What is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®)?
“An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. An IBCLC is certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners®, Inc. under the direction of the US National Commission for Certifying Agencies. An IBCLC works in a wide variety of health care settings, including hospitals, pediatric offices, public health clinics, and private practice.”
Why might I need a Lactation Consultant?
Why might I benefit from a consultation BEFORE my baby arrives?
Do you feel like you didn’t meet your breastfeeding goals with a previous baby, and you would like to explore strategies to increase your chances in the future?
Are you able to check one or more of the following factors that can affect getting breastfeeding off to a good start or meeting your breastfeeding goals?
• Multiples (twins, triplets or more), which often are born pre-term
• Known health issues with infant: Down syndrome, clefts, or other physical challenges
• Perinatal Mood Disorders or a history of depression and/or anxiety
• Flat or inverted nipples
• History of surgery or trauma of the breast or chest area
• Very large, very small, or asymmetrical breasts
• Difficulty becoming pregnant (maternal factors)
• Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
• High blood pressure during pregnancy
• Diabetes Type 1, 2 or gestational
• Body mass index of > 30
• Returning to work or classes before 6-8 weeks postpartum
• 1st time mother > 35 years old
• No positive breastfeeding experience in immediate family or circle of friends
• Adoption (induce lactation)
After the baby arrives the IBCLC is available to answer your questions and help with breastfeeding challenges. Please call to see if a home visit would be appropriate if:
• You have nipple pain or damage (compressed nipples)
• You breasts are very sore
• Your baby is having trouble latching
• You baby has few or no audible or visible swallows
• Your baby is feeding less than 8 times every 24 hours
• Your baby is fussy or appears hungry even when breastfeeding at least 12 times every 24 hours
• Your baby has a weight loss greater than 10%
• Your baby is not gaining weight by 5th day
• Your baby has not regained birth weight by 2 weeks
• Your baby is gaining less than 5 ounces per week after 2nd week
• Your baby’s wet diapers are less than 1 (1st day), 2 (2nd day), 3 (3rd day), 5-6 (4th day +), or dark colored after Day 3
• Your baby’s dirty diapers are less than 1 (1st day), 2 (2nd day), 3 green (3rd day), 3-5 green-yellow (4th day), 3-5 yellow (5th day +)
• You feel like you are making too little or too much milk for your baby
• You have questions, concerns or breastfeeding feels unmanageable
The IBCLC can also be a resource of support and information as your baby grows:
- How to combine breastfeeding with separations due to work, studies or travel
- How to combine breastfeeding with supplemental foods (“Starting Solids”)
- How to continue breastfeeding if baby or mother have health concerns
What does a Lactation Consultation Home Visit consist of?
- Request that you fill out a health history and have it ready for our visit, when I will review it with you, as it pertains to breastfeeding
- Check how your baby looks and acts, and ask you about his/her behavior, diaper output etc.
- Check your breasts and nipples.
- Check your baby´s suck and mouth structures, with a gloved hand.
- Review your baby´s weight gain, and take a current weight measurement.
- Teach you how to notice your baby’s feeding cues.
- Observe your baby breastfeed and offer suggestions with positioning and latching.
- Show you how to tell when your baby is latched and feeding well.
- Show you how to improve and/or avoid any breastfeeding challenges.
- Give you a written plan with instructions, useful links, and resources.
- Provide referrals to other professionals, as needed.
- Send a report of our visit to your OB, midwife, specialist and/or Pediatrician, as needed.
- Check your pump and pumping technique, and provide pumping information, as needed.
- Follow up with you via phone, text and or email afterwards to make sure that you and your baby are on track.
- Be available for a follow up visit, as needed.
- Help you gain confidence so that you can maximize your potential of meeting you personal breastfeeding goals in ways that are manageable, sustainable and above all, enjoyable.
*Lactation Consultant hospital visits: If you are concerned about getting expert help during the first days while you are still in the hospital, or have clear previous breastfeeding risk factors, I will come to the hospital to help with cues, latching, positioning, manual expression, pumping etc.…