Makana Breastfeeding - New Mother / New Baby Care

Services in a nutshell
More about us

Office or Virtual 1.5-2 hour consult with you and your baby. Free if covered ($190 In-Office/$190 Virtual)

  • Paperwork: Once your consult is booked I’ll email you access to my in-take forms, please fill the forms out before our consult that will save us time on paperwork so we have more time to spend with you and your baby!

  • Oral assessment: I’ll do an oral assessment of the inside of your baby’s mouth. Checking your baby’s sucking strength and range of motion of the tongue giving me information about how baby is latching and sucking at the breast.

  • Weight check: I’ll do pre and post feeding weights giving us a snapshot of how much breastmilk your baby is taking in at that feeding.

  • Positioning and Latching: Watch how your baby is positioning and latching onto the breast, observe a breastfeeding session, and give suggestions and adjustments as we go along.

  • Structural assessment: If I believe there maybe structural issues with your little one (such as torticollis, pain in the neck, baby favoring one side over the other, jaw clenching issues, etc.) I’ll do a quick and gentle structural assessment. We’ll put your baby on a blanket on my massage table and I’ll observe your baby in Tummy Time, during this time I’ll also teach you the Tummy Time Method! helping baby enjoy tummy time while also working on any tension we may find. Many babies are born with tension due to certain positioning in the womb, difficult labor and delivery, and even oral restriction (lip/tongue tie), this tension can cause latching and positioning issues.

  • All this will help me get the whole picture of what’s happening with your situation.

  • I’ll provide you with information, techniques and suggestions to help. I may show you breastfeeding videos, give you links to articles/resources, and a Care Plan you can reference later, so you don’t have to remember everything we talk about!

  • Together we’ll create a plan that works best for you and your family!

  • Plan on being together for about 1.5 to 2 hours. Follow-up’s are usually 1 to 1.5 hours

Specialties include:

  • Latching issues at breast and/or bottle
  • Nipple pain
  • Exclusive pumping
  • Pump flange fitting
  • Therapeutic breast massage
  • Low supply
  • Over supply
  • Weight gain issues
  • Breast refusal
  • Re-lactation/ Induced lactation
  • Oral assessment
  • Lip and tongue tie management: including optimal healing post release procedure, oral habilitation – oral exercises to help your baby gain full function of their oral muscles for better feeding at breast or bottle
  • Bottle refusal consults
  • Distracted nursing
  • Return to work
  • Weaning
  • Therapeutic TummyTime! Method ™
  • Therapeutic Rhythmic Movements

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is bodywork that focuses on gently releasing tension in fascia and the craniosacral system. This helps babies relax tight muscles so they can move in their body more freely, feed better, and go through their developmental milestones easier. I am a Craniosacral Therapist who specializes in working with infants, understanding the unique needs and sensitivities of your little one. I create a nurturing environment where your baby can relax and receive the gentle care they deserve.

CST can help with:

  • Head Turning Preferences: Some babies develop a preference for turning their head to one side – their comfortable side, which can often be linked to tension or discomfort. By releasing that strain, your baby can use those muscles with ease and strength. Babies should be able to have all ranges of motion available in their body, including their neck, this can even help them enjoy tummy time better!
  • Feeding Issues: Whether your baby is struggling with latching, sucking, or just doesn’t seem comfortable during feedings at breast OR bottle, CST can help address underlying oral disfunctions and body tension causing the problem.
  • Pre/Post Oral Ties Procedure: It’s essential for baby to receive bodywork before and after an oral ties release procedure. CST prepares your baby’s body for the release procedure, by relaxing tight muscles that could be contributing to the tension in their oral muscles, jaw, neck and shoulders due to that extra pull on fascia that happens with oral ties. Releasing extra tight muscles in the body beforehand can absolutely help the procedure go smoother as the release provider won’t need to fight against extra tight muscles while releasing the frenulum. This will also make the procedure much easier on your baby! Bodywork with CST before and after improves feeding outcomes and aids in healing and oral function. Even if you have decided not to release oral ties, I am happy to work with you and your baby to ease body tension with CST and oral functional care.
  • Digestive Issues: CST has been known to alleviate common digestive issues in babies, including constipation (baby should be pooping every day!), reflux, and excessive gassiness.
  • Head Shape: Baby’s head naturally overlaps the cranial bones in order to come through the mother’s pelvis and birth canal during labor and delivery. Nature is so smart and amazing! After birth the cranial bones relax and settle back into a beautiful round head. Sometimes a long labor, long pushing stage, and/or the need for baby to be delivered with forceps or vacuum, or other birthing complications can contribute to baby’s head not rounding out, so we see the cranial sutures continue to overlap or create a more flattened look to baby’s head. You may have been told your baby has plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, or scaphocephaly. Continued overlapping or flattening of the cranial bones can cause issues with feeding, favoring one side when head turning, and cause a baby to not enjoy being on their back or in tummy time. CST can very gently help the cranial sutures relax and settle where they are meant to be.
  • Developmental Milestones: If you have concerns about your baby’s comfort, feeding, or overall development, CST sessions offer a gentle and effective approach. You can schedule your appointment here and I look forward to working with you and your baby!
Service Area

Elmhurst, Warrenville, Lisle, Winfield, Woodridge, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Bolingbrook, Naperville, Joliet, Oswego, Plainfield, West Chicago, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Aurora, North Aurora, Glendale Heights, Addison, Lombard, Hinsdale, Schaumburg, and all surrounding areas

Our Team

About me

When you work with me, your working with an experienced breastfeeding mom. I struggled with my own breastfeeding problems. With my first, we had just moved to a new state and didn’t know anyone. I really struggled with being a new mom, not knowing if what I was going through was normal. I had zero example of breastfeeding in my family and I was literally trying to survive with a very high needs baby who gained weight slowly and nursed every hour.  I was on Dr. Google all the time. I was exhausted, but VERY determined to make breastfeeding work!

It was when I went to my first breastfeeding support group that I realized what I was going through was normal. I learned to trust my instincts and to seek professional breastfeeding help and support from an IBCLC.

With my second baby, I felt more confident. Breastfeeding got off to a much better start, but after about two weeks, my sweet baby boy was suffering with skin rashes, itchy eyes, and sneezing. I once again needed help. My IBCLC and I figured out the culprit, he cleared up and we got to a point where breastfeeding was actually easy.  I nursed each of my kids for over two years when they weaned themselves.

I am a life long learner of all things pregnancy, birth, babies and breastfeeding. This is my passion! I became a La Leche League Leader in 2006 and have been helping mothers and babies ever since. I’m an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) giving me an in-depth clinical knowledge of all things breastfeeding. I have been in private practice since 2013. My current passion in supporting babies has lead me into a deep dive learning about anatomy and physiology, the myofascial system, and addressing tension and oral dysfunction. I am currently in Massage Therapy School and have completed many hours and levels of Craniosacral Therapy (CST) instruction with a specific focus on infants. I am now offering CST in my practice!

Melissa’s Advanced Lactation Training / Continuing Education:

In addition to the IBCLC certification and the many continuing education courses I’ve taken over the last 10years, I’ve completed very specialized training to expand my knowledge and clinical skills to serve you and your baby with the best care.

  • Holistic Functional Lactation: A year long intensive training with a two-week residency and Capstone project, completed in Summer of 2023 – Intuitive Parenting Network – Jennifer Tow

  • Pediatric Fascial Therapy – Christine Holefelder, BS, LMT – 27-hour training

  • Craniosacral Therapy (CST) Foundations – Beames CST Training Center

  • Infant Craniosacral Therapy (CST) Level 1– Beames CST Training Center

  • Infant Craniosacral Therapy (CST) Level 2 – Beames CST Training Center

  • Infant Craniosacral Therapy (CST) Level 3 – Beames CST Training Center

  • Completing and becoming fully certified in Infant Craniosacral Therapy (CST) Level 4 in April 2024! – Beames CST Training Center

  • Currently working through Massage Therapy School – looking to be completed by Sept 2024

  • A Moveable Feast! – In-depth course on reflexes, rhythmic movements, trauma, and their impacts on birth and infant feeding – Doula My Soul – Bryna Sampey

  • Rhythmic Movement Training International (RMTi)- Level 1 and 2 – Thrive- Elizabeth Hickman

  • IBCLC Master Class: Oral Habilitation of the Breastfeeding Dyad: Intensive advanced lactation clinical skills “IBCLC will be able to reference a compendium of effective exercises and tools for facilitating oral habilitation, sucking and body movement. The learner will be able to use multiple strategies to confidently educate families on the use and reasoning behind the care plan developed for infants with complex feeding difficulties.” – Intuitive Parenting Network – Jennifer Tow, Bryna Sampey, Sandra Coulson, Sharon Vallone

  • Oral Functional Assessment of the Breastfeeding Dyad – Intuitive Parenting Network – Jennifer Tow

  • TOTS Training – Chrysalis Oralfacial

  • Gut-Brain for IBCLCs: “A Master Class open to IBCLCs who wish to improve both literacy and clinical efficacy when supporting breastfeeding dyads presenting with complex challenges such as food intolerances, gut dysbiosis, metabolic disorders, eczema, reflux and related issues.” – Intuitive Parenting Network – Jennifer Tow

  • Plugged Ducts & Mastitis: A Holistic Approach to Care – Intuitive Parenting Network – Jennifer Tow

  • Pumping and Feeding Gear – Babes in Common

  • Hands Off! The Virtual IBCLC: Effectively Support Breastfeeding Dyads Remotely – Intuitive Parenting Network – Jennifer Tow

  • TummyTime!™ Method Professional Certification Training – Michelle Emanuel

I’ve studied all things related to pregnancy, birth, babies and breastfeeding over many years. This is my passion! I became a La Leche League Leader in 2006 and have been helping mothers and babies ever since. I’m an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) giving me an in-depth knowledge of all things breastfeeding.


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