IBCLC, Lactation Consultant, LC.....Why do I need one?
Updated: Dec 28, 2021
I'm sure you've seen the abbreviation IBCLC and thought, what the heck is that?! Trust me, when I was first interested in the lactation world, I was confused by all of the abbreviated credentials as well. Let's start with a little clarification.
IBCLC: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
People who use this abbreviation of the credential after their name have gone through 1 of 3 different pathways consisting of clinical hours and/or education and clinical hours and have passed their board exam to become certified as a lactation consultant. Not an easy feat.
So, what do IBCLC's actually do?
A lot! You may think of lactation consultants just for newborns and breastfeeding, but we really cover a lot more than that. Keep reading!
This is obvious, but did you know we work with breastfeeding babies, toddlers and children of all ages? Anything goes!
As an IBCLC we are experts at feeding, not just breastfeeding. We have training on how to bottle feed, what type of bottles are best to transition from breast to bottle and what types of bottle nipples to use.
As IBCLC's we can advise on a pumping plan: when to pump, how long to pump, and tips and tricks to make pumping easier and more efficient. We can also help with sizing your pump flanges and troubleshooting pumping problems.
With insurance now covering up to 6 visits, it is a great idea to meet and establish care with an IBCLC before baby arrives! We can talk about feeding goals, answer questions and concerns, and come up with a plan for when and after baby arrives.
Returning To Work
Returning to work can be a hard transition, and we are here to help make that transition as seamless as possible by coming up with a plan for pumping and bottle feeding as well as helping you with a plan that you can take into your work day.
We can chat about a plan to start weaning your child when you're ready, and if your baby decides to wean before you are ready, we can chat about ways to reduce milk supply slowly to prevent clogged ducts and mastitis.
Starting solids can be an exciting and scary time for families. We can chat about ways to introduce solids, how to know your baby is ready, and what the transition from breastfeeding to solids typically looks like.
A lot of IBCLC's offer breastfeeding classes which take a deeper dive into the world of lactation and infant feeding. These classes are a great way to ask questions and talk about possible concerns you may have and also a great way to meet other mamas-to-be!
As you can see, the scope and training of a lactation consultant go far beyond feeding in the newborn days. With insurance now covering multiple visits, we don't have to try to fit a year's worth of lactation education into one visit. Reach out to your local IBCLC today to schedule an appointment and come up with a plan that works for you!
Kelsey RN, BSN, IBCLC