Support for the breastfeeding mother: knowing the difference

[ 0 ] 27/03/2014 |


Guest writer Melissa Bugeja*


Most new mothers do not know where to turn to for support and end up seeking it through the wrong persons.  Know, that not only support exists, but it is also important to distinguish the different types of support available, so you can tap on the right one at the right time.

Mother to mother peer support

These support groups are made of other mothers who have breastfed their infants and now wish to help encourage other mothers.  They are there to help with normal breastfeeding and can give you referrals when needing extra support.

Breastfeeding Counsellors

These would be certified people who are able to educate, support and encourage mothers.  They are not trained in clinical skills; so while they can distinguish a tongue tie or thrush, they can only advise you what seems to be the problem and to seek further help from an IBCLC or Paediatrician.  They can also advise what the health professional might prescribe and the pros and cons to this so as to help you make an informed choice.

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

Being an IBCLC is the ‘gold standard’ in lactation care.  An IBCLC is the person that will help mothers with a variety of breastfeeding challenges.  An IBCLC can be working either in a hospital, private clinic or have their own private practice.


In Malta, a midwife will also be trained in helping a lactating mother.  A midwife would be qualified in between a counsellor and IBCLC.

Most mothers, all they will ever need is some general support.  Others, will just need some education.  However, whenever you are experiencing a lot of challenges you might want to seek out an IBCLC.


*Melissa Bugeja is a certified Breastfeeding Counsellor currently studying to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.  She assists mothers through courses, workshops, support groups and home visits.  You can find her at and on Facebook




Category: Guest posts, Resources for Malta Mums

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