Support Licensure of IBCLCs in Florida
Support Licensure of IBCLCs in Florida
Why this petition matters
Too many mothers quit breastfeeding because they cannot afford or do not know how to get coverage for the services of a lactation consultant. If you are a Florida resident, signing our petition will CHANGE that! Licensing Florida IBCLCs is smart! Licensure of IBCLCs ensures that insurance companies and Medicaid will pay for the most qualified breastfeeding help that all mothers in the state of Florida so rightly need and deserve. Thank you for helping Florida mothers and babies by signing our petition and posting it to your Facebook page for your Florida friends to sign too!
IBCLCs are the only certified lactation consultants that demand clinical experience of helping breastfeeding mothers.
For more information about IBCLC see: (USLCA.org)
Breastfeeding is a game changer for public health. It is inexpensive, easy to do, and equally beneficial for Florida's babies whether they are sick or healthy, wealthy or poor, a girl or a boy, premature or full term.
Florida Breastfeeding Mothers and Their Infants
Breastfeeding is a basic necessity that 77.0% of all Florida mothers choose to initiate. However, only 18.3 % of Florida mothers are still breastfeeding at the 6 months mark. (Centers for Disease Control, CDC, 2014)
Breastfeeding saves money for:
Florida families because they spend less money on groceries and doctor’s visits.
Florida businesses because parents of breastfed babies require less sick days.
Florida taxpayers because Women, Infant, & Children Program (WIC) spends less taxpayer dollars on formula and Medicaid paying for sick baby clinic visits.
Breastfeeding impacts the lives of babies. Benefits for babies include:
- Less Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Less Otitis Media (Ear infections)
- Less Respiratory Infections
- Less Obesity
- Less RSV Bronchiolitis
- Less Asthma
- Less Dermatitis and Eczema
- Less Celiac Disease (Gluten intolerance)
- Less Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
(American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 2012)
Breastfeeding is also very good for a mother’s overall health:
- Breastfeeding assists in weight loss post delivery
- Less risk of Diabetes
- Less risk of Breast Cancer
- Less risk of Ovarian Cancer
- Less risk of Cardiovascular Disease (Heart Disease)
- Less risk of Hypertension (High blood pressure)
(National Institute of Health (NIH), 2009)
Florida Mothers are in the bottom 25 percentile for breastfeeding at 6 months in the U.S.
If 77.0% of Florida mothers initiate breastfeeding, and breastfeeding is so beneficial for mothers and babies; how come, approximately 80% of them quit before 6 months? The reasons would be many, including a lack of support and general knowledge about breastfeeding. However, a lack of or inconsistent insurance coverage for professional lactation services impacts all Florida breastfeeding mothers.
Florida’s mothers and babies who want to breastfeed longer need our help.
Let’s provide greater access to professional IBCLC lactation services for all Florida mothers who want and are breastfeeding by licensing IBCLCs!
WHY LICENSE IBCLCs?
In the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, Regina Benjamin M.D. stated “International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are health care professionals who specialize in the clinical management of breastfeeding. Like all other U.S. certification boards for health care professionals, the IBLCE operates under the direction of the U.S. National Commission for Certifying Agencies and maintains rigorous professional standards” (NIH), Healthcare, 2011).
Dr. Benjamin was so convinced of the evidence that clearly showed how IBCLCs increased rates of mothers exclusively breastfeeding and increased the rates of babies in neonatal intensive care units, to receive their mother’s milk, that she made the recommendation of “approximately 8.6 IBCLCs per 1,000 live births” throughout the U.S. (NIH,Healthcare, 2011).
Services provided by the IBCLCs according to the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding include:
- Prenatal education on breastfeeding
- Inpatient support during the maternity stay
- Outpatient follow-up after discharge
- Telephone follow-up
- Development of lactation programs
- Administration of those programs
To help mothers in the U.S. get the help they need from IBCLCs the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding step 11 asked for these provisions:
-Ensure access to services provided by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs)
-Make lactation support an essential medical service for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children
- Provide reimbursement for IBCLC care
- Increase ethnic and racial mirroring of IBCLCs to US
- Alternately, develop state licensure for lactation consultants
Florida needs more IBCLCs!
According to the Surgeon General Florida needs close to 2000 IBCLCs to correctly cover the state's needs for breastfeeding mothers and babies. We only have approximately 500 IBCLCs in the entire state of Florida. A lack of insurance coverage and inconsistent insurance coverage for IBCLC services has put some IBCLCs out of business, kept potential others from becoming IBCLCs and has drastically cut the number of those needed to recertify as IBCLC. Licensure for Florida IBCLCs would address insurance issues and provide reimbursement for their services. This in turn, would grow the IBCLC profession by encourage others to become IBCLCs.
When Florida mothers breastfeed, everyone in Florida wins!
Billions of dollars are spent in the United States each year to pay for formula and increased illness because of the low breastfeeding rates at 6 months.
Over 50% of all Florida babies are born under Medicaid
For the entire U.S., WIC spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on Formula (in 2010 $864 million)
Medicaid only covers services provided by licensed healthcare providers. IBCLC must be licensed by the state of Florida before their impact of saving our great state can be felt. So, without reimbursement, the majority of Florida's babies miss out on the benefit of breastfeeding because there is zero coverage for the services they clearly need from an IBCLC.
Working together with our legislators we can save our great State of Florida money and help breastfeeding mothers and babies be successful.
You deserve the benefits gained by containing our state’s spending and satisfaction of knowing that you have made Florida a better place for the next generation. Let’s work together and make this happen for everybody!
Florida babies cannot speak up for themselves so, we must do it for them, please help Florida’s mothers and babies live better, healthier lives.
The mission of the Florida Lactation Consultant Association’s Licensing and Reimbursement Committee is to advocate for the licensure of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants in the state of Florida in order to guarantee that all mothers and babies in the state of Florida are protected and have access to receive qualified licensed lactation assistance, reimbursed by private insurers and the federal agencies.
Thank you for helping Florida’s babies!
I just signed the following petition addressed to Florida Legislators,
We, the undersigned, support state licensure of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) in Florida.
Research shows that mothers who have access to IBCLCs have higher initiation and duration rates of breastfeeding their babies. Research also shows that breastfed babies are healthier than formula fed babies. Among other diseases, breastmilk reduces the risk of ear infections, SIDS, Leukemia, asthma, obesity, and the deadly necrotizing enterocolitis. Mother's milk is also beneficial for baby's brain development. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies have the exclusive nourishment of breastmilk for their first six months of life.
Florida is in the bottom 25% in the nation for its breastfeeding rates, while it sits in the top 44% in the nation for infant mortality. The direct inverse relationship is more than pure coincidence. Florida's mothers and babies could be healthier with education, support, and care that IBCLCs are clinically trained to provide.
Over 77% of Florida mothers are leaving the hospital breastfeeding their babies, but only 18.3% make it to the 6 month mark of exclusively providing their babies with mother's milk as recommended by the AAP.
IBCLCs are already certified by an international board that with rigorous levels of requirements. Certification requires prerequisite college health science courses and hundreds of hours of clinical experience under the supervision of other IBCLCs. Therefore, the candidate must pass an international exam to prove competency. There are 25,000 IBCLCs in 90 countries. The skill set and expertise of IBCLCs is well recognized by the medical community in the US. In fact, many hospitals with birthing centers employ them to assist new mothers. However, access to IBCLC's outside of the hospital setting is limited. Licensure would change that.
Former U.S. Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin, M.D., supported the state licensing of IBCLC and we do too.
- Florida's Legislators