Congratulations! You have a baby! Babies come with sweet smells, lovely eyes, and soft skin. What they do not come with is an instruction manual. Luckily, lactation consultants are here to help! Now, I must admit, the idea of a stranger coming in to my home and manipulating my breasts and holding my baby would have made me incredibly nervous as a new mom. I want to write this blog to make that step of reaching out a little easier and help you make the most out of your appointment.
1. Fill out your paperwork ahead of time. Good news! All of my paperwork is online, needs no printer, and I will send it to you as soon as you book an appointment! Giving a full history for both yourself and your baby can help your Lactation Consultant know exactly what tools to bring, what information and handouts to prepare. It can also give them an idea of what they are walking into. Either way, a full medical history will need to be taken. If you fill out all your paperwork ahead of time, your consultation to begin immediately, and your baby won’t have to wait to eat.
2. Go into the consult with a hungry, but not frantic baby. As part of my consult, I will need to see your baby eat normally. I like to do a pre and post feed weigh to see how much milk your baby is getting. If we are working with a baby who is asleep for half your scheduled time, you won’t get as much bang for your buck. My suggestion is to try to feed your baby about an hour before our scheduled appointment for best results.
3. Put your animals away. I am an animal lover! Cats, dogs, reptiles, tarantulas, it makes no difference to me, I love them all! That said, some beloved pets, no matter how loving and calm normally, can turn into a fur-ocious guard when a new baby arrives on the scene. So please, have them outside, in crates or in another room when I arrive.
4. DO NOT CLEAN YOUR HOUSE You just had a baby. As a home visit only Lactation Consultant, I am very aware of what a newly post-partum house looks like, and it does not look like a page from Living Magazine. As long as I have a place for my scale to sit, and a place for my butt to sit (the floor works!) I can do my job. I would rather see a mother who is resting and a baby who is feeding, than a scrubbed kitchen.
5. Don’t be embarrassed, I’ve seen it all. I have seen all manners of family structures, living arrangements, housing types, and income levels. I have visited moms who were in full make-up and heels and I have seen moms who are on bed rest and haven’t showered in days. I do not care what your hair looks like, your breath smells like, or whether your kids/partner/mother are in the room. One of my favorite things is visiting people in their actual, real life environments, and I can’t wait to meet you in yours.