What is a Lactation Consultant?
An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a breastfeeding expert.
An IBCLC knows a lot about how breasts and nipples work, how milk is made, how babies should be positioned and what to do if none of that is working right. We can answer your breastfeeding questions and help you get your baby feeding well. We will help you find specialists, suppliers, information and referrals. We also know how when and why you might need a breast pump and what kind to get.
I'm Donna Bruschi and I have years of education, training and practice. I'm an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I take continuing education classes every year, read studies and articles on the latest breastfeeding research, and help lots of mothers resolve their breastfeeding challenges. Every 5 years, I have to recertify with educational credits and every 10 years I have to take a Board Exam to re-certify.
What's the difference between an IBCLC, Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), Breastfeeding Counselor (BC), La Leche League Leader (LLLL) and a Peer Counselor? The biggest difference is the amount of education and supervision that the counselor receives.
An IBCLC and LLLL receive the most education and supervised training.
Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC), Breastfeeding Counselors and Peer Counselors study only the basics of breastfeeding and most receive few supervised counseling hours. There is a wide range of experience and know-how in the latter designations.
New York State does not have a professional license for Lactation Consultants. The highest designation is an IBCLC.
How do I know if I need a Lactation Consultant?
In my experience, if you fit one or more of these situations, you could use some extra help:
- 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 2 hours in a day or think you are not cut out for motherhood
- You can't pump the amount of milk you need
- Your baby is biting
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
- Your bra leaves marks or is tight
- You are wondering if something, you or your baby does, is normal
What if I am crying all the time?
A big part of my role as a Lactation Consultant is to be a counselor who helps mothers and fathers deal with difficult situations and feelings of parenting babies and children. Most women and some men cry during an appointment. I will do my best to listen and help you find a way so that you can feel better.
What if I don't have enough milk?
While this may be the biggest worry of all new mothers, research shows that only 1 or 2% of women have true milk insufficiency! The secret to bountiful supply of milk is to offer your baby the breast frequently and allow your baby to drink as much milk as he can. If you are worried, ask for reassurance and guidance.
What if I think it's a hopeless cause?
In my experience, 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
- Guidance from an expert
- Patience to keep trying when things don't go right
- Tissues - Long challenges can be very emotional!
To make an appointment call me at (845) 750-4402 or Send me an email and I will get back to you within 24 hours.