What are Lactation Consultants, Specialists, and Educators?
Lactation Consultants are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (or IBCLC) and are the recognized professional authority in lactation care. They give breastfeeding education, counseling, support, advice, and clinical and hands-on care to mothers and their babies during pregnancy, birth and throughout the breastfeeding relationship. They are clinically trained to help manage the normal and not-normal breastfeeding situations and challenges that may arise. There are both private practice and in-hospital Lactation Consultants that offer a variety of services.
Lactation Specialists (and Educators and Counselors) are specialists who have gone through basic training, and can give breastfeeding education, counseling and support to mothers and their families during pregnancy, birth and throughout the breastfeeding relationship. They are trained to help mothers through normal breastfeeding situations.
Why do I need Breastfeeding support?
- Mothers are more successful meeting their breastfeeding goals when they have support among their families, community, and professionals.
- Lactation Specialists and Consultants often offer prenatal education and support for expectant families.
- Lactation Specialists and Consultants can help mothers find answers to questions regarding what is normal in the breastfeeding relationship.
- Many Lactation providers offer free support groups for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
- Lactation Consultants can help mothers when more serious challenges arise, such as sore nipples, infections, tongue tie, low supply, over supply, etc.
- Lactation Consultants and some Specialists work with the mother’s and baby’s care providers for more complete and evidenced-based care.
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