Two reasons to hire a lactation consultant if you're about to stop trying to breastfeed

If you have had very little success with breastfeeding your baby and are on the verge of giving up and switching to formula, it might be worth giving a local lactation consultant a call. Read on to find out why.

They can give you personalised advice

There are countless books and websites that offer advice to new mums who are struggling to breastfeed their infants. However, this advice is designed to help all new mothers and so is not always specific enough to solve certain breastfeeding-related problems that only some women experience.

If you have read through all of the tips on breastfeeding and are still no closer to overcoming your nursing issues, then you should reach out to a lactation consultant. They will evaluate the particular difficulties you are facing and will try to discover all they can about the elements of your life that might be causing or contributing to these difficulties. They will then come up with a customised plan, based on the things you have told them about yourself, your baby and your living circumstances.

For example, if you suspect that your milk supply has been dwindling because of your acute anxiety or stress, the advice you might find in a general breastfeeding book is to find ways to lower your anxiety or stress levels. Whilst this advice is correct, it might not be specialised enough to be of use to you, as an individual. In this situation, the lactation consultant might point out that, for instance, your excessively high stress levels are potentially the result of you being an introvert, who has not been getting enough 'alone time' to recharge and de-stress since the birth of your baby (in which case they might recommend using a babysitter's services a couple of times a week and asking your partner to help out around the house more so that you can start to regularly spend a few hours on your own).

You'll be less likely to struggle with guilt if you don't end up finding a way to successfully breastfeed

Sometimes, even after reading several books on breastfeeding and carefully following their GP's and midwife's advice, some new mums will still not be able to successfully breastfeed their babies. Mothers in this situation often end up being incredibly hard on themselves about their perceived 'failure' and become tormented by feelings of guilt. These women can end up filled with regrets about not having explored every possible avenue whilst trying to nurse their child.

Going to a lactation consultant can help you to avoid suffering from this very destructive form of emotional turmoil. The lactation consultant will help you to methodically work your way through the list of all of the potential causes of your breastfeeding problems and will then give you a huge amount of expert tips and practical advice that you can use to try to manage or overcome these problems.

If after following the customised advice of this expert, you still cannot nurse, then you should find the process of coming to terms with the fact that you're unable to do this a bit easier, as you will know that you did absolutely everything in your power to breastfeed your child (including consulting someone who is an expert in matters relating to lactation). This should relieve you of any lingering feelings of guilt and allow you to move on from this experience.

For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Thrive Lactation & Parenting Support.

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