Welcome back to the Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) Birth Center blog. Today, we’re talking about lactation support, so let’s dive in!

Yes, breastfeeding challenges are normal

Today, we’re joined by my lovely friend, Mary and we are diving into the importance of having a lactation consultant. And who better to discuss this topic with than Mary, who has had some challenges with breastfeeding previous babies, and is currently working through some similar challenges with her current baby. He’s looking great, but he has just been a little bit slow to gain weight in the first few weeks postpartum.

Mary’s newest addition is just four and a half weeks old, and we’ve been keeping a close eye on his weight gain. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to establish a good milk supply, and slow weight gain is not uncommon in the early weeks. It doesn’t mean that you won’t produce enough milk. It just takes a little time.

In Mary’s case, she had a bout of mastitis at around three and a half weeks, which affected her milk supply on one side. So, there was a concern about whether the baby was gaining weight. Thankfully, he has been gaining weight, but just a little bit on the slower end of normal.

Midwife and certified lactation consultant

This is where my role as both a midwife and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) comes into play. At the SCV Birth Center, SCV’s premier birth center, we offer comprehensive postpartum care, focusing not only on the mother’s well-being but also on the breastfeeding relationship between mother and baby. It’s a special aspect of our practice that sets us apart.

It is truly amazing to witness the power of breastfeeding and the bond it can create between a mother and her baby. As an IBCLC, I work closely with mothers like Mary to provide them with the necessary support and guidance to overcome any breastfeeding challenges they may encounter.

What do lactation consultants do?

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what lactation consultants actually do, you’re not alone!

Lactation support often all comes back to helping mothers identify what their feeding goals are and help support them in establishing a good milk supply as well as a successful feeding relationship with their baby. For some mothers this may be feedings at the breast, for some others this may be helping them with successful bottle feedings. In the early days after birth, it’s important for mothers to either put the baby to the breast or empty the breast with a pump frequently and effectively to stimulate milk production.

We often emphasize the importance of skin-to-skin contact, proper latching techniques, proper flange size, and ensuring that, if the baby is going to the breast, that the baby is effectively transferring milk during feedings. If mothers are exclusively pumping, we ensure the proper pump flange size is being used and they understand the best way to utilize their pump.

In Mary’s case, we implemented a plan to address her mastitis and increase milk supply on the affected side. This included frequent nursing on that side, using ice and heat therapy, gentle massage, and expressing milk after feedings to help stimulate milk production. I also provided guidance on positioning and latch techniques to ensure optimal milk transfer.

Regular follow-up visits with your IBCLC are crucial to monitor the baby’s weight gain and assess breastfeeding progress overall. It is also important to remember that breastfeeding is a learning process for both the mother and the baby, and it can take time to establish a comfortable and efficient breastfeeding routine.

In cases where weight gain is a concern or if there are other breastfeeding challenges, an IBCLC can provide invaluable assistance. They can evaluate the baby’s latch, assess milk transfer, and offer guidance on issues such as low milk supply, nipple pain, engorgement, or any other difficulties that may arise.

Breastfeeding is a journey

Having a lactation consultant on hand can make a significant difference in a mother’s breastfeeding journey.

We offer evidence-based information, emotional support, and practical strategies tailored to each individual’s unique situation. We can also address concerns, answer questions, and provide reassurance to help mothers feel confident and empowered in their breastfeeding experience.


Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural process, but it can also be challenging at times. Having a knowledgeable professional like an IBCLC can be a tremendous help in navigating those challenges and ensuring a successful breastfeeding journey.

So, if you or someone you know is expecting or has recently given birth, I highly recommend considering lactation support. It can make a world of difference in supporting a mother’s breastfeeding goals and promoting the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby.

Thanks for allowing us to join you on this journey. We’ll see you next time with more stories, advice, and discussions. Remember to stay calm, stay informed, and stay connected.

Finding lactation support

At the SCV Birth Center, we are honored to support your lactation journey. The best resource available to help you find a lactation consultant to help you is through The Lactation Network (TLN).

Not to mention, a lactation consultant or other support might be covered by your insurance. You can either request a consultation from TLN to work with any consultant or use our dedicated link to get paired with a consultant from the SCV Birth Center.

Connect with the SCV Birth Center

Want to learn more about the SCV Birth Center? Get to know us and our SCV Birth Center family on our Your Birth Center page.

Contact us today and take the next step toward the birth of your dreams!

Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of our clients, the names and identifying details of some individuals may have been changed.