Written by Robin Kaplan, M.Ed, IBCLC
My background is in social justice and urban education. For the years before I started the San Diego Breastfeeding Center, I worked in inner-city elementary schools and for non-profits, including AmeriCorps, to help bring well-deserved resources and education to underserved communities who needed it the most. Because of this, one of the biggest challenges I have faced since I started SDBFC was trying to figure out how I could make my expertise and support accessible to ALL breastfeeding mothers... not just the ones who could afford my services. I have seen over and over again local moms posting on Facebook about how desperate they are for breastfeeding help, yet cannot afford to see a qualified IBCLC and this absolutely breaks my heart!
Not being able to help these mothers goes against everything I have been taught and everything I stand for.
No one should be denied qualified breastfeeding assistance and support because of their financial situation. While I have loved offering community-based breastfeeding support groups, when a mom is faced with a complicated breastfeeding situation, it is almost impossible to receive the necessary attention and follow-up when there are 10-20 other moms in the room, who happen to also be looking for their own support.
When I founded SDBFC, my 5-year plan was to be able to offer reduced-fee consultations to mothers who needed low-cost options. Well, we just celebrated our 5-year anniversary and I am thrilled to announce our new low-cost breastfeeding clinic!
Here are the clinic details:
At our 90-minute low cost breastfeeding clinic, up to three moms/babies will meet with a lactation consultant (IBCLC) and receive assistance with their breastfeeding challenges.
What takes place at the clinic:
- Baby is evaluated for tongue tie and lip tie
- Breastfeeding position and latch are assessed
- Baby is weighed before and after the feeding to see how much breastmilk was transferred
- Mom is given a personalized Plan of Care
Reasons why a mom would want to attend the clinic:
- Baby not latching or nursing well within 24 hours of birth
- Tongue tie or lip tie
- Nipple pain/damage
- Baby is gaining weight too slowly
- Mom feels like she doesn’t have enough milk
- Nursing multiples
- Nursing a preemie
- Recurrent plugged ducts/mastitis
Requirements: Mom qualifies for WIC, baby has MediCal, or mom or dad must be active duty military.
Registration: Mandatory, as space is limited to 3 moms per clinic (www.sdbfc.com/consultations)
My sincere hope is that this is just the beginning of SDBFC making connections with more local communities by providing judgment-free, affordable breastfeeding support for any mom who needs it! We have many more plans in the works and we are excited to get started!
If you have any local connections to organizations that work with low-income pregnant or new moms, please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that I can send them information about our new clinic!