What is a Lactation Consultant

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What is a Lactation Consultant
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What is a Lactation Consultant?

A lactation consultant is a health professional who specialises in helping women breastfeed their babies. We support, educate and empower new mums and newborns with breastfeeding and sleeping challenges and normalise an often daunting phase of motherhood.

Seeing a lactation consultant during the antenatal period can help you prepare for breastfeeding your baby, just as you prepare for your labour and birth.

A lactation consultant can provide support and advice for mothers with:

  • Positioning and attachment of your baby
  • assessment and management of milk supply
  • management of medications and breastfeeding
  • babies with cleft lip or cleft palate
  • babies with tongue/lip ties
  • multiple babies (twins or more)
  • mastitis
  • management of sore nipples
  • breast and nipple thrush
  • reassure you that some of the ‘unexpected’ (but totally normal!) newborn behaviours are in fact normal
  • any other breastfeeding concerns
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What to expect from a lactation consultant?

One on one care. Confidential support in a non-judgemental environment. Someone to sit with you and watch how your baby feeds to help your home environment survive a baby. You should never feel alone in the process. If you feel uncomfortable talking to your lactation consultant, that might be a sign that you should start looking for a different one.

A lactation consultant will:

  • Observe your baby’s appearance and behavior.
  • Examine your breasts and your nipples.
  • Watch your baby as she’s breastfeeding and adjust your breastfeeding position if need be.
  • Check whether or not the baby is latching on, sucking, swallowing, and breathing properly.

What should I ask a lactation consultant?

  • Are they certified with the international lactation consultation board, the IBCIC.
  • What is the Consultants philosophy on maternal health, breastfeeding and sleep management.


What is an IBCLC lactation consultant?

Some health professionals such as midwives, neonatal nurses and maternal and child health nurses may also study to become International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). IBCLC® lactation consultants are recognised throughout the world as holding the premier global credential in the lactation care profession.

They are;

  • Knowledgeable about up-to-date evidence-based practices in lactation as demonstrated through a rigorous exam process and re-certification at 5-year intervals.
  • Focused on preventative care.
  • Experienced in a wide variety of complex breastfeeding situations.
  • Competent to assist mothers with establishing and maintaining breastfeeding, even in difficult and high-risk circumstances.
  • Sensitive to the needs of both mothers and children as they work to help mothers meet their breastfeeding goals.
  • Ethical in their practice, held accountable to Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics, and working within a defined Scope of Practice.

The IBCLC requires thousands of hours of experience and training in anatomy, physiology, sociology, psychology or counseling, child development, nutrition, and medical terminology.

If you have more questions, you can contact me below to ask a question or book a free 20 minute chat over the phone or find out more about my services and packages

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