When Should Families Get Help From a Lactation Consultant?


“When should I consult with an IBCLC?” Knowing when to ask for assistance is a common question faced by breastfeeding/chestfeeding families.

We asked our members to share some tips  and strategies with families.

“If you perceive a problem and your corrective action isn’t making an improvement within 48 hours.” -Brenda Dalton, IBCLC

“Anytime you have a question or concern related to breastfeeding: before pregnancy, during pregnancy, anytime after baby is born, if you are considering surrogacy/adopting, you have friends or family members or co-workers who are breastfeeding. Even (especially) if you are a healthcare worker or involved in care of children and parents and want to be helpful, encouraging, and supportive.” -Phyllis Kombol, IBCLC

“Call us any time you have questions! . . . Google and Facebook groups can be helpful, but many times overwhelming. Call an IBCLC with your questions – we love what we do and are happy to answer the call. If you’re needing more detailed advice (continuing pain, weight loss concerns, supply concerns) then please find an IBCLC and be seen in person! [The] visit will save you hours of internet browsing and help empower you in your breastfeeding journey!” -Tori LaChapelle Sproat, IBCLC

“Most basic breastfeeding/chestfeeding questions can be answered by community support from [peer-to-peer lactation support groups] and [peer counselors] . . .It is wonderfully comforting to hire an IBCLC even for simple challenges—because it’s so lovely to have a compassionate care provider sit with you and answer all your questions for a few hours! If your insurance covers it or if you have the resources, it’s definitely worth meeting with an IBCLC prior to the birth of your baby for a breastfeeding class. It’s even a nice idea to hire an IBCLC just to make sure everything is going well.” – Betsy Hoffmeister, IBCLC

Find an IBCLC to help with your questions about lactation and employment or your other breastfeeding questions.

Find an IBCLC

What is an IBCLC?

An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC) is a healthcare professional specializing in the clinical management of breastfeeding and lactation.

An IBCLC is an invaluable asset to breastfeeding families, reassuring you when lactation are going well, and by providing information and support to help prevent and manage common concerns. IBCLCs help with:

  • Prenatal counseling about the factors that may affect breastfeeding, chestfeeding, and lactation
  • Basic position and latch of the infant
  • Information about practices that promote successful lactation
  • Preventing and managing common concerns such as poor latch, inadequate milk transfer or supply, nipple or breast/chest pain, and calming a fussy baby
  • Milk expression and storage for parents who must be separated from their babies
  • Strategies for lactation after returning to work
  • Breastfeeding and lactation in challenging situations, such as feeding twins or triplets, a premature or sick infant, or infants in special medical situations.

Lactation consultants, do you have other tips to share?

Families, do you have questions? Share them here!

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