What Happens During A Consultation?

If you have not seen a lactation consultant in private practice, you might be wondering what actually happens while I’m with you.  There is a general flow that I usually follow, but ultimately, I work around what the baby and the mother need.  All of my consultations are in your home. There are three basic types of consultations I provide – Breastfeeding Preparation Sessions (for before birth), Breastfeeding Not Going To Plan Consultations (after the baby’s born) and Return To Work Plans.  This post will discuss the Breastfeeding Not Going To Plan Consultation – which are the majority of my work. Before a consultation, there has usually been a brief phone/email conversation to establish what is needed and have arranged timing so that the baby will be looking for a feed at some point during the consultation.  We usually start with a short health history of mum , briefly discuss the birth and the potential impacts this may be having on breastfeeding and then we discuss how feeding has been going.  If your baby is not ready for a feed at this time, we discuss the likely things that may be going on and suggest some strategies that are likely to improve the situation – so you know what to expect and feel prepared when your baby is ready to feed. If the baby is showing feeding cues while we are discussing the birth or feeding history, I usually suggest we go back to the history after your baby has fed. After or during the feed (depending on the length and comfort level of the feed), we make a breastfeeding plan that the mother feels is manageable – trying to meet breastfeeding goals for both you and your baby.  We agree on a timeframe for you to contact me to discuss your progress (usually 24-48hrs depending on the situation)  After I leave, I email a summary of our discussion to you so that you can refer back to it when necessary. The consultation fee is payable on the day and includes follow-up with phone/text/email and a discount should another consultation be needed.  I do my accounts once/week usually and will email the paid invoice to you.  Some private health funds will give a rebate for my services. Things to do if I’m coming to you – Have your child health record handy (the red/maroon book) Write down any questions you...
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Gold Coast Lactation Consultant

My services are aimed at parents and parents-to-be in North Brisbane.  If you live at the Gold Coast, I can happily recommend Shona Cassels IBCLC.  Shona is a lactation consultant who is nurturing, evidence-based and committed to quality care of parents, parents-to-be and their babies. Shona came to the Gold Coast in 1997, from Scotland.  After having her two children, she qualified as an ABA counsellor and subsequently qualified as an IBCLC. Her website is...
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Breastfeeding And SIDS

Evidence shows that breastfeeding is protective against SIDS.  Adjunct Professor, Jeanine Young reviewed international evidence and the analysis confirmed the link between a mother breastfeeding her baby and the reduced incidence of SIDS. The author is reported to have described the reason why breastfeeding is protective – ‘We think it’s multifactorial.  We know breastfed babies tend to rouse more easily than bottle-fed babies, and because women breastfeed frequently, the child is roused – and checked on- every few hours.’ Even more information supporting your decision to breastfeed your little one and to help you get through the nights of broken sleep when your baby is waking more frequently than you’d like. Here’s a link to an article from The Australian....
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Milk Banking – The Gift of Breastmilk

Imagine not being able to give your sick baby the very thing that could help them get better.  For some mothers of sick or very tiny babies, this is the situation they face when, despite their best efforts, they are not able to produce enough breastmilk for their babies.  This is where milk banking comes in. Milk banking is a process where breastmilk is donated to a collection centre, where it is screened, processed and distributed to babies in need.  This process saves many, many lives each year. Last week I was able to listen to a speaker from the Mother’s Milk Bank discuss the process of milk banking here in Queensland.  This service is especially vital for pre-term and multiple birth infants who are at the greatest risk of illness and death if they are not provided with breastmilk.  Some mothers of pre-term and sick babies are unable to produce enough milk to meet their baby’s needs.  It is in these and other cases that the generosity of an anonymous donor and the services provided by a milk bank can make a huge difference. For information on obtaining donated milk or donating milk yourself, you can access their website mothersmilkbank.com.au    ...
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A Pleasant Day At Work

I really do love the work I do.  Sometimes I get the opportunity to work with a mother and baby who amaze me with their ability.  Last week I was able to witness a mother and baby who, despite lots of trying, had not been able to make breastfeeding work for them.  This diligent mum pumped her milk to maintain her supply and the baby was fed with a bottle.  After a little bit of homework, this baby attached to her very happy mummy and began to feed away.  The mum was impressed by her baby’s ability, and I had goose bumps just watching this peaceful scene. There is still some learning to be done for this mum and bub, but it just goes to show how resilient a baby’s ability to go to the breast can be.  Most research supports that until at least three months of age, a baby’s instincts, abilities and reflexes to breastfeed can be utilised to help guide them back to the breast. It’s not always an easy journey, but guiding a mother and baby back to breastfeeding can be a very rewarding experience for...
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Before Baby Is Born

I am sometimes asked why I would need to see a pregnant woman about breastfeeding before the baby is even born.  It’s a good question and one that has many answers. Some of the reasons a mother may wish to see an IBCLC during pregnancy are relate to a medical condition she may have.  There are a few medical conditions which mean that the mother needs to keep a particularly close eye on how her baby is feeding.  These may be related to an endocrine disorder, breast surgery or other history.  The aim of these consultations is to do a thorough history and discuss ways to enhance breastfeeding for this baby. Sometimes it is the baby who is expected to have a medical condition which may affect breastfeeding.  In this case, it is often best to be as informed as possible and then see how the baby goes once they arrive.  This can be a very emotional time for parents who are unsure what to expect and need lots of support and reassurance to breastfeed (or breastmilk feed) their baby. Very often a parent is expecting their second or third baby and has had a disappointing breastfeeding journey with their previous child/ren.  It is often very helpful for these people to see an IBCLC before this new baby comes along.  It’s a really good time to look back at what happened last time and put some strategies in place to avoid these (and other) pitfalls this time around.  Sometimes just being able to recognise just what IS normal, can make a difference. Other parents-to-be are interested in being as informed as possible before their first baby comes along.  Often there is a massive focus during pregnancy simply on the actual birth without much emphasis on the breastfeeding journey which is to follow.  My sessions help to inform parents on how they can enhance the likelihood of successful breastfeeding. If you are pregnant and considering a breastfeeding preparation session, please feel free to contact me to discuss whether one of theses sessions would be suitable for you and your situation.  If your partner (or other support person) is interested in attending, I strongly encourage...
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