Lactation is the process of milk secretion from the mammary glands of a mother right after the childbirth. The milk, therefore produced provides nutrition and immunity to the baby. Galactopoiesis is the stage that maintains milk production and needs prolactin and oxytocin.
The breasts, unlike most of the other body organs, continue to increase in size after delivery. Although mammary growth begins at the time of pregnancy under the influence of ovarian and placental hormones, and some milk is formed, ample milk secretion sets in only after delivery. Since lactation ensues after a premature birth, it would appear that milk production is held up during pregnancy. During pregnancy the combination of hormones circulating in the blood appears to inhibit milk secretion by holding back the release of prolactin from the pituitary gland and by making the mammary gland cells unaffected to this pituitary hormone. The blockage is removed at the end of pregnancy by the expulsion of the placenta and the loss of its supply of hormones, as well as by the reduction in hormone production by the ovaries, while adequate estrogen remains in circulation to promote the secretion of prolactin by the pituitary gland and so favour lactation.
What a Lactation Consultant Does
Most studies state that a mother had to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of a baby’s life, followed by continued breastfeeding along with the introduction of complementary foods until the baby is around one year old. Lactation consultants can help you find the way to breastfeed that works best for both mother and the baby to increase chances of success.
One study also reported that 60% of people who breastfeed stop earlier than they intend to. Lactation consultants are trained professionals who help new parents and their babies deal with breastfeeding challenges.
When to See a Lactation Consultant
People see lactation consultants at different points throughout pregnancy, after birth and throughout the period of baby’s breastfeeding. The number of times you see a lactation consultant will vary based on your individual needs, but studies show that meeting with the consultants can have a positive impact on breastfeeding duration.
What Happens During a Lactation Consultation At Ankura
During your initial meeting, our lactation consultant will ask for important information about mother and baby’s health, pregnancy and delivery. They will want to know the baby’s birth weight, any changes in weight since then, and then family health history.
They will want to know how the baby has been breastfeeding, how many diapers the baby is having each day, information about baby’s bowel movements, and any specific concerns that the mother is having.
At Ankura, our lactation consultants:
- Observe your baby’s appearance and behavior
- Examine your breasts and nipples
- Watch your baby as they’re breastfeeding and adjust your breastfeeding position if need be
- Check whether or not the baby is latching on, sucking, swallowing, and breathing properly
- Correct any breastfeeding problems that are present
- Give you written instructions or protocols to follow
- Explain how to get in touch with them for additional help or questions
- Give you information about local breastfeeding support groups.
Whether the visit is in a hospital, clinic, office, or private home, it is essential that one has to feel comfortable with the visit
Our lactation consultant:
- Consult with you in private
- Give you a positive feeling about the situation
- Are empathetic
- Tell you exactly what she is doing with every part of the examination
Get in touch with our consultants today!
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Please feel welcome to contact our friendly reception staff with any general or medical enquiry. Our doctors will receive or return any urgent calls.