What does a visit with an IBCLC look like?

A visit from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, or IBCLC, can and will look different for each breastfeeding mother-baby dyad. Depending on the current, or past, issues the focus may be on the baby or the mother, or we may be working with both.

Here is a list of things that happen at visits with me:

  • I will listen to your concerns
  • I will take a current medical history for both mother & baby
  • I will ask about your social history (diet, any drugs of abuse, alcohol, exercise, etc.)
  • I will ask about your birth story (interventions or medical concerns that occurred during birth)
  • I will ask about your current feeding history (including frequency, diaper counts, and any supplementation)
  • We will assess your baby’s weight, a weighted feed is often done, but not always
  • I will observe an entire feeding, specifically looking at:
    • latch
    • positioning
    • evaluation of transfer
    • evaluation of nipples after feeding
  • I will look at your baby from head to toe (structural assessment)
  • I will perform a functional oral assessment of your baby
  • If needed, I will palpate and assess your breasts
  • Next we will review, and I will ask any clarifying questions if needed
  • Finally, we will make a plan that works for you and your situation

Most of our time will be spent talking and I will work to educate you (and any present family member or support people) about whatever comes up. Typically while your baby is eating we can address any additional concerns about sleep (including sleep arrangements), dietary questions, pumping, returning to work, even partner intimacy and breastfeeding. I am not shy and will happily address any and all concerns I can in the time of our visit.
After we finish getting the big picture, I will explain what I see and what my recommended plan of action is to meet your feeding goals. I want you to succeed and will do my best to ensure that nothing I recommend feels like “too much” or is overwhelming. We will make the final plan together.

I also don’t want your baby to feel overwhelmed, so here is what it looks like when I do an oral exam on an older baby. This process is similar for a newborn.

How can you prepare for a visit?

  • Schedule a time when you baby is most likely going to be hungry. Observing a normal feed is important for me to make the best recommendations possible.
  • Have a change of clothes for your baby and diapers, as needed
    • And change of clothes for yourself if you think you might need it
  • If you are supplementing, have either pumped breastmilk or infant formula available
  • Have a log of diaper counts and feeding frequency available, I know you are sleep deprived, either a written log or an app is great for this.
  • If you have concerns about pumping, have your pump available for me to troubleshoot and assess
  • A list of questions that you want me to address
    • Don’t worry if you forget something, you can always email me!

Photos in the post were taken by the amazing Melissa Baker at Simple Still Photography.

If you think a visit with me would help you and your baby meet your breastfeeding goals, you can book online below!

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