How lactation consultants help breastfeeding mothers

After the birth of your baby, while you are still in the hospital, one thing I would definitely suggest you, is to consult “Lactation Consultants”.

If you have a natural birth, you will stay at the hospital for two days. If you have a C-section, you will stay for four days. During this time at least once, better twice, talk to these consultants.

Get an appointment right after your baby’s birth. You nurse can arrange it for you. Though all the nurses I who took care of me and my son were extremely nice, literally “angels on Earth”, and helped me as much as possible, lactation consultants provided me with a crash course in breastfeeding in an hour.

The most important thing is by observing you they can tell you, what you are doing right and wrong and correct it right there then. Second of all, every nurse has different ideas and methods on lactation. Lactation consultants, just like their name refers to, can help you find “the best method for you and your baby” and present solutions to existing problems. You go over things like lactating positions, supporting methods, latching, whether the baby is really sucking and gulping or not.

These consultants were providing services free of charge at the hospital where I gave birth to my son. I think most of them are part of “La Leche League”. They are not doctors or nurses at the hospital but are supporting personnel working full time at the department of gynecology.

Your gynecologist, your doctor at the hospital, the pediatrician or the consultant can provide you referrals to a number of lactation consultants.

At the hospital, you can call the lactation consultants’ hotline anytime with any questions you might have, free of charge. After you leave the hospital and come home, you would not be able to get answers your questions such as your baby not  adequately nursing , nipple pains, extreme gas or baby not being able to properly gain weight.

In these cases, it is best that you ask your consultant to visit you at home. Even if you have to pay him/her under your insurance policy, it is well worth it. If you know your baby’s nursing times, it is best (s)he comes right before that. Your consultants arrive with a sensitive scale. Before you start breastfeeding the baby, she weighs the baby on the scale. Then (s)he let’s you nurse. She observes how you hold your baby, the latching, the sound the baby makes while nursing, the length of lactation and burping. Then she weighs the baby again. In fact, she weighs the baby separately, after you breastfeed on each breast. Then she tells you how much she/he sucks from each breast and whether this is sufficient or not. She gives you plenty of resources and recommendations before leaving.

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