Reasons to contact an IBCLC?

What is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)?Marianne with nursing mom

A lactation consultant is a skilled healthcare professional who specializes in the study of the science of human lactation (breastfeeding), and in the assessment of breastfeeding women and their children.

With a focus on preventive health care, IBCLCs encourage self-care, empowering parents to make their own decisions. IBCLCs use a problem solving approach to provide evidence based information to pregnant and breastfeeding women and make appropriate referrals to other members of the health care team. The IBLCE has established Professional Standards for IBCLCs and IBCLCs must renew their certification every five years, either through continuing education or by re-examination.


Reasons you might contact an IBCLC?

Before Birth  

  • History of surgery to nipple or breast (augmentation, reduction, biopsy, injury, burn, etc.)
  • History of hormonal (PCOS, thyroid, endocrine, pituitary) or anatomical challenges/differences
  • No breast/limited changes during puberty, pregnancy, or history of asymmetrical breasts
  • Earlier difficult or unsuccessful breastfeeding with previous child
  • History of oversupply/undersupply
  • Adopted baby
  • Relactation/Induced Lactation
  • Family history of allergy (food, environment)

 At Birth

  • Premature
  • Multiples
  • Special-needs
  • Mom or baby separation
  • Baby’s mouth or tongue is presenting difficulties (cleft lip or palate, tongue-tie, lip-tie or other challenges)
  • Flat or inverted nipple
  • Latching or positioning difficulty
  • Possible low-milk supply
  • Difficult or long birth/birth trauma to mother or baby
  • Muscle strain in baby/torticollis

Early Breastfeeding

  • Milk is not transitioning (“coming in” or “becoming engorged”)  beyond Day 5
  • Breast or nipple pain or trauma at any time beyond initial tenderness (it shouldn’t EVER hurthurting means something isn’t right)
  • Baby is not latching and suckling well at feedings
  • Baby falls asleep quickly at breast, or sleeps through feedings, difficult rousing
  • Baby is jaundiced
  • Baby is given supplements of any kind for any reason
  • Baby is still loosing weight beyond Day 3
  • Baby hasn’t regained birth weight by Day 10-14
  • Baby is fussy, “always nursing,” or “never seems happy” at breast
  • Breastfeeding is difficult in any way
  • Reassurance is needed about how baby is breastfeeding

At Any Time

  • Nipple or breast pain: unresolved since birth or new
  • Questions about medications and breastfeeding (prescription, herbal, or over-the-counter)
  • Questions about pumpingIMG_0909
  • Strategies for leaving home; work or school
  • Questions about sleep
  • Advice and help for using a baby carrier
  • Growth patterns for breastfed baby
  • Solids
  • Sibling support
  • Child development
  • Neurological concerns
  • Sensory issues
  • Concerns or questions about continuing breastfeeding while pregnant
  • ANY breastfeeding questions or concerns!