The beauty of a Oh Eve Motherhood Lactation Consult
A nursing dyad is a unique and intricate design. The more mothers and babies I meet, the more in awe I am of the beauty of this. Everything, from the personal goals of the mother to the anatomy of a baby's mouth, can effect the outcomes of the experience. Finding advice and recommendations that are specific to your situation can be difficult! Of course, every friend or family member who has breastfed has an opinion, and every google search turns up something. Gotta love Dr. Google! Sometimes we find what we are looking for in these resources, but sometimes these avenues do the exact opposite and complicate things even more.
My passion for breastfeeding grew by mothering my own children, doing life with my besties and the people in their circles, and working 15 years in the field. It became clear to me where the help was needed. Mothers were home with their babies, on their couches and in their spaces- struggling. The struggles created doubts, and the doubts resulted in defeat. A much anticipated pediatrician appointment might offer some hope, but still left gaps in the plan that would produce excellent breastfeeding practices. I couldn't sit on the sidelines anymore.
Breastfeeding is a true ART. Cookie cutter rule books do not apply. It's really so beautiful! There is such freedom in breastfeeding your baby! Now, there are evidence based practices- practices which have been studied and proven to make a difference in outcomes. One example of evidence based practice is 'stimulation correlates with production.' These practices are key to success, but how do you get there? If you know the goal is to stimulate more, for instance, HOW do I stimulate more? How do I possibly find one more minute in my day to pump? How will I sleep? HOW do I make this work for MY life? How do I know it's working? How long will it take? And the spiral of overwhelming thoughts and questions begin...
Here is where Oh Eve Motherhood comes in. We start at the top so that I can get a full picture of the situation. We talk about your pregnancy and delivery, your overall health history, and the baby's health. We converse about what your support system looks like, and what your 'day in the life of a mom' typically is. I encourage you to tell me everything, even the things you think might disappoint me, because I PROMISE, they won't. I aim to see you feed your baby- assess your anatomy and see how your baby acts in his/her own space and at the breast. I perform oral assessments and/or weights on the baby when needed- really understanding every detail of your unique situation. I may ask to see your pump or see you use your pump. I try to uncover as many details about your breastfeeding story as I can.
In our consult, we talk about your goals. We talk about what's hard and what's easy. I bring my own baby (doll:) so I can demonstrate for you things that pertain to your situation. I take notes and answer all your questions. I expect that you just be mom, share your incredible story with me, and care for your baby while I am there. After I leave, I create an individualized plan for the way you should proceed towards your goals. More than a rule book of 'do this' and 'do that,' your plan has evidence based practice education for you to be empowered to make good decisions for yourself. It has suggestions for steps to take to reach your goal, links to things we may have talked about, and lots of positive encouragement. I make sure you understand that it is rarely a quick fix, but a process of small goals working towards a bigger one. I make sure it's doable, and I'm honest with the amount of effort it is going to take to get there.
After you've received the plan, you have 2 weeks of open communication with me. Of course, once you start working off the plan, questions come up! Things may change this way or that- I am still here. I can offer more evidence based practices to help you decide how to handle a struggle, provided suggestions, or just be there to encourage you. No matter what, I promise that my goals are always aligned with yours. I have learned that the mother knows best- and I've seen healthcare professionals ruin 'it' for someone trying to push what they think is best on another person. I am not about that. I want to see every mother succeed and every baby thrive within the vision that each dyad has. This does not mean I will not educate you, but I will certainly not judge you for your choices. I am here to support you.
It is food for my soul to support mothers and babies in this way. I'm not lost to the gift it is to interact with new moms and their children. The world is full of things that defeat us, but mothers were uniquely built to do this work, and I believe all mothers deserve the support necessary to reach their goals with their breastfeeding superpower. The time nursing baby is so fleeting, so why allow days to be stolen from you overwhelmed with worry, question, and concern? Let me help you relieve that burden and get back to what matters- loving baby and enjoying the journey.