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The Certified Lactation Consultant
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The Certified Lactation Consultant: Special Care for Special Needs

Although not every breastfeeding mother and baby necessarily require the help of an IBCLC, it has been demonstrated that "breastfeeding education and access to a lactation consultant can be critical to the successful initiation and continuation of breastfeeding."

The only health care professionals specifically trained as breastfeeding specialists are International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (also called IBCLCs).

WHAT IS AN IBCLC?

The IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) is a health care provider trained to focus on the needs and concerns of the breastfeeding mother-baby couple and to prevent, recognise and solve difficulties that may arise during breastfeeding. She is a breastfeeding and lactation specialist whose approach is respectful of the unique needs and goals of each family, and fosters parental autonomy and growth.

The Lactation Consultant has completed comprehensive training and accumulated extensive clinical experience to acquire and perfect skills in breastfeeding management and counselling, including problems and special situations.

This multidisciplinary training includes knowledge of:

  • maternal and infant anatomy, physiology, and endocrinology
  • growth parameters and developmental milestones from preconception to beyond twelve months
  • maternal and infant nutrition, biochemistry, immunology, and infectious diseases
  • maternal and infant pathology, pharmacology, and toxicology
  • psychology, sociology, and anthropology
  • reading and interpretation of scientific research
  • ethical and legal issues related to the practice of lactation consulting
  • technology related to breastfeeding
  • public health issues surrounding lactation


Mandatory recertification every 5 years assures that all IBCLCs keep their knowledge and skills current and up-to-date. The IBCLC credential is the only internationally recognised accreditation for breastfeeding professionals.

In what situations could you benefit from the help of an IBCLC?

  • Prenatal breastfeeding education and preparation
  • Difficulties with latching; baby refusing the breast
  • Painful breastfeeding; sore, damaged or cracked nipples
  • Severe engorgement
  • Blocked ducts, mastitis, yeast
  • Milk supply issues (over-supply, low supply)
  • Slow or insufficient weight gain in baby
  • Special maternal circumstances (previous breast surgery, hormonal disorders, etc.)
  • Special infant circumstances (cleft lip/palate, hospitalised baby, reflux, etc.)
  • Breastfeeding premature babies/multiples
  • Mother-infant separation, going back to work, etc.
  • Advice on renting or purchasing a breast pump or other breastfeeding equipment

Note that situations that contra-indicate or require interruption of breastfeeding are . In the vast majority of circumstances, with skilled help, the breastfeeding relationship can be maintained for the mutual benefit of mother and baby.

Stephanie Dupras, IBCLC, RLC, Doula is a private practise certified lactation consultant, birth doula and childbirth educator, in addition to being a mother of four and student nurse. Her philosophy of care fosters respect, gentleness, confidence and autonomy. She offers support during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum in a climate of trust and confidentiality. Her combined skills result in a unique approach to helping new parents become informed, empowered and confident in the choices they make, ensuring the best possible start for their new baby.

To schedule a consultation in greater Montreal and its surrounding areas, please call (450) 661-6629 or (514) 996-8280.

 
The Birth Doula
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The doula: a companion and advocate throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond!

 

From the traditional Greek meaning "woman caregiver ", today's doula is "a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth" (Klaus, Kennell and Klaus - Mothering the Mother). The doula's role is to guide parents through the experiences of pregnancy, labour, birth and the early days and weeks with their new baby. Prenatal education includes what to expect during pregnancy, labour and birth; writing a birth plan; different approaches to pain-relief; becoming familiar with hospital protocols and routines; pregnancy screening tests; labour/birth interventions; preventing complications; informed consent; suggested readings, etc. The doula provides critical physical and emotional support and is available around the clock during active labour and birth. Her training and experience enables her to inform parents about the different options available to them, which can impact both the experience of birth and beyond as well as the long-term health and well-being of mother and baby. As such, she is an important liaison between the mother and her birth attendants, always in a climate of respect for the couple's unique values and goals.

Birth is the culmination of pregnancy, and it is also the beginning of three new lives: the baby's, the mother's and the father's. When a baby is born, a mother is born (or re-born!). This is a life changing experience and since the beginning of time women have had special support and protection during this time. Fathers, too, are born out of this amazing experience and they also benefit from the guidance and support of an experienced, trusted companion.

The doula does not replace the father and/or partner, nor is she a substitute for him. Her presence serves to protect, support, and empower the couple and family. This enables the father to fully experience the birth of his baby at his own comfort level and remain emotionally connected to his partner and child, without the responsibility of being the sole support person.


Why give birth with the help of a doula?

The special relationship, trust and continuity of care that exist between a mother, her partner and their doula have an important positive impact on the experiences of pregnancy, labour, birth and breastfeeding. Some of the proven benefits of having a doula include:

Birth outcomes :

  • 25% shorter labour
  • 50% fewer cesareans
  • 40% reduction of oxytocin use to speed up labour
  • less use of forceps and vaccum extraction
  • 30-60% fewer requests for pain medication/epidurals
  • fewer complications


For Mom :

  • less fever and infection
  • reduced bleeding after birth
  • more positive birth experience
  • more secure, confident
  • less anxiety and postpartum depression
  • enhanced bonding with baby

For baby :
  • shorter hospital stay
  • fewer admissions to special care nurseries
  • easier start to breastfeeding


For the healthcare system:

  • dramatically reduced costs of obstetrical care

 

Mama Dearest's doula services are provided by Stephanie Dupras. A mother of four, Stephanie is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, doula, childbirth educator in private practise, and student nurse. Stephanie's philosophy of care fosters respect, gentleness, confidence and autonomy. She provides support during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum in a climate of trust and confidentiality. Her combined skills provide a unique approach to helping new parents become informed, empowered and confident in the choices they make, thus ensuring the best possible start to life with their new baby.

Please call (450) 661-6629 or (514) 996-8280 for more information or to schedule a meeting.