WHEN SHOULD YOU CALL A LACTATION COUNSELOR?
- If you are experiencing persistent nipple pain, cracked or blistered nipples.
- Your baby is not able to latch.
- Your are worried about your supply of breastmilk.
- Your baby has reflux or other known GI problems that interfere with feeding.
- You have or suspect you may have a breast infection.
- Your baby is not able to sustain a feeding.
- Your baby was born with a genetic disorder and is having a difficult time breastfeeding.
- Your baby is not gaining an appropriate amount of weight.
- You want to develop a plan for returning to work.
- You feel that breastfeeding is not going well, or you are not enjoying breastfeeding.
WHAT DOES A LACTATION COUNSELING EVALUATION LOOK LIKE?
A comprehensive history of your breast feeding and medical history will be taken prior to observation of a feeding. Skin to skin will be established followed by observed of a typical feeding. Assessments will be made to overall breast health, the babies ability to successfully latch and encourage milk exchange. Individualized strategies will be provided throughout the feeding in order to help aid in success. Initial evaluation typically take 1-2 hours depending on the mothers and babies needs.
WHY SEE A SPEECH THERAPIST FOR LACTATION NEEDS?
Speech therapists are trained to be experts in feeding and swallowing. The additional certification of Lactation Counselor allows a speech therapist to not only assess latch and breast health, but also the babies oral structures, optimal positioning needs and swallowing safety. In addition, speech therapists collaborate closely with pediatric dentists in order to help families if a tongue or lip tie is suspected.