Is a consultation worth it?
As an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), my focus is not breastfeeding alone. Wait!! Hold up! Did she just say that breastfeeding wasn’t her focus?
I did, I sure did ladies and gentleman! I want you as a mother to be able to look back at your feeding relationship with your child and have enjoyable memories. I don’t want you to be stressed out! I want to help! If you are stressing about your milk supply and driving yourself crazy with micromanaging each drop you produce, you won’t look back with fond sweet cuddly memories. That’s what I want! Sweet, cuddly, fluffy memories. Breastfeeding (and motherhood for that fact) isn't always sweet, cuddly, fluffy memories - but if there is a way to improve things, it's worth it!
Moms often reach out to inquire if a consult is “worth it”. I put it in quotes because to me, it’s always worth it. Even if its help weaning a child from the breast – doing it in a way that’s not so stressful…. Is worth it! I could spout off the costs of formula versus the price of a consultation with me, but ya'll don’t want to hear about that. Ya'll want to know if it will be worth, not only your money, but your time, resources, energy, and sometimes tears. First of all, I believe honestly, that Every. Single. Breastfeeding. Mother. Needs. A. Lactation. Consultant! Hands down! No matter what! Here is a link to the Reasons to Call if you need some quick and easy answers though.
But, how do I judge if a consultation is worth it to a mother? So the basics…we all know that latching is a big part of breastfeeding. An incorrect latch can reeeeeaaaaallllly effect how breastfeeding goes but, latching just skims the surface of what I believe to be important. Latching can be fixed easily in the vast majority of cases. Infant behavior associated with feeding is much more interesting to me. I love to improve the feeding dynamic between a mother and her infant. Newborns (and all babies really) can tell us a lot if we “listen” the right way.
Sometimes their behavior means a lot more than we give credit to. Does your baby cry during feedings? That means something really important to me! That is your baby’s way of telling us something! Is the baby squirmy or acts uncomfortable or even frantic? If so, most moms try to change how they are positioned and end up doing whatever the baby wants, even if it’s uncomfortable for mom. That’s a normal “mom response”! You want to help your baby be comfortable and happy. I get it! But that’s also the baby’s way of talking to us and telling us something isn’t right. As a mother, do you feel like you are so worried/uncomfortable/hurting/stressed during feedings that you dread the next hunger cues because you know what will happen next? That’s not the way I want you to remember your maternity leave, more less your whole journey of breastfeeding. I don’t want things to be so worrisome that it’s just not an enjoyable experience.
I love consults that involve more than a baby’s mouth and a mother’s breast. I mean, those two factors play a giant role obviously, but when the baby is telling us something by their behavior - a little place in my heart lights up and I go into baby whisperer mode. I’m slightly kidding…I’m no baby whisperer, but a place does light up in my heart! Are there things happening that even you as mother can't see because you are too close and focused in on the situation? I’m all about thinking outside the box though. Thinking beyond the basic lactation care. I like to look at the big picture to try and find out what can change to help you as a mother reach your breastfeeding or infant feeding goal - no matter what the goal is.
If the concept of feeding your child is stressful, then you need a Lactation Consultant on your team. Don’t want until you are at your wits end and on the verge or quitting. Let’s work together and change the feeding dynamic before it becomes stressful. Trying to change things for the better is always worth it.