Honoring Our ILCA Community: An Interview with Roberta Graham de Escobedo

Roberta Interview

Everything that we accomplish at the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) is the result of your support. From your membership to your participation in educational offerings to your volunteer time, your engagement with ILCA is what makes your organization able to impact worldwide health through skilled breastfeeding support. At Lactation Matters, we would like to take a moment to honor some of the truly exceptional volunteers who have dedicated countless hours to ILCA and the profession. Today, we are honoring Roberta Graham de Escobedo, BA, IBCLC, FILCA, for her many years of service to our community. We interviewed her so you could learn more about her amazing work.

Lactation Matters (LM): Roberta, you have lived in Mexico for many years. Tell us about how you came to Mexico and the state of breastfeeding in your country today.

Roberta Graham de Escobedo (RGdE): I live and work in the million+ capital city of Merida, on the Yucatan Peninsula, surrounded by Mayan ruins and people who still speak the Mayan language. I am the lone IBCLC® [International Board Certified Lactation Consultant®].

I am originally from the Chicago area. When I was 20, I spent six months in Mexico enrolled at a Mexican university, working on my Spanish-language skills and doing community service for my faith. On a visit to Merida, Yucatan, I met a charming young nineteen-year-old fellow named Alfonso. As the saying goes, “the rest is history.” We have two grown children and one grandson.

In the 1990s, my IBCLC colleagues described Mexico as “baby friendly heaven.” More than 700 public sector hospitals were BFHI [Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative] certified. However, a lack of coordinated government programs and the enormous presence of the formula industry has impacted the breastfeeding rates. Sadly, we now occupy the lowest breastfeeding rates in all of Latin America, with a pathetic 14.6% exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months, tied only with the Dominican Republic.

Needless to say, there is a lot of work cut out for the healthcare community in Mexico, including the small but enthusiastic IBCLC community.

LM: How did you become an IBCLC and what is your role in the lactation community today?

RGdE: In 1979, six years prior to the birth of the IBCLC profession and ILCA, I was invited by a local pro-breastfeeding pediatrician to encourage the mothers of his newborn patients to breastfeed. At the same time, a natural childbirth center asked me to teach a prenatal class on breastfeeding.

Looking back now after 20+ years as an IBCLC, I laugh to myself, wondering what in heavens I had taught them. Nevertheless, knowing something is better than nothing, so I suppose, in some small way, my humble class served to encourage expectant mothers to initiate their breastfeeding experience[s].

Living in an isolated bubble in Yucatan, Mexico—prior to faxes, internet, and texting—I had no knowledge of ILCA or the IBLCE certification process until 1995. Once I connected to the worldwide lactation community, I had found my home. Private practice is my work setting, along with teaching at local universities and promoting worksite lactation programs.

LM: What calls you to lactation work?

RGdE: Having enjoyed the breastfeeding experience of my own two children, the natural next step is to wish others might also delight in this amazing relationship that develops between a parent and her infant, and between partners as they watch with wonder how the simple act of providing nourishment can have such a far-reaching and positive effect in the overall wellbeing of their offspring.

Attaining the IBCLC credential opens up a broad spectrum of avenues, each offering opportunities to make a difference in lives, both individually family by family, and also on a larger scale through public health programs both nationally and internationally.

LM: You have been deeply committed to expanding ILCA’s international reach. Tell us about your proudest accomplishment at ILCA.

Roberta picRGdE: The “I” in ILCA was more of a lowercase iLCA when I became a member in 1995, at the time of ILCA’s tenth anniversary. International membership was extremely low.

When I joined the ILCA Board of Directors in 2007 as Director of Membership, we had a program called the ILCA Sisters Program, which provided scholarships for members in need, but it was not very well known. Happily, during my eight years of service on the ILCA Board, we changed it to the ILCA Partner Program [eds. note: not to be confused with the new ILCA Global Partners Initiative]. It grew in size and presence, bringing into the ILCA community a greater diversity of members from countries where joining ILCA was truly an economic hardship.

Happily, last year the ILCA board wisely revised the cost of membership for those individuals living in economies where the yearly salary makes joining ILCA all but impossible. The new adjusted scale has made the previous ILCA Partner Program obsolete and opened the door for a greater international membership. After eight years of service on the ILCA board, the “I” in ILCA is now a capital “I”, indeed.

Serving on an international board is a wonderful opportunity for personal and professional growth, and now much of what was learned is being channeled into a new area of service as president of the newly founded ACCLAM (Association of Certified Lactation Consultants of Mexico). We have about 30 IBCLCs in Mexico, a drop in the bucket for a country so large. ACCLAM’s status as an ILCA Partner organization helps us to feel connected to the worldwide lactation community and gives us the encouragement we need to make a difference in our national setting. For me, to feel what I do as an IBCLC makes a difference is the greatest payback of all!


Two Years Later: Feeling the Change

Lactation Matters Post Titles (6)

A little more than two years ago, the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) Board of Directors made a deliberate and bold decision to change the path of ILCA. Two years later, that change is having real-life impact on our members and the world. We are grateful for your ongoing support of the new ILCA vision, and want to share with you the changes we have seen so far. One thing is for sure: it is no longer business as usual at ILCA.

Our journey began with the recognition that the clearest path to promoting the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) was through creating greater global impact: World heath transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care. Our new vision had its intended effect. ILCA was able to launch into a much larger global arena with increased collaboration and potential impact.

To make the most of that potential impact, the board began the process of reassessing organizational values and aspirations. The end result is a new tactical direction: a strategic map establishing new priorities, goals, and objectives.

The board recognized that the current board, committee, and staff structure were designed many years ago under a different vision with only a minor global agenda for ILCA. The board responded by eliminating board director titles, thus eliminating “silos” of operations within the board; by completely redesigning the committee structure; and by realigning the ILCA staff to better meet the new organizational goals and objectives.

As new committees have formed, they are being asked to ensure that planned activities are strategically aligned with organizational priorities, which, understandably, often conflict with prior activities. These new priorities have overtaken those from the past, and we are feeling the change.

ILCA’s commitment to global impact is now reflected in our vastly expanded advocacy efforts. Funding in this area has been increased two-fold and will result in ILCA’s highest-ever participation in international forums in 2016.

In the past two years, ILCA has expanded its global partnerships from 3 national—regional organizations to 17! In terms of mere presence, ILCA global exposure and potential impact on lactation consultants at the local level has nearly doubled with newly formed relationships in countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and South Africa.

ILCA’s new emphasis on equity and diversity is creating a new cultural awareness and focus on equitable access. Leading by example, ILCA committed to broaden the cultural and linguistic appeal of educational opportunities by dedicating funds to expanding the pool of international conference and webinar speakers and providing greater access to existing educational materials through more translations of key resources.

One way ILCA is broadening our global impact and appeal is by expanding our capacity to provide members with greater access to a broad spectrum of evidence-based research. Rather than diverting critical resources to the development of position papers, ILCA will now make greater use of member content experts to build functional areas of expertise, which can help identify and highlight quality evidence-based resources that are useful in a local and global context. This bottom—up versus top—down flow of information makes greater use of member expertise and will significantly expand our capacity for information sharing. Watch here for more information and next steps. We will need the expertise of our membership to make this effort a success.

The changes at ILCA—and the impact of these changes—is unprecedented. As we continue on this path toward greater global influence, we must guard against our natural tendency to maintain the status quo, to stick with the familiar and continue business as usual. In today’s world of growing interdependence, our success in transforming world health through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care will largely depend upon our ability to expand our global collaborative community of like-minded organizations. This expansion can best be achieved by continuing our efforts to examine and alter our internal functioning so that our core values of equity and diversity are increasingly manifested in all that we do.

Renaissance historian Niccolò Machiavelli once shared, “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” We have knowingly set a new course with an awareness the journey will be challenging, the confusion lessened by transparency, and the impact unsurpassed.

Let there be no mistake, ILCA is committed to a new path and sustained by the knowledge that together we can do even more than has been imagined.

dick1Dick Padlo, ILCA Executive Director, was raised in the suburbs of Chicago. He started his professional career by enlisting in the U.S. Air Force and a short time later, earned an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy. After graduation, Dick held numerous leadership positions before serving as a base commander in Germany. He moved into the private sector, managing a Fortune 500 enterprise, and later built a technology start-up into a financial success. His transition to the nonprofit sector involved a successful effort to help revive an international nonprofit by guiding the board in a strategic initiative to refocus their organizational vision and streamline their mission. More recently, Dick designed the strategy and infrastructure for a regional collaboration among cross-sector coalitions to develop a common regional agenda to help those in poverty build a better life. Dick holds a Masters degree in Business Management from Central Michigan University. Dick’s wife, Dedra, is a former special education teacher and mental health therapist who now works as a holistic health coach. Dick and Dedra have one son, Scott.


Election Results: Geraldine Cahill to Join ILCA Board of Directors

Lactation Matters Post Titles

The International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Geraldine Cahill has been elected by the ILCA membership to the Board of Directors. Her three-year term will commence July 2016. We look forward to working with her to continue ILCA’s mission: to advance the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research.

Ger (2)

Geraldine Cahill, IBCLC, BA, Community & Adult Education, Dip.Education (Training of Trainer)

Geraldine comes to us as a private practice lactation consultant in Co. Cork, Ireland where she provides home visits so that she can see a mother in her own surroundings. Her professional plan in the coming years is to develop a curriculum and provide education to healthcare professionals suitable for those who would like to become International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). She has been a voluntary Breastfeeding Counsellor with Cuidiú since 1993 and has been tutoring Breastfeeding Counsellors all over Ireland since 2000. She has spoken at many Association of Lactation Consultants of Ireland (ALCI) and Cuidiú conference on topics ranging from informed decision making and counseling to anatomy and physiology. She was the ILCA/WABA Chris Mulford Fellow in 2014 and a part of the European Panel at the 2014 Lactation Summit, co-hosted by ILCA, IBLCE, and LEAARC.

We are proud to have Geraldine Cahill join the ILCA Board of Directors.

The ILCA Board would like to thank each of you for your continued support. To find out more, please visit our website at www.ilca.org.


Early Bird Registration Closes Next Week!


Join us 20 – 23 July 2016 in Chicago, Illinois, USA for Celebrating Baby Friendly in the Hospital and Beyond: Helping Families Thrive Worldwide!

Register NOW before the Early Bird Registration Deadline for the BEST VALUE!

Baby-friendly practices are those that support and promote breastfeeding—in all settings and stages—through the incorporation of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. This year’s conference celebrates these practices in hospitals, in clinics and physician offices, and throughout the family’s community. The conference will conclude with a panel discussion on how the Ten Steps fit together in various settings and what the future holds.

NEW IN 2016!

  • SHORTER CONFERENCE FORMAT with the opportunity to earn up to 22 CERPs (including pre-conference sessions), nursing contact hours, and CME credit!
  • MORE AFFORDABLE conference thanks to a shorter, three-day format.
  • GREATER FLEXIBILITY with no need to preregister for specific concurrent sessions. Choose the sessions you like on-site.
  • MANY OPPORTUNITIES to participate in our highly popular Clinical Skills Rotation on the pre-conference day. (Pre-registration required)
  • FREE WIFI in all of our meeting rooms!

PLUS: Still a few spaces left in pre-conference Clinical Skills Rotation!

We are excited to once again offer our popular Clinical Skills Rotation. Participants will rotate between skill stations in each two-hour session. At each station, participants will spend 25 minutes with an expert facilitator, who will provide a demonstration and support hands-on skill practice.

Clinical Skills sessions are available for beginning practitioners (primary session) and for seasoned consultants (advanced sessions). Two different time slots are available (1:00 pm or 3:30 pm start) to maximize the number of participant slots.

Click here to register for #ILCA16


Organizational Documents: ILCA’s Commitment to Transparency

Lactation Matters Post Titles (5)

This week, ILCA is launching a new, occasional series featuring the voices of ILCA board members. We hope you will learn about the people behind the many decisions the board makes every day to bring ILCA closer to our core values of knowledge, equity, and diversity.

ILCA strives to be transparent to our members.

Wondering about the priorities for ILCA Board of Directors? Or actions we’ve taken or decisions we’ve made? The minutes of the Board of Directors meetings are one way to keep up with ILCA’s actions.

Making the minutes readily available to members and making other key documents easier to find on our website are two ways the ways the ILCA board is working towards transparency with our community.

I have been an ILCA member for over 10 years, and have been honored to serve as Secretary of the Board of Directors for almost 5 years.

As Secretary, it is my job to report the Board’s decisions in minutes of our meetings. While the recommendation for organizational meetings is to simply report the actions and motions made at the meeting, I almost always include some of the background or discussion behind those actions and motions to further inform members about those decisions.

The minutes are reviewed for accuracy and approved by the Board. Additionally, I write minutes for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association, which is held each July at the Conference. The minutes from the previous year are presented there and approved by members.

If you haven’t found the minutes or other organizational documents on our new website, I’d like to guide you to them. You can visit them now by clicking HERE.

To locate them later, click on “about ILCA” on the website and scroll to Board of Directors. You will find the content at the bottom of the page here:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 2.07.05 PM

Full public access is available for:

Bylaws – these are the rules by which the association is governed.

Organizational Chart – showing how the different parts of the association fit together, and how we work with outside organizations.

Strategic Map – identifies the vision, mission, core values, goals, and objectives of the association, and generally guides all Board decisions.

Form 990 – an annual reporting form that certain nonprofit organizations in the United States of America must file with the Internal Revenue Service, and which provides information on the organization’s mission, programs, and finances.

Lisa smiling headshot

Lisa Mandell, MBA, IBCLC, Secretary, ILCA Board of Directors

Additionally, ILCA members have access to all the minutes of Board meetings that I mentioned previously, from January 2015 on. We are working to add the Electronic Motions and Actions documents (a record of decisions made on the online platform used by the Board between meetings), and minutes of the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Also here are the reports of our financial audits for the last several years. An audit is an independent examination of a nonprofit’s financial records by a licensed certified public accountant; it is an examination of the financial records, accounts, business transactions, accounting practices, and internal controls.

I hope that access to this information helps you to feel more informed as a member of ILCA. The ILCA Board of Directors is committed to transparency – that is, we want our members to know what decisions we are making, and why. We do this work for you, and as an effort to advance the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research. This will help us to achieve our vision of world health transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care.

As always, we welcome your input and your questions.


Influencing the Global Breastfeeding Agenda: A Workshop of the ILCA Global Partners Initiative

Lactation Matters Post Titles (4)
As someone who cares about national and global breastfeeding agendas, you are invited to an opportunity to hear from and be heard by those who share your challenges, hopes and aspirations. Join worldwide, national, and regional leaders in lactation as together we “bridge today’s vision with tomorrow’s reality” at the Second Annual Partner’s gathering. Influencing the Global Breastfeeding Agenda: A Workshop of the ILCA Global Partners Initiative will be held this July immediately preceding the ILCA 2016 conference and all are invited to attend, either in-person or via live-streaming.

The free workshop will kickoff with an opportunity to learn about the agendas of leading worldwide organizations, including Laurence Grummer-Strawn, MPA, MA, PhD, technical officer at the World Health Organization (WHO) and by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) Co-Directors Amal Omer-Salim and Jay Sharma.

Participants will then be invited to work in small, action-oriented groups alongside the ILCA national and regional partners with the goal of:

  • Identifying local and regional strengths and barriers to breastfeeding
  • Expanding local and regional recognition of the IBCLC certification
  • Growing the breastfeeding dialogue across sectors
  • Identifying partner resources and collaboration opportunities
  • Building capacity of skilled lactation care such as developing IBCLC mentoring programs
  • Understanding regional BFHI practices, Code Monitoring and Compliance
  • Exploring opportunities for the global partners network

Since the inception of the ILCA Global Partners Initiative, a number of global breastfeeding issues have surfaced among the partners. This workshop is a part of the growing momentum of the ILCA Global Partners Initiative, including on-going partner discussions and the addition of new partners from Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

The myriad of global challenges to breastfeeding did not happen overnight and they did not happen in isolation. This “unlearned behavior” has evolved from the conscious and unconscious collective efforts of many. It stands to reason; the remedy will come only through the deliberate collective actions of many, like you.

If you want to take an active role in shaping the future success of the global breastfeeding community, please join us for this special event in person, or through live streaming. ALL ARE INVITED TO JOIN.

WHAT: Second Annual Partners Meeting
WHEN: 13:00-16:00, Wednesday, 20 July 2016
WHERE: Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, Chicago, Illinois, USA
or Live Streaming (click HERE to register)
WHY: Impact global breastfeeding outcomes

Registration is NOT required for participating on site. Registration IS REQUIRED for live streaming.


Apply to Become an #ILCA16 Exhibitor

Exhibitor visualReach hundreds of lactation professionals by becoming an exhibitor at ILCA’s Annual Conference — Celebrating Baby Friendly in the Hospital and Beyond: Helping Families Thrive Worldwide — in Chicago, Illinois, USA, 20-23 July 2016! #ILCA16 offers high-visibility booth space, as well as exclusive advertising and sponsorship opportunities at all levels, including break and mealtime sponsorships, promotional inserts, and conference program advertising. (Reduced rates are available to nonprofit exhibitors. Please see the Exhibitor Prospectus for available fees.)

Up to 800 lactation consultants, midwives, physicians, breastfeeding counselors, researchers, pharmacists, nurses, doulas, and other health professionals from around the world will attend the conference. This is your opportunity to ensure these highly educated lactation professionals, who have influence with expectant and new parents, as well as healthcare organizations, know about your products and services.

#ILCA16 offers several ways for your company, project, or nonprofit to get involved in the conference on many different levels.

Conference Exhibitors:

Reserving your booth space early ensures high visibility of your products and services. A standard 8×10-foot booth package includes:

  • Contact with international leaders in breastfeeding,
  • Badges for two (2) company representatives per 8×10 booth space rented,
  • Lunch and breaks on exhibit days for two company representatives per exhibit space or one representative for non-profits and small businesses,
  • 15 percent discount on any full conference registrations purchased for the organization’s representatives, and more!

Sponsorship Opportunities:

Gain greater visibility throughout the Conference with exclusive sponsorships! #ILCA16 sponsors have many opportunities to make their name and their products known to conference attendees. Sponsors can opt to have their name or logo printed on conference tote bags, badge holders, lanyards, or hotel keys; sponsor the Exhibit Hall Reception; furnish our Mother-Baby Room with relevant products; or sponsor conference meals and breaks. All of these exclusive sponsorship opportunities also include:

  • Logo on the Conference section of the ILCA website, in a slide show before key sessions at the Conference, and on signage placed in high traffic areas throughout the Conference,
  • Sponsor recognition in the Conference Program,
  • One-time use of both the preregistration and final attendee mailing list,
  • Full Page Black & White Ad in Conference Program, and more!

Promotional Opportunities:

#ILCA16 has promotional possibilities designed to fit all budget levels and to enhance your visibility at the conference. Choose from among a variety of creative opportunities such as:

  • Tote bag promotional inserts,
  • Having your promotional items or materials delivered to the hotel rooms of all conference attendees,
  • Advertising on our Conference Mobile App,
  • Rent the #ILCA16 pre-conference attendee mailing list, or
  • Take advantage of our Exhibitor Promotion Package, with a mix of promotional opportunities to reach people before, during and after #ILCA16, at one package price!

Additionally, ILCA provides other ways for you to illustrate your commitment to the lactation profession, while also getting additional exposure for your product or business. Companies and individuals can help ILCA expand its diversity and support new members from under-represented communities by donating funds toward ILCA membership scholarships. As an ILCA Donor, your company will receive special recognition at the ILCA Conference as an ILCA Membership Supporter through booth signage, the conference materials, and on the ILCA website. Gain further exposure and enrich ILCA scholarship and research grant opportunities by supporting ILCA’s new raffle! Please consider donating an item by emailing info@ilca.org.

Our conference exhibitors are key partners in creating the ILCA Annual Conference experience. Your displays, your products, and your support are part of what makes the conference the amazing experience it is. The exhibitor application deadline is 20 May! (Booth reservations will be accepted after this deadline if space allows, but late applicants will not be listed in the Official Conference App and Conference Program.) Please see the #ILCA16 Exibitor page for further information and application materials.

Visit the #ILCA16 Exhibitor Information Now! 


2016 ILCA Elections: Board of Directors, JHL Members’ Choice Article

Lactation Matters Post Titles (1)


The ILCA Board of Directors has presented a ballot asking ILCA voting members to vote for the following:

  • Board of Directors elections
  • JHL Members’ Choice Clinical Article of the Year

All ILCA members who are certified as an IBCLC and are in good standing should have received an email from ILCA on 4 April 2016 containing a link to the ballot. If you did not receive an email and you should have, please contact the ILCA Office at projects@ilca.org (or) 1+ 919-861-5577 (or) 888-452-2478. Our ILCA staff is eager to make sure you get a ballot, so your vote can be counted. To ensure a timely and secure election, all voting will take place through an online survey.

Prior to casting a vote, all voting ILCA members are encouraged to thoughtfully consider all information provided below. This will enable you to make an informed decision. Vote carefully: Once your vote is cast, it cannot be changed, repeated or cancelled.

The balloting commences 4 April 2016 and concludes 5 May 2016, at which time all electronic votes will be tallied by the ILCA staff.

Board of Director Elections

On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are pleased to present the 2016 ballot for election of Directors.

This slate of candidates for the ILCA Board of Directors was selected by the ILCA Nominating Committee. After thorough review and analysis, the slate was approved by the ILCA Board of Directors as submitted.

A Director must now be elected by a majority of ILCA voting members. (Note: ILCA Bylaw 3.4 confers voting privileges to those dues-paying ILCA members who are also IBCLC certificants.)

The ILCA Board of Directors, in its November 2014 Lactation Matters blog, described three goals as part of its vision of “World health transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care:”

  1. Establish collaborative partnerships with other regional, national, and international organizations;
  2. Mentor newly-developing organizations, worldwide, that promote IBCLC professional development and care;
  3. Build an ILCA infrastructure of equity and diversity, by reducing barriers of entry into the profession and into ILCA leadership positions.

Accordingly, candidates to run for the position of ILCA Director ideally would embrace this strategic vision, would bring geographic diversity or lived-experience from around the world, and would be members of non-dominant social groups. Candidates would be sensitized to the challenges of ensuring equitable access to positions of leadership within ILCA for currently under-represented social groups.  This addresses a key strategic goal for ILCA, moving forward, to create equitable, meaningful leadership roles for those whose practice environment is outside the dominant social group of their geopolitical region.

Please take time to review the profiles of each nominee, by clicking on their names, prior to casting your vote.

Amal Ali Roshdi Hassan El-Taweel, MD, IBCLC

Geraldine Cahill, IBCLC, BA Community & Adult Education, Dip. Education (Training of Trainer)

The ILCA Board extends a special thanks to the Nominations Committee for their efforts on behalf of the entire membership.


JHL Members’ Choice Clinical Article of the Year

You are also invited to cast your vote for the Members’ Choice Clinical Article of the Year for the 2015 issues of the Journal of Human Lactation. You can read the abstracts of each nominated paper by clicking below.

Use of Domperidone as a Galactagogue Drug: A Systematic Review of the Benefit-Risk Ratio (Catherine Paul, PharmD, Marie Zénut, MD, PhD, Agnès Dorut, CPM, Marie-Ange Coudoré, PharmD, PhD, Julie Vein, DVM, PhD, Jean-Michel Cardot, PharmD, PhD, and David Balayssac, PharmD, PhD.)

Safety of Popular Herbal Supplements in Lactating Women (Marwa R. Amer, BScPharm, Gabriela C. Cipriano, PharmD, Jineane V. Venci, PharmD, BCACP, and Mona A. Gandhi, PharmD)

Using a Wellness Program to Promote a Culture of Breastfeeding in the Workplace: Oregon Health & Science University’s Experience (Antoinette Magner, RN, BSc, IBCLC and Carrie Anne Phillipi, MD, PhD, IBCLC)

Breastfeeding Infants with Congenital Torticollis (Catherine Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC)

Breastfeeding among Adolescent Mothers: A Systematic Review of Interventions from High-Income Countries (Heather L. Sipsma, PhD, Krista L. Jones, DNP, RN, and Heather Cole-Lewis, PhD, MPH, MA)


Questions? Comments? Share them here! We want to hear from you.


Register NOW for Clinical Skills Rotation

#ILCA16 Blog Post Templates

Have you registered yet for #ILCA16?

Hurry – the very popular Clinical Skills Rotation (now in pre-conference session) is filling fast.

We are excited to once again offer our popular Clinical Skills Rotation. Participants will rotate between skill stations in each two-hour session. At each station, participants will spend 25 minutes with an expert facilitator, who will provide a demonstration and support hands-on skill practice.

Clinical Skills sessions are available for beginning practitioners (primary session) and for seasoned consultants (advanced sessions). Two different time slots are available (1 pm or 3:30 pm start) to maximize the number of participant slots.

Attendees are asked to register for only one Clinical Skill Rotation block to allow sufficient room for others to participate. This is a popular feature of the ILCA conference, so register early if you wish to participate!

Pre-registration is required. New in 2016: the Clinical Skills Rotation is being held in pre-conference session.

Wednesday, 20 July

Primary Clinical Skills I-II (1:00 pm – 3:00pm & 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm)

Management of Mastitis: Effective Interventions and Counseling Skills (Carmela Baeza, MD, IBCLC, RLC)

How Do I Hold My Baby? Positioning the Medically Complex Infant (Kimberly Barbas, BSN, RN, IBCLC)

Poor Weight Gain: Assessment and the Use of at-Breast Supplementation (Mariana Colmenares, MD, IBCLC; Katia Contreras, MD, IBCLC)

Assessment and Management of a Painful Latch: Hands-on Skills for Lactation Specialists (Ann Kellams, MD, IBCLC)

Advanced Clinical Skills II-III (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm & 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm)

Management of Peripartum Engorgement: The Use of Reverse Pressure Softening and Therapeutic Breast Massage in Lactation (Maya Bolman, BA, BSN, IBCLC; Ann Witt, MD, FABM, IBCLC)

Supporting Breastfeeding Families at Hospital Discharge: Case Studies and Role Plays (Tijen Eren, MD, IBCLC, PhD)

The Counseling Component in Clinical Work: An Interactive Exploration (Millie Goins, BS, MPH-c, IBCLC)

Slow Down the Flow: Helping Infants Overwhelmed by Milk Ejection (Mona Liza Hamlin, MSN, RN, IBCLC)

Register Now!


ILCA is an approved provider of Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs) with the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®). Our approval number is CLT-108-7. The pre-conference is approved for 4 CERPS. ILCA is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. The pre-conference is approved for 4 Contact Hours. CMEs are pending.  The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) accepts hours without prior CDR approval and recognizes approval by the ANCC. When recording hours on the CDR Activity Log, indicate the provider as “ILCA (ANCC).”


IBCLCs Making A Difference Around the World: Albidayah Breastfeeding Resource and Women’s Awareness Center

Lactation Matters Post Titles (1)

 العنوان : البورد العالمي للرضاعة الطبيعية يصنع فارقاً في العالم من حولنا مركز البداية للرضاعة الطبيعية وتوعية المرأة

We are thrilled to announce the signing of the 16th National-Regional Partner agreement with Albidayah Breastfeeding Resource and Women’s Awareness Center (Albidayah Center). The ILCA Global Partners Initiative was designed to both support and elevate the work of organizations like Albidayah Center around the globe. By creating linkages between Albidayah Center, the 15 other National-Regional Partners, and the global breastfeeding agenda, we can support the efforts of IBCLCs to implement the six primary interventions that are proven to increase breastfeeding rates.

In today’s Lactation Matters, we interview Modia Batterjee, DHA., LC. about Albidayah Center and the impact of the Global Partner Initiative in her community.


لقد أثار حماسنا كثيراً توقيع إتفاقية الشراكة القومية مع مركز البداية للرضاعة الطبيعية وتوعية المرأة . تشكلت مبادرة الشراكة العالمية مع ILCA مع المنظمات ( مثل مركز البداية) بهدف دعم وتطوير عمل مثل هذه المنظمات المنتشرة حول العالم. عن طريق خلق صلات ترابط بين مركز البداية وبين الأجندة الدولية للرضاعة الطبيعية ، سنتمكن من دعم الجهود الحثيثة المبذولة من قبل IBCLCs لتنفيذ التداخلات الأساسية الستة التي ثبت أنها تزيد من الرضاعة الطبيعية .

وفي شؤون الرضاعة اليوم،نعقد اللقاء مع الدكتورة موضي عبدالمجيد بترجي . للتناقش حول مركز البداية وأثر مبادرة الشريك الدولي في محيطها .

Lactation Matters: Tell us about why Albidayah Breastfeeding Resource and Women’s Awareness Center (Albidayah Center) is so important to human health in Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Modia Batterjee: Breastfeeding rates in Saudi Arabia are low with little marked increase in the last 20 years. Over 97% of mothers deliver in hospitals as home births are discouraged, yet in the last 20 years only 7% of our hospitals have ever received the BFHI designation. If surveyed it would seem that most Saudi women feel a religious obligation to breastfeed, however they have little social or health care support to do so. Since the advent of the oil boom in the 1970’s, formula companies have targeted this region. Their influence and financial sponsorship has lead to convincing most women and health professionals that formula feeding is equivalent to or better than breastmilk. As a result, when mothers do manage to breastfeed partial breastfeeding is the norm; mothers breastfeed and supplement with formula especially during night feeds. Meanwhile, illness rates directly related to the lack of breastfeeding continually rise and are reaching epidemic heights; diabetes, hypertension, obesity, learning disabilities etc. AlBidayah is the only breastfeeding resource center available to mothers and medical professionals in the Kingdom.

شؤون الرضاعة : حدثينا حول سبب الأهمية البالغة لمركز البداية للرضاعة الطبيعية وتوعية المرأة فيما يتعلق بصحة الإنسان في المملكة العربية السعودية ؟

د/ موضي : شهدت المملكة العربية السعودية إنخفاضاً في معدلات الرضاعة الطبيعية مع مؤشرات قليلة بزيادتها خلال العشرين عاماً الماضية، هناك أكثر من 97% من الأمهات يضعن أطفالهن في المستشفيات أو في المنازل لايتم تشجيعهن على القيام بالرضاعة الطبيعية ،ففي السنوات العشرين الأخيرة ،فقط 7% من مستشفياتنا قد تلقت برنامج مبادرة رعاية الرُضع. وإذا تم إستطلاع الرأي،سنجد لدى أغلب النساء السعوديات الشعور بأن الرضاعة الطبيعية واجباً دينياً ،على الرغم من عدم حصولهن على الرعاية الإجتماعية والصحية التي تؤهلهن للقيام بهذا. ومنذ تفجر الأرض بالبترول في أوائل السبعينيات من القرن العشرين ، أصبحت المنطقة هدفاً واضحاً لشركات إنتاج الألبان الصناعية . ولقد قامت هذه الشركات وبما تملكه من دعم مادي بإقناع معظم الأمهات وكذلك خبراء التغذية بأن الألبان الصناعية مكافئة تماماً أو حتى أفضل من لبن الرضاعة الطبيعية. ونتيجة لهذا الأمر،مارست النساء الرضاعة الطبيعية بشكل جزئي، وذلك بإقران الرضاعة الطبيعية بالرضاعة الصناعية ، حيث تكمل كل منهما الأخرى، ويلجآن الى الرضاعة الصناعية خاصة في المساء. خلال ذلك، تزايدت معدلات المرض بالإقتران مع تناقص معدلات الرضاعة الطبيعية، لتصل إلى معدلات وبائية، في أمراض مثل البول السكري، إرتفاع ضغط الدم،السمنة، والعديد من الأمراض الأخرى. مركز البداية هو المركز الوحيد للرضاعة الطبيعية المتاح للأمهات وللخبراء بالمملكة العربية السعودية كلها .

LM: What challenges do you face in your work?

MB: Regulatory status is an ongoing problem in Saudi Arabia, and a further lack of legal licensing for lactation centers. Unfortunately, the Saudi government has yet to recognize breastfeeding as a healthcare issue. Mothers are overwhelmed with marketing and a multitude of products available. There is a lost generation of those women who are now grandmothers, who did not breastfeed and do not provide support to their daughters. Most often these grandmothers actively work to discourage their daughters as breastfeeding is seen as something that interferes with social activities and has become identified with a lower class thing to do. So, we are fighting with the lack of government support, social issues and customs that have moved far away from active mothering.

شؤون الرضاعة : ماهي التحديات التي تواجهك في عملك؟

الوضع القائم يشيء بإستمرار المشكلة في المملكة العربية السعودية ، ومما يزيد الأمر سوءاً هو قلة التصاريح القانونية لمراكز الرضاعة . وللأسف، فإن حكومة المملكة العربية السعودية تتعامل مع الرضاعة الطبيعية حديثاً كأحد مفردات الرعاية الصحية . تغرق الأمهات وسط بحر من المنتجات الغزيرة. ونتج عن هذا الأمر وجود جيل من النساء بلغن منازل الجدات اليوم، ممن لم يحظين بالرضاعة الطبيعية ، كما لم يطلعن بناتهن على مدى أهمية الرضاعة الطبيعية . ومعظم هؤلاء الجدات يعملن سريعاً على عدم تشجيع بناتهن للقيام بالرضاعة الطبيعية لأحفادهن، وحصر الأمر في سياق إجتماعي ، على سبيل أن الرضاعة الطبيعية أحد الأفعال التي تمارسها نساء طبقات الدونية، والتي لايجب أن تمارسها بناتهن ، لذلك ، فإننا الآن نحارب مع الدعم الضعيف الذي نلقاه من الحكومة السعودية، وفي الوقت نفسه نحارب المعتقدات والمفاهيم الإجتماعية السائدة ، والتي تبعد تمام البعد عن الأمومة وممارساتها.

LM: Why did your organization decide to become an ILCA National-Regional Partner?

MB: I have been an IBCLC for 10 years and yet have never received recognition as a professional licensed to work in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it seemed important to connect our center with ILCA to validate the work we do and to be in a position to advocate for Lactation Consultants (LC), train and expand the possibilities to have more LCs in our part of the world.

شؤون الرضاعة : لماذا إتخذت منظمتكم القرار بأن تكون شراكة إقليمية مع ILCA ؟

د/ موضي : لقد سبق لي العمل كخبيرة رضاعة طبيعية برخصة استشارية من المنظمة IBCLC لمدة عشر سنوات كاملة ، ولم أحصل مطلقاً على إعتراف كخبيرة مصرح لها بالعمل في المملكة العربية السعودية. لذلك، بدى من المهم للغاية أن يتم التواصل بين مركزنا وبين ILCA من أجل “شرعنة” العمل الذي نقوم به وكي نتخذ موقعنا للدفاع عن خبراء الإرضاع، ودعمهم بالتدريب والتوسع في إمكانياتهم من أجل توسيع القاعدة العريضة من خبراء الإرضاع في العالم كله .

LM: What is your vision for breastfeeding support in Saudi Arabia?

MB: Every city and community needs access to proper breastfeeding information, material and support persons. We look forward to the day when breastfeeding becomes the norm again rather than the artificial-bottle feeding society we live in now.

شؤون الرضاعة : تُرى ، ماهي رؤيتك لدعم الرضاعة الطبيعية في المملكة العربية السعودية ؟

د . موضي بترجي : إن كل مدينة وكل مجتمع في حاجة ماسة إلى الحصول على معلومات حول موضوع الرضاعة الطبيعية ، والوصول إلى المواد والأشخاص الداعمين. نحن نتطلع إلى اليوم الذي تصبح فيه الرضاعة الطبيعية هي الإجراء الطبيعي كما كان من قبل، بدلاً من مجتمع هذه الأيام ، الذي تسود به زجاجة اللبن الصناعي .

Battarji, Modi P7804Bio: Dr. Modia Batterjee has long provided a voice of advocacy and support in the international health community. With over a decade of experience, Dr. Batterjee has worked in both the United States and Saudi Arabia in the health and medical space with a variety of employers, including the United States Army Material Command, Dar Al Hekma College and the Al-Eman Cancer Society. She has served as an educator, teaching classes for college students, mothers and healthcare workers.

Dr. Batterjee is also an active social entrepreneur, whose ventures include the Albidayah Breastfeeding Resource and Women’s Awareness Center and the Beejewel Boutique a cause-oriented jewelry brand that supports compassion, resilience and community through philanthropic contributions.  Dr. Batterjee is a close collaborator of Princess Reema Bint Bandar Bin Sultan AlSaud; together they broke the Guinness Book of World Records twice in 2010 & 2016 for the largest Human Awareness Ribbon and recently completed the 10ksa Health Initiative to increase holistic awareness of health issues specifically breast cancer in Saudi Arabia, bringing the topic into public discourse and fighting for a cure.

سيرة ذاتية :

د/ موضي عبدالمجيد بترجي ، قدمت العديد من التوعية الصوتية للأمور الصحية والداعمة لها على المستوى الدولي. لأكثر من عقد من الزمان ، عملت في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية وفي المملكة العربية السعودية في مجال الصحة والرعاية الطبية ، لدى العديد من الهيئات المتنوعة، ومن بينها الجيش الأمريكي، وجامعة دار الحكمة ، ومحاضرة ومعلمة لطلبة الجامعات، والأمهات، وكذلك العاملين في مجال الصحة.

كما أنها عضو ناشط في الأعمال المجتمعية وداعمة للمشروعات المتناهية الصغر، وشمل عملها مركز البداية للرضاعة الطبيعية وتوعية المرأة . وبوتيك بي جوول أحد الفروع التي تقدم المشغولات الشرقية التي تدعم التكافل والدعم الإجتماعي من خلال التبرعات الخيرية . كما أنها أحد الشركاء المقربين إلى الأميرة ( ريما بنت بندر بن سلطان آل سعود ) ، وقاما معاً بتسجيل الرقم القياسي في موسوعة جينيس العالمية مرتين وذلك في عام 2010 و 2016 لأكبر شريط وردي المكون من ثمانية آلاف امرأة في وقت واحد بهدف تحسين طرق التوعية الشاملة للمساعدة في وقف الأزمات الصحية، ومؤخراً قاما بالإنتهاء من مبادرة 10Ksa لزيادة التوعية الصحية، خاصةً ضد مرض سرطان الثدي في المملكة العربية السعودية ، وقد ألقيا عليه الضوء لينال إهتمام المجتمع ، من أجل محاربته والقضاء عليه .

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes