Breastfeeding is such a natural act, but that doesn't mean your breastfeeding relationship with your baby will just fall into place naturally and without any snags along the way. This can come as a surprise to new mums and create stress and feelings of failure, which can negatively impact on milk supply. If you're struggling, a breastfeeding consultant can work with you for a single appointment or over a prolonged period until you feel comfortable and confident when feeding your baby. The role of a breastfeeding consultant is to offer practical and emotional support as you begin your breastfeeding journey and help you overcome common problems. Here are three ways a breastfeeding consultant can help:
Troubleshooting Latch Problems
In breastfeeding terms, the latch is how your baby's mouth connects to your breast and refers to the positioning of your baby's mouth and the positioning of your nipple during feeds. Latch problems are very common and babies can have trouble latching or staying latched for a number of reasons. When the latch isn't quite right, your baby may not be getting enough milk and you will likely develop sore, cracked nipples and experience breast pain. Your breastfeeding consultant can observe a feeding session and help you try out different breastfeeding positions, such as the koala hold or football hold. They can also check for physical problems, such as tongue-tie or oral thrush, which may make latching difficult.
Improving Milk Supply
Milk supply should increase with demand, but it can vary from woman to woman. Some women struggle to meet their babies' needs. A breastfeeding consultant can work with you to increase your milk supply in those early days of breastfeeding. They may help you develop a schedule for pumping between feeds to encourage an increase in supply, and they can also show you how to massage your breasts to encourage the flow of milk from your glands and prevent your ducts from becoming blocked.
Recommending Breastfeeding Aids
After discussing your breastfeeding goals with you and observing a feed, your breastfeeding consultant can recommend breastfeeding aids that you may find helpful. For example, a breastfeeding body pillow can help you feel more relaxed during feeds, as it supports the weight of your baby and can support you to retain a healthy posture. Additionally, if you don't feel comfortable breastfeeding in public, your breastfeeding consultant can help you choose a safe breastfeeding cover that won't put your baby at risk of overheating. They'll also show you how to use it.
These are just a few examples of how a breastfeeding consultant can help you develop a good breastfeeding relationship with your baby. If you have any questions or think you could benefit from their services, schedule a consultation.