What is a breastfeeding or lactation consultant?
A breastfeeding or lactation consultant is a health care professional who specialize in the clinical management of breastfeeding.
We promote evidence based practice and support mothers and baby’s to be able to breastfeed successfully. Breastfeeding can be difficult to manage at times, so get the help you deserve.
- Nipple or breast pain
- Assessment of tongue tie/ lip tie
- Recurring blocked ducts (plugged duct/ nipple bleb)
- Low milk supply
- Baby’s slow weight gain
- Pumping and feeding expressed milk
- Breastfeeding after breast surgery
- Breastfeeding under difficult circumstances (Downs, cleft lip etc.)
- Return to work – what to do now?
- Advice on introducing complementary foods from 6 months of age
DID YOU KNOW?
Catherine Day offers home visits to mothers seeking assistance with breastfeeding and that this service can be covered by medical aids
Why is breastfeeding important?
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), 13% of the 10.6 million deaths of children under 5 years can be averted if mothers
choose to breastfeed. Furthermore, if mothers exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months they are 25 times less likely to suffer from
acute infections such as diarrhea, pneumonia, ear infections, meningitis and urinary tract infection. Breastfeeding allows mothers to
provide the BEST source of nutrition for their baby. Breast milk contains the right mix of macro and micro nutrients and unlike formula
contains human antibodies which protect them from the above mentioned infections.
My breastfeeding story
My passion for the field of breastfeeding and lactation started when I was in my very 1st year of training to be a dietitian. I was overwhelmed by the capacity that breastfeeding had and its strong base in has in human physiology and science based recommendations. In our 2nd year of honours training we worked together with mothers to assist them to breastfeed and I obtained my very first breastfeeding training certificate. In my community service year I was privileged enough to work in an Neonatal ICU where I supported and encouraged mothers to hand express their breast milk and encouraged these mothers to continue breastfeeding for as long as they could because we know that breastfeeding allows mothers to provide the BEST source of nutrition for their baby. Breast milk also contains the right mix of macro and micro nutrients and unlike formula contains human antibodies which protect them from the above mentioned infections. During this year I also helped raise funds for the paediatric ward to purchase a new refrigerator so that it could be used to store only expressed breastmilk.
After my community service year, I started to lecture at the University of Cape Town. I was able to share my passion for breastfeeding and supporting mothers who breastfeed with my students. In 2014 I enrolled through the University of Witwatersrand to become a lactation consultant student through the South African Certified Lactation Consultant diploma program. I graduated in 2015 after finishing 60 hours of practical work and completing a paper on the nutrient intake of breastfeeding women.
In 2016 I had my own experience with breastfeeding as my daughter was born. This experience was very different to what all the resource manuals and teachings explained however I managed to breastfeed for 18 months and during breastfeeding week in 2018 my daughter decided she was now a “big girl” and chose to stop breastfeeding – the saddest but happiest day of my life. Having been a breastfeeding mother myself – I know how tough it can be and how asking for help can be difficult. Luckily I had a bunch of resources and tools that I could pull from because I trained as a lactation consultant but it is a very different experience for each and every mother. If you need help navigating the breastfeeding space – I am here to provide my insight and assistance to you and your little one.
Start life right. Love breastfeeding. Eat smart. Love life.
Certified Lactation Consultant with a PASSION for helping mom’s and baby’s breastfeed
For the best start to life
For the best start to life
WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. At six months, solid foods, such as mashed fruits and vegetables, should be introduced to complement breastfeeding. Continued breastfeeding is recommended for up to two years or more. Research has shown that the longer a mother breast feeds her baby the greater the benefits are! Breast milk in some cultures has been referred to as LIQUID GOLD due to it’s many benefits.
Breast milk is the ideal food for newborns and infants. It gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development. It is safe and contains antibodies (cells that fight infection) that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, the two primary causes of child mortality worldwide. Breast milk is readily available and affordable, which helps to ensure that infants get adequate nutrition and the best start to life that they could possibly need!
Beyond the immediate benefits for children, breastfeeding contributes to good health. Adolescents and adults who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight. They are less likely to have type-2 diabetes and perform better in intelligence tests. Breastfeeding also reduces risk of breast and ovarian cancer, helps women return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster, and lowers obesity rates. Breastfeeding is also a special way in which you are able to bond with your little one.
Going back to work?
Many mothers who return to work abandon breastfeeding partially or completely because they do not have sufficient time, or a place to breastfeed, express and store their milk. Mothers need a safe, clean and private place in or near their workplace to continue breastfeeding. Enabling conditions at work, such as paid maternity leave, part-time work arrangements, on-site crÃ¨ches, facilities for expressing and storing breast milk, and breastfeeding breaks, can help. A lactation consultant can also assist you in this transition.
Support is Essential
Breastfeeding has to be learned and many women encounter difficulties at the beginning. Nipple pain, and fear that there is not enough milk to sustain the baby are common. Health facilities that support breastfeeding’”by making trained breastfeeding counsellors available to new mothers do encourage higher rates of the practice. To provide this support and improve care for mothers and newborns, there are “baby-friendly“ facilities in about 152 countries thanks to the WHO-UNICEF Baby-friendly Hospital initiative.
Why not formula?
Infant formula does not contain the antibodies found in breast milk. When infant formula is not properly prepared, there are risks arising from the use of unsafe water and unsterilised equipment or the potential presence of bacteria in powdered formula. Malnutrition can result from over-diluting formula to “stretch“ supplies. While frequent feeding maintains breast milk supply, if formula is used but becomes unavailable, a return to breastfeeding may not be an option due to diminished breast milk production.