Release Date: 07/08/2015

In the 2014 legislative session, the Rhode Island General Assembly became the first in the country to pass a law authorizing the director of the Department of Health to write the rules and regulations to license lactation consultants. That was accomplished recently, and Michael W. Fink, MS, ICCE, IBCLC, of Memorial Hospital, a Care New England hospital, became the first lactation consultant in the country to be state licensed.

Fink began her career as a lactation consultant with the Providence Community Health Centers in the late 1980s, started making breastfeeding rounds on her class participants and was certified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC®) in 1991. She now directs the prenatal education program and serves as a lactation consultant at memorial. She also still makes lactation rounds on WIC participants at Women & infants Hospital, also part of the Care New England health system.

“The Rhode Island law an important step in ensuring that new mothers have the highest quality of care and guidance as they learn to breastfeed their babies, that women have increased access to lactation consultants, and that insurance covers the visits,” Fink says.

She is one of the original members and a past chair of the Rhode Island Breastfeeding Coalition. She served on the licensure committee that helped pass the recent law in Rhode Island.

“Michael has been an ardent supporter of breastfeeding and a woman’s right to provide breast milk to her child. This milestone she has achieved is admirable and evidence of her dedication she and other lactation consultants show their patients each day,” says Michael Pepi, MD, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Memorial Hospital.

For more information about the prenatal classes Fink organizes at Memorial, call (401) 729-2510 or go to

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