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Maybe you’ve weighed out the benefits of social-distancing, maybe your area doesn’t have a lactation consulting resource close to you, maybe a video-consult seems less overwhelming, maybe you need quicker answers?
Whatever your reason for seeking virtual health-support, we want to make sure you make the best of your time with your providers. While this is a breastfeeding-specific blog, these tips may help you also think thru how to make the best of your time with other birth-providers.
1. If the consult will involve your child or baby, see if you can have an extra set of hands for videoing. For virtual lactation consults, for example, it’s enormously helpful to have a “camera-person” to help free up your hands and give us better angles when we need them. Plus an extra (supportive) person involved the consult is always helpful.
2. Use a device that can easily be moved, like a phone or tablet, since so much of what we assess requires zooming-in (to observe latch) and zooming-out (to assess positioning), and because making your way to your desktop’s camera to show us a cracked nipple can be challenging when holding a little one!
3. Make sure to have good lighting. Natural bright light behind the camera works best but isn’t required. Consider having a flashlight or another device with a flashlight available in case we need to look closer at your anatomy, inside babies mouth or into pump flanges in action.
4. If you want your lactation consultant to observe a feed and help you troubleshoot latch, make sure to have your baby ready (partially fed and changed) before the beginning of the consult. Feed your sweetpea partially (not fully) about half an hour before the consult time or pick a time for the appointment when baby will not be ravenously hungry. Also, change the baby’s diaper prior to starting. Clearly, there’s flexibility in stopping to change a baby’s diaper, but having them ready to go helps us make better use of your investment and our time together.
5. If your consult will involve pumping, bottlefeeding, or possible suck-training, make sure to have pump parts, bottles and pacifiers washed and ready to go to cut down on time of stopping to organize equipment.
6. Have realistic expectations of Internet connectivity and signals, and have additional secure communication platforms downloaded if needed (we’ll send links to you prior to our consult for alternative platforms).
7. At the time of scheduling, be realistic about how much time you will need for your consult. We want to troubleshoot permanently all of your breastfeeding issues, instead of just stabilizing a few of them. While we always allow for an extra half hour of time in case it’s needed (see homepage for rates when consults go longer) we see families back-to-back and for scheduling reasons, we appreciate knowing beforehand how long our consults will be.
8. Likely the most important tip for preparing for your virtual consult: Complete the e-intake forms in the client portal we will email you access to once we accept your appointment reservation. Completing these forms well before our appointment time helps sooooo much in making sure we use our time together wisely.
BONUS TIP: Jot down your questions!
Whether you schedule with us or another virtual lactation consultant, we hope these tips for preparing for your virtual consult help you have a wonderfully productive session!