The Certified Lactation Counselor® (CLC) certification is the premier National Certification in Lactation Management in the United States. The Lactation Counselor Training Course (LCTC) and CLC exam certification holders have demonstrated competence in the lactation skills, knowledge, and attitudes that are essential to helping women and have agreed to comply with The Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice Code of Ethics.
CLC certification means that a person has received training and competency verification in breastfeeding and human lactation support, including assessing the latching (how baby is fastened to the breast) and feeding process, providing corrective interventions, counseling mothers, understanding and applying knowledge of milk production including in special circumstances and other commonly encountered situations.
An IBCLC is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant accredited by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). They are healthcare professionals who specialize in the clinical management of breastfeeding. IBCLCs function and contribute as members of the maternal-child health team. They provide care in a variety of settings, while making appropriate referrals to other health professionals and community support resources. Working together with mothers, families, policymakers and society, IBCLC certificants provide expert breastfeeding and lactation care, promote changes that support breastfeeding and help reduce the risks of not breastfeeding. If there is an issue that is outside of my scope such as oral ties or extreme neonatal weight loss, I can make referrals to an IBCLC in my network.
It can be very confusing to know which professional to contact when you need breastfeeding support. In addition to the IBCLC and CLC, you may encounter Certified Lactation Educators (CLE), Certified Lactation Specialists (CLS), Certified Breastfeeding Specialists (CBS), or even Advanced Lactation Consultants (ALC). There are different companies offering training and various credentialing bodies. This form gives a brief summary of the credentials. In general, a lactation counselor is an appropriate choice for those seeking assistance for common breastfeeding concerns and an IBCLC is appropriate for more complex issues but credentials alone are just one aspect.
A combination of training, education, counseling skills, experience and personal philosophy determine the quality of a care provider. When seeking professional Breastfeeding support, always verify credentials with the accrediting agency before obtaining their services. A Certified Lactation Counselor's credentials can be verified here.
It may be hard to know how often to nurse your baby. In order to establish and maintain a sufficient milk supply, babies must be fed approximately 10 to 12 times in a 24-hour period. A newborn’s stomach is about the size of a cherry, so this is why frequent feeds are important. In the first few weeks of life, a baby should not wait more than 2 hours between nursing sessions.
Some days, it may seem like your baby is always hungry and constantly latched on. When babies engage in marathon nursing sessions and seem especially hungry, it is called “cluster feeding.” This is completely normal, and babies do this to increase a nursing parent’s milk supply.
It takes about 6 weeks for a nursing parent’s body to adjust their milk supply to the needs of the baby. Milk has to be removed from the breast in order for more milk to be made. The concept of "demand and supply" or "use it or lose it" applies to breastfeeding.
The best state to nurse a baby is during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep or when the baby is quiet and looking around. Rooting (searching for the breast), hand-to-mouth activity, and smacking of the lips are other cues that a baby needs to be nursed. Crying is a late feeding cue, and it will be difficult to latch a baby in this state. Undressing the baby and performing skin-to-skin before attempting to nurse is a great way to calm a fussing baby.
By observing the baby’s behavior and noting stool (poop) in diapers. Depending on the age of the baby, a nursing session can last anywhere between 10 and 45 minutes. It is advised to watch your baby and not the clock. A full baby is one who seems content and may even fall asleep after a feeding. Breasts feel softer as well. The expectation is that by day 4, there should be 4 mustard yellow color seedy stools.
Pain is a very common experience among parents learning to breastfeed. If a parent is experiencing pain or discomfort, has cracked or bleeding nipples, they should seek help from a lactation professional as soon as possible for an assessment. Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt and pain while nursing/pumping is not normal and indicates that there is an issue that can be corrected with proper assistance. Soreness, on the other hand, is very common and normal.
No! Formula is not poison. I counsel parents on proper formula preparation as well as safe milk storage. I offer counseling for those having mixed feedings and are transitioning completely to formula. Breastfeeding is not all or nothing. My approach is very client-centered and is based on the individual goals of the family.
I do not take health insurance at this time. I can provide you with a superbill suitable for submission to your health insurance company. The superbill will be coded appropriately to the level of service provided during the visit. I cannot guarantee that you will get reimbursed for any amount that you paid to me. For more information on insurance reimbursement, please visit: The National Women's Law Center