Welcoming a little one into the world is a magical experience, and the journey of breastfeeding is a significant part of that adventure. While the concept of lactation is a natural physiological process, the art of breastfeeding and milk expression is a learned skill for both you and your baby and can come with many challenges. For some moms, breastfeeding may not be an option, and that's perfectly okay. Every mother's journey is unique. If you are considering breastfeeding as your preferred option, bottle-feeding or a mix of both, here is how a lactation consultant can help you along the way.
Breast milk is celebrated as the optimal first food for newborns, offering numerous benefits for both mom and baby beyond its nourishing qualities! For moms, it stands out as a convenient and cost-effective option, contributing to the protection against breast and ovarian cancers, preventing certain illnesses like diabetes and osteoporosis, and promotes post-pregnancy weight loss.
These benefits extend to your little one, providing a shield against illnesses, decreasing the risks of asthma, obesity, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) to name a few. In fact, it is recommended by the Canadian Pediatric Society and World Health Organization to exclusively breastfeed during the first six months of your baby's life and to continue breastfeeding alongside complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.
Now you might be thinking, "Easier said than done!" The reality is, navigating the world of breastfeeding and milk expression is a skill that both you and your little one need to pick up. When the going gets tough, keep in mind that your baby is a newbie at this too! It's a learning process you're tackling side by side.
Navigating the challenges of breastfeeding can be a source of significant stress and anxiety for both you and your family. You might encounter hurdles such as a shallow and painful latch, low milk supply, a fussy baby, or issues like tongue and/or lip ties. On top of that, life's twists and turns—like caring for other children, dealing with chronic illness, or heading back to school or work—can pose additional obstacles to achieving your feeding goals.
In times of struggle, it's crucial to reach out for support, and that's where a lactation consultant can be a game-changer. Chances are, at some point in your pregnancy or motherhood journey you have heard of the term IBCLC. An Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant is your go-to expert, specially trained in lactation management and breastfeeding support. They're available to assist you in hospitals and communities, both before and after welcoming your baby into the world.
IBCLCs bring a wealth of knowledge in the science of lactation, offering personalized, one-on-one care because they understand that no two feeding journeys are alike. These consultants can help you with a range of feeding challenges, from recognizing hunger cues and managing sore nipples to achieving an optimal latch, adjusting milk supply, navigating pumping and bottling, and even easing into the weaning process.
Whether you're aiming for exclusive breastfeeding, opting for a mix of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, or considering relactation after a period of illness or surgery, lactation consultants are your dedicated allies. Armed with up-to-date and evidence-based knowledge, your IBCLC will craft a tailored care plan to support you in reaching your unique feeding goals.
Click here to book a consultation with an IBCLC at Push Mama Care today!