultants can increase the likelihood of women starting to breastfeed and sticking to it. Many women were able to exclusively breastfeed their babies because of this expert assistance.
Helping to Resolve Breastfeeding Issues
There are a lot of issues that may arise when a mother starts to breastfeed. Regardless of whether they’ve had children or breastfed before, many women might face problems getting enough milk. They might also worry about hitting the baby’s weight milestones on time.
Mothers who have gone through a C-section might also find it challenging and painful to nurse their babies. Some also complain that their milk isn’t coming in properly post-delivery. In such cases, a lactation consultant can help them find a painless nursing position and guide them on how to gradually develop a higher supply.
Other issues include babies who won’t breastfeed, those who fall asleep while feeding, cluster feeding, or very long feeding sessions. Some infants also breastfeed for a long time. This leaves a new mother exhausted. Again, a certificated lactation consultant might mean the difference between giving up on breastfeeding and soldiering on.
Helps in Mental Stability
New mothers are vulnerable to emotional issues as well as physical ones. Emotional barriers including stress can be just as draining and difficult as physical ones. Postpartum depression is one of the most common and difficult situations. But it really helps when you have an expert on hand. Lactation consultants can guide how to breastfeed more easily and without causing pain to yourself.
When the journey becomes easier, many mothers may find themselves feeling emotionally and mentally better than before.
Helping to Feed Premature Babies
Lactation specialists can be indispensable when it comes to feeding preemies. Most premature newborns lack the coordination of sucking, breathing, and swallowing that breastfeeding requires. The same goes for many infants with or without neurological and physical disabilities. In such cases, you may need the direct guidance of a lactation consultant.
So, just how important is a lactation consultant job? Consider the fact that several experts, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, highly recommend breastfeeding alone for at least the first six years of a baby’s life. Even after starting solids, the baby should ideally breastfeed until they’re at least a year old.
Formula might be a lifesaver for those who genuinely cannot breastfeed for some reason. However, lactation consultants are there to get you through most breastfeeding problems.