For many moms, breastfeeding is easy and joyful, but from our patients we often hear, “I didn’t realize breastfeeding could be this hard” and “How does anyone do it without help?” There is nothing strange about needing help to breastfeed! For generations, mothers, sisters, aunts, and friends have provided this knowledge and support. Now they may be far away or have little personal experience with breastfeeding.
What do we help with?
- Concerns with baby’s weight gain
- Concerns about milk production
- Pain with breastfeeding and/or pumping
- Baby having trouble latching on or sucking
- Help with stopping use of a nipple shield
- Concern for tongue tie and/or lip tie
- Baby born early & needs extra help feeding
- Persistent plugged ducts/recurrent mastitis
- Help with breastfeeding multiples
- Inducing lactation for adoptive/intended/second mothers
- …And/or a check in during the early days to make sure everything’s going OK!
What happens during a lactation consult?
An International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) will do most or all of the following, depending on your specific issue:
- Review your baby’s feeding and weight history
- Weigh your baby
- Review your medical history and past breastfeeding experiences
- Examine your breasts and nipples
- Assess your baby’s suck and any issues that might be affecting latch/feeding
- Assist with a feeding, and use a special scale (if needed) to determine how much your
- baby takes in at the breast
- Listen to the experiences you have had, answer your questions, and work with you to create a plan of care
- Teach you the skills you need to continue working on feeding at home
- Give you a written plan to take home
- Schedule follow up visits, if needed
- Send a detailed letter to your baby’s doctor with a summary of the visit and plan
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my partner come?
We welcome your partner and any other support people to the visit (family, friends, doula, etc.) Your other children may also come, but try to bring someone else to supervise them so that you can focus on the visit.
How long will the visit be?
A visit typically lasts 60-90 minutes.
What should I bring?
Please bring any “tools” or supplement that you usually use as part of your feeding routine. (For example, nipple shield, pumped milk or formula, bottle, breast pump.) We have a Boppy, Breast Friend, Blessed Nest, and Little Beam pillows in the office. If you have a different pillow at home that you’d like to use, please bring it along.
Should I feed my baby before the visit? Should I bring him/her hungry?
We’re aiming for a baby who is hungry/willing to feed during the visit, but not so hungry that baby is in meltdown mode! If you need to feed your baby soon before the visit, try just “taking the edge off” so they will still be willing to eat when they arrive.