Even for the experienced mother, breastfeeding can come as a challenge in the early postpartum period. For the mother who wants to breastfeed, early support from a professional is a huge key to success.
Number 1: Your baby is having trouble latching
This is a common early problem. It can occur for a number of reasons. Improving the latch may be as simple as having an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) show you some basic techniques that facilitate an ideal latch. If you don’t see improvement with adjustments, further evaluation may be needed.
Number 2: Your nipples are sore and/or damaged
Transient tenderness in the very early stages of breastfeeding is not necessarily an indicator of a problem. However, if the pain becomes more than you can bear or seems to be extending past the first week or so, there could likely be an issue that needs to be addressed. Nipple pain is often reported as a risk factor for premature weaning, and can be resolved with help from an IBCLC.
Number 3: You’re worried about your milk supply
Milk supply often tends to weigh heavily on a mother’s mind. It is very common to worry that your baby is not getting enough milk. Milk supply can be affected by a number of factors – an IBCLC can help you determine whether there actually is a concern with your milk supply, and work to resolve possible issues.
Number 4: Your baby is having trouble gaining weight
A small amount of weight loss is expected in the very early days of infancy. However, if you find that your baby is struggling to continue to gain weight, professional support is needed. The IBCLC will work closely with your healthcare provider to ensure your baby is fed – and because IBCLCs are experts in lactation, they will be able to help you continue to breastfeed your baby while ensuring proper weight gain.
Number 5: You’re returning to work outside the home
Due to the lack of paid maternity leave in America, most mothers return to work outside the home shortly after birth. This has an impact on the breastfeeding relationship but does not by any means necessarily mean you need to stop breastfeeding. An IBCLC will help you come up with a back-to-work plan that will help you continue to meet your breastfeeding goals.
At Vitality NW, my priority is to help families meet breastfeeding goals in whatever way that looks like for them. If you have any of the above concerns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 503-344-1345.