If you think you want support, contact me for a free phone consult!

Ellen H. Schwerin, MPH, IBCLC Happy Milk Lactation Support
[email protected] | 510.730.2154
Please click on the boxes below. If your question hasn’t been answered, feel free to contact me!
How do you work?

I come to your home to help you with all aspects of your lactation/breastfeeding journey:

  • Education on breastfeeding and normal newborn behaviors before your baby arrives, which can help lessen anxiety
  • Newborn visits when you’re home from the hospital
  • Issues that may arise, such as fussy baby, slow weight gain, tongue tie, painful nursing, plugged ducts, not enough milk, too much milk
  • Performing and teaching Therapeutic Breast Massage for Lactation for engorgement, plugged ducts, mastitis, breast pain
  • Going back to work consults to set up a workable plan, including pumping
  • Consults for twins or tandem nursing
  • Helping moms induce lactation (if you have a surrogate or are adopting, and want to breastfeed)
  • Weaning from supplements, bottle feeding, pumping and breastfeeding
How much do your services cost?

Compared to $2000 for a year of formula, relatively inexpensive!

  • Don’t forget to check with your insurance company about reimbursement for my services! It’s the LAW!
    • The National Women’s Law Center has great information and a toolkit to help you get reimbursed!
  • Fee (before reimbursement) is $275 for the initial consult (2 hours plus 2 weeks of follow-up phone/email support). Prenatal and follow-up visits are $175-$200, depending on the complexity of your situation and how much time we spend together. Please call me so that we can talk about your unique situation and see how I can help you!
  • There is a $50-$100 travel fee depending on how far you are outside of my usual travel range (I’m in Berkeley) and if I have to cross a bridge to see you, such as San Francisco, outer East Bay, San Jose, North Bay, etc.
  • Twins? Add $50 to each consult for the extra time and complexity.
  • There is a $50 fee if you cancel within 24 hours and do not reschedule.
Do you take insurance?

I am an Aetna in-network provider! Other companies are reimbursing clients at least partially for home visits with IBCLCs, and I will give you a receipt (a.k.a. superbill) that you can use to submit a claim.  Since every company and plan are different, I suggest you call your insurance company to find out your specific benefits. If you are having issues with your insurance company, The National Women’s Law Center has a toolkit to help you!

How do I prepare for a home visit?

Once we’ve confirmed our appointment, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Be sure to click on the provided link to fill out my online intake and consent forms.  Also,  please try to feed your baby 1.5-2 hours before our appointment so baby won’t be unhappy and hungry when I arrive, but will want to eat while I’m there.  And that’s it!  No need to clean the house or shower or put on make-up!

I'm having my first baby, can you help me?
Yes!  I love meeting with parents before their baby arrives to help you have realistic expectations about what life with a newborn is really like.  We’ll talk about breastfeeding, baby cues, crying and sleep. And you definitely know who to call if you ever have any questions or concerns!  This can greatly help avoid first-time parent anxiety.
I'm going back to work, can you help me?

Yes!  During your home visit, we’ll make sure you are as prepared as possible to go back to work:

  • Talk about what to expect and what’s normal for your and your baby
  • Pull out the pump, make sure it’s working and right for you
  • Put a pumping plan in place based on your unique circumstances
  • I’ll give you a checklist to use the night before and morning of, and sample day-at-work schedule for you to modify to fit your needs
  • Support during this next big transition for you and your family
Do you do Therapeutic Breast Massage for Lactation (TBML)?

Yes! I can perform this for you during a home visit, and teach you and your partner how to do it as well. Click HERE to see a video. Breast massage can be beneficial for mothers experiencing breast engorgement, plugged ducts, mastitis and even chronic breast pain.  I encourage mothers to use the general principles at home, alternating hand expression and gentle breast massage to help decrease swelling and improve breast drainage.


Do you work with twins or triplets?
Yes! We’ll talk about what are realistic breastfeeding and healthy infant feeding goals for you and your family, and then help make them happen.  Please contact me to find out more.
Can I breastfeed and drink alcohol or caffeine?
The short answer is YES! In moderation, of course. As a mature, responsible adult, you can have a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine with dinner.  Always watch and see how your baby does afterwards, and if you need to, have less next time. Enjoy!
Why hire an IBCLC?

An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. IBCLCs are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, Inc. under the direction of the US National Commission for Certifying Agencies. IBCLCs, unlike CLCs or LLLLeaders, must have at least two years of college level coursework and work with at least 300 families before being allowed to sit for the board exam.

Marsha Walker, a renown IBCLC, writes,  “Why hire an IBCLC?” “While at first glance the services of an IBCLC Lactation Consultant may seem pricey and out of the range of many families in a tight economy, we should also realize that the return on this investment can be priceless. Most of our health services are reimbursed by insurance companies or employers who are self-insured. An up-front $300 investment for a family can save them $$2000 in formula costs, hundreds of dollars because they do not need to miss time off from work to care for a sick infant, hundreds of dollars because they do not need to pay co-pays for physician visits, and the savings that accrue from the avoidance of big ticket items like childhood obesity, diabetes, and other acute and chronic diseases. That $300 investment in a child’s health lasts a lifetime.”

What do other moms have to say about Ellen?

As a first time mom, naturally I had a lot of questions and concerns, and admittedly, doubts. More specifically, doubts about my body and my ability to breast feed my baby. I was fortunate enough to find Ellen of Happy Milk Lactation Support. Ellen’s wealth of knowledge was an incredible resource to me! She was available and accessible when I needed her. She was informative and supportive of me and my new chapter and even gave my husband some great advise! Ellen’s style and expertise have been invaluable to me and our growing family! THANK YOU ELLEN! – Courtney

Please check out my yelp.com page for more testimonials!