Considering breastfeeding? These lactation consultants have some tips

Research shows breastfeeding can protect children against infection

As a new or expecting mother, you might be considering breast feeding.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding babies for the first six months of life and continuing for up to two years old or longer with nutritious solid foods.

Research shows that breastfeeding contains natural antibodies that protect children against infections, allergies and a number of chronic illnesses. It is particularly beneficial for premature babies, according to Kimberly Pittman-Turner, international board-certified lactation consultant at Baptist Health System.

Breastfeeding also helps boost a mother’s immune system, which can decrease the risk of developing certain life-threatening diseases.

To help support new mothers with their breastfeeding goals, lactation consultants can provide additional support. International board certified lactation consultants, also known as IBCLCs, help educate and support families to reach their breastfeeding goals, Pittman-Turner said.

They are breastfeeding specialists who can assess concerns that families may encounter while breastfeeding and make a plan of care to address and resolve breastfeeding issues.

“Much of what we do is about building confidence and letting parents know that they are capable of providing their babies with the best nutrition,” Pittman-Turner said.

Many barriers to a successful breastfeeding journey are instilled before the baby has arrived. For example, Pittman-Turner said many women believe breastfeeding is always painful. However, an effective latch should be comfortable for both mom and baby.

Additionally, many women think they won’t be able to produce enough milk for their baby, while this is usually not the case. Experiencing pain while breastfeeding or not producing enough are two things that you should call a lactation consultant about, Pittman-Turner said..

“Our goal is for families to leave the hospital feeling comfortable and confident, but if a family still needs assistant, we are still available after discharge,” Pittman-Turner said.

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