What is an IBCLC & When Do I Need One?

An IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) is a person who has worked with breastfeeding mothers and babies for an extended time, accrued significant professional development hours and has sat and passed an international level exam set by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE).  IBCLC’s are specialists in their field and are a reference point for any breastfeeding issue. Many IBCLC’s come from a mother-to-mother breastfeeding counsellor or midwifery background.  Some are registered nurses from a hospital setting, others have been allied health professionals.   All lactation consultants who have IBCLC after their name, however, have attained the highest standard in the specialty of breastfeeding – regardless of their background. The role of an IBCLC is usually in one of two areas.  There are often IBCLC’s employed by maternity hospitals to support mothers who birth in that hospital during the post-natal period.  Others go into private practice and support mothers during pregnancy and after the birth of their baby. Research supports the fact that mothers (& their partners) who receive breastfeeding education before their baby is born are more likely to have better breastfeeding outcomes.  IBCLC’s have an indepth knowledge of issues which may effect breastfeeding and can provide an individual assessment before a baby arrives. IBCLC’s are a wealth of knowledge after your baby is born and can help with all breastfeeding related issues.  Whether a baby is having trouble attaching, breastfeeding is painful or there is concern about milk supply – if it’s breastfeeding related, an IBCLC will be able to help. If you’re returning to work, an IBCLC can help you to plan for the transition.  Both mother and baby will need to adjust to the changes, and input from an IBCLC can help make the transition as smooth as possible. Some IBCLC’s provide professional inservice sessions and conference lectures.  Some are authors of fantastic books or run online breastfeeding education sites. So, IBCLC’s are highly qualified health professionals that have a wide-ranging role in supporting breastfeeding mother/baby dyads in a variety of...
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Breastfeeding Challenges

When you’re experiencing breastfeeding challenges, it can be a time of great vulnerability.  The emotion that comes with a breastfeeding experience which is less than rewarding can be very strong, even overwhelming sometimes.  Having been through a disappointing breastfeeding experience with my first baby, I can very much relate to the feelings and frustration that can come from breastfeeding challenges. That’s why it is so important to get the right help early.  For some people it means having a consultation before the baby arrives so they have a clearer picture of what to expect once their baby is born and is breastfeeding.  It may mean looking back at what has happened to contribute to the situation so it can be changed.  For others it means recognising that either things are not going well or are not improving.  Sometimes just recognising what is normal for newborns can help. Often breastfeeding challenges are easily rectified.  Some may be ongoing or need more complex management.  Most mothers find that the effort they put in to overcome their breastfeeding challenge is well worth it. Breastfeeding is NOT MEANT TO BE PAINFUL.  If it is, you might like to contact me to decide if you need a...
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