Believe it or not, sometimes we talk about topics other than infant food allergies! Here at Free to Feed, we’re about empowering families and women who want to keep breastfeeding their food allergy babies. While we know the ins and outs of baby food allergies — we believe lactation consultants (LC) play a critical role in breastfeeding success.
Breastfeeding your baby is a personal choice that we truly understand. We get the desire to have a good experience during this special time. We can help with the food allergy part and we aren’t shy about talking up the serious value of lactation consultants.
LC’s have in-depth training that helps you and your baby during this time. Guiding you with their knowledgeable power and support that only comes from passionate people wanting to help parents and their babies. Their mission is to make sure you have a good breastfeeding experience and get to the bottom of any issues you may be having that are making it harder.
We recommend working with international board-certified lactation consultants (IBCLC). These professionals have strict education requirements — including 90 hours of training and between 300-1,000 hours of clinical experience. That’s a lot of boobs and babies, people!
Today, we’ll be looking at 5 major benefits of working with a lactation consultant. And this is only touching the surface of all the value a LC can bring to your breastfeeding journey.
1. Different Nursing Positions Can Make Breastfeeding Easier
We are creative when it comes to breastfeeding, so you can find a ton of different nursing positions to try. Some work better than others, so it's important to spice it up with variety and see what positions you love. Whether you’re a first-time parent or a seasoned one, figuring out the best position to feed your baby can feel tricky. Every baby’s different, especially when your little one’s wrestling with food allergy discomfort.
Will the standard cradle hold work, or does that position send searing pain into your stomach because of the C-section? Do you need to modify your positioning for improved comfort? Remember, you matter in all this and you’re doing a lot of work.
If you’ve been blessed with more than one baby at once, your twins or multiples are literally a handful to breastfeed. If you’re trying to trade between feedings, you’re spending twice the amount of work and time! LC’s educate and support you in feeding both babies at the same time. You learn how to manage your supply when feeding more than one baby.
Imagine solving your breastfeeding issues with a position that works!
2. Let’s Talk About That Latch While Breastfeeding Your Baby
If only breastfeeding was as simple as the baby latching onto your boob, right? Geesshh. The number of problems that can come from babies being unable to latch properly is all the more reason to consider hiring a lactation consultant.
Baby’s can have trouble latching for many reasons including:
Lip Tie (tissue is too thick or stiff)
Tongue-tie (restricts tongues movement)
Working with an LC answers your specific questions and narrows down why you’re struggling with your baby latching on. You don’t have to be alone on this journey. Professionals in this field thrive off success for you and your baby and offer individualized steps to remedy this issue. They help get to the bottom of why your baby’s having latching issues and the next steps to take to remedy them.
3. LC’s Help with Breastmilk Oversupply and Undersupply
Your baby’s latching fine, but they keep pulling off or crying at the breast. It’s confusing, right? Your milk is in and the baby is latched, so what’s the problem?
Dealing with a food allergy baby brings up so many worries when breastfeeding.
Sometimes our body overdoes it, and we produce too much for them to consume comfortably. A lactation consultant helps you understand if you’re an over-producer and what you can do about it.
On the other hand, sometimes we don’t produce enough breastmilk for our babies. The biggest way to increase your breastmilk supply is to make your body think the baby needs more milk. Read more from us on the science behind supply and demand.
Reasons for low breastmilk supply includes: health issues for you or your baby, hormonal birth control, supplementing with formula, or frequent pacifier use. A lactation consultant helps uncover the cause of your low supply.
Many companies target vulnerable families to convince them there’s something wrong with their supply. They market products that promise to increase breastmilk production when it’s not actually needed. An LC understands your individual needs and educates you to relieve undue stress from targeted marketing campaigns. So you have more peace of mind breastfeeding your baby.
4. Breastfeeding Shouldn't Be Painful and LC's Can Help
Have you heard the horror stories of bleeding, cracked nipples? Did you know it’s not normal to have constant pain with breastfeeding? So, those horror stories should be short!
The first few weeks of breastfeeding can bring challenges and soreness, without a doubt. But you shouldn’t be experiencing painful breastfeeding sessions every time. Not only does this completely take away from the beautiful bonding moments, but it’s also not normal. You can experience pain from a lip tie, tongue-tie, clogged ducts, mastitis, and more.
Similar to food allergies, there could be many reasons you’re experiencing pain while breastfeeding. Lactation consultations help you through this uncomfortable challenge so you can enjoy breastfeeding as an intimate time with your new child. They have different techniques to work on improving your baby’s latch or work on any other issues they might notice during your time together.
5.Lactation Consultants Provide You With Support and Confidence
Saving the best for last, our favorite part about lactation consultants — they provide support and give you confidence. This is SO needed for everyone, but especially new families figuring out this journey for the first time.
You want the best for your baby. You’re concerned about their food allergies and breastfeeding success. Now that you know about some benefits of working with LCs, we encourage you to use them to help you through this time. You’re not alone in this breastfeeding journey. They say it takes a village to raise a baby, and a lactation consultant is one village member.
Please understand that wanting support from a professional means you’re willing to ask for help and do what’s best for you and your baby. In our book, that’s a badge of honor. Don’t second guess yourself — if you want a better breastfeeding experience, reach out.
Do you want to combo feed? They’ll support you.
Are you ready to wean? They’ll support you.
Feeling frustrated? They’ll support you.
A quick Google search should provide you with lactation consultants in your area! Know that you can talk to more than one person to find the right consultant for you.
Free to Feed is Here to Support Your Breastfeeding Success
We know this blog wasn’t all about infant food allergies, but we’re here to support you in all the ways we can breastfeeding your babies. Dr. Trill proudly saw an LC when she was trying to get her supply back for research purposes! (Follow Dr. Trill on Instagram to learn more) Dealing with food allergies is one thing and dealing with breastfeeding issues is another.
Struggling with both? Ugh, we’re so sorry. Hang in there! We want you to know it’s okay to get help and support from a lactation consultant. This is a unique time in your life and it’s their mission to help.
If your baby is experiencing food allergy issues, we’ve got you covered! Sign up for a one-on-one consult to come up with a game plan with one of our knowledgeable Free to Feed team members.