Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lactation Consultations by Skype

In a previous thread on increasing breastfeeding rates, one commenter remarked about the first days of breastfeeding: "It's usually those hours you need someone that no one is available."   I remember one evening calling my birth hospital in desperation.  A caring nurse spent time on the phone with me, though all she could offer was general advice and emotional support.  This helped, but it would have been wonderful to have a lactation consultant to speak to.

A company called Milkalicious is offering lactation consultation appointments by Skype.  The cost is $45 per hour, and a check of their availability showed same-day appointments.  I'm sure LCing by computer can't compare to having an expert with you in person (I remember mine moving things around to try to guide us), but having that kind of resource could at least provide some strategies and support to new moms.

There is also a National Breastfeeding Helpline: 800-994-9662.  La Leche League-trained Breastfeeding Information Specialists can answer "basic breastfeeding questions."  Unfortunately, it's not a 24-hour hotline.  The US government also offers an "Easy Guide to Breastfeeding."  Online support forums can also be a support system, though the advice is usually from other moms, not trained professionals.

It's those times when we are forced to make hard choices about newborn baby feeding that have far-reaching effects for both baby and mom.  If every new mom left the birthplace with a contact of a trained support person available around the clock, we would have a better chance of working through those difficult moments and coming out the other side as nursing moms.

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