How to Prepare

When scheduling, please know:

  • If you have a breastpump, please bring it and your parts to the appointment.
  • Please review our Cancellation Policy.
  • For office visits, we strongly recommend arriving 20 minutes early* to allow for adequate time to park and complete your intake forms.
  • If you are scheduled for a home visit, please be aware that your appointment time is approximate. Please allow up to an hour for travel time.

How to prepare for your consultation

We look forward to working with you and your baby as your breastfeeding story unfolds.  Our time together can be a turning point in the story. These mother-tested ideas can help you get the most from your consultation with the Breastfeeding Center:


Feed Your Baby (but not too much!)

If we want to work together through a full feeding, the little one should be ready to eat.   It’s a balancing act  —  a hungry, stressed baby, who’s been crying, might not have the energy or patience to feed well. But a baby fed amply right before the consult may say “no, thank you.”

A substantial feeding about two hours before our consultation might help a baby wait for us (with just a little comfort nursing if needed).  Holding a baby skin-to-skin, just in a diaper, with a blanket over the team if needed, conserves a baby’s energy and gets him or her ready to feed. If a baby is restless right before the consult,  a partner or helper who doesn’t smell deliciously of milk may have more luck in keeping a baby settled for the last few minutes.

Feed Yourself

Sure, it’s hectic with a baby in the house, but try to eat nutritiously and drink fluids before our consultation so you feel at your best. (This suggestion carries through your entire breastfeeding relationship!)

Think About Who You Want to Attend the Consult

We’re happy to include anyone that *you* want to be there. That includes partners, grandparents, great-grandparents, other family members, friends, and children.

Have Your Breastfeeding Tools Handy — including any supplements currently being used

The breasts and the baby are the real essentials!  But have ready any breastfeeding tools you‘re currently using  — nipple shield, supplementer, pump, etc. The consultant will have additional supplies if needed. If you are supplementing , please have pumped milk or formula available,  in case we need to woo along a frantic baby, or demonstrate various supplementing methods to support breastfeeding

Contact Your Insurance Company to See if They Cover Our Services

Families have long been paying for lactation consults out of pocket — and will often tell you that, amid all the baby-related expenses, it was money well spent.  But, thanks to the Affordable Care Act,  your insurance company is now obligated to provide for lactation services and products– but  individual insurance companies are still working out the details. If an IBCLC is out of network, the policyholder will pay for the services, then seek reimbursement.  The Center will provide a “superbill” with necessary diagnostic codes. Don’t be discouraged if the first  insurance company agent you get on the phone says they don‘t cover services — that‘s the default answer when an insurance staffer is unfamiliar with the new ACA laws.  But more of our clients are receiving reimbursement, if all the proper paperwork is submitted.  Let us know if we can help by providing you with templates for an appeal, or a letter of medical necessity.

Let Us Know if Your House is a “Shoes Off” Zone

This is a custom in many homes and we are very happy to remove our shoes if you’d like us to.

Think About Where You’ll Want to Do the Consult

In a home visit, you have a choice from your chairs, sofa or bed while you’re figuring out how you and your baby fit together — and we can move around. When we arrive, we’ll ask  where we can wash our hands, and where you usually nurse, since that’s often a good place to start.

Do Consider Your Pets

We don’t mind pets, if they don’t distract us from our work together.  However, understand that your pet(s) may be extra protective right now with all the changes happening in their environment. If your pet is having “sibling issues” and requires attention, consider getting the pet settled in an area away from where we’re meeting.


Don’t Worry about How You’re Dressed

Make sure that you can easily lift, open, or remove your top for easy nursing — skin-to-skin contact often helps breastfeeding efforts.  For a home visit, you can stay in your pajamas.

Don’t Worry About Taking Care of Us

We are there to take care of you and your family – you don’t need to offer us anything to eat or drink.


Don’t Worry About How Messy Your Home Is

We couldn’t care less about your housekeeping.  (In fact, with a new baby in your life, a bit of disorder might show some good priorities!) All we need is access to a sink so we can wash our hands, and a place where you and your baby are comfortable.

If for any reason you cannot make your visit, please give us a call at 202-293-5182.

See you soon!