NLCA is disappointed by the recent decision of the Georgia Supreme Court regarding the Georgia Lactation Consultant Practice Act.
This decision has far-reaching implications for the well-being of new mothers, infants, and families across the state. It turns back the clock in Georgia – back to a time when anyone can call themselves a “lactation consultant” irrespective of education or training which sows confusion for families and employers – back to a time when access to clinical lactation care is dependent upon insurance status – and back to a time when Georgia’s Medicaid families are solely dependent on peer support. Once a leader for the nation in modernizing the delivery of breastfeeding care, this decision undermines a decade of progress by Georgia. It negatively affects access to clinical lactation care for thousands of Georgia’s breastfeeding families and, in particular, its under-resourced and marginalized patients.
While this ruling will spark debate and controversy, we want to return focus to the importance of ensuring access to clinical lactation care, and we reaffirm our commitment to working for licensure’s promise which is to ensure all breastfeeding families throughout the US have access to safe, quality clinical lactation care and support.
NLCA appreciates the time and effort of the Attorney General’s attorneys who represented the Georgia Secretary of State in this matter, the attorneys who supported the Secretary with amicus briefs and the thousands of Georgians who worked for more than 10 years to improve access to clinical care in Georgia. Notably, this decision is based on the Georgia statute, Georgia case law and the Georgia Constitution and does not apply to any other state.