You may be surprised to learn that your OB, Midwife or Pediatrician is not the best person to get breastfeeding advice from. Most Pediatricians receive less breastfeeding education than a Peer Counselor! If you fit one or more of these situations, you could probably use some help from a Breastfeeding Specialist:
- Your nipples are raw, bleeding, cracked, or hurting
- You think, or have been told, that you are not making enough milk
- Your baby is 5 days old and your milk has not come in. Or, is 14 days and has not regained birth weight
- Your baby is colicky or fussy or you think that your baby hates you and/or breastfeeding
- You are crying more than an hour a day and think you are not meant to breastfeed
- You can’t pump the amount of milk you need
- Your baby is biting or refusing to nurse
Or, you may have one of these less-immediate problems:
- You are back at work, or going back soon and you have questions
- You are thinking about introducing solids
- You want to know how to wean
- You are wondering if something, you or your baby does, is normal
The biggest cause of giving up breastfeeding is giving up hope because of inaccurate information. If you want to breastfeed, you probably can. It helps if you have a support network including your partner, family, medical professionals and friends, but these are the essentials:
- Determination and the desire to breastfeed
- Patience to keep trying when things don’t go right
- Tissues – Long challenges can be very emotional!
- Guidance from an expert Lactation Counselor or Consultant
You should select a Lactation Counselor or Consultant based on the level of help you are needing. You can expect all counselors to be caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable about the normal course of breastfeeding and normal infant behavior.
The differences lie in the amount of education, number of supervised clinical hours, the scope of their practice and their experience. Please note, no Lactation Specialist or counselor is licensed to diagnose illness or prescribe medications, unless they also have a medical license.
There are 5 Certifications for Breastfeeding Specialists:
- International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
- La Leche League Leader (LLLL)
- Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC),
- Breastfeeding Counselor (BC),
- Peer Counselor (PC)
International Board Certified Lactation Consultants in Ulster County:
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) An IBCLC follows a rigorous course of study, must be supervised for over 500 clinical hours, demonstrate specialized knowledge and clinical expertise in breastfeeding and human lactation, and pass a difficult exam in order to be certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). In order to remain certified, they must attend continuing education and retake the exam every 10 years. It is the highest certification attainable in the field.
HealthAlliance Hospital: Broadway Campus (Kingston Hospital) The Family Birth Place – 845-331-3131 x 2241.
Donna Bruschi, IBCLC – 845-750-4402 provides home and office visits for newborn, infant and toddler breastfeeding problems: poor latch, milk supply issues, sore nipples, engorgement, refusing to breastfeed, adoption, overabundance, forceful letdown, weight loss or slow weight gain and more. Donna is in private practice in New Paltz and serves Ulster, Dutchess, Orange and parts of Sullivan County.
La Leche League Leaders in Ulster County:
A La Leche League Leader (LLLL) must complete a prescribed course of breastfeeding education in order to become a Leader. They have supervised training and coaching with feedback on their counseling practices. They also attend continuing education. La Leche League is a volunteer organization that provides free monthly group meetings and free phone help from accredited Leaders.
Crystal Middleton 914-471-0075
Donna Bruschi 845-750-4402
WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator and Breastfeeding Peer Counselors
WIC Peer Counselors (PC) study the basics of breastfeeding, usually 20 classroom hours with some supervised counseling hours. Peer Counselors usually start as young mothers with babies and some have more than 20 years experience. Continuing education is part of being a Peer Counselor.
WIC office – Kingston NY, 845-340-3965