DHCC INTRODUCES REGULATIONS FOR LACTATION CONSULTANTS IN THE FREE ZONE Sunday, January 05, 2020 Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulatory (DHCR), the regulator of Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), today 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. In DHCC, more than 30 clinical facilities offer pre- and post-natal care, which is provided by around 200 healthcare professionals. Commenting on the introduction of the specialty, Dr. Ramadan AlBlooshi, Chief Regulatory Officer, Dubai Healthcare City Authority, 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 in the community. Our licensure requirements are in line with international practice and recognize global certifications.” Professional qualification requirements for Allied health professionals who would like to 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 Board (IBLCE). In the first option, the degree should cover any one specialty including Medicine, Dentistry, Midwifery, Pharmacy, Occupational Therapist, Nursing, Dietitian, Nutritionist, Speech Therapist, and Physical therapist. Both options require a minimum of two years’ work experience in a clinical setting. The benefits of breastfeeding are well documented. According to the World Health Organization, breastfeeding is recommended from birth for at least the first six months. For infants, benefits are linked to reduced risk of asthma, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, ear and respiratory infections, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). For mothers, breastfeeding can help lower the risk of hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and ovarian and breast cancers.