When Covid hit the fan, many moms were sent home from the hospital with NO real plan for breastfeeding help if things weren't going well. For a family for whom breastfeeding wasn't kicking in, or was super painful, that was terrifying. Breastfeeding usually requires support, and not having access to help when feedings are getting established sucked. We lactation consultants had to pivot, and pivot fast.
I honestly didn't think helping a mom breastfeed over video-chat was possible. I'm Old School, and in my mind, the way you help a mom breastfeed is to help her get comfortable, hand her the baby, help her with positioning and latch if needed, assess both mom and baby with your hands, weigh baby, etc. Luckily, over my career I've learned how to sit back and lead with my words (as much as possible), instead of my hands. I've learned that the goal is to leave mother feeling that SHE can feed her baby, and she does not need me to move in with her. She needs to know she can do it without me. Luckily, for the majority of the consultations I've done over video-chat, turns out she CAN do it without me (especially when dad is there to help/support/encourage/grab a pillow/adjust the camera, etc.).
I'm a big fan of baby-led, laid back nursing, and it's so beautiful when baby can lead the way and "show" his/her parents how things are done. It's very empowering for the entire family when they can work together to solve their breastfeeding issues (with just a little help from someone on the other end of the camera :) The goal of a lactation consultant is not to be needed anymore...to work ourselves out of a job. And I'm pleasantly surprised how this whole TeleHealth medium is working. Reluctantly, I say "Thank You, Covid-19", for forcing me to learn this new way of connecting with families.
Do you live in a more rural area? Are you hesitant to get out with baby for a consultation or have someone come to your house? A video-chat may be for you. If you are interested in TeleHealth lactation help, visit my website to schedule your hour with me now. Let's connect and figure out how to get breastfeeding on track. A TeleHealth consult is a great way to get a second set of eyes on the situation and get your questions answered without having to invest in a lengthier home visit appointment. If we try an online consult but you still need more hands-on help, you can apply the cost of the consult ($65) toward a home visit. Win-Win.