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What happens at an IBCLC appointment?

11 Jan
Mother With Baby Talking With Health Visitor At Home

Mother With Baby Talking With Health Visitor At Home

Going to an IBCLC appointment may be a little nerve-inducing.

What does she expect?  What will she say?  Will she be nice?  Will she “manhandle” me?  Will she make my baby cry?

Hopefully, it will be a smooth, easy, empowering experience.  What I am writing will be specific to my office visits in Ogden, Utah, but they will likely be similar with most independent IBCLCs.  Hospital LC visits will probably be a little different as they usually only have about 30 minutes with a client rather than the more relaxed visit of a private practice IBCLC.

IBCLC stands for International Certified Lactation Consultant. This is the gold standard for breastfeeding care. Just like car mechanics or doctors, you can find really good ones with less credentials and really bad ones with credentials. That being said, if you are experiencing breastfeeding difficulties that your local LLL Leader or Health Care Provider cannot help with, it is generally time to call an IBCLC.

When you first make an appointment, I will ask some very general questions over the phone, but not much that will help unless it is simply to get you through until we meet. There is a reason for that. I have a Code of Professional Conduct and a Scope of Practice which gives me legal obligations for the care of my clients. This means I need to have an established client relationship in order to take those obligations and risks.10500391_10152593291157741_4625631599968962240_n

When we make the appointment, I will send an email link for both my consent form and an intake form. They are both HIPAA-Compliant. Read the consent and sign and then fill out the intake form. It may take a few minutes, but it means we have more time during the consult to discuss things. It includes items like your birth and breastfeeding history, your exposures (both chemical and emotional), feeding patterns, and support network. All of these are important facets of your feeding success. If you wonder why a question is being asked, then please talk to me about it. A thorough history is an important part of every lactation visit. Each dyad is different and will have different challenges. It would be sad for you and a waste of time if you only made plans to correct one problem when multiple issues were causing breastfeeding difficulties, but nobody noticed.

Bring everything that you use for baby feeding. For some, that means a nursing pillow or alternate feeding device. For others, it is bottles and pacifiers, pumps, and for some it is nothing. It is all within the realm I see. If the baby does receive milk by bottle, please make sure that you bring at least one feedings worth to the appointment.

Once that is completed, you will come to the consult. In my practice, I suggest bringing somebody with you. It can be anybody you wold like. I like having an “extra pair of ears” since many of my clients are so very newly postpartum and often have so many things they are trying to keep track of, or emotions and hormones are so high, that not much gets remembered of the visit. If you don’t have anybody to come, that is fine. All of the things we talk about are also included in an email after the visit.

Many IBCLCs require payment at the time of service. There are a few who will bill your insurance company, but not very many. This is from some very political strong-arming that is happening with the care providers and insurance companies, even though breastfeeding services are supposed to be covered 100% with no copay to the client. I (and many other IBCLCs) can provide a superbill which you can turn in to your insurance for reimbursement. If they refuse to pay anything, please report it to the Women’s Law Center.

I have a scale where we weigh the baby and I go through the intake with you and clarify anything that may need clarification. Then we talk about anything that may help the difficulties you are facing in your breastfeeding relationship. Sometimes I have paper information sheets, but I always have electronic resources for you as well. Some parents do better with electronic info and others like paper. It all works.

1493468_669927979755026_8643327488634811141_oI will watch a feeding. It is rarely necessary to withhold feeding the baby just prior to the consult since it is 90 minutes long and most human milk fed babies are happy to eat sometime in that timeframe. If baby wants to eat just as you are walking out the door, try just feeding him about half what you normally would. We do the feeding assessment whenever baby needs it. I often do the intake questions later in the consult because we have a hungry baby walk through the doors. At some point, I will also look at your breasts. Depending on the circumstances, it may not be something that you as a client will even notice. I also will do an exam of the baby’s mouth. I usually do this about halfway through a feeding.

Using your breastfeeding goals as a guideline, we talk about a few options that you have and suggestions to try to make breastfeeding more doable for you. If any of them don’t work or don’t work enough, please contact me so they can be reworked.

Breastfeeding is not always easy. But with support, information and a little determination, it can almost always be made a better experience for you.

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A Real Office

7 Dec

Since my last post, we have had lots of transitions.

I have come back from maternity leave, I held clinic and office hours at Honey Bump Maternity.  Honey Bump left its Layton location.

And now…I have a new office.  It is a dedicated office for my clients. and it is in the same location as the new Honey Bump store.  The address is 1190 E 5425 S, south Ogden.  If the address sounds familiar, that is because it is.  🙂  My first clinic was held in the same building on the second floor.  I will post some pictures soon of my new space.

Please tell everyone you know about our location and what we can do to help nursing relationships and families.  I am excited to get to know new people and see beautiful babies that I met when they were little.  🙂

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Karin Hardman IBCLC

Upcoming Maternity Leave

9 Mar

Beginning in early April, I will be taking maternity leave.  I will not be doing any private in-home consults until July or later.  However, starting in May, I will go back to having clinic and I will be adding skype or google hangout consults as well.  My hours will be cut back, but I will still be able to help you through your breastfeeding journey.

My clinic set up will likely change a bit, but I will post on that as it gets closer and it will be posted both here and on my “services” page.

Thanks for your support!  And remember, if it doesn’t feel right…ask for help!  photo 1 (1)

New Location for Clinic

16 Jul

I am happy to announce that clinic is back!  Yes, and it is in a more easily accessible location.  I will be at Ogden Chiropractors at 18th and Washington in Ogden in the Madison Square office complex.  I will also be trying out a more semi-formal appointment type set up.  I would often have several moms come right at the same time and it was difficult to meet their needs, so please call or sign up on the square option and in the comments put in which half hour you would like to come.  We will be there from 1:00-3:00 pm.

Cost is still the same at $20; a steal for breastfeeding help.  If you have a medicaid card, bring it with you and the price will be $5.  I want this clinic to be easily accessible to all women.

Please come see me at Ogden Chiropractors and tell your friends.  🙂

Introducing our new Walk-In Clinic

21 Aug

In an effort to reach more moms, we are excited to announce the opening of the first ever Drop-in Clinic for breastfeeding mothers.

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The Arrivals Birth Suite is located at 1190 East 5425 South Suite 330 in Ogden. The clinic is from 10:00am to noon every Wednesday for Mothers with mild to moderate breastfeeding issues.  You can meet with an experienced and professional IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) The fee is $20 or $5 with Medicaid.

Edited to add: as of July 16th, 2014, the Clinic will be held Wednesdays 1-3pm at Ogden Chiropractors at 18th and Washington in the Madison Square Office Complex. Please call for appointments, but the price will be the same.

Working and Breastfeeding in Utah

4 Mar

I was asked to do a guest post for a friend.

If you have ever had any questions about working and breastfeeding, head on over to read.  🙂

Working and breastfeeding in Utah

Babies are born to breastfeed

6 Mar

Welcome to our new website.  Where you can find support and information on how to provide your baby with the food it was designed for.