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Virtual Breastfeeding Help 

Little Bear Lactation is working with The Lactation Network, Tricare East, and Aetna to increase access to virtual lactation care across America. Learn More about insurance covered virtual lactation care here!

Struggling with breastfeeding? Little Bear Lactation provides online breastfeeding support and virtual lactation consults across America for the following breastfeeding concerns, and more! 

  • Latch Pain 

  • Inverted Nipples 

  • Milk Supply Concerns (low supply / oversupply" 

  • Mastitis Management 

  • Tongue & Lip Tie Management  

  • Slow Weight Gain 

  • Supplementing  

  • Starting Solids 

  • Weaning 

  • Breast Pumping 

Online Lactation Consults

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What is a virtual lactation consultant?

A virtual lactation consultant is an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) who provides lactation care, education, and guidance virtually using a HIPAA compliant telehealth platform. The concept of virtual lactation care is not new, but options for increasing access to this service skyrocketed in the last 4 years. 

What services are provided by online lactation consultants? 

Typically, online lactation consultants will provide prenatal services (including live breastfeeding classes, pre-recorded breastfeeding classes, and private prenatal consultations). Despite popular belief, lactation consultants also provide postpartum lactation support virtually, including oral function assessments, breast health assessments, milk supply management guidance, pump fitting, bottle feeding support, and more! 

How can you help me breastfeed virtually? 

Whether I'm in your home physically, or via computer screen, the methods I use to teach you are the same. Virtual care puts a stronger emphasis on the parent's role in examination. While this can seem daunting, it's actually the best way to put power and control back in the parents' hands. For example, the lactation consultant will guide the parent through performing an oral examination, and the parent will not only communicate what she sees/feels in the baby's mouth, but gets to see and feel any possible abnormalities first hand. This helps the parent to better understand structural concerns and monitor improvement. In this way, the parent is the eyes, ears, and hands, and the lactation consultant helps identify and orient the puzzle pieces.

Does insurance cover online lactation care? 


Sometimes!! It really depends on your specific plan. What I can say is that in most cases, as long as the telehealth lactation care is provided live and via a video streaming platform, insurance that covers lactation care, will cover online lactation care. Sometimes, however, your insurance will do that thing insurance companies do... and make it confusing or difficult! In these situations parents have the option of self-pay and recieving a superbill to submit to their insurance company for possible reimbursement. 

What is the flow of a virtual lactation consult like? 

 

The process of an online breastfeeding support visit is the same as in-person. We start by reviewing medical, social, birth, and breastfeeding history for both mom and baby. Then we work through an oral assessment, a feeding assessment, and a breast assessment as indicated. If you have pumping questions we can address those as well. The main difference is that sometimes after a virtual consultation, depending on your baby's situation, I will request specific videos of you performing an assessment on your baby. Sometimes these need to be performed with another adult. After your visit is over and you submit the requested media files (which are stored safely on a HIPAA compliant platform), you will receive a copy of your breastfeeding care plan! 

Does my baby need to be present for a virtual lactation consultant appointment? 
In most cases, yes. However, flexibility is key. I find that virtual appointments tend to run best if we can start the call without baby while we review history, then bring in baby for assessments and feedings. This helps mom to be more focused with the hands on needs of virtual care situations. 

 


Is there anything I need to do to prepare for a virtual lactation visit? 


Some things that you should know about making virtual lactation appointments easier are as follows: 

  • Ensure you have good lighting. Natural light is best when possible, but be mindful to avoid back lighting.  

  • Any device usually works fine, but a laptop /computer or mobile device *with a stand/tripod* tends to be best. This is because holding your phone can make it difficult to handle baby, feeding, and the phone angles! 

  • Please ensure you have a quality internet connection and you are not in a space with background noise. Occasional interruptions are understandable (heck, I might have them too!). But loud children, televisions, talking adults, etc in the background make it difficult to provide quality care. 

  • Please make sure you complete all of your intake paperwork prior to the visit! 

Can you provide virtual lactation care to anyone? 

 

Some providers that offer telehealth services are only allowed to provide those services if the client resides in a specific state. Currently, IBCLCs can provide online lactation care to families all over the world, regardless of their location. 
 

book your online lactation consultant appointment now! 

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