Breastfeeding is good for your baby. We all know that.
But it isn’t always easy.
I’ve breastfed all three of my kids and I have overwhelmingly positive memories. But we’ve also been through mastitis, blocked ducts, reflux, tongue tie, allergies, torticollis (my kid’s neck was deformed so he could only feed on one side), thrush and more.
Yes, I’m not new to breastfeeding, but it’s different every time round and for every child I’ve sought out professional help.
How it works – in advance
Consultations last two hours and take place in your home (within the Santiago region). The initial two hour consultation is charged at $75,000 CLP and any follow up appointments (if necessary) are charged at $45,000 CLP for one hour.
You’ll need to pay this fee a minimum of 48 hours in advance, and also fill out a lengthy questionnaire of about twenty questions, detailing everything about your baby’s birth, current medical status, your diet, your family’s medical history and more.
An extensive email lists everything you need to know in advance. In this I was asked to try not to feed Annabelle for a couple of hours prior to the consultation so Nathalie could see how she fed.
The only other ‘rules’ are to keep pets out of the way, to have your milk pump ready if you habitually use one and my favourite – not to clean the house or prepare anything in advance. After all, you’re the mother of a baby facing breastfeeding issues, you’re not entertaining.
How it works – on the day
Relax Expaters, you can converse in English, Spanish or French (Nathalie is French Canadian by birth).
She brings everything necessary, including weighing scales and documentation. The only thing she asked of me was a sink to wash her hands.
The two hours went by in a flash, with Nathalie discussing everything about my baby in great detail. Her weight was logged, her vitamins, her height…
She also inspected her mouth, checking that she was sucking correctly, that her tongue tie revision was healing correctly. She checked over her full body even. Then when Annabelle needed to be fed, she checked her latch and positioning.
Everything was explained to me clearly, without the jargon.
In our case, I’d been concerned about Annabelle having diarrhea and a clicking sound when she feeds despite having her tongue tie sorted. My second child has allergies and I’m just not sure if Annabelle has the same. I also cosleep with Annabelle and wanted some tips on sleeping safe.
Nathalie cut to the chase. Annabelle’s tongue clicking is normal and just the way she now feeds. She was totally non judgmental about cosleeping and gave tips on sleeping soundly together.
For Annabelle’s suspected allergies, I’d previously been put on a totally wacky elimination diet that made no sense (cut out avocado and berries, but continue with wheat, eggs, fish and nuts???) Nathalie agreed it seemed silly and put me in touch with a paedriatric gastroentrologist.
Qualified and connected
Here’s the best bit for me. Nathalie is a certified lactaction consultant and is qualified to her eyeballs. This is why I looked her up. I’ve seen some lovely, but utterly useless consultants in my time and Nathalie isn’t one of them. She’s able to diagnose rather complex issues, such as difficult to spot tongue ties and medical issues. If she’s unsure, she’s well connected and will put you in touch with the right specialist.
I mentioned to my paediatrician that I’d been to see her. ‘Oh yes, Nathalie, she’s very good’. Several friends said the same.
Unfortunately everyone has a view about breastfeeding, although some are more qualified to give it than others.
Last week, someone blamed my recent bout of pneumonia on my breastfeeding. I’m going to ignore this person’s advice and go with Nathalie.
Need to know:
Consultation take place in your home in Santiago and cost $75,000 for an initial two hour session. One hour follow up appointments (if required, we didn’t need one) are charged at $45,000.