While breastfeeding is a fulfilling experience for many moms, it isn’t always easy. There are a handful of common breastfeeding problems that may arise, including latching issues, breast engorgement, low milk supply, and more.
These challenges can be frustrating, uncomfortable, and sometimes downright painful, but they are not insurmountable, and breastfeeding shouldn’t be a painful experience. There are trained experts whose job is to help you navigate your most difficult breastfeeding days.
Here’s how working with a lactation consultant can ease the journey and help you continue for as long as you intend to.
"I loved my lactation consults with Ruth Health. I received expert advice that gave me confidence in my breastfeeding journey. As a new mom, it was awesome to get that kind of counsel without leaving the house."Jess S, Ruth Health patient
Breastfeeding is a personal choice, but many parents don’t breastfeed for as long as they intend to because they are discouraged by breastfeeding problems.
Lactation consultants are healthcare professionals who can offer a solution for just about any obstacle you encounter on your breastfeeding journey, so that you can fulfill your personal intentions with breastfeeding.
Many professional lactation consultants are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) or Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs).
These certifications require rigorous training requirements, and choosing an IBCLC or CLC can help ensure that you receive high-quality care.
While a lactation consultant is pivotal when breastfeeding gets tough, you don’t need a problem in order to see one. They can offer general breastfeeding support and guidance, even before your baby arrives.
It’s common for nipples to become sore early on while breastfeeding — they need some time to adjust to this journey too! — but the soreness should lessen over time.
Some moms feel discomfort at the beginning of a session as their baby first latches on, but that should also ease up throughout the session.
Ongoing discomfort during a session could be an indication of latching issues. If you are unable to correct the latch, or still experience pain when your baby latches properly, it’s time to contact a lactation consultant.
So many aspects of breastfeeding — including any discomfort that you experience — come back to your baby’s latch, or how they take your breast in their mouth to feed. Pain during nursing and sore nipples are two main indications of a poor latch.
Unfortunately, most babies don’t enter this world with a perfect latch, so some trial and error is to be expected. The key is to have your baby cover the areola when they latch, not only your nipple.
If you are experiencing latching issues, a lactation consultant can observe you and your baby during a feeding session and demonstrate how to encourage a good latch or correct an improper one.
They can also suggest specific breastfeeding positions that may help your baby latch better.
If your baby doesn’t latch at all, remember to pump/express milk every 2-3 hours to protect your milk supply while you wait to see a lactation consultant.
Some lactation consultants partner with hospitals, birthing centers, and pediatricians, while others have private practices or run their own businesses.
It’s best to contact your insurance company directly before choosing a lactation consultant to avoid any surprise bills.
A number of lactation consultants, including Ruth Health’s Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs) offer virtual sessions, giving you access to breastfeeding support on your own time, and from the comfort of your own home.
The convenience of virtual sessions makes it much easier to honor the “slowing down” phase of postpartum.
Many lactation consultants charge between $200 and $300 per hour. Ruth Health’s 30-minute 1:1 sessions start at $75 for a single session and as low as $64 when you purchase a package.
"I decided to join the Ruth Health team because I wanted to be a part of a company that's doing true and meaningful work. It makes me feel good to know that other new parents can get the support they need."Raye Parris, Ruth Health Certified Breastfeeding Specialist
It’s important to work with a lactation consultant you feel comfortable with.
While breastfeeding is a unique connection between you and your baby, support is key to overcoming any issues that you encounter.
Ruth Health offers nearly 24/7 virtual lactation support from Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs) to provide individualized care on your time. You can use this support to begin preparing for the journey of breastfeeding even before your baby arrives.
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