Lactation Consultants are trained healthcare professionals who specialize in the management of breastfeeding. They help new mothers in their efforts to breastfeed and give parental advice to people who are expecting a baby.
However, lactation consultants can help you in many things but most people have a very common question that, “Can a Lactation Consultant Prescribe Medication?”.
Lactation consultants, who are not medically acclaimed doctors cannot prescribe medication in the USA. They can only recommend you to take a prescription from a professional doctor.
Though some lactation consultant do provide prescriptions but technically they are not the best person to ask for prescriptions.
The best thing you can do is to visit a lactation consultant, then consult a doctor to get the best advice and prescriptions because the main job of a lactation consultant is not prescribing medication.
They are professional specialists that are trained to teach and help females in feeding their baby.
They provide guidance to new moms and treat different breastfeeding problems such as painful nursing, latching difficulties, and low milk productions.
Apart from this, a lactation consultant can help babies who are underweight.
If you want to learn more, check out these articles of ours:
- What is IBCLC?
- What Happens at a Lactation Consultant Appointment?
- How to Become a Lactation Consultant
They can recommend you the best practices that will help increase the weight of your baby.
Some LCs also work at hospitals and they are more likely to prescribe medications than LCs who have their own private practice.
LCs also provide lessons on breastfeeding to women who are expecting a baby.
Pregnant women visit a lactation consultant to know more about breastfeeding tools like breast pumps and they also give tips on how to store expressed breast milk safely.
But can a lactation consultant prescribe medication in Australia? That’s coming up next.
Can a lactation consultant prescribe medication in Australia?
As you know that lactation consultants are more specialized in treating breastfeeding problems than prescribing medications.
They are only trained to help women breastfeed properly, and if they don’t have permission, then they cannot prescribe medications in Australia.
That’s why you should also consider visiting a doctor to be more specific about which medicines you should take.
Though in case if the LC is working under a professional doctor, then they can prescribe medication after discussing with the doctor, other than that, it’s not wise to consume medications prescribed by an unauthorized lactation consultant.
Now, this doesn’t mean that LCs are not useful, they can treat a lot of problems.
For example, an LC can help you navigate different kinds of problems such as poor milk supply, baby falling asleep while breastfeeding, marathon breastfeeding session, baby refusing to breastfeed, and many more.
So if you are dealing with these kinds of problems, then a lactation consultant is the best person you should meet.
The only suggestion is that even if your LC recommends you some medications, you should ask him about it and then decide whether you should take it or not.
Along with this, you should consult a doctor before taking any milk supply boosting medicine. This will keep you safe from any kind of potential problem.
Can a lactation consultant prescribe medication in Canada?
Not all lactation consultants can prescribe medication in Canada. Only those who have legal authority or a doctoral degree are allowed to do that.
However, when it comes to prescribing medication, most LCs only prescribe drugs that help increasing prolactin, the hormone that is responsible for milk production.
They are not professional doctors and can only help in breastfeeding-related problems.
Apart from this, it’s also important to choose a Lactation Consultant very carefully and you must interview the LC properly before hiring her.
Though if the LC is your family friend and has the real nursing experience, then you can ask her for prescriptions but if you are meeting an LC for the first time, then you should visit a doctor first before taking any medicine.
In case, if you are experiencing any issues while breastfeeding, then you can fix an appointment with an LC who works in a reputed hospital.
She will have the authority to prescribe medications and also be able to contact professional doctors if something is serious.
Domperidone and Reglan are the two most popular medicines that are prescribed to breastfeeding moms to boost their milk production.
Domperidone is primarily used to treat gastrointestinal issues and increased milk production is one of its side effects.
That’s why only authorized LC who also has experience in nursing can prescribe these kinds of medications.
So if you are planning to visit an LC, then make sure to check whether it is authorized to prescribe medications or not.
Can a lactation consultant prescribe medication in the UK?
The lactation consultant in the United Kingdom can examine and diagnose the patient but if they don’t have any expertise in the nursing practices, then they can only recommend meeting a doctor and getting a prescription from him.
Though if the LC has enough experience, then she might prescribe you Domperidone to treat low milk supply but for any other health problem, you should consider meeting a professional doctor.
Along with this, to make a better decision, you must know when you should meet a doctor and when you should visit an LC.
According to MHRA, only appropriate practitioners are allowed to prescribe medication.
For example, practitioners are divided into two categories, independent and supplementary.
Independent practitioners are healthcare professionals who are responsible for diagnosing patients and making decisions and measures to manage their condition and prescribing medication.
These prescribers include dentists, doctors, pharmacist independent prescribers, optometrist independent prescribers, and nurse independent prescribers.
On the other hand, supplementary prescribers are those who assist independent prescribers.
Their main objective is to continue patient care after being examined and assessed by an independent prescriber. Supplementary prescribers include podiatrists, pharmacists, therapeutic and diagnostic radiographers, nurses, and optometrists.
As you can see only these practitioners can prescribe medications in the UK, that’s why you should meet a lactation consultant to discuss your breastfeeding-related problems.
She will tell you the right ways to breastfeed but if your problem requires medication, then you must visit a doctor to get the best advice and prescriptions.
Now you know pretty much all about can a lactation consultant prescribe medication in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, or in Australia.
If you would like to learn more, check out these articles of ours:
- What is IBCLC?
- What to Expect From a Lactation Consultant Appointment?
- CLC vs IBCLC
- Can Nurse Practitioners Deliver Babies?
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