As revisions to the “Breastfeeding Services and Supplies” regulations were being considered by the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI), NLCA was there providing comment. We are pleased to see this week that the WPSI Recommendations have been finalized and accepted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Their service recommendation states:
The Women’s Preventive Services Initiative recommends comprehensive lactation support services (including consultation; counseling; education by clinicians and peer support services; and breastfeeding equipment and supplies) during the antenatal, perinatal, and postpartum periods to optimize the successful initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding.
Within their Implementation Considerations, WPSI explains:
Clinical lactation professionals providing clinical care include, but are not limited to, licensed lactation consultants, the IBCLC®, certified midwives, certified nurse-midwives, certified professional midwives, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and physicians. Lactation personnel providing counseling, education or peer support include lactation counselors/breastfeeding educators and peer supporters. (Emphasis added).
Implementation of this rule means women will have access to this lactation care without cost sharing (incurring copays or deductibles with their medical insurance).
WPSI is a federally funded initiative of multiple medical stakeholders and advocacy groups led by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). You can learn more at this WPSI link: https://www.womenspreventivehealth.org/recommendations/breastfeeding-services-and-supplies/ and at this Health Resources & Services Administration link: https://www.hrsa.gov/womens-guidelines.