Breastfeeding offers babies and mothers several advantages, but sometimes moms need help. At the Northwestern Children’s Practice, our doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses offer Chicagoland women the lactation consults they need to successfully breastfeed.
A lactation consults visit, or breastfeeding consultation, offers knowledge and guidance to women who want to nurse their children but are having difficulties starting out. Breastfeeding consultations and lactation support can help mothers overcome issues and learn how to breastfeed effectively. The Northwestern Children's Practice houses a team of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants and Lactation Counselors to help moms overcome any obstacles. These professionals offer lactation support when needed during newborn and infant visits and also during weekly new parent support groups. Lactation questions can also be asked through the Northwestern Children's Practice breastfeeding support phone line.
Breastfeeding benefits both the baby and mother. Human milk is a natural substance that contains the nutrients a baby needs and immune factors to protect the baby against infection. Benefits for the mother include protection against premenopausal breast and ovarian cancers. Breastfeeding also helps the uterus contract after delivery, which helps avoid postpartum hemorrhage. Breastfeeding is less expensive than formula feeding, more convenient, and mother-nature recommended!
Breastfeeding is a supply and demand system. A nursing mother needs adequate calories, fluids, and rest to produce enough breast milk. It is helpful to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks each day to maintain a well-nourished state and optimize milk production. Most newborns require 8-12 feedings per day. If your baby is not demanding enough milk, or if the suck is not strong enough to remove the milk, there may be insufficient milk production.
The Lactation Team at the Northwestern Children’s Practice can help advise families who are just starting out as well as families with more experience who have specific concerns. Our lactation consultants can help nursing mothers with assessment of a healthy latch position, optimizing milk production, discussing the benefits of breast pumps and storage of breast milk as well as other specific concerns.
Breastfeeding is a learned process. The learning process might take 2-3 days or 2-3 weeks, depending on a variety of factors. Either during a well newborn visit, or scheduled as a separate visit, the Lactation Consultants at the Northwestern Children’s Practice can help you solve some of the problems you may experience when you are starting out on this intriguing journey called motherhood.