1 Week until ILCA 2012! {Finding New Friends}

Written by Amber McCann, IBCLC

“You will soon be involved in many gatherings and parties”
“You will soon find new adventures in life”
“Seek new friends and you will find them”

My bags are not yet packed…

My business cards have not yet arrived…

My email box must be tackled before I head out…

But, I am READY!  I am ready to meet new people.  I am ready to learn new things.  I am ready to find new opportunities.

Are you READY?

By this time next week, we’ll all be together and the 2012 ILCA Conference will be taking over the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes.

The thing I am anticipating the most (yes, even more than the Lazy River) is connecting and building relationships with all my “friends I haven’t met yet”.  Wondering where to find them?  Here are two suggestions.

ILCA Lounge

L to R is Yvette Sheehy, Anne Merewood, Annette Wright, Susanna Scurry

The ILCA Lounge is new at this year’s conference and will be located in Cordova 2.  Sponsored by the Melbourne Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (in anticipation of our 2013 Conference!), this will be a place to gather and connect with IBCLCs from around the world.  You can grab a snack, a conversation, some electricity for your devices or a quick communication with home (2 computers will be online and available for 20 minutes of use by conference attendees). The Lounge will also be where you can find “Social Media Ambassadors” who will be able to answer questions and get you started on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Special Interest Groups

One thing I love about this field is that we encounter mothers in so many different situations.  We’ve come to this career from so many different paths.  We have different interests and different skills.  I’ve been told that one of the greatest experiences of an ILCA Conference is being able to connect with others who are in the same “niche” as you in the field.  A number of Special Interest Groups have been organized and will be meeting during the conference.  These include gatherings for those interested in the Baby Friendly Hospital Intiative, Breastfeeding in the African American Community, Drop-In Support Centers, Hospital Based IBCLCs, IBCLCs in the NICU, IBCLCs working with Low Income Mothers, Private Practice IBCLCs, the Spanish Language IBCLC, Licensure and Reimbursement,  World Breastfeeding Week, and Writing for Publication.  Don’t forget to check the Conference Handbook for times and locations for these meetings.

Are you ready to find new friends?  See you soon!

Amber McCann, IBCLC

Amber McCann, IBCLC is a  board certified lactation consultant in private practice with Nourish Breastfeeding Support, just outside of Washington, DC and the co-editor of this blog.  She is particularly interested in connecting with mothers through social media channels and teaching others in her profession to do the same.  In addition to her work here, she has written for a number of other breastfeeding support blogs including The Leaky Boob and Best for Babes and served on the Communications Team for GOLD Conference . She also is a regular contributor to The Boob Group, a weekly online radio program for breastfeeding moms.  When she’s not furiously composing tweets (follow her at @iamambermccann) or updating her Facebook page, she’s probably snuggling with one of her three children or watching terrible reality TV. 

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