Frequently Asked Questions about Breastfeeding and our Consultations
Why Should I Schedule a Lactation Consultation?
While breastfeeding is natural and normal, sometimes there are challenges, both big and small. For those with big challenges, having the ongoing support of a lactation consultant means that you have someone to guide and assist you with making the breastfeeding process easier. For those with small challenges, it can be reassuring and empowering to know that breastfeeding is going really well for you. Either way, hiring a lactation consultant means that you now have someone that you can call or email anytime for professional advice and support, which can really put your mind at ease!
How should I prepare for a private consultation?
Once you schedule your appointment with us, you will receive an email confirmation with a three-page questionnaire. Please print and fill this out before your appointment. If you do not have a printer, let us know and we will bring an extra copy. Also, try to feed your baby no sooner that 2 hours before your appointment. We'd like to see what your baby does when he/she is hungry. Lastly, if you have time, feel free to write up a list of questions you'd like to ask during your appointment.
What happens during a private lactation consultation?
Each private consultation takes about 90 minutes. During this time:
Baby's suck is evaluated for strength and range of motion
Breastfeeding positions and latch are assessed
Baby is weighed before and after the feeding to see how much breastmilk was transferred
Mom and partners' questions are answered
Mom and baby are given a customized Plan of Care
Mom and baby are given additional resources and referrals, if necessary
What kinds of support do I receive after my consultation?
At the San Diego Breastfeeding Center, we truly believe that a consultation is just the beginning of a relationship with us. After your visit, you will receive a follow-up phone call within 48 hours, just to check in on your progress and to answer any questions you have. After that, you can call, email, or text us anytime you want. If it looks like you have a lot of questions or concerns, we offer follow-up appointments at a discounted rate. Also, we are one of the only lactation consultants in San Diego that offers a FREE weekly breastfeeding support group, which is a great place to check in with us face to face. And, when it's time to wean your little one, we can help you with that process as well!
The San Diego Breastfeeding Center also hosts an extensive blog, the Sanity Spot, with articles on every breastfeeding subject you could imagine! Robin Kaplan, SDBFC's founder, also was the founding host of The Boob Group, a weekly breastfeeding podcast which has over one hundred 30-minute episodes you can download at any time.
Can my partner attend the consultation?
Absolutely! Partner support is CRUCIAL to the success of the breastfeeding relationship. Partners are always welcome to attend the consultation, ask questions, and participate in anyway they see fit.
Where can I get help when the office is closed?
Just because we 'close' at 5pm doesn't mean that you won't be able to reach us until the next business day! We often conduct phone consultations and Skype consultations during non-business hours, as well as respond to emails and texts for established clients.
What is the difference between a private consultation and the support group?
A private consultation is most appropriate for mothers who desire one-on-one assistance with the lactation consultant and have small to large concerns about their breastfeeding situation. Mothers who have attended a private consultation also receive free follow-up by phone, email, or text.
The Breastfeeding Support Group is a great place to meet other breastfeeding moms, ask the lactation consultant a few breastfeeding questions, and mostly just socialize. There are usually 15-20 mothers at each support group, so it is quite difficult to give extensive breastfeeding assistance there. This is a great place for follow-up for mothers who have already had a private or clinic consultation.
Does insurance cover my breastfeeding consultation(s)?
Under the Affordable Care Act, women’s preventive health care, including comprehensive lactation support and counseling by a trained provider, is covered with no cost sharing (no deductible, no copay) for new health plans. For most insurance policies, this came into effect August of 2012. Some insurance policies have been "grandfathered in," and will not comply with these regulations until the policy is renewed, or January 2014.
At this time, the San Diego Breastfeeding Center is an in-network provider for Aetna (PPO), Tricare Prime, Tricare Standard, and UCSD Managed Care and can bill directly for lactation consultations for subscribers. For those with PPOs with other insurance carriers, you will have to pay up front at the time of your visit and your lactation consultant will give you forms to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. For those with HMOs (other than UCSD Managed Care), you will receive an invoice and forms at the time of your appointment to submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.
When should I take the Breastfeeding 101 class?
The best time to take the Breastfeeding 101 class is during pregnancy. Although much of breastfeeding is something you learn 'on the job', it can be incredibly helpful to know easy ways to latch your baby, signs that your baby is getting enough milk, how to prevent nipple soreness and other breastfeeding concerns, and quality local/online breastfeeding resources. We offer this class 2-3 times a month, all over San Diego!