What Happens During a Breastfeeding Counselling Session?
A breastfeeding support session consists of a few different parts that generally happen as follows. Since babies are not known for their punctuality (or respect for planning) the sessions are very flexible to accommodate your baby’s needs!
The session will often start with a brief but thorough medical history with questions related to the pregnancy, breastfeeding history and you and your baby’s current health. Along with questions about your baby’s breastfeeding behaviour and any recent changes, this information provides a context in which to view your current challenges and your breastfeeding journey as a whole.
After the history I will observe a feed to get a sense of how your baby latches on and drinks at the breast. I will offer suggestions about positioning, latching, and ways to manage the milk flow during the feeding to alleviate nipple pain, latching difficulties, fussiness at the breast, or other relevant issues you may have. By the end of the visit you will be able to identify when your baby is getting milk at the breast, enabling you to make informed choices about how to manage the rest of the feed.
Once I have seen a whole feeding I will assess your baby’s post-feed behaviour and complete a physical and oral assessment of your baby, and a breast exam on you, if it is indicated.
The session will conclude with a hard-copy personalised breastfeeding plan that covers all of my recommendations and links to other websites with further information. I will be available for phone and email follow up for 2 weeks after the visit to answer new questions as they arise.
What Happens During a Prenatal Breastfeeding Counselling Session?
The prenatal period is often a time full of questions. Perhaps this is your first pregnancy, and you don’t know what to expect. Maybe you’ve never seen someone breastfeed and you don’t know where to begin. Maybe you had difficulty breastfeeding your first child and want to feel more prepared this time, or you have concerns that a prior breast surgery may impact milk production. Or perhaps you have a surrogate or are adopting and want to induce lactation to breastfeed your baby. If this is the case, a prenatal counselling session is for you!
The session will begin with a thorough medical history about the pregnancy, your current health, and specific concerns that lead you to seek help. We will discuss how milk production works in the body, what to expect in the first week after birth, and best practises to start breastfeeding on the right foot. You will leave the session knowing how to hand express your milk and what to look for in a good latch. Common concerns such as how to know your baby is getting enough milk and how to protect your supply will be covered. Depending on your circumstances, topics such as bottle-free methods of supplementation and collecting milk before delivery may also be taught. A breast exam will also be performed to give us a pre-baby baseline to work from.
You will leave the session with a hard-copy personalised plan designed to address your concerns and one postpartum phone call to see how things are going.