Help for parents with a new baby

Are you having problems with:
latching your baby
your milk supply
your baby's weight
using a pump
getting enough sleep
recovering from your birth
Do you have questions or concerns about taking care of yourself or your new baby? Are you expecting a new baby and want to learn everything you can before your baby arrives?
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I CAN HELP!!

Virtual support is available anywhere! In-Person support is available for Ames Iowa & surrounding areas including Gilbert, Nevada, Story City, Huxley, Roland, Slater, Colo, Maxwell, Zearing, Boone & more. My office is located in Suite 105 at 328 Main Street in Ames.

Not sure what you need? Let's chat first!

covid-19 & breastfeeding/ lactation Recommendations & Resources

World Health Organization (WHO)

“WHO recommends that mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be encouraged to initiate or continue to breastfeed. Mothers should be counselled that the benefits of breastfeeding substantially outweigh the potential risks for transmission. 

Mother and infant should be enabled to remain together while rooming-in throughout the day and night and to practice skin-to-skin contact, including kangaroo mother care, especially immediately after birth and during establishment of breastfeeding, whether they or their infants have suspected or confirmed COVID-19.”

Breastfeeding and COVID-19

Q & A: Breastfeeding and COVID-19

 

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

“Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. We do not know whether mothers with COVID-19 can transmit the virus via breast milk, but the limited data available suggest this is not likely.

Whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding should be determined by the mother in coordination with her family and healthcare providers.

A mother with confirmed COVID-19 should be counseled to take precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant, including handwashing and wearing a cloth face covering.”

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and Breastfeeding

COVID-19 & Infant Feeding Resources

 

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly supports breastfeeding as the best choice for infant feeding. Several published studies have detected SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in human milk. It is not yet known whether viable, infectious virus is present in human milk nor is it yet established whether protective antibody is found in human milk. In light of the established short- and long-term benefits of breastfeeding, physicians should advocate for and encourage breastfeeding. Postdischarge guidance and education are essential to support families, ensure the health of mothers and infants, and ensure mothers are able to reach their breastfeeding goals.”

Breastfeeding Guidance

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine COVID-19 Statement

Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA)

“If the infant is temporarily separated from mom, provide a dedicated pump that is disinfected after each use per manufacturer’s recommendations. Pump parts should be thoroughly washed after each use per CDC guidelines . Encourage proper hand hygiene before and after each pumping session. The CDC does not recommend disinfecting human milk containers after pumping.

It is unnecessary and unsafe to apply chemical disinfectants to milk storage containers.”

Milk Handling for COVID-19 Positive or Suspected Mothers

CDC Pump Kit Cleaning Guidelines

Eats on Feets Milk Sharing COVID-19 Information

virtual & In-Person support

Lactation support

Get help with latching, using a breast pump, inducing lactation, supplementation, & more so you can meet your goals!

New Baby Care

Learn all about caring for a baby including infant states & stages, safe babywearing, & more so you can find your daily rhythm!

Sleep education

Understand infant sleep, how it changes, & how to sleep safely near one another so both you can your baby can get the rest you need!

With each visit (virtual or in-person in your home or my office on Main Street in Ames) we will discuss how things have been going and your goals. I can observe a feeding and together we will develop a care plan that targets your specific issues. After your visit I will be sure to follow up and you are welcome to call or message me as well. Sometimes additional visit(s) may be needed and that may require additional fee(s). 

Under the Affordable Care Act you can receive reimbursement for lactation services and I will provide you with the necessary documentation. You can also use your Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account. You can find more information about the ACA and your Breastfeeding Benefits from the National Women’s Law Center.

       At each visit (virtual or in-person) I will:

  • check in and listen to you as you share your experiences
  • discuss your goals
  • go over relevant medical history
  • weigh your baby (in-person only)
  • observe a feeding
  • advise about supplementation, if needed
  • offer suggestions for things you have concerns about
  • make a care plan with your help
  • help you get the supplies you need
  • provide evidence-based information
  • connect you with local resources that will be helpful
  • be sure you have documentation for reimbursement
  • keep all of your information confidential
  • support & encourage you to do what feels right
 

Meet Karen

I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), and a trained postpartum doula. For the last 14 years I’ve worked with parents in their homes, in a hospital, as well as a WIC clinic. Helping parents have an easier transition with their babies was inspired by own challenging experiences. After the birth of our first son in 2003 I didn’t realize how hard having a new baby would be. Having postpartum support from a team of IBCLCs and my mom was vital during our babymoon.

I thought I was prepared when our second son was born in 2011 but again, things were much harder than I anticipated and I was fortunate to have a team of midwives, doulas, and lactation professionals to support me. 

In 2005 I trained with Birthways, the oldest doula agency in Chicago, and worked with families in the Chicagoland area for 6 years as a postpartum doula. During that I time I began my lactation training and also volunteered at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor. Here in Iowa I worked as a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for four years at Mid-Iowa Community Action before becoming an IBCLC.

It’s such an honor to help families welcome new babies in their life and I would love to help you welcome your new baby!

“Karen was the best support for me while going through my low milk supply! She helped me through clogged milk ducts, 3 rounds of mastitis, helping me not feel alone, encouraging, and so much love! She is truly amazing. I think the only reason my 2.5 year old and I have a breastfeeding relationship still is from Karen’s help.'”

-Talia, Ames

“Karen has been a huge support throughout our breastfeeding journey! Troubleshooting, advice about pumps, help transitioning to exclusive breastfeeding, and that much needed, ‘Hang in there! You’re doing a great job.'”

– Jennifer, Ames

Virtual Prenatal & Pre-Adoption Classes

After the Birth – A class focused on what you will experience AFTER the birth of your baby; physical recovery, hormonal changes, sleep expectations, & processing your birth.

Preparing for Parenting – A class to gain confidence so you’re ready for when your baby arrives. Learn about communication, conflict resolution, mental health challenges, & how to adjust to life with a baby. 

Life with a Baby A class to learn about infant sleep & development, establishing routines, safe babywearing, what you need to buy, & local community resources.

Breastfeeding; Beyond the Basics – A class that addresses all of the things that make chest/breastfeeding challenging including latching, milk supply, pumping, supplementing, & more. 

Support Groups

Mothering Circle

All mothers are invited to come together to virtually connect, explore issues, deepen intuition, and share their parenting journeys. We will address the needs and concerns of each mother so she can find compassionate support and inspiration.

This is a virtual support group that is held in the comfort of your own home at this time. Previously it was held at Ames Public Library twice a month on Thursday mornings.

Milk Drops

Many parents often have a difficult start to chest/breastfeeding. Sometimes choosing to wean from chest/breastfeeding and pumping can be difficult too. 

Parents are invited to come to this virtual support group to discuss weaning. We will discuss when to wean, strategies for weaning, and how to suppress milk production. Parents will also have a chance to share and process their feelings.   

Training & Certifications

Tethered Oral Tissues Specialty Training, October 2018

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, July 2018

Certified Lactation Counselor, March 2009, re-certified 2012, 2015, 2018

Postpartum Doula Training, February 2006