ILCA Conference 2011 – Reflections

I absolutely love going to ILCA conferences!  While San Diego was quite a treat with its gorgeous weather and fabulous beaches, even the heat of San Antonio and Las Vegas couldn’t diminish the way an ILCA conference re-energizes and makes me feel so proud to be a part of this valuable profession.

Planning my trip to ILCA 2011 was not too challenging, since I live about 10 minutes from where the conference was hosted.  Yet, I still had to juggle clients and my son’s 6th birthday to make it to all of my favorite sessions.  It was so worth it!

The week before the conference, I started to create my ‘plan of attack.’  Which sessions would I attend Thursday through Sunday?  Would I finally learn how to deal with those flat heads and stiff necks?  Is pumping really out of hand?  Where would I meet my friends and colleagues that I met at previous conferences?  Would I have time to peruse the exhibition hall?

I started the conference by attending the Wednesday Clinical Rotations and the rumors from past conferences were all true: What an amazing experience!  It was like having a private session with my favorite experts in the field.  Alison Hazelbaker went through her entire Assessment Tool for Lingual Frenulum Function.  Marsha Walker was so lovely I could just listen to her speak for hours and hours.  The day just flew by!

Thursday through Sunday was a whirlwind, but so many of the things I learned and people I met have influenced my daily practice as a lactation consultant.  At the poster session I met Lenore Goldfarb, who since then has been helping me with a client who is inducing lactation with her adopted son.  I have now mentioned Jane Morton’s video on Hand Expression at least twice a week with new clients and prenatal breastfeeding students.  I have shown samples of the Danish Wool breast pads to several clients with Reynaud’s.  I finally met my fellow marketing committee members face to face for the first time.  I have stayed connected with colleagues I met during lunch and breaks over Facebook and email, which allows us to further our conversations and support one another.

The energy at an ILCA conference is colossal!  The amount of knowledge I obtain in those 4-5 days is immeasurable!  When I leave an ICLA conference I feel smarter, revitalized, invigorated, and supported.  And I can’t wait for the next conference to arrive.  Stay tuned for exciting information about ILCA2012 in Orlando, Florida.

Now it’s your turn to share:

What was your favorite part about ILCA2011?

Who was your favorite speaker? 

What feedback would you like to share?

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

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