Breastfeeding & Lactation FAQs
Below are some answers to frequently asked questions.
Why choose an IBCLC/RN for your lactation specialist?
While it is not necessary to be a registered nurse to become an IBCLC, a RN/IBCLC provides so much more than a traditional IBCLC. The RN experience gives the practitioner the advantage of being able to identify medical problems of a more crucial nature affecting the infant’s or mother’s health. These problems may be the underlying issues directly or indirectly affecting the breastfeeding experience.
What is a lactation consultant?
Lactation consultants are allied health professionals trained to provide education and support to women desiring to breastfeed their infants. They emphasize the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and infant.
What are the advantages of working with a lactation consultant?
Working with a lactation consultant helps insure a smoother transition from the early days after birth throughout the breast feeding continuum. Every baby is different and every mother has different goals for her lactation experience. Research shows that mothers breast feed more successfully if they have access to lactation consultants.
What kind of training do lactation consultants have?
In general a lactation consultant is someone interested in assisting the breastfeeding mother and has completed either a five day class, passed an exam and received either a CLE or CLC title. Once receiving their certification from the organization sponsoring the class, they are free to use this title and provide service. No experience is required. Lactation consultants can become board certified as an IBCLC if they complete all the requirements.
What is an IBCLC?
An IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) is the only internationally certified healthcare professional who manages breast feeding and human lactation.
What are the advantages of using an IBCLC?
Lactation consultants who achieve IBCLC status (and many do not), have to pass rigorous requirements set forth by the Board of Lactation Consultant examiners. Requirements to achieve this status include proof of education and 1000 hours of supervised practical experience. To maintain certification, the IBCLC candidate must adhere to professional ethics, demonstrate proof continuing medical education and re-take certifying exams every ten years. These stringent requirements are on par with medical doctors.
What should I look for when choosing a lactation consultant?
While it is not necessary to be a registered nurse to become an IBCLC, a registered nurse/lactation consultant (RN, IBCLC) with newborn experience provides the additional advantage of being able to identify problems that may be of a more critical nature, affecting the infant or mother’s health, and indirectly affect the breastfeeding experience.
This is my second child and I had difficulty getting my first child to latch and ended up pumping. Do you think I can get my new baby to breastfeed?
Every baby is different. Just because you had latch problems with the first child doesn’t mean you will have problems with subsequent children.
I have sore and cracked nipples. How do I treat them?
It’s always best to look at the cause of the sore nipples as the best way to treat them. It is advisable to demonstrate a feeding to lactation consultant to establish the root cause of the problem. Often, a position change or alignment adjustments are all that are needed to rectify the problem.
My baby is not gaining weight. How can I fix this problem?
Babies fail to gain weight for a variety of reasons. Often the issue is baby centered; i.e. poor latch, an ineffective suck which results in partially emptied breasts or not nursing often or long enough. It can be maternal: i.e. inadequate milk supply (generally caused by reasons mentioned for baby), however there are occasionally underlying causes such as previous breast surgery. A lactation consultant can distinguish the etiology and assist you and your infant nurse effectively.
What if my child sees a different pediatrician? Can I still make an appointment to visit your lactation consultants?
Yes. Our lactation consultants will see you and your baby, regardless of who your pediatrician may be.
How do I make an appointment?
Our experienced lactation consultants are available by appointment. Call our office at (847) 398-0400 to make an appointment.
Where is your office located?
Our office is located at Arlington Pediatrics, 3325 N. Arlington Heights Road, Suite 100A, Arlington Heights, Illinois 60004.
Who should accompany me to my appointment?
You’re welcome to bring anyone you’re comfortable with while nursing and who will be helping you with your baby.
Are there any special instructions before my visit?
In most cases, our lactation consultants will be observing a feeding with you and your baby. At least an hour and a half to a two hour interval between the last feeding and your visit is helpful.
Do you conduct home visits?
Yes, our lactation consultants are available for home visits. Please call our office to schedule your appointment.
Do you offer breastfeeding classes?
Yes. Our experienced lactation consultants offer a variety of classes, including prenatal, return to work and mother’s support groups. To view a current schedule, go to our Classes page.
Do you offer breast pump rentals?
Yes, we rent breast pumps and have basic breastfeeding supplies available.
We’re Here To Help
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact our certified Lactation Consultants by calling (847) 398-0434.
The Breastfeeding Center of Chicago is located at:
3325 N. Arlington Heights Road, Suite 100A
Arlington Heights, Illinois 60004