You need some information and help in your breastfeeding journey, things are not so easy right now, you need some guidance. You find an IBCLC or get referred to one but then you ask yourself how you will pay for your consultation.
As a lactation consultant I charge for my services. What it will cost you will depend on how long your problem has persisted, the impact it has already had on your breastfeeding relationship and your individual need for support. With small problems, often a final and sustainable solution can be found after 1 or 2 consultations. Bigger problems may need more consultations to get a sustainable effect.
However, if you give up breastfeeding you are looking at spending around 60-90$ per month on artificial infant formula (based on prices in May 2017 in Zimbabwe of 10-15$ per tin and 6 tins per month and baby). That is a minimum of 720$-1,080$ your formula fed baby will cost in a year. Consider that formula-fed babies tend to battle with more health disadvantages, which may lead to more doctors visits.
Of course your personal valuation of breastfeeding for yourself and your baby plays a large role as well.
What about medical aid?
IBCLC’s are healthcare professionals, who demonstrate specialized knowledge and clinical expertise in breastfeeding and human lactation and are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and recorded in the IBLCE public registry. IBCLC’s are considered the gold standard for practitioners in lactation and breastfeeding care. You can tell that I am very proud of my professional background!
However, I would encourage you to talk to your insurance provider directly and find out if there is an option to claim my services as part of your maternity benefits.
I need a cheaper option
Your lactation consultant is also a compassionate person! Honestly, I would much prefer to work for free. Always. Simply to help you. But it is my profession and my livelihood. I am running a private practice, I have costs and I pay taxes.
It is not always possible to accommodate you financially but it is worth contacting me for your options if you are in a difficult financial situation. On the other side, if your situation allows you to pay more, you can help subsidize another mother in need and save a breastfeeding relationship.
Furthermore, you can attend one of the breastfeeding support groups that are cheaper or free of charge. There you will not get a 1:1 consultation but you can learn from talking to other mothers under the guidance of a breastfeeding specialist.
What do I get out of it?
In working with me you will get personalised care, careful assessment of your problem, a discussion of options and possible outcomes and an evidence-based care plan that works for you and your family.
You will get individually compiled written information that will help you reach your goals and find the breastfeeding relationship that you want or the best breastfeeding relationship that is possible in your situation.