Supports Healthy PA Goals 

  • Current healthcare system needs to increase professional breastfeeding support: utilization of  IBCLC services is best practice and cost containment.

  • Prevention is key and breastfeeding support is primary healthcare prevention.

  • Breastfeeding helps to promote personal responsibility by empowering mothers to care for themselves and their infants.

PA Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies Lack Access to Appropriate Care

Without timely, skilled, and knowledgable breastfeeding support babies are weaned.

  • 60% of mothers wean before they want to.

  • The 2010 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) from the Centers for Disease Prevention indicate that only 60.2% of mothers in Pennsylvania were still breastfeeding at 4 weeks after delivery. That is 40% of the mothers we help don’t make it through the first month. The same research showed lass than half are still breastfeeding at 8 weeks.

  • PA's inpatient Maternity Care Practices and Policy score is 78 out of 100; ranking PA 28th.

  • PA's outpatient breastfeeding duration rates are below average.

  • U.S. Surgeon General recommends 8.6 IBCLCs per 1,000 deliveries; we need 1210 IBCLCs but we only have 502.

WIC Does Not Provide This Service

  • Around 71% of WIC participants are on Medicaid.

  • Medicaid providers often refer their patients to WIC peer counselors for lactation support who have only 24 -48 hours of training in basic support, they are not lactation consultants.

There is Consumer Confusion in the Marketplace

The consumer often doesn't know the  differences between a:

  • International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

  • WIC Peer Counselor

  • La Leche League Leader

  • Certified Lactation Counselor

  • and a Breastfeeding Counselor

What would licensure do?


1. Licensure will provide consumers, health care providers, insurance personnel and employers with the ability to identify qualified lactation consultants.


2. Licensure will provide a means of standardizing practice and maintaining sound oversight of lactation professionals.


3. Reimbursement within the health care system will ensure access to timely, skilled, competent and culturally relevant breastfeeding support for all mothers and babies.


4. Reimbursement for services will positively impact the growth of the profession of lactation consulting creating adequate numbers of IBCLCs needed to meet current and future needs.

Physicians are concerned with 'negligent referral' liability

  • Do not have training on the various support providers.

  • Unable to identify quality lactation services providers.