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Licensure for IBCLC Lactation Consultants

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All families deserve to have the thorough and experienced  guidance from an IBCLC lactation consultant. Please support Bill 1151: Licensure for IBCLCs.
Because we are currently not licensed, insurance companies, especially Medicaid, do not recognize the IBCLC credential.  Too many families do without enough support at a crucial time. Licensure would make IBCLC care accessible to all Massachusetts families.

Here is the distinction of the IBCLC credential.
There are 15 certifications for breastfeeding support*. Of all these, the IBCLC is the most rigorous. This credential requires
• college levels courses (Anatomy and Physiology, Child development, for example)
• the most continuing education credits: 90 hours of lactation specific education.
• Most significantly, it requires 300-1000 hours of one on one actual experience with mothers and babies, and discussion with a mentor.
And that’s just to apply for the exam.

There is no substitute for the many hours of time and experience. It’s how we learn a range of normal or urgent.

At the hospital or at the home, when I visit a mother, I need to determine

  • Is this working?
  • Is this medically urgent?
  • What is most effective for her now and moving forward?

A preterm baby’s needs and behaviors are different from full term babies. The mother’s health history: diabetes, or postpartum hemorrhage, for example, can affect her milk supply. There is a lot to consider and it is changing.

I confer with pediatricians, family doctors, Special Care and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurses and neonatologists. These licensed providers need to know that my observations and recommendations are based on a well-considered evaluation.

Licensure of IBCLCs also assures parents and  insurance companies of a thorough level of support for newborns and parents. This is especially important for families with complex or persistent situations.

Follow up will always be crucial. Medicaid does not provide for IBCLC support. Some insurance companies reimburse for payments to IBCLCs. (Aetna is the only insurance provider that covers IBCLC home visits).

It comes down to this: If you can pay for it (or you have Aetna) you can get IBCLC support. Let’s change that. Licensure for IBCLCs would make this level of care accessible to all families.

The IBCLC is the only profession that specializes and trains this thoroughly in lactation. The IBCLC credential is an excellent standard for licensure.

Please sign this petition in support of Bill 1151.

Thank you.