One of the greatest gifts the hospital gives you after your baby is born is a visit with a lactation consultant! People feed you this lie that breastfeeding is natural (true) and will come easily (not true). There are so many different factors that play into each mother and baby’s breastfeeding journey. It’s normal for it to be difficult and confusing! Whether it’s your first or fourth kid a lactation consultant can be very helpful for you and your baby!
Why would I need to see a lactation consultant?
1. Baby isn’t gaining weight: There are few things more terrifying than your newborn baby not gaining weight. There are a variety of issues why this might be happening, but a lactation consultant can help to identify any latch issues that may be causing this. Lactation consultants can identify tongue or lip ties that may be preventing your baby from getting enough milk.
If your baby is struggling with latching, try using an infant pacifier! A newborn pacifier can help your baby practice the sucking motion without the pressure or stress of trying to feed. The ingy bingy band is a great accessory to get to help encourage this sucking without pressure. It is a pacifier wristband that velcros around baby’s wrist and attaches to any infant pacifier or newborn pacifier on the market! One of the biggest complaints we hear with pacifiers is that the infant pacifier keeps falling out of baby’s mouth - the best part of the ingy bingy band is that by around 4 months they can find the pacifier all on their own using the pacifier wristband (babies usually cannot locate via a pacifier clip intul 8 months old)! The ingy bingy band is a real sanity saver for both parents and baby!
2. Pumping: Most moms will pump at some point, whether it’s full-time pumping, pumping at work, or pumping here and there so you can have some time away from baby. A lactation consultant can help you find the right pump and learn how to use it.
If you feel like you aren’t pumping enough to keep up with what your baby eats, then you may want to visit a lactation consultant. They can help you find the proper size flanges so that you get optimum output!
3. Sore Breasts: As your baby grows, you go back to work or start the weaning process, you may find yourself with mastitis or a clogged duct. Lactation consultants can help you to treat these problems and come up with strategies to avoid these issues! Meeting with a lactation consultant before you go back to work or begin weaning is an excellent idea to avoid these painful issues!
4. Support: When I was in the hospital with each of my three kids, I was constantly calling for help with breastfeeding. When we were in the hospital with our third baby, she cried for 4 hours because I couldn’t get her to latch. The next morning the lactation consultant visited us in the hospital and gave us some tips and tricks to help her latch. I was so frustrated because she had such a great first feeding after she was born and then everything hit the fan a few hours later. She reassured us this was normal and helped ease my fears. You’d think after my third time around I’d have had it down by then?!
It's perfectly normal to have questions and concerns about your baby, whether you’ve done it before or not. Each baby is different and presents new challenges! Don’t be afraid to ask for help!