What Is A Lactation Consultant And How Can They Help Me?

If you need some help with breastfeeding or you have stumbled upon a breastfeeding issue or concern, a certified lactation consultant will be able to help you. 

If you need some help with breastfeeding or you have stumbled upon a breastfeeding issue or concern, a certified lactation consultant will be able to help you. According to the Association Of Lactation Consultants In Ireland, an international board-certified lactation consultant is a person who provides breastfeeding support to women as well as research-based information and advice.
Each lactation consultant will have undergone extensive training and examinations in the field of breastfeeding so that they can be a huge support to women who want to breastfeed or who are currently breastfeeding.

The greatest benefit of availing of a certified lactation consultant is the fact that they are the source of a solution if you are struggling. In the majority of cases, there will always be a breastfeeding solution to a breastfeeding issue or concern and a lactation consultant is the best person to identify the solution and practically show you how to apply it.
As breastfeeding is the biologically normal way to feed your baby the majority of breastfeeding relationships go on to be really successful and positive – even if you do require a little bit of help and guidance.

In some cases, lactation consultants may be available to you in a group basis in your area. Your PHN may be able to advise on any support groups or classes that are coming up in the area that you live. In other cases, there will be a lactation consultant in your maternity hospital but they tend to be extremely busy and the only resource for the entire hospital.
Requesting to speak to them during your stay is always a good idea to help you get off to a good start but many people will go on to want a private visit from a certified lactation consultant also.
A lactation consultant can help with a multitude of issues and concerns. In some cases, they may help you identify and diagnose a physical issue such as if your baby has a tongue-tie that is proving to make breastfeeding very difficult for the both of you due to latch and pain issues. In this case, they will be able to help you to get the help needed to release the baby’s tongue tie by a medical professional.
In other cases, you may be struggling with latch issues, pain, flat nipples or an over-supply. A lactation has seen and heard it all so never feel as though your concern is trivial as anything that impacts your breastfeeding experience negatively requires some help and guidance. You are not alone.

In most cases, the private consultation will happen in the comfort of your own home and finding a lactation consultant is very straightforward. The ALCI website allows you to search for a certified lactation consultant by area. It will bring up a list of names and contact details of the lactation consultants in your area. If you cannot find one in your specific area look at surrounding counties and areas as many of them will travel or provide support via Skype.

The cost can vary depending on the consultant and travel involved but in many cases, the fee is usually in or around €100. Many health insurance providers will reimburse money for this service so it is worth checking with your provider before you avail of the service.

As a breastfeeding mum, I can honestly say that the hour-long lactation consultant visit to my home made all the difference for my family. It changed everything for me and it was the best money we ever spent.

For more information, you can visit the ALCI website.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.


Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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