Whether you’re a new mum or a seasoned parent, breastfeeding can sometimes feel like a daunting and confusing journey. From latching issues to supply concerns, there are numerous challenges that can arise. This is where a lactation consultant can make a world of difference. By providing expert guidance and support, we help mothers navigate the highs and lows of breastfeeding.

With extensive knowledge of lactation and breastfeeding techniques, lactation consultants play a crucial role in ensuring a successful breastfeeding journey. We can help address common breastfeeding problems, and offer practical solutions tailored to each individual’s needs. Additionally, we provide emotional support and encouragement, empowering mothers to overcome obstacles and build confidence in their breastfeeding abilities.

Challenges faced by new mothers

Despite the numerous benefits, breastfeeding can come with its fair share of challenges, especially for new mothers. Some common difficulties include latching problems, sore and cracked nipples, engorgement, or low milk supply. These issues can be overwhelming and may lead to frustration or feelings of inadequacy. It can be extremely beneficial for new mothers to seek support and guidance during this time to overcome these challenges and ensure a successful breastfeeding journey.

What is a lactation consultant?

A lactation consultant is a trained professional who specialises in breastfeeding and lactation management. They have extensive knowledge and expertise in the field and are equipped to provide guidance and support to mothers throughout their breastfeeding journey. Lactation consultants typically have certification from recognised organisations such as the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE)  and undergo rigorous training to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest research and techniques and are often Registered Midwives / Nurses.

The role of a lactation consultant

Lactation consultants play a crucial role in assisting mothers in achieving their breastfeeding goals. We provide individualised care and support, tailoring our advice and solutions to the specific needs of each mother and baby. From the first consultation to ongoing follow-ups, lactation consultants serve as a trusted ally, offering evidence-based information and practical strategies. In addition to assisting with common breastfeeding concerns, we can also perform oral assessments to check for restrictions such as tongue tie which may be affecting breastfeeding and could benefit from treatment.  We can liase with your GP and refer to other healthcare providers such as Osteopaths for treatment.

When to consult a lactation consultant

It is recommended to consult a lactation consultant as soon as possible after giving birth (or even better, towards the end of your pregnancy), even if you are not experiencing any breastfeeding difficulties. This early intervention allows for proactive support and can help prevent potential problems in the future. However, lactation consultants can be consulted at any stage of the breastfeeding journey, whether it’s for addressing specific challenges or seeking advice on increasing milk supply, pumping and storing breast milk, returning to work and even weaning when you’ve come to the end of your breastfeeding journey.

How to find a qualified lactation consultant

Finding a qualified lactation consultant is an important step in ensuring you receive the best support and guidance. Start by asking for recommendations from your healthcare provider, friends, or family members who have had positive experiences. You can also check for certified lactation consultants in your area through the LCANZ website or other reputable websites for evidence based information like The Australian Breastfeeding Association. When choosing a lactation consultant, consider their experience, credentials, and approach to ensure a good fit for your needs.

What to expect during a lactation consultation

During a lactation consultation, the lactation consultant will assess your breastfeeding technique, observe your baby’s latch, and address any concerns or challenges you may have. We will provide guidance on effective positioning and latch techniques and may recommend specific interventions, such as nipple shields or breast pumps, if necessary. Follow-up consultations may be scheduled to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments.

Conclusion: The impact of lactation consultants on breastfeeding success

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and rewarding journey, but it can also be challenging at times. The guidance and support of a lactation consultant can make a significant difference in overcoming these challenges and ensuring a successful breastfeeding experience. 

If you are looking for some help with breastfeeding or sleep related concerns please feel free to reach out. I offer virtual support Australia wide and home visits locally in the Illawarra, NSW.




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