What to expect at your consult
I will review the information sheet you filled out to become familiar with your birth and breastfeeding history, your health, and your baby’s health. Taking a full intake history helps me to identify any roadblocks and difficulties that are obvious – for example, prior breast surgery, hormonal issues, a difficult delivery – as well as come in with a starting point for our problem-solving. Knowing facts such as your baby’s weights and how breastfeeding got started can give us direction.
As I observe a feeding, I will pay close attention to things like positioning; how and where you are sitting; latching and how baby approaches the breast; do I see signs indicating milk transfer, and more. I can do an oral assessment to check for things like tongue and lip ties if warranted.
I ask a lot of questions and fill out a form for myself that helps me keep track of what we’ve talked about. I pride myself of being thorough. I am here to educate as well as to provide techniques and strategies and will provide tips along the way and oftentimes provide you with additional written and online resources.
I am here to support you. Many health care providers spend 15-20 minutes with a patient. My visits with clients last up to two hours and are not rushed.
Finally, I am your advocate. I write a report following our visit and send to your and your baby’s other health care providers (for example, midwife or ob-gyn, pediatrician or nurse practitioner). Sometimes I fax a report to a pediatrician and our contact ends there. But sometimes I may communicate further with a doctor about your care. None of this costs any extra – it is included in the lactation package – it is part of my professional duty and obligation set out by my profession’s ethics. It is about collaboration and accountability and working as part of your health care team. It also frequently is about educating other providers who don’t specialize in breastfeeding.
I provide holistic care, taking into consideration more than the physical. I try to get a feel for your personality and that of your baby; what kind of support for breastfeeding and mothering you are receiving from others in your life; your philosophies as a parent; and your lifestyle. We talk about how you feel about breastfeeding and mothering. We also talk about the biologically normal behaviors of a newborn and of a postpartum mother and how to meet both of your needs.
We work together to determine the best plan of action for you and your baby. I will offer a plan with options to help you reach your goals. We re-evaluate at the second visit, or between if needed. I write a second lactation plan for you at the second visit, making any adjustments to our original plan of action.
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