JHL Introduces: Dr. Nathan Nickel, MPH, PhD, Associate Editor

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by Aire Jae Etheridge

Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) would like to congratulate Nathan Nickel, MPH, PhD on his new role as Associate Editor of the journal. Dr. Nickel now shares this position with Donna Chapman, PhD, RD.

Dr. NickelBefore taking on this new role, he worked on JHL’s Editorial Review Board, which required active participation in the peer-review process, reviewing articles for scientific content and identifying emerging contributions in the field of human lactation.

Dr. Nickel received his undergraduate degree from Southern Adventist University, his Masters of Public Health in Community Health Sciences from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his doctorate in Maternal and Child Health Policy from the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill. He is currently a Research Scientist at the Manitoba Center for Health Policy, where he worked closely with Dr. Patricia Martens. In fact, Dr. Martens was his postdoc adviser on research examining child health inequities in Manitoba. They also worked together on a study looking at the healthcare costs associated with smoking in Manitoba. Dr. Nickel teaches a course on statistical methods for doctoral students and biostatistics for medical students. When he is not teaching, he finds time to conduct independent breastfeeding research.

One little known fact about Dr. Nickel is that he that he began his career as a pastor and chaplain. He says his biggest challenge was shifting his mentality from comforting others during challenging times to developing approaches to address public health-related issues.
When asked how he began his career in Public Health, Dr. Nickel shared this interesting story.

“In 2001, I was teaching English to high school students in a small rural town in northern Mongolia, Sant Suum, with a population of around 1,200. The town had been hit hard during the transition to a market economy in the early 1990s. About one-third of families living in Sant faced food insecurity. While I was there, I connected with a Mongolian non-governmental organization working in the area, Mongolian Outreach Services.

I partnered with them to develop a microeconomic agriculture project focused on reducing food insecurity among these families using a multipronged approach. At the end of the first year, families had increased food diversity and security. Doing this project, I learned about the importance of conducting community-based needs assessments and designing projects with an eye towards sustainability after the funding has ended.

This experience was the most important, because it was my first exposure to health interventions focused on improving family nutrition. I learned a lot doing this project, but I also realized that I had a lot more to learn. It was during this project that I decided to pursue graduate training in public health; I wanted to become more effective at improving population and public health and realized that I needed a broader skill set to accomplish this. My work as a health policy research scientist is really an extension of the lessons I learned while engaged in this project: sustainable strategies that improve public and population health.”

While reflecting on his time at UNC, Dr. Nickel appreciates the rigorous work conducted with Dr. Miriam Labbok, MD, MPH, FACPM, FABM, IBCLC and Emily Taylor, MPH, CD (DONA), LCCE. It was during this time that he learned the importance of thoroughly explaining study design strategies and properly conducting various study design methods. It was also during this time that he developed a passion for helping other researchers conduct good science and motivate them to implement new approaches.

JHL is delighted to have Dr. Nickel on board as Associate Editor.


Aira Jae Etheridge is a student at Boston University School of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health, MPH Candidate, a JHL student intern, and CHAMPS Regional Coordinator for The Breastfeeding Center at Boston Medical Center.


Please join Lactation Matters in welcoming Dr. Nickel by leaving him a welcome note in the comments!

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In Remembrance: Patricia Martens, IBCLC, PhD, FILCA, CM

Pat Martens oct 2007 high resThe International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®), along with the lactation profession as a whole, grieves the recent passing of Patricia Martens. Pat has been instrumental in the advancement of our field and her contributions will be missed.

We reached out to Dr. Anne Merewood, the editor for the Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) to share some stories and memories of her relationship with Pat. She shared:

There are several stories that stick in my mind about Pat that go beyond the research and teaching at which she so excelled. Pat and her husband had a farm (as well as an airplane), and some of her animal stories were her funniest. She told one about a sheep that had fallen over, and could not get up. The sheep was lying in her barn and no matter what she and Gary did, it was lethargic and refused to move. They fed it and cared for it as it was lying there declining, and they were sure it wouldn’t make it. They asked a local farmer who obviously had more experience than they did, what to do. The man looked at them as if they were mad and said, “Just stand up the sheep.” Those who knew Pat can imagine her description of this activity. Sure enough, Pat and Gary lifted up the sheep, stood it on its four feet, and off it ran.

She also loved to tell a story about a cow that had bloat and gas problems on Christmas, and a local farmer (there were a lot of them about, apparently) told them to feed it a bottle of soapy water. So there was Pat on a freezing cold Canadian winter Christmas Day, pumping a bottle of soapy water into the cow. The cow did an enormous burp and all its problems vanished.

Pat had ways of telling these simple funny stories and laughing along with you that were quite unique. She permeated all her research talks with humor. One can just imagine, as she told it, all her statistics students sitting in their exams, furtively waving their arms about and putting their fingers to their noses to remember the action-packed mnemonics that helped everyone to recall the complex statistical concepts she was so good at teaching. She combined humor, common sense, and research acumen to prove that you can lead an outstanding academic center without being aloof or pretentious. It was Pat who persuaded me to apply for the position of JHL editor. While I received plenty of wise counseling from many people during that application process and in the position ever since, it was Pat who looked at me with a big smile and said, “But of course you should do it.” She was always at the end of the phone with pragmatic, down to earth, straightforward advice.

When Pat first told me about her cancer, we knew it was bad news. “Now if I had to choose, this would NOT be my choice of a cancer to get…hoping I’m a friendly outlier. It’s weird to be sitting here working, feeling pretty good and looking just like I always do (except slimmer), and knowing that it is a flip of the coin if I survive the next 9 months.  But my emotional/spiritual state of mind is just fine, so don’t worry about me.  I’m a do-er, not a worrier, and I approach this as a very interesting scientific research project on the qualitative experience of cancer.” Pat lived 22 months after this email. She also said, “I couldn’t ask for a better more loving environment of support at work, home, and around the world.”

Good people should live longer. It will be hard to manage without Pat.

Barbara Wilson-Clay also offered the following remembrance:

We lectured together at several conferences, and got to know one another over dinners. Pat was one of the most talented teachers I’ve ever observed. Her wit and humor brilliantly transformed subjects like interpreting statistics. I once saw her make a crowd of several hundred health care professionals act out the nursery rhyme “I’m a Little Tea Pot” to clarify a statistical concept. Pat was kind enough, on several occasions, to look at manuscripts I was working on to check whether my conclusions about the research were sound on the basis of the numbers cited. She contributed hugely to our profession, to mothers and babies, and I’m sure her students at the university were changed forever by her instruction. I’m heart sick to hear she has passed away. I would have loved to tell her how I valued her.

DSCN6526In 2013, at the ILCA Conference in Melbourne, Australia, it was announced that JHL would begin awarding the JHL Patricia Martens Annual Award for Excellence in Breastfeeding Research. As was only appropriate, the inaugural award was given to Pat herself for her incredible body of research in the lactation field. While accepting the award, Pat graciously said,

“Thank you to all of my ‘journey friends’. I call you ‘journey friends’ because you don’t come to success without the persons, the places, and the times being fortuitous in your lifetime. We want to make those persons, places, and times fortuitous for everyone so that we may allow success for everyone. This is not an individual award. It is an award because I have such a wonderful community around me of ILCA, La Leche League, and all of the people who are my ‘journey friends’.”

We are so grateful for Pat and what she gave to our field and those around here. We are honored to be her “journey friends”. You may read Pat’s obituary HERE.

How did Pat’s work impact your practice? Do you have memories to share or a reflection to offer? We would love to hear from those who were influenced by Pat, not only for her research and teaching, but also for the care she provided to breastfeeding families. Please comment below or on our Facebook Page. These comments would be treasured memories for all who cared for Pat.


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Reflections from the 2014 ILCA WABA Fellow, Geraldine Cahill

The International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) are pleased to once again jointly sponsor the exciting opportunity for a Fellowship to travel and work with WABA on outreach and advocacy projects at their headquarters in Penang, Malaysia. ILCA has designated this annual Fellowship as the Chris Mulford WABA ILCA Fellowship. Chris had been an ILCA member and helped to guide the birth and growth of the profession with a gentle spirit and wise leadership. Chris first joined WABA in 1996 at the first WABA Global Forum in Bangkok and became a long term volunteer for WABA. She worked mainly to support working women to breastfeed globally. She also paved the way for the first WABA‐ILCA Fellowship, in 2007. At Lactation Matters, we are proud to highlight this post, by Geraldine Cahill, a recent fellow, about her experiences in Malaysia with WABA.

For more information about applying to become a Fellow, please see this document. The deadline for applications is 16 February 2015. 

By Geraldine Cahill, IBCLC, BAced., Dip.ED (Antenatal)

I am the 2014 Chris Mulford WABA/ILCA Fellow. As a part of the fellowship, I recently traveled to Penang, Malaysia, and I would like to share about my time with the WABA staff. Hopefully, my experience might encourage some of you to consider this opportunity in the future.

I applied for the fellowship in September 2013 and was told that I had been chosen in November. I felt so honoured and worried whether I would actually be able to do justice to the work that I was going to be asked to do.

I set off for Malaysia at the very end of May, where I was met at at the airport and was taken to the wonderful apartment I would be staying in for the duration. This apartment was in the centre of the city at Penang Times Square. This new development is situated on the grounds of an old tin mine and smelting works. A McDonald’s occupies the building next door, which was the old colonial home of the owner and manager of the smelting works! My apartment would be shared, for part of the time, with Jerusalem Bereket, a young college intern from Jacksonville, Florida. The apartment had a swimming pool and it was glorious to come back from work most days and head to the pool to cool off.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPenang is an interesting place with a mix of East and West; tall modern skyscrapers and yet, when you walk around, you are very aware of the Eastern culture with temples and places of worship all around. I visited the several temples during my time in Malaysia including the Cave Temples in Ipoh on the mainland and Kek Lok Si and the Snake Temple in Penang itself.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere are three distinct cultural groups in Penang: Malay, Chinese, and Indian and they all contribute to the atmosphere, both in their dress and food. Most people in Penang speak 3-4 languages: Malay, Hokkien, and Tamil as well as English. They may not be fluent in all of them but would have a good working knowledge and be able to communicate across a number of languages. The food in Penang is pretty spectacular! I did not visit even one “fancy” restaurant but rather, I ate street food all the time. Even so, the food was of the highest standard everywhere I went.

The work was also an interesting mix. WABA is primarily an advocacy group and is, of course, the organiser of World Breastfeeding Week. The preparations for this were in full swing when I visited, with scores of resources being prepared to send to the some of the 179 countries which were holding events this year. WABA provides resource materials particularly to the very poorest countries in the world and they are a central hub for breastfeeding resources through their Breastfeeding Gateway on their website. They also have an E-map that shows where mother support groups exist all around the world. They also have an amazing photographic resource that is available from all the WBW events and which can be accessed by ILCA members by emailing peiching.chuah@waba.org.my.

In my time with WABA, I was able to work on fact sheets, help to monitor and update links on the Gateway site, did some preliminary work on a Toolkit/Checklist focusing on competencies in breastfeeding skills for healthcare workers and did some teaching for the local Mother support group by providing a 3-day workshop for their peer supporters. I generally helped out as needed in the office and also attended some Steering Committee meetings as an observer and and was able to present at the Health section of the WABA meeting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe six weeks I was in Penang was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had. I enjoyed every part of it and loved meeting new people and becoming more aware of the invaluable work that WABA does worldwide. I hope you consider applying for this opportunity of a lifetime.

photos courtesy of Geraldine Cahill

Posted in ILCA-WABA Fellows, WABA | 1 Comment

2015 IBCLC Care Award Applications Now Open

Copy of Journal of Human Lactation (3)Let potential clients know that your Hospital-Based Facility or Community-Based Agency recognizes the role of the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) in protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding by applying for the IBCLC Care Award.

The IBCLC Care Awards are promoted  to new families and the general public which means your facility can enjoy the benefits of positive public relations in your community, including:

  • Enhanced attractiveness to potential patients
  • Competitive edge in recruiting lactation consultants, nurses, midwives, mother support counselors and other medical staff
  • General good will in the community by providing excellent care in helping new families reach their breastfeeding goals

Visit the IBCLC Care Directory to see which Hospital-Based Facilities are already benefiting from the IBCLC Care Award program!

Hospital-Based Facilities and Community-Based Health Agencies that staff currently certified IBCLCs can apply online to become a recognized IBCLC Care Award facility. Learn more about the qualifications and complete the online application here.

Apply now! Applications will be accepted online starting today (Monday, 12 January 2015) through Friday, 20 February 2015.

The award was created by International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®). Learn more and apply here.

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Creating a Local Task Force to Address Nursing in Public

By Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC

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Editors Note: Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC, is an IBCLC in private practice in California, USA. She has developed a program for supporting families who breastfeed in public. Robin shares the impetus for her work, some how-to tips for creating programs in your own community, and an opportunity to learn more in this week’s Lactation Matters:

I’ve never considered myself an activist. Sure, there are many things that I am passionate about, but usually I am the person offering quiet support to a cause, not standing with the megaphone. That all changed when I was contacted on my Facebook page by a mother who had been harassed in a local courthouse because she had been breastfeeding her baby. What transpired was something I never expected. It has turned into a community venture to stop nursing in public (NIP) harassment in San Diego, California, USA.

The mother who contacted me recounted the incident where a bailiff had thrown her out of a courtroom full of people simply because she had been breastfeeding. I was outraged! How could someone, especially a government employee, feel like it was okay to publicly humiliate this woman for breastfeeding her baby in a public place? I felt compelled to assist this mother in changing this situation and help her to regain some of the self-esteem that had been squashed in such a insulting manner. I consulted with Best for Babes, Breastfeed LA, and several other IBCLCs to formulate a plan on how to remedy this wrongdoing. Based on everyone’s experiences, we concluded that the most progress could be made by corresponding in a professional, non-threatening manner with the person who could actually implement positive changes. After countless emails, hours on the phone, and finally a meeting with the Commander of the Court Services Bureau, we arrived at an acceptable solution to the situation. The mother was written a letter of formal apology from the San Diego Police Department, the bailiff was under investigation and the entire staff of the San Diego Police Department was given an informal training on the rights of breastfeeding mothers and how to protect these rights at all times. We were pleased with the outcome of our efforts.

Next thing I knew, I was being contacted by other local families who had experienced harassment for nursing in public. It was like the flood gates had been opened! I thought San Diego was a fairly progressive and tolerant city, but apparently this wasn’t always the case. It was time to take my newfound advocacy to the next level.

NIPlogo_color BIG-2In April 2013, in collaboration with several local mothers, the San Diego Nursing in Public (SDNIP) Task Force was created. The goals of the SDNIP Task Force were:

  • To educate our local community about the California laws that protect a mother’s right to breastfeed in public.
  • To provide support and guidance to mothers who have faced harassment or discrimination for breastfeeding in public.
  • To provide resources that empower mothers, by educating them on their civil right to breastfeed in public and how to handle an NIP harassment incident.
  • To empower business owners, by providing resources that they can integrate into their employee handbooks and training materials so that they and their staff are compliant with the CA law.
At the Poway Nurse-In

At the Poway Nurse-In

Currently, our SDNIP Task Force webpage hosts a collection of resources to support the above goals. Since April 2013, the SDNIP Task Force has helped to resolve seven local nursing in public harassment incidents. Some were very public, such as the incidents at a local LA Fitness and with the Poway School District. Others were resolved quietly, at the request of the family involved.

Recently, it became apparent that by providing more online resources and guidance, the task of resolving these types of situations could become a more collaborative process between the SDNIP Task Force and the aggrieved families. In my experience, those who experience NIP harassment have difficulty figuring out where to begin or whom to contact to remedy their situations. By providing the most effective language to use in the most effective formats, any NIP Task Force can guide a family in the right direction. That way, they can take the power of resolving the situation into their own hands, while still having the confidence that the full force of the NIP Task Force would be behind them if any further action was needed.

We thought that the best way to accomplish these new goals and disseminate this updated information would be to host something like a town-hall meeting. So, on January 15, 2015, from 4-4:30pm PST, we will host our first SDNIP Task Force Town Hall Meeting on Google+ Hangout On Air. If you are unable to watch the Town Hall Meeting live, we will also place its recording on our website and YouTube channel the following day. During our Town Hall meeting we plan to explain the steps in which a mother can resolve a NIP harassment incident, enlist a group of core volunteers to assist with expanding the SDNIP Task Force resources, as well as provide information for others who wish to start a Nursing in Public Task Force in their own community. We hope you will join us. Hopefully joining our town hall meeting will inspire the nursing in public advocate deep inside of you!

How are you working to support breastfeeding families in your community?

RobinRobin Kaplan received training to be a Certified Lactation Educator and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant from UCSD. She holds a Masters in Education from UCLA, a multiple-subjects teacher credential from UCLA, and a BA in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. In 2009, Robin started her own business, the San Diego Breastfeeding Center, where she offers in-home and in-office breastfeeding consultations, free weekly support groups, breastfeeding classes, and online support through her business blog.  In addition to her private practice, Robin was the founding co-editor of the International Lactation Consultant Association’s (ILCA) blog, Lactation Matters, and a regular contributor to ILCA’s E-Globe newsletter.  She also is the host/producer of The Boob Group online radio show.  Robin lives in her native San Diego, where she enjoys cooking, hiking, trying new trendy restaurants, and traveling with her family.

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Working and Breastfeeding: An Interview With Nancy Mohrbacher

Copy of Journal of Human Lactation (2)

International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®)  Medialert Team member Leigh Anne O’Connor recently interviewed Nancy Mohrbacher. Learn more about Nancy’s approach to supporting breastfeeding working families in Leigh Anne’s interview:

I first met Nancy Mohrbacher on a hot August day into 2001. We were both guests on the Montel Williams show. Nancy was the expert guest and I was the “real person” nursing mom guest. I was quite nervous. Nancy, though she said she was nervous, possessed a calm and confident air about her, not at all cocky.  She just knew her stuff.  

Over the years meeting her at various conferences I always learned something new. What has impressed me and what makes her different is that her information is consistently accessible while remaining up-to-date and relevant. Nancy never stops learning and she shares her wealth of knowledge for not only professionals but for breastfeeding families.

The information Nancy has made available about breastfeeding and working in her recent book, Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple, is critical to working families, as employment outside of the home can be a significant barrier to continued breastfeeding.

In her upcoming webinar for ILCA, Nancy will share practical strategies for the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) and other breastfeeding supporters to help working mothers reach their breastfeeding goals. I had the great pleasure to interview Nancy Mohrbacher and here’s what she had to say:

What inspired you to write a book for working parents?

For two years I worked for a national corporate lactation program, where I spoke daily to mothers going back to work. During that time, I realized then that in the years since the last really good book on working and breastfeeding was published we have learned a lot. Even so, recent research found that two-thirds of U.S. mothers who intend to exclusively breastfeed for three months do not meet this goal. The time seemed right for an up-to-date resource that thoroughly addresses employed mothers’ questions and concerns.

What are the unique benefits of breastfeeding for working families?

Many employed mothers have told me what is most precious to them about breastfeeding is that it strengthens their emotional connection to their baby. We’ve also learned more in recent years about breastfeeding as a key women’s health issue. Breastfeeding helps to “reset” a mother’s metabolism after birth. Even decades later a lack of breastfeeding or early weaning increases mothers’ risk of many health problems, including Type-2 diabetes, breast and ovarian cancers, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease, the number one killer of women. Most people know that breastfeeding is important to baby’s health, but now more women are motivated by the importance of breastfeeding to their own health.

What is the biggest challenge for working mothers who are breastfeeding?

Life is complicated, and I think the biggest challenge for working mothers is to distinguish between what is important to achieving their breastfeeding targets and what can be ignored. During my years with the corporate lactation program, I discovered that many new mothers are over focused on the wrong things. Most mothers think, for example, that their milk supply hinges on how much fluid they drink and are drinking massive amounts of water. Research tells us that despite popular opinion this actually doesn’t have a significant effect on milk production. Mothers need to be clear on what does affect their supply so they can take control of their own experience. My goal for Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple is to simplify life for working mothers by clarifying what needs their attention and why. Hopefully, with this information, they can stop wasting their time on the unimportant and focus on those things that truly make a difference.

What is the most unusual strategy that a mother has used to balance breastfeeding and employment?

Breast storage capacity has a major effect on the number of milk removals needed per day to maintain long-term milk production. I’ve been amazed that some full-time working women with very large storage capacities can maintain their milk production without any milk expression during their workday. I’ve learned to never say never!

If you could only give one piece of advice to a working mother, what would it be?

My advice would be to take some time—ideally during pregnancy—to find her tribe. Having a good support network is priceless. During pregnancy, mothers can create this network themselves by talking to family and friends to find those who have had a positive breastfeeding experience. Then they can ask those women to mentor them as they get started. The idea of a career mentor is common. We need to encourage mothers to find breastfeeding mentors, too.

Another way, of course, is to take advantage of online and in-person mother-to-mother support from organizations like La Leche League International, which is almost everywhere, and national organizations like the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Breastfeeding USA, the National Childbirth Trust, etc. It is well worth it to take the time to find other women they can rely on for solid information and emotional support.

What’s the most important thing to know for IBCLCs who support working mothers?

When troubleshooting with an employed mother, my suggestion is to first focus on her number of milk removals (breastfeeds plus pumps) during her entire 24-hour day. Many IBCLCs ask only about a mother’s pumping patterns at work. What’s most important to long-term milk production, however, is the number of milk removals per day and how that compares to a woman’s Magic Number.

When I helped mothers through the corporate lactation program I had the luxury of time to talk as long as necessary to find out exactly what their issue was. I began to realize that due to common misconceptions many women were pumping often enough at work but were dropping feedings at home. I found that was the main source of many women’s milk-production challenges.


NancyMohrbacher-190x238Nancy began helping breastfeeding families in the Chicago area as a volunteer in 1982 and became board-certified as a lactation consultant in 1991. She founded and ran a large private lactation practice for 10 years. She also worked for a major breast-pump company and a national corporate lactation program. Nancy is author of Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple and co-authored with Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, the book for parents Breastfeeding Made Simple. Her 2013 tiny troubleshooting guide for mothers, Breastfeeding Solutions, is now available as the ground-breaking Breastfeeding Solutions app for Android and iPhones. Her new book, Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple, debuted in 2014. Nancy speaks at events around the world.

LAO headshot summer 2014Leigh Anne O’Connor is a IBCLC with a busy Private Practice in New York City. She is also a La Leche League Leader. She lives in Manhattan with her husband Rob and their three children. Leigh Anne blogs at www.mamamilkandme.com


Posted in Breastmilk, Pumping | 2 Comments

Top 10 Lactation Matters Posts of 2014

Screenshot 2014-12-17 16.07.43As we wind up 2014, we’d like to take a look back at our most popular blog posts of the year. It has been an exciting year at Lactation Matters, as we’ve expanded our reach and put a new focus on content highlighting research and practice from all over the globe. If you are doing something new and innovative in your practice, have a tip or technique to share, or want to tell us about how International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLCs®) are impacting breastfeeding families around the world, please send us an email to marketing@ilca.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

Here are our top 10 blog posts of 2014!

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.54.48 PM#10 – Q&A with Sherry Payne, MSN, RN, CNE, IBCLC: An Innovator in Lactation Equity: In April, we were able to share about the innovative work happening at Uzazi Village, in Kansas City, MO, USA. Sherry’s work not only supports women in her community with birth and breastfeeding but is also is educating practitioners who can expand the work of the center.

#9 – New Strategies for Relieving Engorgement: Tips and Tools from Maya Bolman, BA, BSN, IBCLC: This post, published less than one month ago, is blasting its way to the top of our list of most popular blogs. Including video to demonstrate the technique, Maya Bolman offers time-tested treatment methods for some of our most common lactation related challenges.

#8 – Open Letter: Barriers to the IBCLC Profession: After last summer’s Lactation Summit Addressing Inequities within the Lactation Consultant Profession, the conversation about barriers to entry into our profession has been elevated. We published this Open Letter from Alice Farrow, highlighting her perspective and in it, she calls out a number of challenges that those who desire to be IBCLCs encounter as they pursue the profession.

5464706246_6acccd82f6#7 – A Closer Look at Cultural Issues Surrounding Breastfeeding: This excellent piece explores some of the beliefs surrounding breastfeeding in world cultures and how they impact our work as IBCLCs. As ILCA expands its global perspective, we strongly encourage all practitioners to be knowledgeable and respectful of the cultural beliefs in their own communities and determine how to integrate them with evidence-based practice.

#6 – Freya’s Gold: Milk Donation After Loss: We are so grateful to the Mothers’ Milk Bank for sharing this incredible story from Monique about donating her breastmilk after the loss of her daughter, Freya. It also contains important resources for working with bereaved families such as Clinical Lactation’s article Lactation After Loss, by Melissa Cole, IBCLC.

#5 – Pumped Up: Supporting Nursing Moms at WorkWhat a great post highlighting creative and “out of the box” solutions for pumping in the workplace! Written by Cathy Carothers, it shares resources developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health. Videos and photos are included to feature workable options in virtually every type of employment setting.

Wondering How To Become An IBCLC-#4 – Wondering How to Become an IBCLC?: We get questions daily about how to get started on the journey towards becoming an IBCLC, and so we published this piece as a “one stop shop” for those interested in entering the profession. We know that many of your are sharing it with all of those who contact you with similar questions and we THANK YOU!

#3 – Traveling as a Pumping Mother: We have  found that posts with real-life tips for breastfeeding families are always well received. We first published this post in May 2013, and it addresses a very common concern for many families who are balancing parenthood and employment. It is a great one to share with your clients and patients.

#2 – Pumping Strategies for the Working Mother: This post, first published in May 2012, has been a strong driver of traffic to our blog. Offering practical and well-researched guidance for working families, it continues to garner comments and is a favorite on social media.

New Research_ Direct Correlation Between#1 – New Research: Direct Correlation Between Labor Pain Medications and Breastfeeding: We certainly hit on a “Hot Topic” because the popularity of this post zoomed right by Pumping Strategies for the Working Motherwhich has held our MOST POPULAR POST spot since 2012! This post has received more than 100,000 views since May (more views than we had on the entire blog in our first two years!) and has opened up a new conversation about the impact of birth practices on breastfeeding.

Did you read all 10?

If not, take the opportunity to get a taste of what Lactation Matters is all about. And be watching in 2015 as we expand our focus and bring you more posts highlighting the strong work of IBCLCs around the world.

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Lactation Summit Summary Now Available

Screenshot 2014-12-19 08.18.57Last July, The Lactation Education, Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC), International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®), and International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) hosted a Lactation Summit. The Summit was the first event of a multi-year initiative to explore equity and diversity in the lactation consultant profession.

The 2014 Summit brought together important voices from diverse ethnicities and perspectives to share real-life experiences, obstacles, and challenges of underrepresented groups across the globe. The proceedings served as a Needs Assessment to identify the issues, barriers, and stakeholders involved in equitable access to the lactation consultant profession. The day-long meeting included listening sessions and small workgroup activities to identify barriers and potential strategies for devising an action plan to address inequities that limit access to the profession.

Those proceedings have been summarized in a Summary Report. In the report IBLCE, ILCA, and LEAARC all express profound gratitude to those who “came from around the world speaking in support of the underrepresented voices by courageously sharing their own truths.”

We are sharing the summary of those proceedings with the goal to disseminate the voices who spoke, gather new voices, and listen to new feedback and input. We hope that you will share this document widely with anyone you think can benefit from hearing these perspectives or can add new insights.

Your impressions, feedback, and responses to the Summary Report are welcomed and encouraged. Please share those here. Your feedback will be shared with the Summit Design Team.

As the convening organizations said in a joint statement following the Summit: “This Summit was an important first step, and there is more to hear, to learn, and to do. We are deeply committed to continuing this conversation and dismantling the barriers that prevent access to the IBCLC profession worldwide as we work together for equitable solutions. We call on all of our constituents and partners to join us in this important work.”

Find the Lactation Summit Report here

Find the Lactation Summit Report: Executive Summary here

Share your feedback here

Please help us spread the word and gather new input by sharing this widely with anyone who may have input or insights to share. Thank you.

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Top Ten CERPs on Demand for 2014

Copy of Journal of Human Lactation (1)Did you know that ILCA offers CERP-eligible webinars and conference recordings that you can watch at your convenience? Or that you can complete study modules based on Journal of Human Lactation articles to earn CERPs?

Whether you are getting ready to recertify in the next few years or keeping up to speed on the latest in lactation, now is a great time to check out the CERPs on Demand catalog, which you can find HERE.

Here’s a round-up of the some of the most popular CERPs on Demand for 2014 that are still available to purchase. And there are even more that will be free to members in 2015! (Learn more about those here!)

10. Maternal and Breast Pump Factors Associated with Breast Pump Problems and Injuries

Authors: Youlin Qi, MD, MPH, Yuanting Zhang, PhD, Sara Fein, PhD, Cunlin Wang, MD, PhD, and Nilsa Loyo-Berríos, PhD

Journal of Human Lactation 30(1) 2014

9. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Cheryl Benn, RM, DCur, IBCLC

2013 ILCA Conference in Melbourne, Australia

8.  What’s Wrong with One Bottle?

Lawrence Noble, MD, IBCLC, FABM

2013 ILCA Conference in Melbourne, Australia

7: Breastfeeding and Not Thriving: Evidence-based strategies and interventions

Sallie Page-Goertz, MN, APRN, IBCLC

2013 ILCA Conference in Melbourne, Australia

6: Infant Torticollis: A New Threat to Lactation

Alison K. Hazelbaker, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA, CST, RCST

Live webinar presented 19 August 2014

5: Breastfeeding and Adoption/Surrogacy

Cheryl Ganly-Lewis RN, RM, IBCLC, GDip Fam, Clinical Director Wharekai Pepe

Live webinar presented 1 April 2014

4: Was It Something I Ate? Food Sensitivities in the Breastfed Baby

Lindsey Hurd, MS, RD, LDN, IBCLC

Live webinar presented 04 September 2014

3: Sabotage by Another Name: Policies, practices and attitudes that keep mothers and babies apart


2013 ILCA Conference in Melbourne, Australia

2: Human Milk Sharing: Ethics, safety and realities in counseling mothers

Presented by Frances Jones, RN, MSN, IBCLC

Live webinar presented 26 March 2014

1: Classifying Infant Sucking Problems

Presented by Alison K. Hazelbaker, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA, CST, RCST

Live webinar presented January 22, 2014

NEW for 2015! As a part of your member benefits, you will be eligible for up to ten free CERPs. Learn more here.

And tell us – what webinars would you like to see in 2015?

Posted in ILCA News | 2 Comments

Chance for a FREE MEMBERSHIP with Each One, Reach One & ILCA Membership

ILCALogo_full_text (2)

Want to earn a FREE STANDARD MEMBERSHIP while advancing World Health Transformed through Breastfeeding and Skilled Lactation Care?

Participate in the Each One Reach One program! We respectfully request your help in encouraging your fellow lactation professionals to become members of ILCA.


Participate in the Each One, Reach One Campaign:

This campaign honors those who encourage others to join ILCA. New this year, we are offering a FREE STANDARD MEMBERSHIP to the ILCA member, in each of three categories, who refers the most members. Simply ask your colleagues who chose to join ILCA to include your name in the “Each One, Reach One” section.

Here’s other ways you can help advance the ILCA mission:

Let your colleagues know about ILCA membership and its benefits:

Encourage those who desire to enter the field that they might consider Student Membership:

ILCA offers membership to students enrolled with educational institutions or with lactation course providers at a significantly reduced rate. These student members have access to the full menu of benefits and can access the online Journal of Human Lactation. A member can qualify for student membership for up to two years.

Share how you have benefited from ILCA membership with your networks:

Connect with those in the lactation field via email, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platform and encourage them to join.

If you have questions or need more information concerning ILCA member benefits, student membership, or the Each One, Reach One campaign, please contact us at membership@ilca.org or visit the ILCA website at www.ilca.org.

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