Breastfeeding is an amazing commitment that comes with many challenges and rewards. The benefits of breastfeeding are endless for both mother and baby, from protection from infectious diseases, to cardiovascular health benefits, to improving mental health and confidence for parents (Horta, 2007). In 2003, the World Health Organization recommended infants be exclusively breastfed until six months of age, with breastfeeding continuing as an important part of the infant’s diet until at least two years of age. To ensure families have every opportunity to meet this recommendation and their individual breastfeeding goals, families need support.
When serious questions arise, such as pain, infection, low milk supply, or variety of other concerns, the 2011 Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding recommends that all families have access to services provided by Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). With the teamwork of IBCLC’s, pediatricians, and close family and friends, breastfeeding mothers can find confidence in reaching their breastfeeding goals.
It is an honor to be serving families around the Richmond Virginia community. Through the Happy Latch breastfeeding program, parents can gain confidence in breastfeeding with baby led techniques, individualized to each mother-baby couple. Respecting the needs and feelings of both mother and baby is essential to making the breastfeeding relationship successful.
Tips for mothers who are interested in breastfeeding
1) To have the best outcome, a breastfeeding mother is encouraged to breastfeed her new baby a minimum of eight to twelve times daily. Mothers who continue to nurse their babies at frequent, unrestricted intervals are more likely to establish a good milk supply then mothers who nurse on a restricted feeding schedule.
2) Be sure your baby is nursing effectively. Do you feel your breasts are softer and lighter after you baby nurses? Can you hear your baby swallow? Do you feel a gentle tugging at your breast? It is important for mothers to look for signs of productive milk removal at every feeding. If you have sore or cracked nipples, this may be an indicator of an incorrect latch.
3) Look for dirty diapers as a sign your baby is getting enough. By day 3, your baby should be having a minimum of 3 stools per day, and 5-6 wet diapers per day. If you think your baby is not waking up for feedings, try skin to skin care, and breast compressions to keep your baby interested in breastfeeding.
4) If you are separated from your baby due to prematurity, illness, or other condition, milk must be removed from your breasts by means other than your baby’s feeding, otherwise your milk supplying hormones will shut down. In these situations, remember to pump your milk with an electric/ or hospital grade pump a minimum of 8 times daily.
In regards to Insurance coverage for breastfeeding care:
Private healthcare insurance companies are all doing different things with the new ACA Breastfeeding regulations, as specified under “Women’s Preventative Services”; since the law is not specific, as well many insurance companies don’t know about IBCLCs. They know little about lactation or how to best comply with the new law. Differences in how insurance companies are trying to comply with the new law are being reported with no consistency; many differences by insurance company or different policies by the same company, even differences from state to state are being reported.
You may want to call your insurance company and ask them what they can offer you under your plan in accordance with the ACA Women’s Preventative Services for “comprehensive lactation support and counseling.”
Knowing your rights to obtain coverage for breastfeeding care goes a long way to ensure you have access to care throughout your breastfeeding journey.
For a list of breastfeeding professionals in your local area, you can use the IBCLC directory:
All women should be offered support to breastfeed their babies with an individualized support system to include family, friends, employers, and medical professionals. By affording this standard of care to all breastfeeding women, we can increase the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding.
A little bit about the author of this blog post . . . !
Priscilla Moore, owner of Happy Latch, is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), the gold standard in advanced practice lactation care!
She’s served families all over the world through nursing and lactation support, both in the hospital, and at home with long term care plans.
As a nurse, she utilizes evidence based practice to care for each family. As a private practice provider, she is available 24 hours a day to your family. Priscilla is passionate about helping to implement an effective, and healthy feeding routine for you and your infant!