How Important Is a Lactation Consultant
They are also referred to as lactation specialists, and these relative newcomers to the healthcare field help mothers with a number of issues. You may find them working in the hospital where you had your delivery, but some also practice privately. Many mothers are frustrated when their newborn refuses to latch when they try breastfeeding for the first time. Often there are other concerns about breastfeeding as well, especially for new mothers.
When I first held my child in my arms, I had only just finished fighting off the effects of the anesthesia. My joy was only broken by his refusal to take the breast. Although my husband tried to put on a brave face, I could tell he was worried too. One of the nurses suggested a lactation specialist and we were clueless as to what she meant. Even though we both declined the offer, I was still curious about this unfamiliar term.
In the most basic sense, a lactation consultant is a teacher who helps mothers with the basics of breastfeeding. She will provide a supportive and nurturing environment for women who are learning how to breastfeed. The consultant will also have up to date information on any devices related to breastfeeding such as breast pumps. Some consultants hold classes for small groups which many women may find beneficial. Often, women who are returning to work after giving birth may struggle with feelings of guilt, or worry about the baby being fed. The lactation consultant serves an important function in this regard as well. She will offer support and suggestions as to how to handle the transition especially if you still want to breast feed.
I wonder sometimes how older women feel about the concept of a lactation consultant. Would they feel that is something women should be able to handle on their own? Or did they seek the assistance of nurses when they had their own children? Whatever the case, a new mother needs a supportive and helpful environment, to make this beautiful experience everything it can be. If a lactation consultant can make this possible, then I say go for it.