Why would I use a Lactation consultant? How much do they cost? What value will they give me? What training and knowledge do they have? What happens in a session?
These are all questions I am often asked – and are great questions. It is important to know what you are getting, and what the value is in using an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) or commonly known as a Lactation Consultant or LC.
But I have a midwife, can’t she help me?
Yes, absolutely your midwife can help you, but they have a lot of other areas in which they need to assess and support you. They are able to help with positioning and latching and some problem solving, but they can only offer you a limited amount of time as they have other people to see.
What training and knowledge do they have?
As an IBCLC I have over 500 hours in breastfeeding specific education. This includes anatomy and physiology, ethics, research, and supporting of parents. I then sat a 4-hour exam to become qualified as an IBCLC. Ongoing, I must complete at least 20 hours
lactation specific education annually and re-certify every five years. In simple terms – we are highly qualified and have a passion for what we do. This gives you certainty that you are getting current knowledge that is research and evidence based.
My journey to be an IBCLC has been since 2010 when I first started the process to extend my knowledge to support women and families. I am passionate about getting the right
support in a timely manner to support families to achieve their feeding goals.
So, why would I use a lactation consultant?
For any feeding issues you have with your baby. These could include breastfeeding difficulties including pain, baby not gaining weight, baby being uncomfortable feeding, returning to work, struggling to breastfeed, formula feeding and how to give your baby a bottle, weaning off the breast, transitioning from full breastfeeding to partial, expressing and the list goes on. A lactation consultant can really help you fulfill your dream of breastfeeding and support you in feeding your baby which in hand often takes a huge amount of pressure and stress off families providing them with a happy and content baby.
What value will they give me?
As an IBCLC working with Blissful Bubs I have 3 ways of assessing and giving you the support you need:
The first is in your own home. The advantage of this is that you feed where you would normally feed so we can make that as comfortable as possible. It allows you to feel more relaxed and for me to see baby in their natural surroundings. This will in turn increase your confidence to feed when you are out and about.
The second place is in the Blissful Bubs facilities in Paparangi. This still offers you the benefit of a one to one session, gets you out of the house, and is a financially cheaper option for you with the benefit of yummy treats and someone making you a cuppa!
The third place is via various technologies such as Skype/ Zoom sessions or telephone support. This gives you the ability to again have the session at home, and is a bit more cost effective than an in-home visit.
We also offer some great sessions now, that give you the knowledge to be more prepared for breastfeeding. Getting help before you even start breastfeeding has been proven to increase your chances of breastfeeding. The other session we offer is for mother's to come within the first 8 weeks of having their baby and get some help and guidance on any problems that may have arisen and also some knowledge on expressing etc. It's a much cheaper way to gain access to a qualified lactation consultant and also meet new Mum's following a similar journey. Sharing experiences with other Mum's is invaluable and of course snacks and a warm cuppa will be on offer. Check it out here https://www.blissfulbubs.co.nz/book-online/breastfeeding-basics-and-beyond
What happens in a session?
A visit with me will follow the same general pattern. I will ask about what you would like to achieve with feeding for this baby, and what is important to you. We will go through your general medical history and your obstetric history to give me a big picture and inform how we work together. I will observe a feed, and with you make an individualised plan to support your goals.
Early intervention and support tends to get the best results and helps to prevent longer term issues. This is one of the reasons Blissful Bubs has set up Antenatal Breastfeeding classes to help give you more information prior to delivery to help arm you with information.
I have supported families to exclusively breastfeed, wean off top ups, wean off the breast, manage return to work plans, reduce night feeds, introduce solids alongside breastfeeding. Basically, anything to do with feeding! I love my job; I love watching families grow and develop and feel so privileged to do this work and walk alongside you in your parenting journey.
How much do they cost?
Prices vary from region to region and you can usually find free drop in centers in your local area. The benefit of using a private IBCLC is the individualised support plan that they can offer, finding out what is important to you and your family, and what it is that you would like to achieve with your baby and their feeding. The prices we charge are competitive with lots of different options available. Through Blissful bubs my service is for the initial appointment, then 7 days of follow up via phone, email or text. If you require an additional visit within the 4 weeks of the first visit, the cost is reduced.
Initial visit in your home (or other mutually agreed location) and 7 days follow up - $150
Initial visit at Blissful Bubs, Paparangi and 7 days follow up - $120
Follow up visit in your home within 4 weeks of initial consult $80
If you want to book an appointment email Hannah on firstname.lastname@example.org.