March 01, 2023
10 Reasons to Have a Lactation Consultation Prior to Birth - Happy IBCLC Day 2023
By: Sharon Muza, BS, CD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE | 1 Comments
Today, March 1st, is International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Day. The International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) states that this day “celebrates the services that International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) provide to expectant parents, new mothers, and the healthcare teams who form their circle of care. International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) introduced IBCLC Day to recognize and thank all IBCLCs around the world who significantly transform world health by providing skilled lactation care and to reflect on the incredible impact that IBCLCs have made over the past 38 years.”
Lactation consultants are an important part of the perinatal care team and provide information and support to families who seek help through in hospital support post-birth, outpatient clinics, home visits, teleheath consultations and the facilitation of support groups for families in a variety of community settings.
Perinatal educators often maintain a list of expert lactation consultants to share with families attending their classes, if there is a need to consult on feeding concerns after babies arrive. But did you know there are several reasons why a pregnant person, who is hoping to feed their baby human milk, should consider meeting with a lactation consultant prior to birth?
When you are discussing lactation and infant feeding with your expectant families, do recommend that they book a consultation prior to birth if any of the following circumstances apply to them:
- Changes have not been noticed in their breast/chest area during the pregnancy. They should have observed heavier and larger breast/chest tissue, the areola has darkened, the tissue has become more sensitive in many cases.
- There has been previous surgery on the breast/chest area. This could include augmentation, reduction, biopsy, lumpectomy or other procedures.
- They have any type of diabetes or other endocrine issues. This includes gestational diabetes, and Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes as well.
- They had experienced difficulties or did not meet their goals feeding a child their human milk previously.
- They are pregnant with multiples.
- They have a complicated medical history or are on medications that may impact lactation and supply.
- Their baby has been diagnosed prenatally with potential medical challenges or will need to be born early and spend time in the NICU.
- They have a history of abuse or trauma and are concerned about how that might impact their lactation experience.
- They are a non-gestational parent who would like to induce lactation.
- They have physical challenges or are differently abled and may need accommodations to be set up for success.
The postpartum period is a time of many physical and emotional challenges. For some people, lactation can be smooth and mostly problem free. For others, it may feel like an insurmountable obstacle where the parent cannot see their way through the hard parts and be able to come out the other side in a way that feels good to them. Letting families know that a lactation consultant meeting prenatally can set them up for success after the birth and allow them to approach their feeding goals with more confidence and preparation. Happy IBCLC Day and thank you to all the lactation consultants who work tirelessly around the world to support parents and babies to thrive. For more information about IBCLC Day 2023, access this link on the ILCA website.
TagsChildbirth education IBCLC Day Lactation Sharon Muza Bodyfeeding