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  • Writer's pictureYour EmmaWell Team

Lactation Consultations - When and Why They Can Help

Updated: Jun 14, 2022

Did you know that most health insurance plans fully cover lactation services as a preventative benefit...and that you don’t even need to leave home to take advantage of this benefit? International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) can successfully support and resolve most common baby feeding issues through a tele-lactation consultation.

Find out when and why you might benefit from a lactation consultation throughout your breastfeeding journey.

During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and considering breastfeeding but don’t know where to start, our Getting Started with Breastfeeding webinar is the perfect way to lay the groundwork for a successful breastfeeding experience. This introductory course gives expectant mothers an overview of the evidence-based benefits of breastfeeding, proper positioning, feeding cues, and tools for addressing common feeding challenges. Besides learning the fundamentals of successful breastfeeding, our webinar, led by the wonderful Boob Donna, is a FUN and INTERACTIVE way to spend an evening with your partner.

If you have personal questions or concerns beyond the basics, then a one-on-one lactation consultation might be a worthwhile to-do in your last trimester. You can discuss any pre-existing health conditions (e.g. breast cancer), previous surgeries (e.g. breast implants), and medication considerations with a trained professional prior to breastfeeding. During this consult, a lactation consultant will work with you (and your partner) to define your desired goals for feeding your baby and customize a plan for your unique situation. You can also review any prior challenges if you aren’t pregnant for the first time and decide on new strategies.

Within the First Two Weeks Postpartum

The first two weeks after giving birth are critical for establishing your milk supply and gaining confidence in your ability to breastfeed your baby. Making an appointment with a lactation consultant shortly after delivery is a smart idea to brush up on breastfeeding tips and techniques for a smooth start.

The IBCLC will discuss your support needs and develop a customized plan to ensure this new experience goes smoothly. Together, you will determine which holding position works best for you and your baby, how to achieve an effective latch and prevent pain, and how often you should feed your baby. Most importantly, you will understand what to expect from your baby and your body in the early weeks.

Two to Six Weeks Postpartum (Typically)

Switching from the breast to the bottle is an essential step in sharing feeding duties and preparing for a stretch of time away from your baby. This new experience for your baby frequently presents a new set of challenges. When you are ready to introduce your baby to a bottle of pumped breastmilk or infant formula, you might have a host of questions about how to proceed.

Scheduling a lactation consultation before your baby’s first bottle will sufficiently prepare you for the next step in your baby feeding journey. In addition to creating a customized plan for you, the IBCLC will educate you on effective pumping, proper fitting of the breast pump flange, cleaning your pump parts, and