There are times in our lives when we face challenges, and some soothing words of encouragement from friends and family are enough to get us through.

Then there are the other types of challenges: the ones where we need the wise words of an expert.

A lactation consultant is one of the best ways to support your breastfeeding goals. With a mixture of support, advice, and practical tips, these consultants offer much to a new mother. Here are some of the benefits. 

A Lactation Consultant Advises on Breastfeeding Technique

It’s a common myth that breastfeeding is something that comes naturally to the mother and baby from the start. There is a technique for correct breastfeeding. For many, it requires some support and guidance.

A lactation consultant can help show the mother the position of a correct latch. They can explain some of the signs to look for in a baby getting milk rather than comfort sucking or chewing on the nipple.

Consultants can also show mothers through different holding techniques. Switching positions can often help a mother experiencing difficulty getting a baby to latch. 

Troubleshooting Common Breastfeeding Challenges

Mothers face common challenges when breastfeeding. A consultant can help identify the problem and work on a solution. Here are some of the most common challenges they see. 

Tongue and Lip Ties

Common newborn conditions called tongue and lip ties can make it harder for a baby to latch. A lactation consultant can help spot this condition. 

Sore or Cracked Nipples

Sore, cracked nipples can be a painful and difficult challenge for a new mother navigating breastfeeding.

The most common cause is poor latching. A consultant can examine the current latch and help troubleshoot minor issues, like angle and holding position. They can advise on remedies, like lanolin cream, to help soothe the pain.

Early resolution is vital to stop the nipple pain from worsening. Plus, poor latch can sometimes affect milk supply. 


Engorgement happens when the breast is too full, either due to oversupply or because the baby isn’t taking in all the milk from a feed.

It can be uncomfortable for the mother and can lead to further problems, like mastitis, if not addressed. A lactation consultant can check feeding techniques and suggest ways to ease the discomfort, like massage and warm compresses. 

Plugged Ducts

Plugged ducts happen when the milk ducts become blocked. These ducts can become worse unless addressed.

Plugged ducts can occur because of latch problems or long gaps between feeds. A consultant can check the mother’s breastfeeding approach. They can also show gentle massage techniques to help clear the blocked duct. 


Mastitis can lead to pain, fever, and aches, requiring medical intervention and rest. Lactation consultants can also guide the mother on techniques to prevent mastitis from reoccurring and guide them on how to empty the breasts.

Mothers can experience pain with mastitis, so a consultant can also advise on warm compresses to ease the soreness. 

Low Milk Supply

Lactation consultants can guide the mother on increasing milk production when it’s low.

More frequent and more extended nursing periods are one method they may talk through. They may also suggest pumping between feeds.

Lactation consultants can also advise on nutrition and hydration changes that will help boost supply. 

Breastfeeding Support for Unique Situations

Some mothers may face unique challenges when they begin their breastfeeding journey. That might include giving birth to a premature infant or multiples.

These situations require adjustment, and a lactation consultant can help guide the mother.

For example, they can support mothers through synchronized feeding for twins. Or help mothers of premature infants introduce their babies to breastfeeding.

They can also support mothers facing milk supply challenges in these circumstances. This personalized support can be a comfort and help to provide more confidence when mothers face additional hurdles.

Lactation Consultants Can Offer Emotional Support

The physical aspect of breastfeeding is only one-half of the equation.

Emotional support is critical for mothers, helping to boost their confidence and empathy when they may feel pressure, tiredness, and pain as they navigate the new world of breastfeeding a new baby.

A lactation consultant can provide a safe space for new mothers to air their concerns, and they know how to listen without judgment.

They can also help the mother recognize warning signs for other issues like postpartum depression. So, they are a vital link for many mothers wanting to turn breastfeeding from an unfamiliar challenge into a rewarding part of motherhood. 

They Can Help Create Feeding Plans

Each mother has unique needs for feeding her baby. A feeding plan can help provide some structure and guidance when needed. A lactation consultant can work with a mother to create this feeding plan.

That feeding plan can consider the mother’s lifestyle, like returning to work, and how to add pumping into a feeding routine.

They can also create personalized plans that work on supply issues, like under or oversupply of milk. They’ll listen to the mother’s thoughts and feelings to ensure the feeding plan is realistic and works with the family routine.

An achievable schedule is more likely to be successful in the long run, and that’s where it can benefit from having the guidance of a lactation consultant.

Guidance on Weaning

When a mother is ready to move on from breastfeeding or introduce solids, a lactation consultant can help guide them through the weaning process. They can discuss the physical aspects, such as the mother’s milk supply.

They can also explore challenges the mother might face, like alternative comforting techniques for the baby as you wean them away from the breast.

There is also the emotional aspect of weaning. Mothers may have many different emotions, and a lactation consultant can be there to listen.

Is a Lactation Consultant Right for You?

Whether you are expecting your first baby or currently breastfeeding, don’t stay silent on worries or issues.

Breastfeeding challenges are more common than you might think, which is why a lactation consultant can be a welcoming source of support when you need it the most. 

The Kentucky Breastfeeding Center is here for you at every stage of your breastfeeding journey.

Our dedicated team has a depth of experience to help you tackle any challenge. Schedule your first appointment with us today.