Finding a Lactation Consultant or breastfeeding-support person may seem like a daunting task but it is well worth the effort. First, a few things to know:
La Leche League is an international group of women who give mother-to-mother peer support. They are a wonderful resource for support and information and run support groups in cities all around the world. http://www.lalecheleague.org/
La Leche League Canada
Mother to mother information and support by phone & email
Community Groups for pregnant and nursing mothers.
Website information and publications for families and health professionals.
Find Local Groups: www.groups.LLLC.ca
Breastfeeding Referral Service 1-800-665-4324.
Office E-mail: ofm@LLLC.ca
Tel: 613-774-4900 Fax: 613-774-2798
Lactation Consultants are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants this means they are registered Lactation Consultants, IBCLC, RLC who are required to keep current with breastfeeding information and must recertify every five years. We provide hands-on clinical support and are trained to work with all breastfeeding-related problems. In order to certify we must have many thousands of hours of practical hands-on training and must have completed many education credits to write the international exam in the first place.
To find a Lactation Consultant, contact www.ilca.org for a worldwide search or IBLCE http://www.iblce.org/international%20registry.htm or your local Lactation Consultant association: or, in Canada, the Canadian Lactation Consultants Association is also a good resource: http://www.clca-accl.ca/. In the USA, http://www.uslcaonline.org
Breastfeeding Clinics may be found in many hospitals. Most clinics are staffed by IBCLCs, though not always. See Resources list (link to Resources under Breastfeeding Help)
Of course, getting the best start is the way to go, and having as few interventions during labour and delivery will help a mother to get that best start. Having a Midwife and/or Doula as support during labour is usually a good assurance that the labour will go as naturally as possible.
Midwives: though experts in pregnancy and labour support, they are also trained to counsel mothers in getting a good breastfeeding start.
In Ontario: Association of Ontario midwives: www.aom.on.ca (“find a midwife” function).
In Canada: Canadian Association of Midwives: www.canadianmidwives.org
Doulas may also be trained in breastfeeding support. A Doula is a labour-support person. Doulas may be found through DONA at http://www.dona.org or through CAPPA at http://www.cappa.net or in Canada: http://www.cappacanada.ca .
You are told to feed x number of minutes per side
You are told to feed x number of times per day
You are told to wake the baby every x number of hours
Your breastfeeding-support person weighs the baby before and after each feeding
Your breastfeeding-support person tells you that sore nipples are normal and you need to endure it, or that your nipples need to “toughen” up or that your skin is overly sensitive, or, if you are a red-head, that you are supposed to have overly-sensitive nipples
Your breastfeeding support person asks you to finger feed after you breastfeed your baby
If a baby needs supplementation then that baby should be supplemented at the breast as long as the baby is latching. Finger feeding is not an appropriate method of feeding a latching baby. See Handout Finger and Cup Feeding
There really is no set rate for IBCLCs and the fees for home visits range dramatically. In Toronto, there are some support people doing home visits for $35/hr and some going as high as $180/hr. Please do not let price fool you—the most expensive IBCLC is not necessarily the best. Do a little home work and research and ask her over the phone about some of the points listed above. An average rate is probably around $100/150 for a visit lasting around 2 hours. This may seem excessive but it is not—keep in mind that a good IBCLC will save you money in the long run by keeping you and baby breastfeeding and off expensive formula.
Questions or concerns? Email Dr. Jack Newman (read the page carefully, and answer the listed questions).
Make an appointment at the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic.