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Breastfeeding Counsellor - worth the money?

(14 Posts)
Itsaplayonwords Mon 04-Jul-16 08:54:35

I'm struggling to get my premature baby exclusively breastfeeding and people have suggested I contact a breastfeeding counsellor. From a quick google they seem fairly expensive. I'd more than happily pay any amount to get my daughter breastfeeding but of course there are no guarantees.

Does anyone have any experience with bfing counsellors? Is it worth the money?

Orsono Mon 04-Jul-16 09:59:05

I used one and I'm glad I did. In my case, I she gave a different opinion to the many other advisors I saw, and it was her advice (to get a tongue tie cut, in our case) that led to breastfeeding finally working right, so it was definitely worth the money.

I think when you have long term breastfeeding issues, it's important to get as much advice from different sources as you can to find the help that works for you, because there's a wide range of opinion and experience out there.

Also, the advantage of a consultant, apart from their experience, is that they visit and watch you at home in a one to one session, which is where you usually feed, rather than the environment of a clinic or group with strange chairs, lots of noise etc. I always found that feeding in a group or clinic wasn't the same as feeding at home, and it was often hard to replicate advice when we were at home.

suit2845321oie Mon 04-Jul-16 10:10:30

Worth every penny. I didn't manage to BF my first 2. I had a BF counsellor come over after the birth of #3, she was unbelievably helpful and I EBF for 6 months

Supercali3228 Mon 04-Jul-16 10:47:04

Just rushing out the door but had to post- in my opinion it is worth every penny! Kept me breastfeeding my daughter and we are now 6 months in.
I really wanted to breastfeed but we were struggling despite midwife, bf cafe etc telling me it was fine my baby was unhappy and losing weight...we went through thrush and blocked ducts and I found a BF counsellor online and cried on her over the phone, she was brilliant, came out that week and watched a whole feed (which no one else had done), told me what the problem was (tongue tie) and gave me a hug and told me I was doing well!!
If I hadn't have called her I know I would have been on formula by now and I'm so pleased I am able to keep feeding my lovely daughter. Do it, get the credit card out is my advice!!
All the best, you sound determined, I know you will get there and I hope you can link up with a lovely helpful person like I had!! Xx

bigmamapeach Mon 04-Jul-16 15:58:38

In some areas there are local drop ins where you can see someone experienced for free - you can google or ask midwives, Hv, or call childrens centre to find out provision in your area. You can also call one of the national helplines and they can help find out what is available. Good luck, congrats on baby; hope things improve and you get support you need. If you pay directly; look for ibclc qualification as that would certify the training. Ibclc uk website has list of U.K. People with this cerification by area.

WhoKnewReally Mon 04-Jul-16 16:12:02

I breastfed but never felt it was working well and relied on formula extras from top up bottles and cup feeding until we got the right person to observe.

As soon as she observed she changed her advice from the standard taught stuff (she actually led the pregnancy bf training course locally which I attended). So anyway she changed the positioning advice , then feeding took off and we dropped the top up bottles quickly thereafter.

I hope you get good advice but in my experience a personal take on the theory was required.

(For the record holding DS tummy to mummy did not work well because my 'anatomy' as she described it meant he needed to be more looking up! Yes you get it droopy that's me blush)

OreosOreosOreos Mon 04-Jul-16 16:13:56

Definitely look at local groups first - I'm a peer supporter and all of our groups have a professional breastfeeding counsellor in attendance, and they usually have good relationships with the local hospital and can make referrals for tongue tie etc.

FuzzyOwl Mon 04-Jul-16 16:21:47

Google your local NCT website (even if you aren't a member) because lots will have BF counsellors that will help you for free. If your local NCT group doesnng have anything, try groups slightly further away. Good luck.

hazelnutlatte Tue 05-Jul-16 14:44:21

Have you asked your health visitor if there is anyone you can see? Where I live the health visiting team employ a breastfeeding specialist, when I was struggling with painful feeding she visited me a few times and really helped.

HappyHeart87 Tue 05-Jul-16 14:50:12

Are you in the UK? Our local La Leche League has very highly qualified volunteers who appear to do home visits & support for no charge. That's NE England which I believe is one of the largest & best resourced groups. Might be worth a Facebook search.

Good on you with bfing your premmie! It can be done - mine was a 23 weeker who ebf; now weaning but still bf several times daily.

SexPond Tue 05-Jul-16 14:54:26

My IBCLC was £59 for a home visit. She was excellent and diagnosed the tongue tie which saved my BFing.

Compare that cost to the cost of formula: it's what you'd spend on 6 boxes of the stuff. Not to mention bottles, steriliser and other paraphernalia. It's a no brainer.

puddock Tue 05-Jul-16 16:11:18

Second the advice to look at La Leche League. I know our local LLL leader made all the difference to my friend successfully feeding her prem baby.
If you do pay a counsellor make sure she's a proper IBCLC.
Good lucK!

YouCanButImNot Wed 06-Jul-16 13:40:14

What area are you? I'm a breastfeeding support worker and my boss is a ibclc and does home visits within her role in the NHS! Please ask your health visiting team what support is available for you, you may be surprised. But if not and you can afford it definitely get someone to come and see you. Hope you get sorted.

Itsaplayonwords Wed 06-Jul-16 18:54:26

Thank you everyone for your replies. I've been in touch with someone who is a LLL leader and she charges £60 per hour and thinks I should have an initial 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It just seems like a lot of money for something that might not help. It's a gamble I suppose. I haven't checked with the HV but she had previously given me a list of drop in centres so I assume that's the support available around here via the NHS and there isn't anything one to one. I'm in the SE London/Kent area.

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