The case for more lactation support providers

Posted : 04/15/19 in In the News

The case for more lactation support providers
Ellie MacGregor
(Contributor)

Posted 1 week ago

Breastfeeding is an effective preventive health measure for both mothers and babies that saves lives and healthcare dollars. As we know through research, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is associated with the best health outcomes for the mother-baby dyad.

 

Having access to qualified lactation care – regardless of the credential the provider holds – increases breastfeeding rates. In a 2016 study published 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.

 

According to the CDC’s 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card, there is a startling low 8.36 lactation care providers per 1,000 live births in the U.S., which is not nearly enough. Families and babies need and deserve increased access to qualified lactation support providers to receive much-needed care, especially in underserved communities.

 

Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs) have the ability to counsel and educate pregnant women and mothers about breastfeeding, conduct comprehensive clinical assessments of a dyad related to breastfeeding, and develop a care plan specific to the needs identified during said assessment. Their practices are immensely beneficial for families and babies and must be preserved. The Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice (ALPP) supports and promotes broad access to lactation support and breastfeeding in all communities in the U.S.