Should Lactation Consultant Services Be An Essential Component of Healthcare?

If you believe in the benefits of Lactation Consultants, and think these services should be a part of a healthcare package, and have ever wanted a opportunity to rub elbows with representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services, here is your chance. Part of me wonders why DHHS need to speak to IBCLCs and advocates given the overwhelming amount of information on breastfeeding benefits, and knowing the objective of Lactation Consultants will help in obtaining those benefits, so having these kinds of specialists in healthcare would only make sense. . . but that’s just me.

I still believe working towards getting to a place where breastfeeding is seen as the cultural norm, pushing towards goals where we as a society will arrive at a place where everyday people can pitch in everyday, calling on specialists only in special circumstances, should be our greatest goal. And while we work towards that, here is an opportunity to advocate, since the DHHS just may be in your area and will be listening to you.

Here is an excerpt from the International Lactation Consultants of America’s website, but you can read the full text as well as get additional information here. Below are the meeting places, dates, times, and email addresses to RSVP. RSVPs are required! Send an email with your name, organization, title, email address and phone number to the designated RSVP by the RSVP Due Date listed! You DO NOT have to be an IBCLC, or any other type of breastfeeding counselor to attend!

Lactation consultants make a difference every day in diverse settings and with a variety of people. You may think that you are too small to make a difference in the scheme of things. However, advocating a point of view is engaged in by almost all special interest groups in the United States. As individuals and/or groups, we have the right to lobby policy makers which insures that our interests and concerns are heard, as well as competing interests and views, so that legislators and policy makers have a broad base of information on which to base their decisions. Lobbying attempts to persuade an individual, agency, institution, or organization to support an idea, an issue, a certain course of action, etc. You lobby whenever you work to encourage someone to agree to your way of thinking or to embark on a new project or program. We call ourselves “advocates” because we speak for those whose voices are often silent – breastfeeding mothers and babies.

USLCA works to fulfill its vision and mission to see that IBCLCs are valued members of the health care team and that as an association it advocates for its members. However because USLCA is YOU, we are all needed to engage in advocacy activities. The power of “one” is strong and when one determined individual networks with others championing similar agendas, change happens. 

Chicago    4-Nov     9:30 AM- noon                                                        Bryan.Schulz@hhs.gov
233 N Michigan Ave, 13th floor (Room 1329)

Boston 8-Nov 1-3 PM                                                                                     R1-ORD@hhs.gov
John F. Kennedy Federal Building. 15 New Sudbury St., Conference Room 2075 (20th floor)

New York    14-Nov    10 AM – noon                                                       Joynetta.Bell@hhs.gov

26 Federal Plaza, Suite 3835 New York, New York 

Kansas City
   15-Nov    10 AM – noon                                                     Cindy.Cento@hhs.gov
Bolling Federal Office Building 8th Floor SSA Conference Room
601 E. 12th Street

Atlanta     16-Nov    10 AM – noon                                                            ORDAtlanta@hhs.gov
61 Forsyth St. SW, Suite 5B95, Atlanta

Seattle     17-Nov     2 – 5 PM                                                       Viveta.VanderSanden@hhs.gov
Jackson Federal Building, 915 2nd Ave, South Auditorium

Denver     18-Nov  9 AM – noon                                                                Ezra.Watland@hhs.gov
999 18th St. South Terrace, Suite 400

San Francisco  21-Nov  3 – 5 PM                                                                   region9ord@hhs.gov
90 Seventh Street, Suite 5-100

Philadelphia     8-Nov    10 AM -noon                                 aryanna.abouzari@hhs.gov
Public Ledger Building, 150 S. Independence Mall West, Conference Rm 419Dallas     9-Nov    10 AM – noon                                              shelby.gooden@hhs.gov
r for Community Cooperation, 2900 Live Oak Street

Go and be heard. Or at least go and listen in — show your interest and support.

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