Currently, 81.1% of women initiate breastfeeding in the hospital, but many don’t continue for as long or as exclusively as they’d hoped. Knowledgeable and competent lactation support – regardless of the credential the provider holds – is needed to increase rates of breastfeeding.

It is well known that having access to qualified lactation care – regardless of the credential the provider holds – increases breastfeeding rates. In fact, according to a recent article in the Journal of Human Lactation, breastfeeding support interventions using both IBCLCs and CLCs resulted in an increase in the number of women initiating breastfeeding, improved any breastfeeding rates, and improved exclusive breastfeeding rates.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Joint Commission and the United States Breastfeeding Committee have all recognized CLCs and IBCLCs as professional breastfeeding supporters. Yet according to the CDCs 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card, there is a startlingly low 3.79 IBCLCs per 1,000 live births and 4.57 CLCs per 1,000 live births – a combined 8.36 lactation care providers per 1,000 live births in the U.S., which is not nearly enough.

To learn more about the importance of lactation support and ALPP’s efforts to preserve access and choice for mothers and babies, download our fact sheets.