What Does a Lactation Consultant Do?

IBCLCs provide a wide range of services and support for families expecting a new baby and families whose new baby has arrived. Oasis Lactation Services sees patients in their homes or via telehealth. Here’s a list of things you may use an IBCLC for:

  • assess breast milk production and overall milk supply
  • assess milk transfer (is baby drinking milk from the breast and if so, how much)
  • assess latch and positioning during feeds
  • provide information about supplementing breast milk
  • provide information about weaning from breast
  • provide information about feeding complimentary solid foods
  • provide information about health care providers to diagnose and treat conditions associated with breastfeeding difficulty (tongue tie, thyroid function, diabetes, palate asymmetry, endocrine disorders, GI problems like reflux, fertility problems, obesity, torticollis)
  • provide information about the safe use of medications in breastfeeding mothers
  • provide information about alcohol use in breastfeeding mothers
  • provide information on the safe use of donor milk
  • connect women with HBANA certified milk banks to give or receive human milk
  • assess maternal well being and recommend providers for additional postpartum care
  • assess risk factors for future breastfeeding challenges
  • assess breast pump fit and function
  • develop feeding plans for breast, bottle, cup, and solid feeding
  • develop breast pumping plans
  • provide solutions for positioning nursing pairs with special health considerations
  • develop prenatal breastfeeding plans
  • provide information about common labor and delivery procedures that may impact breastfeeding
  • provide information about common newborn conditions that impact feeding such as jaundice
  • provide information on developing the baby’s latch on capabilities
  • provide information on normal infant behavior such as sleep patterns, stooling, and feed volumes
  • provide information about safe sleep, co-sleeping, and room sharing
  • provide information about milk storage and handling
  • provide information about choosing, mixing, and handling formula
  • provide information about off-breast feeding methods including bottles, syringes, and cups
  • provide information about at-breast supplementing
  • provide information about first aid for breast damage
  • provide information on first aid for common breast conditions (thrush, staph, nipple cracks, etc)
  • listen to birth stories and help mothers sort out their feelings as they recover
  • give mother’s tools to advocate for their breastfeeding goals
  • give information on laws protecting nursing mothers in public and the work environment
  • give information on the risks and benefits of holistic, complimentary, or non-western treatments in breastfeeding pairs
  • teach infant calming techniques like massage, body mapping, and the “magic baby hold”
  • give information on nutrition for families with food allergies
  • provide information on dental health as it relates to breastfeeding
  • educate families about the WHO Code for marketing of breastmilk substitutes

What IBCLCs do NOT do:

  • prescribe medications
  • diagnose conditions in mother or baby
  • facilitate informal milk sharing
  • wet nurse
  • force everyone to breastfeed

 

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