Health professionals whose most important roles are offering breastfeeding assistance and education. They provide many different services:
- individual consultations for myriad breastfeeding situations
- plans of care created with other health care providers
- prenatal breastfeeding classes
- postpartum support groups
- breastfeeding product assistance (e.g. breastpumps, breast shells, nipple shields, supplemental nursing systems)
Many lactation consultants design special breastfeeding programs for hospitals or other institutions. Some create continuing education programs specifically designed for other health care professionals, and others focus their energies on conducting research.
Lactation consultants are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. To find a lactation consultant in your area, visit the International Lactation Consultant Association website.