What to Expect
Before your appointment
An in-home lactation consultation is an opportunity to receive private, individualized support in the comfort of your own home.
You don’t need to do anything special to prepare for your lactation consultant’s arrival. You, your home, and your baby should feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
You may be asked to fill out the Comprehensive Lactation Intake form via our Client Portal prior to your consultation.
Timing your appointment
Comprehensive lactation consultations last about 90 minutes, although they can go a bit longer in more complex cases, or with twins/multiples. We try to time the beginning of the consultation for shortly before your baby will have a feeding, so that we can get set-up before your baby is truly hungry. Ideally, baby won’t have fed within 60 minutes before our consult.
If you need to feed your baby within an hour of your consult time, please let us know and we can discuss changing the start time.
Comprehensive Lactation Intake
If needed, your provider will prompt you to complete our online lactation intake form by visiting the following link from an iPad, iPhone, Mac, or Windows PC.
Having trouble with the Client Portal? Visit our Help Page for troubleshooting tips.
During your appointment
At the beginning of the consultation, we’ll go over and sign a consent form. Then, we’ll review information about your and your baby’s health history, how things are going, and your goals for both the consultation and long term. This helps your consultant advise and support you.
When your baby shows hunger cues, we’ll get you set-up to nurse wherever you feel most comfortable—your living room, nursery, or in your bed. (Yes, a lot of times we meet with clients on their beds!)
In most cases, we’ll weigh your baby on a high accuracy neonatal scale set up right by you. If you want or need a “naked weight” we can strip baby down and get a weight, then put on a diaper for skin-to-skin nursing or anything else you want baby to wear while nursing, and weigh baby once more. After your baby nurses, we may weigh after the first side, and then again at the end of the feeding. This allows us to see how much baby is transferring, and their total weight at the end of the session. A naked weight can also be done at the end if baby is too hungry to wait, or skipped entirely if transfer and weigh gain are not part of your reason for a lactation consult.
During the feeding, your IBCLC will have you show what you’ve been doing and then offer advice. This can include suggestions for positioning that will maximize the comfort, intuition, and reflexes of both you and your baby, assistance with baby’s latch and observation and assessment of the entire breastfeeding session. Your IBCLC will ask questions and chart notes as needed. You’re welcome to ask questions throughout your consultation.
We will discuss the basis of your nursing challenges and identify solutions that will work for your family. Together we’ll discuss and create an individually tailored care plan, that includes clinical recommendations and next steps. You will be provided with a care plan, relevant information, resources, and referrals by email shortly after the consult so that you’ll have everything in writing to refer to as needed. At the end of the consultation, you’ll plan when to check-in with each other again.
After your appointment
After the consult, your IBCLC will write and send a report to your and your baby’s health care providers to support collaborative care for your family. At your convenience on our designated check-in date, we’ll connect by phone or email to see how your family is doing and how else we can support you. You’re welcome to call and/or email at any point for additional information and support until your initial breastfeeding issues are resolved.
Not every client will want or need a follow-up lactation consultation, but for those who do we offer a shortened and reduced cost option. Since we will already have all the necessary background information we can focus on your next steps, new questions, or current concerns. These visits are generally about an hour and are spent reviewing progress from our last consult, addressing your needs, and creating an updated care plan. Phone and email follow-up is again included until your original issue is resolved.
Need additional support?
If you have new or different questions or challenges at any point in your journey, you’re welcome to contact us for additional support. Depending on what’s happening, we may schedule a follow-up consultation or a phone/internet consult.
Our Lactation Consults page has more information on follow-up options.