Thursday March 30th 8:00-4:15 Rocky Hill, CT
February 13th 2017 6-8pm Hartford, CT
With the new administration in the White House and the start of the 2017 Connecticut legislative session underway, several items regarding breastfeeding support, access to breast pumps, and professional lactation supports are in danger of being eliminated. Please reach out to our representatives on the Public Health Committee to voice your support for protecting breastfeeding mothers, babies, and lactation consultants.
This link can help you find how to get in touch with the.
Also, below is a sample form letter to help you get started in reaching out. Please amend with your own personal experience and stories. Stories help those unaware of the challenges that exist connect with the issue at hand.
Dear (insert representatives name here)
I am writing today in support of Act HB 6487: An Act Concerning the Licensure of the Lactation Consultant. I am a seasoned RN, IBCLC here in CT, working at (Your hospital name/workplaces here) and (if applicable:" in my own business, a private practice in lactation care"). ( Insert your experience and background here ) I have (#) years of experience caring for mothers and babies, and would like to share with you why this Bill is vital to our healthcare system here in CT.
Women want to breastfeed their babies. I know; I care for and struggle alongside them every day, in our capitol city and in their homes. Over 75% of mothers in the US start breastfeeding. But those numbers drop off. Most mothers that don't meet their OWN breastfeeding goals didn't have access to a professional to help when it was needed.
(Please change this part up :))
At least (#) women a week call our office at (insert location) looking for lactation help after they go home from the hospital. They often have had outdated or poor breastfeeding advice from another healthcare provider, or are confused about conflicting advice. (Insert your experiences or thoughts here. Example: "Many of their challenges are very complicated medical and assessment issues only appropriate for an IBCLC level of expertise. We recently had a doctor’s office call us urgently for help with a mom and baby who had lost 19% of her birthweight, a very serious situation potentially requiring hospitalization. Our NICU, neonatal intensive care unit, admitted a significantly jaundiced and dehydrated baby from home. This young, Latina mom had not gotten any help with breastfeeding while at home, as she did not know where to go or who to ask. An immigrant, non-English speaking mom I cared for had less than ideal breastfeeding care and support in her MD office. Days later, she came to the ER with a high fever, and had developed a massive breast access, or pus-filled infection, requiring frequent doctor visits and two surgical procedures".)
The scenarios above involved moms and babies covered with HUSKY insurance. There is a huge potential for fiscal impact if we can provide appropriate and highly educated breastfeeding care to these moms before they come to the ER.
Breastfeeding saves lives and money. Robust research shows us this. The Surgeon General states clearly in this 2011 Call to Action: "International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are an excellent source of assistance for breastfeeding mothers. IBCLCs are health care professionals certified in lactation management. They work with mothers to solve breastfeeding problems and educate families and health care professionals about the benefits of breastfeeding. Research shows that rates of exclusive breastfeeding and of any breastfeeding are higher among women who have had babies in hospitals with IBCLCs on staff than in those without these professionals."
-Protects the public. Licensure guarantees the IBCLC has met certain uniform criteria that ensures the public and other healthcare providers can expect a high level of education and experience. Licensure will clearly define what services an IBCLC can legally perform.
-Will clarify the "Alphabet Soup" of breastfeeding helpers available to mothers. It's tough to understand the levels and experience of help available to them, and this creates unneeded and potentially harmful confusion for new parents.
-Ensures access to an excellent level of care for all mothers. Currently the ACA mandates breastfeeding visits, care and supplies be covered. This is not the case as insurance companies and other entities, such as Medicaid, are not making it easy for moms to find IBCLC care. Insurers cite that they only cover and contract with "licensed healthcare providers".
-Will validate and advance the profession. If we are truly able to advocate and create policy to elevate the care of families, licensure makes us a known and accepted member of the healthcare team. It also attracts others to a new and important career path, and makes employment and inclusion in healthcare teams viable.
Please consider supporting this important Bill, from a fiscal standpoint as well as a strong protection for new families to get the care they deserve.
(Your name, title, and contact info)