At Bondi Doctors we offer a comprehensive women's health service including specialist lactation advice with IBCLC Cathy Shortt.
What is an IBCLC or Lactation Consultant?
International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC’s) or Lactation Consultants, are certified professionals recognised internationally as experts in assisting mothers with establishing and sustaining breast feeding, even in the midst of difficulties.
Certified lactation consultants have extensive clinical experience and advanced lactation education. They can help with any breastfeeding issues including complex situations, high-risk babies, oral assessment and more.
Why seek lactation advice?
Breastfeeding, although natural, is a learned skill. As with all new skills, breastfeeding can take some time to master. Lots of mothers experience breastfeeding challenges, especially in the early weeks. Getting timely and knowledgeable support is important to overcome breastfeeding problems.
Lactation advice aims to provide you with a range of practical techniques which can assist with a broad range of breastfeeding issues to ensure:
Your baby continues to receive enough milk;
You are confident how to support your milk supply; and,
You have access to ongoing guidance about what to do as things progress/change during breastfeeding.
You will also be supported to identify normal baby feeding behaviours and sleep patterns.
Common breastfeeding issues:
Milk supply - over supply and under supply
Engorgement - Breast engorgement is when there is an accumulation of milk and tissue fluid in your breasts. It can make your breasts feel very full, tight and painful. It can also be a challenge for achieveing correct attachment.
Attachment - Breastfeeding is instinctive for babies. However, there are various things that can cause attachment difficulties after birth. For example, if your breasts are very engorged, this can make it hard for some babies to attach. Sometimes, pain relief used during labour, or other birth interventions, can contribute to making some babies extra sleepy and perhaps even dull their feeding behaviours – all of which can make attaching more difficult.
Latch & positioning
Blocked ducts - A blocked duct is where milk banks up behind a blockage in one or more of your milk ducts which can cause pain and inflammation.
Preventing mastitis - Mastitis means breast inflammation is present. Mastitis may or may not be accompanied by an infection. Whether there’s an infection present or not, milk stasis is usually the main cause of mastitis.
Nipple vasospasm - Nipple vasospasm is where tiny blood vessels in your nipples tighten up and as they do so, reduce the blood flow to your nipples. This can cause nipple pain.
Nipple damage - The main cause of cracked nipples is suboptimal positioning and attachment. When a baby isn’t positioned or attached optimally, your nipple can get compressed between your baby’s tongue and hard palate. This can lead to nipple damage. It takes a trained eye to figure out if a baby is positioned and attached well and provide tips about how to optimise it positioning and attachment. Cathy has countless hours observing and helping mothers breastfeed.
Tongue tie - Cathy can conduct an oral assessment to help determine whether your baby has tongue tie that requires medical intervention.
What can you expect from a lactation consultation?
Cathy offers a variety of consultation options to suit women at different stages of their breastfeeding journey.
lnitial consult (90 mins) - $330
An intial consult will involve taking a comprehensive antenatal and post natal history to ensure a holistic and thorough approach to your care.
This is followed by an opportunity to breastfeed in a calm, private, relaxing and supportive environment in which you can discuss any specific feeding issues, questions, or concerns you may be facing.
Cathy will work with you to develop a clear plan for your breastfeeding journey, which elimimates confusing advice and conflicting information.
If needed, Cathy can liaise with other healthcare providers such as your Bondi Doctors GP, Obstetricians, Paediatricians, Early Childhood Health Services, Speech Pathologists, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Karitane and Tresillian.
Follow up consultation (60 mins) - $220
A follow up consultation can be useful to review your progress, ask follow up questions and make any adjustments to your breastfeeding plan.
You will be offered the opportunity to breastfeed in a calm, private, relaxing and supportive environment.
Short consultation (30 mins) - $110
This is suitable for mothers who require minimal support or who have had a previous consultation/s with Cathy and want a quick "check up" on progress.
Given time limitations, there is no opportunity to breastfeed in a short consultation.
Meet our IBCLC certified lactation specialist here: