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People don’t know what they don’t know about breastfeeding. As a lactation consultant, you have the unique opportunity to educate families, other healthcare providers, and members of your community about the different feeding methods. By increasing awareness and understanding for breastfeeding, chestfeeding, formula feeding, and supplementation, you are making your job easier down the road when people feel more comfortable coming to you for help when they feel they need it.
- IBCLCs are the gold standard for lactation care because of the high expectations and great responsibilities that they have to their clients and communities, and part of this is being competent in educating.
- You may find it helpful to offer classes such as Basics, Getting Started, Returning to Work, Starting Solids and Weaning, or other focused classes to the families in your community.
- In online and in-person community groups, it is best to just stick to announcing your classes and not get sucked into responding to clinical questions or engaging in advocacy inside someone’s personal thread about their own experience
- A great way to educate healthcare providers is to create informational resources that they can review and hand out to relevant patients.
- Look into creating continuing education opportunities locally and at conferences to meet healthcare providers (and medical students) where they are.
- Consider reaching out to local schools and groups to see if you could share with students about lactation consulting as a profession, since many of them have never heard of it but might consider following that path in the future.
- The more we talk about breastfeeding in the community, the more comfortable people will be breastfeeding and talking about breastfeeding, and the positive impacts on the community of a more healthy breastfeeding culture are too great to be measured.
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- “Just to have somebody tell me what to expect in those early days and weeks made a really big difference for me.”
- “Every family is different and has different needs.”
- “You’re building a community that values infant feeding and values continuing education about lactation…creating a connection that is fulfilling for everyone.”
- “People don’t breastfeed. Communities breastfeed.” – Kimberly Seals Allers
- “You are literally doing work that can change the world.”
Find our Deeper Dives into Private Practice + more in the Lactation Business Coaching Deeper Dive Vault. Memberships start at $15/month.
Leah Jolly is a private practice IBCLC with Bay Area Breastfeeding in Houston, Texas. Annie Frisbie is a private practice IBCLC serving Queens and Brooklyn in New York City, and the creator of the Lactation Consultant Private Practice Toolkit.