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Happy Birthday!

When I meet someone for the first time and they ask what my profession is, I usually receive a raised eyebrow when I tell him/her that I am a lactation consultant.  This raised eyebrow is typically followed by either, “What type of consultant?” or “Wow, I could have used you when I had my kids (followed by a 5 minute soliloquy of her breastfeeding challenges),” or “Well, why would someone need a lactation consultant?  Isn’t breastfeeding easy?”  As lactation consultants, we are often working on our own or with other health professionals who don’t truly appreciate all we do for mothers and their families.  We don’t just help mothers breastfeed….we nurture a mother’s self-confidence as she enters the full-time profession of motherhood.

To be a successful lactation consultant does not mean that we make a ton of money (wouldn’t that be nice???)  Instead it means that we provide gentle, emotional (and breastfeeding!) support  to those families who need it the most.  But where do we receive our support?  Sure, we attend professional development seminars and workshops.  We might network with colleagues.  We might volunteer at our local county breastfeeding coalition.  All in all, we could use more support, just like our moms.

In answer to our need for support, we would like to introduce ILCA’s newest support system: Lactation Matters, the official blog of the International Lactation Consultant Association.  In this blog, you will hear from authors about their latest research, in 600 words or less!  You will learn tips from colleagues who are setting up outpatient clinics, non-profit organizations, and private practices.  You will be exposed to international news about breastfeeding from around the world.  All of our articles will be focused on supporting lactation consultants and breastfeeding professionals with pertinent research, tools and tricks of the trade, and global movements in breastfeeding promotion.  It serves as the perfect complement to ILCA’s monthly member newsletter, e-Globe.  Lactation Matters will help us take one more step to meeting ILCA’s vision and mission: Our vision is a worldwide network of lactation professionals. Our mission is to advance the profession of lactation consulting worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research.

We look forward to sharing our knowledge and experiences with you.  We hope that it will nurture your education and self-confidence as a health-care professional and lactation consultant.  We also hope it will inspire you to share your knowledge and experiences with us as well!   If you find an article that you feel your colleagues would benefit from, please link to it from your Facebook page or Twitter account and add comments to the bottom of the blog to keep the conversation going.  If you are interested in submitting an article to Lactation Matters, please contact us at

Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC, Lactation Matters Editor, Owner San Diego Breastfeeding Center

Decalie Brown, RN, CM, CFHN, IBCLC, ILCA Director of Marketing

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11 Responses to Happy Birthday!

  1. Denise Altman 1 August 2011 at 19:38 #

    Great idea! What a wonderful way to rapidly distribute bite sized information bits. I am hopeful that most of your contributors are “in the trenches” LC’s giving readers a snapshot of things that are important to them, and us all. I will definitely be following.

    Denise Altman/PPLC, All The Best
    Columbia, SC/USA

  2. Doreen 1 August 2011 at 22:35 #

    I feel so alone in my profession and this will be a blessing! I have a question that I need help with. My manager at work, in a large hospital, told me that the nurses and physicians had a problem with “informed consent” when it came to breastfeeding. ie: we have mothers who state that they want to breast and bottle feed. I discuss the importance of getting a good milk supply started before introducing a bottle, always asking why. Most mothers state it is because they are going back to work, then I discuss this finding out when they go back, making a breastfeeding plan. The problem is that the nurses want to give bottles without informing the patients about possible consequences as they get their milk supply going for NON medical reasons ie: get sleep at night, second night feeding frenzie, etc. I feel it is my ethical responsibility as a RN and IBCLC to give “informed consent” (ie: information) because most mothers do not understand the consequences of bottles of formula in the first few days and I have made it clear that the nurses have that responsibility also. They do not like this. Any suggestions would be helpful as I have called a meeting of the managers next week. Thanks, Doreen

    • lactationmatters 3 August 2011 at 21:05 #

      This is a great question, Doreen, and worthy of an entire blog post to learn how other IBCLCs are handling this challenge. We’ll cover this question in the Lactation Matters blog in the coming weeks. Thanks for joining the conversation!

    • Margaret Pitts 13 August 2011 at 07:24 #

      Formalizing the process may be beneficial Doreen. In my hospital an infant cannot be given infant formula by cup, syringe or bottle without the mother’s informed and written consent. It also sounds as if the nurses you work with need more education about the importance of human lactation.

  3. Ana Estorino Uribasterra 3 August 2011 at 14:03 #

    Congratulations on the new blog! I’m looking forward to reading and participating in it.

  4. Sheridan Ross, IBCLC 4 August 2011 at 17:03 #

    I love it – yet another fantastic resource for us by ILCA! I will definitely be following. (LOVE the beautiful picture!)

  5. Mary Anna Walloch IBLC 24 August 2011 at 13:35 #

    I love this new tool, thank you!
    Doreen brings up a good question that many of us have. Informed consent is not proof that either information regarding risks has been shared in a meaningful way for the nurse or the patient nor that either of these two understand alternatives available.
    I have worked in a hospital where informed consent to supplement was used. It did not change the hearts of the nurses. It required them to repeat words and uptain a signature.
    It continues to be a problem. I am now looking to win the heart of the nurses who know the words and want the immediate fix. Helping them see the bigger picture for the infant and family by looking at the bigger picture of the nurse and the work flow.
    Supplementation continues to be a problem and maybe consent is still a good answer to protect us from legal issues.

  6. Dana 24 August 2011 at 21:01 #

    Congratulations on the blog!! What a great resource that I’m looking forward to viewing/participating in! Thank you!

  7. Charley Arnesen 11 October 2011 at 20:54 #

    thanks about your post. very gud.


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