Lactation Services

As you get ready for the arrival of your baby, a lactation consultant can help you prepare for breastfeeding. You'll learn about techniques to successfully breastfeed and get support after the baby arrives.

Kaiser Permanente's lactation consultants are registered nurses who are board-certified specialists in breastfeeding.

Classes, Before Birth

A breastfeeding class is recommended to learn basic information about breastfeeding. Deciding how to feed your baby is one of the first decisions you will make as a parent.

Classes in the Seattle area
A Breastfeeding Basics class is offered once a month at the Kaiser Permanente Bellevue Medical Center. Generally, the evening class is the first Wednesday of each month. There is no charge for the  class and partners are welcome.

Classes in other areas
Ask your doctor about breastfeeding classes in your area. You also may call Kaiser Permanente’s Resource Line for information.

Consultations, Before and After Birth

Before your child's birth, you may want to schedule a phone or in-person appointment with a lactation consultant if you:

  • Had difficulty with breastfeeding in the past
  • Have had breast surgery
  • Have certain variations in your nipples or breasts (such as flat, inverted, or very large nipples; or unevenly shaped breasts)
  • Are at risk for an early delivery, or are expecting twins or triplets

After the birth, one-on-one consultations by phone or in-person are available for all mothers to discuss any concerns with breastfeeding, or just for reassurance and support. Challenges could be sore nipples, problems with latching, a sleepy or fussy baby at the breast, milk supply concerns, or wondering if your baby is getting enough milk.

You may benefit from a lactation consultation if your child was born prematurely or has a medical condition that may impact feedings. A lactation consultant can help you get a hospital-grade breast pump, provide information about commercial-grade pumps, and talk with you about how, why, and when to pump.

To schedule a phone visit or in-person consultation with a lactation specialist, talk with your provider. Depending on your service area, lactation consultants are available either in the clinic or through community resources.