Bottle Feeding Consultations
Parents often ask me if I will help them with their bottle-fed baby.
Maybe they are struggling to feed, difficult to feed or are suffering with refluxy or colicky symptoms. My answer is always yes of course I will. It might seem at odds with my role as a lactation consultant but my ethos is that if I can help a family then I will and as lactation consultants we are well placed to support families however they have chosen to feed their little one.
I can help
I know not everyone will agree with me…
But I have also experienced occasions where families I have supported with bottle feeding have come back to me for breastfeeding support with their next baby. Also, some have chosen to try re-lactating once they have known it could be an option. But ultimately it is none of my business how you choose to feed your baby and there will never be pressures beyond providing information. Besides, if I can help a baby who is struggling, it would feel ethically wrong of me not to try.
So yes, if you need help, you can choose a bottle-feeding consultation which is usually a little shorter than lactation consultations.
Parents often ask me what a bottle-feeding consultation entails
What I could possibly suggest helping with problems. After all bottle-feeding should be easy right? Offer the bottle and go. But from experience, I know lots of families who have really hard times feeding their baby and finding support to resolve their issues. A lot of issues that face breastfed babies, also face bottle-fed babies. For that reason, a bottle-feeding consultation will look similar to a breastfeeding consultation in some respects. I will still want to hear your story and assess your baby. I will still want to observe a feed and see for myself what challenges you face. I will still want to take a history of you and the little one to look for clues as to what might be the reasons for your problems.
So that you can understand the depth that a consultation explores, I have set out below what may happen during a typical visit. Most appointments take at least ninety minutes though can run on a little longer with complex cases. I do not charge more in that situation just to reassure you. Also, I do not charge more for twins as I know you will have a lot of other costs that are doubled and do not want to add to that burden. I do have to keep records so that I can best support you and share info with your other care providers if necessary. It is also a requirement for insurance purposes and for me to be in line with an IBCLC’s Code of Conduct. I try to not let the paperwork overwhelm the consult and the first thing that happens when I arrive is I ask you to just tell me everything you want me to know. Your opportunity to get everything off your chest with no interruption.
Other steps during the consult include:
Listening to your feeding journey to date taking a full medical and feeding history of you and your little one
Reviewing weight changes over the weeks
Observing a full feed and investigating why your little one might be struggling
Weighing little one and taking other measurements if considered necessary
Supporting you going forward by email or text, 7 days a week until late, with reviews of the plan and changes where appropriate - I spend on average five hours offering online support to each mum after the consult
Offering a free one hour on-line follow up for more complex catch ups where texts just don’t quite do the job
Providing you with specific handouts and a copy of a letter I will send to your GP with suggestions for tests, to consider medications or additional support/referrals if needed
Listening to your birth story to identify any contributors to your feeding issues
Reviewing family history of dietary issues and carry out an allergy questionnaire if considered appropriate
Assessing little one for tension in the body or other issues such as indicators of tongue tie that might contribute to the challenges you describe
Discussing with you what may be an appropriate plan going forward based on your own goals
Discussing with you what you think may be the cause of your challenges
Assessing the bottle / teat and volumes offered to your little one
Resolving tension where I can with cranial-sacral fascial therapy
Supporting you with oral habilitation of your baby to improve sucking function, typically with tongue tie or other functional challenges
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT
I keep things simple
Book a consultation and speak with an expert
Discover a clear and open process that will help you
I provide ongoing support for you and your baby
The main thing I offer
The most important thing I offer is the reassurance that I will believe you if you tell me things are difficult. If you think there is a problem, I will support you to find a solution.
I hope that is what you would expect from your relationship with your lactation consultant.
you do not have to be alone.
I know you’re doing the best you can,
I believe in you,