Lactation is a natural process of producing and releasing human milk from the mammary glands in the breasts.
The process of lactation begins when you get pregnant. In pregnancy, hormonal changes occur that signal the mammary cells to begin the production of the milk that the baby will consume after birth.
Lactation or breastfeeding is not always easy, especially for first-time moms who don’t know how to breastfeed and those who encounter breastfeeding problems. If you are one of those, the good thing is that you can get breastfeeding or lactation support.
Let’s talk about what lactation or breastfeeding support is, when you should start it, and where you can go for lactation support in Tampa, FL.
What is Lactation Support?
Lactation support refers to the help that you get from a lactation specialist during the lactation period. Lactation specialists or consultants receive specialized training and certification to provide you with support, advice, and guidance during your breastfeeding period.
They can help you with lactation or breastfeeding problems, such as:
Not breastfeeding or expressing breast milk can often lead to breast engorgement – a painful condition in which your breasts swell or feel hard.
Low Milk Supply
The production and release of breast milk is a supply-and-demand process. This means your milk supply decreases when you do not breastfeed your baby often.
In addition, many other things, such as supplementing breast milk with formula milk and medications, can cause a low milk supply.
This is an infection of the breasts that can cause flu-like symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, and yellow-colored nipple discharge.
Milk ducts that are clogged don’t drain directly and result in the inflammation of tissues around them.
Adding to the aforementioned problem, you can also get lactation support for latching issues, sore nipples, baby refusing milk, etc.
When Should You Start Getting Lactation Support?
There is no hard and fast rule on when you should start seeing a lactation consultant. You can see them while you are still pregnant, right after you deliver your baby, or several months into breastfeeding when you notice a lactation problem.
It’s a good idea to start getting help during the first few weeks of your baby’s life when you’re still learning to feed your baby through breasts.
Your lactation support can teach you ways to increase or maintain your milk supply (with lactation supplements, massage, latching, etc.) and provide treatment for cracked or sore nipples and breast engorgement. You can also expect to learn the use of breast pumps to express milk and recognize your baby’s hunger cues.
Breastfeeding Support in Tampa, FL
At Children’s Medical Center, we understand the breastfeeding issues of new moms and address the issues to help them breastfeed their babies successfully. In our team, we have dedicated lactation consultants who offer personalized support to you and your baby.
We also offer pediatric services, such as well-child visits, sick-child visits, immunization, and much more.
To schedule an appointment with one of our lactation consultants at one of our locations in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Palm Harbor, Westchase, Trinity, and Luz, call us at (727) 787-6335 or access our convenient online patient portal.