You have just had a baby. You’ve always known you would breastfeed, but things are not going well. Perhaps your nipples are sore. Or you’re struggling with engorgement. Maybe you’re worried about milk supply. Or your baby has hard time latching. Or maybe you just have a lot of questions. In any case, you and your healthcare provider have decided you need the help of an expert. It’s time to call a lactation consultant.
You’re happy to hear that the lactation consultant (IBCLC) your doctor recommends will come to your home to help you. You make an appointment with the consultant, and then you wonder….”What should I do in preparation for her visit?” Continue reading →
I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you so much for everything you have helped us accomplish this past year. Today is my son, Robbie’s, first birthday, and I am happy to say we are still pumping, and strongly committed to at least 18 months.
After three years of heart-breaking infertility, I often found myself wondering why I couldn’t be a Mommy. I continually came back to the thought I was going to be a horrible mom. The day my son was born, I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to give him everything. We left the hospital when he was five days old. Breastfeeding was not successful. I tried and tried, but Robbie couldn’t latch. I diligently pumped my milk for him, but it was difficult and I never made quite enough. When he was a couple months old, my Dr. suggest the Mirena IUD for birth control. After having it inserted, my supply dwindled even more—down to just an ounce and a half a day. I was met with discouragement and urgings to stop pumping from family and friends. They kept telling me how much more time I would have during the day if I stopped. Continue reading →
Sometimes I get a call from a mom who really needs help to breastfeed her baby but she is unable to pay for a consultation. If you have been helped in some way by myself or another lactation consultant, please consider being a Breastfeeding Booster by donating to this lactation fund. The money from these donations will enable me to help families who otherwise could not afford a home visit. You will feel great knowing that you are helping another mom succeed with breastfeeding! Any amount is helpful. Stay tuned… I will periodically post about the mothers and babies that you have helped. You can follow this link. Any amount helps. All donations will be used for families in need. The babies thank you!
Foods or medications that help increase milk supply are called galactagogues. Fenugreek is probably one of the best known herbal galactagogues used by breastfeeding moms. Drs. regularly recommend it to their patients. Moms recommend it to other moms. Doulas suggest it to their clients. It is easy to find, inexpensive and often helpful. It doesn’t require a prescription and there are usually no warnings on the bottle. Even so, I rarely recommend it in my practice. Uncomfortable side effects are common; and, for some mothers, fenugreek can be downright dangerous. Continue reading →
Lately there seems to be a lot of confusion about just who is qualified to dispense breastfeeding advice. Historically, the term “lactation consultant”refers to a health care professional who has met the qualifications for, and passed the exam given by, the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. Passing the exam permits her to use the letters IBCLC after her name. Unfortunately the term “lactation consultant” is not trademarked so there are no regulations about who uses that term. If you’re seeking help for breastfeeding be sure that your consultant has received extensive training, including at least 500 supervised clinical hours specific to lactation.
In the last 10 years or so some organizations have begun offering certifications for programs that involve a mere week or so of didactic instruction. The coursework is valuable, but does not provide the depth and breadth of training required to become IBCLC. On the other hand, other healthcare professionals, such as MD’s, have 1000’s of hours of clinical training and experience, but usually very little in the area of lactation.
Here is a partial list of professionals and others who sometimes get confused with lactation consultants. This list pertains to the US only. Other countries have different certifications. Continue reading →
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