Expanding the Lactation Landscape in New Mexico

Image of the first NMBTF lactation provider cohort in 2019
Jun 10, 2024
Monica Esparza
Expanding the Lactation Landscape in New Mexico
New Mexico is at a pivotal moment for expanding its lactation landscape. For the first time in
history, a diverse array of credentials are now eligible for licensing as NM Lactation Care
Providers under the NM Board of Nursing. This milestone follows years of advocacy to include
various lactation care credentials previously left out when the license first went into effect.
On May 2, 2024, the NM Board of Nursing unanimously voted to include Certified Breastfeeding
Specialists, Indigenous Lactation Counselors, and Military Lactation Counselors in the existing
Lactation Care Provider license process. This decision positions New Mexico as a model for
other states aiming to ensure inclusion and equity in lactation care. These providers may soon
be eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.
Recognizing the importance of integrating cultural and traditional knowledge with western
medical practices, this decision means that Indigenous Lactation Counselors can now choose to
become licensed. This expansion aims to enhance access to culturally and linguistically
representative care, with the Certified Breastfeeding Specialist program also offering training in
This advocacy ensures that the lactation healthcare workforce reflects the diversity of those it
serves, ultimately improving health outcomes and setting a precedent for other states.This work
is the collective efforts of advocates and supporters who, alongside the New Mexico
Breastfeeding Task Force and the NMBON Lactation Care Advisory Committee, Navajo
Breastfeeding Coalition, Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselors, Lactation Education Resources,
and BIPOC-led organizations are leading the effort to improve perinatal and postpartum health
outcomes. This work is a collective effort. Learn more about becoming a licensed lactation care
provider by visiting the NMBON website