What Does a Lactation Consultant Do? A Guide to Their Role and Services
A lactation consultant is a healthcare professional who specializes in helping people breastfeed their babies. They are trained to assess and identify breastfeeding problems, and to provide education, support, and guidance to people to help them overcome any challenges they may be facing.
Lactation consultants may work in hospitals, clinics, private practice, or other healthcare settings. They may also work with people in their homes or other community settings.
Some of the specific tasks that a lactation consultant may perform include:
Assessing a person's breastfeeding technique: A lactation consultant will observe how a person is breastfeeding and offer suggestions for improvement if needed. This may involve showing the person how to hold their baby, how to latch on to the breast, and how to position the baby properly.
Identifying and addressing breastfeeding problems: Lactation consultants are trained to identify common breastfeeding problems, such as latching issues, low milk supply, and pain or discomfort while breastfeeding. They can work with people to find solutions to these problems and help them continue breastfeeding successfully.
Providing education and support: Lactation consultants can provide people with information about breastfeeding, such as how to tell if a baby is getting enough milk, how to pump and store breastmilk, and how to incorporate solid foods into a breastfeeding routine. They can also offer emotional support to people who may be feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about breastfeeding.
Collaborating with other healthcare professionals: Lactation consultants often work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors, midwives, and nurses, to ensure that people receive the support and care they need while breastfeeding. They may also collaborate with community organizations, such as WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) programs, to provide education and support to people in need.
Overall, the role of a lactation consultant is to provide people with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to breastfeed successfully and confidently. They are an invaluable resource for people who are looking to breastfeed their babies, and can play a crucial role in helping people achieve their breastfeeding goals.