Let’s face it- breastfeeding can be intimidating, especially for first time mamas! There are many intricacies and it can be difficult to get all of the help you need. That’s where having a lactation consultant can come in handy. A lactation consultant is a professional breastfeeding specialist that is accustomed to teaching new moms how to feed their baby. This includes a variety of topics such as latching difficulties, painful nursing, and low milk production. Also, for mamas that plan on returning to work or school while still breastfeeding, a consultant can help them learn how to pump and store their milk efficiently.
As helpful as a lactation consultant can be, you may be wondering the best way to communicate your needs or questions. We put together a list to get you started so you can feel confident that you’re getting the assistance you need, while also optimizing the time you have with them!
1. How often should I feed?
You might be surprised by how often babies want to eat. By asking your consultant about the frequency to expect, you’ll be able to gauge what is normal for your little one and catch onto their feeding patterns.
2. How long should each feeding take?
Knowing the amount of time each feeding will take is helpful for making sure your baby is getting enough milk. Your consultant will likely teach you what to look for during feedings to ensure their intake is correct, including the signs that they are properly sucking and swallowing.
3. What do I do if breastfeeding hurts?
Breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful and your consultant will make sure you know how to properly latch to avoid pain. However, it may be uncomfortable at first. They’ll go over the expectation for how you’ll feel throughout the process since it should gradually become less uncomfortable as you adjust to it.
4. How do I know if I’m making enough milk?
This is a common concern for new moms as they want to ensure they’re doing all they can to feed their little one. Your lactation consultant can help you determine whether or not you’re producing enough and give you tips on how to up your production if necessary. You can also check out our blog post where we discuss how to know if your baby is getting enough milk!
5. How often should I pump?
If you’re a new mom coming up on returning to work or maybe wanting to get some more sleep you may have questions about pumping. It is important to know the balance between pumping and feeding so that you can make it work for you and your baby!
Of course these may not be the only questions you have. Don’t be afraid to ask them anything you have concerns about, chances are they’ve heard it before. Breastfeeding is a special and beautiful experience but that’s not to say it’s easy or simple. You deserve all the help there is so ask away mama!