Breastfeeding Support - Karen Kurtz, IBCLC

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQ’s are to help you learn more about Lactation Consultants and what services they provide.

What if Breastfeeding Isn't Going Well or I Need Help and Information?

There are many sources of breastfeeding information - books, internet, family members, health care professionals, sorting through them can be overwhelming, especially if you are having breastfeeding challenges. Parents often go from one source to another trying to find answers to the problems they are having and often find the answer they get don't work or only solves part of the problem.

Breastfeeding should be natural and easy, but when it's not the causes are usually not just one thing but multi-layered. Issues may involve mom's health, baby's health, interventions at birth, current feeding habits and much more often mixed together by time. A consult with a Board Certified Lactation Consultant should look at all the pieces of the breastfeeding relationship and help develop a care plan and follow up to address all areas they may be interfering with your goals.

In an effort to save money parents may exhaust all the free resources they can find to get help and all the while the problems become more complex and harder to fix. The cost of a lactation consult can save your breastfeeding relationship. A consult with an IBCLC can save you not only the cost of formula ($1500 - $3000 for the first year), but also improve you child's health giving life long financial and emotional savings. More importantly getting help can give you peace of mind so you can enjoy your baby instead of struggling with each feeding.

Call (856) 448-4666 if you need help or visit our consultation page to find out how we can help you meet your breastfeeding goals.

What are some signs that you need a Lactation Consultation?

  • You baby isn’t having at least 5-6 heavy, wet diapers and 3 stools a day by the 5th day of life.
  • Your baby lost more then 10% of his/her birth weight in the first five days of life, isn’t starting to regain weight by one week or isn’t back to her/his birth weight by 2 weeks of age.
  • You are using formula to supplement your baby’s feedings in the first 6 weeks of life.
  • Breastfeeding is painful or there are signs of damage to your nipples.
  • Feedings consistently last an hour or more.
  • If your newborn baby is not latching on to your breast at least 8 times a day or is breastfeeding more than 15 times in 24 hours.

If any of these apply to you call Karen at (856) 448-4666 today.

What should I expect at a postpartum consultation? 

Most postpartum consultations take about 2 hours.  You will be asked about your medical history as it applies to breastfeeding, you will be asked about your birth history and the history of your breastfeeding up to the point you are at.  The Lactation Consultant will do physical assessments of mother and baby related to breastfeeding function. The baby will be weighed on a digital scale and may be weighed pre and post feeding to get an idea of how well the baby is actually transferring your milk.  At least one feeding will be observed from beginning to end. Questions you have will be answered.  Equipment may be recommended as needed and resources for purchase provided.  If you have a breast pump that you want instruction with, that can be done during your consultation.  You will be provided with a Care Plan based on the Lactation Consultant's Recommendations and your input on what suggestions you would like to incorporate.   You may be referred to other professionals for further evaluation or treatment.   Your health care provider will be sent a copy of your care plan and a letter with any relevant information from the assessment. Follow up calls can be used over the weeks following the consultation to access progress and make changes in the care plan if necessary.

Why do I need a private practice IBCLC? Can’t the hospital staff and/or my pediatricians help me?

If parents are well educated about breastfeeding and breastfeeding pitfalls, there are no complications with the birth or the baby, you may be able to get enough help from the hospital staff / pediatricians.  That assumes those you ask questions of are well educated on breastfeeding.  Ask your health care provider what type and how much education they have in breastfeeding.  You will often be surprised at the lack of formal education nurses and doctors have received in breastfeeding. Even if you work with great Lactation Consultants or other great staff in your health care team, how many of them will help you avoid problems you have not encountered yet or be able to spend two uninterrupted hours working with you on your situations and then follow up as needed once you are home?

Karen's Prenatal Breastfeeding Classses can help you be prepared for situations you may encounter, pitfalls they can arise in early days and look for red flags in your medical history that may need to be addressed for successful breastfeeding.

Karen's classes can also help you be well educated about normal breastfeeding and challenges you may encounter.

Karen's breastfeeding consultations can help you work though breastfeeding problems with dedicated time and caring support.

Why do so many of my friends find breastfeeding so difficult, isn’t it natural?

Breastfeeding is natural but like many of the natural things in life we learn from observing others and practicing ourselves, ie. thinking about a child learning to walk.  Nowadays many of us have not watched other women breastfeed, especially in those early days when they are learning about their baby and their baby is learning to breastfeed.  The other issue with natural breastfeeding is that it works best when the situation is natural – a non-medicated birth, no separation of mother and baby in the days following birth, no medical complications with mother or baby, limited interruptions to the new family.  If you are planning a birth in a hospital you are unlikely to find yourself in this situation, especially without good preparation. 

Karen's Classes can help you learn to avoid many negative scenarios and deal with situations you may encounter..

 

I plan to both Breastfeed and offer formula to my baby or just pump my milk for my baby, can you help me?

As a Lactation Consultant my commitment is to help families find the plan that works best for them and their newborn. Although I am glad to discuss with any family the differences between partial breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding for the health of mother and baby the final decisions are up to you and I will do my best to help you meet your goals. If you choose to breastfeed using one of these options the best management of comfort and supply is important and you should ask for needed help and information.

Are Lactation Consultant Services covered by health insurance?

With the Affordable Care Act, all health insurance companies are supposed to cover Lactation Services. How insurance companies interpret this varies widely. There are a few companies that are starting to add IBCLC's to their "in network" provider groups. At this time the reimbursement provided to Lactation Consultants by these companies does not provide adequate compensation for services and time rendered.

You need to contact your insurance company to see about their coverage.  Currently we do not participate with any in network coverage plans, so please ask about their coverage for "out of network". Many will reimburse part or all of a visit or visits. Also ask about their coverage for breast pumps if you are interested, some will give you reimbursement for all or part of your purchase, most will cover pump rentals for a hospitalized baby with the right documentation.  

You will be given a bill you can submit to your insurance company at the completion of your postpartum consultation.  You will be responsible for payment by cash, check or paypal (credit card) at the time of your consultation.

Please contact Karen for more information.

 

© 2008-2013, Karen Kurtz, IBCLC