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March 7, 2012 is IBCLC Day. This year the theme is "IBCLCs Make an Impact". We believe this to be true. We would like to hear stories from our area families that show how an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant has made an impact in your breastfeeding experience. Here are your responses:
IBCLCs Make an Impact!
My IBCLC came to our home the day my milk came in. I was recovering from childbirth and overwhelmed with exhaustion. Breastfeeding was difficult. I was having a hard time figuring it all out and was falling apart! We had just come from our first visit with the pediatrician who had some discouraging words for me. Our baby had lost weight after birth and breastfeeding wasn.t going well. She had suggested formula supplements to help our daughter gain weight.
The IBCLC support I received that day made a world of difference. She reassured me that our daughter's weight loss was well within normal ranges and suggested a feeding plan to help her gain weight quickly. The breastfeeding plan worked marvelously! Our pediatrician actually used the word "fat" at our next visit! She helped me to increase my comfort and proficiency with breastfeeding. IBCLC.s offer an invaluable service to a population that desperately needs support and guidance. I can't say enough about how she has helped me learn to breastfeed and be a first time parent.
My first child started to get fussy at about 6 weeks and pulling away from the breast when feeding. The lactation consultant suggested that it might be acid reflux. She recommended that I speak with my daughter's pediatrician and consider dietary changes. The management of her reflux saved me months of fussy, colicky symptoms with my baby and undue stress.
When I was breast feeding my second child, I got a terrible stomach virus that caused me to become dehydrated and my milk supply completely dried up. Not a drop was left. Without my IBCLC, I would have completely freaked out and might have quit at that point. But she kept me calm, helped me put together a plan, and a week later I was back in business.
Thanks to the support from several IBCLC.s, we not only had the expertise but also wonderful, caring and very encouraging individuals. They provided hands-on (literally!) care for this new mom struggling to trust her body to nourish her baby when it seemed formula would be the easier route. Thanks to their support, I'm delighted to be breastfeeding my son. Breastfeeding and co-sleeping is a match made in heaven--something I wouldn't have known without my IBCLC.s. On a recent business trip away from baby, I discovered to my horror that I'd left an important part of my breast pump at home. If my IBCLC hand not shown me how to hand express milk many months ago, I would have been very unhappy indeed. Thank you all for the important work you do!
My IBCLC had a major impact on my decision to breastfeed. She helped me gain the confidence I needed to be successful with breastfeeding my baby. When I began breastfeeding, I experienced painful engorgement. Without proper guidance, I most likely would have given up on continuing breastfeeding. It seemed to be such a painful and exhausting activity at that time. Not only did my IBCLC on a home visit teach me how to hand express my milk to manage and eliminate the engorgement, she also counseled me about my son's tongue tie, latching, and feeding times. Her counseling and information made it possible for me to make an informed decision about managing his tongue-tie, which dramatically improved my nursing relationship.
When the time came to involve my partner in the feeding process and my return to work, my IBCLC was available 24/7 to counsel me on pumping, milk supply, scheduling and other issues. She was even available for home visits to instruct my husband on bottle-feeding.
As a new mom, I was simply too exhausted and overwhelmed to figure out these sometimes complex and demanding techniques, routines, and calculations without the guidance of a trusted expert. I feel confident that I can accomplish my goal of breastfeeding for at least one year with the support of an IBCLC that I trust and who responds to my needs so immediately.
Takoma Park, MD
My first son was born at barely 35 weeks. His arrival was a shock not so much because he was early, but because I am the second oldest of eight and everything about him seemed different than the six babies of my mothers that I had seen her raise. To begin with, my mother had her babies at home, they were all big bruisers of eight or nine pounds, and they took to the breast like fish to water. My hospital induced, small son, on the other hand, had no interest in my breasts. My breasts too seemed to have no interest in my son. A profound believer in breastfeeding, my mother encouraged me to pump. I did, but produced more tears than milk. The whole ordeal of 'natural' parenting seemed to begin as a hopeless mess.
Until along came the IBCLC, fluttering into my hospital room, shining with encouragement and endless ideas. I remember the first restless and frustrating night after we were finally home from the hospital, who called me in the morning with clairvoyant insight into how to meet its challenges? No one other than she, the lactation consultant could have saved my son's chance at nursing and my own sanity. She walked me through how to encourage my body to sufficiently produce milk and how to deal with the tenderness of yeast infections. She taught me how to 'pinky feed' my sleepy baby from a syringe until he learned to latch and suck and helped me address the horrors of reflux and my son's inability to keep down the precious breast milk that he finally drank.
Even as I write this, it is amazing to me that there were so many initial challenges, because my son eventually took to breastfeeding just like my mother's babies who did not want to ever give it up. But my LC was there even to the end, to advice me through weaning as well. After two and a half years, we threw my son a 'bye bye to nursing party,' and closed a chapter on one of the richest relational experiences of my life. I am so proud to have given my son the strong foundation of a breastfed child, and feel enduringly grateful for the essential support provided me by my LC.
Jocelyn Michal Holm