interview with a lactation consultant in Portland, Oregon

I would like to introduce you to Melissa Cole IBCLC, RLC, one of the best Lactation Consultants in Portland, Oregon!
She was tremendously helpful to me on two different occasions.  First, when my daughter was 3 months old, crying a lot and not settling in well to nurse.  And then again the following winter, when I had a bad bout of mastitis.   So many of us face breastfeeding challenges at one time or another, and getting the right support and information can make all the difference.
Hi Melissa, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a board certified lactation consultant, neonatal oral-motor assessment professional and wellness clinician in private practice. I have been passionate about providing comprehensive, holistic lactation care and education to parents and healthcare professionals for over a decade.   I am an adjunct professor at Birthingway College of Midwifery in Portland, OR where I teach advanced clinical lactation skills.  I am active with several lactation and health care professional associations including the International Affiliation of Tongue-Tie Professionals.

When not helping mothers and babies, I can probably be found lecturing, researching, writing, or attending a conference; I really am passionate about health and lactation, to say the least! I can also be found spending time with my family, gardening, working with herbs, camping, and sewing. I have three children ages 11, 8, and 5.  I live in Vancouver, Washington and my office is in NW Portland.

How do you work with women during the postpartum time?

I only see one family at a time in an unhurried environment and make house calls when needed. Having my own process allows me to provide continuity and high-quality, efficient care. Clients appreciate that they can reach me whenever questions or concerns arise.  I understand that feeding challenges are emotional and don’t always happen Mon-Fri 9-5!  Prompt, personalized, mindful care is my goal.

Each initial consultation begins with getting to know each other a bit. We will review your health and feeding history and explore the current issues you are experiencing. Depending on the issue at hand, I will gently examine you and/or your baby. You will be invited to feed your baby during the appointment so that, together, we can see what is happening.  After we assess the situation, we will develop a written care plan with suggestions for improving whatever feeding issues you may be having. You are encouraged to ask questions and share concerns. I provide you with referrals to other health care providers if necessary. A full report will be sent to the other members of your health care team when necessary. I strongly encourage all clients to keep in touch until they feel fully confident that their problems are resolved and they are enjoying feedings!  Our goal is always to uncover the root cause of the feeding issue and make a targeted plan that works for you.  Oftentimes, supportive therapies to improve feeding success are needed, these include oral motor work, craniosacral therapy, personalized herbal remedies, and nutritional guidance.

While I primarily focus on maternal and child health and feeding concerns, I also do see patients of all ages interested in herbal and overall wellness support.
My philosophy with Luna Lactation & Wellness is committed to providing personalized, comprehensive support for all phases of lactation and beyond. I view lactation as a holistic process and respect each family’s unique health care beliefs. I strive to provide nurturing, clinical care so that each family can define their own feeding and wellness goals.

And finally, what would message would you like to send out to all postpartum women?

While breastfeeding is natural, it is not always easy! If you are having feeding concerns, please reach out for nurturing support until you feel satisfied with how things are going. There are many ways to feed and love a baby and an experienced IBCLC can help you define your feeding goals and success.

Thank you, Melissa!

You can reach Melissa Cole at Luna Lactation and Wellness or by calling her at 360.830.6455

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