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Everything But the Kitchen Sink: 10 Things to Put in Your Consult Bag That Don’t Include a Scale

19 Aug

1113495-Clipart-3d-Tooth-Brush-With-Sparly-Blue-Gel-Paste-On-The-Bristles-Royalty-Free-Vector-Illustration1. A change of clothes, especially if you have another consult to go to. And the day you don’t, you will be peed on, pooped on or spit up on.

2. Antibacterial wipes to “sponge bathe” when you get in your car when you get peed on, pooped on, or spit up on and the pee, poop or spit up goes on your skin instead of your clothes, and you don’t want to go into the bathroom of a seedy gas station to use their sink (which you didn’t pack) for water to wash yourself off.

3. A client consent and chart along with an extra consent and chart when your business partner calls you to go see another mom in distress when you thought you only had one visit.

4. And if you forget your chart, you can use the notebook of blank paper that you have also packed in your bag, along with the extra pen.

5. An extra phone charger, because believe me, when you are headed into the boondocks with a dead phone, which equals no GPS, a small amount of panic rises until you find that seedy gas station that sells cheap phone chargers.

6. A mirror to check your teeth, because you don’t have your sink to brush your teeth (remember you are packing everything but the sink) when you are on the run and snacking between consults on the trail mix you also packed in your bag because you know you won’t have time for lunch.

7. Breath mints or gum to cover up your stinky breath (because you don’t have your sink to brush your teeth after the snacking you are doing between consults because you don’t have time for lunch).

8. Deodorant in case you run out the door and forget to put it on because walking from the house to the car in the Texas heat barely gives you enough time to apply before you start stinkin’.

9. Cash for the time you forget to put your debit card back into your purse and it ends up in the wash because you put it in your pocket because you had to stop for gas due to the 250 miles you had already traveled the day before.

10. Socks without holes because when you take your shoes off before going into a mom’s house you notice your big toe is sticking out of your sock and you have another client to see.

And you thought there were only going to be ten…

Number 11 and most important…your sense of humor… for when you get peed on, pooped on, or spit up on and forgot a change of clothes, when you smell spit up on your arm and forgot antibacterial wipes, when you forget your chart and your blank notebook and have to ask your client for paper, when you are late to a consult because you are stuck in the boondocks without GPS, when you realize when you get back into the car you have a raisin stuck in your teeth because you forgot your mirror, when the snack you brought is garlic flavored and you forgot gum, when you have to keep your arms as close to your side during your visits because your armpits are sweating because you forgot your deodorant, when you have to call your husband to bring gas because you forgot your extra cash when your debit card did not end up back in your purse, and for when you have to apologize to the second client for your hole-y socks because you forgot your un-hole-y socks.

What do you find you need for your consults?

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Musings of a Mommy LC

3 Nov

Many of us IBCLCs have young children, and those of us that don’t have been there, done that.  It was a struggle in the beginning, but I feel I have finally gathered enough tools in my tool box to strike a good balance between work and home. (Now, everyday is not perfect because perfection is impossible, but the majority of days it works.)

I have compiled my own list of things that enable me to make my family the priority and still enjoy the work that I do.  Please feel free to comment and add to the list!  These are not necessarily in order of importance.  Also, many of you who work in other settings will have your work schedules set for you usually, but many of these tips will also be helpful to you.

  • I am notorious for forgetting school functions.  So, if you don’t already have one, get an appointment book with time slots or an app for your smartphone if you will use it consistently (key word: consistently).  Write all school holidays, early release days, school plays, band concerts, field trips….you get the picture.
  • In that same planner, schedule “me” time.  It is absolutely necessary…DO IT!
  • Now, find blocks of time that you can schedule home visits with mommas.
  • Then think about setting boundaries for work outside of the home visit.  When will you return calls and emails?  When will you send doctor’s reports?
  • Finish your chart and write your doctors’ reports right after your visit.
  • Plan a week in advance. Such as, have a family meeting to pick meals for the week (easy ones for days you work), then pick a day of the week for grocery shopping.  Find meals with ingredients that can be fixed in advance.
  • UNPLUG (yes, I said it) after your kids get home from daycare and/or school.  Put your phone on the charger out of ears’ reach, turn off the computer, ipad, iMac, etc., so that you can give full attention to the rugrats.  The electronics can wait until they are in bed.
  • Make your house a electronic-free zone (including tv) for the kids during the school week. You’ve heard of the research…
  • Give each child a chore (unless they are 9 months old, although it’s not too early for big brother or sisiter to model those tasks).  Then, be ok with the fact that they won’t do it exactly as you would like.  Kids need to be involved and feel like they are active participants of the family (though they moan and groan when they are putting away laundry or emptying the trash).
  • Get enough sleep, hydrate (with water, not coffee) and incorporate whole, natural foods into 90% of your diet, save the other 10% for splurging.  If you don’t fuel yourself, you can’t help fuel your child’s or your clients’ confidence.

 

A “Time” To Celebrate

16 May

Molly at 24 Months

I didn’t need to read the article featured on the cover of Time  magazine to predict the tone of the piece, and it was obvious that the intent of the photo accompanying the article was to ruffle feathers not encourage educated, non-judgemental discussion.  Fact is, how you feed your baby and for how long is a personal decision. As mothers, we should have the freedom to parent our children without fear of judgement.  Any woman who takes hold of the responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of her children is

mom enough.”

Bay Area Breastfeeding and Education supports breastfeeding as the biological norm, and we would love to see exclusive breastfeeding rates at 6 months increase (currently only 14.8%)…

  • Katherine Dettwyler’s anthropological research shows that the minimum predicted age for natural weaning is 2.5 to 7 years.
  • The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, then to 2 years or beyond.
  • Here in the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics “reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.”

…However, though our goal is more moms breastfeeding and more babies receiving breastmilk, we support moms where they are and work to help them reach their goals.  The mom is the mom…we are not; the baby is hers…not ours; the baby has to eat…it’s mom’s decision not ours.  We educate, we practice using the evidence, we encourage breastfeeding, we support with compassion, we foster empowerment.

  • The mom who breastfeeds is mom enough.
  • The mom who formula feeds is mom enough.
  • The mom who home schools is mom enough.
  • The mom who has her kids in public school is mom enough.
  • The mom with one child is mom enough.
  • The mom with five kids is mom enough.
  • The mom who wears her babies is mom enough,
  • and the mom who doesn’t is mom enough.

So, we celebrate moms of all walks of life, everyday, everywhere.  And in celebration of the 100 strong moms and 101 beautiful babies BABE has had the privilege of walking along side of, we are giving away a beautiful Moby Wrap (pictured).  Here’s how to win:

  • Click the “Follow” button and enter your information to subscribe to our blog.
  • Comment on this blog post by responding to: “We know you are mom enough….tell us how.”
  • Share our post with someone.

The winner will be selected in a random drawing out of the pool of blog followers and will be announced on June 1, 2012, in a blog post.

No Perfect Houses Allowed: Preparing For Your Lactation Consultation

9 Apr

*Don’t clean! As lactation consultants,  our focus is on mom and baby.  We won’t be looking at the piles of laundry or dishes in the sink.  Leave the tidying up for the in-laws and even then wait at least a month…..

*Dress For Comfort Not Style.  PJs are totally ok!  Just wear a top with easy access so you won’t have to worry about it getting in the way of your breastfeeding efforts.

*Tuck Your Pets Away.  Or ask us before the visit if we mind the pets being out.  Sometimes dogs and cats are so friendly they want to be in middle of the consult.  Although Rover and Mr. Whiskers are cute, they can be a distraction for momma, and we want you to feel relaxed throughout the consult and not concerned about the pets sniffing out the new visitors and their strange bags. 🙂

*Expect to Breastfeed.  But don’t hold off a feeding if your baby is hungry before we arrive.  They are usually always willing to eat again.  It’s helpful if you can text us when you expect the baby to feed next, and we may be able to adjust our schedule around the feeding!

*Pick a location.  Decide where you will be most comfortable breastfeeding…couch, recliner, bed…and have pillows, burp cloth, receiving blanket and a bottle of water within reach.

*Write Down Your Questions.  Don’t try to remember them…your new mom brain won’t let you.  Take a couple of minutes the day of the consult to make a list of questions and concerns you may have.  We won’t leave until we know that you have had all of your questions addressed. 

*Plan payment.  Feel free to ask ahead of time the specifics about fees and payment methods so it’s not a source of worry and surprise for you at the conclusion of the visit.  You or preferably your partner may also want to contact your insurance company to see if any of our services are reimbursable to you or can be applied to a flex spending account.

*Get Your Pump Out.  If you are using a pump at the time of the consult, have it available for us to look at so we can make sure the fit is good for you and provide you tips for getting the most out of your pumping sessions.

*Talk With Your Support Person.  And ask them if they might be available to listen in on the consult and watch techniques.  Having another set of eyes and ears present ensures that when we leave you will feel confident in their ability to give you gentle reminders of the techniques and tips you learned during the consult

*Get Baby in Skin to Skin.  Plan to have your baby dressed in just a clean diaper and spend a few minutes with her on your chest, heart to heart, before our arrival. Babies who are held in skin to skin just prior to feeding go through a specific set of feeding behaviors which generally enables them to latch and breastfeed more efficiently.

*Relax.  And give yourself a pat on the back for seeking help.  While we can’t always provide an immediate fix (sometimes those magic lactation wands just don’t work), our goal is to leave you with a plan, feeling empowered and more confident to take charge of your breastfeeding journey.

Meet the BABE IBCLCs…Misti Ryan

22 Nov

For as long as I can remember (early childhood), I have been fascinated with mommas and babies.  My earliest memory of this fascination is when I was about 4 years old after I must have seen a mom breastfeed…I tucked myself in a little corner of our living room with a blanket and my baby doll and proceeded to nurse my doll!

These early experiences fostered a desire to help mommas and babies in my adult years as I attended nursing school and specialized in obstetrics after I graduated.  My career was my passion.  Once I had my foot in the door, though, I plunged head long into my primary goal in life: getting married and having a family of my own!

My wonderful husband and I were married in 1999…baby number one was born the summer of 2001.  My sweet little daughter was born at home with the assistance of my now life long friend and midwife, Jackie Griggs.  She nursed right away.  I was in mommy heaven!  Then, day #3 hit…the challenges!  Nothing was going to keep me from nursing my baby, so I persisted through, and by 6 weeks we were nursing comfortably, and it was pure bliss!

As a labor and delivery nurse, I knew that after my own personal breastfeeding experience I was in a unique position to help moms avoid the problems I had in the beginning of my breastfeeding journey.  I took the childbirth educator position when it became available and added a breastfeeding class to the repertoire soon after.  My job evolved, and I gradually began counseling inpatient breastfeeding moms as an educator.  I made it my personal mission to educate myself on all things breastfeeding and the dream of becoming a lactation consultant was born.

La Leche League played a big role in my breastfeeding success as well as my dream.  I became a leader shortly after the birth of my 2nd daughter in 2004 and have been co-leading the Pasadena group since then.

My family grew rapidly, a son in 2003, another daughter in 2004, third daughter in 2006, and a surprise daughter in 2009…all natural births and all breastfed.  Needless to say, I stayed busy, and each year that passed I patiently postponed making the commitment to apply for the IBCLC exam.  Then, in the fall of 2010 I met Leah Jolly while working on our La Leche League groups’ treasuries.  The rest is history, and here I sit…my dream realized.

I believe mommas are strong.  I believe babies are smart.   I believe birth is a dance.   I believe breastfeeding is natural.  And I am so excited to be a part.  Let the adventure begin!

Meet the BABE IBCLCs…Leah Jolly

22 Nov

My journey towards Lactation consultant work started with my love for science. I grew up thrilled with anything science and nature. I explored my world with the eyes of a scientist. I was so interested in the natural course of life and as I moved through my school aged years my interest grew and I was drawn into science as a career path in college.  I began college sure I wanted to work with animals but after a year of veterinary nursing school I was not so sure, I found my self more drawn to human life and sciences. So I transferred to University of Houston Clear-Lake and acquired a degree in Biology.

In my last year of college I met and married my husband. We started our family a year later. My first breastfeeding experience came when my first son arrived and due to his oral motor hypotonia, we struggled a great deal and with a lack of support to continue through the struggles, we only had 4 weeks of breastfeeding. I was devastated and determined to have a different experience the next time. When my second arrive, in 2003, after a very traumatic birth, breastfeeding started on another difficult path. Determined to not give up, I sought the support of my local La Leche League group and this is where it all began.  Even though we still had a very difficult time breastfeeding, the support and encouragement made it all so much easier! After a year with the group, I began my work to become a leader.

We had two more children, in 2005 and 2009 and with each one my breastfeeding experiences became more and more positive and less difficult.  I continued my work with La Leche League and loved helping moms achieve their breastfeeding goals. I was so reward to give back what was given to me! In the fall of 2010 I decided I want to be able to help moms even more and made plans to sit for the 2011 IBCLC exam.  I met Misti through our La Leche League work and we decided to become study partners…..well the rest is history!! My dreams have come true beyond measure! I absolutely love working as an IBCLC. I love empowering moms to listen to their own voice and their baby. It is a joy to be part of such a special part of the mothering journey! Daily, I am amazed at the strength and perseverance of mothers. I look forward to many years of working with moms and babies!

When to call a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

22 Nov

Breastfeeding should be an enjoyable experience for both mom and baby! Although breastfeeding is natural many factors play into the ease to which mom and baby learn and adapt to these new skills. Lactation Consultants are trained medical professionals who can evaluate the source of your breastfeeding challenges and offer ways to improve the outcome for both you and your baby.  Below is a list of common issues lactation consultants can assist with:

A mom who:

v Has Sore nipples

v Has Mastitis or plugged ducts

v Is Engorged

v Has flat or inverted nipples

v Is Ill or needs surgery

v Has a low milk supply

v Wishes to breastfeed an adopted baby

v Needs to take a medication while breastfeeding

v Plans to return to work

v Experiencing stress about breastfeeding

Or a baby who:

v Refuses to latch on

v Is jaundice

v Is not gaining weight well

v Is fussy at the breast or between feedings

v Is premature or is a late preterm

v Spits up frequently

v Has physical challenges that impair breastfeeding

Or anytime you feel breastfeeding is not going well!