This month we’ve been discussing the importance of having a breastfeeding-supportive partner, friends and family in your life, and today we’ll go over how another important figure in your baby’s life–his or her healthcare provider–can support you in your breastfeeding goals as well.
Your have several options for a healthcare provider. Some families choose a pediatrician, who specializes in child health. Others might choose a family practitioner so that the whole family can go to the same doctor. Others might choose a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant. Each will have slightly different training and may have different perspectives on the best way to keep your child healthy.
Healthcare providers may not get much breastfeeding education in their training and may focus their continuing education on disease treatment or child development, but that does not mean they can’t be supportive of breastfeeding!
Set up an interview. Many healthcare offices offer an interview with the provider before becoming a patient. Use this time to ask some questions such as, if they have a breastfeeding-friendly office policy, are supportive of continuing breastfeeding even if an issue like jaundice arises, or if they have IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) to refer to if you experience problems.
Lactation support in office? While any healthcare provider can definitely be a good fit without having an IBCLC in their office, it has been shown that employing a lactation professional leads to higher breastfeeding rates both immediately postpartum and long-term. You could try asking some mom friends or calling a few offices to ask if they have lactation support. Even if they do not have an IBCLC on staff, you asking about it could plant the seed and they may look into it in the future!
Your healthcare provider works for you. You will be seeing your baby’s provider often in the first couple of years, so it pays to make an informed choice. Rest assured that if you don’t feel supported after your baby’s first couple of well-checks, you have the right to choose a different provider who will support you both!
Reach out for support. Other ways to seek out support in between your baby’s check ups at the provider’s office are to sign up for our Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips, check out our Instagram page for tips, tricks, and many mama’s experiences, as well as watching our on-demand video classes with information to help you overcome issues you might face. And consults are always available for individualized support. The Lactation Link team is always here to support you in meeting your breastfeeding goals!
I’ve created a free e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.
Thanks for stopping by,
Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC
Grawley, A.E., Marinelli, K.A., Holmes, A. V., & the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. (2013). ABM clinical protocol #14: Breastfeeding-friendly physician’s office: Optimizing care for infants and children, revised 2013. Breastfeeding Medicine, 8(2), pp. 237-42.