Most pregnant women feel the joy and excitement of becoming pregnant. But, after the excitement wears off mostly after that dreadful 1st trimester, a little panic may start to build in. It is then that you may realize that you may know a thing or two about babies, but taking care of a newborn, all by yourself?, is a whole different game!
The Second trimester is generally the time where all mothers feel energized and begin to look for prenatal classes, labor and delivery information, and start engaging conversation with others mom-to-be. This is the time where parents-to-be, take the time to research and buy all the necessary elements needed for the arrival of their baby. It is usually around this time that new mom-to-be begin to hear about the wonders of breastfeeding and begin to read, watch videos and ask others of their experiences.
It is around this time that the wish to breastfeed is conceived and they embarque on this journey called “breastfeeding”. With so much information at hand and listening to advice from those surrounding them, they begin to prepare themselves for what is yet to come!
Back in 2015, I thought that “breastfeeding is a natural thing and I should be able to figure it out!” WRONG, I was so wrong! It was not until I became an IBCLC, that I realized how much support and expert advice is needed when a problem presents itself.
What is an IBCLC?
An IBCLC or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a specialist in breastfeeding. We not only have a vast understanding of the anatomy of the lactating mothers, but also the anatomy of the newborn and the understanding of the composition of the breast milk and its benefits for both mother and baby.
IBCLCs are making a huge impact around the world and our mission is to normalize breastfeeding through education and support. We are using social media to make breastfeeding widely known. Supporting the community online or in person, helps to inform every single woman that although breastfeeding is wonderful, it could be very stressful when a problem is present!
We work with the world health organization baby growth charts. We believe that exclusive breastfeeding is achievable in many ways besides being at the breast. We do promote breastfeeding over breastmilk substitutes and this position is based on scientific evidence.
Making a difference
As a Midwife, Nurse and IBCLC working full time at a hospital and in a small part-time private practice, I am here to say that I have seen a fair share of problems with breastfeeding.
I have walked into homes in times of crisis to support parents at the peak of their stress. I have supported women of all ages and all backgrounds. My biggest reward was to see a smile appear on their face, as well as seeing their bodies relax and the calmness return after my interventions and expertise were placed into work.
Everytime I receive a call, I am humbled to know that I was chosen among other colleagues. It is a privilege to have families entrusting me their precious babies and to trust my words blindly. The responsibility is big and I am always happy to deliver.
Seeing an IBCLC prior to your delivery can ensure you a proper evaluation of your breast, give you an insight of normal breastfeeding patterns of a breastfeeding baby, and how to know if your baby is satisfied. We will help you to demystify breastfeeding and we will show you how to attend to your baby needs. This knowledge will give you the confidence to identify a problem and when you should seek help from the specialist.
Speaking from experience, I will say that Breastfeeding is like tossing a coin, either everything goes well or it will be a cascade of difficulties. The outcome of your journey could be defined by how soon you call an expert in breastfeeding. So, when difficulties occur call an IBCLC or the BOOB EXPERT!. 😉