Breastfeeding recommendations are well established and supported by research, citing 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.
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
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?
- Empower others with knowledge of their right to healthcare coverage for professional breastfeeding care, and workplace accommodations for breastfeeding needs, and utilize this Lactation Care Advocacy Letter template to write to your federal Representative and Senators as well as state legislators
- Utilize this letter template to advocate for the IBCLC to be included as a provider option for Ohio Medicaid beneficiaries and as defined by Ohio Administrative Code, Section 3701-7-01
- Share your experiences with local advocacy organizations working to improve paid leave policy, and get updates on issues that impact breastfeeding
- Learn about National and Ohio General Assembly paid leave bill proposals and feel free to utilize our Paid Leave Advocacy Letter template to write to your federal Representative and Senators as well as state legislators
- Talking Points