Your breastfeeding adventure is likely to have some bumps and twists and turns along the way. Some challenges, if not addressed promptly, can lead to complete cessation of breastfeeding. That’s where the IBCLC comes in. The lactation consultant in private practice bridges the gap between the place of birth and ongoing success with breastfeeding.
Private lactation services come with a cost. Insurance will often take care of some or all of the cost, but it’s not guaranteed. A home visit with a lactation consultant can cost 100-300 dollars. Is the price too high? In a perfect world all mothers and babies would receive that type of individualized care at no cost to them. But the world is not perfect. And lactation consultants are skilled professionals that need to be paid for their time and expertise.
“One day maybe we’ll have lactation services of your caliber as a matter of course in this country, before any mom and baby leave the hospital or the childbirth center and venture out on their breastfeeding adventure together.”
For mothers in the Seattle area concerned about up-front costs, there is another option. I am now able to accept and bill your insurance for office visits*! A co-pay and/or co-insurance may be required depending on your insurance company. Many mothers in my area are opting for a home visit for the initial consultation when getting out of the house is a real challenge. An office visit is more doable when the family is more rested.
My hope is that you do not hesitate to get the help you need because of the cost. You may think it would be better for your family’s finances to forget about breastfeeding and feed your baby formula. There are many costs associated with not breastfeeding, but for the purposes of this post, let’s just consider the cost of the formula itself. The following are estimates of monthly formula expense from real mothers..
Janna: Costco/Kirkland brand–About $75 dollars/ month
Andrea: Earth’s Best organic powdered formula $90/month..
Mary: Powdered formula—over $100/month
Megan: Similac Fussiness and Gas liquid $195/month
Brittney: Hypoallergenic formula–$360/month
Missy: Hypoallergenic formula for twins: $400/month.
For some mothers and babies, the early days of breastfeeding can be challenging. And yes, getting the support you need may be be an out-of-pocket expense. Before you dismiss the idea of a private lactation consultant as too expensive, however, consider that 1 year of feeding formula will cost somewhere between 1000 and 4000 dollars! Get the expert help you need and deserve and start your baby’s college fund with all the money you’ve saved!