Breastfeeding is a natural way to nourish your newborn. At Baptist Health, we encourage moms to breastfeed for the many benefits it offers mom and baby. If nursing is something you want to do, we can support you as you master the skills and get comfortable breastfeeding.
We’ve helped hundreds of local moms establish healthy and often effortless breastfeeding routines that work for their family. Our lactation consultants know the challenges moms commonly face. Let us help you overcome whatever hurdles stand between you and your breastfeeding goals.
What Does a Lactation Consultant Do?
Lactation consultants are trained healthcare professionals who help new moms navigate breastfeeding and any challenges that may arise. They often provide needed insight, advocacy, and emotional support through the process. Consultants can help with the following challenges:
- Inadequate milk supply
- Not latching
- Breast soreness or nipple pain
- Poor positioning
- Refusal to feed
- Lack of infant weight gain
- Mastitis or clogged milk ducts
- Falling asleep at the breast
- Issues with pumping
When to See a Lactation Consultant
Studies have shown that meeting with a lactation consultant, even one time, can increase the duration of breastfeeding and lead to an overall positive experience with breastfeeding. It is recommended to meet with a lactation consultant before giving birth, immediately following birth, and after giving birth if and when issues arise. The frequency of lactation consultation depends on an individual’s specific needs, and sometimes it may only require one consultation.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Research shows there are many benefits of breastfeeding — for both moms and babies. Breastfeeding offers:
- Health protections for baby: Overall, babies who breastfeed tend to get less sick, less often. That’s because the antibodies in your milk help protect your baby against a wide variety of ailments — from painful ear infections and colds to allergies. Breastfed babies also see a reduced risk of type 1 diabetes because of breast milk’s high levels of insulin.
- Health benefits for mom: Breastfeeding moms see a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancers as well as type 2 diabetes. It also reduces the risk of common postpartum health concerns, such as bleeding and postpartum depression.
- Emotional bonding: Breastfeeding promotes a deep emotional connection between mom and baby. When you’re cuddling kangaroo style (skin-to-skin), your baby feels a sense of closeness and security from your scent and breathing pattern.
- Convenience: You may find breastfeeding challenging in the early days and weeks. But once you get into a good rhythm, you’ll probably welcome the convenience it offers. Late-night feedings require no bottles to warm and feeding the baby on the go can be a breeze.
- Cost savings: An obvious benefit many breastfeeding moms enjoy: Your milk is free to you.
Our Breastfeeding Support Services: The Baptist Health Difference
When you have a baby at Baptist Health, you won’t be left to figure out breastfeeding on your own. Our lactation consultants are here to help moms and babies get off to a great start. When you choose Baptist Health for breastfeeding support, you will find:
- 24/7 lactation support: Our certified lactation consultants receive extensive training in all things breastfeeding. Many of our nurses are also well-trained in lactation support issues. After your baby’s birth, we’re available for 24-hour lactation support seven days a week to address any feeding issues during your hospital stay.
- Exemplary care: Our certified lactation consultants are among the best at what they do. For example, the lactation support team at Baptist Health Louisville received a special award from the International Lactation Consultant Association for excellence in breastfeeding and lactation care.
- Compassionate support: Almost every mom faces at least one hiccup in the early days of breastfeeding. We can help. Our lactation consultants have deep experience troubleshooting many kinds of breastfeeding difficulties. We go above and beyond to support you in reaching your breastfeeding goals.
Breastfeeding Support Services We Offer
Our team of certified lactation consultants provides a full spectrum of breastfeeding support services, including:
- Classes and education: Before baby arrives, learn the breastfeeding basics at one of our many classes aimed at preparing you for what lies ahead.
- In-hospital guidance: The biggest breastfeeding learning curve comes soon after baby arrives. That’s why we make sure our lactation specialists visit every mom shortly after delivery. We’ll answer your questions and give you one-on-one coaching to maximize your breastfeeding efforts during your hospital stay.
- Personalized follow-up: It’s normal to encounter breastfeeding challenges after you leave the hospital. We’ll check in to see how breastfeeding is going once you’re home and settled in. Baptist Health’s outpatient lactation support clinics serve as a helpful resource for any additional help you may need.
- Monthly support groups: Ask your local provider whether one of Baptist Health’s monthly breastfeeding support groups meets near you. Many women appreciate sharing the struggles and joys of breastfeeding with other local moms. Louisville Mommy and Me Breastfeeding Support Group
- Services for special situations: Some Baptist Health locations offer donor breast milk for women who qualify. We can also help you establish electric pumping, should that be helpful for your circumstances.
Find a Baptist Health Maternity Care Location Near You
Finding a lactation consultant who can help navigate the challenges of breast feeding can have a significant positive impact on new moms and their babies. If you’re interested, please contact postpartum support to access one of our lactation consultants to schedule a time to speak about you and your baby.
La Grange: 502.222.5388