A lactation consultant or specialist is a health professional who specializes in the field of breastfeeding. They provide advice, support, and education to mothers about breastfeeding techniques, problems, and benefits. They typically hold a certification from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and are equipped with the expertise to assist with complex breastfeeding situations.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Lactation Consultant or Specialist is a certified professional who specializes in all aspects of breastfeeding. They can help solve problems related to lactation and offer advice and emotional support to mothers.
  2. Lactation Specialists do not just support breastfeeding but also teach about the importance of skin-to-skin contact, baby cues, and infant nutrition. Moreover, they provide services to mothers who have given birth prematurely or have had complications during childbirth that may cause breastfeeding difficulties.
  3. They play a critical role in promoting successful breastfeeding, which is beneficial to both mother and baby’s health. They can also help mothers with breastfeeding issues such as low milk supply, painful breastfeeding, latching problems, and others and provide strategies to make breastfeeding more comfortable and successful.


Lactation consultants or specialists play a crucial role in motherhood, providing specialist advice and support to mothers who are starting or experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is crucial in the early stages of a child’s life as it offers vital nutrients, boosts their immune system, and fosters a strong bond between mother and child.

However, it can often be a challenging experience for many mothers.

Lactation consultants are trained professionals who can help mothers to overcome these challenges, providing them with techniques, solutions for common problems like latching difficulties or painful feeding, and even providing emotional support.

Therefore, their role is extremely important in promoting the welfare and health of both the mother and the newborn.


The purpose of a lactation consultant or specialist primarily surrounds assisting and guiding new mothers through the process of breastfeeding. This often requires providing essential education and hands-on help with techniques, positioning, and latching. These are the practitioners who deal with more complex lactation problems like helping the infant with weight gain issues, aiding a mother suffering from painful nursing, and advising on breastfeeding equipment like pumps.

Their overarching goal is to support, encourage, and empower mothers in their breastfeeding journey, ensuring both mother and child are comfortable and healthy. Furthermore, lactation consultants aren’t exclusive to the period immediately following childbirth. Their service and guidance often extend way beyond the hospital or maternity unit, continuing even after the mother has returned home with the newborn.

This can include providing information regarding when a baby should be breastfed, how to handle and store breast milk, and how to resolve any potential breastfeeding problems. They may also offer guidance on how to balance breastfeeding with work, how to wean a baby off breastfeeding, and how to manage feeding multiple infants in cases of twins or triplets. The role of a lactation consultant or specialist is crucial in facilitating a smooth, enjoyable, and successful breastfeeding experience.

Examples of Lactation consultant or specialist

Lisa-Marie: Lisa-Marie is a Registered Nurse and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) working in California. She works at a children’s hospital and offers private consultations to new moms who are having difficulty breastfeeding. Lisa-Marie helps them understand the best techniques for latching, alleviating discomfort, and increasing milk production.

Healthy Babies Lactation Clinic: Located in New York City, this clinic employs several lactation consultants. They provide support for breastfeeding moms, conduct breastfeeding classes for new parents, and offer one-on-one consultations to address specific breastfeeding challenges.

Online Consultations: Jennifer is a lactation consultant who operates an online consulting service to cater to mother’s worldwide. She conducts live video call sessions to help mothers with their breastfeeding concerns. Jennifer also runs a blog where she shares tips and advice on common breastfeeding challenges.

FAQs on Lactation Consultant or Specialist

What is a Lactation Consultant?

A Lactation Consultant is a certified professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. They provide mothers with a wide array of support, from helping with latching difficulties to managing painful breastfeeding, and also giving general advice on breastfeeding techniques and positions.

When should I see a Lactation Consultant?

A visit to a Lactation Consultant can be beneficial both prenatally and postnatally. They can guide you with preparation for breastfeeding during pregnancy and can also provide support for any breastfeeding challenges that you may face post-birth, such as latching issues, the baby not gaining weight, or painful breastfeeding.

Can a Lactation Consultant diagnose tongue or lip ties?

While a Lactation Consultant can identify potential signs of tongue or lip ties that may affect breastfeeding, they are not normally qualified to formally diagnose these conditions. This should be done by a pediatrician or a pediatric dentist.

How to find a certified Lactation Consultant?

Your hospital’s maternity unit may have a Lactation Consultant on staff, or you can ask your pediatrician for a referral. You could also check the International Lactation Consultant Association’s online directory to find a certified Lactation Consultant in your area.

Do Lactation Consultants make house calls?

Yes, many Lactation Consultants do offer home visits. However, the services offered might differ from one consultant to another, so it’s best to inquire about this specifically when setting up an appointment.

Related Motherhood Terms

  • Breastfeeding support
  • Milk supply management
  • Infant latching techniques
  • Prenatal and postnatal care
  • Mastitis prevention

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