A lactation consultant is a health professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) certifies lactation consultants who meet its criteria and have passed its exam.
A lactation counselor is a healthcare provider recognized as an expert in the fields of human lactation and breastfeeding counseling. A certified lactation counselor will carry the initials CLC after her/his name. Lactation counselors can be found working as staff in hospitals, at physician and midwife offices, in private practice, and in the public health sector.
Lactation suppression refers to the act of suppressing lactation by medication or other non pharmaceutical means. The breasts may become painful when engorged with milk if breastfeeding is ceased abruptly, or if never started. This may occur if a woman never initiates breastfeeding, or if she is weaning from breastfeeding abruptly. Historically women who did not plan to breastfeed were given diethylstilbestrol and other medications after birth to suppress lactation. However, its use was discontinued, and there are no medications currently approved for lactation suppression in the US and the UK. Dopamine agonists are routinely prescribed to women following a stillbirth in the UK under the NHS.
In zoology, male lactation is production of milk (lactation ) from a male mammal's mammary glands. It is well-documented in the Dayak fruit bat. The term male lactation is not used in human medicine. It has been used in popular literature, such as Louise Erdrich's The Antelope Wife, to describe the phenomenon of male galactorrhea, which is a well-documented condition in humans, unrelated to childbirth or nursing. Newborn babies of both sexes can occasionally produce milk; this is called neonatal milk (also known as "witch's milk") and not considered male lactation.
The Journal of Human Lactation is a peer-reviewed medical journal that covers research on human lactation and breastfeeding behavior. The editor-in-chief is Joan E. Dodgson (Saint Louis University ). The journal was established in 1985 and is published by SAGE Publications. It is the official journal of the International Lactation Consultant Association.