Pregnancy can be a trying time for many women. However, once your baby is born, you'll have a whole new host of concerns. Many women choose to breastfeed their children due to the health and relationship benefits that breastfeeding can confer. Unfortunately, breastfeeding isn't always easy, but your pediatrician can provide lactation support that will help you and your child stay as healthy and happy as possible. Here are some things that a lactation consultant can do for you:
1. Provide trustworthy information
New mothers are inundated with advice, opinions, and information that may not be completely trustworthy. In order to do your best for your child, you need factual information that will allow you to develop a strong and sustainable breastfeeding practice. Lactation consultants can give you information about infant nutrition. They can suggest the best time to wean your child, as well as when to start allowing your child to explore solid foods. Mothers can feel confident feeding their babies after speaking with lactation support professionals.
2. Check your child's latch
Before babies can feed from their mothers, they must latch onto her nipples. This action is instinctual, but some babies struggle to latch properly. An improper latch can cause babies to swallow air, leading to painful gas. It can also cause pain for mothers as an improper latch may irritate the nipples. If you're struggling with breastfeeding, a lactation consultant can observe the process. They can check your child's latch and suggest improvements that can make the experience more comfortable for both of you.
3. Prescribe remedies for sore and cracked nipples
Many women cherish the time they spend breastfeeding their babies. However, everything about the breastfeeding process is not always pleasant. It's common for women to experience soreness and dryness on their nipples. A lactation consultant can suggest remedies you can use to improve your comfort level. Moisturizers made with lanolin and petroleum can protect the delicate skin of your nipples so you can continue breastfeeding your child.
4. Offer information about formula supplementation
Breastfeeding is good for babies, but the most important thing is that your child is fed. Some women don't produce enough breastmilk to feed their babies for one reason or another, which can lead to feelings of guilt or failure. However, there's nothing wrong with supplementing your child's breastmilk diet with baby formula. A lactation consultant can give you more information about how to go about supplementing your breastfeeding practice with formula and soft foods.
For more information, reach out to a lactation consultant near you.