Prenatal Visit with a Lactation Consultant? YES!!

Prenatal Visit with a Lactation Consultant? YES!!

Prenatal Visit with a Lactation Consultant? YES!!

Prenatal Visit with a Lactation Consultant?  YES!!

A Prenatal Visit with a Lactation Consultant?   


You become a breastfeeding mother the moment your baby is born. You and your breasts have been preparing for this defining moment and there is so much that you can do, in the minutes following your baby’s birth, to encourage your just born to get the best possible start.

I have learned that insufficient pre-birth education about breastfeeding can create hurdles to overcome in the immediate postpartum period. Mothers have insecurities about positioning and latching and - even the very act of allowing your just born to gain access to your nipple can be confounding.  Conflicting and anecdotal information offered by those around you, from MD’s to RN’s to nurse’s aides, frequently confuse the issue. My goal as a board certified lactation consultant during a prenatal visit is to enlighten parents about postpartum breastfeeding. Whether in a hospital, birthing center or home, there are scientifically proven techniques that can be implemented to provide the best possible conditions for getting your milk into your baby.

By finding a lactation consultant - before you begin breastfeeding - you equip yourself with this information, getting the best support available to help you reach your breastfeeding goals.

From Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics:

“Obstacles to initiation and continuation of breastfeeding include insufficient prenatal education about breastfeeding, disruptive hospital policies and practices, inappropriate interruption of breastfeeding, early hospital discharge in some populations, lack of timely routine follow-up care and postpartum home health visits, maternal employment, (especially in the absence of workplace facilities and support for breastfeeding), lack of family and broad societal support, media portrayal of bottle feeding as normative, commercial promotion of infant formula through distribution of hospital discharge packs, coupons for free or discounted formula, and some television and general magazine advertising, misinformation; and lack of guidance and encouragement from health care professionals.”1

When you decide to meet with a lactation consultant you will benefit from her years of study and experience with her full attention and expertise focused on you.

When I meet with parents, I begin by discussing the importance of non-separation, skin-to-skin contact, and the need for frequent colostrum feedings. This will include: self-initiated initial latching, comfortable positioning, more about latching, and the frequency and duration of feeding sessions during your first 24 hrs as a breastfeeding mother.

I will also address some obstacles and provide solutions for potentially disruptive hospital policies and practices and the inappropriate interruption of breastfeeding that can occur in the first 24-48 hours. You might be faced with an unnecessary separation from your baby so that bathing and paperwork can be done in “the nursery.”  You are the nursery! Just say “NO.” Or a suggestion that you send your baby away so you can sleep. Just say “NO.” I will help you to develop a breastfeeding plan to share with all your birth attendants to ensure that all are on-board.

While we are together, I will also discuss pumping, milk storage, formula, pediatricians, pacifiers, bottles, how to know if the baby is swallowing, pee and poop, tandem nursing, Medela supplementers…and answer all questions without judgement.

Citing two studies, one from Pediatrics and the other from the Annals of Family Medicine, the  International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) states:

“Women who receive prenatal education, postpartum hospital and home visits, and telephone calls from a lactation consultant, are more likely to breastfeed through week 20 and at a higher breastfeeding intensity than women who do not receive assistance from a lactation consultant.”2,3

Should you consider a prenatal visit with a Board Certified Lactation Consultant?

Should you seek out a La Leche Group in your community?

Yes and Yes.


  1. Section on Breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. Pediatrics. 2005;115(2):496-506.

  2. Bonuck KA, Trombley M, Freeman K, McKee D.  Randomized controlled trial of a prenatal and postnatal lactation consultant intervention on duration and intensity of breastfeeding up to 12 months. Pediatrics. 2005;116(6):1413-1426.

Guise JM, Palda V, Westhoff C, et al.  The effectiveness of primary care-based interventions to promote breastfeeding: systematic evidence review and meta-analysis for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force . Annals of Family Medicine. 2003;1(2):70-78.

Paula Zindler

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