For many, 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, close family 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 or engorgement*
- 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!
*see below for more information on these services!
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
Persistent plugged ducts and engorgement
Are you having difficulty clearing plugged ducts or engorgement? All of our lactation consultants are trained in techniques to help drain the breast, decrease the swelling and pain, and get the milk moving again! You will also go home with self-massage routines to keep things going in the right direction.
It’s true – if you are welcoming a baby, but not carrying the pregnancy, you can still breastfeed! If you are interested in inducing lactation, we offer one-on-one visits with a lactation consultant and nurse-midwife. We review your health history, provide any appropriate prescriptions, and set you up with an individualized plan for making milk and/or nursing your baby. We continue to provide support all the way through bringing your baby home and getting nursing off to a successful start. Please note that you do not necessarily need to use hormones or any prescription medication to induce lactation; we can discuss a plan that fits your emotional and medical needs.Schedule a Consult →
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
What is the fee for lactation care? Will my insurance cover your services?
We are in-network with most private insurance plans, Tricare, and Medicaid. They typically cover our services, sometimes with a co-pay. (Usually a co-pay for both mom and baby, because both are seen and evaluated.) Please contact us before your visit if you have questions about what your out-of-pocket cost may be. If you don not have insurance, please ask about our discount for self-pay.
Will you tell me I have to breastfeed a certain way? Will I feel guilty about how I’m currently feeding?
Put simply – no! Our goal is a peaceful, enjoyable feeding relationship that meets your family’s needs. There are different ways to achieve that; we are here to help you see all the possibilities, and figure out what will work best for you.