Becoming an IBCLC is a huge professional accomplishment. It takes a lot of dedication, growth, compassion, and money to go through the full proccess in obtaining this credential.
For me, it took about 5 years of lactation training, $30,000+ in college debt, $700 to sit for the exam, and $400 in study materials. After we recieve the credential, we have to take continuing education courses, that also costs a pretty penny.
This is what it took to just get here. There are more logistics that go on behind the scenes that are considered to justify the cost of maintaining this credential and the practicalities of running a business. As I have two young children of my own, childcare is a big expense that my fee has to cover so I can leave my family to provide lactation services to your family. I am a mobile lactation consultant, I come to you in the comfort of your own home, so gas/traveling expenses are also covered from my fees. I run a legal business which means I am also responsible for paying business taxes from my fees. I also use a large range of supplies in my consultations, supply costs are also covered from my fees. All of these factors contribute to my specific service prices.
Lets break down all of the logistics to see what really is going on behind the scenes.
My fee is $150 for a 1.5 hour home consultation.
I need child care for 2.5 hours at $10 per child = $50
I travel from my home, to the baby sitter, to your home, back to the babysitter, and then back to my home. Gas expense = $15
In Germany self employed taxes are based off of income brackets. These are continuously changing as your income grows. The taxes I can owe is between 14-42% of my income. $150 x .14 = $21
I use multiple supplies, which is very dependent on the consult. The range can be nitrile gloves, hand sanitizer, medical sanitizer, nipple shields, nipple everts, sizing chart, demonstration tools, SNS systems, nipple creams, etc etc. On the low end I account for my supply cost to be = $5
After my fees are deducted I have roughly $59 left over. But, my work is not done as soon as I leave a client's home. I have about 3 hours left of charting, creating pediatrician / PCM reports, and any referral coordination that is neccessary.
In the end after expenses are deducted, and the hours are accounted for, I make about $13 per hour of my 4.5 hours of work for one consult.
So no, IBCLCs are not in this field for the money. We do it because we care and moms deserve to feed their baby how they choose without struggling through it. We charge what we charge to simply make it sustainble for us to run a business, pay our bills, feed our families, all the while making sure moms have access to expert lactation care.