Before I get there:
- Fill out my health history and consent forms, if you can. I will send them through a parent portal called MilkNotes. Check your junk mail, if you do not see it.
- Try not to feed baby within an hour of my visit, so they’ll eat while I’m there (but if baby is screaming and hangry go ahead and feed them a boob snack and we’ll make it work!)
- I love animals and especially dogs, but if your sweet pup is wild and gets excited easily with new people, please put them in another room or outside (if appropriate).
- Make a list of all of your questions for me (but remember that you can text, email, or call me for free for 2 weeks after my visit if you forget anything).
- Expect me to be with you in the room where you spend the most time nursing, whether that be your living room, bedroom, the baby's room, wherever you are comfortable. I've been known to climb into bed with you to help. We get pretty personable. I was a former Labor and Delivery nurse and I've seen it all!
- If you have questions about the breast pump you’re using, or the bottles you’ve chosen, or any other gear you’re using, try to have them available in case we need to look at them together.
- Older siblings are always welcome to be playing nearby during a consult. You will want to plan an activity or distraction for them during our time together so that you and I can chat freely.
Please do not:
- Don’t clean your house. I really don't care what it looks like. You just had a baby, spend time with them. Spend most of your time doing skin to skin.
- Don’t change what you’ve been doing unless I told you to before the visit. I need to be able to see the whole picture so I can get a better idea of what little tweaks may make a difference in your breastfeeding journey.
- Don’t kick everyone else out of the house. If you have a spouse, a close friend, or a loved one who is a support to you, I’d love to have them in the room during my visit. Spouses, grandparents, or S.O.s. I've had many people take notes and really be a great support system for mama. I will also provide a shortened careplan when I leave, and then a detailed careplan usually within 24 hours.
- Don’t hesitate to tell me if something doesn’t feel right. I want you to be comfortable and do what is going to work for your journey. Please be open with me and we will be able to come up with a plan that can work for you!
During the Visit:
- I will wash my hands more or less as soon as I walk in the door, and before I touch you or your baby. And a lot of times I will wear gloves. Its a nurse habit of mine.
- We will sit and talk first, unless baby is hungry and ready to nurse as soon as I walk in the door! I’ll go over your health history, you baby’s history, and your challenges and concerns. Then I will ask to observe you breastfeeding, in whatever position and manner you use most.
- I try to be as physically hands-off as possible. I will ALWAYS ask before I touch you, your breasts, or your baby.
- Usually before your baby has eaten, I will put on latex-free gloves and do a manual exam of your baby’s mouth. But there are some times where I will do this after a feed.
- If there are any concerns about how much milk your baby is getting when nursing, I will weigh your baby before and after the feeding to assess intake.
- I may lay your baby on a flat surface in order to complete a full-body assessment of their structure and function, as these may affect baby’s ability to nurse successfully.
- I may look at your nipples before and after your baby nurses. This helps me not only to assess whether you are experiencing nipple damage, but it also gives me a lot of insight into exactly how your nipples is placed in baby’s mouth while she or he is breastfeeding.
- Within 24 hours I will email you a superbill (itemized receipt) to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement (though I can’t promise that they will reimburse you) and will email you the detailed careplan that I also send to your baby’s health care provider if requested. I will usually ask!