Are Lactation Consultants too pricey?

March 13th, 2015

Last year, the New York Times published an article about lactation consultant Freda Rosenfeld. A reader responded that the fee charged by lactation consultants is outrageous…depending on where you live, it can cost between $120 – $300+ per session. It is wise for parents and parents-to-be to understand and evaluate what IBCLCs do and ask “Are IBCLCs worth it?” We come back with a resounding “Yes!”

Why hire an IBCLC?

Families who seek the help of an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) get the gurus of breastfeeding knowledge and support. If you had a toothache, you would seek the care and advice of someone who is an expert on teeth, your dentist; if you were concerned about your heart, you’d find the most qualified, expert cardiologist. An IBCLC is an expert on breastfeeding. By finding one as you begin breastfeeding, you equip yourself with the very best support available. A strong support system can significantly help you meet your breastfeeding goals. A good IBCLC can be the key player on your A-Team.

What do you get for your money?

IBCLCs work in a wide variety of places and contexts. Some work in hospitals just after birth and others research and further the understanding of breastfeeding. You can also find IBCLCs in organizations that promote maternal/child health and nutrition, such as WIC. IBCLCs are a varied group in terms of background, areas of specialty, and communication styles, but they stand firm that Babies are Born to Breastfeed.

Many moms, through the course of pregnancy and birth, find that what they need is one-on-one help when they have questions or breastfeeding seems difficult. Private practice IBCLCs fill this role. A lactation consultant in private practice is self-employed, or she might work in partnership with one or two other IBCLCs. While $120-$300 seems like a lot for the time required for a consultation, think of it this way: you get years of study and experience, the full attention of an expert focused on YOU, follow up via email, phone or text, a listening ear, detailed reports for health care providers (putting everyone on the same page for your care), and someone who is required to learn, learn, learn how to support you. Your IBCLC spends time reading research, connecting with other lactation professionals, and staying up to date on the latest methods, trends, and breastfeeding products. Adding all that up, it’s a bargain!

Are there any IBCLC’s in my community?

Hopefully, YES! Many hospitals and organizations that support mothers recognize the expertise board-certified lactation consultants bring. Asking your health care provider, childbirth educator, and doula about breastfeeding resources in your community can help you beat the Booby Traps! These people can recommend IBCLCs who want to support your desire to breastfeed.

Unfortunately, some families struggle to find an IBCLC when they need one. The CDC looks at the number of lactation consultants per capita and has found that we still have far too few IBCLCs to meet the needs of moms. Mothers have long relied on mother-to-mother breastfeeding support groups like La Leche League, which are outstanding when we have questions and seek a community of other new and experienced moms, but sometimes, the eyes and knowledge of a medical professional are necessary.

The training to become an IBCLC is rigorous. It’s a major commitment, just like the training and education any medical professional must acquire. IBCLCs must demonstrate competence in a wide variety of subjects and in support of breastfeeding mothers and babies, either as volunteers or in paid work. Most, but not all IBCLCs have breastfed babies of their own.

The good news is, with the increased support spurred by the Surgeon General’s recent Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, access to help should become easier. Currently, there aren’t enough IBCLCs in every community, but more candidates will soon seek to become the kind of IBCLCs that moms need.

Are IBCLCs covered by insurance?

Getting reimbursed by insurance for in-home lactation consultations by an IBCLC depends upon the insurance company and plan. I recently had a call from a mom who said that her insurance would cover a consult, but only with a “preferred provider.” When we searched the database of preferred providers, the closest IBCLC on her plan was 300 miles away! Some plans cover consults and pump rentals, but there can be numerous barriers to receiving payment. Unfortunately, many IBCLCs do not pursue insurance plan affiliation because of the difficulty in getting paid. If a mom would like to submit a claim for insurance reimbursement, she can request a “Superbill” for submission to her insurance company. It will be prepared by the IBCLC and clearly state the information the insurance company needs.

The fact that support services which augment breastfeeding success rates are not routinely covered by insurance is a huge public health policy concern, one the Surgeon General addressed in her Call to Action. Ensuring appropriate compensation for IBCLCs as professionals in maternal/infant health care ensures better outcomes for mothers, babies and health care providers. Let your elected officials know if an IBCLC helped you breastfeed your baby, and that you want insurance companies to recognize the professionalism and unique competence of the IBCLC!

Are IBCLCs worth it?

If an in-home consult with an IBCLC seems expensive, consider its value alongside other things you would spend money on for your baby. How much did you pay for your stroller? Your highchair? Would you be willing to pay that much for expert support? If you are feeling challenged by breastfeeding and considering giving up, consider the cost of NOT seeking professional help: artificial baby milk to feed your baby if donor milk is not available; bottles and the energy required to prepare, heat, store, and clean them; and the statistically likely increase in healthcare costs for a baby who doesn’t receive breastmilk. These are among the financial costs of not breastfeeding. While breastfeeding is NORMAL, the risks of not breastfeeding are significant – and expensive!

An IBCLC can be a critical player on your team. They serve a unique and expert role in detecting and solving breastfeeding problems. Having a community of support in your breastfeeding journey can be invaluable, as well. La Leche League and other breastfeeding support groups will keep you on track and help you stay confident in the biological norm of breastfeeding. For those that qualify, WIC can be another fantastic supporter of breastfeeding.

Having experts on your side while breastfeeding your little one is one of the most valuable things you can do. Enlisting their knowledge and support can be a win-win both for you and your baby and the community as a whole. You get an expert, an encourager, a detective, a clinician and cheerleader all rolled into one! Strong support means strong Babes!


NASA Workplace Lactation Program Discussion

April 4th, 2017

NASA Workplace Lactation Program Panel

Our Lactation Consultant Carolina Pimenta was one of the Guest Speakers of #NASA Workplace Lactation Program Panel Discussion. Carolina Pimenta taught her Return-to-Work  Class, by educating mothers and staff on how to balance work with breastfeeding, advantages for extended breastfeeding for mothers and employers, how to pump and store breast milk and manage breast milk supply. NASA supports their employees by providing lactation sites and time for mothers to breast pump while they are at work, so they can continue to breastfeeding. And by supporting other mothers through the Super-Mom program. Check our presence here.

Does your employer has a Corporate Lactation Program? Or are you an employer looking on how to be compliant with the Healthcare Law? Then, check our Corporate Lactation Program and contact us today to learn how can you meet these needs with our support.

Mindfulness Lactation Care – Gabriel Network 5K 2016 Sponsor

September 29th, 2016

Check Mindfulness Lactation Care presence on this great fundraiser to support unborn babies and pregnant women in crisis.

#MindfulnessLactationCareLLC was a proud sponsor of the #GN5K2016 today. Supporting this cause to empower women to…

Posted by Mindfulness Lactation Care, LLC on Saturday, September 24, 2016

Miss Fit Momma Expo

September 29th, 2016

Are you new to lactation? Then, join Carolina Pimenta, Lactation Consultant and Registered Nurse from Mindfulness Lactation Care this Saturday on the Miss Fit Momma Expo to learn more about our lactation services. Have a pit stop on our Nursing Station and entertain the toddlers with some coloring breastfeeding pictures. Also, sign in to get a chance to get a Gift Certificate from us.


Tongue-tie and your Lactation Consultant ally

February 12th, 2016

A Lactation Consultant specialist in tongue-tie is crucial to solve your breastfeeding issues when you have a tongue tied and lip tied baby. Research has shown that International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) promote a longer duration of breastfeeding. Exposure to an IBCLC in early postpartum increases the rate of exclusive breastfeed to 6 months and prolongs its duration after introduction of other foods. One study results showed that 53% of patients with an IBCLC visit were breastfeeding at 4-6 months compared with only 23% of patients not seen by the IBCLC.


tongue tied baby

IBCLC assessing tongue-tie

Lip tied baby

IBCLC assessing lip-tie

Tongue-tie has been known for a long time. Midwives used to clip it with their fingernails. However, it seems that more babies are being diagnosed with it lately. This is happening more now because more mothers are breastfeeding. In the past, breastfeeding was not well promoted thus less babies showed issues during feeding. Nowadays, it is known that tongue-tie affects not just breastfeeding but also regular feeding and speech. This results on compensations of the oral and airway functions. This happens because the tongue is not just a separated member of the body. It functions as an organ since it is connected to the neck, head and back through nerves and connective tissues.

Tongue tied babies may be able to live without doing a tongue-tie release. However, the body has to compensate for the malfunction of the tongue so babies may:

  • get tired through the feeding;
  • eat every hour to fulfill their caloric needs;
  • have suck blisters on their lips due to the wrong use of facial muscles;
  • prefer one breast than the other due to tightness of the body;
  • gag through feeding and consequently become meticulous eaters;
  • have airway issues due to their high narrow palate.

As a result, their growth milestones may be delayed and they may be even diagnosed with failure to thrive. Some symptoms of a tongue-tie baby on the mother are:

  • pain through breastfeeding,
  • nipple damage,
  • decrease on milk supply,
  • mastitis,
  • plugged ducts,
  • nipple vasospasm,
  • depression,
  • anxiety.

The symptoms on the baby are:

  • he/she may act as if he/she is never satisfied,
  • has decreased output,
  • weight loss,
  • gas,
  • colic,
  • reflux.

These symptoms can also be related to other issues as well. One more reason you should have an IBCLC specialist in tongue-tie working with you. She can use her knowledge to assess your feeding issues and do an individualized plan of care for you and your baby.

Nowadays, many mothers are self-diagnosing their tongue tied and lip tied babies or tethered oral tissues (TOTs) due to the easy access to information through the Internet. They may locate providers that release their tongue tied and lip tied baby. However, not every provider does a full release of the tied frenulum. Besides, the frenotomy is just one of the steps for a successful release of the frenulum. This is a process and not a quick fix!

IBCLCs are the bridge between a DDS or ENT and a CST or Chiropractor. However, for some people it seems that IBCLCs are dispensable since breastfeeding is a womanly thing and peer support from other mothers seems to be enough. On the contrary, Lactation Consultants are an essential key when a mother is dealing with any feeding issue that a peer-to-peer support cannot solve. It is important to work with an IBCLC, so she can evalaute the whole picture and provide an individualized plan of care for the dyad and refer to providers that are most knowledgeable for the mother-baby’ specific needs. A tongue tie and lip tie lactation consultant specialist will provide anticipatory guidance of pre and post surgery. Moreover, she will be there through the whole process to guide and support you and your baby.

When moms who are going through this challenge skip the Lactation Consultant, they have to start to compensate for the malfunction of the tongue and/or lip of their baby. They become dependent on the use of nipple shields, bottles and pumps. As a result they are not able to successfully breastfeed or they end up weaning earlier than they had planned. As a result, infants are at increased risk to develop leukemia, asthma, diabetes type I and II, childhood obesity, ear infection, allergic diseases, atopic dermatitis, necrotizing enterocolitis, higher infant mortality and SIDS. Mothers are also at increased risk to develop breast and ovarian cancer, heart attacks, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and obesity. Furthermore, these mothers will experience increased financial expenditure in formula and the treatment of diseases that could have been prevented and they will spend their valuable time shopping, preparing and cleaning bottles and teats.

Mother, IBCLC and other providers (dentist, ENT or other health care provider that releases the frenulum, and body workers) must work together as a team, so more mothers can achieve their breastfeeding goals successfully.

OLPH Fall Festival

September 28th, 2015

Meet and greet our Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Carolina Pimenta and Mindfulness Lactation Care at the OLPH Fall Festival.
Join us for a great afternoon of delicious food and family fun!!!
Bounce House, Carnival Games & Prizes. Harvest Store, Face Painting, Cake Wheel, White Elephant Sale, Vendors & more.
Also, a delicious Turkey dinner available.

Fall Festival

Birth Bellies & Babies 2015

September 9th, 2015

Come and meet Carolina Pimenta, IBCLC  this Saturday, on the Birth, Bellies and Babies 2015.

It is an event for new mothers and mothers-to-be.

Get a prize and a chance to get a GIFT CERTIFICATE from Mindfulness Lactation Care!!!!

Birth Bellies & Babies Expo 2015

September 12, 2015
Christ Lutheran Church
701 S. Charles Street  Baltimore, MD 21230

Breastfeeding Petition

August 1st, 2015

They tell you the nights are long but the years are short. The first part certainly rings true.

It’s hard enough being a new mom. The last thing new parents should have to worry about is fighting with their insurance companies — to get them to stop breaking the law.

But, the National Women’s Law Center found many insurance companies are refusing to provide new moms with no-cost breastfeeding support and supplies, a clear violation of the health care law.

Tell insurance companies to get their act together: Sign their petition so these companies will follow the law — and get new mothers the breastfeeding coverage they need.

Thanks to the health care law, women are able to get breastfeeding support and supplies — including breast pumps and lactation support and counseling — without co-pays and deductibles. This groundbreaking new insurance benefit provides moms with the support and tools to breastfeed successfully and reduces cost barriers for women who want to breastfeed.

But after looking at hundreds of health plans and talking to mothers across the country on their Cover Her hotline, they’ve found that a lot of insurance companies make this benefit difficult, if not impossible, to get. One violation is covering a breast pump for only 48 days after delivery — even though many women may need or want to breastfeed for many months. Another example of a violation is prohibiting women from obtaining no-cost breastfeeding services out-of-network but at the same time failing to establish a network of providers for lactation service. As a result, many parents pay hundreds of dollars to get help with breastfeeding that should be available at no-cost.

Insurance companies are breaking the law and hurting moms and babies.

Tell insurance companies to fix their breastfeeding coverage now.

Breastfeeding benefits both moms and children, reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in adults as well as asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and leukemia in children. Women who breastfeed have also reported psychological benefits such as close bonding with their infants. And with the health care law, cost is no longer a barrier to getting the breastfeeding help new moms need.

Now we just need health insurance companies to do their job. Sign the petition now.

Insurance companies are breaking the law

June 4th, 2015

It’s hard enough to be a new mom. But when insurance companies are breaking the law and not getting you the breastfeeding coverage you deserve under the health care law, it can get even tougher. Check out  the new report from National Women Law Center, on how insurance companies are failing moms who are trying to get breastfeeding help.

2nd Annual Miracle Milk Stroll

April 20th, 2015
Raise awareness of and access to human milk for premature and fragile babies! . Whether it’s delivered at the breast, by pumping or by donor, human milk IS Miracle Milk™– a complex “living” elixir of hundreds of ingredients that have the power to save lives, prevent disease, and promote and protect our health from birth — and for a lifetime. We don’t need more science, we need more solutions to help more moms get more Miracle Milk™ to more of our fragile babies!
                                                                        Human Milk Saves Lives!


How To Find Out If Your Health Plan Is Covering Women’s Preventive Services with No Co-Pay, as Required by the Health Care Law

March 26th, 2015

Your health plan should be providing coverage for the women’s preventive services with no cost-sharing, if your plan is not grandfathered.* The best way to find out for sure that you have coverage for the women’s preventive services without cost sharing and to get information on how these services will be covered is to call your insurance company.

Calling Health Care Insurance