Lactation Consultants

If your baby is a patient at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, you may meet with a lactation consultant or breastfeeding resource nurse. 

Outpatient lactation support is also available, please call 215-590-4442 to schedule an outpatient lactation visit with a lactation consultant.

Lactation consultants can educate you about the multiple benefits of breastfeeding or pumping breast milk for your baby. They can also work with you and your baby on breastfeeding positions and proper latch technique and address any breastfeeding challenges you may face.

Qualifications and duties of Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC)

Breastfeeding in NIICU Image Our lactation consultants are all internationally board-certified. They have varied backgrounds including registered nurses and registered dietitians. The rigorous professional standards of the IBCLC, and the mandated demonstration of specialized knowledge and skill through international certification, are the defining characteristics that set IBCLCs apart from other lactation and breastfeeding support personnel IBCLC’s are clinical experts in the management of breastfeeding and human lactation and are here to assist with difficult and high risk situations. To learn more about our lactation team, see meet our team.

CHOP offers additional support by way of our breastfeeding resource nurses who complete a two-day course on how to support and educate families. Breastfeeding resource nurses work in adjunct to the IBCLC. They can offer information about breastfeeding basics, address common breastfeeding concerns, and assist moms with breastfeeding for special needs babies.

Our team wants to understand your personal breastfeeding goals. They will work with you to create and review a personalized pumping schedule to maximize your milk production for your child and achieve breastfeeding success.

Mouth care

Your baby’s nurse will teach you about mouth care. With a sterile cotton swab or your hand-washed finger, you will coat the entire inside of the baby’s mouth with the milk. You can leave a small amount of milk for your baby’s nurse to do mouth care when you are not here. Mouth care with your milk helps to protect your baby from infection and babies love it.

Pumping schedule

We will work with you to create and review a personalized pumping schedule to maximize your milk production.

Skin-to-skin contact (kangaroo care)

Skin-to-skin contact supports the emotional, psychological and physical well-being of the child and parent. It reinforces the bonding and attachment between baby and parents. We will teach you more about skin-to-skin contact.

Non-nutritive sucking

Babies find sucking to be soothing. That's why you see so many babies with pacifiers. If your baby has been intubated (using a breathing tube), you'll need to wait until that is removed before your baby can begin non-nutritive sucking at the breast. You will need to pump your breast first so your baby doesn't get milk until he's ready.