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Whether you’re an IBCLC making the jump to private practice or looking to add a few extra clients to an existing practice, here’s how the Lactation Network can help make your business more profitable. 

For a new mom, lactation services can be a godsend, which is why we think that lactation consultants should be celebrated each and every day for being, well, incredible. Our goal is to help make sure every IBCLC, whether you are just starting out or have a longstanding practice, has access to the resources to make their business successful. To make sure you are operating at the highest level of success, we are answering questions such as, “How much do lactation consultants make?” “How do I set an hourly rate?” and “What’s the best way to get more referrals?” Check out our answers to these common business questions below so that you can benefit from the financial stability that comes with running a healthy lactation practice.

How much do lactation consultants make

Lactation consultant salaries depend on location and the type of practice—whether independent or part of a healthcare system. Those associated with a hospital or other health center will have their salary determined by their workplace, while those who run their businesses are in charge of setting their prices. The current average annual salary for lactation consultants in the United States is about $70,000, or $33.65 per hour. However, the salary range varies by state, with Massachusetts at the top of the list, where IBCLCs make $39.86 per hour on average, and Florida at the bottom, where they make around $28.46 per hour. Obviously, when you run your own practice, those numbers go up.

Private practice lactation consultants should research how much consultants in their area charge to set competitive but fair prices. Local demand, experience level and overhead costs, such as monthly rent for an office or gas if you’re a traveling consultant, will be the major factors determining your hourly rate. Remember, your time is valuable. When setting your rate, be sure to consider the average time you’ll spend traveling to, preparing for and following up after each session. How many hours of work will factor into a one-hour session? 

What’s the best way to reach more new moms in my area? 

Getting your practice out there is the easiest way to increase business. Set up a website and dedicated social media accounts for your practice. These will help prospective clients find you and build up your credibility in the form of online reviews and testimonials. Asking happy customers for a review is one of the best ways to ensure more people come your way. Use your website and social platforms to advertise, share your great reviews and spread the word about your practice. Social media, especially Facebook, is also a solid avenue for reaching out to local parenting groups. 

In addition to establishing yourself online, don’t forget to make neighborhood connections. Introduce yourself to local pediatricians and OBGYNs to increase your referrals. Send business cards and other digital marketing materials, such as PDF of a brochure or flyer, to providers in your area. 

If you feel that you’ve hit the ceiling on self-promotion and want further marketing support, join the Lactation Network. We support lactation consultants in our network by connecting them to new moms in their area who request insurance-covered lactation consultations on our website. We also provide marketing advice to help them reach more clients and grow their businesses.

IBCLC vs. Certified Lactation Consultant: Does it matter?

Technically speaking, anyone who provides support with breastfeeding may use the title lactation consultant since the term on its own is unregulated. But there is a difference between a certified lactation consultant (CLC) and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). This comes down to a number of factors. Still, the biggest difference between the two is the amount of training and clinical experience IBCLCs must complete compared to CLCs before taking their certification exam. Both, however, have been trained to support breastfeeding families. 

When it comes to salary, CLCs and IBCLCs are on a similar playing field, but pay does tend to be more favorable for IBCLCs. Ultimately, it usually comes down to the level of experience and expertise a CLC or IBCLC has. However, there is another benefit to having your IBCLC certification: You can join the Lactation Network. More on that below!

How can the Lactation Network help my lactation practice grow?

What many patients don’t know is that they’re likely covered for one or more lactation visits under their insurance plan. But confirming their coverage and getting reimbursed is often a complicated and time-consuming process. That’s where the Lactation Network comes in. We manage the insurance billing process and compensate our IBCLCs directly for multiple lactation visits. 

Other benefits of joining the Lactation Network include: 

  • Fewer cancellations. With multiple pre-approved visits, your patients will feel better about making the first one. 
  • Steadier income. Our reimbursement services ensure you always know when you’ll be getting paid.
  • Custom IBCLC portal. Let us handle the administrative work for you by tracking visits on our custom portal.
  • Around-the-clock patient intake services. Reach more patients with the help of our five-star patient care team.

Being a part of our network means you can focus more on what really matters: taking care of your patients. We’re here to help you grow your lactation practice and reach more breastfeeding families, so sign up with our network today.