Breastfeeding is natural instinct,biological norm in mammalian world. It is present since existence of mankind and is ubiquitous in nature. Though natural breastfeeding is an art which mother- baby dyed masters gradually. Studies shows that first 3 week after birth is the most difficult time for breastfeeding and almost 30%of women who initiate breastfeeding face some difficulties.
In last 2 decades ,there has been a significant increase in number of mothers who are having one problem or other in initiating or maintaining their lactation journey. True cases of lactation failure are very rare just 1-2%. Rest are due to lack of timely guidance and support.
In this modern era there are many reasons for this rise in cases of mismanaged lactation or failed lactation.Let us have a loom on few common ones.
Nuclear families,no sisterhood advices.Young female becomes mother without having seen anyone breastfeeding in family.Her knowledge on breastfeeding ,neonatal behaviour is not sufficient or at times negligible.
With the advances in modern science ,there is rise in IN -Vitro fertilization technology. This is boon to innumerable infertile couples. But then there are increase number of preterm deliveries, twin deliveries. Preterm babies are immature ,often weak to initiate breastfeeding and often need NICU admission for first few weeks of their life.There is mother baby separation in those crucial days which demand maximum mother-baby contact.Mother is in great stress regarding well being of her newborn and most often clueless on how she should maintain her lactation in absence of baby so that her supplies gradually increase with time and be enough for growing baby.In absence of proper guidance ,common scenario is once the baby is ready to latch,mother's supply has dwindled.
Increase in Caesarean section mode of deliveries and lack of support or trained personnel to new mother to initiate her breastfeeding as early as possible.
Rampant advertisements of formula milk/ infant food and their easy availability.
Lack of knowledge regarding advantages of breastmilk importance of colostrum and harms of giving formula
In all the above scenarios , Lactation Consultant can be of great help.
Lactation Consultant is a health professional who specialises in clinical management of breastfeeding related issues and treating breastfeeding concerns with evidence based practices. Lactation Consultant can be of great help to overwhelmed mother who has advices pouring from all corners and at times contradictory too. The new mother is full of doubts and confusion regarding feeding her newborn. She wants to give her best when it comes to baby's nutition but at times she is unable to do so. Lactation cosultant can help such mothers by teaching appropriate skills and sharing knowledge regarding how breastfeeding works.
Provides accurate and evidence based and scientific information regarding newborn feeding behaviour.
Equips new mother with necessary skill and confidence to initiate breastfeeding immediately after delivery be it normal or c-section.
Teaches mother different positions in which she can feed the baby and also making recommendations on what to avoid to prevent future bad posture related complains such as neck pain or backache in mother.
Guides in attaining optimal latch and empowering new mother on how to ascertain optimal transfer of milk to baby.
Guides on manoeuvres needed to maintain and at times increase breastmilk supplies.
Addresses breastfeeding concerns such as engorgement, mastitis, abscess, sore nipples.
Guides mother on how she should preserve and then boost her supplies in case of mother -baby separation i.e baby is in NICU.
Equips mother with the knowledge and skills required to maintain optimal nutrition of preterm/twins.
Helps mother to maintain lactation in case of maternal illness.
Guides the mother on how she can continue breastfeeding or maintain lactation when she resumes work.
Provides detailed information on available breast pumps in the market and help in choosing the pump that will be optimal for mother depending on her needs.
Shares available options to feed the baby and maintain optimal nutrition in case mother does not wish to breastfeed.
Empowers new mother with the much needed confidence and scientifically backed knowledge so that she can embrace her lactation journey without any major hiccups.
Lactation Consultant will hear you patiently without being judgmental and will provide you solutions most feasible for you.
Types of Lactation Consultation:
Antenatal consultation: we prepare expectant mother for her lactation journey. She has been taught how to hold the baby properly, how to hold the breast so baby can latch properly and how to hand express milk. She is equiped with knowledge and skills to handle minor issues pertaining to her or baby. In my opinion antenatal consultation is the best as it prepares the mother and boosts up her confidence. As we all know prevention is always better than cure.
Postnantal consultation: specific issues are addressed along with brief guiding on how to manage common breastfeeding concerns.