What to Expect
Before your appointment
Whether you’ve booked a virtual or in-home lactation consultation, this is your opportunity to receive private, individualized support.
If we are coming to you, 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.
If you are connecting virtually, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to the secure, HIPAA-compliant Zoom.
Prior to your consultation, you will be sent an email with information on how to access an intake form. Please complete this in order to maximize your time during 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 and review your information before your baby is truly hungry. Ideally, your baby won’t have fed within 60 minutes before our consult. If you need to feed your baby within an hour of your consult start time, please let us know and we can discuss options.
Comprehensive Lactation Intake
Sound Beginnings will email you with information on how to access our client portal and complete your online lactation intake form which can be done on your phone or computer.
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 help you get set-up to feed. If you’re nursing and at home this may be 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!).
If your baby is being supplemented or using any special equipment, please have those ready during the consultation.
During in-home consultations, in many 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. For virtual consultations were transfer or weight gain are a concern, we’ll discuss ways to assess intake and/or access a scale for data collection.
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 feeding 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 feeding 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 challenges 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 can schedule check-in session or follow-up consultation.
We also offer packages that include messaging support and timely follow-up care.