What is an IBCLC?
First let me explain the alphabet of initials after my name. The MPH stands for Master of Public Health and the IBCLC stand for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant; this credential is the gold standard in breastfeeding & lactation care in any setting. When moms seek breastfeeding support for challenges they may be experiencing, they may come across many other types of “lactation experts” and it can be hard to distinguish the difference between them all.
Must possess education in human lactation, breastfeeding, anatomy and physiology, child development, sociology and more.
Complete hundreds of hours of hands-on clinical practice in lactation and breastfeeding care.
Successfully pass a rigorous examination that demonstrates the ability to provide competent, comprehensive lactation and breastfeeding care.
Agree to abide by a Code of Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures.
Re-certify every five years either by pursuing continuing education or re-examination.
Information about the difference between an IBCLC and other lactation designations can be found here.
Skin to Skin, Babywearing, and Breastfeeding
“Skin to skin” is when a diapered baby is placed on the bare chest of their mother and a blanket is place over baby’s back to keep them warm (partners can do skin to skin too!). The benefits of skin to skin for mom and baby have been well documented. Skin to skin can help regulate the baby’s heart rate, body temperature, breathing, weight, immune system, and aid in more restful sleep. Benefits for mom include regulation of her hormones, increased levels of maternal oxytocin, and ultimately helps increase her milk supply.
Skin to skin is recommended at any point during infancy but can be difficult for some moms to do once they get home from the hospital. While having baby on the bare chest is ideal, Baby wearing is a great way to keep baby close and provides continued benefits for baby, mom, and breastfeeding.
Babywearing benefits for Baby:
Babywearing can help some babies breastfeed better. Some babies, particularly those who are tense or tend to arch their backs, breastfeed better while moving. Also, babies who are slow to gain weight (for no apparent reason) have been known to gain better if worn in a carrier for several hours a day, since proximity to mom encourages babies to eat more frequently. (com)
Babywearing can help organize a disorganized baby. The babywearing mother (and partner) provides an external regulating system that balances the irregular and disorganized tendencies of the baby. Mom’s rhythmic walking, heartbeat, and breathing reminds baby of the womb experience. This familiar rhythm, imprinted on baby’s mind in the womb, now reappears in the “outside womb” and calms baby. Simply stated, regular parental rhythms have a balancing effect on the infant’s irregular rhythms. (Ask Dr. Sears)
Babywearing benefits for Parents:
Baby wearing can free up your hands! In an ideal world you may have someone else doing all the housework and errands but in reality, the postpartum days and months are not as restful as we might like. If you need to get things done around the house or have other children to chase, baby wearing allows you to be hands free while still keeping baby close.
Having baby so close, also allows you to pick up on their cues more quickly. Getting to know baby’s hunger gestures and facial expressions prior to crying makes latching and nursing more enjoyable for you both. Some moms even breastfeed while babywearing.
Keeping baby skin to skin and babywearing provides amazing benefits for mom, baby and breastfeeding!
Breastfeeding with CuddleBug Instructions
The CuddleBug Wrap allows you to nurse comfortably and discreetly anytime anywhere. With our soft stretchy fabric, you don’t have to loosen or untie the wrap to breastfeed your baby.
1. Move the shoulder strap.
2. Lower your baby into a comfortable nursing position.
3. Reach under the shoulder strap and lift your breast so your baby can latch on. (Mothers with large breasts may need to continually support the breast).
4. For extra privacy, spread the shoulder strap to cover yourself and your baby.
Your baby should remain in a vertical position while nursing. If you prefer, you can take the baby out of the wrap and use the “x” as a cover up while you nurse.
Remember to always keep a close watch on your baby while breastfeeding and move your baby’s face away from your breast when he/she is no longer actively nursing.
Board Certified Lactation Consultant at Breastfed BayBies
References and Resources:
The Benefits of Baby Wearing – La Leche League International
Benefits of Babywearing for Your Baby – AskDrSears.com
Slings, wraps & other baby carriers — Why, How & Where? – Kellymom.com