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:

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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 .

IBCLCs Making a Difference Around the Globe: Infant Feeding Support for Refugee Children

HAPPY IBCLC DAY! JodineHappy IBCLC Day! As a part of our celebrations, we are highlighting IBCLCs around the globe that are making the ILCA vision a reality: world health transformed through skilled lactation care. In today’s guest post, Jodine Chase highlights the critical work of the ad hoc group Infant Feeding Support for Refugee Children. This group’s work is a key example of how IBCLCs are, every day around the world, implementing the six primary interventions that are proven to increase breastfeeding rates.

Every infant and child has the right to adequate nutrition.

This fundamental tenant of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child is crucial when populations are impacted by crisis, emergency, or natural disaster. Children are among the most vulnerable. Without steps to protect and promote safe and appropriate infant and young child feeding, the risk of illness, death, and malnutrition soars.

In emergencies many barriers can interrupt breastfeeding, including stress, lack of food, lack of privacy, and the uncontrolled distribution of breast milk substitutes. This can lead to the rapid decline of a child’s health. Guidance for infant and young child feeding in emergencies (IYCF-E) is provided by the Infant Feeding in Emergencies Core Group (IFE Core Group) interagency expert advisory group coordinated by the Emergency Nutrition Network. IFE Core Group members include the World Food Programme, UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR, and a number of NGOs including World Vision and Save the Children.

Major disasters and emergencies, like earthquakes or typhoons or mass migration due to famine or war, trigger guidance tailored to the specific emergency. Within hours of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, IFE Core Group members had adapted guidance used in Myanmar and China for use in Haiti and a United Nations Interagency Joint Statement was issued to fit the Haitian context.


The Syrian refugee crisis has been well documented. In June 2015, men accounted for about three quarters of the people moving across Europe. More than 1,000,000 refugees crossed into Europe in that year, and the number of women and children on the move has been increasing. It now exceeds the number of adult males. Last September, the world awoke to the image of Alan Kurdi, a two-year-old boy drowned and washed ashore on a Turkish beach, a casualty of his family’s attempt to flee across the Aegean Sea to the Greek Island of Kos. NGOs and grassroots volunteers alike were thrust into the spotlight. In October 2015, Interim Operational Considerations for the feeding support of Infants and Young Children under 2 years of age in refugee and migrant transit settings in Europe were issued by the UN’s High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR.) The guidelines reflect difficulties supporting a breastfeeding population on the move. For families in transit, they note, “Conditions can undermine maternal confidence and breastfeeding practices. There is a risk that breastfeeding mothers stop [or] reduce breastfeeding, especially if also using infant formula (mixed feeding) before the transit.” Other considerations include lack of fresh water, increasing the risk of diseases like diarrhea and chest infections. “In the emergency environment, such conditions can be fatal.”

Social media quickly showed the world the growing crisis through circulation of the Alan Kurdi photo, and a stream of first-hand reports from volunteers in Greece and Europe. Social media documents the terrible impact of this migration on pregnant and breastfeeding women. Reports of infants drowning in the arms of their mothers, dying in frigid tents, and of women leaving life rafts and giving birth on the beaches of Greek Islands circulate almost daily. Social media is also playing a strong role in uniting the breastfeeding helper community across Europe and the Middle East in their efforts to support these families.

The Facebook group Infant Feeding Support for Refugee Children (IFSfRC) helps infants and children receive appropriate milk. Through this hub, several important initiatives are being supported. Here is a highlight of some of the the IBCLCs who felt compelled to jump into action to help.

Ada Palandjian, IBCLC is co-area coordinator for leaders (ACL) for La Leche League Greece and was contacted by Ellen Mateer, ACL of La Leche League Great Britain, after Ellen saw the photo of Alan Kurdi. Rising calls for donation of infant formula prompted La Leche League Great Britain to ask for donations of funds directly to La Leche League Greece, helping Greek Leaders actively support refugee families to breastfeed through their cross-continental journey.

Arabic IFE image“I gathered leaflets in Arabic and English from La Leche League, UNICEF, ELACTA, as well as images without words, laminated them, and sent them to Lesvos to our local La Leche League Leaders,” said Palandjian. “I activated the local Leaders, along with mothers attending the local group in Mytilene, the capital city of Lesvos Island, to meet up and find ways [in] which they could take turns visiting the refugee camps. The local team was able to find a volunteer mother to take up a position as a part timer at Save the Children mother—baby space in the refugee camp at Kara Tepe in Mytilene.” With volunteers teeming in from all over the world to help the tens of  thousands of refugees, Palandjian brought an IBCLC colleague from Athens, Maria Fertaki, to Lesvos to assess the situation and to support training.

Maria Fertaki, BA, MA, IBCLC, LLLL has been a volunteer with Galaxias, the Greek IBCLC Association, since 2007. She works with refugees in Greece, combining the distribution of slings and carriers with breastfeeding support and safe infant-feeding counseling. Through her La Leche League connections and with her IBCLC experience, she provides training for La Leche League leaders and mothers on the Greek Island of Lesvos, where many families land after an often perilous sail from the shores of Turkey, and in Athens, where many families wind up in refugee camps. Fertaki is frank about the challenges faced by League volunteers in Greece: “Helping refugees is not one of the five basic responsibilities of LLL leaders! However many of the Greek leaders have spontaneously started doing relief work at or near the towns [in which] they are staying. We are used to reaching out as one mother to another, helping one mother at a time.”

Her training and work as an IBCLC helped her with issues involving safe formula preparation. “All organizations have been so overwhelmed by the numbers of people arriving that the issue of breastfeeding and safe infant feeding in transit was largely overlooked, and no one seemed to have a policy that worked. The strict ‘no formula’ policy left many babies and parents and volunteers crying. The unchecked formula distribution with no proper assessment has undoubtedly caused unnecessary weaning and health issues to babies that could have breastfed.”

Fertaki and her colleagues bring critical on-the-ground observations and expertise to the Infant Feeding Support for Refugee Children (IFSfRC) Facebook group, and they can also use the group to access technical knowledge from IYCF-E experts.

“I realized the importance of safe instructions of formula preparation and safer ways of feeding rather than bottle feeding, and I wrote an article to be published in the Greek La Leche League magazine Galoucho, to inform Leaders and mothers,” said Palandjian, who is also arranging a seminar led by Greek’s La Leche League leaders on safe infant feeding for local NGO volunteers in Athens and Lesvos. Some materials Fertaki and Palandjian and team have worked on have been translated into a number of languages by the IFSfRC team and are in use across Europe.

Brooke Bauer, MPH is from the United States, has lived overseas for the last decade. She has worked on global health projects in Kenya, Bolivia, Europe, and the Middle East. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the 2010 birth of her daughter convinced her to shift her focus to maternal and infant health and breastfeeding projects. Bauer is determined to help change birth culture to prevent other families from experiencing what her family did. She is a certified doula, certified breastfeeding counselor, and childbirth educator.

Bauer has lived in the Middle East for the past four years and says, “When the refugee crisis began, we felt it every day. In December, I was asked by a friend to accompany her on a trip as an infant feeding specialist to Lesvos, Greece. Once I began to research common practices on the ground, I realized there was quite a large gap with regards to infant feeding. I began asking around on volunteer boards about infant feeding practices on the islands and was invited to the Facebook group Infant Feeding Support for Refugee Children. There I connected with many lactation professionals that I have collaborated with on a few projects, and Nurture Project International was created from there.”

“It is important to make sure that you are properly informed before you send people into the field, doing a comprehensive assessment is imperative,” says Bauer, determined to avoid duplication of efforts. She focuses on developing training to support other NGOs already in Greece. “We have been consulting with health professionals as they have been implementing infant feeding programs,” says Bauer. “It is beautiful how it has blossomed.” Most of Bauer’s volunteers are IBCLCs. She says, “IBCLCs provide a really important role in infant feeding in emergencies. They are able to provide the expertise that is so desperately needed. In infant feeding support, the knowledge that IBCLCs have is invaluable. Breastfeeding saves lives, especially in emergencies.”

Aunchalee Palmquist, PhD, IBCLC is a medical anthropologist researching and teaching about global maternal—child health, infant and young child feeding, and health disparities. She fits her volunteer work with IFSfRC around her work as assistant professor of anthropology at Elon University in North Carolina.

Greek IFE image“I am doing my part to bring the evidence that we have for IYCF-E to a broader audience, so people who are working with refugee families can have the best sources of information at their fingertips, and people who wish to donate money can find ways to do this that are actually helpful. We are also really working hard to help the general public get the message that, contrary to what they may believe, infant formula isn’t always life saving. The loss of breastfeeding culture around much of the world has led to dire rates of infant mortality, and this is even worse in disasters and emergencies. We have forgotten how powerful breastfeeding is, particularly as it relates to infant survival. Breastfeeding is robust, resilient, and powerful and is necessary for infant health at so many levels–nutritionally, immunologically, and psychologically. Breastfeeding is a pillar of global maternal—child health.”

Palmquist notes IBCLCs work in settings across the world to promote, support, and protect breastfeeding and says international scope of IBCLC practice means, “We can learn a lot about how to support breastfeeding in many different situations and circumstances by working with people who come from various backgrounds, with unique expertise, and cultural knowledge.” She adds, “This has been true for our IFSfRC group, where we are learning about the unique situation of refugees in transit, and how to adapt the support measures that are in place to meet their special IYCF-E needs.” The IFSfRC team has created compelling graphics and videos supported by thoughtful text to drive people to the support measures that are in place to meet the special IYCF-E needs of refugees in transit.

Bauer says, “There is such a need for IBCLCs both online and in the field. We are growing really quickly and are looking for input in all aspects of our work. We would love to have IBCLCs on our board and joining our team as well.”  Palmquist adds, “I, personally, would like to see our organization, ILCA, provide more opportunities for IBCLCs to serve as leaders in the global response to breastfeeding in emergencies. Collectively, IBCLCs have the training and expertise needed to be leaders in local communities that mobilize breastfeeding response to crises situations across the world.”

Palandjian says, “Volunteers need a plan of action to get more involved, and many steps have been accomplished into that effect, but even more needs to be done. Refugee crises will remain an issue to be handled for a substantial time in the future, and we all need to be there to help in all ways possible.”

Palmquist says she envisions ILCA, “Organizing a means for IBCLCs across the world to serve as an emergency breastfeeding response network, so that those who already have the training to work in emergencies and humanitarian crises can be mobilized quickly, partner with other agencies, and deliver timely and effective IYCF-E support. It would be great if ILCA membership dues and conference fees had a means for people to donate to such an effort, or if we could parlay ILCA’s relationship with global health organizations WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR to make this happen. We also need more IBCLCs and people on the ILCA Board and various committees who are working in global health and in international settings. This type of networking will make responses to disasters with proper IYCF-E support much more effective, and that will save many lives.”

Bauer is encouraged to see ILCA members “working more closely in IYCF-E globally.” She says, “Perhaps a global response unit put together by the ILCA where IBCLCs can quickly find placements within humanitarian responses would be great to see.”                                                                                               

Jodine ChaseJodine Chase is a public relations and communications consultant specializing in issues and crisis management news analysis. Jodine is a long-time breastfeeding advocate who, as a volunteer, works for many breastfeeding related causes, including advocating for the reestablishment of milk banks, appropriate infant and young child feeding during emergencies including the Syrian refugee crisis, and amending policies and legislation to protect breastfeeding rights. Jodine serves on the board of her local breastfeeding advocacy group, the Breastfeeding Action Committee of Edmonton (BACE), which is implementing a human rights education grant project to increase the number of Breastfeeding Friendly public spaces in her city. She also volunteers with the Best for Babes Foundation, ILCA, INFACT Canada, and Friends of the WHO Code.


Get Ready To Celebrate: IBCLC Day 2016

HAPPY IBCLC DAY! #happyibclcday blog post

Every day, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are transforming world health through skilled lactation care. Recent major meta-analyses released as a part of the Lancet Series on Breastfeeding tells us the potential impacts are enormous:

  • With optimal breastfeeding, 823,000 children and 20,000 parents could be saved each year.1
  • Globally, the equivalent of US $300 billion could be saved each year.2

The health and financial impacts of breastfeeding impact all countries, regardless of income, dispelling the notion that breastfeeding is only a meaningful health issue in areas without access to clean drinking water.3

This is why the work of IBCLCs to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding is so critical. This week to highlight IBCLC Day (THIS WEDNESDAY, 2 March 2016) we will be focusing on the ways that IBCLCs are making a difference around the globe.

The Lancet series identified six primary interventions that are proven to increase breastfeeding rates:

  • Disseminate the evidence
  • Foster positive societal attitudes towards breastfeeding
  • Show political will
  • Regulate the breastmilk-substitute industry
  • Scale up and monitor breastfeeding interventions and trends in breastfeeding practices
  • Political institutions: exercise authority and remove structural and societal barriers that hinder women’s ability to breastfeed4

Around the world, IBCLCs are implementing these proven interventions. The result? IBCLCs are truly making ILCA’s vision a reality: improving world health through skilled lactation care.

On IBCLC Day, watch here and on our social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) to see examples of IBCLCs at work on the interventions that make a difference. Please be sure to amplify the message by sharing widely with your own social media community.


Have examples you’d like us to share from your community? Leave us a message in the comments here or share on our IBCLC Day event here.


  1. Victora, C. G., Bahl, R., Barros, A. J. D., Franca, G. V. A., Horton, S., Krasevec, J., et al. (2016, January 30). Breastfeeding in the 21st Century: Epidemiology, Mechanisms, and Lifelong Effect. The Lancet, Volume 387(10017), 475-490.
  2. Rollins, N. C., Bhandari, N. Hajeebhoy, N., Horton, S., Lutter, C., Martines, J., et al. Why Invest, and What it Will Take to Improve Breastfeeding Practices. The Lancet, Volume 387(10017), 491-504.
  3. Victora, C. G., Bahl, R., Barros, A. J. D., Franca, G. V. A., Horton, S., Krasevec, J., et al. (2016, January 30). Breastfeeding in the 21st Century: Epidemiology, Mechanisms, and Lifelong Effect. The Lancet, Volume 387(10017), 475-490.
  4. Rollins, N. C., Bhandari, N. Hajeebhoy, N., Horton, S., Lutter, C., Martines, J., et al. Why Invest, and What it Will Take to Improve Breastfeeding Practices. The Lancet, Volume 387(10017), 491-504.

President’s Annual Message

Dear Fellow ILCA Members,

Last year was ILCA’s 30th Anniversary—and a remarkable year it was. During the annual President’s message, I would like to touch on just some of the highlights of this past year and offer a brief forecast of what promise 2016 brings.

World health transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care now drives all we do at ILCA. Our efforts are guided by the new strategic map and amplified thanks to a new board, committee, and task force structure. These changes are the result of a lengthy process conducted by the board in 2015 to redefine our organizational values, goals, and objectives.

The ILCA Partners Initiative became a reality, with 15 new partnerships formed during 2015. Established “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,” this unique framework is being used today to bridge vision and reality by helping to illuminate and share the global breastfeeding agenda with those at the local level best equipped to mediate much needed change. The 2015 ILCA Conference was host to the first annual ILCA Partners Meeting, where international collaborators and partners gathered to take the initial steps to better define the global breastfeeding agenda.

ILCA celebrated 30 years of advancing the IBCLC profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research. From the 2015 Conference Founder’s Reception to the screening of the documentary MILK by director and producer, Noemi Weis, ILCA honored the many ways our profession has changed lives. Also at the conference, ILCA bid farewell to two-term board member Roberta Graham de Escobedo and former JHL Editor Anne Merewood. Thanks to both for their years for service to ILCA and its members.

A revamped membership fee structure for 2016 reflected ILCA’s commitment to the principles of equity and diversity. Determined to align with our new values, the ILCA Board of Directors took action to address the disparities in our tiered pricing structure and make membership accessible to all of those committed to our vision.

New talent committed to helping ILCA achieve our goals. ILCA was honored when Mudiwah Kadeshe joined the board of directors. ILCA was very pleased to have Cynthia Good Mojab join ILCA as our new Education Manager. Cynthia, who brings with her a wealth of experience in education and the field of Equity and Diversity, assumed her role in September. ILCA was also very pleased to announce the hiring of Joan Dodgson as the new JHL Editor and the signing of a new, and more lucrative, six-year agreement with JHL publisher, SAGE Publishing, Inc. Other changes in ILCA staff personnel included the move of Judi Lauwers to the newly established position of Accreditation Manager, and the hiring of Assistant Executive Director, Jennifer Rothman; Administrative Coordinator, Courtney Smith; and, Membership Coordinator Kelly Cain. In 2015, we also said farewell to Jessica Lytle as the Assistant Executive Director to ILCA.

Finally, ILCA ended the year with these record-setting milestones:

  • Highest membership in history – 6204
  • Highest operating reserves ever – 8.79 months
  • Highest number of Membership scholarships awarded for 2016 – 18

And, with 2015 as the benchmark, 2016 promises to be even better. ILCA proudly started the new year with the launch of our new website, which displays the new ILCA logo. If you have not yet visited the new ILCA website, I promise you are in for a treat. Our thanks to the entire ILCA staff, and especially to the core development team—Amber McCann, Jeanette McCulloch, and Jessica Lytle—for their tireless efforts in updating this key resource.

As we move into the new year, ILCA’s new committee and task force structure is taking form with the establishment of the Executive Teams. If you have not yet submitted your volunteer application, I encourage you to do so now. Your help is needed to make our vision a reality. Please join us on this journey to World health transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care.

We hope you will join us in Chicago, Illinois, USA, where we have assembled the leading experts in the world for our annual conference. Gather with lactation experts and advocates from around the globe on 20-23 July (learn more about our new, shorter conference format here). Enjoy the opportunity to earn up to 22 CERPs (including pre-conference sessions) and take advantage of free wifi in the conference space. This year’s theme is Celebrating Baby Friendly in the Hospital and Beyond: Helping Families Thrive Worldwide. ILCA is thrilled with the opportunity to help draw attention to this important area during this year of celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). Please make your reservations soon for this special event. Among the very special planned activities in July will be the “passing of the gavel” to new ILCA President, Michele Griswold.

As I complete my final watch as ILCA President, I am proud of the progress we have made since I took office. And I am especially mindful of the contributions and sacrifices made by so many before me and those who now serve this great organization. We have been blessed these past 18 months to raise this organization to new heights. I am eternally grateful for those who have preceded me and set the stage for what we have accomplished. There remains much to do, but we are treading where few have been, we are expanding our reach, and we are making a difference.

As we look forward to the possibilities this new year will bring, I extend to each of you who have and will accompany me on this journey my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

Decalie Signature



Decalie Brown, RN, CM, IBCLC, CFHN, BHMtg, FILCA
ILCA President, 2014-2016


Editor’s note: this post was revised shortly after publication to acknowledge three staff changes omitted in error.


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