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How do I know if I need a Lactation Consultant?

A board-certified lactation consultant is an invaluable asset to breastfeeding families, who reassures you when breastfeeding and lactation are going well, and provides information and support to help prevent and manage common concerns. Conflicting advice (particularly incorrect and inaccurate information found online) can make breastfeeding more difficult and incredibly overwhelming for new parents. I aid in removing those barriers and help you have the breastfeeding and new parenting experience you desire.

As an IBCLC I can help with:

  • Prenatal counseling about the factors that may affect breastfeeding and lactation

  • Basic position and latch of the infant

  • Information about practices that promote successful breastfeeding and lactation

  • Preventing and managing common concerns such as poor latch, inadequate milk transfer or supply, nipple or breast pain, and calming a sensitive baby.

  • Milk expression and storage for parents who must be separated from their babies

  • Strategies for breastfeeding and lactation after returning to work

  • Breastfeeding and lactation in challenging situations, such as feeding twins or triplets, a premature or sick infant, or parents and infants in special medical situations.

What is an IBCLC?

IBCLC stands for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. IBCLC's are allied healthcare professionals who specialize in the clinical management of breastfeeding. An IBCLC has achieved the advanced levels of clinical and theoretical knowledge required to practice competently and safely in the breastfeeding field, having at least 1000 hours of clinical experience, as well as passing a comprehensive certifying board exam. IBCLCs are knowledgeable in many complex breastfeeding issues and are required to practice using up-to-date evidence based practices in lactation. The IBCLC credential is considered the gold standard for lactation consultants and is the only credential recognized by hospitals and most insurance companies for lactation service reimbursement.

 

How do I schedule a consult?

24-hour online appointment requests are available through the online booking service found on MILC's website, so that you can reserve the next available appointment time without waiting for a return phone call. You will receive an appointment confirmation and reminder emails. Please call (818) 913-2228, if you have any questions before our visit or if you prefer to book by phone.

Which areas do you serve?

I serve breastfeeding families in the majority of the Greater Los Angeles area. In the event that I do not serve your area, or do not have the availability to schedule you for an appointment in a timely manner, I will gladly refer you to another board certified lactation consultant.

How soon can you see me?

In-office or At-home breastfeeding consultations are usually scheduled same day or within a day or two. Calls and emails are typically answered promptly (unless I'm with a client and unavailable.) I often return calls and respond to emails between appointments.

How should I prepare for my lactation consultation appointment?

  1. Please complete and return the intake form. Instructions will be provided to you when you book your appointment.

  2. Consultation visits take at least 1.5-2 hours. Please ensure you've had a rest and something to eat prior to the appointment.

  3. Have the following items close by – light blanket, clean diapers, and wipes. If you are using any of the following, please also have them available: nipple cream/ointment, medication, nipple shield, breast pump, feeding cups, syringes, tubes, bottles. If supplementing, enough expressed breastmilk or formula for a typical feeding.

  4. Try to avoid feeding baby or pumping within the hour before the scheduled consult time. It is important that baby be interested in feeding soon after we start.

What can I expect during a consultation?

Each initial consultation begins with getting to know each other a bit, reviewing pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, maternal and infant health history, and exploring the current breastfeeding issues you are experiencing. You will be invited to feed your baby during the appointment and depending on the issue at hand, I will examine you and/or your baby.

Initial consultations typically last about two hours. Consultation fees are per appointment, not based on an hourly fee, so we will never be rushed. After assessing and exploring your situation, we will develop a written care plan with suggestions for improving whatever breastfeeding issues you may be having. I will provide you with referrals to other health care providers if necessary as well as a comprehensive care plan.

How long is a visit?

Consultations are typically between 1.5-2 hours. Longer for multiples or complex situations. Follow-up appointments are typically 1 hour.

Can my partner attend a class or consultation?

Absolutely! Partner support is CRUCIAL to the success of the breastfeeding relationship. Partners and family members are always welcome to attend classes, consultation visits, and support group meetings. Partners are always welcome to ask questions, and participate in any way that supports you.

How many visits will I need? What about follow-up?

Each case is unique and it is impossible to predict how quickly a situation will resolve. Most clients need between 1-3 appointments. I strongly encourage my clients to keep in touch with me until they feel fully confident that their breastfeeding issues are resolved.

What forms of payment do you accept?

Fees are due at the time of service. You can pay using cash, check, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover Card. At the end of the visit I provide you with a Superbill (an itemized receipt that includes all of my pertinent provider information as well as the applicable procedure and diagnosis codes for each visit) for submittal to your insurance company which may result in a partial or full reimbursement. We make no guarantees as insurance companies and policies vary widely. Obtaining a referral from your midwife, obstetrician or pediatrician may increase likelihood of reimbursement. Pre-authorization from your insurance carrier for lactation services from an IBCLC may also help.

What is your cancellation policy?

In the event you need to change or cancel your booking, my cancellation policy is as follows:

  • If a booking is canceled more than 24 hours prior to the scheduled time, there is no charge payable by you.

  • If a booking is canceled less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled time, 50% of the consultation fee is payable at time of cancellation.

  • If given appropriate notice, I am more than happy to reschedule. I will only reschedule appointments once at no cost to you. If you have re-scheduled once already and you cancel a second time, this is considered a cancellation and fees will apply at the time of cancellation.

I reserve the right to use my discretion depending on circumstances.

Do you rent pumps or baby weigh scales?

MILC offers the convenience of renting multi-user breastpumps and baby weigh electronic scales. A multi user rental breastpump can provide effective stimulation to promote, increase and establish milk supply. We offer weekly and monthly rentals and maintain all the necessary pump parts. Rental breastpumps require the purchase of a personal pump accessory kit and require a signed contract with a Credit Card on file. Pick up and drop off is generally done in office, by appointment only. Please call 818-913-2228 or contact us for pricing and more information.

Do you carry nursing bras?

Yes! As trained and certified bra fitters, MILC has a reputation for offering an extensive and complete line of nursing bras and apparel in many styles and sizes. The bras are hand selected based on their quality, access for nursing, support and comfort. Every woman is different, as is each pregnancy, and your breasts will change in a way that is unique to you. Depending on how you grow, our maternity bras with nursing function provide comfort and support as you transition from pregnancy to breastfeeding. Make an appointment for a professional bra fitting at the MILC office approximately 4-6 weeks before your due date. At your confirmed appointment you will measured, fitted, and presented with a wide variety of in stock nursing bras, tanks, tops, nightgowns and apparel. When booking online, a $35 appointment holding fee will be returned to you as a credit towards your nursing bra purchase. Appointments take about 45 minutes.

I'm adopting a baby and I've heard I may be able to breastfeed, is that true?

Yes! There are different protocols for induced lactation and re-lactation. The sooner you can begin preparing your body, the better. Please book online or contact me to set up an initial consultation so I can review your health history and help you create a care plan that will work best for your situation.