• Shona

Looking for help with breastfeeding? Why choose an IBCLC?

If you’re looking for help with breastfeeding it will often be recommended that you see a lactation consultant – but how do you find a good one? The most important thing to know is that anyone can call themselves a “lactation consultant”, so you need to check that person’s credentials to see what you will really be getting.


You’ll notice that I have the letters “IBCLC” after my name. What does that mean? If someone is an IBCLC, then you’ll know that they have met the criteria described as the “gold standard” of lactation training. Read on to find out more!


What is an IBCLC?


An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a health professional who specialises in the clinical management of breastfeeding. The IBCLC designation is the only internationally recognised and independently accredited qualification in breastfeeding and lactation.


To become an IBCLC takes at least 2-5 years of preparation and study and requires:


  • Completion of 14 health science subjects (or equivalent health professional degree qualification).

  • 95 hours of education in human lactation and breastfeeding.

  • 300-1,000 hours of lactation-specific clinical experience, providing breastfeeding assistance and education to clients, families and/or professionals.


Only after doing ALL of this can you sit the international exam to become an IBCLC!


Anyone who is an IBCLC has made a real commitment to providing breastfeeding support and information that is evidence based. All IBCLCs have to comply with Professional Standards, including a Code of Professional Conduct, and all IBCLCs have to recertify every 5 years to maintain their accreditation.


How Can I Help You?


No matter what you are experiencing with breastfeeding I would love to help you. I offer a range of ways for you to access my services and support.


Home visits - private breastfeeding support sessions in the comfort of your own home. Partners and other family members are welcome and we can schedule a time that works best for you and your baby.


Clinic appointments - these are at Ashmore on Tuesdays and are private breastfeeding support sessions in a welcoming and family-friendly setting. You can bring your partner and/or support person and/or other children with you to these appointments.


Telehealth/online/phone consultations - these are ideal for many breastfeeding questions and challenges.


Some private health funds offer rebates on consultations – get in touch if you would like more information on this.


Before Your Appointment


Prior to your appointment I will ask you to complete an online form with details of you and your baby. I will also send you a copy of my consent form, which you’ll be asked to sign at the beginning of your appointment. You will then receive an SMS confirming your appointment.


At Your Appointment


An appointment with me includes everything you would expect in a thorough medical consultation - including taking a full medical history of you, your pregnancy and your baby; a feeding history and your baby's health since birth; an assessment of you and your baby (including checking your baby's oral anatomy, their reflexes and their sucking ability); and then I observe a feed so we can see what bub can do.


I will also listen to what you tell me about your experiences of feeding, your observations of your baby and your feeding goals.


All of this information allows me to know your unique situation and issues, and then together we can make a plan for the way forward.


[My son used to say I was a “boob detective”, and I think that pretty much sums up what I do!]


Support


Once we agree on a plan you have my support by phone/SMS for the week following an appointment (if you need it). I will check-in with you every 1-3 days if I do not hear from you otherwise. I will also liaise with your other health care providers (GP, midwife, etc) as needed, so we can all work as a team to support you and you baby.


Follow-up appointments (if needed) can be booked either as a home visit, clinic appointment or telehealth/online/phone. I also offer support in a group setting at my weekly Mum & Bub Morning.


Need More Information?


You can find out more about me on my website and social media or call/SMS me on 0468 345 174. I’d love to help you find your happy feed! Shona x

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