Lactation Consultant

Lactation consultants are professional breastfeeding specialists trained to teach mothers how to feed their baby. They help women experiencing breastfeeding problems, such as latching difficulties, painful nursing, and low milk production. A lactation consultant also helps babies who aren't gaining enough weight.

Lactation consultants help women who want to return to work or school meet their breastfeeding goals. They're familiar with breastfeeding equipment, like breast pumps, and give breastfeeding moms tips on how to safely store expressed breast milk.

I offer a broad range of services, which include everything from teaching you how to position your baby on the breast to giving tips on how to increase your milk supply or handle a breast infection. I can also devise special feeding strategies for preemies, multiples, or infants with serious medical conditions such as heart disorder or cleft palate. (These babies especially need the extra nutrition and nurturing that breast-feeding provides.) And even months into breast-feeding, moms who want help finding a good pump or figuring out the nursing implications of starting their babies on solid foods can benefit from hiring a pro.

Sometimes the most valuable commodity a lactation consultant offers is simple reassurance -- either affirmation that you're not a failure as a mother if you're struggling or concrete proof that breast-feeding is indeed working well. At each visit, for example, Henson's consultant weighed Daniel before and after he completed a feeding to make sure he was getting enough milk.