The Scoop on Lactation Consultants

September 04, 2013 4:43 PM by

Who are they? Professionals trained to help new moms and dads with breastfeeding questions and challenges.

Do you need one? Yes—especially if they’re available at your hospital for free, and most are. Even if you think you’re doing fine, it can’t hurt to have someone stop in during a feeding—they can offer suggestions or just confirmation that you’re doing it right. And be sure to talk to one if you have very sore nipples, a baby who’s not gaining weight, or a baby who’s having trouble latching on and sucking.

How can they help? A lactation consultant can help you find the most effective position for breastfeeding your baby; give you tips for increasing your milk supply; and assist with the challenges of breastfeeding multiples, premature babies, and babies who have problems breastfeeding.

What if my hospital doesn’t offer this service for free? Lactation consultant rates range from $50 to $200, depending on where you live. Your insurance may fully or partially cover this cost.

 

* DID YOU KNOW?

One study found that nearly 75 percent of women initially breast-fed their baby when their partner supported their decision, versus 2 percent when he did not.

SOURCE: DR. ROBERT GREEN’S PERFECT HORMONE BALANCE FOR PREGNANCY

About

Kendra Smith is Pregnancy magazine's editor in chief. Her son was born in December 2011 and she can hardly believe where the time went. In addition to her expertise on this exciting phase in a women's life, she's a big believer in all things green, from cars (she drives a hybrid) to composting (yes, even her son's diapers). As a licensed skin care professional, she also blogs about natural beauty at theskindetective.com.

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