State Agencies | Online Services

For Health Professionals

Health professionals play an integral role in educating women about breastfeeding and encouraging them to achieve their breastfeeding goals. Often a woman’s success in breastfeeding depends on the reinforcement she receives from the broader medical community.

This section contains information for health professionals on supporting women to breastfeed.


Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), launched in 1991, is an effort by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to ensure that all birthing facilities, whether free-standing or hospital-based, become centers of breastfeeding support.


Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”) requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

Download and carry the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Employee Rights card at:


Breastfeeding in Public

Ohio law protects a woman’s right to breastfeed in any public place where she is allowed.

Breastfeed Anytime, Anywhere!


Breastfeeding Peer Program

The Breastfeeding Peer Helper Program is a program designed to enhance the breastfeeding support services provided by WIC.  Breastfeeding peer helpers are women in the community with personal breastfeeding experience. They provide mother-to-mother breastfeeding education and support which in turn helps mothers successfully reach their breastfeeding goals.  Peer helpers assist by establishing a connection with families, helping mothers in managing common concerns, providing ongoing encouragement and offering comfort outside the usual workday.  The development of the Breastfeeding Peer Helper program has increased breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among the WIC population.

WIC Works - Breastfeeding Peer Counseling 

Moms Helping Moms: Meet Your WIC Breastfeeding Peer Helper


Business Case for Breastfeeding

The Business Case for Breastfeeding is a comprehensive program designed to educate employers about the value of supporting breastfeeding employees in the workplace.


Credentialing and Continuing Education

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC)

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants function and contribute as members of the maternal-child health team. They provide care in a variety of settings, while making appropriate referrals to other health professionals and community support resources. Working together with mothers, families, policymakers and society, IBCLC’s provide expert breastfeeding and lactation care, promote changes that support breastfeeding and help reduce the risks of not breastfeeding.

There are other courses designed for the aspiring lactation consultant or nurses, physicians, midwives, dietitians, breastfeeding assistants or others desiring to expand knowledge and skills in working with the breastfeeding dyad. Here are two examples of credentialed programs:

Certified Lactation Consultant (CLC)

Certified Lactation Specialist (CLS)


Last Revised: 1/2016