Lactation consultant helping you reach your breastfeeding goals!

My daughter Amy with her daughter Annabelle

KellyMom  offers a downloadable pdf that goes into more details about storage and handling and thawing

How should I store my pumped breastmilk?

Always wash your hands before pumping!  Bottles can be washed in hot soapy water and allowed to air dry, or you can use one time use milk storage bags.  Here is one mom's review of the different bags available.

An easy way to remember how long the milk is Okay, is the rule of five,  five hours at room temperature, five days in the refrigerator, five months in the back of the freezer (after chilling for five hours first. This is conservative, you may find slight variations printed elsewhere.  You can always do the "smell" and "taste" test.  I reccomend new parents smell and taste freshly pumped milk, chilled breastmilk, and thawed previously frozen breastmilk so that they know what it should smell and taste like!


What will my Insurance cover?

TheAffordable Care Act(Obamacare) recognizes the value of professional lactation care for pregnant women and nursing mothers.  The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding: III.11 ensure access to services provided by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants  The wording in the ACA,  however, is a little bit vague.  Currently, insurance providers are left to their own interpretation of what is covered, what the requirements are,  and how they will pay for the services. You will need to contact your insurance provider to find out more. Read more   here   about what to ask when you call your insurance company.

I am now an In-Network provider with Aetna. That means that I may submit claims directly to Aetna on your behalf.  If you are an Aetna member, you may be able to receive my services with no copay or deductible.

I am now also accepting most Blue Cross Plans as well. I will be able to bill BC directly for one hour consults.  Restrictions may apply. Check back here for updates or contact your Insurance Carrier. In the mother's home consults are now covered by Independence Blue Cross. Individual Plans may vary in coverage.

If you are not an Aetna member, nor a Blue Cross Member, please contact your insurance provider and let them know that you would like them to provide you this benefit as well. The insurance companies will only make services available if they hear from their members/consumers.

Milk Supply

New moms commonly have questions related to milk supply.  How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk? What can I do to increase my milk supply? And believe it or not, I think I have too much milk, is that possible?  One way to tell if your baby is getting enough milk, is to count the number of wet and soiled diapers in 24 hours.  We usually expect to see at least one of each in the first 24 hours, two of each in the second 24 hours, increasing like that until day 5 or 6.  At that point, we are looking for at least 6 - 8 wet diapers in 24 hours. More important in the first days though, are stools that are changing from black, to green to yellow.  The more stools the better in the first few weeks. A baby who is not stopping at least a few times a day, is likely not eating enough.  The number of soiled diapers per day varies with children, expect at least three, although exclusively breast-fed babies will often stool multiple times each 24 hour period. Once they are older (two to three months old, they may settle into a pattern of stooling once or twice a day only.  A baby who is dehydrated, and not getting quite enough milk, can produce wet diapers though.  They won't be saturated, but the parents may 'count' them and believe that everything is okay. Another way to tell is, can you see active sucking? hear swallowing? and does she end the feeding and appear content?  She could appear to be nursing well, but then tiring herself and ending the feeding and falling asleep.  The most reliable way to tell if a baby is getting enough milk is by his weight gain. If your baby is adequately gaining weight at his/her check-ups, it's all good. (here's a guide for weight gain on Kellymom.com) Maybe you are unsure though, and don't want to wait till the next appointment for reassurance.  A Lactation Consult includes pre-feeding weight, and post-feeding weights. (after each side).  This will be an accurate measure of how much milk the baby is transferring. A Lactation Consult will also include assessment of latch and position, and instruction of breast massage/compression and hand expression.  Also included are suggestions for how to increase the supply, or how to recognize and deal with over-supply if that is the problem. Read more here from  The Baby Center  about  Making breast milk   and  about   Low milk supply.

CALL for a consult if you are unsure if your baby is getting enough milk or if you question your supply!

Pacifier Use

Whether or not pacifier use hurts or helps breastfeeding, depends on who you ask!  An observational study done at a hospital in Oregon between December 2010 and August 2011, found that limiting pacifiers, resulted in their exclusive breastfeeding rates declining. {Bring back the binky}

That being said, I personally advise parents to avoid the pacifier, and any artificial nipples, at least for the first two weeks.  You've probably heard of 'nipple confusion'.  There is something to that.  Although it may not be so much of a confusion, as a preference.  What's better? Less work or more work? (sounds like a commercial I know)  If you already gave your newborn a pacifier or bottle in the first few days, don't panic! You haven't ruined everything!  The mechanism employed to suck and swallow from the breast, vs the bottle are different.  Read more here fromBreastfeeding Basicsand from  KellyMom.    What does the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommend?

  • The pacifier should be used when putting the baby to sleep, but should not be reinserted once the baby falls asleep.
  • If the baby refuses the pacifier, he or she should not be forced to take it.
  • Pacifiers should not be coated in anything sweet. Pacifiers should be cleaned often and replaced regularly.
  • For breastfed babies, delay pacifier use until 1 month of age to ensure breastfeeding is firmly established. 
  • Pacifiers are also  appropriate for car rides.
  • Why should pacifiers be avoided for the first month?
    The quantity of milk a mother makes in the long-term is largely determined by how well the baby drains the breasts in the first weeks. For example, the more frequently a baby nurses in the first week, the more prolactin receptors develop in the glandular cells of the breast, and the more milk the mother will make. It makes good sense, therefore, for a mother to breastfeed any time her baby shows a desire to suck. In a newborn, sucking is a hunger signal.
    Over the next several weeks, a baby's increasing appetite will increase the mother's supply, until it reaches a plateau at around one month. The quantity of milk produced is largely regulated by a substance in the milk called feedback inhibitor of lactation (FIL). If too much milk is left in the breasts, then FIL will decrease milk production. However, if the breasts are drained, then the supply can increase. Over use of pacifiers can break the milk production cycle and result in chronically low milk production.

What if baby is "using me as a pacifier"?   click here