Dubai Health care City Authority – Regulatory, DHCR, the regulator of Dubai Healthcare City, DHCC, recently announced the introduction of the Lactation Consultant licensing specialty, along with new regulations, stipulating certiﬁcation requirements among other licensure criteria, to increase specialization and diversify the healthcare talent pool in the free zone.
Lactation consultants provide personalized 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 specialty, Dr. Ramadan AlBlooshi, Chief Regulatory Oﬀicer, DHCR, said, “Specialization enhances the continuum of care for maternal and child health.
By recognizing and regulating this specialty, 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 recognize 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 program, or a certiﬁcation from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.
The beneﬁts of breastfeeding are well documented. According to the W o r l d H e a l t h O r ga n i zat i o n , 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.