Being a new parent is a challenge, especially when it comes to your first child, and babies don’t come with an instruction manual – but that doesn’t mean you’re alone on this journey. No matter what stresses you face as a new mom, there are plenty of people, both experts and family and friends, who want to support you. This is no less true when it comes to breastfeeding, and your best source of support is a trained lactation consultant.
Because making sure that your baby is fed is so important, it’s best not to wait until you’re having difficulties to contact a lactation consultant. Rather, by ensuring you have one lined up even before you give birth, you can minimize your struggles and have a more positive breastfeeding experience.
Benefits Before Birth
Many lactation consultants like to meet with their clients before they give birth to make sure they have everything they need when baby arrives. In particular, your lactation consultant can help you pick out the right breast pump for your needs, selecting bottles and milk storage solutions, and talk to your partner about sharing feedings; Ashland Breast Pumps offers a variety of options that may even be covered by insurance. Additionally, some lactation consultants may also recommend supplements to support milk production, recommend items like popular nursing bras, and all provide valuable emotional support.
Once your baby arrives, you’ll quickly discover how important it is to have a lactation consultant on your side, as they can provide a variety of valuable technical tips that will make breastfeeding easier. For example, your lactation consultant can teach you different breastfeeding positions and help you find the best one to support yours and baby’s comfort, as well as support their ability to form a strong latch.
Having a lactation consultant to help you if you have a multiple birth or are engaged in tandem nursing, in which an older baby or toddler and a new infant are both breastfeeding, which may happen, particularly if you use a baby-led weaning philosophy or nurse past the first year. Both of these can be challenging in different ways, but a lactation consultant can help you navigate the process.
As noted above, your lactation consultant can provide vital emotional support for breastfeeding mothers, and this can be particularly important if you encounter greater than average challenges when feeding your little one. In fact, this may be the most important service that lactation consultants offer because difficulty breastfeeding is linked to postpartum depression. Yes, as incredibly valuable as breastfeeding can be for bonding and generating positive feelings, when it doesn’t go well, mothers often feel as though they’ve failed – but they haven’t. Breastfeeding struggles are normal, but lactation consultants can ease the stress involved.
Building On The Benefits
Breastfeeding has many long-term health benefits, for both mother and baby, but if the process is going to be successful, you need all of the support you can get. By working with a lactation consultant from the start – beginning even before birth – you can ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Though some bumps in the road are to be expected, your lactation consultant can help pave the way for you.