Any lactation support provider helps to improve breastfeeding outcomes

Posted : 04/19/19 in In the News

Any lactation support provider helps to improve breastfeeding outcomes
Ellie MacGregor
(Contributor)

Posted 3 months ago

In 2016, a study was published in the Journal of Human Lactation that found that support programs incorporating lactation counselors and consultants improve breastfeeding initiation and continuation rates. These support programs include education and counseling for pregnant people and new parents looking to breastfeed.

 

From a public health perspective, breastfeeding is the best option for new parents and babies. The benefits of breastfeeding to parents and their infants are well known. Interventions to improve breastfeeding that include breastfeeding education and support from a dedicated certified lactation specialist are vital to such interventions.

 

Lactation support providers who receive appropriate training, certification, and remain within their scopes of practice when providing breastfeeding support are valuable members of the healthcare team. As demonstrated in the aforementioned review, the use of lactation support providers in health systems and local communities is supported by evidence.

 

Additionally, despite the overwhelming evidence of the benefits of breastfeeding to nursing parents and children, the U.S. breastfeeding rates are suboptimal. The Center for Disease Control’s 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card shows a startlingly low number of lactation support providers as compared to live births in the country. We believe that, in order to have the best possible health outcomes for nursing parents and their babies, access to lactation support providers is vital. As such, an increase in the number of lactation support providers is critical.