When Should You Seek the Help of a Lactation Consultant?
By Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC, www.second9months.com
Although breastfeeding usually is an enjoyable experience, a mother can face challenges in breastfeeding, and a lactation consultant can help by giving her the tools she needs to overcome them.
Contact a lactation consultant if you experience any of the following:
Any nipple pain in the first 24 hours after birth. Women are often told (or they think) the pain will get better over time or “it’s supposed to hurt at first.” It’s NOT supposed to hurt and this is usually a sign that something is not right—probably a problem with the baby’s latch.
Bleeding, cracked or bruised nipples that are not getting better quickly. (Feeling/ looking better every day or even every feeding.)
Inadequate or questionable weight gain or inadequate wet/dirty diapers any time. For the 1st 5 days a baby should have at least 1 wet diaper for every day she is old. For example; day 1 = 1 wet diaper, day 2 = 2 wet diapers, etc. After day 5 a baby should have at least 6 very wet diapers every day and at least 2 very soiled diapers.
Baby cannot latch on the breast or seems to latch on but “falls off” after a short time.
After day 2, baby is at the breast for long periods of times (over 45 minutes of continuous nursing) wants to go to the breast very frequently (every hour or more) or stays on the breast for a very short period of time (less than 5 minutes) or is unwilling to go to the breast at least every 3 hours.
If you have had breast reduction or augmentation surgery.
A lactation consultant can help identify the problem and develop a plan to address the problem so that you and your baby can enjoy a long, mutually beneficial breastfeeding relationship for as long as you and your baby desire.
Read what to look for in a lactation consultant for more information.