By Robin Hollen, M.Ed., RN, IBCLC, RLC, FILCA
You are passionate about breastfeeding and you’d like to help everyone reach their breastfeeding goals, all while learning all you can about this exciting field. BUT, joining ILCA just doesn’t seem to “fit” your goals and besides, you need that money for other things…
In 1987, I was exactly where you are, learning everything I could and attending the few breastfeeding conferences that existed. I participated in the Lactnet listserv when there were less than 100 people. I joined ILCA and, year after year, paid the dues and read the Journal of Human Lactation (JHL), went to some of the yearly conferences, got involved with a small ILCA committee, started a local affiliate group, and took my first board exam in 1991. ILCA kept me on my toes and my passion for breastfeeding never waned.
Fast forward to 2012 and I was a recipient of the Fellow of ILCA designation. This program recognizes significant professional achievements of the leaders and mentors in the field of lactation consultancy. By then, four children were young adults and I had the opportunity to build a private practice and work per-diem at a local hospital. The hospital caught wind of the FELLOW and INTERNATIONAL parts of the designation and the work I had done in the field to make it possible. The hospital celebrated it by submitting my name for the Nevada Women of Achievement, a recognition that was primarily given in the business world, saluting women for their unique and significant contributions in both professional and personal realms. The honoree has to have dedicated valuable time to enrich their community.
As I was honored in front of 1,100 business men and women, I was proud to be announced as a Lactation Consultant! What a way to get the word out about breastfeeding…and it all started with the passion, just like YOURS, and by being an ongoing member of ILCA.
About Robin: After the birth of her first son, Robin’s passion for mothers and babies was nourished and nurtured. She sat for certification as an IBCLC while pregnant with her fourth child in 1991, becoming the first person in the State of Nevada to hold this credential. She had the opportunity to participate in a variety of clinical settings throughout her career and develop Lactation coalitions and affiliates.
As well as the sole proprietor for Starfish Lactation, Robin is also employed as a Lactation Consultant at Renown Regional Medical Center and Nevada State WIC. She volunteers to mentor those passionate about the field of Lactation and provides inestimable volunteer hours each month supporting moms who are breastfeeding.