The IBCLC® is the national standard in clinical lactation care.
View this email in your browser
Advocacy in Action
November 15, 2016
Gratitude in the Midst of Uncertainty
The USLCA Board of Directors is so grateful for the work that IBCLCs do across our nation and around the world.  As IBCLCs ourselves, we know the passion and commitment that you pour into every interaction with a breastfeeding family, every conversation about breastfeeding with a healthcare colleague, every opportunity you have to advocate publicly for babies, mothers, and breastfeeding.  We work to advocate for what the IBCLC adds to our great nation.  

We know there are questions about what the future holds for the Affordable Care Act and its provisions for people who do the work we do, and we hope fervently that you will join us in our positive and hope-filled efforts to stand up for babies and families whenever the need arises.  As USLCA members, you are a part of an organization with "optimal health and wellness" built right into its mission statement.  We invite you to invite others who can help us keep the work of the IBCLC at the forefront of healthcare conversations.   Our efforts to ensure that the IBCLC is properly acknowledged and reimbursed for the level of care (s)he provides to families are valuable, and we are committed to continuing this advocacy.  Let's stick together, invite more to join us, and stay focused on the families we serve!
Join Us!


USPSTF Releases Recommendation to Support Breastfeeding

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has released the final Recommendation Statement on Primary Care Interventions to Support Breastfeeding and Evidence Review on primary care interventions to support breastfeeding. The new Recommendation again received a B grade, meaning that there is high certainty that the net benefit of the service is moderate to substantial. The Task Force found adequate evidence that interventions to support breastfeeding during pregnancy and after birth, including professional support, peer support, and formal education, change behavior and have a moderate net benefit.  USPSTF recommendation statements are influential in a number of policy areas, among which include those preventive services insurers are required to cover under the Affordable Care Act. A grade at the B level retains the validity that insurers provide reimbursement for lactation care and equipment.

USLCA offered testimony regarding proposed changes to this document, especially since the draft version had removed the recommendation to promote breastfeeding. Breastfeeding promotion was retained in the updated recommendation, however the definitions of professional and peer support were not clearly delineated as USLCA had requested. Both described what seemed closer to counseling than clinical interventions. The USPSTF has not changed its confidence in the benefits of breastfeeding and continues to recommend interventions to encourage breastfeeding.

  For USLCA's testimony see




USLCA is Seeking Nominations to the Board of Directors!  

Are you the next USLCA Board member?  The Board seeks applicants with a strong commitment to the mission and vision of USLCA and a willingness to serve and lead their fellow IBCLCs.  

2 Board Positions are Currently Open: Director of Program Development and Director of Marketing.  

Please visit for full details and nomination form.  

Lawsuit Pending Regarding Misrepresentation of Available Lactation Services

USLCA has been informed that a lawsuit is currently pending against Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) for misrepresentation of available lactation consulting services.  The class of families and mothers represented in the suit claims that BCBS marketed that these services were available through its Preferred Provider Network while they were fully aware that there were few such services available to the families.  

While the uncertainty of the future of the Affordable Care Act brings into question the possibility of this suit having a strong impact, there is merit in ensuring that the stories and experiences of families and their struggles to obtain access to the IBCLC are documented and archived.  The history of what the ACA has done for families - and what it has not been allowed to do - is not going to disappear, and it will continue to be an important chapter in the ongoing work of advocating for the health of families via access to IBCLC care.  

USLCA Members who wish to direct questions to the law firm representing the class of families in this suit are advised to email Damon McDougal at or visit the website   


New Partnerships in the Birth Field - Looking Toward a Future of Improved Birth Processes & Outcomes

CIMS Merges with BNN and Improving Birth

BirthNetwork National, the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, and Improving Birth have merged their organizations to create ImprovingBirth. This merger will establish fully functional, funded, and staffed chapters. Over the next three years, ImprovingBirth expects to have three main programs in place: the Community Advocate Training Program, the Mother-Friendly Provider Designation, and the Mother-Friendly Hospital Certification Program.

ImprovingBirth has also released the ImprovingBirth Pledge, available for all friends and supporters in the birth, breastfeeding, and postpartum community in order to create a groundswell of community support to improve maternity care for all pregnant women and their families.  You can take the pledge here!

With what is known about how birth affects breastfeeding outcomes, it is a natural step for breastfeeding support providers, including IBCLCs, to become involved in any way they can in ensuring that families are provided appropriate information with which to make informed decisions about their healthcare.  

If you are involved with this organization, or if you become involved, we'd love to hear about your experiences!  Please share them with us on our Facebook page, via Twitter, or email  

USLCA Regional Clinical Workshop Offers Opportunity to Talk About Licensure in Your Community

In early November, USLCA's Regional Clinical Workshop landed in Buffalo, NY.  In addition to providing local lactation and birth professionals with high-quality continuing education, this event offered the opportunity for the local community to ask questions about licensure and how to get involved with USLCA's work.  Attendees had great questions and thoughts about how licensure might affect them and their colleagues.  Marsha Walker, Co-Chair of the USLCA Licensure Committee, was on hand to field questions and provide a thorough explanation of how USLCA advocates for families by seeking increased access to IBCLC care for optimal breastfeeding outcomes and lifelong health and wellness.  

You can host USLCA's Regional Clinical Workshop in your community!  Contact for details!  

Licensure of the IBCLC provides an avenue to advance the profession to a higher level of recognition. This can help to obtain a seat at the table at the policy level. If we are to truly make changes and improve lactation care and services for all mothers, then the IBCLC needs to be contributing to policy making whether in the hospital setting or at state and federal levels. In order for the voice of the IBCLC to be heard, the IBCLC needs to be a known and accepted member of the health care team. Licensure lends an aura of respectability and accountability to a profession whose services are sorely needed by families of all incomes.

For additional information and supporting documentation, please visit our website at

Where Can I Find That Document About IBCLCs?

Do you write policies, scholarly articles, or blogs about lactation? Do you often ask yourself "Now where can I find something that demonstrates the efficacy of the IBCLC?" Do you ever need a quick reference about how best to represent what an IBCLC does?
Well, wonder no more!  Here are some quick reminders about how to find the great information you need to get the job done! 

  •  USLCA has many excellent, referenced documents regarding the purpose and efficacy of the IBCLC and licensure of the IBCLC.  Each document is fully referenced with citations you can use.  Think of the references as a list of documents to which you can then refer for additional helpful resources.  For example, the USLCA publication "Efficacy of the IBCLC: Recommendations and Evidence" contains 50 references!  You can read and download USLCA's publications by clicking here 
  •  As a member (any level, including student) you have access to the entire archive of the journal Clinical Lactation!  This journal has long been a rich resource filled with references to how IBCLCs practice, their effects on the care of breastfeeding families, and excellent explanations of how best to utilize the services of an IBCLC.  The Clinical Lactation site is accessible through the USLCA website and is a completely searchable database.  Click here to access the Clinical Lactation site.
  •  Set yourself a Google Alert on the term "IBCLC" so you never miss a new piece of research or mention of the IBCLC in the popular news.  
  •  If you find yourself in need of a document you can't seem to put a finger on, harness the power of social media by posting on our Facebook page.  Ask your question and watch the lactation world lend a hand with suggestions and ideas!   

Please share with us when your piece is published!  Highlighting the efforts of IBCLCs in all areas of lactation is a key component to marketing the IBCLC and ensuring that the IBCLC is recognized as the national standard in clinical lactation care.  

What You Can Do to Help Market the IBCLC

Making information easily available for our members to share within their own networks is one of our marketing committee’s objectives.  We enjoy your active participation on our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest platforms, and we would love to have you help us grow our Instagram presence!  Please contact our Director of Marketing, Christine Staricka, at if you can contribute to our marketing efforts on social media and elsewhere!  

Membership in Your Professional Association

We keep our members' needs and wants foremost in our work and in our plans.  Our members are the reason we exist, and we want you, our members, to feel valued, to be recognized, and to feel that your membership dollars bring you incredible benefits.  As your professional association and the ONLY organization working to advocate for the IBCLC® in the United States, we work diligently on your behalf. USLCA offers unmatched member benefits.  With this in mind, we have worked this past year to add benefits like 8 free CERPs per year, an affinity program that saves you money on products and services you already buy, updated professional advocacy documents, a Member Marketplace where you can advertise your services and products to other members, and an optimized and mobile-ready website that works better for you AND is designed to appear higher in online searches.  
We work hard to keep costs down.  We offer multiple levels of membership.  We have annual and monthly payment options, making USLCA membership even easier on your budget.

Current Membership Rates: 
Contributing Professional* $109/year
Monthly* $9/month
Individual* $85/person
Group $75/person (Group of 5 or more)
Student $43/person

You might find that you can easily build a group of 5 for group membership by gathering colleagues in your practice group, your WIC site, your hospital lactation team, your local breastfeeding coalition, or any other network of lactation professionals you know!  

Click Here to Join, Renew, or Learn More!

*If your membership is set up for auto renewal, the current rates will be reflected on your renewal date.  

Copyright © 2016 United States Lactation Consultant Association, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list