Frequently Asked Questions

/Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions 2018-01-23T01:50:32+00:00
What happens during a lactation consultant visit? 2016-01-01T21:45:02+00:00

Most initial consultations last between two and three hours. A detailed health history of each mother and her infant(s) is taken. This includes information about the birth and the breastfeeding experience. Each consult includes an assessment of the mother’s breast anatomy and an oral and structural assessment of the baby. At least one breastfeeding will be observed, the non-latching baby will be assisted to breastfeed, and/or pumping will be evaluated. Education and resources will be provided based on the findings, and referrals will be given as necessary. There will be plenty of time for questions. Each family will be left with a written, customized plan of care to meet the needs and goals of each mother and her infant(s). Reports will be sent to the mother and infant’s health care providers.

Why should I hire an IBCLC? 2012-11-27T15:44:31+00:00

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are considered the gold standard in the field of lactation. We have the highest level of education and achievement of any breastfeeding certification. Before applying to sit for the hardest exam in my life, I obtained a university degree in a health-science field, had 3500 hours working with mothers and babies, and had over 150 hours of breastfeeding education. I am required to recertify through continuing education or exam every five years.

As with any other health profession, there can be different levels of care among providers. I work hard to stay up to date on the latest in breastfeeding research and evidence based practice. I am committed to giving each family I work with the excellence in breastfeeding support that they deserve!

For more information, read the Position Paper on the Role and Impact of the IBCLC.

How do IBCLCs differ from other breastfeeding professionals? 2014-07-11T01:57:07+00:00

The requirements for different breastfeeding certifications vary widely.  For a thorough explanation of the varied types of breastfeeding certifications, please visit http://massbfc.org/landscape.

When should I call an IBCLC? 2012-11-27T14:44:54+00:00
  • Baby is fussy at breast or after feeds
  • Lactation difficulty with a previous baby
  • Concerns about medications and breastfeeding
  • Baby was born preterm
  • Twins or Multiples
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Concerns about milk supply
  • Concerns about weight gain
  • Mother would like to induce lactation or relactate
  • History of breast surgery in mother
  • Baby is not latching or not feeding frequently or effectively
  • Feedings are very frequent and are lasting long periods of time
  • Baby has too few wet diapers or bowel movements
  • Mother or baby have physical challenges that could affect breastfeeding
  • Dread or anxiety about nursing
  • Supplementing and weaning issues
  • Anytime you have a question or concern related to breastfeeding!

 

How do you determine your fees? 2014-07-30T16:42:19+00:00

Quality lactation support is far less expensive than not breastfeeding!  Formula costs between $2000 and $4000 a year.  This does not even consider the short term and long term health risks and cost of not breastfeeding for both mother and child.  Many parents spend hundreds of dollars on baby equipment but hesitate to spend money on high quality lactation support.  Hands on lactation support more than pays for itself!

The cost of IBCLC certification, insurance, continuing education, supplies and mileage are very high and are considered in my fees.   I also consider the amount of time I spend in a home (normally 2-3 hours), and the amount of time spent on paperwork, submitting reports to physicians, and follow-up phone calls, texts, and emails.

What if I can’t afford your services? 2012-11-27T14:43:43+00:00

If you need breastfeeding support and have financial challenges, please contact me. Although I cannot work for free, I am willing to barter or trade, or offer a payment plan or reduced rate. Please do not let finances be a barrier in getting the breastfeeding help you need!

Will my health insurance cover your services? 2018-01-23T01:50:35+00:00

Nurturing Traditions is currently in network with Aetna, Connect Care, and Cofinity. Most of these plans cover 100% of IBCLC consultations, including a prenatal breastfeeding class. For all other health insurance, payment is expected at the time of service and clients will be provided with a receipt containing billing codes to submit to their insurance companies for reimbursement.

For more information regarding insurance reimbursement, please read this blog post.

How can I prepare for my consultation? 2018-01-23T01:50:35+00:00

Please fill out the online intake form to the best of your ability.  Having this before the consultation saves time and helps me know what supplies and resources I may need to bring.  Rest, relax, and eat before I come.  Please do not clean up or worry about showering or putting on nice clothing!  I have worked with hundreds of mothers and have been in hundreds of homes.  I also have been a new mother myself and remember how challenging it can be.  I am not at all concerned about appearances or the condition of your home!

Intake Form
What is a Postpartum Doula? 2018-01-23T01:50:35+00:00

In her book Mothering the New Mother, Sally Placksin defines the role of a postpartum doula.

The doula’s basic role is to provide nonintrusive, nonjudgmental support according to the family’s needs and wishes. She is there to facilitate your time to settle in, relax, and heal, while assuring that the familiar daily underpinnings of your life and household remain anchored as much as possible. She is there to free you up to do nothing but be with your baby and other family members, or to take the baby so that you can sleep, if that’s what’s needed. She is the peace-of-mind factor.

As a postpartum doula, I can offer…

  • Breastfeeding support
  • Bottle feeding assistance
  • Guidance with routine newborn care (diapering, cord care, calming techniques, sleep, burping, baby wearing, kangaroo care, etc.)
  • Childcare, so the mother can shower, eat, sleep, or spend time with siblings
  • Nutritional meal preparation
  •  Light housekeeping and help with laundry
  • Help with running errands
  • Sibling care and support of siblings in their new role
  • Visitor fielding (answering the phone and taking messages)
  • Emotional and physical support
  • Help with self-care and coping skills for the mother
  • Information on a variety of topics
  • Local and national referrals when appropriate
  • Pet and plant care
  • Infant massage instruction
  • Baby equipment expertise
  • Organizing (setting up the infant sleeping and diapering areas)
  • Support to mothers experiencing postpartum mood disorders
  • Comfort measures for postpartum healing
  • Accompaniment of mother and baby to doctor appointments
  • Assistance with twins or triplets
  • Free 24 hour phone support

As a postpartum doula, I do not…

  • Take over complete care of the baby
  • Make medical assessments, perform medical tasks, or give medical advice
  • Make decisions for the clients
  • Perform major house cleaning (cleaning bathrooms, washing windows, scrubbing floors)
  • Make any purchases on behalf of the client without first securing payment for purchases
  •  Transport the client or the client’s family

For more information, please read DONA International’s Topic Sheet titled, “What Your Doula Will Do.”

Why should I hire a postpartum doula? 2018-01-23T01:50:35+00:00

The first weeks and months after the birth of a baby have a huge impact on the long term emotional and physical health of the baby and mother.  In cultures throughout the world, communities traditionally care for new mothers for a specified amount of time (weeks and often months) after the birth of the baby.  New mothers are cherished and supported.  They are fed nourishing food, allowed to rest, and given lots of support and pampering.

America offers some of the least support in the world during the postpartum period.  The United States is one of the only places in the world where women are expected to bounce back quickly after giving birth.  Women are pressured to return to work promptly, keep a clean house, and entertain guests.  Extended family living nearby and close knit communities who offer support and guidance are no longer part of our culture.  This can all lead to a stressful and unpredictable postpartum period.  Mothers are left feeling unsupported, isolated, and full of mixed feelings.  Society can also portray parenting as something that will just come naturally to mothers after they have their baby.  While it is important for women to trust their instincts, much of parenting is learned.  The postpartum period should be a time to bond with your baby, rest, and learn.  It can be a sacred, beautiful time.

The presence of a postpartum doula has been found to…

  • Increase the rate of successful breastfeeding
  • Reduce the incidence of postpartum mood disorders
  • Decrease the number of unnecessary calls and visits to pediatricians
  • Strengthen the maternal-infant bond
  • Foster the self-confidence of both parents
  • Enhance all relationships within the family structure
  • Contribute toward a shorter recovery time for the mother following birth

For more information about the benefits of a postpartum doula, please go to the DONA (Doulas of North America) website to read their position paper on this topic.

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