The Queensland Government has announced it is considering allowing women to apply for an education degree to work in a lactatory facility.
Lactation consultants are medical professionals who are trained to help mothers deliver and deliver babies via artificial insemination and have a range of expertise including lactation consultants, lactation coaches, lactating nurses, lactationschools and lactation specialists.
The Government said that as the number of women who were willing to take up the profession has increased, the Government would not want to impose any additional requirements on them.
The move was made in an update to its regulations which allow women to receive a medical degree from the same medical board as their nursing qualification.
Lactic acid levels vary between women’s milk, but in most cases a lactate is formed.
Dr Helen Scott from the Queensland Government’s Lactating Education Services (LEAS) said the new legislation would allow women who had completed nursing qualifications to be trained to deliver and provide milk for babies.
Dr Scott said women who are able to provide milk in the clinic and deliver in the home would be able to apply to be lactating consultants.
“If they’re qualified they will be able go into the same clinic and perform the same type of work as a nurse in the same way,” Dr Scott told ABC News.
The LACT Education Skills Network, a private organisation providing nursing training in the region, said it was “extremely supportive” of the Government’s move.
“We’re all very supportive of the idea of allowing women the same opportunity as any other woman to do what they love,” LACT CEO Mark Dickson said.
“They’ve got the same job, they can do that same job with different skills, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to be paid differently or different hours.”
Dr Scott from LEAS said women could apply for the qualifications within two years of completing a nursing degree.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for women to come out and apply for that,” she said.
In June 2016, a group of women including a former dairy farmer and former nurse were allowed to apply and receive their degree.
The former dairy owner and the former nurse, who did not want her name used, said they were thrilled to be able give birth at home.
“It’s a big change, and we feel it’s going to help us be more responsible,” she told ABC Brisbane.
“The best thing we can do now is make sure we’re going in with the right attitude, and have confidence in ourselves, and with the ability to deliver our babies.”
The legislation was introduced by the State Government in December 2016.
The Federal Government introduced the same legislation in September 2016.
LACT’s director of research, Kate Williams, said the changes would allow lactation clinics to provide the same training as other childcare facilities, including maternity and paternity care facilities.
She said women in nursing and midwifery had the same skills as those in other healthcare roles, and would be “frequently able to work on the same level”.
“It is a wonderful change and I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for a lot of women to start a career in childcare, and it’s really good for the community,” Ms Williams said.