As an IBCLC I have a tool kit with me to hopefully make my job easier and provide you with the support you need now rather than having to send you on your way with a list of things to get having not get very far and probably feeling like you are climbing a mountain (I know I climbed Mt Kenya. NEVER again it was tough)
My bag contains:
Firstly, we have the knitted stuff. This helps a lot for me to visually show you what I’m talking about or how to achieve something. The knitted nappy there is the different types of baby poo you can expect from birth onwards and is helpful to show where you are at. It takes a while as parents for us to elaborate about poo but by about 6 weeks you become pretty ace at describing everything until one day your child eats banana and there black streaks in the poo and you panic your child might have something seriously wrong or they’ve eaten a crayon with a great effect too and you go to panic stations until you’ve traced back every last step since the last bowel moment! The knitted boobs should help me to show you what I’m talking about and stop me from instinctively grabbing my own breasts to indicate what I mean by breast compressions or in general talking about many different things. I will probably still go for my own breast and then remark on how I kitted the breast to stop that happening but having been a breastfeeding mum myself it ends up feeling like normal!
Then, we have the tubes, syringes, manual pump, nipple shields, gloves, cups and tape. I hope to not need to use these much at all but they are part of my kit for those situations where more milk might be needed or a tool will help things along to get a baby back to the breast or I might have to take an assessment of baby in their mouth with gloves on. This bit of my bag can seem a bit daunting but I’m confident with why each bit is in there and over time I might decide I don’t need all of these bits but even if I use them only to demonstrate the possibilities to give a mother hope then it was worth it.
Next, we have the paper side of the bag, this section of it includes a folder that I give each client within it there is a recording chart booklet that logs all the needed details for an in-depth assessment and a log of pretty much everything we need to achieve the end goal of ultimately helping you the mother/ parent to achieve your goals, local breastfeeding information and leaflets. I’ve also got some books with me for reference. Sucking skills and the wonderful (signed) Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple book (that my husband bought me for Christmas a few years ago nawwww!).
At the back is the SUM UP card reader machine that means making payments for consultations is so much easier for everyone! Get yours here with a discount! CLICK ME
I’ve also got log sheets for support group help with families so I have a log of who I’ve supported in my role as an IBCLC.
I have some pens in purple because, why not? My IBCLC certification card, name badge and most importantly a note that came with a big bunch of balloons from my husband upon passing my IBCLC exam. I like to keep things like this, perhaps as a good luck token and to feel like I’ve got support with me, for some reason its reassuring to me!
Here I’ve got some note books, obviously breast ones being the Boob Lady demands a certain form of note book!! There’s a WHO code book stashed away in here too for those occasions where it might be helpful (I will be sure to notify everyone when that actually happens) Some business cards and, in the back of this image in that folder is printed information that I can refer to if needed.
In a separate bag I have my Marsden scales, these are accurate to 2g so I can do a test weigh with these to see if adequate milk transfer is occurring. I already have a number of friends who are either pregnant or thinking about it asking me if they can get their baby weighed with me because of these. Having the option for this tool is helpful and hopefully can provide some reassurance at times to families. They are another part of my multi tool kit and skills approach.
I’m awaiting delivery of a special model to help demonstrating latching a baby on so will make a new blog post about that hopefully and I expect to update or probably even re write this one over the years. I’d also love to add a full pack of La Leche League GB information sheets to my toolbox as they are hugely valuable asset.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the tour of my bag, for me it’s very exciting because it is a part of a puzzle that includes me helping mothers to meet their feeding goals.
See you in the next blog,
The Boob Lady