We’re happy to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week interviewing Kansas City’s newest private practice IBCLC®.
Kay Miller of Heaven Sent Support provides lactation consultant services, breastfeeding support and classes, doula services, and childbirth classes for families in the Kansas City metro area. She is a nurse, an IBCLC®/RLC®, and is certified as a doula, childbirth educator, lactation educator, and teen educator with CAPPA (www.cappa.net). Kay has been working with KC area families for almost 20 years.
Wbkc: Hi, Kay! Thanks for sitting down with Wwlcome Baby KC. You’re a wealth of knowledge about breastfeeding! How did you become interested in breastfeeding support?
Kay: I found I really could have used breastfeeding support myself as a new mom. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any. I didn’t want other moms to struggle like I did, and not have any support. As I learned more about supporting families through birth, I really enjoyed learning more about breastfeeding. While the families may have been well prepared for their birth experience, I recognized that these families were generally lacking education an d support for breastfeeding. I wanted to fill that gap, helping families get breastfeeding off to a great start and meet their breastfeeding goals.
Wbkc: You recently added IBCLC® to your credentials. …big congratulations! What is an IBCLC®? How does that differ from other lactation support persons?
“I chose to take Kay Miller’s Breastfeeding Educator training to learn the best ways to help nursing moms. I left the training with knowledge about the physiology of the breast, how to best aid mothers in their journey, and a great deal of confidence necessary to deliver my newfound skills.” ~ Laurin Adams
Kay: Thank you! An IBCLC® (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant™) is a heath care provider that specializes in breastfeeding. While other breastfeeding professionals/support people can offer basic education and very basic support, the IBCLC® can offer more clinical support and assessment.
Wbkc: How did you start your path to IBCLC®?
Kay: After I started learning more about lactation, I decided to become a Certified Lactation Educator™ (CLE®) with CAPPA. I knew that was just a stepping stone, as I really desired to offer even more by earning the IBCLC® credentials. It took a long time, but I finally completed the extensive requirements to be eligible to sit for the exam, received a passing score, and earned the honor of adding the IBCLC® credentials to my name.
Wbkc: What breastfeeding support services do you offer?
Kay: I offer prenatal consultations and classes, so that families can get breastfeeding off to a great start. I offer private, in home breastfeeding consultations after baby is born. I’ve also provided breastfeeding consults while mom and baby were still in the hospital. I also provide breastfeeding classes in the postpartum period as well.
Wbkc: what sorts of topics do you cover in a breastfeeding class?
Kay: In the prenatal classes, we really focus on getting breastfeeding off to a great start. We talk about doing lots of skin to skin contact, mom’s supply, following baby’s cues, how to know baby is getting enough breastmilk, and more. We talk a lot about what to expect and what’s normal, as most families just don’t know what breastfeeding should look like. We also discuss when and where to find support. In the postpartum classes, we talk about breastfeeding past those first few weeks. Since many moms are planning to pump, we also discuss pumping and storing milk.
Wbkc: What does an in person consult look like? What sort of things might a breastfeeding mother need help with?
Kay: Most of my consults are with families who have recently come home from the hospital or birth center. Things may have gone well in the facility, but now that they are home, nothing seems to be going right, and they are overwhelmed and just don’t know what to do. So, they get on Google to search for help, and find me. I can generally see the family within 24 hours. These families usually need help with positioning and latch, lots of education, and lots and lots (and LOTS!) of encouragement.
WBKC : What tips do you have before a home visit?
Kay: First of all, don’t clean your house for me! I don’t care what your house looks like–really. I’d much rather you spend that time skin to skin with baby before I arrive, to help everyone be calm and ready to work when I arrive. The other big thing that I stress to families is to expect that things will “magically” seem to go better when I’m there. But they will also continue to improve even after I leave!
Wbkc: If a woman wants to prepare for a good breastfeeding relationship, what should she do?
Kay: Build her support system, attend breastfeeding groups, and attend a breastfeeding class. Also, know where to go for further support.
From a mother who worked with Kay for breastfeeding support:
I could not have breastfed my son successfully without Kay’s ongoing support. When everyone else was telling me to give up, she didn’t. Every time I considered quitting, I thought about her and all the encouraging words she has said to me, and I kept pushing on. Kay gave me the strength I needed to keep going. She will always have a special place in our hearts! ~Brooke and William
Wbkc: Another service you offer is CLE® training…what is a CLE®?
Kay: A CLE® is a Certified Lactation Educator with CAPPA. A CLE® provides education and very basic breastfeeding support for families. They have a strong scope of practice that they must abide by, which can be found here: http://www.cappa.net/lactation-educator
Wbkc : Who is the CLE® training a good fit for?
Kay: It’s helpful for all kinds of breastfeeding supporters. Peer counselors like La Leche Leaders or WIC professionals, birth and postpartum doulas, midwives, nurses, chiropractors, birth educators…basically anyone who wishes to support breastfeeding families can benefit from the training.
Wbkc : What does the training entail?
Kay: The training is over 3 days, a full 24+ hours of class time. There’s lecture, but we also play games, do activities, watch videos, have group discussion, and more. I try to make it as interactive and fun as possible! It’s the first step towards certification as a CLE® with CAPPA. The other certification steps can be found here: http://www.cappa.net/lactation-educator
Wbkc : What kind of services can a CLE® offer after completing certification?
Kay: A CLE® can teach breastfeeding classes to families or in the community, help with support groups, work in WIC or other peer counselor positions, work a breastfeeding warm line, work at pump rental stations, enhance other services they already offer families, teach community…there are just so many options! It all depends on what the educator might want to do with it. They can offer basic support within their scope of practice, then must refer on to an IBCLC® and/or another health care provider for anything outside of that scope.
Wbkc: When are your upcoming trainings?
Kay: September 26-28 and November 10-12, both here in the Kansas City area.
Wbkc : Are you offering a tuition special for World Breastfeeding week?
Kay: Yes! For WBW, I’m offering $50 off tuition for the upcoming September training only. http://www.heavensentsupport.com/lactation-educator-training-registration.html. For WBKC readers, I will extend that special another week, through August 14th.
WBKC talked to a graduate of Kay Miller’s Certified Lacation Educator Training. Here’s what they had to say:
“I enjoyed Kay’s class so much! She is such an engaging and knowledgeable teacher which made the class so much fun. I felt so much more confident and fired up to share all the wonderful things I learned in class with others.” ~ Nicole in Kansas