your little one deserves the best
You have a beautiful new baby! Now you’re home, and even though you took a class, you may be wondering if your baby is getting enough, or maybe your pediatrician suggested getting assistance from a lactation consultant. The mother and the infant each have roles in making breastfeeding effective, efficient and comfortable. A lactation consultant is able to put the pieces of the puzzle together by reviewing the health history and the birth, assessing a feed, and making a plan to optimize the breastfeeding relationship.
Some of the reasons for seeking assistance include:
- sore or damaged nipples
- plugged ducts/mastitis
- low supply/oversupply
- poor latch
- sleepy infant
- jaundiced infant
- poor infant weight gain
- pre-term infant
- previous breast surgeries
- hypoplastic breasts/insufficient glandular tissue (IGT)
- reassurance and general information
My philosophy is that breastfeeding is every mother’s and baby’s right and desire. Breastfeeding almost always “works” when appropriate steps are taken, especially in the early days of lactation. In most cases, a mother can be helped with proper positioning and understanding when her baby is getting milk. In some cases, mothers may need devices to help their babies to feed at the breast, but this should be determined by a qualified lactation consultant. The use of devices should be limited, temporary and always undertaken with the goal of removing them as soon as possible.
There are many different ways to define breastfeeding success. Breastfeeding is more than providing milk, so in the rare instances mothers will not produce enough to adequately feed their babies, other ways of feeding at the breast can be employed to provide the nourishment baby needs while meeting the emotional and other developmental needs of both mother and infant.
I have been very successful in helping mothers to optimize their supplies, to improve latch, and to get their babies to feed directly at the breast for the most efficient and satisfying breastfeeding relationship. I focus on healing through more natural approaches; for example: dietary change and/or the addition of herbs and nutrients to support the mother’s health and therefore supply; application of non-pharmaceutical products for sore, damaged nipples. I have sourced highly qualified professionals to address some of the more challenging situations related to tongue tie with/without release and bodywork required after difficult births.
The key to breastfeeding success is to ensure a great start, or to get back on track quickly if obstacles arise. I am passionate about working with mothers to make breastfeeding fit easily and naturally into their lives. Breastfeeding can and should be enjoyable!
*Women with this condition are at risk for low or insufficient supply. Some women with IGT make plenty of milk, but you will not know until you try. Many women are not told by their obstetricians or midwives that their breasts have characteristics of IGT, such as “tubular” shape, widely spaced breasts, or inconsistent fullness. If you know or suspect you have IGT, it is best to meet with an IBCLC prior to your baby’s birth to make a plan to optimize supply.
What is an IBCLC?
An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. IBCLCs are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, Inc. (www.iblce.org) under the direction of the U.S. National Commission for Certifying Agencies. IBCLCs work in a wide variety of health care settings, including hospitals, pediatric offices, public health clinics, and private practice. (Definition provided by the International Lactation Consultant Association website.)