Baby breastfeeding

Gold Coast Lactation Consultant, Bec Dawson, discusses what a lactation consultant does
and how to choose the right one for you…..

A Gold Coast Lactation Consultant who does home visits is a great option for mothers
looking for local breastfeeding support. For those mothers who live more remotely a
video consultation with a properly qualified Lactation Consultant is a fantastic option.

“I am often asked what a lactation consultant does and what support they provide” Bec
states. “ It’s a varied role so I’ll list below some of the functions of a Lactation Consultant (LC)”.

Lactation Consultants can help with many things including:

  • Prenatal counselling about the factors that may affect breastfeeding and lactation
  • Assisting mothers to position and latch their baby correctly to ensure breastfeeding isn’t painful,
  • Showing parents a number of different settling techniques,
  • Management options for problems that may arise during breastfeeding such as low supply,
  • Provide support and guidance for parents who are struggling with lack of sleep,
  • Offering advice on how to deal with common breastfeeding issues such as engorgement, mastitis, and nipple damage,
  • Counselling mothers who are finding breastfeeding stressful and are considering weaning,
  • Advice for mothers who are returning to work and would like to continue breastfeeding.

The benefits of hiring a Lactation Consultant

There are many benefits to hiring a Lactation Consultant. First and foremost, LCs offer guidance and advice as mothers navigate the challenges of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can be a difficult process but with the help of an LC it can be made a little bit easier. LCs can provide you with individualised support and advice if you are experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding. They can help you troubleshoot any problems you may be having by offering you suggestions about how to overcome them. LCs are also able to provide information about all areas relating to infant feeding.

As well as assisting with breastfeeding LCs can provide ongoing support to parents after they’ve had a baby. LCs are experts in newborn behaviour and they love sharing their knowledge. Therefore they’re in the perfect position to reassure you that what you’re experiencing is most likely very normal, and much more common than you might think. However, if an LC ever has any concerns about you or your baby, they’ll refer you to the most appropriate healthcare provider to help you.

Some LCs also hold other healthcare qualifications. This enables them to support you with not only breastfeeding but also through your pregnancy, birth and/or postnatal journey.

If you’re considering hiring a Lactation Consultant, on the Gold Coast or remotely, here are some things to keep in mind

If you’re considering hiring a lactation consultant be sure not to rush into it. It’s important to take the time to find one that’s right for you.

Not all lactation consultants are created equal. Literally anyone can call themselves a ‘lactation consultant’ or breastfeeding specialist. Everyone who offers breastfeeding support services has a varying level of skill.

Unfortunately, many women who are experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding seek help from a number of different people before they’re finally pointed in the direction of an Internation Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Make sure you check that the consultant you’re considering working with is fully qualified in the field of lactation. Rather than just someone who has experience helping breastfeeding mothers. IBCLCs are required to complete at least 1000 hours of clinical experience, 90 hours of lactation specific theory and 14 university-level health science subjects before even qualifying to sit the 4 hour exam. Not until this exam (which is available only twice a year) has been passed is the credential of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant achieved.

How to find the right Lactation Consultant for you

Firstly, as above, be sure to research different LCs to find one with the right qualifications to help you. You should also ask for recommendations from your GP and from your friends, colleagues or family members who have previously used an LC.

If you are looking for an LC online, there are a number of ways you can go about it. LCs typically have a website or social media so can be found via a Google search. A great resource for finding a lactation consultant is the Lactation Consultants of Australia & New Zealand’s (LCANZ) “Find a Lactation Consultant” tool. This website allows you to search for LCs by location or specialty. IBCLCs may also be listed on websites such as the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) or the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA). 

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential LCs you could call and speak with them to see if you’ll feel comfortable working with them. The LC should provide you with their pricing. Together with information about what their fee includes. Some LCs charge by the hour and others have a set price for a particular service and/or package. The cost can vary depending on the consultant’s experience and expertise and whether they hold any other healthcare qualifications.

If you have Private Health Insurance you may be entitled to a rebate, depending on your level of cover. Client’s who work with Bec prior to their baby turning 6 weeks old are also eligible for a Medicare benefit.

Should you hire a Lactation Consultant?

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to hire a lactation consultant is up to you. However, if you’re experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding, hiring an LC can be an invaluable way to get the support, advice and reassurance you need.

The benefits of hiring an LC are many, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it. Click here to see the services offered by Bec and find one that suits your specific circumstances.