• Amy Heaney

Virtual Visits with an IBCLC

A virtual visit with an IBCLC is great during a pandemic.  When you can’t or don’t want to leave the house it’s wonderful to be able to get help.  It’s also great if you live somewhere too far from an IBCLC, or if there is tough weather.  But if none of those apply, would you still choose a virtual IBCLC??

YES!!!  Being an experienced IBCLC who does office visits, home visits and virtual visits I can tell you some parts are the same and some are different. In any initial lactation visit a health and breastfeeding history will be reviewed.  A breast exam and oral exam for the baby will be done.  One of the big differences is that in a virtual visit the exam relies on you much more.  You, and your partner if available, will use your hands to show the Lactation Consultant the baby’s mouth.  Good lighting and maybe even a headlamp or flashlight helps too.  The LC will direct you how to turn and move for your breast exam.  

After exams and history, watching a breastfeeding session is a big part of a lactation visit.  Getting a good latch is essential to breastfeeding without pain, and having a good supply.  While you might think you need the LC’s hands, you don’t!!  In fact I have found that with virtual visits I use my words instead of my hands to teach the parents how to correctly latch their baby.  This is even better than having the LC show you what to do.  In a virtual visit YOU will be doing all of the latching and positioning, so YOU will learn faster how todo this on your own.  It can be very empowering.

Other differences in the visits can be availability and time.  For example I am available 7 days a week, and frequently within 2-4 hrs of requesting an appointment!  I could never be that flexible for a home or office visit.  Also appointment times vary, which helps to make it more customizable.  For initial visits those are usually 75-90 mins, but I also offer 30 min check ins for previous or current clients.  If you just have a few questions or concerns, a shorter appointment can be just what you need.

In person visits are nice.  It can be great just to have someone sit with you and support you on your breastfeeding journey.  However, as you see there is just as much support and education that comes from a virtual visit.  So don’t let any obstacle stop you from getting the help and support you deserve.  Find an IBCLC today to get started on an easier breastfeeding path.

- By Katie Oshita, RN, IBCLC, Owner or Cuddles and Milk 


Katie Oshita, RN, IBCLC

Owner Cuddles and Milk

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