U.S. Reps Blast Bill That Would License Lactation Consultants

Two house representatives from Connecticut from opposite sides of the aisle banded together to try and stop a bill that would license board-certified lactation consultants.

During an hour-long debate in the House of Representatives, Rep. Minnie Gonzalez of Hartford and Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco of Wolcott came together to lambast the bill as totally wasteful and unnecessary because they believe that breastfeeding is totally easy and natural and no new moms ever need help with it!

“When I had my first-born, I didn’t have no experience with babies,” said Gonzalez, a member of the House since 1997. She said lawmakers were wasting valuable time in the last two weeks of the session.

“Breastfeeding is natural. You know when you have a baby that’s going to happen. Honestly, this is so natural that I am shocked we need a consultant,” she said.

Mastrofrancesco agreed, saying: “Bills like this absolutely drive me crazy.”

“Women have been breastfeeding babies for centuries,” she said, adding licenses were never required.

“You know why? Because it’s a natural thing. Nobody needs to be taught how to breastfeed. It infuriates me that we have to put bills like this together. It’s madness. Do we need a license to teach our children to go to the bathroom?”

Can someone please come pick up their boomer grandmas from the House of Representatives?

What in the absolute f*ck is this nonsense? Especially coming from two female representatives. Just because breastfeeding came naturally to them doesn’t mean that it’s a walk in the park for every other parent on the planet.

In fact, I gave breastfeeding a try over and over and over, even having a lactation consultant come to my house before I gave up for the sake of my sanity and my baby’s health. Despite my choice to switch to pumping and formula, my lactation consultant was kind, knowledgeable, and extremely helpful.

To stand on one of the biggest stages in the country and spout such ignorant and out-of-touch B.S. goes to show how much work we still have to do in this country for mothers and parents.

Thankfully, the bill passed thanks to proponents of the bill, including Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey and Rep. Jennifer Leeper, both D-Fairfield, who pointed out the need for creating a distinction between a certified lactation consultant and less-trained lactation counselors.

In a bipartisan win, the eventual 109-37 tally voted in favor of the bill, which would create a $200 license fee for consultants certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners after training that includes 1,000 hours of clinical practice.

Certified consultants may take patient histories, make clinical assessments, analyze data and communicate with primary medical providers.

McCarthy Vahey, co-chairwoman of the legislative Public Health Committee said the bill would help every parent seeking to clarify and receive the type of care they need, choose and deserve. She noted that minority communities in particular benefit when mothers breastfeed their babies.

“These clinical services are, in many cases, needed, where we have the most-vulnerable infants who are born with very low birth weights,” she said.

Republican Rep. and member of the Public Health Committee, Klarides-Ditria of Seymour, also explained the importance of the license distinction.

“Currently, anyone can call themselves a lactation consultant, even with minimal training and without a board certification,” Klarides-Ditria said. “The public has no means of IDing a qualified lactation consultant, and no protection from unqualified practitioners. So in the state of Connecticut, licensure would assure customers, employers, hospitals and other health care providers and organizations that they are engaged with qualified, educated providers.”

For so many moms, breastfeeding does not come naturally. The last thing we need is people like Gonzalez and Mastrofrancesco shaming and stigmatizing the struggles that new mothers go through when it comes to nursing infants.

Dr. Jessica Knurick posted a short clip from the two-hour hearing on TikTok, sharing her opinion on the bill and those who opposed it.

“Who wants to tell her that respiratory therapists and dietitians exist too?” she asked. “You know, professionals who help people breathe and eat? Things we’ve also been doing for hundreds of years.”

She added in the caption, “Lactation consultants help with many breastfeeding issues, including latching difficulties, low milk supply, engorgement, nipple pain or damage, breastfeeding positions, infant weight gain concerns, and feeding challenges such as tongue tie or cleft palate.”

“They also provide support and guidance for breastfeeding mothers facing medical conditions or special circumstances,” she continued. “My IBCLC saved my breastfeeding journey with my son. Thank goodness for her. And for their profession.”

Just a friendly reminder that these are the people running your government! Go check right now if you’re registered to vote.

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