Two ways in which a lactation consultant could help a first-time mum

Many first-time mums encounter difficulties when breastfeeding. These women could benefit from using a lactation consultant's home health care service. Read on to learn about some of the ways in which this consultant could help a first-time mother.

They could help her to feed her infant in a more efficient manner

Sometimes, first-time mums find that it takes them a frustratingly long time to breastfeed their babies. For example, it might take a new mum 20 minutes or more to get her infant to latch on. If delays like this start to happen during the night-time feeding sessions as well as the daytime ones, the mum in question could miss out on too much sleep, which could leave her dangerously exhausted and so upset that she stops noticing and enjoying the many precious moments that occur during the first few weeks of motherhood.  

In this situation, a lactation consultant could come to the mother's home and show her how to speed up the latching process. They might, for example, advise her to sit in a different chair when nursing if the current chair that she uses puts her upper body in a position that is not conducive to speedy latching. Just one or two at-home sessions with this lactation expert could enable a new mum to breastfeed more efficiently and thus ensure that the night-time feeding sessions don't cause her to miss out on more sleep than she really has to.

They can assist her with transitioning to formula or with combining breastfeeding and formula-feeding

If a new mum needs to start using a combination of breast milk and formula to feed her infant or if she wants to transition to only using formula because she needs to go back to work or is finding breastfeeding too exhausting, then she should ask this healthcare consultant to visit her home and help her.

The consultant could, for instance, draw up a feeding schedule that gradually increases the amount of formula her baby consumes (so that the baby is given a chance to adjust to drinking from a bottle) and offer the mother tips on how to deal with the latching problems that could arise if the baby is regularly switching between bottle feeding and breastfeeding. They can also offer guidance to the mother if she needs to express the excess milk that she producing (something which she might have to do to avoid issues such as mastitis or painful engorgement, both of which can occur when a woman has a build-up of milk and does not remove it).

To learn more, contact a lactation consultant.