Our clients often say: "why didn't my doctor recommend that I see you? I had to Google search to find you." or "my pediatrician seemed to think there wasn't a feeding issue and, after trying lots of things and using free resources in the community, you are my final resort to making this work!" How frustrating and heartbreaking for exhausted, stressed families!
When it comes to supporting families, care providers make sure they are up to date with community resources that may help in situations that are beyond what they can provide. The same should go for infant feeding, but sadly, it is often overlooked. This is partly because of unintended ignorance and partly due to a healthcare framework in BC that doesn't always include free or low-cost expert help. Understandably, providers are often hesitant to refer their patients to a private practice IBCLC.
Aside from writing to the provincial government to ask for private practice IBCLC's to be included in healthcare models, what else can we do?
First, create a postpartum resource list with contact info to stick on your fridge. Include public health nursing, your care provider, doula, family & friends, an IBCLC etc. This will save you time when you are too tired to scroll through your phone....wherever it is.
Second, take a breast/chest feeding class prenatally. That way you know what normal breast/chest feeding looks like, how to troubleshoot challenges on your own, and when to call an IBCLC for help - saving you time and frustration.
Third, ask for gift certificates towards doula and lactation services from family and friends when they ask what to get you for your baby shower!
Fourth, budget for some expenses for yourself. This might include a postpartum massage or chiropractor visit, a dinner out with your partner, grocery delivery, or a home visit with Pamela . She also has payment plans available to make it easier. Also, if you are First Nation, you can apply for a Doulas for Aboriginal Families Grant to receive postpartum lactation help from Pamela as she is one of their approved doulas in the program. Please email us for more info about that.
And finally, know that you will never be turned away. We know that support creates healthy and happy families and a stronger community, so if cost is a challenge for you, please get in touch!