Lactation Consultant: FSA Eligibility
What is a lactation consultant?
A lactation consultant is a health professional who works closely with expectant and new mothers to manage the clinical aspects of regular breastfeeding. While most would assume that breastfeeding is the natural course of action following the birth of a child, there are countless complications that could take place that could inhibit the process, which is where the expertise of a lactation consultant can prove invaluable in ensuring that infants receive optimal nutrition from the start of life (BabyCenter).
A lactation consultant can come from a variety of backgrounds, including healthcare professionals who already work in a maternal-child health role who complete a requisite course, a college/university academic program or those with no previous experience who complete a Structured Lactation Consultant Training Course, complete required continuing education courses and the requisite hours of supervised clinical experience.
What issues does a lactation consultant treat?
Many hospitals have interwoven lactation consultants into a standard level of care for new mothers, and the overarching goal of these consultants is to prepare for successful nursing, even if the baby will not be ready to nurse for quite some time (The Bump). The primary goals of lactation consultants include:
- Create a plan to begin the breastfeeding process
- Educate mothers on available breastfeeding aids, as well as instruction on pumping, storage and baby positioning to comfortably nurse their infants
- Troubleshooting any issues mothers may have fulfilling their breastfeeding plan
- Act as a resource for other healthcare professionals in the field of lactation support
How is lactation consultant reimbursement handled?
Lactation consultants are healthcare professionals who provide instruction on proper breastfeeding techniques to support the healthy development of a newborn, therefore their services are fully covered under flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements.