Australian College of Midwives Releases Statement on the Use of Donor Human Milk

The Australian College of Midwives (ACM) recently released their “Position Statement on the Use of Donor Human Milk.” This statement was developed in collaboration between ACM members, experts, and the ACM Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) Advisory Committee. The ACM provides a unified voice for the midwifery profession in Australia. They set professional practice and education standards and are committed to being the leading organization shaping Australian maternity care so that all Australian women have the best possible maternity outcomes. In addition, the ACM is also the governing body for BFHI in Australia.

Eds. note: In Australia, the initiative is referred to as the Baby Friendly Health Initiative instead of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative due to their community health service accreditation.

You can read the entire statement HERE.


Photo via The Milk Bank. Used with permission.

We spoke with Marjorie Atchan, one of the lead writers along with Dianne Haworth, to ask more about the development of the statement and to better understand the use of donor milk in Australia.

What led your organization to write this statement? 

The BFHI Advisory Committee, as its name implies, provides advice to the Australian College of Midwives on a range of matters pertaining to breastfeeding, infant feeding and the BFHI.

We (the committee members) have long been aware of the use of donor milk in Australia – both regulated and non-regulated. We were concerned on two levels. One concern was that midwives may be placed in a position of providing support or advice to women/other health professionals without access to current and accurate information on which to base their practice.

We were also deeply concerned that mothers may be placing their babies at risk by using milk from sources that were not properly screened and safe if they did not have access to current and accurate information. As no such resource existed in Australia and the ACM provides position statements on a number of issues, we decided to develop this and place it on the ACM website where it is accessible to midwives and consumers.

There were several rounds of consultation with community stakeholders, content experts, and midwife academics to ensure accuracy, clarity and professionalism and the finished product met the standards of a publishable position statement. The process took well over 12 months to complete.

What is the current state of milk banking in Australia?

Milk banking is not currently regulated at a national level in Australia. Each state/territory has local jurisdiction and may have a slightly different interpretation to the issue of whether human milk is a bodily fluid or a food.

Consequently, there are few “official” milk banks. The World Health Organization is quite clear about the viability of donor  breastmilk as the first option if a mother is unable to fully meet her infant’s nutritional needs. Amongst many women, especially those with sick or premature infants, there is increasing acceptance of and demand for donor milk. Neonatologists have also long encouraged the use of breastmilk for the improved health outcomes. Facilities where neonatal nurseries occur are also aware of the cost savings attached to the decrease in morbidity and mortality.

In three states, hospitals have been able to successfully open milk banks that primarily service their own neonatal nurseries: King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth Western Australia; the Mercy Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria and the Royal Brisbane Women’s and Children Hospital, in Brisbane, Queensland. Some large tertiary hospitals in other states have “in house” milk banks using known donor milk attached to their neonatal nurseries.

All hospitals with operating milk banks follow very strict protocols and quality assurance standards. There is also one community milk bank based in northern NSW, the Mothers Milk Bank that ships milk out across the country. This milk bank follows the protocols of the King Edward Memorial Hospital’s milk bank.

Are families in Australia participating in peer-to-peer milksharing?

As many families do not have access to the services of our milk banks, other services are often utilized. This is where the potential for risk increases. Other pathways include known websites such as Humanmilk4Humanbabies and informal sharing amongst family and friends.

In some cultures, it is acceptable and expected that milk sharing will occur. Some research has been published such as those pieces from Virginia Thorley and Karleen Gribble. There is unfortunately also a culture of scaremongering that is media driven and only serves to fuel ignorance and bigotry. Headlines scream out the fear of mothers that their baby might have contracted HIV/AIDs after having been accidentally given another mother’s breastmilk (usually by human error in a hospital setting) – despite the risks of this being almost negligible as the mother would have been screened thoroughly during her pregnancy. One might speculate at the underlying  reason for such a reaction: to garner media attention for the tabloid/station and vicariously support the use of commercially produced baby milks.

To find out more about the Australian College of Midwives, visit their website at

*Disclaimer: Milk sharing is a complicated issue. Readers should adhere to the standards in effect in their own regions.

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ILCA Releases Statement on the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Supporting global policies that protect children’s health is a priority for the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®). We are proud to provide liaisons to the United Nations and stand with them on this important occasion. Watch on Facebook and Twitter for updates from our team who will be attending celebration events in New York City, New York USA this week.

ILCALogo_full_text (2)As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 20 November, the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) is reminded of how far advocacy for children has come—and how much work remains ahead for us to do. We have seen improvements in infant mortality rates, educational possibilities for all children, regardless of gender or socioeconomic status, and better access to quality health care. Yet, a significant number of infant deaths still occur due to poor maternal health and suboptimal breastfeeding practices.

The treaty, which has been ratified and used to drive policy in many nations worldwide, makes a promise to protect the rights of children, which include the right to live, the right to the best healthcare possible, food and safe water to drink, clothing, and a safe place to live. These and other important rights seem like concepts every government would want to adopt and enforce, but there are still nations that have not signed onto the treaty, and not all those nations that have ratified it have fulfilled their obligations under the treaty.

The impact of the business sector on the human rights of the child cannot be underestimated, and the CRC maintains that it is the responsibility of the state to protect children from predatory business practices, to implement and enforce internationally agreed standards concerning children’s rights, health and business, including the World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and relevant subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions.

In observance of this important anniversary, ILCA calls upon its members and partner organizations worldwide to encourage ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, so that we may all continue to improve the health and safety of children everywhere.

Posted in ILCA News | 1 Comment

Moving Forward: Establishing Partnerships, Mentoring Organizations, Creating Equity and Diversity

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In July 2014, the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) announced a new vision: World health transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care. ILCA’s mission remains the same: Advancing the IBCLC profession worldwide. Out of this new vision have emerged three distinct pathways to help champion the ILCA member and make more relevant the IBCLC Profession in the global arena: establishing partnerships, mentoring developing organizations and creating equity and diversity.

Recognizing the obligation to advance the IBCLC profession worldwide and locally, ILCA has set a new course to extend our global outreach to all IBCLCs.

Establishing Partnerships

ILCA has long had relationships with other organizations. ILCA is a non-governmental organization (NGO) in official relationship with the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO). ILCA is a core partner of World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). ILCA provides official representatives to Codex Alimentarius, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Assembly (WHA), and WHO National Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) Coordinators of Industrial Countries. These relationships are strong, and provide opportunity to keep breastfeeding and skilled lactation care in the forefront of the work of these organizations.

ILCA is launching a new initiative by reaching out to like-minded national and regional organizations within the lactation community. The focus of this effort is twofold: to define a formal relationship with global partners and to forge a collaborative network of organizations committed to expanding the reach and impact of the IBCLC profession worldwide. Currently, 21 entities have expressed interest in establishing a formal relationship with ILCA. As this number grows, we anticipate that a more coordinated and collaborative approach to expanding breastfeeding education and services will simultaneously advance the profession and amplify a common voice on the global stage.

Mentoring Developing Organizations

A second important element of ILCA’s global outreach effort is the plan to help foster developing organizations at the local and regional level. Small groups of IBCLCs throughout the world looking for help in moving to the next level are emerging daily. Most lack resources, infrastructure and direction. ILCA plans to serve as the catalyst for these aspiring organizations so they too may help grow the IBCLC profession and become active partners within the breastfeeding community.

Creating Equity and Diversity

Perhaps the most critical pathway to achieving ILCA’s vision rests in our ability to do our part to help create a culture within the field of breastfeeding that truly values equity and diversity. The first lactation summit sponsored jointly by IBLCE, ILCA and LEAARC: Addressing Inequities Within the Lactation Profession was an important step in identifying the barriers to equity and diversity in the profession. The next steps involve training, systematic analysis and strategic planning and the development of action plans to identify and implement the revisions necessary to create equity and diversity within the IBCLC profession.

Recently Cynthia Good Mojab, a member of the 2014 summit design committee, pointed out in her recent commentary entitled Pandora’s Box is Already Open: Answering the Ongoing Call to Dismantle Institutional Oppression in the Field of Breastfeeding that “Every organization that is committed to eliminating inequity in the field of breastfeeding must identify, dismantle, and re-create policies, procedures, practices, customs, and structures in which institutional oppression is encoded.” If we are to overcome these barriers, we must contribute to the creation of a culture of acceptance of the critical importance of equity and diversity. She also stated, “…it’s going to be difficult and we need to have a long-term, big picture outlook. We have much to learn and much to do” (email communication, October 2014).

The Journey Ahead

From many angles, the journey before us appears challenging—from others, exhilarating. ILCA is excited to be part of an initiative to expand and strengthen the global network of breastfeeding organizations within the IBCLC community. Likewise, reaching out to those previously unheard voices to join ILCA on this journey holds great promise. If you are in need of help to organize and inspire those around you to join this cause, we encourage you to contact ILCA today and let us help you create new opportunities for breastfeeding and lactation care in your community or region. Finally, it is only through our collective efforts to build a culture of acceptance of the importance of equity and diversity that the lactation community can realize the global impact needed to truly transform world health. Together we can create a profession that is open to all, reflects and effectively responds to the diversity of people/needs/communities, and creates support for each of us to do the work we love, so together we can transform world health through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care.

If you have questions or comments for our Board of Directors, you may contact them directly or comment here.

Posted in ILCA News | 3 Comments

Current Global Recommendations Regarding Breastfeeding with Ebola Virus for Mothers and Infants

By Kathleen Marinelli, MD, IBCLC, FABM
ILCA Board of Directors Director of Professional Development

Screenshot 2014-11-07 20.10.02As the global community comes to grips with the Ebola epidemic, most of the press and information available pertains to surveillance, recommendations for quarantine, containing the geographic spread, determining risk of exposure, protection of health care workers, and support and treatment of those diagnosed with the deadly virus. Of particular concern to those in the maternal-child health, nutrition, and lactation fields is the effect of potential exposure and proven infection with the Ebola virus on pregnant and lactating women and their infants.

Compounding the difficulty with finding this information is the simple fact that we don’t really know the answers at the level of evidence-based medicine. This is our first experience with an Ebola epidemic of this proportion. Decisions are being made to direct clinical practice by authorities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) based on our knowledge of how other viruses act, anecdotal stories from the field, and an occasional clinical report. While we all want the answers yesterday, authorities are doing their best to guide practice to save lives, while not panicking health authorities into making decisions that will cause more harm than good.

The CDC has recently issued guidelines for field and partner organizations regarding how to advise breastfeeding women with likely or confirmed Ebola infection (1), as has the Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN) in collaboration with UNICEF/WHO/CDC/ENN, which has significantly more detail. (2)

Important points are:

  1. Pregnant women have a much higher mortality rate with Ebola than non-pregnant women. At this time, there have not been any reported cases of a pregnant woman infected with Ebola virus surviving.
  2. Data from the field are spotty. WHO, CDC, ENN and other agencies are trying to aid in improving data capture so that we can better understand the history of Ebola in different types of patients and thus make informed determinations such as related to breastfeeding.
  3. Ebola virus has been found in human milk (1 sample). (3) In earlier outbreaks, no infants born to infected women and/or who were breastfed have survived. Presence does not equal infectivity, but at this point we do not know in the case of Ebola.
  4. Virus remains in some bodily fluids, like semen and human milk, after the blood has cleared. For lactating mothers who recover from Ebola, and are able to maintain or resume lactation (another issue to be considered and dealt with due to the illness severity), it is not known when it is safe to resume breastfeeding. Recommendations are to have the milk tested every 2-3 days in a laboratory that tests blood. For many women this is not feasible related to where they live. The recommendation then being made is to refrain from breastfeeding for 8 weeks, although not based on any evidence.
  5. For detailed instructions on feeding, please refer to reference 2. Essentially, when safe alternatives to breastfeeding and infant care exist, mothers with probable or confirmed Ebola virus disease should not have close contact with their infant, which includes breastfeeding.
  6. If mother must stop breastfeeding, the mother must be helped to express her breastmilk to alleviate pain and prevent inflammation. The expressed milk must be treated as an infected bodily fluid and discarded as such. There are some suggestions to heat treat (pasteurize) the expressed milk for the baby, but equipment and thermometers to make sure the milk is heated to the proper temperature for the correct amount of time to destroy virus and preserve nutrients and immune factors are not readily available. Most mothers become rapidly so sick that expressing milk becomes very difficult.
  7. In resource-limited settings, non-breastfed infants are at increased risk of death from starvation and other infectious diseases. These risks must be carefully weighed against the risk of Ebola virus disease when deciding to breastfed or feed a substitute.(2)
  8. Wet nursing is very common in West Africa. However do not allow wet-nursing to avoid any possibility of infection of the infant by the wet nurse, or of the wet nurse by the infant.
  9. If both mom and child have confirmed Ebola, if mom is able, breastfeeding should continue. If mom becomes too ill, a safe alternative should be used.
  10. Orphans should be fed with a safe alternative.

ILCA recommends following the guidance for feeding of infants and young children given in these documents and continuing checking for updates to the CDC (1) and the ENN (2) papers as more information becomes available.


  1. (accessed 11/5/2014)
  2. (accessed 11/5/2014)
  3. (accessed 11/5/2014)

Kathleen Marinelli has been a neonatologist for over 25 years, an IBCLC since 2000 and is a Fellow of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (FABM). Although unable to practice clinical neonatology for over a decade due to a significant water-skiing accident, she has continued her life-long commitment to improving breastfeeding, the use of human milk, and the use of donor milk, everywhere but especially in the NICU through all of her volunteer roles, research, teaching both here in the US and abroad, and publishing papers, monographs and chapters.

She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of CT Medical School, and a member of the Human Milk Research Center at CT Children’s Medical Center, in Hartford, CT. She graduated from Cornell University & Cornell University School of Medicine; and was a pediatric intern, resident, nephrology and neonatology fellow at Children’s National Medical Center, George Washington University, Washington DC.  Additionally, she is founding Medical Director of the New England Mother’s Milk Bank and is currently co-Medical Director of the Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes.  She is a founding and current member of the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition, has been on the Board of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine for many years, and chairs its Protocol Committee.  She has served as Chair of the United States Breastfeeding Committee, and was chosen to Chair the new US Baby-Friendly Hospital NICU Initiative. 

Posted in Breastfeeding Around the Globe, Breastfeeding in Emergencies, Current Events | 7 Comments

How Do You Obtain Your Continuing Education? {SHORT SURVEY}

ILCALogo_full_text (2)Each International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) is required to gain and update their knowledge of lactation and the infancy period. One of the best gifts we can give to the families we serve is to be up to date on the latest in evidence-based care. IBCLCs are required to either retake the certification exam or recertify with Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs) every five years (recertification by exam only is required every ten years). CERPS can be obtained through conference attendance, webinar viewing, study modules, in-person education, eCourses, and a variety of other means.

Please share with us...

We have developed a short survey to better understand how you are receiving your required continuing education and to learn how we can better help you to obtain it. Click on the button to participate in this quick poll. It should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

You do not need to be an ILCA member to participate in our quick poll. We are interested in hearing from everyone in the professional lactation community.


If you have any questions about ILCA’s continuing education offerings, please email

Posted in Education, Polls | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

All-New Staff Development eCourse to Increase Exclusive Breastfeeding from ILCA and InJoy

The International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) is proud to announce the release of “Practices to Increase Exclusive Breastfeeding: Core Concepts eCourse”, which we have co-produced along with InJoy Birth and Parenting Education. As part of our value to “uphold high standards of professional practice,” we believe that access to quality, standardized education for health professionals is key. This goes hand in hand with our vision of “world health transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care.”


It is no surprise to anyone in the field that training is lacking for healthcare workers in the science and art of lactation and supporting breastfeeding families. InJoy and ILCA have sought to address the challenge with this eCourse, available completely online.

Hospitals who license the course will also find ideas for additional related group activities in the Facilitator’s Guide. It was designed to provide education to in-hospital maternity care staff and highlights both 10 Steps of the the 10 Steps of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative as well as the impact of birthing and postnatal practices on breastfeeding.

For more information and to learn more about how this course might be valuable to you (including the option to view Module 2 in its entirety), please click HERE.

Want to see a sample video?

Check out this one which shows maternity staff how to accommodate skin-to-skin care immediately after birth.


We would love for you to consider this product in two ways:

1. If you work for a hospital or health care facility serving women through childbirth, please share the information about this product with your supervisor or education department.

2. If you are an IBCLC seeking to build your knowledge about the impact of birthing practices and how to support breastfeeding in the early days, consider purchasing the single-user version of this product. For just $35 USD, you will have full access to video, practice tools, handouts, all in an interactive learning environment. Upon completion, you will be eligible for continuing education units, awarded by ILCA. Additional fees apply.

ILCA Members: 10% Discount

InJoy is currently offering 10% off a first-year license or the purchase price of the individual program for ILCA Members if purchased before 12/31/2014 (Please use coupon codePIEB10ILCA).

Essential topics covered in the four 20-minute modules:

  • “The Ten Steps” overview, team strategies, and effectively communicating to mothers
  • How to implement skin-to-skin care after vaginal and cesarean births
  • How to teach and assess hunger signs, latch, and infant sucking patterns
  • How and when to help mothers express milk mechanically or by hand

The eCourse includes:

  • Instructive, real-world video examples showing nurses using proven techniques
  • Downloadable practice tools and patient handouts that allow nurses to apply newly-learned concepts right away
  • Engaging case studies, interactive exercises, and quizzes
  • Facilitator’s Guide with ideas for in-service group sessions
  • 1.5 CE credit hours available from ILCA (fees apply)

We strongly encourage YOU to consider how this course could benefit your community or professional growth.

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Clinicians in the Trenches: Francisca Orchard from Santiago, Chile

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By Francisca Orchard, CNM, IBCLC

I became a certified midwife 20 years ago, assisting women in labor since my early adult days. I came into this field with an eye toward low intervention birth and respect for mothers, with special emphasis on the humanization of birth. This was probably because, during my internships in hospitals, I saw very little respect for women and a lot of poor treatment of them.

In the 1990s, I worked in a neonatal intensive care unit where the promotion of breastfeeding in preterm infants was a priority. Later, I also received doula training in the U.S. and earned a diploma in infant massage in London.

In 2011, I achieved my goal of becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®). The road was not easy for me. The year I took the exam was the first time in Chile the exam was given at the same time as in the rest of the world.

Since then, I have been working in breastfeeding promotion, and consulting in support of perinatal health professionals. I began a prenatal education program for pregnant women and their families that promotes breastfeeding and respectful delivery to reduce the number of caesarean section deliveries in Chile, and to increase our prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months of life.

In Chile, we have 43% of mothers still breastfeeding at 6 months, but there is a huge disparity in breastfeeding rates related to women’s income.  We have an urgent need to follow mothers during the first days after maternity hospital discharge, where most abandon exclusive breastfeeding. We also struggle with  health professionals who, due to their lack of knowledge about breastfeeding, are perhaps our biggest barrier to breastfeeding duration. Most pediatricians encourage the use of artificial supplements instead of working with mothers and babies early to help them continue breastfeeding.

Currently, I am a member of the Chilean Committee on Breastfeeding and the Lactation Committee of the Chilean Society of Pediatrics. Some months ago, I collaborated with a multidisciplinary team of psychologists and photographers on a project called “Breastfeeding Mothers.” We created a space where women of different ethnicities and Chilean places were professionally photographed in different breastfeeding situations.  It is a beautiful work with more than 50 photographs. We are awaiting funding to publish it for breastfeeding promotion in Chile.

In my daily work, I consult with women and babies with breastfeeding difficulties and write articles of interest to our community.As of this writing, I am one of only 2 IBCLCs in Chile. During World Breastfeeding Week, I traveled to different cities in Chile to participate in breastfeeding promotion activities. Additionally, I work on an advisory team of the ministry of health. We are working toward implementing the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in Chile during 2015. The Chilean government is also discussing the approval of human milk banks.

It is an exciting time in Chile with so much going on to support and promote breastfeeding. I am thankful for the International Lactation Consultant Association’s® resources that help me inform my community about the competencies and value of IBCLCs, and to increase our numbers throughout Latin America.

chiliPhoto via the author

Posted in Breastfeeding Around the Globe, Clinician in the Trenches, IBCLCs around the globe | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

FREE Access the Journal of Human Lactation and other SAGE Journals

JHL feb coverEach October, SAGE Publications, the publisher of the International Lactation Consultant Association’s® (ILCA’s®) quarterly, peer-reviewed Journal of Human Lactation (JHL), invites the global research community to visit their journals platform and sign up for October Free Access to all 750+ SAGE journals.  Last year, more than 18,000 individuals and librarians world-wide signed up for for their October 2013 campaign.

We’d like to encourage you to take advantage of this offer – and especially to access the incredible research and commentary in JHL – so you can browse all SAGE journals of interest.

To access this offer, simply:

Do you like what you see? Consider ILCA membership.

As an ILCA member, you will receive the print version of JHL, consistently rated as a top benefit of membership, in your mailbox four times a year and have 24/7 digital access both on JHL’s website and mobile platform.

Join Nowrenew now button

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NEW Benefit from ILCA: Earn FREE CERPs!

ILCA Membership BLOG HEADER (1)You were clear in the recent Member Survey: you want and need quality, accessible continuing education.

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLCs®) are required to recertify every five years and are expected to be up-to-date on the latest in evidence-based lactation care.

Get the CERPs you need in the format that works best for you.

To help our members meet this need, the International Lactation Consultant Association® offers many ways members can obtain Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs), including: our annual conference, live webinars, recordings of conference and webinar sessions, and learning modules from the Journal of Human Lactation (JHL).

While the conference and webinars are live, you can also access a selection of our recorded content and the JHL modules at your convenience on the CERPs on Demand portal.

2015 members: earn your free CERPs here

Beginning 1 January 2015, members will be eligible to earn up to 10 free CERPs per year. The list of free CERPs was developed from ILCA’s online bank at the CERPs on Demand portal so that you can complete the CERPs at the time that best meets your needs.

This list was specifically chosen to provide content on a variety of issues that impact the IBCLC community worldwide. We also chose a variety of session types, including conference presentations, webinars, and JHL study modules. The offerings, all of which will be active for the entire 2015 calendar year, include:

Breastfeeding Education for NICU Staff (1 CERP): This session, presented by Anita Moorhead, RN, RM, IBCLC; Annette Auld, IBCLC, RN; and Judith Russell, RN, RM, IBCLC, is a great overview of the implementation of a breastfeeding educational program in the NICU. It also reviews the successes and challenges of providing breastfeeding support to NICU mothers by educating staff. It also raises concern about the need for breastfeeding benchmarks in the NICU.

Vulnerable Population Groups (1 CERP): This presentation, by Kirstin Lock, IBCLC, BSN, CMC, looks at the use of group perinatal care in vulnerable populations. Populations addressed include obese and young mothers, as well as the Chinese, Arabic and the Aborigine populations. It includes a description of the presenter’s local hospital statistics on breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding results and how the programs impacted those rates in the vulnerable populations they were serving.

Breastfeeding the High-Risk Infant (1 CERP): This thought-provoking session offers both a historical perspective and day-to-day challenges faced by members of the neonate’s health care team and is presented by Shakira Lita Ismay Henderson, MPH, RNC-NIC, IBCLC. It reviews common barriers to breastfeeding, benefits of breastfeeding for these infants. In addition, Henderson presents practical strategies and approaches to encourage breastfeeding the high-risk infant. It offers practical ways to speak the language of the NICU team and evidence based practices to back-up interventions that address their concerns.

Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality, Breastfeeding, and Sleep (1.5 CERPs): This presentation, by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Ph.D., IBCLC, FAPA, highlights the disparities in infant mortality for ethnic-minority populations as well as identifies the physiological effects of discrimination on women’s health in general and during pregnancy. The session also explores current policies on bedsharing, unsafe sleep, and breastfeeding rates and the impact they have on infant mortality within these populations.

Milk Sharing: Comparative Risks and Biomedical Ethics (1 CERPs): Dr. Karleen Gribble presents on one of the hottest topics in our field: peer-to-peer milk sharing. Participants in this session will be able to describe the types of risks associated with milk sharing as well as the risks of formula feeding. Mitigation of these risks is also discussed along with the principles of biomedical ethics as they apply to peer-to-peer milk sharing.

Determinants of 6-Month Maternal Satisfaction (1.5 CERPs): This JHL Study Module focuses on the paper by José Labarère, MD, et. al, exploring maternal breastfeeding satisfaction. Although a personally defined experience, successful breastfeeding is usually measured with regard to duration. This study investigated the determinants of maternal satisfaction with breastfeeding experience for 907 mothers enrolled in a prospective cohort study. Eliciting the mother’s expectations regarding breastfeeding duration may help the lactation consultant in providing appropriate guidance.

Maternal Request for In-Hospital Supplementation (1 CERP): Written by Katie DaMota, MAS, IBCLC, et. al, this paper, and accompanying JHL Study Module, seeks to understand the facilitating factors and decision-making processes surrounding maternal request for formula in the early postpartum period. It explores the impact of a lack of preparation, prenatally, for breastfeeding and advocates for interventions to address mothers’ real and perceived barriers.

Ultrasound Imaging of Infant Sucking Dynamics (1 CERP): This paper, written by Vanessa S. Sakalidis, BHlth Sc (Hons), et. al, explores the dynamic process of breastfeeding. Nipple diameters, tongue movement, nipple position, and suck rate were measured during nutritive sucking and non-nutritive sucking from ultrasound scans of the intra-oral cavity during breastfeeding. Milk intake and LATCH scores were also recorded.

Help us choose the final CERP!

studentWe’ve heard your desire to have a say in ILCA decisions that directly impact you and we are giving you the opportunity! We’ve chosen 9 units of CERP offerings and we need YOU to help choose the final one. You can vote in the poll below, which will be open until 23 October 2014. The CERP with the most votes will be added to the final list and become available as a free CERP for members on 1 January 2015. Your choices are:

Plugging In: Listening to the Needs of Mothers: This session is the first of a 4-part series, presented by Cathy Carothers, entitled “Making the Connection: Counseling and Communication Workshop.” It takes an interactive approach to assisting mothers with their infant feeding decisions through the concept of “connection before content.” Communication strategies include rapport-building techniques, emotional triggers that enhance effective and powerful relationship-building with new families, and ways to create a safe environment for women to receive and act on educational messages.  The evidence-based communication principles are so effective they can be used not only with new mothers/clients, but also with difficult co-workers, and even your family! Members will have the opportunity to purchase the 3 additional sessions.

Today’s Mothers are All Thumbs: Cultural Competency for Digital Motherhood: It is no surprise that communication styles have changed drastically over the past years, moving from print media, TV, and discussions among friends to Facebook, podcasts, and blogs.  The mothers we support are HIGHLY engaged online and often seek their health information, including breastfeeding information, from web sources before their health care providers. This presentation, by Amber McCann and Jeanette McCulloch, will identify characteristics of mothers of the “Millennial Generation” and their methods of communications as well as help us to understand the basics of popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. This is the first of a four-session series. The remaining sessions of the series will be available for purchase.

Previous Breastfeeding Difficulty: Supporting the Multiparous Woman to Successfully Breastfeed: With Cynthia Peterson, RM, C&FHN, IBCLC, this session explores how to provide support and guidance to families who have had previous breastfeeding difficulties. This can include exploring their previous experience as well as providing counseling support and referrals.


Our poll is now closed and you OVERWHELMINGLY choose Cynthia Peterson’s Previous Breastfeeding Difficulty: Supporting the Multiparous Woman to Successfully Breastfeed to be added to our list of FREE available CERPs for 2015 ILCA Members. Thank you for taking part and we appreciate all of your votes!


We truly believe that this new benefit will have a significant impact on our field by equipping and educating IBCLCs all over the world. We’ve heard positive feedback from you already and look forward to hearing how you put the things you learn from these sessions into practice. Join or renew now so that you won’t miss out on this incredibly opportunity.

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Fine Print: While we understand that we are offering sessions that have been previously available to ILCA members, we will not be making any substitutions to this list. If you previously purchased an included session, no refunds will be given or substitutions made. We are providing this benefit to all members (with the exception of short-term trial members). All sessions must be completed by 31 December 2015 to receive the free benefit.

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Last Chance – JHL Photo Contest Closes 15 Oct

JHL PhotoContest

Every year, the Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) hosts a photo contest for the coveted cover spot on each edition. The JHL is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal publishing original research, insights in practice and policy, commentaries, and case reports relating to research and practice in human lactation and breastfeeding. The annual photo contest is your opportunity to contribute to the journal and highlight your community. We’ve invited the JHL staff to tell us more about how you can join in the contest.

JHL staff have let us know that, as we approach the submission deadline, they are especially seeking photographs depicting research.

The four photos on JHL’s cover are changed annually. JHL is your journal, and we want to feature your photos! The four photos portray the broad field of human lactation, from the IBCLC helping new mothers (picture the caring professional with a breastfeeding mother, teaching a class, etc.) along with the harder science of lactation (picture test tubes of milk, microscope slides, etc.).

Please send us your photos! We are looking for shots representing a range of backgrounds, contexts, and cultures.


  • Keep photo clear with minimal background interference
  • Photos should be jpeg files: 300ppi .jpg; at least 2100 pixels wide x 1500 pixels high
  • Email photos to:
  • We may not be able to respond to each message separately, but as confirmation of your submission, you should receive an auto response message
  • Include your name (assuming you are the photographer) and full contact information with preferably a second email address


  • Deadline – October 15, 2014: NO EXCEPTIONS
  • If a recognizable person features in the photo (e.g., the face of a mother/baby/clinician etc.) you must have a photo consent form.
  • If your photo is a contender for publication, we will require subjects to sign a specific consent form, so only send photos if you know you can obtain permission from the subject.
  • As the photographer you will need to sign non exclusive copyright – in other words, you allow JHL to use the photo, but you are free to use it elsewhere as you choose.
  • If we believe the photo is a potential winner, we will contact you again before the deadline to talk to you and ensure we have the correct forms.

Questions? Email

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