lactation consultants- how many hospitals have them?

  1. I am intersted to know for those of you who work in hospitals or had your children in the a hospital- were/are there lactation consultants? are patients given proper/enough education on the techniques of breastfeeing and the many advantages of it (health and forming a connection to the child..).
    also I was wondering if anyone knows where else lactation consultants can be found working besides the hospital setting.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   finallyRN
    We have a lactation consultant Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. No help on the weekends. No help at night when lots of our moms turn to the bottle because they are too tired.
  4. by   renerian
    In Central Ohio hospitals they use them. I am not sure what they teach as I do not work in that department..

    renerian
  5. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    We have them in our hospital. There is one in the hospital Mon-Fri 8-4. We have an LC that comes in on the weekends, but she only comes in long enough to make 1 set of rounds, then she goes home. Yeah, cause the only people that deliver on the weekends are the people that already know how to breastfeed

    The L&D, PP, and NICU nurses all have experience with breastfeeding, but they focus on us PP nurses. They send us to alot of seminars, and shadowing an LC for a couple of days is part of our orientation.

    They are a wonderful asset to our unit and our patients, I just wish there were more of them. Or at least more predictable evening and weekend coverage.

    BTW, I'm in NW Ohio.

    Heather
  6. by   fergus51
    Same here: Monday to Friday 9-5. They are a great resource, but can be a bit overbearing at times, so I don't use them for moms who are on the fence.
  7. by   chicory
    My hospital has them, and I don't know their hours but one did visit w/me when I delivered on the weekend. I was able to make appointments to see them twice when my son was a few weeks old. They were wonderful--really helped me to overcome some latching on techniques that were causing pain.
  8. by   NurseyNursey
    I am starting to work toward becoming one! I don't know of any in my neck of the woods. I would be willing to be on call weekend days. I just could never be available 24/7 with young children and a husband that works nights and weekends.
  9. by   finallyRN
    OBNurseHeather
    I wish we got the training you guys do in Breast Freeding. There is one or two nurses who are really good at helping moms breast feed. The rest of us have knowledge but not enough to help those with real trouble.
    finallyRN
  10. by   WICMissy
    Great question! Most (if not all ) hospitals in the major cities of the Pacific NW have IBCLCs (the only truly certified, internationally recognized Lactation Consultants). Also, in my city, some IBCLC's have their own "practices", others work for OB/GYN offices, and some WIC clinics in our state even have them on staff. Our Public Health even has one on staff as the Program Coordinator of Healthy Start, a program to suppport all first-time parents. At the WIC clinic where I am employed, most of us are highly trained in breastfeeding education and two of my co-workers actually took the IBCLC exam this summer and are awaiting results (one is an RN, who used to be a PHN, the other is a layperson with a BA)

    Anyhow, I think IBCLCs are extremely helpful to clients that have severe problems and/or FTT babies and I would really hope that ESPECIALLY those who are "on the fence" were referred for general education purposes. We can't expect people to make a good decision if they don't have the information to do it.

    Good luck with whatever you do in lactation!
  11. by   NurseDianne
    We call in the Visiting Nurse from the Local County Health Dept. She is oncall on the weekends also. Usually we show films, offer assistance best we can and hang in there until she comes in.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    We have one, too bad she is not available for us on Noc/weekends ... She works strictly Mon-Fri 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm.....but she is wonderful!. We do give out her card to our new mommies and she does telephone followup w/them. We do all we can to get the moms on their way BFing and only refer them to the lactation consultant if there are major problems impeding their success. She is a great resource person for severe lactation problems we cannot solve.
  13. by   Momto3RN
    Boy, did this one hit a nerve for me!!

    Before I had my first child, I read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on about breastfeeding. To make a long story short, I had all kinds of problems and every nurse had different advice that conflicted with the nurse's advice before her. The LC didn't see me until two days later and noticed my son was tongue-tied (tongue attached to gumline via small extra frenulum).

    Due to the blisters and bruises I received, I had to pump for several weeks and eventually had to go to formula since my son got too used to the bottle to latch on properly.

    What I don't get is why LCs are not more available. Breastfeeding is NOT easy at first and the nurses on my PP unit, thought wonderful, were all lacking in sufficient knowledge about correct techniques.

    Did I actually read that one particular LC works 10am-2pm M-F????10AM-2PM ..........please!
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    yep that was no typo---- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is all we have w/our lactation consultant. And you can clearly see how tough it for us nurses to help w/severe problems during our night/weekend shifts.

    And yes, we all have differing advice and sometimes, if you look at it the right way, it is not a bad thing. Sometimes, it takes differing solutions to solve complex problems, and Waggy, NO ONE has the ONE answer to all. No one was trying to confuse you, I am sure, but was trying different ways to help you. That you had such horrible problems, I truly regret. Many of us NON LC specialty nurses do attend lactation classes and learn all we can but---- we are limited by some things.

    Time : many of us are caring for multiple couplets or labor patient also. It is not fair, but it is a fact on a labor/pp floor. They expect us to wear many hats and helping with breastfeeding issues is certainly important, but just one of our roles. Also a limitation: Sufficient education and preparation (or lack thereof): I have personally attended lactation conferences/classes put on by the WHO and our consultants, but still lack their specialized knowledge to help in every situation. I usually end up calling our local LLL leader on weekends for help if I can...either that, or I refer these poor, beleaguerd mommies to them and their advice.

    We labor/pp RN's honestly do the best we can w/breastfeeding issues, given our workloads and time constraints. I have worked for HOURS, in every attempt to get a newborn latched on properly and nursing well. I have the backaches to prove that! That we all have differing approaches reflects our varying educational experiences and personal experiences, like any other area of life. Try to think of it that way. I wish you well.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 11, '02

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