How Do I Know if I Need to Have A Consult?
Scenario #1 It's your first baby & you just got home from the hospital. The first couple days in the hospital were less than perfect. The first day baby would not latch, the second day an IBCLC came in & got baby latched so the rest of the stay was fine. Now, baby is back to not latching just crying & pushing away. Your milk is in now so it's so painful.
Scenario #2 You've just had your 3rd child & after 5 days of pretty good breastfeeding you notice you now have a bloody nipple. The 1st baby may have been a great feeder or maybe a little rocky. Baby #2 fed like a champ with no problems at all, so you thought you had this perfected!
A lot of times you are right. You know what the "good" latch looks like, you are listening for swallowing & counting diapers for input/output. But don't forget we are all DIFFERENT people. We are all shaped a little different. Circumstances around the actual birth may have been a little different. There are ENDLESS variables to why one baby breastfeeds with no problems & another will not latch without 30 minutes of crying & pushing away.
Will either of these issues clear up quickly? There's always a chance that you will wake up the next morning & things are wonderful. Most likely there's a small chance but there's no good reason to put off problems (least of all in the first week). The first week of breastfeeding is the most important time of all to make sure things are going well.
Scenario #3 So, after 7 months of breastfeeding you all of a sudden wake up one day & baby bites you <<hard>> maybe even drawing blood. Should you quit breastfeeding & switch to formula? Should you call for help right away?
Maybe you should at least ask an IBCLC (you may not need to have a consult). Should you just quit? Is baby done wanting to breastfeed? Highly doubtful of either. When you have a good latch (most of the time) & a great supply; quitting is really a bad decision. Ultimately, decisions that have to do with your child are made by you! Getting bit happens to pretty much all moms when teeth come in. Basically, what I'm saying is give it a little time.
So how do you know if you need to have a consultation? Some good questions to ask yourself are: How long has the problem been going on? How much pain or anxiety is it causing baby (or you & your partner)? How long has it been from the last time you've feed baby successfully? Is it better by the next morning & comes & goes but is basically going in the right direction? Has baby been producing enough wet & poopy diapers to lead you to believe they are getting enough nourishment? Is baby really just teething, tired, over stimulated?
What will happen during a consultation & how can I get an appointment with someone in my area? You can find an IBCLC through your local hospital anywhere in the world. Once you've found one call to get an appointment. Private practice IBCLC's can make appointments with anyone at any convenient time or place for you. Each practice will have pricing of their own. Private practice IBCLC's do not bill insurance but you will receive a superbill & instructions on how to submit for reimbursement of fees.
Once you've made the appointment, you can relax, someone else can stress about the breastfeeding issues (that takes a load off). In my own practice I see moms usually between 10am-4pm, but really anytime the easy for you works too. I have a private office in my home. I have taken over my whole finished part of our basement. I have an outer area that has my retail items where we also teach classes. I also have an office with a locking door.
Inside my office is a desk, a comfortable chair (for mom), a chair for your partner (if they tag along), a changing table (right next to mom's chair), toys and assorted pump parts & ointments. I have you fill out a consent form (giving consent that I may handle the baby & may inadvertently touch you during the consult) the pricing is also on this form for you to choose a one-time consult or unlimited consults.
Baby will have clothes removed & be weighed (with one of our diapers for scale use). You will be handed baby to begin feeding. During this time is usually when we discuss in more detail why you are here & how I can help. After that we will go ahead & do an observable feed, checking latch, positioning, transfer of milk, how baby reacts to the letdown and how well baby tolerates the milk (if they spit up or not). Another weight is taken either between sides or after the feeding session is over.
You will have additional time to discuss any & all concerns. You will receive a plan to carry out the solutions and you can make a follow up appointment then or not. I will give out the detailed bill with the proper codes & other financial info for the insurance to receive & in turn reimburse your visit fee.
Most insurance carriers cover lactation expenses from a professional 100%; you may want to check that out yourself to be sure of your carrier. Knowing that it is covered; if you have any doubts at all about how breastfeeding is going, please seek out professional help. That will give you peace of mind & make your breastfeeding journey so much more enjoyable.
Lisa D. Kehoe IBCLC, CLD, CPD serving all clients in the Rockford, Illinois and all surrounding areas. She started Oh Baby Mine in January of 2011 and has served and treated hundreds of parents in the area. She does home, hospital, birthing center births. As a postpartum doula she loves to serve and educate all parents to care for their new addition. With extensive advanced education in the field of breastfeeding she brings the best support to your birthing experience.
She has two children of her own that were born completely natural and unmedicated. Breastfeeding was completely successful also. Those are the main reasons she chose to serve families achieve as natural a birth experience possible.