Monday, February 1, 2010

LC update

I haven't posted about my LC training lately, although the pressure is starting to build on that front! I'm starting to realize how intense this whole "train-in-one-year" thing is. My class is starting a study group to begin preparing for the exam already, realizing that July isn't as far away as we think.

The LCs that we're training with have also begun to turn more responsibility over to us. Last week I did one consult supervised and one almost totally by myself. Both were, of course, simple consults. The first was just fixing a minor latch problem - the mom had suffered through weeks of sore nipples with her first baby, and it was so nice to be able to explain to her that this was not normal, fix the latch, and hear her say "That feels so much better!" The second was mostly just education of a family about how babies are usually not big eaters in the first 24 hours. I also tried to help them get the baby to latch on, because they were so eager to get her eating, but of course she just looked at us like we were crazy. Why were we bothering her? She was busy sleeping! Still, it was good practice.

I am already sensing the need to rein in the ol' talking. I realize it as soon as I leave the room, or even sometimes while I'm still talking: too much information, too many ways to say the same thing, too fast. My goal for this week is to take a deep breath, speak slowly, and pick no more than 2-3 things that I really want to communicate over the course of the day (for example: 1) your baby should wake up to eat soon; 2) keep offering her the breast every 2-3 hours.)

Skills I am getting better at: slipping that little supplementer tube in the corner of the baby's mouth, being confident about identifying and fixing the latch. Skills I am inexplicably getting worse at: setting someone up to use the football hold. What's up with that? As with everything else, I think I'm overthinking it (also, there are never enough pillows at the hospital).

Exciting new project (because I didn't have enough already?): helping a local LC start a new group lactation visit. I am super excited about getting to watch her work/assist her, and about the prospect of helping with this group. I hope we can recruit people to come. She's applied for a grant to do some evaluation of its effectiveness so I'm also helping with some of the logistics for that.

I've been thinking about setting up some other observation visits with other LCs but I'm hesitant to do it in any large-scale way. Every time I start over with a new person, it's a lot of observation so I can learn how they do it and so they can get to trust me. The way I'm feeling right now, I can learn a lot from watching any LC, but I also want to focus my time on practice. You can only observe so much before you just need to start getting hands-on and realize all the other stuff you need to learn. Even after I take the exam, I'd love to shadow LCs I admire, or who have skills that I want to gain. But I also feel like when I take the exam, I should feel like I'm at a place where I am comfortable managing a case from start to finish, and I can't get that by starting over and over with new people.

So that's where it's at right now! I'm almost excited to start studying for the exam. That should tell you how much I love this stuff...


Anthro Doula said...

Ooh is the LC training a regular part of your MCH studies or something additional that you chose?
I would LOVE to do that!

Rebecca said...

Not at ALL a part of regular MCH studies! It is an additional training program that was just started this year, kind of in our department. We're lucky enough to be doing it for free this year, because there will be a fee for next year's students (although it will still pretty cheap for LC training!) It is pretty awesome to get a chance to do's been a dream of mine for about 5 years.