What Can I Expect During my Appointment?
You’ll meet with a Lactation Consultant who will listen to your feeding goals, discuss your medical history, and take vitals on both you and the baby. Vitals include blood pressure, pulse, and temperature on Mom and weight, length, head circumference, and temperature on baby.
The Lactation Consultant will observe your baby nurse and offer education and tips about breastfeeding management. Working as a team, the consultant will meet with one of our medical Providers to ensure that you leave with a feeding plan that supports your goals. As part of our comprehensive care, the medical provider will briefly examine baby and mother’s breasts. Please note: consults can last up to two hours.
How Should I Prepare For My BFC Appointment?
Most Importantly: Bring your baby! And wear comfortable clothing with easy access for nursing.
The 24-Hour Count: It’s helpful for your consultant to know how many wet and dirty diapers your baby has had in the past 24 hours, the number of times she has nursed, and if baby has received any supplemental expressed breastmilk or formula.
Gadgets: If you’re using any breastfeeding gadgets, such as a nipple shield or Supplemental Nursing System, please bring them to the appointment.
Do I Need to Avoid Feeding My Baby Before the Consult?
We need to watch your baby’s behavior at the breast to assess breastfeeding, offer education, and develop a feeding plan. So it’s best to bring your baby hungry. This doesn’t mean you should avoid feeding your baby for a long time before the appointment; sometimes a small feeding is all you need to tide her over until she can feed here in the office.
May I Bring a Support Person or My Older Children?
We welcome your support person to join us during the consult and are happy to discuss how he or she can participate.
The length of the consult can be a challenge for siblings, so please consider whether your older child would be more comfortable staying with a trusted adult.
What is the Cost of the Visit?
Because both you and your baby are considered patients, we will bill your insurance company for both you AND your baby. Please note: if you have a co-pay with your insurer, you are responsible for your and your baby’s co-pay at the time of the office visit.
Please contact your insurance company to see whether or not the consult will be covered and if it will be applied to your deductible. Due to the great variety of insurance plans, it’s impossible for us to determine what your cost will be. Your insurance company will be able to provide you with that information.
Self-pay amounts can range from $260-$350 per mother and baby.
Do I Need to Be a Kids Plus Pediatrics Patient to Visit the BFC?
We’re happy to help Moms and Babies from ANY pediatric practice. If you’re not a Kids Plus Patient, we’ll request a referral from your baby’s physician, as well as from your physician. A follow up letter regarding your visit will be sent to your baby’s pediatrician and your OB/midwife.
What if I’m Not Sure I Want to Breastfeed Exclusively?
Our goal at the Breastfeeding Center is to help you reach your feeding goals. Whether that’s partial or exclusive breastfeeding, we’re here to support you and your choices.
What if I Need More Lactation Help After the Initial Appointment?
We call our patients for a follow-up within a few days to one week of the appointment. We’re also available to schedule a follow-up consult if you need.
What if I Have a Question About a Medication and Breastfeeding?
The Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) is a website recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to research the impact of medications on breastfeeding. You can also download a free app for your smart phone.
Thomas Hale, the author of the reference book we use (Medications and Mothers’ Milk) has an InfantRisk Center hotline here: 806-352-2519.
Another good resource is the Academic Research Pharmaceutical Information Center at Duquesne University’s Mylan School of Pharmacy: 412-396-4600.
While there’s great information at all these resources, we recommend you discuss any medications with your physician, rather than basing it on this information alone.
Can I Meet with a Lactation Consultant Before My Baby is Born?
Our Prenatal Breastfeeding Class is a great place to gain information about breastfeeding before you give birth. We encourage you to schedule your first consult shortly after your baby is born. If you’re seeking breastfeeding assistance for special circumstances, such as adoptive breastfeeding, please call the office to discuss whether a pre-baby consult would be appropriate for you.
I Think My Baby Has a Tongue Tie. Can You Address That at the BFC?
Our medical providers are skilled at identifying tongue ties and evaluating their impact on breastfeeding. If you feel that infant tongue tie may be affecting your breastfeeding, please call us to make an appointment.