In this time of social distancing, Lompoc Valley Medical Center offers one-on-one TeleVisits with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Virtual lactation support provides the opportunity to address questions and concerns related to infant feeding, without having to leave your home. Using a cell phone, tablet, or computer, our IBCLC provides "face-to-face," individualized attention using a secure platform that does not require patients to sign-in or download an app.
Lactation TeleVisits can be used as a time for families to ask general questions and/or to observe a breastfeeding or pumping session. The IBCLC will ask questions in relation to the history of the birthing parent and baby, as well as perform visual exams for the mom’s parenting partner, when applicable. The IBCLC will help alleviate any current feeding issues while providing comprehensive education and additional resources or referrals that may be beneficial to both mom and baby. There are many topics that can be covered during a virtual consultation, including:
- Proper latch and positioning
- Milk supply
- Feeding frequency and duration
- Pump use, options, supplies and routine
- Milk storage
- Nutrition while breastfeeding
- Planning for return to work
- Breast pain or possible infection
Though this service limits the hands-on assistance that is typically provided during an in-person consult, TeleVisits allow for the guidance and encouragement that many families need as they transition from hospital to home, but without the worry of travel to a hospital or clinic. There are some concerns that will likely require an in-person evaluation or referral to another healthcare provider, including if the infant is not gaining weight appropriately, or if there is suspected concern with oral anatomy or if the infant refuses to latch.
There are a few things new moms can do at home to help virtual consults go smoothly:
- A strong, reliable internet connection is key
- Be in a well-lit area with minimal-to-no noise or distractions
- Be prepared with pillows and breast pump nearby, if a pump is used
- Get into a comfortable position before the call starts
It can also be useful to have another person present to help with positioning the phone, tablet, or computer for latch assistance and other observations. These requirements ensure a thorough assessment and adequate support during the appointment.
Research shows that early lactation support enables families to better reach their breastfeeding goals. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 60 percent of mothers do not breastfeed for as long as they intend to. Obtaining the assistance required to overcome early breastfeeding barriers helps families build confidence and resilience for establishing a healthy breastfeeding relationship. One study that surveyed the impacts of TeleVisits for lactation states that “Telelactation was convenient and efficient, provided a needed service in rural areas lacking breastfeeding support services, and increased maternal breastfeeding confidence.” Additionally, this study found that TeleVisits provided several advantages in comparison with support in-person or via phone.
If you would like to learn more or make an appointment, please call (805) 737-5712. We look forward to helping you reach your breastfeeding goals!