Updated: 4 days ago
I just finished watching Creed III. First of all I'm amped because it was amazing! But also it made me realize something because I can create a breastfeeding or birthing analogy or metaphor out of anything lol. 🤪
So, I'm an avid UFC/MMA fan and after watching this and 100's of fights and just watched UFC 285 tonight, I realize that having a good corner is everything to your success! While the fighter is doing the work, the people there to support you in that fight are critical to how you do. They can see things you can't and they can coach you on how to win leading to victory!
Here's how that is related to breastfeeding and birthing:
Breastfeeding is natural, but it doesn't come easy to everyone. In fact, even for the most experienced breast feeder, there is always something to learn and a learning curve with each baby/experience.
Like a good coach or trainer, a lactation consultant or doula, is someone who will be there in your "corner" to coach, guide and empower you to do your best to meet your goals.
Me in your corner sounds a little like this:
"Let's break the latch, re-position, re-latch deeper and see how that goes." Next round "Didn't empty well, baby didn't transfer, still having pain. Let's lube up flanges with oil and pump. Feed it to the baby." Next round "let's figure out a plan to feed the baby, protect your supply and breast, then set some goals for the week."
As Rocky Balboa would say "one step, one punch, one round at a time." That's how I treat a lactation challenge. Let's knock this challenge out!
We check in as frequently as needed, usually once a week until the issue is resolved.
On average, I work with a family for about 6 visits.
1hr - 1.5hrs sometimes up to 2.
As a lactation consultant who is also a doula, I like to work with families as early as prenatally and even preconception. Many people don't realize you can get a lactation consult during pregnancy or even before becoming pregnant to address any concerns, challenges or barriers you might think you have to chest/breastfeeding success.
Just as a fighter prepares with months of training before a fight--working on both defensive and offensive strategies--a person who plans to breastfeed and is currently pregnant can prepare in the 40-42 weeks of pregnancy to plan for just about anything that comes their way with the hurdles of breastfeeding.
I enjoy supporting families during this preparation stage because I love finding fun ways to educate them and give them knowledge. One tip I like to provide is:
With no risk for preterm birth, after 38 weeks, it is safe to harvest colostrum while pregnant and practice hand expression.
Once we've gotten past the pregnancy stage (training) and are in the birth stage (prelims). As a doula who is also a lactation consultant, I like to coach parents on how to optimize their breastfeeding goals via breastfeeding friendly birth planning. I do this by giving them both tangible and mental tools to get them off to a good start.