What is a lactation consultant?
A lactation consultant is a trained healtcare professional who can help women learn how to feed their babies. Hopefully, she has met the qualification for, and passed the exam given by, the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBCLE).
IBCLE is an international organization, the standards and scope of practice for IBCLCs are the same worldwide.
IBCLC’s are the gold standard for providing evidence-based lactation support for you and your baby and are especially important if you are having significant problems with milk supply or have a baby that is preterm or has medical challenges.
You may want to see an IBCLC if you are experiencing:
- any nipple or breast pain – breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, although a little soreness and discomfort early
- on may be normal;
- sore nipples that are not improving;
- redness, pain or swelling in the breasts;
- anxiety about breastfeeding.
Or the baby is experiencing:
- inadequate diapers;
- inadequate weight gain;
- squirms, fusses or cries at the breast;
- clicking sounds, hiccups or excessive spit up or vomiting;
- long feeds (45 minutes or longer) and/or frequent feeds (every hour or less) for more than just cluster
- feeding periods at specific times of day;
- short feeds (5 minutes or less);
- no interest in nursing for long periods of time;
- incredibly sleepy and won’t wake for feedings or stay awake during feedings;
- trouble latching.