We love highlighting the activities of our amazing USLCA chapters! This month, we’re excited to share information from the Massachusetts Lactation Consultant Association (MLCA).
Founded by a passionate and experienced group of IBCLCs in Massachusetts, MLCA became a chapter of USLCA in 2016 and incorporated as a 501c3 in 2018. Over the past four years, MLCA has been extremely busy in supporting the IBCLC through building professional recognition, advocating for the advancement of the profession and supporting the professional needs of members.
During the earliest days of MLCA, their access committee was able to open communications with Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts (BCBSMA) personnel which led to BCBSMA reimbursing families for lactation home visits. As the largest insurer in MA, this change significantly increased access to clinical lactation for MA families and expanded opportunities for IBCLCs. During this time period, they also gave a presentation to the medical directors of health plans in MA about the value of IBCLC care.
Several educational events have been offered to members over the past four years, allowing them to obtain CEUs and network with colleagues . While quarterly meetings offer opportunities for networking and free CEUs for members, MLCA has offered five separate conferences in the past three years open to the public with a broad range of topics including biomechanical sucking challenges, milk banking, mammary dysbiosis, supporting LGBTQ families, ethical considerations and much more.
The MLCA Board is committed to supporting future IBCLCs and has offered scholarship spots for all of their conferences. They are also working on a mentorship program and continue to offer a lending library both for current IBCLCs and those in training.
Most recently, MLCA has been working hard to support their colleagues and the public during the COVID19 pandemic. The Board has published a page on the MLCA website with the most up to date information around breastfeeding and breastmilk during the COVID19 outbreak. Regularly updated, it allows colleagues and the public to source reliable information from trusted sources.
MLCA has also created a searchable directory specifically for IBCLCs offering telehealth during this time. The link to the directory has been shared broadly both with colleagues, physicians, collaborative practitioners and the public. Using their established relationships, the Board continues to dialogue with health insurance plans in regards to securing reimbursement for telehealth services due to social distancing.
MLCA’s future goals include focusing on mentorship, continuing to increase the visibility of the IBCLC and their services, and supporting organizations that also work to promote the work of the IBCLC in their state.
As a relatively new chapter, MLCA wants to thank its members and supporters for helping the chapter get its footing and for contributing their time and expertise to MLCA’s cause.