Frequently asked questions
Do I need a Prenatal Visit?
We always prefer to prevent problems before they arise. A prenatal lactation consult allows you to talk through what aspects of infant feeding are most important to you, and get comfortable with anything that may feel overwhelming. We can discuss which supplies to have on hand and how to enable your family or friends to support you. Aetna typically covers 3 lactation consults, so many families who have Aetna choose to use one visit during pregnancy.
Do You Take Insurance?
Yes, we are in-network with Aetna. We bill them directly, and if both the lactating parent and baby are on the Aetna plan, 3 visits should be covered at no cost to you. *We always recommend that you verify benefits prior to booking an appointment.
What is an IBCLC?
Many clinicians may be considered “lactation counselors” or “lactation consultants”, but earning the credential of an IBCLC is considered the gold-standard in lactation care. IBCLC stands for International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant. This is the highest lactation-specific accreditation for healthcare providers. IBCLCs are recognized as lactation experts around the world.
IBCLCs are credentialed by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. In order to become an IBCLC, one must have completed:
- 14 health science courses
- 300-1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice working with lactating people
- 95 hours of lactation-specific education
IBCLCs apply for recertification every 5 years, and must have:
- 250 hours of clinical practice working with lactating people
- 70 hours of lactation-specific education
- 5 hours of education on ethical care
- Basic Life Support (CPR) certification
What to Expect at an In-Home Visit
At every visit, we first and foremost respect that we are guests in your home. We take shoes off if you prefer. We wash hands before doing anything else. And we ask permission before any assessments. Because it’s the right thing to do.
We often want to see a full feeding or pumping session during our time together. Plan for us to be wherever you do your work, whether it’s on the couch, in a nursery, or in your bedroom. If baby is fussy and hungry right before your appointment, it can help to walk around with baby snuggled up close to you in a soft swaddle or carrier.
What to Expect at a Virtual/Telemedicine/Telehealth(?) Visit
We rely on you to be our eyes and ears from afar, so sending a few short videos in advance is key. With videos taken in advance, there’s no pressure to time the visit around a feeding. We will review the videos together, and you can always have friends or family join the virtual visit if they will be a part of your support team. We offer a HIPAA-compliant platform to protect your privacy, and find that we’re able to connect really nicely with families this way, even from a distance. (real pants are optional, comfort is a must.)
Please give 24 hours notice. This is a small practice and we want other families to have access to care if you will not use your appointment. You may be charged a cancellation fee if you cancel within 24 hours of your appointment. We understand that emergencies happen—please contact us as soon as possible if this applies to you.
What are your specialties?
Ashley has been supporting birthing families for over a decade. She has professional training and personal experience in many aspects of lactation. Ashley’s interests include helping families who may be struggling with a spitty baby, oversupply/engorgement, low milk supply, tongue tie, babies who breastfeed past 6 months, babywearing and breastfeeding, gentle weaning, and all things pumping. As a former fertility clinic nurse, she has a special place in her heart for families who have gone through a fertility journey prior to the pregnancy.
What if I don’t have Aetna?
Verify your benefits directly with your insurance company. You must pay up-front for an appointment, but after your visit you will receive a Superbill, which is a form with insurance coding. You can submit the Superbill to your insurance company for (hopeful) reimbursement. If you have any issue with getting reimbursed, the National Women’s Law Center Breastfeeding Toolkit is for you.
What if I live outside of the Charlottesville area (Albemarle County) in Virginia?
Virtual visits are available, and Ashley has worked with families in many states this way.
What is your COVID protocol?
We are so appreciative of those in the area who are tirelessly working to track data, provide testing, and enable us to stay up to date so we can make informed decisions. We continue to track CDC data and local infection rates and understand this is a dynamic situation.
Flow Lactation has a responsibility to the community to provide safe, effective care. Ashley has been fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.
We prioritize the safety and comfort our most vulnerable clients, the babies. Since masking and vaccines are not an option for them, we wear a professionally-fitted N95 mask at every visit, and ask that anyone who is home during a visit (except the baby) also wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth.