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Advocacy

Breastfeeding recommendations are well established and supported by research showing longer duration minimizes infant mortality and optimizes lifelong infant and maternal health. Breastfeeding is a learned process and can be hard to get started with many compounding factors, including limited access to culturally matched professional level care, paid leave and ongoing community support. It is no wonder that continuing can be a challenge, with 60% of women reporting inability to achieve intended goals and many experiencing disparity due to racial and socioeconomic inequities. While organizations ranging from the CDC, AAP, to ACOG have comprehensive information supporting breastfeeding, most healthcare professional degree programs lack education about breastfeeding. It is time sensitive and time intensive care best provided by someone who specializes in it, and best valued for its long-term cost effectiveness. Through this advocacy page, we hope to improve awareness of lactation care team members, lactation care insurance coverage rights, and how you can engage with policy makers to improve equitable lactation care as well as adequate paid leave standards.​

See our published article regarding advocacy with the Ohio Department of Medicaid here.

Health Insurance Coverage Facts

  • The Affordable Care Act as of 2013 requires health plans to fully cover prenatal and postnatal professional breastfeeding support and supplies without co-payments, deductibles, or co-insurance, for the duration of breastfeeding

  • Coverage for professional breastfeeding support and supplies has been limited

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Paid Leave Facts

  • Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of life for optimal health outcomes, Yet, nearly one-third of employed women do not take any maternity leave, and nearly 1 in 4 women who do take leave return to work within two weeks due to financial and job insecurity, diminishing the ability to establish the connection needed to successfully breastfeed. 

  • Paid family leave can double the median duration of breastfeeding and can be economically sustainable

What can you do?

Equity

Racial and socioeconomic disparities persist with breastfeeding duration rates. Equitable representation across health care professions is a part of the societal solutions needed to reduce disparities. OLCA strives to improve access to the lactation consultant profession through advocacy work across the state. We lift up and support organizations within our state working everyday to directly serve communities most impacted by negative health outcomes.​

 

Looking for such an organization for support or to support?

 

Check these amazing organizations out and let us know of more in your community!