Dubai introduces rules, licence for lactation consultants

Lactation consultants provide personalised assistance to mothers and their babies.

Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulatory, DHCR, the regulator of Dubai Healthcare City, DHCC, today announced the introduction of the Lactation Consultant licencing speciality, along with new regulations, stipulating certification requirements among other licensure criteria, to increase specialisation and diversify the healthcare talent pool in the free zone.

Lactation consultants provide personalised assistance to mothers and their babies, assisting them through various stages of the breastfeeding process and providing practical and emotional support.

At the DHCC, more than 30 clinical facilities offer pre-and post-natal care, provided by some 200 healthcare professionals.

Commenting on the introduction of the speciality, Dr. Ramadan AlBlooshi, Chief Regulatory Officer, DHCR, said, “Specialisation enhances the continuum of care for maternal and child health. By recognising and regulating this speciality, we will ensure that certified and trained lactation consultants contribute to improving knowledge and supporting breastfeeding in the health sector and the community. Our licensure requirements are in line with international practices and recognise global certifications.”

Professional qualification requirements for allied health professionals who apply for licensure as a lactation consultant cover two options – either a Bachelor’s Degree with proof of education (90 hours) on lactation and/or breastfeeding topics as part of an academic programme, or a certification from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.

The benefits of breastfeeding are well documented. According to the World Health Organisation, breastfeeding is recommended from birth for at least the first six months.

For infants, benefits are linked to the reduced risk of asthma, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, ear and respiratory infections, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. For mothers, breastfeeding can help lower the risk of hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and ovarian and breast cancers.

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