Lactation consultants are individuals who have extensive training in the physiology of how human milk is produced by the body and how to assist moms and their newborns with breastfeeding. They are an invaluable resource to you at the hospital or birth center, and even after you have gone home.
Many pediatricians also have a lactation consultant working in their office and it may be something you ask about when choosing a doctor for your baby. Also, don’t forget the many relatives and friends of yours that successfully breastfed and would love to help you get off to a good start!
Most cities have lactation support groups which meet regularly, discuss topics, share product information that might be helpful, and have newborn weigh ins to assure that babies are getting the nutrition they need. You will bring your baby to these meetings and meet other moms with nursing infants at different ages.
There is usually no cost involved, they may be sponsored by a doula, a hospital, or perhaps a group called the La Leche League. A quick search online should yield information about groups in your general area with phone numbers that you can call for details.