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The Benefits of Consulting an IBCLC: Your Breastfeeding Journey’s Best Ally

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and essential aspect of nurturing a newborn, providing them with optimal nutrition and building a strong bond between you and your baby. Despite this, breastfeeding can also present challenges and uncertainties for many new mothers. This is where and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) plays a vital role. 

So, what is an IBCLC? How can their expertise make your breastfeeding journey smoother, more fulfilling and successful? And what are the invaluable benefits and advantages of hiring an IBCLC? Let’s explore all of these questions:

What does IBCLC stand for?

As you can read on on my website, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) qualification is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated both knowledge and practical skills in breastfeeding. 

This internationally recognized qualification is, therefore, the highest regarded professional qualification specializing in breastfeeding knowledge and support. 

We need to perform over 1000 hours of proven clinical practice in an appropriate supervised breastfeeding support, working with mothers and babies, plus 95 hours of education specializing in the management of breastfeeding and lactation support. We are then required to pass a thorough examination process, ensuring we possess a deep understanding of the complex mechanics and dynamics of breastfeeding. There is an enormous amount of training required to hold this title. 

In addition, we are required to complete continual education requirements and resit the exam every 5 years in order to stay current on the latest information available. 

Some of us have a nursing background (for example, I’m a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse), so we can also assess mother and baby for other medical issues and advise on the appropriate actions to take. For example, for mothers with specific health conditions or premature babies, breastfeeding can be even more complex. So, it’s far easier to handle these situations and help you to navigate challenges with patience and compassion, to ensure that your baby receives the best care and nourishment possible. 

Also, as an IBCLC, I’m able to diagnose the likes of a tongue tie, while other professionals like Lactation Counsellors or Lactation Consultants can’t (despite what they may advise you). 

How can our expertise make your breastfeeding journey successful?

When you’re sleep deprived and receiving advice from everywhere and everyone, everything can be a little overwhelming.

Moreover, what worked for your friend or sister-in-law may not work for you and your baby! They may have had 2-3 different experiences with their own babies. Of course, advice from friends and family is a great place to start, however with the number of mothers and babies that I’ve cared for, there won’t be an issue that I haven’t come across, nor been able to help with.

Each breastfeeding journey is unique, and as an IBCLC I can recognise this fact. I can provide personalised support and guidance tailored to your specific needs and challenges. Whether you’re dealing with latch issues, low milk supply, discomfort, or pain, an IBCLC will work closely with you to devise a customised plan for success.

Before a small issue becomes a big frustration, it’s 100% worth seeking help and advice. So, my recommendation is to build up a good relationship with the IBCLC that you choose during your pregnancy, and have a worthwhile antenatal session, then after that, your IBCLC can take care of you and your baby in the comfort of your own home after giving birth.

My 5 Top Advantages to hire an IBCLC:

  1. Expert Knowledge and Training: As mentioned earlier, IBCLCs have extensive training and specialised education in lactation and breastfeeding management (the highest qualification in the field).
  2. Personalised Guidance: They will provide personalised support and guidance tailored to your specific needs and challenges. 
  3. Boosting Your Confidence: They serve as an encouraging presence; their expertise can help you overcome problems with confidence, and they will reassure you that you’re making progress and doing your best. 
  4. Continuity of Care: They will offer continuity of care throughout your breastfeeding journey (from antenatal education to postnatal support).  
  5. Troubleshooting and Problem-Solving: They act as a trouble-shooter, identifying protentional problems early on and providing effective solutions. 

Remember that hiring an IBCLC can be a game-changer for your breastfeeding experience, and that they are your breastfeeding journey’s best ally. 

Finally, seeking support from an IBCLC is an investment in your baby’s well-being and your own satisfaction as a breastfeeding mother. 

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