Let's say you recently had a baby and started breastfeeding because it's something you have always wanted to accomplish, or maybe it's something you just wanted to try out and fell in love with the bonding experience it creates with you and baby. But maybe you've started to face challenges, or are just unsure whether everything is on the right track--well, that's where we come in!
But why does a 1.5-2 hour visit cost so much? Right now, an initial home visit with Belly to Cradle costs $125 (for around 90 minutes) and a repeat home visit (around 60 minutes) costs $75. In the office, you’ll pay $100 for that 1.5-2 hour initial visit, or $50 for a follow-up. Or, if you have an older baby, have already seen an IBCLC, or just need a weight check, we have some appointment times specifically designed for these scenarios, too. For a full list, check out our website here.
Initially this may seem like a lot to spend, especially with all the other baby-related costs you have to be concerned about, and we understand that! It’s tough to ask a family who may be struggling with breastfeeding to pay to get help -- we wish we could do this work for free! And who REALLY wants to discuss money?? It's safe to say that most, if not all, lactation consultants are in this business, not for the money, but simply to help moms and families have the best postpartum they possibly can, while helping babies eat! But, the time we spend with you at your consult is actually the tip of the iceberg.
But why is the initial visit the most expensive? Typically, we will spend on average 4 to 5 hours on each of those initial visits. We start by talking with you to figure out scheduling and what's going on with mom and baby, or by reviewing your submitted intake form and researching your concerns so we’re exceptionally prepared when you walk through our door (or we walk through yours!). Our goal is to make the most of our time together, so we try to get the formalities out of the way before we even meet you.
A home visit is a wonderful asset to your postpartum--not having to pack up the baby gear and the baby while wondering how you'll survive yet another appointment, being able to have a lactation professional help you breastfeed in your favorite chair--hey, you don't even have to get dressed or look "presentable"! We LOVE providing this service because of how many needs it meet in the days immediately following birth. The cost is higher in this setting though, because of the time spent driving to and from your home.
After the initial appointment, we generally spend about an hour charting (we are required to keep charts since IBCLCs are classified as medical professionals) because we like to spend the full appointment focused on the family and that beautiful baby, not staring at a screen. And, after any appointment with us, you now have 2 weeks of unlimited text, email or phone calls to ask any questions, get support or address any concerns you may have. That means you sometimes receive an additional hour or more of our time and attention -- and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We know you may not be able to remember everything we talked about in person, and you may have more questions or an ongoing difficulty we can continue to help with. This is yet another part of our care that we love to provide!
We are not of the opinion that breastfeeding is "best" for every family--some families benefit so much from reassessing their infant feeding goals and choosing alternative feeding methods (such as pumped breastmilk in bottles or formula). BUT breastfeeding is very important to many families, and since it is the biological norm, many more families are choosing breastfeeding after learning more about it and gaining support as they start out. And, some families are choosing feeding with breastmilk after assessing not only the health benefits but also the cost comparison with formula.
Breastfeeding is free! Yes, you can buy nursing bras, nursing clothes, boppys, breast pumps, etc. But none of that is NEEDED to breastfeed. However, to formula feed it's on average $1,733.75 for the first year to buy just the formula; that's enough money to take your family to Disney! When broken down, formula can be as cheap as 9 cents per ounce up to 31 cents an ounce (depending on what brand and type you choose). That cost does not include bottles or the potential increased costs of healthcare for those babies who don’t receive breastmilk. (And all of this doesn't even include the time spent preparing & cleaning bottles, or the money/time spent on obtaining sterile water for safe formula prep.)
We want your breastfeeding care to be affordable, of course. So here are some ways to keep it that way:
We are here for you no matter what you choose--from how you feed to your baby, to who you see for your lactation care. Let us know how we can support YOU!
I was due June 14, 2017, bur Conner Oakley Smith was following in his big brother's footsteps by making himself comfortable and staying in mommy's tummy as long as possible. This was my second pregnancy, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it was going extremely well and was very similar to my first... healthy all around with some heartburn being the main thing I could complain about. My weight gain and energy levels were soooo much better this pregnancy though, and I have my new healthy lifestyle to thank for that. As my due date came and went I found myself surprisingly at peace with the fact that I was still pregnant. I had already mentally prepared myself the entire pregnancy in case I went past my due date again, so the pressure of baby not arriving yet wasn't there as badly as it was with our first son Trever. The day before my due date and the day after, I decided to try acupuncture with Paul at Joint Venture Chiropractic to help my body prep for delivery. I found it to be very relaxing even though I hate needles!
On Friday, June 16th, we went in for an ultrasound to see how Conner's overall health and growth were doing. He was absolutely perfect and there was no reason for concern. That evening, Dan's parents watched Trever so we could go on one last movie date to the theater. During the movie I was having a lot of discomfort, some contractions, but nothing to make me think a hospital trip was in the near future, although that night I didn't sleep very well. I was having a lot of discomfort in my lower back and Conner was extremely active, kicking & punching, as if to say he wanted out!
I woke up Saturday morning, June 17th, and just felt... different. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it felt like something was going to happen soon. I made all three of us a delicious pancake breakfast & while sitting down to eat it Dan decided to text my mom to see if she would be willing to watch Trever while we ran some errands. He could tell I wasn't comfortable and felt it would be best if we ran errands without having to also take care of our toddler. While out running errands my contractions were occurring every 5-7 minutes apart, but never got so intense that I couldn't continue walking or talking. We decided to eat lunch at Sam's Club and that's when I had my first very strong contraction... it was very intense and definitely felt like what I remember contractions feeling like in the early parts of my labor with Trever.
We went home where I proceeded to clean my whole kitchen and do the dishes. I was texting our doula, Amber, this whole time and she suggested I lay down and relax because she felt I was having a baby that night even though I l had my doubts! After an hour of laying on the couch while watching TV, I started to have more and more contractions but they weren't staying as consistent as I would have liked. Amber sent me the link to how to do the Mile's Circuit (a variety of positions to put your body in to position baby for birth). I did the first position for 30 minutes and my contractions began to get strong but were still 5 minutes apart. For the next half hour I did the second position and that's when my contractions got to the point where I had to breathe carefully through them. I have a very high pain tolerance so the contractions weren't painful at this point, just "intense".
After Dan made us a delicious dinner, we went on a walk. We brought our dog Kota along, and almost instantly I was having contractions every 90 seconds to 2 minutes apart! It was now that I finally realized that we were going to need to head to the hospital soon. I was doubting myself before that but now it became all too real. I managed to take a hot shower when we got back to the house despite having contractions every 2 minutes. After my inlaws came by to pick up Kota to take to their house, we drove over to my parents house to bring Trever's overnight bag and give him kisses & hugs. This was the last time I was going to see my baby boy before he became a big brother and I was emotional over it!
Our drive to the hospital was only 15 minutes so I called the hospital to let them know we were on our way and would like a room with a tub. When we arrived they were all ready for us and brought us straight to our room. After 20 minutes of monitoring baby and myself, I received a saline lock in my arm just in case I needed any fluids. I was checked and it was determined that I was 6cm dilated and 100% effaced!!! Conner was still in 0 station so we needed to get up and move around to help him drop. We were than given the okay to walk the halls. With each contraction I would stop, hold myself against the wall, and slightly squat to help Conner get into the ideal birthing position. When we got back to the room around 9pm I received a wireless monitoring system with bluetooth connection so I could get into the tub. In the tub I was still having some slight back labor but with each contraction I was able to relieve the pressure from the weightlessness of the water.
Soon I was starting to feel a lot of pressure down yonder with each contraction, so Amber & Dan felt it was best for me to get out of the tub. Upon standing up, I began to shake uncontrollably and have contraction after contraction right on top of each other! I was in transition!! They quickly helped me dry off and walk to my bed... stopping to breath with each contraction. When I got into bed, the nurse instantly put me into the fire hydrant position (imagine me on my side with my left leg up in a stirrup as if I were a dog about to pee on a fire hydrant haha). The nurse checked me at 10:10pm and I was now 9cm dilated which was probably a conservative guess because she couldn't feel my cervix and baby's head was very very low! They told me the doctor was on her way and that I needed to wait to push. My doctor, Dr. Erika Schneider, was not on duty that weekend so instead I had Dr. Tracey Doyle as my on-call doctor rushing to the hospital. Later I found out she was stopped by a train at one point and was able to get around it in record time somehow!
Within a few minutes of being in this position my water broke. I remember a huge relief of pressure but also a sense of panic when it broke because I instantly felt like I could start pushing but the doctor wasn't there yet! With each contraction coming one on top of another, there were times I almost forgot how to breathe because I was too focused on the sensation of the need to push. Amber & Dan massaged my back and legs and towards the end Dan got into champion coach mode, got in my face, and had me breathe exactly like him. We had three different types of breaths that while doing them, physically made it impossible for me to push. Dan was amazing!!!! He kept me encouraged and repeatedly told me how incredible I was and that he was so proud of me! I was about to have another baby y'all!!!
At roughly 10:34pm, the doctor walked in and asked me if I was ready to push... YES, I was definitely ready! They had me hold my legs and on the first push I was a little hesitant because I was in shock that everything progressed this quickly and I was actually able to start pushing! Three pushes later at 10:41pm, I felt the ring of fire and Conner made his appearance! I did it!! I had gone into labor on my own and had another successful unmedicated birth and it was seriously the best experience I could have asked for!
After an hour of skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, and a successful first feeding, they weighed him in at 8lb 11.2oz and 19.5 inches long. He was perfect! After I birthed the placenta, I once again had Amber save it to be dehydrated down into capsules to take as a postpartum recovery supplement. Since it was so late, only my parents were able to come to the hospital that night to meet the new little addition. The next day was Father's Day and what an unforgettable Father's Day it was! I am so thankful for my amazing supportive #birthsquad, Dan & our doula Amber! Also, so thankful to God for his protection and sense of peace during the entire pregnancy, labor & delivery.
Welcome to the world Conner!
Really? Another class? After the childbirth education classes and the infant care classes, and books, and webinars on the interwebs, all in preparation to give birth, there's yet ANOTHER class that needs to be taken? In the words of a YouTube visionary, "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That." Well...we respectfully request to disagree. Why?
After the breathing, and the contractions, and the pushing--then what? The average mom will spend 5-8 hours a day feeding her baby. Yup. Like a full time job. That means that in the first 6 months of your baby's life, you will spend around 1,000 hours--that's ONE THOUSAND HOURS--feeding your baby. So why wouldn't you take a class on something you're about to spend up to 40 hours a week doing? Well, let's talk about why you would take a breastfeeding class.
You get to establish a relationship with breastfeeding professional who can then provide support after baby comes, if you need it. Reaching out for assistance after baby comes can be daunting, overwhelming, or even intimidating, especially if the people you need are strangers. Get the niceties out of the way before baby arrives, in class! A familiar face always makes things easier. And during class, you'll learn how to identify reasons why you would need more support after baby comes, so you'll have an action plan in place if you face challenges.
You get to build the breastfeeding knowledge of your support network so that your partner/auntie/grandpa/sister can better help you. We encourage you to bring your whole posse to our breastfeeding class! Whoever is going to be hanging out with you to help after baby arrives should have the same information you do--not only so they know the whys behind what you're doing with breastfeeding, but also so that they can remind you if you forget something. Sleep deprivation, hormones, and all the newness of the postpartum can give you the infamous Mommy Brain, and having someone to remind you of what you learned in class can be absolutely priceless!
You get to learn the NUMBER ONE thing you need to do to get breastfeeding off to a great start and how a lot of families (unknowingly) mess it up. Even if you don't recall anything else from class, you will leave knowing THIS one thing. We would tell you this one thing is but we have to save some of our secrets for class!!
"Learn the NUMBER ONE thing you need to do to get breastfeeding off to a great start and how a lot of families (unknowingly) mess it up."
You get learn what a truly good latch looks and feels like. Since this may be your first time breastfeeding, you may not know what to look for when it comes to your baby's latch right after birth. Or maybe your last baby didn't have such a great latch and you're trying to improve on it this time. Having your family there too will help them be able to see whether or not baby has a good latch--especially since it can be hard to get baby latched on well the first few times with only two arms.
You get to practice coordinating breastfeeding holds through the use of our weighted dolls. While this may seem sort of strange at first (or even a little creepy--darned little eyes that open and close), it can actually be a real eye-opener (pun intended) to position a doll that weighs close to what your own baby will weigh. Just don't look the doll in the eye.
Join us as we start our very own breastfeeding class, Belly to Breastfeeding, which will be available every month, starting July 6!
Isn’t summer in Florida fantastic? The beaches, the unpredictable weather, the hair-raising humidity…
Pregnancy in the southern summer can be agitating. Researching the best local resources can be even more frustrating. So I’ve compiled a list of shops, groups, meetings, and people that I personally recommend as a must visit, do, or buy during and after pregnancy.
1. Chiropractic Care
Carrying another human life inside you can take a toll on your entire skeletal system. Dr. Kaitlin Ross at Joint Venture Chiropractic will take the highest standard of care for you and your little one before and after delivery. Babies can benefit from chiropractic care as well. Click here for more information on infant chiropractic care.
2. Le Leche League Pensacola
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy. Finding a support group doesn’t have to be. LLL of Pensacola holds meetings “to help mothers to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.” You can find their meeting schedule on their Facebook Page.
3. ICAN of Pensacola
A newest resource for cesarean birth mothers is the Pensacola Chapter of ICAN (the International Cesarean Awareness Network). ICAN is a “nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).” This could be a turning point for VBAC rates in Pensacola, and it is certainly a much-needed resource here since as many as 1 out of 3 moms in Pensacola have had or are facing cesareans.
Now, if you’ve ever been to Storkland, GET OVER THERE, GIRLFRIEND! You can get lost in there. Truly. Tell a trusted friend to call and check on you if they don't hear from you by a certain time. DO NOT tell your significant other (JUST KIDDING). They have EVERYTHING ranging from breastfeeding supplies, amber and hazelwood jewelry, car seats, baby wearing products, cloth diapers, and every nursery theme you can think of. Storkland is one of those places that carries many products that you can’t find it at chain department stores. They also provide gift wrapping and specialized registries. Be careful sitting in their nursery rockers, you may never get up.
5. Emerald Coast Birth Resources
A list of local professionals ranging in knowledge from birth, mental health issues, breastfeeding, caring of the newborn, and fitness can be found here. Aside from brick and mortar resources, the support of fellow mothers and credentialed professionals is essential to making your journey from pregnancy, through birth, and into parenthood as smooth as possible.
“Love, Encouragement, and Postpartum Support” is the motto of this fantastic mothering support group. Connecting with other mothers and being able to open up in a safe space can take the world’s weight off of your shoulders. Being a parent is tough cookies, you don’t have to do it alone. They meet twice a month at the Community Educational Center at Ever'man's Cooperative Grocery. AND just this week, they have added two new meetings specifically for parents of black and brown babies! See their Facebook page for more information on meetings.
7. Pensacola Therapy Services
Did you know that approximately 1 out of 7 women will experience a mood disorder such as depression, anxiety, or OCD? And mood disorders aren't just for the postpartum timeframe! They can happen during pregnancy as well. We are so fortunate to have this amazing resource in the area--the owner of Pensacola Therapy Services, Eileen Wolfe, has done extensive training with PSI (Postpartum Support International) and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders pertaining to pregnancy, birth & the postpartum. If you or someone you know is pregnant or with a new baby, and struggling with feelings or thoughts, contact Eileen today through her website!
8. Maternity, Birth & Newborn Photography
You always want to have the perfect photos for the once-in-a-lifetime moments.
Amanda at Finding Beauty in the Ordinary specializes in everything pregnancy, newborn, and family (in fact, she took many of our website pictures as well as the picture in the blog header!). If you desire to capture the precious moments of birth, Natalie Zepp or Cassie Ringl would be the people for you!
9. Mom-Baby Circle
Ever need a moment to just sit and have non-structured adult conversation?
Located at Old Thyme Remedies, Mom-Baby circle meets several times a month. Moms with babies and toddlers 3 years old and under are welcome to drop in. There’s no fee and it is facilitated by Belly to Cradle’s doulas (come see ME!). You can visit their Facebook Page and click on the Events tab for their next meeting time.
10. The Belly to Cradle Resources Page
Looking for a childbearing resource not listed here? Pregnancy-specific fitness options, health food stores, or a list of all the OBGYNs in town?? Then have we got the directory for you! We have worked hard to provide a robust list of all the possible services YOU might need for your pregnancy, birth & postpartum--and if you know of a resource that's not on the list, or you are a provider and would like to be added, PLEASE contact us--we'd love to know about it!
Your Doula With Pearls, Lauren
Thank you to all of these amazing men (and their gorgeous babes) who have allowed Belly to Cradle to join them on their journey into fatherhood (sometimes two or three times)! Happy Father's Day!
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