A lactation educator can help you to have breastfeeding success! Lactation educators are trained to educate health care professionals, the public and parents alike about breastfeeding and human lactation. They are skilled in dispelling breastfeeding myths that many people still believe. You'd be surprised, you probably believe some of them too! They deal primarily with the normal process of lactation and have the skills to know when to refer a woman to her care provider or a lactation consultant. The vast majority of families can have their questions answered and become educated on how to successfully breastfeed their baby without having to be referred to a lactation consultant.
Booking an in home education session before your baby is born is a great way to get prepared in advance. Alternately, you can book a consultation after your baby arrives home to problem solve any issues you may be experiencing and answer any questions that have come up. Educators can check latch and help with positioning. They also provide the reassurance that new parents sometimes need that what is happening is normal and to be expected.
CLE (CERTIFIED LACTATION EDUCATOR)
as defined by CAPPA
CLEs are certified by CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association). Their certification is achieved through required readings, workshops, as well as projects and research that is submitted to a director. The recertification process occurs every 3 years and requires submitting continuing education hours (15 hours in 3 years), as well as reviewing current research on lactation.
CLEs can educate both breastfeeding families, the general public and medical staff, as well as provide emotional and practical support to mothers. They can assist with basic breastfeeding issues (such as latch issues) and help expectant mothers prepare for breastfeeding. They can also help a mom discern when more help is needed, and often have a list of community resources, such as local IBCLCs they can refer to. It is important to note that according to CAPPA, the lactation Educator Program does NOT "qualify a member to dispense medical advice, diagnose or prescribe medication".