Breast milk contains the ideal nutrient balance for a baby’s growth and helps strengthen their immune system. Many nutritionists see human breast milk as ideal for infant nutrition. As an expecting or new mother, breastfeeding can seem overwhelming; it is a learned skill that requires time, patience, and practice. If you are experiencing difficulties breastfeeding, a lactation specialist can offer ongoing one-on-one breastfeeding support.
Let’s go over some of the questions you might want to ask your lactation specialist during your consultation.
What is a Lactation Specialist?
A lactation specialist is a health professional who has received specialized training and certification for addressing breastfeeding issues. These credentials make a lactation consultant qualified to provide professional support, advice, and guidance to people who choose to breastfeed.
A lactation specialist can address a variety of nursing issues, like clogged milk ducts and poor supply. They can also assist you in mentally and physically preparing for nursing your baby. A lactation consultant works directly with you to develop a tailored solution to overcome any breastfeeding challenges you may encounter.
What Should You Ask Your Lactation Consultant?
1. How Do I Make Sure My Baby Latches On Correctly?
If your baby cannot attach to your breast due to incorrect positioning, it can affect milk supply and cause discomfort when feeding, like nipple soreness and skin damage. It is vital to know how to position your baby when breastfeeding to make sure you produce enough milk to feed your baby well.
A lactation specialist can address this issue by working with you to develop a nursing position comfortable for you and your baby. They’ll observe you while breastfeeding, taking note of how you and your baby behave during the process. After observation, they can point out things you can change to make breastfeeding easier for you.
2. How Can I Increase Or Keep My Milk Supply Stable?
The more you breastfeed or express your breast milk by pumping, the more milk your breasts will produce. If these do not work and your milk supply is low, a lactation consultant can guide you on what you can do to increase your milk supply.
3. How Can I Tell If My Baby Is Getting Enough Breastmilk?
Your newborn baby should be actively feeding. Consistent weight gain is the most reliable indicator that your baby is receiving enough nutrition.
If you have concerns about your baby’s weight, a lactation specialist can help you identify if the problem is related to your nursing.
4. How Do I Store My Breast Milk?
It’s good to pump and save the milk you produce. However, ensuring the safety and quality of breast milk in storage can be tricky.
A lactation consultant can walk you through steps to properly store breast milk. They can also help you with your breast pump usage by examining the flange, the plastic piece that fits over your nipple. An improper fit can affect how much milk you pump.
5. Is Formula Feeding A Good Alternative If I Choose Not To Breastfeed?
Breastfeeding is a personal preference. Difficulties such as painful nipples and low milk supply play a role in a person’s decision to discontinue breastfeeding. As long as you choose to continue breastfeeding, a lactation specialist will work with you to improve your chances. If you decide to stop, you can consult with them about possible alternatives and their benefits and drawbacks.
If you are a first-time mom, the following questions can be helpful to ask your lactation specialist:
1. How Do I Start Breastfeeding?
It’s vital to get your baby used to breastfeeding as soon as possible, so learning how to breastfeed early in your baby’s life is best. A lactation consultant can collaborate with you and your baby to improve the likelihood of a long and successful breastfeeding experience.
2. What Can I Expect During The First Few Days?
Breastfeeding is difficult for many women, especially in the early stages. A lactation consultant can provide emotional support, encouragement, and practical advice.
3. How Will I Know If Something Isn’t Right?
Taking care of your first baby is going to be a learning experience. No matter how many baby books you’ve read, the first time will always feel like a challenge. A lactation consultant can help you with any questions and troubleshoot issues specific to you and your baby.
Lactation Specialist in Florida
Breastfeeding is the recommended way of feeding your baby, as it is the best source of nutrition. However, it can be more challenging than most expect. Children’s Medical Center provides lactation services from our dedicated and certified lactation consultants to moms and their babies.
If you have any questions about breastfeeding, contact us at (727) 787-6335 or access our convenient online patient portal to schedule an appointment.
We have several locations in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida, including Palm Harbor, Westchase, Trinity, and Luz. We look forward to helping you and your baby get the care you need!