Breastfeeding Q&A! Local Shine on… Kamloops Breastfeeding Services
Our new monthly series of interviews with local support professionals was created with the mind to introduce you to some of the wonderful – local to Kamloops – people who support women and families in the childbearing year.
For our first interview, I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with Jocelyn Haight, IBCLC, RN at Royal Inland Hospital and owner of Kamloops Breastfeeding Services. Jocelyn became an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) aka a breastfeeding guru after struggling for months with breastfeeding her first born. She found that even as an experienced Nurse, she needed and wanted to learn more about breastfeeding. That drive to learn more became a passion to help ease the struggle for other new mothers.
Now Jocelyn offers Kamloops families two amazing services; breastfeeding education classes and in home breastfeeding support.
The 2 hour breastfeeding education classes – Breastfeeding Essentials – focuses on the first couple weeks of breastfeeding; a time that is often described as the most intense for nursing moms and a time that is also of critical importance. It’s widely recognized that a strong start to breastfeeding can help with long term success. Jocelyn’s carefully thought out curriculum covers all the main questions you’d likely have after bringing your new babe home, in an affordable and timely, 2 hour class. As a bonus for attending the class, you can also access Jocelyn for follow up questions by phone after your baby is born.
The in-home breastfeeding support services that Jocelyn provides are GOLD in my books – something I wish I had accessed myself. The early days breastfeeding a newborn can be a beautiful experience of quiet bonding and sweet nursing sessions. But for many women, breastfeeding doesn’t come without it’s challenges. Having a breastfeeding expert help you overcome those challenges, in the privacy and comfort of your own home is so worth the extremely reasonable price tag.
To get to know Jocelyn more and take advantage of her expert knowledge, we asked her some of the top questions we hear from breastfeeding families:
Q: Should breastfeeding be painful?
A: No, not painful per se but saying it should be pain free is setting an unreasonable expectation for most people. What’s happening to your nipples and breasts is a new sensation, and that may require a period of adjustment and at times might be uncomfortable.
Q: What is the most common concern about breastfeeding you hear from expectant parents?
A: Whether or not they will be able to breastfeed at all. Most of the parents I meet would like to breastfeed if they can, but are anxious about whether “it will work”. There are a lot of reasons why in the early days of breastfeeding, you might not get enough milk or might otherwise struggle with initiating breastfeeding. There are just as many things you can to do to avoid or fix the problems but often you need help to figure out what the problem (and fix!) might be.
Q: What seems to be the most common concern from new parents about their breastfeeding experience?
A: What I hear most is “Is my baby getting enough?” It’s a difficult thing for the new parent to figure out. My first suggestion is to learn what your baby is doing at the breast and what it looks like when they’re having a good feed. By doing that you’ll learn when they’re getting milk or not. Other ways to know how much your baby is getting is by watching how many dirty and wet diapers you baby is producing in a day and by watching if your baby is gaining weight.
Q: Are emptier feeling breasts a sign that you aren’t making enough milk and your baby isn’t getting enough?
A: Early into breastfeeding, it’s easier to tell how much milk you have by breast fullness. However, eventually your breastmilk production will regulate and you won’t be overfilling so that will no longer be reliable. No one sign of low milk production such as less full breasts, a crying baby, cluster feeding, round the clock nursing, etc… are definitive on their own that your baby is not getting enough. If you’re concerned about it, the best thing to do is seek support.
Q: Tell us about an outdated breastfeeding belief that you’re glad to see go.
A: That you have to time your feeds or feed on a schedule. There’s a time and place to watch the clock but if everything is going well and you have a healthy term baby – ditch the clock and feed on cue.
Q: What’s something that a lot of families aren’t expecting about breastfeeding?
A: How difficult it can be. For many, having a baby is an intense time. You’re trying to adjust to everything that’s changed in your life but you also have the responsibility of being the sole source of nutrition for that child. The weight of that pressure can cause new parents to become overwhelmed.
Q: What are your favorite tips for breastfeeding success?
A: 1. Hold your baby skin to skin as much as possible and starting as soon as possible. Skin to skin is the best way to support your newborns growth, your milk supply and your baby’s reflex to feed. It also keeps your newborn calm until they’re ready to feed. 2. Learn a bit about breastfeeding beforehand. 3. Ask for help – you may be doing just fine but the reassurance that qualified help can give, will ease your fears. Ask your care provider if you have concerns or questions and if they can’t answer, find someone who can. The sooner you get help the better.
Q: What does a consult with you look like?
A: What an in home visit looks like depends on each individual person. Generally, I time a consult around a feed. I’ll come to the person’s home, get a brief history of their pregnancy and birth and how breastfeeding has been going so far. Then I’ll have a look at baby and observe a feed. I might help with a feed if needed. We’ll then chat and make a plan for moving forward. Later they’ll receive a follow up sheet outlining what’s been discussed and their individualized plan. We may go back and forth with text messages or phone calls if they need more support. Or we may book a second visit if necessary.
Q: What are some signs that someone should seek support with breastfeeding?
A: If someone (i.e. doctor or other healthcare provider) is recommending that they change how they’re breastfeeding due to concerns about growth – it’s a good idea they seek support. If breastfeeding is painful, if they have mastitis or clogged ducts, if they’re having to “top up” with bottle feeding after nursing, if they think baby’s not getting enough or baby is showing potential signs they aren’t getting enough such as: crying all the time, sleeping all the time, not having enough wet or dirty diapers, or not gaining weight. All good reasons to get support. Or really, if they feel at all stressed about their breastfeeding experience. I also recommend they get help sooner – don’t wait to see. If nothing else they’ll get reassurance that they’re doing everything right.
We hope that your breastfeeding journey is full of nothing but bliss and ease, but if for you, that’s not the case, we hope this interview has provided you with a new resource you can call on for support.
To learn more about Jocelyn and her services, visit her website http://www.kamloopsbreastfeeding.com or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Kamloopsbreastfeeding/. Also make sure to check out her upcoming Breastfeeding Essentials class on January 18th.