Frequently Asked Lactation Consultant Questions
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM OTHER LACTATION CONSULTANTS?
My practice revolves around understanding the Fourth Trimester which is a period of exterogestation (external gestation). Educating parents about their baby’s instincts and needs as a mammal including evolution and anthropology are part of understanding your baby. Babies are programmed to do certain things to survive and as soon as you know their point of view it all makes sense!
WHAT KIND OF TRAINING DO YOU HAVE?
When you see a “lactation consultant” make sure she is an IBCLC. “Lactation consultant” is not a proprietary term and can be used by anyone. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who is an RN has completed 1000 hours of hands-on mother-baby assistance plus 90 hours of lactation-specific training. Non-RNs must take thirteen Health Science courses (which RNs already have) plus lactation specific courses and a lactation specific clinical experience are needed. Then, sit for an exam geared toward an international audience of candidates. The whole process is quite involved and known to be a very hard exam!
WHAT IS A VIRTUAL CONSULTATION LIKE?
A virtual consultation is very similar to in-person with one very important difference. In a virtual consultation, I walk YOU through how to achieve correct positioning and latch. It is empowering to see for yourself that you CAN do this with just a little support!
DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?
Yes, I do. If you have PPO versions of Cigna, Anthem, Humana or BCBS insurance your visit may be completely covered. I use The Lactation Network (TLN) to determine your level of coverage for these plans. You will have a link to input your insurance info and they respond to both of us quickly about coverage. If you aren’t covered, I have reasonable self-pay rates. Coming soon I will be able to be able to take more plans. Medicaid doesn’t recognize lactation consultants, so contact me.
HOW DOES MY DOCTOR KNOW HOW THE APPOINTMENT WENT?
After the appointment, I write a synopsis of our interaction, both for my record but it is also sent to your pediatrician and/or OB/GYN as appropriate. You will sign a consent form before our appointment that goes over this and you consent to it.
WILL I NEED A FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENT?
In some situations it is highly recommended that you have a follow up appointment, such as a tongue tie release. In that case I would need to re-evaluate the latch to make sure it is comfortable and milk is being transferred, assess the site for infection, and show you how to keep the area from reattaching. In other cases a client will ask to follow up to discuss how our interventions worked or just to check in with what is going on currently. Some of the insurance plans cover up to 6 visits, so use them!
WHAT IF OTHER CONCERNS ARE UNCOVERED?
It does happen sometimes that I will need to refer you back to your pediatrician or other professional if something is beyond my Scope of Practice. We all work together to get you the help you need.