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How many lactation consults do I need?

I get this question A LOT. And the answer is that it will be different for every family. As in much of breastfeeding, there is no "right or wrong". I have outlined typical times for lactation visits and would encourage you to explore your healthcare insurance plan and coverage prior to the birth of your baby so you are prepared!

  • Prenatal Lactation Visits: I offer up to 3 Sessions!

    • Basic breastfeeding: At this visit we discuss your personal breastfeeding goals and create a postpartum breastfeeding plan. I review basic breastfeeding information, we practice breastfeeding positions with a doll and identify any potential barriers to breastfeeding.

    • Pumping and bottle feeding: Some families are very concerned about pumping and want *all the information* . There is so much to learn and every situation is unique so I started tailoring a pumping focused class so we could go over pumping and bottle feeding in more detail. I can also review formula feeding during this session if desired.

    • Prenatal Colostrum Harvesting: After 38 weeks of pregnancy it is generally safe to learn hand expression of breastmilk and begin collecting colostrum prenatally (as long as it is approved by your midwife or OB). During this session we practice hand expression and I will give you everything you need to begin collecting and storing your precious liquid gold.

    • I can always condense this information for families who are short on time or who just want the absolute basics into a single prenatal session!

  • Postpartum sessions during the first 3 weeks

    • If desired, one visit per week during the first month seems to work really well for most families. Some families are doing well and prefer only 1-2 postpartum sessions. During these visits we will review your daily breastfeeding routine, observe a session at the breast and make sure that your baby is transferring an appropriate amount of milk (using the Medela baby weigh scale).

    • If you experienced early breastfeeding issues, 2-3 visits per week may be more beneficial. Particularly if you are using a nipple shield or doing a combination of pumping and bottle feeding. Sometimes it is difficult to manage all of that on your own and I can help you develop a plan to meet your ultimate feeding goal for your baby.

  • Introducing a bottle/Returning to work session

    • Around 3-4 weeks of age, it is important to introduce a bottle to your breastfed baby if you haven't already. During this session we will discuss beginning a daily pumping routine and how to offer bottles in a way that supports breastfeeding. We will go over the settings on your breast pump and try different flange sizes to see which one is the most comfortable.

    • If you will be returning to work soon, we can also discuss your ideal pumping schedule upon your return. I have a handy checklist and will help you understand what you need to bring, how to prepare your bottles for your baby and help you gather all your equipment and supplies. We can even walk through your daily process of packing your bags for that first day!

  • 3 month visit

    • Most pediatricians see babies at 2 months and then not again until 4 months which can sometimes feel like an eternity! I am more than happy to come and check in on you for a 3 month session for a weight check and to answer any questions that may have come up.

  • Problem/Concern focused visit

    • More often than not, breastfeeding can go on without a hitch. But sometimes you may develop some concerns such as tender spots in your breasts or possibly even an infection. Sometimes babies may not be gaining weight as quickly as we would like. If you develop a problem or have a specific concern we can always schedule a consultation to help you work through it. Sometimes we need to collaborate with your pediatrician, midwife or OB as well.

  • Introducing solids

    • Most families will introduce solids around 6 months of age. Some do so without even thinking about it while others have many questions. If you fall into the latter category, I am happy to sit with you and review how to introduce solids to your breastfed baby. Reading about this topic online can feel overwhelming and I am happy to break it down into manageable steps with you and help you devise a plan that feels best for your family.

  • Establishing a Weaning Plan

    • Ultimately, your breastfeeding journey will need to wind down at some point. Whenever you decide to wean is when I will be here to assist! If you are still breastfeeding or pumping multiple times per day it may be challenging to figure out how best to start this process. I will listen to your goals and help you establish a gradual and individualized weaning plan that will help you meet them while minimizing breast discomfort and providing you with tools/skills to support your baby through this process as well.

As you can see, there are many opportunities for lactation visits throughout your breastfeeding journey:

You do not have to figure this all out on your own!

Additionally, I offer a twice monthly support group that is FREE and open to anyone breastfeeding or pumping. This is a great place to meet other families and get support and encouragement from them as well! Check out my business facebook page for upcoming dates: Breast Assured Lactation on Facebook

Happy Breastfeeding :)

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