These days you can get just about anything at home, with just a click, from products like groceries and prescriptions to services like dry cleaning and pregnancy massage. In many communities, you can even schedule an in-home visit with an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) for lactation support, infant feeding issues, breast pump assistance and more! Yes, home visits are super convenient but there are so many other benefits to receiving care in your own space!
I know it’s obvious, but you don’t have to leave home.
Think about that for minute and what leaving home with a new baby entails…You both have to get ready and dressed, bags packed with “all the things” you both need for an outing PLUS the things you might need for a lactation consultation outside your home like your pump, any tools you’re using, bottles, etc. You don’t have to deal with car seats, travel time, waiting rooms, weather or traffic. You just have to be home and available at your scheduled time. How easy is that???
You can come as you are!
Seriously, you don’t need to “get ready” at all! This is your home, your space and you can wear whatever is comfortable. Even if it’s your PJs from the night before! For your baby, the easier the better and t-shirt and diaper is a great place to start! We’re likely going to undress your baby anyway so need to get fancy!
You will learn best in your comfort zone.
We’ll work together within your usual environment. You’ll practice optimum latch and positioning in your chair or your location of choice within your home. You’ll be able to recreate that so much better on your own if you’ve learned to work with what you have. Want to learn how to latch side-lying in your bed? We can do that! How about on your back porch because that’s where your other kids play? Yep, we can do that too! When you have access to all your spaces the possibilities are endless.
You will have access to all of your necessities!
Food, water, diapers, change of clothes (and another change of clothes), stored milk or formula if needed, breast pump, feeding tools or bottles and anything else you might need. It’s all there!
Access to your baby’s safe spaces.
Quite often things are done during a consult that don’t actually involve the baby at the breast. Maybe you’re learning how to use your breast pump or are getting sized for breast pump flanges. When you’re at home, you have access to a safe space for your baby that’s not in a carseat. And, if it’s nap time, you have access to your baby’s sleep space so no disruption of your baby’s routine or waking baby up to transition back to home!
RSV, flu, COVID, colds, you name it! It’s out there and when you limit who your baby is exposed to, you reduce the chance of illness. With a home visit, you and your baby will encounter one person. And for me personally, I have zero issue wearing a mask in your home if you prefer. You space, your baby, your rules, no problem!
So many benefits to an in-home lactation consultation! Other options include hospital-based clinics, pediatrician offices, private breastfeeding clinics, WIC clinics and more! All have pros and cons and I highly recommend you do some research in your area to see what will be the best fit for you. Find out who your home visit IBCLCs are. Get to know them. Ask questions. Learn about their background and see if they’re a good fit for your family. Consider all of your options as you are building your support team. There’s something so special about receiving care at home and, as an IBCLC that does home visits, it’s an honor to be invited into your space! If you’ve experienced an in-home visit with an IBCLC, leave a comment and share your experience!
Jennifer Gerard, APRN, FNP, IBCLC