Lactation and
postpartum services
in San Francisco

Contact Me

What I Do

Complete Pre and Postpartum Care to Moms, Their Partners, and Families

Prenatal Care

Postpartum Care

Groups

    Prenatal Care:
  • Breastfeeding class & Newborn Preparation workshop
  • Private in your home or Group Classes
  • Get ready for baby and parenthood!
    Postpartum Care:
  • In-home Lactation Consultations: 1.5 hours, includes the review of your history, redaction of a plan of care, communication with your other health care providers
  • In-office Lactation Consultations: starting January 2015, office visits will be available at a Whole Family Practice in Noe Valley (Caroline is highly enjoying her collaboration with Dr Swan, pediatrician and MD)
  • Packages of lactation/postpartum doula services: hire Caroline prenatally to ensure her availability, supportive postpartum care, and establish a relationship beforehand
    Groups:
  • Join Caroline New Moms' Circle (6 weeks series, one meeting per week). Because having a new baby can be isolating at times, meet other new moms in a safe and intimate environment to share about your postpartum experience. Contact me for details!

My Philosophy

PREPARING FOR BABY
During pregnancy, a mom and her partner are inevitably inundated by advice regarding the care, health, sleep patterns, and development of the baby-to-be. Classes, books, dvds, friends and family, even strangers on the street, offer a specific perspective about how everything should happen as soon as the baby is out. Virtually no part of the post-partum experience has been left unstudied, or un-monetized. Watch out! These viewpoints don’t consider the two most important elements of this time in life: you and your baby.

In preparation for having your baby, I am able to offer private prenatal sessions in the comfort of your own home. In a direct, clear way we can sit together and discuss every facet of preparation for welcoming you and your baby home, how to optimize the first precious few weeks, baby bonding, breastfeeding preparation, newborn sleep and development, newborn care, even necessary vs. excess baby gear. I’ll answer your questions with an answer tailored to your life and family. In this way I can empower moms to feel confident in their choices during what feels often like an overwhelming time. Being ready means being able to enjoy instead of worry.

french-doula-in-san-francisco

REACHING OUT FOR SUPPORT
As a post-partum doula and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), I get calls every day from mothers wondering why their baby is doing the exact opposite of what the books, classes, and experts from all the prenatal preparation told them to expect. That’s because your baby, with you as his/her parent, has never been done before! You may need help in the adaptation and application of all the methodology running through your head. Prescriptive applications of “standard” or “traditional” techniques for breastfeeding, sleep strategies, and myriad other issues that will arise don’t work in such a sensitive, delicate time. I have a deep well of practical experience to draw on from my years as a postpartum doula, and offer the integration and application of that experience for a healthy, happy family. Plus I am regularly adding to my repertoire in formal and informal education settings, and in collaboration with others in the birthing and family support fields, all so that I may learn and refine the strategies I bring to the varied families I work with. I am your ally in your home.

french-doula-in-san-francisco

GETTING BACK TO BEING YOU
The time immediately following birth is exceptional in every way. It is not a time for judgment – of yourself or by others. During my professional years in France, before moving with my husband to San Francisco, I worked as a licensed psychologist. Not a day goes by now in my post-partum work that I don’t utilize that training in support of women. I try to reconnect them with the energy of who they have always been, acting as a mirror to reflect back the confident, intelligent woman they were, and will feel like again.

Caroline Charpentier-Kerherve

About Me

Originally from a small town, just north of Paris, I completed my Master’s Degree in Psychology (Paris V University - 2002) and was a practicing clinical psychologist before I met, married, and moved with my husband to San Francisco in 2006.

I became interested in doula services after having my daughter in 2008 and I realized the ways in which I needed help as a new mom and was then able to help my friends with their new babies around the same time. It was a very natural extension of my work in psychology to explore such a fundamental area of the human experience. Mother-baby, father-baby, and mother-father dynamics are endlessly fascinating to me, and because of my training, I work confidentially and respectfully of the personal opinions, choices and histories that affect those dynamics. I became a Certified Lactation Educator and Counselor in 2009 (University of California San Diego) and then was trained and certified as a Postpartum Doula through the American Association of Doulas in 2010 (Dona International ).

In early 2012 I gave birth to my son and, going through a new postpartum period myself, I was motivated to continue my education and improve the quality of my services for new moms. I decided to increase my knowledge and experience in breastfeeding by entering the Lactation Consultant training program with UCSD and became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC - 2013) I observed and interacted with over 200 breastfeeding dyads (mom-baby couples) during my training at Kaiser Hospital San Francisco and Day One Support Center San Francisco. My training also gave me the opportunity to observe a wide range of breastfeeding situations and to be trained for response by several very experienced IBCLCs.

I am continuously in awe of the mothers, babies, and families I work with and I am devoted to offering emotional support and practical information to each of them. Having grown up in France, I was raised with a set of principles regarding birthing, child rearing, and family that were very different with respect to norms and values than in the United States. Today, as a mother and professional living in San Francisco, I have the opportunity to take the best practices of the French and integrate them with American customs and the unique needs of each family I work with. There isn’t one right way to raise a baby and happiness and confidence in so doing isn’t dependent on following the methods of a particular culture or trend. It's about assessing what works and what doesn't work for each family, and I integrate a vast body of knowledge from my culture, education, and practical experience to support the unique needs of each of my families. I act as their ally, and can act as such for you, too.

  • Trustline registered
  • CPR certified (Adult, Child & Infant)
  • Vaccinations current

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FAQ

  • continuity of care and attention after leaving the hospital
  • greater breastfeeding success
  • more confidence in parenting abilities
  • easier transition into parenthood
  • less postpartum depression and anxiety reactions
  • better communication between partners
  • faster physical and emotional recovery

There is a tremendous difference, mainly between IBCLCs and all others professionals. IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants) are the premier providers for breastfeeding and human lactation. They are recognized as possessing the only standardized, board certified lactation credential available. Rigorous defined eligibility requirements must be met in order to take the once-yearly certification exam conducted by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners®. Every IBCLC around the world must meet the same criteria to take the exam. Scores of hours of classroom-style instruction, and hundreds of thousands of hours of supervised clinical work solely in human lactation must be completed before one can take the exam. IBCLCs must recertify every 5 years and adhere to the IBCLE Code of Professional Conduct and Scope of Standards of Practice. (E. Brooks)

An IBCLC works in a wide variety of health care settings, including hospitals, pediatric offices, public health clinics, and private practice.

Unfortunately not. In the United States, the medical community cares for a woman vigilantly so long as she is carrying the baby, but once the baby is delivered, the focus of care switches directly to the child’s well being. With the exception of a standard 15-minute follow up visit 6 weeks postpartum, there is no additional support or conversation about the need for proper recuperation and healing for the mother. Which is very different from the care received in many other countries.

While you may receive support from an IBCLC during your hospital stay, the primary difference between what we do in our initial meeting at your home and what you receive in the hospital is time. In the hospital you get approximately 15 minutes. With me, we can spend upwards of 1.5 hours, in order to discuss every facet of how you are feeling, your questions, concerns, and expectations for the coming days and weeks. In the hospital, the flood of hormones in your body just after giving birth make it physically difficult to recall new information you receive from the hospital’s lactation consultant. At your home, we can evaluate the entire situation, in context, together. And you will only work with me throughout your care and follow up, providing your care as you need it, when you need it vs. whomever is in the doctors’ office from 9-5 calling for their follow-up responsibility.

Mothers and families with new babies need regular and consistent care for at least the first six weeks, and especially the first 8 days, after birth. Access to information and guidance by informed caregivers is most necessary exactly when you need it – not weeks before in a birthing class (too early for it to register), and not at the 6 week follow up appointment (too late to be relevant). To avoid undue stress and in order to best support the new mother, her baby, and the extended family, arranging prenatally for consistent, in-home care is essential.

Moms and other women who’ve “been there” with new babies can be wonderfully supportive and great resources for sharing general family history. They may turn out to be a great help to you… or they might not. It can be very overwhelming to try and take in the anecdotal conversations and all else these well-wishers have to say at what is a very vulnerable time for you and your family. In truth, their experiences will all have one thing in common: their experiences are their own. Having professional postpartum care in your home means you have a personal advocate. Further, your caregiver will be able to offer guidance and assistance based on her experience with hundreds of women and their families that she’s worked with. And caregivers who are also IBCLC lactation consultants have undergone rigorous training, including classroom instruction and hundreds of hours of supervised clinical work. They are up to date on current practices and have a wide breadth of experience to draw from.

While not an in-network provider for any insurance company, I do provide you with a super bill at the end of every lactation consultation for you to submit to your insurance company directly. Each person’s insurance policy and company varies with respect to lactation services, but many of my clients have had success receiving up to 70-100% back. Please call your insurance to inquire about their coverage if necessary.