Lactation consultants provide information and advice to parents and others on breastfeeding and lactation. Often, they work with parents to advise them on how to successfully breastfeed their baby; this includes troubleshooting issues related to breastfeeding that these parents are currently facing such as latching issues, low milk production and breast pain. Lactation consultants also provide information on subjects such as the use of breast pumps and how to transition from home to work.
Lactation consultants may meet with individuals and their families to provide personalized guidance; this can include one or multiple sessions. Additionally, these consultants may lead classes and breastfeeding support groups on behalf of their employer. They may also provide guidance to health care professionals on breastfeeding and lactation. Lactation consultants often work in hospitals or other health care facilities, although they may also provide home visits to clients as well.
Requirements for lactation consultant position may vary depending on the employer. Often, lactation consultants are registered nurses (which requires completion of a postsecondary nursing program and licensure) who have received additional education to become a lactation consultant. Accreditation is needed for many positions, usually through the International Board of Lactation Consultants Examiners.
Lactation Consultant Tasks
Assist patients having breastfeeding problems.
Select and oversee breastfeeding supplies and accessories for sale and rental.
Design, instruct and assess classes for staff, pregnant and new breastfeeding mothers.