20 Actions in 20 Days: Access to IBCLCs

20 Actions in 20 Days

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has called on the entire nation to take 20 concrete action steps from the January 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding to support the removal of barriers to breastfeeding. The United States Breastfeeding Committee is hosting a “20 Actions in 20 Days” campaign to highlight these action steps and implementation strategies.

Action 11: Ensure access to services provided by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants.

While there is a push and need to have all health care professionals that encounter women trained on breastfeeding support, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are the only professionals trained in lactation care.

The International Lactation Consultant Association has a directory of IBCLCs that are ILCA members. There are 17 IBCLCs listed in Northeast Florida in the directory, four associated with WIC, nine associated with hospitals and four with other affiliations.

IBCLCs specialize in clinical management of breastfeeding. The Surgeon General recommends including lactation support as an essential medical service, providing reimbursement to IBCLCs independent of them having additional licensures and ensuring a racial and ethnic variety of IBCLCs are available.

IBCLCs can assist moms with the basic position and latch of the infant; information to promote successful breastfeeding; preventing and managing common concerns; milk expression and storage; strategies for breastfeeding after returning to work; and other similar issues. Some IBCLCs also offer worksite lactation support.