When you decide to breastfeed your first baby, mostly you would suffer from negative feelings like:
Out of sleep
Actually, the early weeks of breastfeeding are representing a challenge for any mom.
And the most common 3 fields are:
Mom’s Pain (like sore nipple)
low breast milk production
Infant difficulties with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding problems usually win the battle and mom surrendered
The proof check those 3 facts about ever (partial) breastfeeding rates in USA (2014):
of the newborn are breastfed at birth. Great, isn’t it?
But wait and look what happened next:
maintained to be breastfed ( not exclusively ) at the 6th month of baby’s age . That is a decrease by more than 35% .
of those babies who continued breastfeeding in the 12th month of age after birth .
- These were the Partial breastfeeding rates.
- Naturally, the problem is bigger when we talk about: Exclusive Breastfeeding = No other liquid or solid from any other source enters the infant ’s mouth.
- Again, take a look at the real world and see the actual figures (also in USA 2014):
the decrease is by more than 50% in less than 3 months!!!
Do you think that pediatricians are suitable for breastfeeding support?
American Academy of Pediatrics answers that question by conducting a survey which included 1000+ pediatricians, and the results were unexpected as follow:
- Only 65% of responding pediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the 1st month of baby’s age.
- Just 37% supported breastfeeding for one year.
- And here is the shocking one:
“Both of formula feeding and breastfeeding are accepted as feeding methods for newborns” The majority of pediatricians agreed with or had a neutral opinion about that statement.
- Additionally, 72% were unfamiliar with the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
- “The majority” of pediatricians had not attended a presentation on breastfeeding management in the previous 3 years.
So, the answer is No. Pediatricians have significant educational needs in the area of breastfeeding management.
Nowadays , American Moms are facing ascending lactation issues & problems. They start well, and by months they fail. Why ? Sure they miss the professional assistant.
Who is Lactation consultant ( IBCLC )?
IBCLC : International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
- Consultant means a person who provides expert advice professionally. And in our case, it would be expert advice of breastfeeding professionally.
She is the person who would help you to overcome your breastfeeding problems.
A healthcare professional responsible for management of breastfeeding and lactation.
IBCLCs are certified by ( International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners) under the direction of the (U.S. National Commission for Certifying Agencies)
IBCLC have a HUGE practical experience . They experienced 1000’s of tough breastfeeding situations.
Who is breastfeeding counselor?
Obviously, they are not the same as Lactation Consultants. Breastfeeding counselors provide:
Phone counseling – Breastfeeding Helpline
Email counseling for members
Run local support group meetings
Administer their local support group.
They don’t gain medical training, neither able to give a medical advice.
Breastfeeding consultant importance for mom
- Provide One to one help with immediate responses.
- Prepare you with a knowledge base about breastfeeding & the new coming guest habits.
- Inform you about all breastfeeding advantages, either for you or for the newborn.
- They are updated with new guidelines & precautions.
- Breastfeeding is a field of misconception, misinformation which could be corrected from an expert like Lactation consultant.
- Corrects the many of breastfeeding diet rumors ( i.e.: drink milk to produce milk ).
- Save your money instead of buying additional products.
- Seeking IBCLC would save your time from trying & error.
Not only that, but they help moms ” Emotionally “
- Guide you to relaxing techniques.
- IBCLC is excellent in boosting your confidence & spirit.
- How to properly approach the postpartum depression.
- Diminish the opportunity of frustration due to failure.
- Evaluate your desire\motive to breastfeed and help you to raise both of them.
- Provide support of your decision regarding multiple issues ( i.e., Use a baby Pacifier or not)
- The follow-up & coaching for what you learned like latching skills.
- Educate your partner, or any family member r how to assist you during breastfeeding journey.
- How could you delegate some tasks to household
The last two points are significant, where it was the 1st cause to continue breastfeeding journey
That happened in the interactive helping process. With a high level of engagement & practicing. Including supply with visual aids & books.
Breastfeeding consultants are well organized and trained in
- Recording breastfeeding patterns – duration – frequency, etc.
- Reporting to other health care professionals on other medical issues for you or your infant.
- Assist you to breastfeed if you are a smoker or may enhance you to quit from her broad experience background.
- Checking if you are taking a drug that may reduce your milk supply
- Showing you how to deal with alcohol drinking while breastfeeding
- Helping to check emptying of your breast efficiently.
- Teaching how to re-lactate
- Learning you through Lactation aids.
- Alternative methods of feeding (like cup feeding)
- Skin integrity of nipple
Nipple soreness is one of the most frequent reasons to stop breastfeeding during the first 3 months
- Also, how to deal with the flat, inverted, cracked and bleeding nipple.
60% of nursing moms suffer from nipples problrem, especially in the first 2 weeks.
- How to overcome breast congestion.
- The accurate road map when you back to work or study.
- How to breastfeed in sophisticated lifestyles.
- How to contraception while breastfeeding (the LAM way)
IBCLC knows how to diagnose
- Galactocele (cyst filled with breast milk)
- Breast Ecchymosis (A small hemorrhagic spot in the breast skin or mucous membrane).
- Breast eczema
- Galactorrhea (excessive production of milk)
- Mammary hypoplasia ( insufficient glandular tissue of the breast which can cause low or no milk production)
- Agalactia ( Lactation failure or deficiency ).
- Breast Hypoplasia ( underdevelopment or incomplete development of breast).
IBCLC teaches you how to deal with
- Plugged breast ducts
- Breast abscess & Mastitis.
- How to breastfeed in the cases of:
- Diabetes (Either on tablet or on insulin)
- Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism
- How to correct the uncomfortable breastfeeding positions.
- Know which breastfeeding technique is suitable for you (If you have Large breasts).
- The proper signs of the shallow baby latch (poor latch).
- How to breast massage to stimulate milk in your breasts.
- When and how to breast pump.
- How to pick suitable pump flanges (upon your breast size).
- How to breast milk storage properly upon guidelines.
- She would show you how to exclusive breast pumping ( EPing ) when direct breastfeeding is impossible.
- She would show you the when & how to pain-free weaning
- They help you to cure Candidiasis of your breast or nipple (Thrush).
- In the case of breast pain, she could estimate the severity by giving it a score from 1 to 10. Where not all pain is the same.
Lactation consultant importance “For your baby”
- How to supplement your baby while breastfeeding is maintained.
- Bad baby nutrition signs.
- Baby’s mouth ulceration
- Evaluate baby stool & urine.( Colour – Texture/smell – frequency)
- Learn you that what is normal about baby weight loss during first days ( within 7% of his birth weight ).
- How to breastfeed a baby with jaundice
- How to calm a fussy baby.
- If you had twins.
- How to breastfeed your baby upon hungry cues, not on a schedule.
- IBCLC would provide you with tips for baby sleep.
- How to baby massage.
- Detect abnormal baby gastric reflex which needs treatment
- Dehydration due to diarrhea
Even more, regarding the hidden and uncommon situation like
- In the case of a premature baby, you need their help on feeding pattern, what to expect, etc.
- Micrognathia (Baby’s Jaw problem).
- Microgenia (Baby have a small chin).
- Microglossia (Abnormal small tongue).
- Macroglossia (Enlarged tongue).
- Sleep Apnea (pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while baby sleep).
- Hypo or Hypertonicity of the baby (Muscle disorders).
- Down syndrome (6,000 children with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year).
- Dysphagia ( Swallowing difficulty).
- Baby Oral movement abnormality.
- Facial asymmetry and Facial palsy (Face nerves paralysis).
- In case of baby’s cleft lip or cleft palate, Lactation consultant would feed you with the suitable way to breastfeed
- Detect anomalies (organs misshapen) in your child like Tie tongue.
- Food allergy & Lactose intolerance
- Growth or Motor retardation ( under-developed or dysfunction )
Where can you find an IBCLC?
– Birthing centers
– Pediatric offices
– Public health clinics & programs
– Private practice, where care is provided in your home or the consultant’s office in the community.
Visit ILCA .org ( International Lactation Consultant Association ) official website : http://www.ilca.org/why-ibclc/falc
You can search for a specific Lactation consultant by name or area as shown below:
Another source : United states Lactation consultant Association
Here, you can search by distance around you ( example: 30 miles )
How could IBCLC introduce their help ?
- Home visits.
- Follow up visits.
- Parenting classes.
- Telephone assistance.
- Introduce some visual aids (Books, videos)
Are you hiring the good IBCLC ?
You can evaluate your IBCLC by checking these tips:
In breastfeeding, time is meaningless
The length of each breastfeeding session is not much important, why?
- As your baby may suck aggressively, so he gains much milk in short time.
- In contrary, a poorly latched baby may suck for 30 minutes winning less milk than what you think.
Number of breastfeeding session/day
- Where six times of good latched, skilled baby in sucking is much better than
12 times of shallow latched baby.
Intervals between each breastfeeding session
- As we all know, one size doesn’t fit all, and that is applicable for breastfeeding also. Breastfeeding on schedule (every 2 hours) is not always the right approach.
- The good IBCLC would teach you how to communicate with your child effectively, by watching his hunger cues instead of feeding him every individual time.
® She may offer her experience related to some products ®
- However, she shouldn’t over insist on that. Additionally, she is not pushing you toward particular offer or any commercial deal.
Patient & Persistent are vital keys to a good baby latch
- If IBCLC decided that you can’t breastfeed, ask for another one. Since it is very rare situations in which breastfeeding is impossible.
- Seek another IBCLC if she offered nipple shields or bottles before your breast milk supply is well established ( 4 to 6 weeks after birth).
- Usually, there are better ways for feeding babies than using a bottle.