Recently I was accompanied by a journalist who wanted to write a story about me on German TV. Watch the 7-minute story here- it’s in German but you will get a sense of what a home visit looks like.
Since I became a lactation consultant last year I have been running around NYC even more than when I did birth support only. I get to know the city better than when I was a tour guide many years ago! On a home visit day, I use the subways about 4 hours a day and walk an average of 12,000 steps. A good excuse to not do any additional exercise!
Who needs a home visit after birth? Any new parent who would like a lactation specialist come to their house instead of having to go there.
On a typical day I see three different kinds of issues:
1) Baby hasn’t been gaining enough weight
When this happens it’s often because the latch on the breast is not ideal; there has been too much time in between feeds, baby can’t suck properly due to being tired, your baby is tongue-tied or baby has been bottle-fed. We would look at the cause of the slow weight gain and create a care plan which will be shared with the pediatrician so everyone is on the same page. This plan might be adjusted in the following days based on how your little one is doing.
2) Exhausted parents
Often times the mother is always breastfeeding and while some may think you can’t breastfeed too much- you actually can! Babies are not able to nurse effectively on the breast for 20 hours a day. Your baby may suckle on the breast without swallowing and “just hang out there” using it like a pacifier. Our plan would be to see how you can make sure that your baby is actually nursing properly and then take her off the breast once she doesn’t swallow anymore. Breaks in between feeds are just as important as feeding itself.
3) Pain with breastfeeding
Pain in the nipples can be caused by many things. Overuse, incorrect latch, thrush, tongue tie in your baby, etc. We would watch very closely what your baby is doing on the breast and then correct the latch and possibly do daily exercises so he learns how to latch on better. A painful latch can get moms to stop breastfeeding, so the earlier I come in the better. Often times we can resolve painful breastfeeding within a week.