Today, most mothers understand the health benefits of breastfeeding, but the actual process can be more complicated and challenging than they expect. Experts who understand these challenges are called lactation consultant arlington va. They provide support and advice to both expecting mothers and those who have started breastfeeding to make the process easier.
According to scientific studies, eighty percent of mothers in the US do breastfeed when their children are born. However, less than a third of them continue breastfeeding for the medically-recommended amount of time. Many women abandon breastfeeding before their babies reach their second month.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that babies should be fed breast milk exclusively in the first six months, with breastfeeding continuing throughout the first year. Breastfeeding has both nutritional and psychological benefits for the baby. However, breastfeeding can be a lot more complicated than new mothers expect.
Breastfeeding: The Benefits
Breastfeeding is a good thing for you as well as your baby. It delivers the nutrition your baby needs and helps strengthen your child’s immune system. It is also a powerful bonding experience for both mother and child.
There are long-term health benefits for the mother as well. Research shows that mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer later in life. Breastfeeding is also linked to quicker returns to the mother’s pre-pregnancy weight. Finally, remember that breastfeeding can be more convenient and affordable than other feeding options.
Why A Lactation Consultant?
New mothers need to keep in mind that breastfeeding is a learned skill. Mastering it takes time, practice, and patience. Many women find the early stages of breastfeeding uncomfortable and frustrating; this is normal. Some mothers have added challenges to deal with when breastfeeding, like low milk supply or premature birth. Even if you experience difficulties yourself — sore nipples, a baby that doesn’t like to latch on, or a shortage of milk — you need not give up on breastfeeding.
Lactation consultants are healthcare professionals that concentrate mainly or exclusively on providing breastfeeding assistance. They have extensive training and have been certified for their abilities to help new mothers weather the storms of nursing.
What Does A Lactation Consultant Do?
Lactation consultants can start helping mothers well before the birth of their children. They provide prenatal education and training for expecting mothers and couples. They can also be called in when a mother is having trouble with breastfeeding.
During your pregnancy, you can work with a lactation consultant to get yourself ready for breastfeeding — psychologically as well as physically. Your lactation consultant can help you develop realistic expectations about the nursing process and to prepare for both general and specific problems that you might face. Consultants can also teach you all about the practicalities of breastfeeding, like the best ways to hold your baby or how to fit a breast pump into your nursing routine.
After your child’s birth, there are plenty of other matters a lactation consultant can assist you with; these include:
* Best nursing positions, including nursing after a C-section
* Cluster feeding (i.e. a baby that wants to feed too long)
* Emotional and psychological problems affecting nursing, like postpartum depression
* Low milk supply
* Recommending the best equipment to help with breastfeeding
* Babies who refuse to feed
* Babies who fall asleep while feeding
* Babies who aren’t gaining weight quickly enough
A good lactation consultant works with you and crafts customized solutions to your concerns and problems. Many babies have their difficulties with breastfeeding; they may struggle to latch on, suck, swallow, or breathe. These problems can arise from any number of issues, be they physical, developmental, or neurological. Whatever your challenges, a lactation consultant will help you overcome them.
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