Help Fund Licensure for MA IBCLCs

$2,922 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 49 people in 40 months
Tricia Nickell Elbl
on behalf of Project Licensure

Our goal is to provide greater access to professional IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants) lactation services for all mothers in Massachusetts who are breastfeeding or wish to breastfeed. We believe the best way to achieve this goal is by licensing IBCLCs.


Project Licensure is advocating for the licensure of IBCLCs in the state of Massachusetts. We are a group of independent IBCLCs who are working together to advance this initiative. We welcome other people who are interested in helping us! In addition to donating funds, please contact us if you'd like to contribute in time or expertise as well. This will help guarantee that all mothers and babies in the state of Massachusetts are protected and have access to receive qualified, licensed lactation assistance. Licensure will make IBCLCs eligible to be reimbursed by private insurers and the federal agencies, improving access to clinical lactation services and reducing disparity in care for those who cannot afford out of pocket expenses for expert lactation services.

Advocacy costs money.

We are consulting with professional legislative experts who are guiding us in the process of working with our state government to make licensure for IBCLCs a reality.


In the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, Regina Benjamin M.D. stated “International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are health care professionals who specialize in the clinical management of breastfeeding. Like all other U.S. certification boards for health care professionals, the IBLCE operates under the direction of the U.S. National Commission for Certifying Agencies and maintains rigorous professional standards” (NIH), Healthcare, 2011).

The point of licensure is to assure rigorous standards for breastfeeding education and support.
The IBCLC credential is the most rigorous standard of breastfeeding education, requiring college level course work and 90 hours of lactation specific education. In addition, and most importantly, the IBCLC
credential requires at least 500 hours of supervised clinical experience with an IBCLC mentor. That means experience meeting mothers one on one in
many situations.

This will assure health care professionals, insurance companies and vulnerable new parents of a consistent level of training.

Dr. Benjamin was so convinced of the evidence that clearly showed how IBCLCs increase rates of mothers exclusively breastfeeding as well as increasing the rates of babies in neonatal intensive care units that receive their mother’s milk, that she made the recommendation of “approximately 8.6 IBCLCs per 1,000 live births” throughout the U.S. (NIH,Healthcare, 2011).

According to the Surgeon General's Call to Action, services provided by IBCLCs that support breastfeeding include:

- Prenatal education on breastfeeding

- Inpatient support during the maternity stay

- Outpatient follow-up after discharge

- Telephone follow-up

- Development and administration of lactation programs

To enable mothers in the U.S. to get the help they need from IBCLCs,  the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding step 11 asked for these provisions:

-Ensure access to services provided by International Board Certified Lactation  Consultants (IBCLCs)

-Make lactation support an essential medical service for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and children

- Provide reimbursement for IBCLC care

- Increase ethnic and racial mirroring of IBCLCs to US demographics

- Alternately, develop state licensure for lactation consultants 

 Massachusetts needs more IBCLCs!

 A lack of any insurance coverage and inconsistent insurance coverage for IBCLC services has put some IBCLCs out of business, kept others from becoming IBCLCs and has drastically cut the number of those willing to recertify as IBCLCs. Licensure for Massachusetts IBCLCs would address insurance issues and provide reimbursement for their services. This, in turn, would grow the IBCLC profession by encouraging others to become IBCLCs. 


When Massachusetts' mothers breastfeed, everyone in Massachusetts wins!

Massachusetts Breastfeeding Mothers and Their Infants

81.4% of all Massachusetts mothers choose to initiate breastfeeding. However, only 17.5% are exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months (Centers for Disease Control, CDC, 2014)

Billions of dollars are spent in the United States each year to pay for formula and increased illness because of the low breastfeeding rates at 6 months.

Over 26% of all Massachusetts' babies are born under Medicaid.

For the entire U.S., WIC spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on formula (in 2010 $864 million)

Medicaid only covers services provided by licensed healthcare providers. IBCLCs must be licensed by the state of Massachusetts before their impact of saving our great state can be felt. So, without reimbursement, the majority of Massachusetts' babies miss out on the benefit of breastfeeding because there is zero coverage for the services they clearly need from an IBCLC.

Working together with our legislators we can save our great State of Massachusetts money and help breastfeeding mothers and babies be successful.

 You deserve the benefits gained by containing our state’s spending and satisfaction of knowing that you have made Massachusetts a better place for the next generation. Let’s work together and make this happen for everybody!

Massachusetts' babies cannot speak up for themselves so we must do it for them.  Please help Massachusetts’ mothers and babies live better, healthier lives.



Breastfeeding is a game changer for public health. It is inexpensive, and equally beneficial for Massachusetts' babies whether they are sick or healthy, wealthy or poor, premature or full term.

 Breastfeeding saves money for:

Massachusetts' families because they spend less money on groceries and doctor’s visits.

Massachusetts' businesses because parents of breastfed babies require less sick days.

Massachusetts' taxpayers because Women, Infant, & Children Program (WIC) spends less taxpayer dollars on formula and Medicaid paying for sick baby clinic visits.

Breastfeeding impacts the lives of babies. Benefits for babies include:

- Less Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

- Less Otitis Media (Ear infections)

- Less Respiratory Infections

- Less Obesity

- Less RSV Bronchiolitis

- Less Asthma

- Less Dermatitis and Eczema

- Less Celiac Disease (Gluten intolerance)

- Less Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

(American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 2012)

Breastfeeding is also important for a mother’s overall health:

- Breastfeeding assists in weight loss post delivery

- Less risk of Diabetes

- Less risk of Breast Cancer

- Less risk of Ovarian Cancer

- Less risk of Cardiovascular Disease (Heart Disease)

- Less risk of Hypertension (High blood pressure)

 (National Institute of Health (NIH), 2009)


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Come and join us to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week with a Movie and Discussion! New Date! Sunday, Aug 6, 2017 at 7 pm at Temple Beth Shalom in Newton.
Cost: 20 per attendee, children under 12 are free. Please rsvp or buy tickets at
New date for our Movie and Discussion!
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We have a wonderful evening of networking and a screening of the documentary film, The Milky Way planned to celebrate World Breastfeeding week. Please come and join us!
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Thank you so much for your support! We will be merging with the Massachusetts Lactation Consultant Association (MLCA) going forward, which will allow us to gain nonprofit status.

We are still fighting hard for Lactation Support in Massachusetts, and will keep you updated!
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Project Licensure Proudly Presents
Breastfeeding News You Can Use
Friday, April 7, 2017 :: 9 AM – 3:30 PM

Register TODAY

Reduced cost for LLL/NMC counselors, WIC peer counselors. Nursing students.
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Read a Previous Update
Mary Ellen Galante
40 months ago

I support this great effort and made a donation- please join me to ensure all breastfeeding mothers can get the help they need!

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$2,922 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 49 people in 40 months
Created March 25, 2016
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Catherine MacLean
22 months ago
Ian MacLean
26 months ago
Jenny Weaver
27 months ago
Maire MacLean
30 months ago

In honor of all my wonderful colleagues who work every day to help breastfeeding families and donate additional time to increase access to comprehensive lactation care for all families.

Anne-Marie Rohrberg
31 months ago
Judith Fayre, RN, IBCLC
32 months ago

Let's keep moving this forward. We have families to support!

Anne-Marie Rohrberg
33 months ago
Shelly Taft
33 months ago
34 months ago
Katherine Lew
34 months ago

Good and worthy cause!

Mary Ellen Galante
40 months ago

I support this great effort and made a donation- please join me to ensure all breastfeeding mothers can get the help they need!

+ Read More
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