Lactation consults are professionals that help breastfeeding mothers and their babies establish nursing and overcome any problems they encounter on the road. Lactation consultants can be quite handy for first time mothers who don't have any foreknowledge about breastfeeding, but they are most useful for those who have specific problems like mastitis, inverted nipples, or a bad latch.
The question is, where can you find a good lactation consultant? Of course, every profession has members that are a good match for you personally, and ones that are not. It also has committed and capable members, as well as people who are doing a half-hearted job. Having said that, there are plenty of places to look for lactation consultants. You could try any, or a combination, of the following:
- The hospital you gave birth at or will give birth at may have lactation consultants on staff.
- Homebirth midwives may have connections with lactation consultants, or may even be a lactation consultant as well.
- Your childbirth education class could know of lactation consultants. And you could also ask other pregnant women who already have older children whether they can recommend a lactation consultant to you.
- You can ask friends and relatives for recommendations.
- You can look at big parenting forums online, like Baby Center or Mothering dot com, and post a thread asking members to recommend a good lactation consultant in your area.
- The La Leche League (LLL) probably has meetings in your area. They can recommend lactation consultants, and perhaps even help you overcome your breastfeeding complications themselves. They can also, often, help by providing donor milk to mothers and babies who need it.
- Finally, your insurance company may reimburse the cost of a lactation consultant to you. If they do, they will also be able to help you find a lactation consultant covered by your insurance policy.