“What can a lactation consultant do for me?” In order to answer that question, I’d ask you “how many different opinions and pieces of advice have you received so far regarding the right way to feed your new baby?” If you answered “more than one”, then scheduling a consultation is for you!
Of course, there’s truly not one right way to breastfeed, but several different ways determined by a variety of factors specific to mom and baby. Lactation consultants (and by the way, we’re all either board-certified-IBCLC’s, or board-eligible) can help you answer all your questions by spending an entire hour with you, baby, and your partner (or even the grandmother, nanny, or postpartum doula!). Everybody helping mom is welcome to come take part in this important visit.
All you need bring is your baby, a swaddling blanket, a bottle of water for yourself, and a list of your questions (or your partner’s questions). The consultant will watch a latch or teach you to latch. She can help you determine how often to feed baby or pump based on baby’s weight and your milk supply. She will also discuss helping you get into a routine to ensure baby gains about an ounce a day from day three onward. With a hospital grade scale, they can even do pre- and post-feed weights (meaning the baby is weighed, you feed and they baby is weighed again). They will address any nipple soreness, teach you comfortable positioning, decipher cluster feeding (meaning feeding ALL the time), and teach you new burping techniques. Maybe you need help with having too much milk or not enough milk; maybe it’s time to wean or baby is simply chomping like a little shark…..this is all part of what they can do for you.
You can rent a hospital grade pump or scale, buy the perfect feeding bottle for your baby, get the best nipple cream or purchase a littlebeam breastfeeding pillow. If you’d rather bring your own supplies, that works too. The responsibility of the consultant is to help you achieve your breastfeeding goals. If you’ve decided to feed both breastmilk and formula, you won’t find any judgement or arm twisting….it’s all about you.
Even if you think breastfeeding is going fairly well, there’s always a trick or two the lactation consultants will be able to teach you. Alternatively, they can offer reassurance that both you and baby are amazingly in sync! Partners are also usually happy to pick up tips on how they can help mom.
So, feel free to getting touch with us- you’ll be on your way to feeling confident on your breastfeeding journey! Most all private insurances accepted for home and office visits, and we have several convenient locations throughout the DC area, including Northern Virginia at TPG Pediatrics, Columbia, MD and Bethesda, MD. Please call Metropolitan Breastfeeding at 301-943-9293 to schedule today!