Did You Get Help from a Lactation Consultant?

Updated on July 15, 2011
S.T. asks from Denver, CO
15 answers

So I'm thinking of making an appointment with a lactation consultant. But it is $75 bucks. Anyone use one? Is it worth it? I have low milk supply and my freezer milk supply is running out! My left breast is twice the size as my right but when I pump the last two weeks, I"m lucky if I get one ounce out of it. It seems like my baby is getting enough so it may just be a pumping problem. But for the first 5 months I pumped no problem, and got 4-6 ounces. He started solid foods, so I know that may be a factor. But I also noticed that I am pumping a lot of foremilk - it's just watery and blue. So I think I need help....

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So What Happened?

thanks moms. I actually just found out that the same lady does free breastfeeding support groups twice a week so I think I'll try that first. I'm just concerned because "good ol' left" used to produce way more milk and it worries me that it's not now. But my son does seem to get milk out and it feels drained when he's done. But I work 3 days a week and if I can't pump as much as he's drinking then I'm in trouble! Seriously I only have like 10 ounces stored right now. eeek! But I also know that a big part of it is stress, I HATE pumping at work and stress about it.

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answers from Tulsa on

It would have been well worth the money I would have saved on formula.
I allowed my MIL to drive me and she stresses me out so I could not relax.
I went three times and it made me feel better to know I was doing it right, but the milk production just wasn't happening.

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answers from Spartanburg on

I saw several lac consultants during my stay at the hospital after birth and they were a big help to me. Honestly seeing as you are already bf, I wouldn't be surprised if one $75 appt is all you need to get things straightened out. Check La Leche League and see if there is a leader in your area, they can be a big FREE help when you have specfic questions....I emailed the one in my area a couple of times out of the blue, never met/talked to her before, and she responded with really good helpful advice. Also, I can't tell from your post, if you are only having a problem with one side, you can totally bf with only the other breast...I did that with my second and it was fine...I was just lopsided for a while :)

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answers from Dayton on

Is this near you? http://www.lllusa.org/COWY/WestLittletonCO.html
Call her! She should be happy to help for free.

Do you have a manual and electric pump?
I found switching back and forth helped my 'pump hating boobs'. :)

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answers from Des Moines on

Find a La Leche League meeting in your area! http://www.llli.org/webus.html

Around 5-6 months is a pretty common time for a pumping/nursing slump

If baby is slurping bottles while you're at work and sleeping while you're home wake him up to nurse every two hours while you're home and awake.

Pump last thing at night (you won't get hardly anything but it signals your body to make more milk while you're sleeping) and pump at least one side first thing in the AM. Pump on your days off during naptime. If you're using the standard flanges that came with your pump try switching to either the soft one or the larger ones (they sell the Medela ones at Target!)

Try Fenugreek and lactation cookies http://www.food.com/recipe/peanut-butter-lactation-cookie...

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answers from Denver on

Have you checked with the hospital where you gave birth or your peditrician's office. Often times both places have lactation consultants at a free or low cost option. I used one when my daughter was a week old and it did help, she is now just getting weaned at 22 months. Good luck with the nursing!

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answers from Provo on

Hi, I used at lacatation consultant when I was in the hospital, and it was a lot of help actually. I really liked her, and she helped me understand a lot of things. I had the same experience, freezer milk running out while working. I, however, pump full time, even now, my baby is 8 months old. Around 6 months it seemed like my supply was really going downhill, so every time I pumped, I pumped for about five mintues, then always started a second let down, but doing the fast pumping again while turning up the speed just a bit. that actually seemed to help get all the milk out. I still have to do this everytime I pump to get enough milk, but it is working! Just a thought.

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answers from New York on

Call your insurance and see if they have LC that are covered under your insurance plan.

It was covered for me like a specialist visit.

I definitely got tips that helped me with pumping from the LC I saw, but I also know some people that were really turned off by the LC they saw.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I LOVED my lactation consultant - she made all the difference in the world to me!!! My insurance covered the cost as well - i had to pay upfront, but they reimbursed me!

I'm sorry your supply is low....stress can do that....lack of sleep as well - I believe the $75 is WELL WORTH IT!!!

How funny - my milk supply with my son didn't change when he went to solids...with my first son...it changed with my second....my first son - no kidding -i wet nursed two girl friends babies and STILL had a FREEZER full of milk....enough to feed Ethiopia!! My second son? Just enough to get by!!

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answers from Denver on

The great thing about a person with expertise in lactation is that she/he can put your mind at ease about a lot of things. All the things you are mentioning are not unusual. Just remember that even though you cannot pump much out that your baby is the indicator of your milk supply. He is gaining and doing fine so you have plenty of milk. The breast pumps will never actually be able to extract milk like your baby can. In fact, I am on baby #4 and have only succeeded with a pump with one and even then it only lasted about 5 months then I couldn't hardly squeeze a drop out of it.

Also, currently, my baby is 6 months and I have a huge left boob and in my case it is just because my baby and I favor that side so it fills more. In short, this is all normal and you are correct in thinking part of it is related to the fact that your baby has started solids.

If I were you, I wouldn't pay to go see a lactation consultant, I would first call the hospital that you delivered at and ask to have the lactation nurse call you. She will be able to direct you and help you for free. The cool part is, you can call her as many times as you want. If you just do not feel satisfied then you can pay to see a consultant.

Good luck!

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answers from Gainesville on

Why do you think you have a low milk supply!? If baby is happy and satisfied you have a perfectly fine supply!!! What you can pump and what baby can get are 2 vastly different things. Baby will always be more efficient at getting milk than a pump.

When I had to pump for my son as a preemie I noticed that I had to pump at least 20-25 minutes to get a final and good let down that was hindmilk.

I couldn't pump to save my life with my 2nd. My body just wouldn't respond to the pump.

Make sure you are continuing to eat/drink well, that your pump is working well (you might try renting a hospital grade and see if that makes a difference), make sure you relax when trying to pump-if you are uptight nothing is going to come out for sure, trying pumping one side while baby nurses on the other to help get your body back happy with the pump.

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answers from Dallas on

I called the lactation specialist at the hospital, that was free for me. I always had a low milk supply, no matter the diet change, herbs etc... nothing would boost my milk supply. I called the hospitals maternity ward and left a message and a woman called me back and explained some good info for me. It worked a little but in the end, my body just doesn't produce enough and that's that. Clearly your body isn't like mine in that it's proved that it CAN produce enough milk so before you fork out the money, call the hospital.

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answers from Wichita on

Ah, there's something to be said about the stress that comes from watching the freezer supply dwindle down to nothing. I BF both of my children for about a year each. I pumped at work and froze the milk. They were each exclusively BF, so that frozen supply was SO important for daycare. Before you pay $75 for a LC, you might first check out some FREE resources like La Leche League. Or try some of the suggestions from other moms.

I always nursed my baby on one side per feeding. My right side always produced probably twice as much as my left. I still alternated between sides after each feeding, to make sure to keep up the supply in both sides.

I would suggest that you try to pump on one side while you nurse on the other. Mornings were the best time for me to do this...I could get a lot of extra milk, because I was more full from the night. If your left side is usually fuller, feed baby on the RIGHT side for the first feeding of the day (this side will be fuller than usual due to going through the night), and pump on the left side at the same time. It's a little awkward at first to do both at the same time, but it can be done, and I think you'll find that you get a lot more milk, because your baby is already stimulating the let-down.

I have a hospital grade electric double pump that I have used with both babies, but there are still times when I had a tough time *tricking* my body to release that milk. Many women have said to get a hand pump and take it into the shower with you. The warm water will help with the let down. You might try this if you are extra full.

Good luck!

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answers from Cleveland on

My city has free lactation meetings and a nurse to weight the baby everyday if you want for free, and individualized appoints for a fee. I say do it, it's worth it. I'm sure they will have lots of great advice for you.

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answers from New York on

My lactation consultant found a way to put in to my medical insurance, and I was reimbursed. It is worth asking about, if the support group is not enough.



answers from Missoula on

If you feel your nursing relationship might be in jeapardy, get help! $75 is way less than $200-$400/month, month after month, for formula, so it strikes me as worth the investment if you want to continue nursing. Nursing can be tricky, but with the right help is doesn't have to be a nightmare! I don't think I would have made it past 6 weeks without help from a lactation consultant.

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