Find a Certified Lactation Consultant
Posted January 18, 2010
There may have been a nurse who helped you with breastfeeding in the hospital, or your midwife or doula may have helped you get started, but you should still schedule a visit with a certified lactation consultant for 3-5 after your deliver, when your milk supply is beginning to depend on proper nursing. With everything that is going on it's hard to make this a priority, but even if you and your baby have the milk flowing perfectly, this person will still able to provide valuable information. She can observe your technique, find out how much milk you baby is getting, check your breasts, check your baby, show you how to use your pump, and provide other valuable advice.
No matter how intelligent, well-read, and surrounded by supportive friends and relatives with breastfeeding experience you may be, you will still benefit greatly from seeing a certified lactation consultant, who is a medical professional. An in-home visit will run around $75-150 and may be covered by your insurance or the benefits office at your workplace - check both! Even if you have to pay this out of pocket, do it. This person may be as important as your pediatrician in assessing how you and your baby are doing early on and getting you both off on the right foot. Of course, just like pediatricians, some are a lot more helpful and competent than others. To find one, do some research online and get recommendations. Make sure this person is certified as an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant)! Here is a helpful site that allows you to find certified lactation consultants in your area. Your consultant may also have or be able to recommend a group class. Group classes are a great follow up to an in-home visit, are not expensive, and are a nice way to meet other moms in your exact situation.