Do you have a Baby Bump?
Hi! Welcome to the section of my website for women sporting Baby Bumps. If you are pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant, this is the section for you! I am Karyn-grace Clarke, IBCLC, a Registered Lactation Consultant and owner of Happy Tribe Consulting. I’m glad you stopped by!
If you have a few minutes, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have!
"Super! But, can you tell me what exactly is a Lactation Consultant and what does an LC do?"
Sure, I’d be happy to! Lactation Consultants are health care professionals who are experts in the art of breastfeeding and the science of lactation. To become such an expert, LC’s must first undertake a set amount of breastfeeding-specific education, amass hundreds of hours working with mothers and babies, and pass a rigorous exam. We are required to keep up-to-date on current breastfeeding advancements and issues and we need to recertify every five years.
As to what an LC does, the most important aspect of my job is to empower you to achieve your breastfeeding goals. Some of the ways I do this for pregnant mammas include offering breastfeeding and parenting education (group, private, and online), assessing lactation risk factors, determining causes of past lactation failure or early weaning, and counselling individuals/couples with respect to lifestyle and philosophy adjustments towards the transition to parenting.
"Cool. But, do I really need to see a Lactation Consultant before I start breastfeeding?"
Good question! Remember that old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Breastfeeding is natural, but it doesn’t always come naturally to mother, baby or both. Kinda like childbirth!
Prenatal breastfeeding education and assessment is important for all baby bumps, but if you have any of the following, working with me during your pregnancy may be crucial to your success.
The average expectant woman will spend 6 or more hours on prenatal education to help her learn about childbirth, and that event is usually over and done with in a day or so. Breastfeeding is meant to continue for months and months, and yet the average pregnant mamma takes less than 2 hours of education to help her learn about and understand breastfeeding. Don’t you think it’s a good idea to prepare as much as possible for this brand new experience?
"Yeah, I’d like to be prepared. But, how is this different than what my doctor or health nurse provides?"
Health care specialists are an important part of your overall health care team. You may see a Dental Hygienist for regular oral cleanings, but you also have a Dentist who oversees your oral health and offers regular examinations as well as dental care and treatment when necessary. Though other health care professionals who support and understand breastfeeding play an important role in helping mothers with their breastfeeding questions and concerns, a Registered Lactation Consultant in Private Practice is focused solely on breastfeeding and its related issues; she takes whatever time is needed to address YOUR specific issues, taking into consideration your health, well-being and lifestyle as she helps you meet your breastfeeding goals.
"Sounds good! Can you give me a heads up about the cost?"
Of course! It’s quite reasonable, actually. Basically, I charge $40 per hour for consultations, whether that is local in-home visits or via phone, Skype or email. I bill only for face-to-face time. I do not bill for research, advocacy, or collaborating with other health care professionals on your behalf.
Phone / Skype / Email Consultations
For phone, Skype, or email consultations, a non-refundable deposit of $40 is required before the consultation will begin. Consultations will end after one hour, with an option to book further consultations upon receipt of another deposit. The deposit can be made via email money transfer or Paypal.
Prospective clients are requested to contact me first via email or phone to arrange a consultation time, before paying their deposit. This will ensure that I have both the time and availability to help. As part of your initial contact, I will assess your situation and estimate how many hours of my time will be needed in order to assist you in your breastfeeding & parenting challenges. Most of these types of consults include both phone/online contact as well as follow up via email, which will be scheduled with you upon initial contact.
Please note that there are some types of situations that are not suitible for phone/online consults. They include (but are not limited to):
For help with these types of situations, I advise you to book an appointment with a Registered Lactation Consultant in your own local area, by searching the directory at www.ilca.org.
"Okay. I’m in. How do I book time with you?"
"Sweet. But, in the meantime, can you give me a heads up?"
Sure! For starters, breastfeeding is very personal and it brings up lots of emotional issues. You may love it, or you may hate it, but you CAN succeed at it with the right information and support. Breastfeeding does not have to be all or nothing and you CAN have a life when breastfeeding. It isn’t supposed to hurt, but sometimes it does...and if so, something is wrong. Babies DO breastfeed a lot, but they get better and faster as time goes on. Remember, even if you are not sure about the whole thing, I guarantee that you will never regret giving it your best shot.