WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR VISIT

Congratulations for taking the first step to improve your breastfeeding experience.   Many mothers want to know what to expect during a lactation consultation visit and how to prepare.   Every visit is a little different, and no two visits will be exactly the same, but this will give you a general idea:

PREPARATION FOR YOUR VISIT:

DO:

  • Look at the visit intake forms ahead of time so you know which questions I will ask.  If you have time, fill them out before I get there.  This will save time at the visit and gives you a chance to think about your answers.
  • Within reason, try to anticipate the time I will arrive and coordinate with your baby’s feeding schedule.  While usually scheduling feedings is not a great idea, if you can postpone a feeding by 15-20 minutes to coincide with my arrival, that might mean that I am able to observe a typical feeding vs. missing it.   If possible, and if the delay is going to be too long, try feeding the baby just a little, to tide him/her over until the visit time.
  • Think about your questions in the time leading up to the visit.  Write them down if you think it will help you remember to ask everything.  Ask your partner if he/she has any concerns or questions, too!
  • Arrange for care for other children, if you wish.  While certainly not required, if it will help you relax and be able to concentrate, think about having someone present to help or scheduling the visit during your other children’s naptime, after bedtime, etc.
  • If your visit is not scheduled for a few days, remember to follow these cardinal rules:  Feed your baby; protect your supply!   Usually, for an exclusively breastfeeding baby, continue to attempt to remove milk from your breasts 8-12 times per day, either via feeding, pumping, or hand expressing milk.   Above all, feed your baby in the meantime, supplementing if needed if you have been told to do so or if you are very concerned about adequate intake.

DO NOT:

  • Clean up, dress up, or worry about the state of your house. All we need for the visit is a hard, firm surface near an outlet (for the scale) and a place for you to feed your baby comfortably.
  • Delay a feeding longer than 15-20 minutes.  Having a fussy, angry baby at the start of the visit does not make for a good environment to observe a typical feeding and is not supportive of your breastfeeding relationship

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING AND AFTER THE VISIT:

  • I will arrive, introduce myself, set up the scale and wash my hands as soon as I arrive.  This is so I’m prepared to observe a feeding at any point if they baby is hungry.  Visits will usually last 1.5-2 hours, but this may vary depending on your situation.
  • We will typically start by going over your forms (or filling them out together) and discussing your medical history, breastfeeding issues, and the reasons for your visit.  We may stop this discussion and detour to observe a feeding if the baby seems to be hungry at any point.
  • I will try to observe a typical feeding during my visit for full lactation consultations. For newborns, I will do a pre- and post-feeding weight to give us an idea of milk intake at that particular feeding.  Usually, I will have you start off doing what you normally do during a feeding so I can observe your methods and positioning and the baby’s behavior at the breast.  I may offer suggestions or adjustments during the visit.
  • We will discuss my recommendations, jointly form a plan of action, and I will answer your questions to the best of my ability during the visit.
  • At the end of the visit, I will collect the payment for the visit.  While some insurance companies offer full or partial reimbursement for the visit, you will need to pay me and submit directly to them for reimbursement.   I can accept cash, check, or credit card for payment.  For my fee schedule, please click here.   (Exception: For Aetna clients only, I will bill the insurance company first and send you an invoice for any remaining fees, such as copayments, afterwards)
  • I will leave you with any pertinent handouts, a care plan, and an invoice to submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.  Some of these things may be emailed to you later instead of left with you in paper form.
  • You can email or call me with questions related to the issues discussed at your visit for about 1 month afterwards; this is included in your visit fee.  I may ask you to update me after a certain amount of time or if your situation changes.  Once I have seen you and your baby, most issues can be resolved by phone or email after that.  If you end up needing or wanting a followup in-person visit, the visit fee is $80 plus any applicable distance travel fees.   New emerging issues may require a followup visit and/or a full consultation, depending on the scope and time from the first visit.
  • Not all problems and issues can be resolved  during the visit.  Sometimes solutions are easy and immediate.  Other times, the visit is the start of a journey towards improving or resolving a situation.  Sometimes additional followup or treatment may be needed from another care provider.
  • Your doctor and/or your baby’s doctor will receive a report of the visit(s)
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