What does an IBCLC do?

An IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) is a lactation professional who is an expert on human lactation. In order to sit for the board exam you have to have college classes, specific human lactation training and 500+ hours of directly supervised clinical experience. IBCLCs provide information and support to families and moms.

What does a Doula do?

A doula is an emotional support companion who provides support before, during and after birth.

What is an IYCFS?

An Infant and young child feeding specialist is trained in providing support to families in regard to safe feeding from birth to age 5.

Do you accept insurance?

Yes, I am able to accept some insurance policies for lactation and breastfeeding consultations. Just be in touch and I can provide you more information on insurance covered consults, an initial consult, and up to 2 follow-up consults can be covered by your insurance. I am also able to write invoices for HSA/FSA policies for doula and breastfeeding services as well. If you are hoping to use insurance just let me know and I will provide you with more information and walk you through the process.

What are the benefits of an IBCLC?
Why hire a Doula?

There are numerous benefits to hiring a doula. Generally speaking, continuous labor and birth support improves outcomes for moms and babies. Here is a link to my blog outlining, in detail, the benefits of a doula https://www.villagebirthandpostpartumcare.com/blog/2018/8/3/why-hire-a-doula

What are some benefits of breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding offers a host of benefits for both moms and babies. A few benefits for mom are:

A few benefits for baby are: I wrote a long blog on the benefits for mom and baby and how I can help (an IBCLC)

Breastfeeding from birth to 2 years or older is ideal, the WHO suggests exclusive breastfeeding for AT LEAST the first 6 months. 

Why choose baby led weaning over purees?

Baby led weaning allows you to feed your baby the same foods (with some exceptions) that the rest of the family eats. With blw you can feed more whole and unprocessed foods which allows baby the chance to experience more tastes and textures. BLW saves time, simply learn the appropriate cuts and ways to serve foods and baby can eat normal table foods. Many processed and/or pureed foods can have hidden sugars or other ingredients you might not want in your baby’s diet. BLW can also save money by having baby eat the same foods you already purchase.

Why did you choose this work?

I have had a strong interest in all things birth and breastfeeding from a very young age. I was a teen mom, part of how I prepared for my baby’s arrival was reading any and every book about pregnancy and breastfeeding that I could find. From that difficult situation a passion for this type of work developed. I went to college and originally planned to study nursing but after a few semesters I changed majors. I felt like nursing wasn’t a good fit and I wanted to pursue a career that let me work with mom’s in their homes and under my own direction. Working for myself and making my own schedule and operating principles was very important. After college, I  spent a few years focusing on raising my kids and figuring out exactly what I wanted to do. I decided to become a doula and from there decided lactation was the field I wanted to focus on primarily. My family and I decided to move to Puerto Rico and I found an amazing non profit to work with for my 500 clinical hours. The first day I got to support a group of moms at a drop in lactation clinic I knew this work was for me. I had so infrequently felt the way I felt while working with those moms. Time flew by, babies and moms got helped and I was on an absolute high after every single day spent doing this work. We moved back to the states and I set up this practice to support moms in the Triad. I am so fortunate to have found work I love. So in (not so) short that is how and why I ended up doing this work.

What is your philosophy on birth?

I believe birth is a beautiful and natural process. I believe there are many ways to give birth and the only real requirement in my opinion is informed consent. I have supported moms while they had babies in their livingrooms and I’ve helped a mom pick her lipstick shade before going back for an elective repeat c section. I’m all about supporting you where you are. I understand that we all have different goals and want somewhat different outcomes. Ultimately moms want to be respected and listened to. I support all families, in all of their pursuits from preconception onward. I am an open minded and professional practitioner, feel free to reach out directly with any specific questions you have.  

What is your philosophy on breastfeeding?

I believe, deep in my heart, that any parent who wants to feed their baby breastmilk should have the information and support to do so. I feel like globally breastfeeding is undervalued and we should see more support for it. I think moms should be able to see others moms breastfeed and learn from their peers. I think human breastmilk in most cases is the perfect food for human babies. With that said there are a lot of facets to infant feeding and breastfeeding. In a perfect world we would all have the information and support we needed to feed our babies at the breast (if that’s what we want to do). Unfortunately that’s not the case. Let me add, I respect moms and families who chose to formula feed, we all make choices that we are comfortable with and sometimes those choices are made for us and we don’t get to do what we planned. We don’t all get to do things exactly as we’d like and some moms just don’t want to breastfeed. I am a big proponent of milk sharing but again that is a choice to be made after doing LOTS of research. As a highly trained lactation expert I am happy to help moms who want to breastfeed, who want to relactate, who want to increase their supply, who want to find a breastmilk donor, who want to wean and literally every single mom in between.

Do you support adoptive parents?

A resounding YES! One of my first clients was a couple who were adopting. They both wanted to be able to breastfeed and I’m happy to say they both were able to make that goal a reality. I offer support for adoptive parents from before birth to baby led weaning and every step in between. Adoptive mothers can breastfeed in many cases. If you’re an adoptive parent and have any more specific questions feel free to reach out to me directly.

What happens during a lactation consult?

A lactation consultation can be done prenatally or after your baby has arrived. Most of my consults are done in home with the new mom in her own space. Occasionally they are done at the hospital or birth center if mom has already contracted with me to have private support outside of what the hospital or birth center offer. They can also be done via video chat. I highly suggest all moms do a prenatal consult, ideally with their partner or support person with them. When doing a prenatal consult we cover all the basics and make a plan for what you want to happen after baby arrives. This allows us to discuss any questions you might have and to make a troubleshooting plan in case things come up. For other conults, after baby has arrived, the primary focus is on helping you resolve an issue you are experiencing or ensure that things are going smoothly. Some moms book a consult preemptively to have me assure baby’s latch is good and there is good milk transfer. I am happy to support you in any situation. The benefit of working with me over your doctor’s office or hospital is, among other things, you get to stay home. Not having to drag your postpartum self and newborn baby out into the world is a big benefit. I will come to your home, when you need support and work with you right there in your own space. This means you get to see how to do things in the environment you live in. This is a huge advantage over office visits. I am also able to give you any implements you might need, like a nipple shield or SNS right then and there without you having to leave your home.

Do you accept insurance?

Unfortunately in NC I am unable to accept insurance as a private practitioner. I am able to provide a detailed invoice for you to use with your HSA or FSA if your policy covers doulas or breastfeeding support.

Do you offer doula support to moms who are close to term?

Let’s say your midway through your last trimester and have decided a doula is great choice for your birth, is it too late? No! Not at all. While we won’t have the full 40+ weeks to work together I am happy to work with you at any point. The process will be nearly the same as someone who hires me early on.

What is included in your birth doula package?

This package includes

  • An interview via phone
  • A prenatal consult in person
  • Two more prenatal consults done via phone or video chat
  • Continuous support during your labor and birth for up to 8 hours