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What is an IBCLC and how are they different from other breastfeeding counselors?

IBCLC stands for “Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant”. It can be quite confusing for the average Jane to know the difference between all of the alphabet soup initials (CLC, CLE--which are certified lactation counselors and certified lactation educators), but what you can be sure of is that the IBCLC is the “Gold Standard” when it comes to lactation consulting; they require the most education and most hands-on training experience. A good CLC/CLE can answer your questions, provide support, and knows when to refer you to an IBCLC or your physician/care provider when needed. In addition to my IBCLC training and credential, I am also a maternal-infant nurse who has experience and training in all aspects of the postpartum period for both mother and baby. You get two for the price of one: a lactation consultant AND a mother/baby nurse!

How do I know if I even need a private lactation consultation?

Are you in pain? Does baby seem uncomfortable or having trouble latching? Does something just feel “off” or “not right”? Is baby not gaining weight well? Has your doctor suggested supplementing with formula? Do you or your baby have a complicating medical issue? A history of breast surgery or injury? Do you suspect an over-supply or an under-supply? Are you going back to work? Are you pumping and not getting much milk and/or it is hurting? There are many things I can do to make pumping “not suck”! Having a second set of eyes (that are experienced in just this thing) can put your mind at ease and/or be helpful in offering suggestions to make your breastfeeding experience a satisfying one. Let’s meet to get breastfeeding back on track as soon as possible.

What can I expect at a home visit for lactation help?

Home visits usually last an 1.5-2 hours (it's pretty thorough:) We start with you telling me a little about your pregnancy and birth and the first days and weeks (or months) of your breastfeeding experience up to that point. Then we usually weigh the baby, latch the baby, then weigh again to see how much milk they consumed. I will watch the way baby gets onto the breast and offer suggestions to latch/positioning if it hurts your nipple or baby doesn’t seem comfortable/happy. After we work on getting things right for both of you, we go over questions and concerns and I leave you with a written Plan of Care (which I fax to your doctors along with my Breastfeeding Assessment) and we stay in touch as much as needed via email/phone. You can also schedule a follow up appointment for a discounted fee if we need to see each other again. We can also save time for pumping questions and a breastshield fitting (to make sure your breastshield fits you well for pumping). Allow baby to be hungry for the consultation time. You can feed them a small snack if they can’t wait, but just don’t give a FULL feeding within 1.5-2 hours of your appointment...otherwise they won't latch for us because they are full :( Invite your favorite support person (your partner or mom/friend) if desired. Write down a list of questions you’d like addressed so we don't forget anything in the moment. Have nearby any breastfeeding aids you’ve been using (nipple shield, nipple everter, supplemental nursing system, name/dosage of herbs or other medications, etc.). A record of your last 1-2 days of feeding and diaper charting (if too sleep deprived, don’t worry about this one). For a more thorough document on how to prepare for a home visit, and what to expect, click HERE.

What is covered in the class, and do I need to bring anything?

SO much is covered. It's a 3 hour class, but we are busy getting educated and getting your questions answered, so it will FLY by. We will cover: -How your breasts make milk -How to set yourself up for success -How to overcome the most common challenges (such as low supply, over-supply, sore nipples, mastitis, plugged ducts, bottle refusals by baby, sleep deprivation tactics, and every other scary story you may have heard from your girlfriends). -Latch and positioning and what your smart, little mammal already knows -Pumps, Pumping & Bottlefeeding, Returning to Work tips -ANY question that gets thrown my way, I can handle, so BRING IT. After 11,000 moms, I'm pretty sure I've encountered whatever is on your mind. -And last but not least, how DAD can be a part of this team. Dads have been shown to be THE most important variable of how breastfeeding will go, so YES, they are important and they are highly encouraged to come as your free guest. Don't worry, I will make them feel super comfortable. *If you'd like to submit this class to your insurance company, or you've used your HSA/FSA card and need a receipt with my tax ID information, click HERE. You'd just need to write in the date of the class. If you need help filling out your own insurance company's out-of-network claim form, just bring it to class and I'll be happy to help.

Do you accept health insurance?

CLICK HERE to check coverage. Typically covered insurances: BCBS PPO, Blue Care Network PPO, Cigna PPO, Anthem PPO. I work with an insurance biller who will look up and verify what coverage you have through baby beloved. Don't see your insurance company listed? No worries, I can take a credit card or an HSA/FSA and provide you with a form to submit to your insurance company for direct reimbursement. Breastfeeding support, both classes and consultations, are covered under the Affordable Care Act and are allowable as a qualified health care expense. You'll want to check with your insurance company for allowable coverage, but unless you are in a "grandfathered plan", your policy should allow for lactation support by federal law. I know the up front fee can be a lot, but if we can keep you nursing and/or pumping for even one more month you'll save that much money on formula! (Formula is about $200-250 each month!). You and your baby are WORTH it.