What are lactation and breastfeeding support services?
Lactation Support Service helps mothers achieve their breastfeeding goal by providing individualized breastfeeding information, consultation and support. Our experienced staff help mothers with infant latching and milk supply, and avoid unnecessary supplementation or weaning infants early due to problems that are either avoidable or manageable.
When are lactation support services needed?
If a new mother is experiencing any of the following circumstances, she may be able to benefit from lactation support services:
- Breastfeeding a premature infant or an infant with slow weight gain/failure to thrive
- Breastfeeding under special circumstances such as down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and heart disease
- Infant problems requiring surgery,such as cleft lip or cleft palate and cardiac defects
- Insufficient or low milk supply or concerns about weight loss (>10% in first 2 weeks)
- Infant fussiness/sucking difficulties that interfere with breastfeeding
- Infant preference for bottle feeding or inability to latch
- Concerns about mother’s medications,chronic illness, or food intolerances/allergies
- Breastfeeding while returning to work
- Breastfeeding more than one infant (multiple births)
- Pain with nursing (sore nipples or breast and engorgement)
- Concerns about maintaining mother's milk and/or breastfeeding when the mother and infant are separated
- In the event a mother has a premature or hospitalized infant, we help with mechanical expression with abreast pump until the infant can feed directly at the breast.
Lactation services we provide
- Specialized care from our board-certified lactation nurse clinicians (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants - IBCLC)
- Our breast feeding resource center provides telephone advice, referrals and educational materials for mothers and healthcare professionals
- Breast pump rental referrals
- Consultation services; prenatally, inpatient and outpatient
- In-service education for healthcare professionals
Frequently asked questions about lactation support
Who is eligible to receive lactation support?
Lactation support services are available prenatally, during any hospitalization or as an outpatient consultation for anyone having questions or concerns about breastfeeding.
What tests are used to diagnose nursing problems?
We generally evaluate by observing a nursing session and use pre- and post-test weighing to measure intake at the breast. We also may need to do blood tests to work-up other reasons for weight loss that may be mistakenly related to breastfeeding but can be caused by vitamin D deficiency, reflux, hypoxia due to airway issues or disorganized suck that may need additional occupational therapy evaluation, among other causes.
We also screen all mothers for postpartum depression and provide referrals to Fussy Baby Network, Mothers’ community support groups, WIC and mental health evaluations, as needed for each family.
Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado for lactation support services?
We have leading experts in the field that provide evidence-based consultation in combination with neonatologists and pediatricians. We also have a team of psychologists that work closely with our team to support the complicated and important process of breastfeeding for the family when the infant is sick or having difficulty.