Today a friend (Megan of Healing Garden Hypnosis) said the most flattering thing, that I could be charging more than I do. But I am happy with what I charge, for several reasons, but the crux of it is that there’s a difference between what a CLC and IBCLC can do.
Since I am not an IBCLC (aka “lactation consultant”), but a CLC (aka “lactation counselor”), my expenses are lower and I can afford to charge less than an IBCLC. I have way less overhead and, because this isn’t my day job—I edit copy to pay the bills—I have no pressing need to make as high of an hourly rate as I possibly can as a CLC. There’s a wide range of pricing when it comes to hiring an independent (i.e., not hospital or clinic based) IBCLC, but you’ll probably pay around $120 for a two-hour session in your home in the Twin Cities area.
That is not to say that an IBCLC isn’t worth the price! There are things an IBCLC can help you with that I cannot (more info on my scope of practice here) and, if your situation is complicated, it might make more sense to go straight to the top; I can refer you to some great Twin Cities IBCLCs who do home visits if you need one. One of the reasons I am not going to charge an arm and a leg is because, if I cannot meet all of your needs, I don’t wish to have priced you out of seeking help from someone who can.
But, keep in mind, help from anyone who needs to refer out to another professional is still, I hope, money well spent. Even if you might benefit from a lactation consultant’s help, a lactation counselor can provide information, resources, and support. I can’t speak for other CLCs, but I have a bunch of catchphrases and tidbits of wisdom that I will readily impart on families who seek my assistance, and some of them are almost even funny! Most breastfeeding relationships are, or should be, relatively uncomplicated. Sometimes all it takes is a little tweaking of what you’re doing, or a boost of confidence or reassurance that you’re doing it right, and the sailing can get a bit smoother. That’s where CLCs come in, as the experts of “normal.”
I want in-home lactation help to be accessible to many families. It is probably most affordable to many families to find a clinic that offers lactation help, as this will be covered by insurance, but if you can afford to spend a little more than your copay, you get help tailored to your environment. Not to mention, you don’t need to pack up everyone and haul them elsewhere. If you want help in your home, and a CLC will suit your needs, I’d love to be that CLC.