We regretfully inform the community that effective June 26, a substantial cut in the San Luis Obispo County Breastfeeding Clinic occurred. Two out of the three lactation consultants were given notice, leaving one remaining consultant who will be unable to adequately cover the needs of the many families who need services. We understand the clinic will be limiting services to Community Health Center patients. The clinic routinely has seen approximately 2,100 patients, most of them not CHC patients.
The clinic has a 30-year history of excellent service, adding greatly to the county’s impressive 95.1% average breastfeeding rate, This rate will be negatively affected by the loss of services. The Warmline is a bilingual phone line with approximately 20 to 40 calls per day answered seven days a week by a lactation consultant; this service is also closing.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended at least one year of breastfeeding and the World Health Organization and UNICEF have recommended at least two years. We have been in a unique position to initiate early intervention not only with the babies but have been able to assess the mothers’ physical and emotional needs.
We are concerned about the lack of advance notice (only two weeks) to explore options for the clinic to practice elsewhere. Any suggestions or offers would be appreciated.