What does a lactation consultant do? Why should I see one?
Updated: May 10
A lactation consultant is a health professional who works with women who are breastfeeding or pumping breastmilk to feed their babies. She is the most qualified person to answer your questions about breastfeeding and pumping and works together with moms to solve challenges that may arise during the breastfeeding journey. In a day’s work, a lactation consultant may work with a baby who will only feed with a nipple shield, a mom who is experiencing cracked
and bleeding nipples, a baby who won’t latch because of a tongue tie, or a mom who is exclusively pumping and wants to make sure she is using the correct size flanges with her breast pump, among many other scenarios.
You may wonder why you should see a lactation consultant. Prenatally, it is recommended to take a breastfeeding class so you are prepared when your baby arrives. After baby is born, it is important to see a consultant if breastfeeding hurts during most of the feeding, your nipples are cracked, bleeding, or have changed in shape after baby eats or if you have concerns about your baby. If your baby isn’t gaining weight appropriately, doesn’t seem satisfied after feeding, or isn’t able to latch or stay latched are other good reasons to see a lactation consultant. Her expertise will help resolve your difficulties in a timely matter.
~Becky Franzen, IBCLC, CLC