eConsults: how do we make that work?
Updated: Apr 15, 2020
As I write this post, most of us have been asked to shelter at home due to COVID19. For birthing families, this directive can create challenges including finding breastfeeding support. I've been offering virtual or distance consults for the past 10 years so this service is not new to me however I understand that it's not everyone's first choice.
Meeting in-person is by far ideal but there are benefits to eConsults. The most obvious is that you don't need to waste time traveling or add undue stress to your day by getting in the car. In addition, you get to feed your baby where you would ordinarily be feeding your baby which actually makes a big difference. Often things go really well for families feeding in my office but once home, parents can have a hard time re-creating what we did together.
It's cheaper also! My visit fees for online meetings are $60-70 less then meeting me in person. I've grappled with my fee scale and in the end I feel that even though it's the same care you'd experience in person I do believe that the cost should be less. So there's another upside! Also, I'm always happy to work out a sliding scale or a trade for those who need a little help.
The down side? It's true that meeting you in-person is much warmer, optimal and all around easier because I can see the feeding from many angles. But, with today's technology I can still get a pretty good view of what's happening for both you and your baby. Some worry about privacy and prefer not to be on camera however, we will meet on a HIPAA compliant, secure, private server so there's no need to spend a moment worried about that. All you'll need is a device with a camera so that I can see your baby feed. If you have a concern that doesn't require me to get a visual, we can also meet over the phone if that feels less worrisome.
Our visit times are still just as long as they need to be for you to get all of your questions answered. We will still stay in touch for the week following our visit via text and email. If you need a follow up virtual call, it will be at a discounted follow-up rate, just like it would be after an in-person visit.
Birth workers everywhere are restructuring their businesses to be able to continue to support families during these times. We want everyone to know they are not alone. Reach out if you have questions or concerns about feeding your baby. If cost is a concern, let me know and we can take a look at a sliding scale for payment. The most important thing is that you feel confident about nourishing your baby (and yourself)!