A lactation consultant can be such an important piece of a successful breastfeeding journey. Successful can mean so many different things to different people so that great thing about hiring an LC is that you can set the goals you want for your family and work to meet them. Whether it’s latching issues, weight gain issues, bottle feeding issues – all of these are things that an OKC lactation consultant or counselor can help you get to the root issues with.
I have found LC’s to be so helpful for answering questions while breastfeeding. Especially as a new mom – there are so many questions about feeding and what is right. Having an experienced and knowledge lactation counselor can make the journey so much smoother! I highly recommend hiring one sooner rather than later. Don’t worry about it wasting money – it will help
What is a lactation consultant?
A lactation counselor is one who is trained in assessing and providing support for women during lactation. They must be competent in many things – assessment of breastfeeding dyads, able to assess and get to the root of breastfeeding difficulties, composition of human milk, helping mothers choose their goals for feeding and so much more.
Is there a difference between lactation consultant and a lactation counselor?
The main difference really comes down to specifics on what education courses they have taken, experience, certifications and health science education. Often IBCLC come from a more clinical background and whereas lactation counselors are usually more from hands on experience and working in a holistic setting. They both still do lots of training to serve their mothers.
But both can get certifications for their skills. A few different certifications they can receive:
CLC Certifications – As the Center for Breastfeeding says, “CLC certification means that a person has received training and competency verification in breastfeeding and human lactation support, including assessing the latching and feeding process, providing corrective interventions, counseling mothers, understanding and applying knowledge of milk production including in special circumstances and other commonly encountered situations.”
International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners – an international credentialing body whose mission is to serve the global public interest by advancing professional practice in lactation consultation and support through credentialing.
Related Read: 7 best birth doulas in OKC
other ways to receive lactation support in OKC
There are several different free opportunities within the metro Oklahoma City area where you can get support for your feeding journey and connect with other mamas. These are everything from meet ups by the Le Leche League to meet ups hosted by local hospitals.
Also do not forget the importance of other providers in your lactation journey. Chiropractors are a incredible help for helping babies to relax and release tension in their bodies. Another key person to involve is a CFST – Hayley of Bravo Therapy Solutions is someone to for sure have on your feeding team! (Check out her interview here!)
Related Read: What to pack in your hospital bag for having a baby
The best OKC Lactation Consultants
Below you will find my list of the best postpartum doulas in OKC that serve mamas and their families in the great area. I personally reached out to these doulas, asked them questions, and have provided the answers of those that replied below. I have listed them in random order with no specific preference given. Don’t be afraid if one option doesn’t feel right to try another option!
Ashley – Peaceful Roots Doula
What Services Do You Provide as an IBCLC?
As an IBCLC I provide lactation education and support from prenatal to weaning. My services are hands on, family centered that could look like but are not limited to lactation education, milk management, special feeding support with tools, oral restriction evaluation and support, advocating for workplace pumping support, providing personalized feeding plans and resources.
When should you hire an LC? What does hiring an LC look like?
You should hire an IBCLC when you are pregnant or if concerns arise from slow infant weight gain, sore or cracked/bleeding nipples, clogged ducts, mastitis, milk supply concerns, struggling with nursing positions or questions about pumping. Hiring an IBCLC looks like educating yourself on the IBCLC’s in your local area, getting your insurance approval of benefits and scheduling a consult. Consultations vary in what they look like depending on the time of consultation and the need.
Does insurance pay for an LC?
Yes! The Lactation Network is a 3rd party that handles many of the local IBCLC insurance claims and you can find the link on our websites. A few take Tricare and Aetna which are not connected with The Lactation Network. You are covered through Medicaid with some IBCLC.
Brianna Lovelace – Wild Beginnings Birth
What services do you offer as a doula and lactation counselor?
Birth and postpartum support, prenatal and postpartum lactation appts, babywearing classes
What got you started doing lactation services?
I’ve always known that I would breastfeed my babies. When I had my second baby, we had some significant breastfeeding difficulties. I was incredibly thankful for the support of the lactation consultants who helped us and again my interest was sparked. I started working for a non-profit, For The Village, who saw the value in having trained lactation professionals. They sent me through my CertifiedBreastfeeding Specialist training in 2021 and I’ve been supporting families in this capacity ever since.
What is a lactation counselor?
A lactation counselor is someone trained to assess and support an effective breastfeeding relationship. In addition to breastfeeding my four children, I went through a 52+ hour training covering everything from the biological processes of breastfeeding to identifying and troubleshooting common breastfeeding issues and more.
When should you hire an LC? what does hiring an LC look like?
Hiring an LC prenatally can help families feel knowledgeable and confident before starting their breastfeeding journey. It can also help us build rapport and establish a history for if any issues come up postpartum.
What are some of the reasons people have loved hiring you?
My clients are always appreciative of the education and emotional support they receive from me. I have a plethora of resources that I provide people to help them make informed choices and they know that I fully support their choices no matter what.
Your Feeding Friend LLC
Whether it is a breast pump, a bottle or the use of other feeding devices, Brittany BSN, RN, IBCLC is there to guide you on your feeding journey. From the immediate postpartum period to introducing solids or weaning, she is there to help. She can provide virtual feeding or lactation support wherever you are in the world. For those in Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas, she can provide in-person support at your hospital of choice, in your home or virtually. Having an certified lactation counselor on your side can enable your breastmilk journey to be so much more smooth!
Brittany does currently accept most PPO plans with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Anthem, UnitedHealthcare, and Cigna insurance plans through The Lactation Network and is an In-Network Provider for Tricare East and Aetna.
OKC Lactation Clinic
The Oklahoma City Lactation Clinic run by IBCLC Jessica Cheatwood offers services and products for your postpartum journey. Breastfeeding classes can be taken before baby arrives. Then consultant services are offered by Jessica as well as many other products you can purchase for your feeding and pumping journey.
Free OKC lactation services
Thrive Mama Collective – offers a once a month meet up for mamas to connect, do weighted feeds and asked a certified counselor questions. Check out their FB page to stay up to date on events. They do also have a scale in their shop you can pop in for weighted feeds.
Integris Milk Bar – This is a free group support for parents at a few different locations in OKC. Come get support from a laction consultant, do a free weighted feed and connect with other parents.
Le Leche Legue – Le Lache league is a parent to parent support group for breastfeeding families. They offer trainings, support and meetings led by volunteers trained to help you in your journey!
Wherever you are in your breastfeeding journey, I hope you can meet your goals and get support however you need it.