If you are a first-time mom, the task of learning how to breastfeed can be overwhelming. In addition to dealing with fatigue and recovering from a recent birth, you might also be subjected to sore nipples and an uncooperative baby. Fortunately, lactation consultants can assist you with the learning curve. Here are three ways that lactation consultants can help you, so that you can feed your baby naturally.  

1: Real-Time Tips

One of the first things that will happen during your appointment with a lactation consultant is that she will watch you breastfeed your baby. Before you start feeding your baby, your child will be weighed. As you start the breastfeeding process, your lactation consultant will check to make sure that the baby has latched properly, and that you are holding your child the right way.

During your session, your consultant will give you real-time advice regarding the feeding process. These tips can help you to identify feeding issues and the techniques for resolving challenges.

After you are finished with the feeding, your child will be weighed to determine how much fluid they got during the session. This helps the lactation consultant determine whether or not the baby is eating enough, or if you need to supplement with formula.

2: Tube At The Nipple

If your baby isn't getting enough nourishment through traditional nursing, your lactation consultant might recommend supplementing with a tube at the nipple for a while. This process entails filling a blunt syringe with prepared formula, attaching a tube to the tip, and taping the tube near your nipple.

As your baby attempts to nurse, they will suck liquid from the tube, getting the nourishment that they need while simultaneously stimulating your milk production. This technique helps new moms to develop their milk supply without leaving their baby hungry.

Your lactation consultant will help you to understand the nipple-tube process, so that you can develop great breastfeeding habits, even if your milk supply hasn't quite matured yet.  

3: Breast Pump Instructions

Your breasts need to be drained effectively and regularly in order to prompt milk production and to retain your supply. Unfortunately, nursing on a schedule might be impossible for some working moms.

To remedy this problem, many nursing mothers use breast pumps during the day. Although it might seem easy to pump, the fact of the matter is that pumping poses its own set of challenges.

Each pump works a little differently, and some mothers struggle to use the model that they have access to. Fortunately, lactation consultants can advise you regarding your breast pump too. In addition to explaining the controls and usage guidelines, lactation consultants can also check the machine functionality for you, so that you can pump successfully.

Meeting with a lactation consultant is a great way to address problems early and learn proper techniques, so that you and your baby can enjoy breastfeeding.