How Can You Tell It's Time to Collaborate with a Lactation Consultant?

21 February 2020
 Categories: , Blog


Breastfeeding is considered a natural process and this makes women believe they should expect a seamless transition with their new child. Nonetheless, childbirth is a natural process that comes with an array of complications, so other aspects like breastfeeding are not a smooth evolution for all mothers and their infants. When you take into consideration the judgement that most mothers receive from, ironically, other mothers, it is unsurprising that women that are undergoing a difficult time with breastfeeding tend to shy away from seeking help.

If you feel this way, it's likely time to consider hiring a lactation consultant. They are trained and subsequently certified to help you through your breastfeeding journey. By no means an exhaustive list of signs, here are a couple of ways to discern that you need to collaborate with a lactation consultant.

1. You feel overwhelmed each time you breastfeed

One of the biggest hurdles new and veteran mothers face is an overwhelming sense of inadequacy when their child keeps rejecting the breast. What you should know is that this is completely normal for many babies. In typical cases, this means that the infant is having a hard time latching onto your breast. As they get frustrated by not being able to feed, you may also start to feel overwhelmed.

A lactation consultant's first task is ensuring that your baby is latching onto the breast. They will guide both you and your baby through the latching process with clinical expertise and with an abundance of patience until you both overcome this hurdle.

2. Your infant is losing weight

The second sign that should prompt you to enlist the services of a lactation consult is when your child is losing weight. The first several weeks of a baby's life outside the womb is characterised by rapid weight gain. During your post-partum visits, you may be advised to substitute your breastmilk with formula if your infant's weight has plateaued. While there is nothing wrong with formula, you should consider consulting with a lactation expert if your baby isn't gaining weight.

For example, your child may be having trouble gaining weight since they are not feeding properly. Thus, you may have sufficient milk supply, but factors such as short feeds can mean your infant is not receiving the nutrition that they require. The lactation consultant will investigate your breastfeeding routine including the number of feeds, the time each feed takes and even your infant's positioning to determine where the problem may lie.