Your partner and/or other birth and breastfeeding supporter are very welcome to attend the consultation with you.
We will start with a discussion about what is important for you when you think about feeding your new baby, and any particular concerns you may have.
If you have breastfed a previous baby, especially if you had difficulties, we will explore what happened and try to discover the reasons for the difficulties. We will look in detail at practices like skin to skin contact and early feeding and expressing that can help prevent many common feeding problems.
Together, we will make a feeding plan that will help you feel prepared for any eventuality with your new baby's feeding.
After the consultation I will send you an email with links to more information appropriate to your situation.
Your partner and/or anyone else who is helping you, are very welcome to attend the consultation with you.
Most mothers tell us that the practical support they receive from their partner, family and friends is key to getting enough rest and being able to recuperate from the birth. If there are feeding issues, that practical support is even more important! We will start with a conversation about how breastfeeding is going for you and your baby, about your baby's birth and general health, and the history of your own health before and during this pregnancy.
When your baby is ready to feed, we will explore positions that are most comfortable for both of you. If needed we may use appropriate aids, like an at-breast supplementer or nipple shields if your baby needs help to feed more effectively and comfortably. If your baby is not yet able to feed completely at the breast, we'll explore ways to ensure he or she is getting enough extra milk, by cup, finger-feeding or bottle feeding. We'll discuss how to express your milk quickly and easily, and how to increase your milk supply if you need to.
If your baby has become fussy when feeding, or between feeds, we'll explore possible reasons for this and strategies that have helped other babies in this situation.
Usually we will weigh your baby and plot the weight in your baby's Red Book. If you are coming to me for your consultation, please bring your Red Book if you've received it, and any feeding equipment that you may be using - pumps, bottles, shields, etc. If you're supplementing your baby, please bring enough extra milk (whatever milk you're using) for about two feeds.
We'll address any issues you may have with the comfort of your breasts and nipples, how to treat nipple pain and damage, blocked ducts and mastitis. We'll discuss how to prevent these from happening in future.
We'll talk about how the whole family can get enough sleep, while meeting the needs of the newest member of the family!
Together we'll make a plan for feeding that will allow your baby to breastfeed as well and as comfortably for you as they are able to at this point, making sure there is enough time for sleeping and for enjoying your baby, while he or she gradually gets better at breastfeeding.
I will give you a written note of the feeding plan, and all the strategies we found that may be worth trying out at home. After the consultation I will send you an email with links to extra information relevant to your situation.
I invite all the mothers I see to continue to contact me by phone or email whenever they have a question, for as long as they need, at no extra charge.