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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.

 

Confessions of Suburban IBCLCs: You Know You Are a Lactation Consultant When…

25 Apr

…You aren’t home, your husband answers a call from a breastfeeding mom and knows what breastpump to recommend to her.

…Your son’s teacher tells him she wants to talk to me about breastfeeding but HIS translation is “Miss McGillicuddy needs help with her nipples.”

…You could hand express anything that has milk in it.

…You find yourself obsessing over the creation of the perfect, crocheted demo breast.

…You perform reverse pressure softening on yourself while describing it to a desperate mom over the phone.

…Your doctor’s nurse, while there for your annual check-up, asks you to palpate a lump in her nipple and give your opinion on what it might be.

…Your jaw doesn’t drop when you see nickel-sized nipples attached to watermelon-sized breasts on a mom with a 6 pound baby because you know nipples and breasts come in all shapes and sizes.

…You can keep a professional face when a client tells you her pediatrician’s nurse, or better yet, her pediatrician tells her that her six week old baby only needs to nurse 6 times a day and should be sleeping through the night.

…You are no longer uncomfortable with your children overhearing your telephone conversations about sore nipples and engorgement. You figure someday when they are parents they will need the info too!

 …Though you’re not a man, you make “eye” contact with every woman’s breasts before her eyes as you contemplate her breastfeeding experience or her plans to breastfeed.

…You can somehow relate every life moment back to breasts and breastfeeding.

…You learn something from every mom you meet!

…You can’t sleep or “wind” down after a consult….on a lactation high for hours!!

…You are not afraid to join a mom having a good post-partum cry.

…You have been know to literally do the “happy dance” through your house when you get a message from a mom who just days before was in tears and desperate for help but today is enjoying breastfeeding and in no pain!!

...And you are not afraid to celebrate with a mom as she reaches personal milestones along her breastfeeding journey.