What has been one of your most memorable experiences as an IBCLC?
Meena Sobsamai – My most memorable experiences I have had working with a mother and her child in the hospital, in the support group or even on the phone, are the ones where we can see that the easiest cases, and the most difficult ones, are made to feel ‘normal.’ Our responsibility is to keep normal as norm and to help difficult situations to become much easier and make it back to ‘normal.’ Two of these important responsibilities are caring about birth and breastfeeding. I always say ‘relax, you can do it and we’re here to help you’.
One of those moments that has been very rewarding and made me feel proud to be an IBCLC, and a parent educator, is when I see the breastfed baby’s eyes after he/she gets a good LATCH and his/her mother smiles while her baby is breastfeeding. For me, my heart feels big and I feel high like the endorphins have elevated my mind with achievement. It’s more than words can say. I’m sure you love it as well and would love to make it happen again and again. For IBCLC, it’s my honor to have this and I’m so glad to hear the young nurses run to me after my talk or lecture saying that ‘You’re my idol.’ Thank you, my dear, you’re also my drive to make it happen.
Clinic Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital
Childbirth&Breastfeeding Foundation of
Thailand IBLCE Co-ordinator for THAILAND
Tomoko Seo -Recently I was invited to speak on breastfeeding at a meeting for pediatricians in a city 750 km (460 miles) away from my hospital. I talked on breastfeeding basics that pediatricians should know. When I was answering questions, a young female pediatrician raised her hand and told her story. Although I did not remember her, she had, in fact, given birth in my hospital and I had checked her son at the well baby clinic. When she asked me at my clinic about how she could continue breastfeeding after she returned to work, I informed her that she could express her milk and ask the nurse to give it at daycare. Soon after that, she moved to the city where I was invited. It was a coincidence to meet her again. She told the audience that she was very happy that she could breastfeed her son for more than one year while she was working. I was very pleased to hear her story because not only had I been able to encourage a first time mother, but I also helped create a pediatrician who experienced happy breastfeeding. I believe it is useful to make breastfeeding-friendly physicians to help mothers to continue breastfeeding. This is one of my strategies.
Tomoko Seo, MD, IBCLC, FABM, is a pediatrician, who is working in a private maternity hospital and a pediatric clinic in Japan. She certified as IBCLC in 1999 and served as the president of Japanese Association of Lactation Consultants (JALC) from 2001 to 2003. She is a member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. She has translated various documents and books on breastfeeding into Japanese. She has served as Conference Chair of the annual breastfeeding seminar for physicians sponsored by JALC since 2005. She works as a lecturer at breastfeeding conferences as well as a clinician caring for mothers and babies.