Lactation consultants help mothers with the best breastfeeding methods. But do lactation consultants help with bottle feeding too?
Lactation consultants typically help mothers increase milk supply when breastfeeding. However, they can also give you information on the best bottles and nipples for bottle-feeding. They can also help parents with tips for babies who refuse to take the bottle.
- Lactation consultants are professionals who help mothers with baby feeding concerns.
- A lactation consultant can help with bottle feeding.
- Bottles recommended by lactation consultants are Dr Brown, Evenflo, and NUK.
- Make an appointment with a lactation consultant if you have low milk supply
- A lactation consultant can help you make milk for feeding.
- It may cost $300 to see a lactation consultant.
- A lactation consultant will see mothers with babies that are 1 year of age.
What is a lactation consultant?
A lactation consultant is a healthcare professional specializing in supporting and guiding breastfeeding mothers and their infants. They are trained and certified in lactation management and have extensive knowledge about breastfeeding techniques, breast milk production, and common breastfeeding challenges.
Lactation consultants work with new mothers to ensure successful breastfeeding experiences by addressing:
- Latching difficulties
- Low milk supply
- Nipple pain
- Infant weight gain
They provide education and assistance on proper breastfeeding positions, effective breastfeeding techniques, and strategies for increasing milk production. They may even give you advice on speciality bottles, such as the best bottles to use for babies with a low muscle tone.
Can a lactation consultant help with bottle feeding?
Parents who choose to bottle feed their babies can get the help and guidance they need from lactation consultants. These practitioners can give you advice on the best positions to feed your baby when using a bottle.
What’s more, lactation consultants can show you the best way to angle the bottle when feeding your baby. They’ll also help you choose the best baby bottles and nipples especially if your baby has special needs or has a high palate.
Ask your lactation consultant for information if your baby has nipple confusion or assist you if your baby is having difficulties transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle feeding.
The best bottles by lactation consultants
The best bottles that lactation consultants recommend are from brands such as Dr Brown, NUK, and Evenflo. Additionally, expert practitioners recommend these bottles based on certain features that you must consider like the following:
- The bottles must not be made with toxic materials. Glass bottles (over plastic ones) are typically better.
- Nipples must be close to the shape and feel of breast nipples to prevent nipple confusion.
- Choose bottles with an anti-colic design that uses specific vents to prevent fussiness.
- Bottles that have leak-free designs (and unfortunately many bottles are not leak-free).
Furthermore, it’s important to choose from a bottle brand you trust. Transitioning your baby from breastfeeding to the bottle can be difficult but using the right bottle may help with the process. Try a few different bottles to see which one works best.
Reasons to make an appointment with a lactation consultant
If you’re a new mother, feeding your baby can be an overwhelming experience. Panic may strike if your baby is struggling to latch or if your baby is refusing to drink. In this section, I’ve provided more reasons to make an appointment with your lactation consultant.
Milk supply concerns
A lactation consultant will help you identify what’s causing milk supply issues. They will consider factors like hormonal imbalances, medical conditions, or ineffective breastfeeding techniques that may be contributing to the milk supply concerns.
Additionally, stress can also be a contributing factor to low milk supply, and hormones like cortisol. Going on an immediate diet like eating or drinking too little can also cause low milk production. Your consultant can help you identify these factors and then give you tips on how to fix the problem.
Baby weight problems
It can be normal for babies to lose some ounces after birth but if you’re noticing extreme weight loss, it’s time to call in your lactation consultant. The baby may have a medical problem, latching issues or there’s not enough milk coming out of the breasts.
Your lactation consultant can identify all these issues and help you with the proper solutions. If there is poor milk supply when breastfeeding you may need to switch to formula or consider using a breast pump to extract enough milk for your baby to drink.
Cracked or bleeding nipples
Some mothers experience extreme pain when breastfeeding. You may have problems with cracked or bleeding nipples. When feeding your baby there will be friction that can irritate the nipples and cause them to become dry. This can also be a sign of latching issues.
But to be sure what the problem could be, you must contact your lactation consultant for advice. The practitioner may help you fix your latching issues and assist with the best medical tips to ease your pain.
Breast engorgement is when your breasts become too full with milk which can cause swelling and pain. If you’re experiencing this common problem after your baby is born your lactation consultant will give you practical tips to assist you.
Consultants state that the best way to treat breast engorgement is to remove milk regularly. You can use a breast pump for the job.
What a lactation consultant can do for you?
There are many ways a lactation consultant can assist you after giving birth to your baby. In this section, I will explain what these professionals can do for you.
Help you reach feeding goals
Whether you want your baby to gain more weight or improve your little one’s latch, a lactation consultant can help you reach these goals. The consultant will examine your baby’s feeding to ensure he or she is nursing properly.
Help you make milk for feeding
As mentioned before, there may be a situation where your breasts aren’t producing enough milk. A lactation consultant will examine you to ensure you don’t have any medical conditions. The consultant will then give you tips on how to increase milk supply such as:
- Massaging your breasts regularly.
- Use a pump for 15 to 20 minutes every day.
- Foods that will help with milk supply such as oatmeal or energy bites.
Safe-centered patient care
It’s important to find a lactation consultant that provides safe practices when feeding your baby. Your consultant will ensure you don’t take the incorrect medication that could harm you or your baby. You’ll also receive advice on the safest and most effective ways to feed your baby.
Help address concerns
If you have any pressing questions your lactation consultant can provide clarity on all of them. In fact, it’s always encouraged to ask your practitioner questions when it comes to your baby’s health and safety when feeding.
Ask for breast pumping tips, and what the best holds to try when bottle feeding. You can also ask your consultant how to best store bottles after pumping milk.
How much does it cost to see a lactation consultant?
The cost to see a lactation consultant can be around $300 but this will depend on where you live and what their rates are. Additionally, the cost will also depend on whether you have medical insurance.
Is it too late to see a lactation consultant?
It’s not too late to see a lactation consultant if you’re having feeding concerns when breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby. However, there are lactation consultants who may only see patients with babies that are 1 year old.
This is because consultants only tend to mothers with babies who are still breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Typically babies stop drinking milk when they reach the age of 1.
Will a lactation consultant be worth it?
A lactation nurse will be worth it if you need assistance with your baby’s feeding concerns especially if you’re a new mother.
If you’re not sure how to feed your baby and what to expect, your lactation nurse will provide you with all the information you need. It’s worth hiring a lactation nurse to assist you with the first few weeks of your baby’s life.
What you’ll learn from a lactation consultant
When hiring a lactation nurse you’ll learn valuable tips such as:
- How to increase your milk supply
- Best feeding schedule for your baby’s needs
- Best compression and pumping tips
- How to position your baby correctly for bottle-fed and breastfed babies
- Specialized support for babies with special needs
As you can see, a lactation consultant will provide valuable tips and advice to reach your feeding goals in a safe and effective manner.
If you need additional advice on feeding your baby take a look at some of the articles I’ve done such as the pros and cons of anti-colic bottles and how to reintroduce bottle fed babies to breastfeeding. I’m not a lactation consultant but you might find some valuable tips in those.