Lactation Support Specialist

Internal Medicine and Pediatrics of West Michigan -  - Board Certified Internal Medicine Physician

Internal Medicine and Pediatrics of West Michigan

Board Certified Internal Medicine Physicians & Board Certified Pediatricians located in Grand Rapids, MI

Breastfeeding your baby is the best start you can give them in life, as well as being deeply rewarding for you as a mother. If you need any advice or you’re having problems with breastfeeding, the lactation support team at Internal Medicine and Pediatrics of West Michigan in Grand Rapids, Michigan, can help. They show you how to get a baby latched on securely and answer all your questions about breastfeeding. Call Internal Medicine and Pediatrics of West Michigan today to find out more or book an appointment online.

Lactation Support Q&A

What is lactation support?

Lactation support is professional assistance and advice that helps you when you’re breastfeeding.

While some mothers and babies find breastfeeding comes naturally right from the beginning, many others experience difficulties. The Internal Medicine and Pediatrics of West Michigan team works with lactation experts to provide breastfeeding support and services like pumping consultations.

Before your baby’s born, you can get plenty of information and advice about how to breastfeed from your OB/GYN, midwife or doula, and support groups. If you’re planning to breastfeed, make sure it’s in your birthing plan.

Your delivery team can then prepare to support you after the birth, ensuring you get skin-to-skin contact with your newborn and help with latching on.

When might I need lactation support?

The first issue you might encounter for which you need lactation support is latching on. This means how your baby takes your nipple into their mouth when they suckle. Some babies struggle to latch on properly, and moms might find it uncomfortable if their baby doesn’t latch on correctly.

A common problem is for the baby not to have enough of your nipple in their mouth. They need a really good mouthful to ensure their sucking reflex stimulates your milk to flow. Not only will they struggle to get their milk, but you’ll probably find it uncomfortable. If you persist, you might get sore nipples as well.

Once your baby knows how to latch on, it makes a significant difference to breastfeeding successfully. You also feel a tremendous difference, as a well-latched baby causes no discomfort at all.

Achieving the correct latch might not be easy in some cases, but with lactation support, you should soon become an expert.

How do I know if my baby’s getting enough milk?

This is one of the chief worries moms have about breastfeeding. You can’t see the quantity of milk your baby’s drinking like you could if they were using a bottle, but with lactation support, you learn to judge how well your baby’s feeding and understand how to be sure they’re getting enough nutrition.

As long as you’re feeding frequently, your baby’s satisfied after they’re fed, and they’re providing you with plenty of wet or dirty diapers, all should be well. The more you feed your baby, the more milk you make, so you shouldn’t need to worry about running out.

If there are any concerns, your lactation consultant at Internal Medicine and Pediatrics of West Michigan can show you how to increase your milk supply using a breast pump and address any problems like breast engorgement or mastitis that could be affecting your ability to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding your baby doesn’t just give them the best physical and emotional start in life -- it’s also a deeply satisfying and rewarding experience. If you’re having problems of any kind, use the lactation support services at Internal Medicine and Pediatrics of West Michigan to get you back on track. Call the office today or book a consultation online.