National—Regional Partner Update: Chinese Lactation Consultant Association (CLCA)


The International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) Global Partners Initiative was designed to improve breastfeeding worldwide by creating linkages between organizations around the globe. ILCA would like to welcome its 21st National—Regional Partner, Chinese Lactation Consultant Association (CLCA), who describe themselves as a professional organization that provides education and support, as well as continued certification, for lactation consultants in China. 

We asked Dr. Shu-Fang Wang, PhD, RN, CNM, IBCLC, CBD, the president and founder of CLCA, to share with us more about the role of the organization in breastfeeding support and why they decided to sign on to the Partners Initiative. Dr. Wang shared her answers with us, as well as the Chinese-language translation of our interview.

Lactation Matters (LM): Tell us about why your organization is so important to human health in Taiwan and other Chinese speaking regions.


CLCA is established, 5 July 2015

Dr. Shu-Fang Wang (SFW): Breastfeeding has been advocated in Taiwan for many years, but the breastfeeding rate has still not reached the World Health Organization (WHO) goal, despite our efforts. Part of reason is that International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) do not have full recognition by the medical professionals or the general public in Taiwan. Now, people do know the importance of breastfeeding and prefer breastfeeding over bottle-feeding for their babies. But without continuing professional support, the road to continued breastfeeding is full of obstacles. When they encounter problems, mothers today seek help through the Internet. The information about breastfeeding and lactation on the web is full of misconceptions. There are also so called “lactation dredgers 通乳師” who have no formal training nor basic knowledge of lactation, but claim to be able to help breastfeeding mothers by resolving blockages. Because of the great need for breastfeeding support, all kinds of unusual practices have started to appear in Taiwan. Similar phenomena can be seen in China and other Chinese-speaking regions. Some people simply do not know to seek IBCLCs for help, or, because the wait list is too long, they turn to non-professionals for assistance.

In view of the needs to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding, in July of 2015, a group of lactation consults in Taiwan founded the Chinese Lactation Consultant Association (CLCA), which is based in Taiwan. CLCA strives to promote the recognition, professional development, and advancement of IBCLCs in Taiwan and in other Chinese-speaking countries. We hope that through this process, a breastfeeding-friendly environment or culture can be established, so that the breastfeeding families can better enjoy the breastfeeding experiences.

母乳哺育在台灣推行已有多年,但在種種努力下,母乳哺育率仍然無法達到世界衛生組織的目標。其中一個原因是因為國際認證泌乳顧問(IBCLCs)在台灣的醫療界或者社會大眾中沒有得到該有的認可。現在人們知道母乳的重要性,也會選擇母乳哺餵而不瓶餵他們的寶寶。但是,沒有專業的支持,持續哺乳的路很難走下去。當遇到問題時,現在的母親都會上網尋求協助。而網路上有關母乳哺餵或泌乳的資訊很多錯誤訊息。再者,社會上還有些所謂的「通乳師」,沒有專業訓練,沒有泌乳相關知識。因為社會上的需求很大,所以種種亂象就產生。類似的情況也發生在中國及其他說中文的地區。有些人甚至不知道要找國際認證的泌乳顧問,又或者因為要等太久,轉而去找不專業的人協助。2015年7月一群專業泌乳顧問工作者秉持「營造母乳哺育友善社會,促進泌乳家庭享受親密哺育經驗」在台灣成立了 華人泌乳顧問協會(CLCA),期許能保護、推廣、及支持母乳哺育。


LM: What challenges do you face in your work?


(SFW): The healthcare system in Taiwan is mostly medically oriented. The lactation consultant is not recognized as a part of the healthcare team currently. This is part of CLCA’s mission, to broaden the acknowledgement and acceptance of IBCLCs as the experts on breastfeeding and lactation in public and private sectors.

Furthermore, there are many myths and misconceptions about lactation/breastfeeding in the Chinese-speaking cultures, and this creates confusion and problems for mothers who want to continue breastfeeding. Through various education and training programs, seminars, and meetings, CLCA supports not only IBCLCs, but other healthcare workers and people concerned with breastfeeding and human lactation, so that they have the “right” knowledge to help breastfeeding mothers. In the process, we hope to foster awareness of the important roles of IBCLCs in the society in general.

The population of ethnic Chinese people is near 14.3 billion. This includes the 1385 million people in mainland China and the 50 million ethnic Chinese people overseas. This comprises approximately 19.2 percent of the global population, which means one in every five people speaks Chinese. Among Chinese, there are also different dialogues and subcultures. CLCA is striving to bring professional breastfeeding knowledge to Chinese people in different regions, and in a way that fits their specific subcultures. It is a work with great challenges, but, at the same time, great rewards.


再者,在華人文化中有很多對於哺乳或者泌乳的迷思及錯誤觀念,這對哺乳母親會造成困惑而導致無法繼續哺乳。華人泌乳顧問協會希望經由教育訓練課程、學術研討會議,不只是協助專業的國際認證泌乳顧問,也能幫助其他醫療工作人員及其他母乳泌乳相關人士有正確的知識能協助哺乳母親。在過程中,我們希望社會大眾認識 專業國際認證泌乳顧問的重要性。


First press conference, 12 December 2015

First press conference, 12 December 2015


LM: Why did your organization decide to become an ILCA National—Regional Partner?


(SFW): ILCA is the international organization for IBCLCs.

The members of CLCA currently include people from many Chinese-speaking countries, such as Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, and Canada. CLCA serves to bridge the gap between Chinese-speaking countries and the rest of the world. Through translation, breastfeeding- and lactation-related knowledge and experiences can be exchanged via publication, media, conferences, and seminars. CLCA aims to impact Chinese globally. We wish to share with the world the breastfeeding experiences that are unique to the Chinese culture; for example, the postpartum “doing the month” practice. Through partnership with ILCA, we hope to share our experiences, and, in return, embrace the differences in breastfeeding from other cultures. Additionally, CLCA wishes to contribute to ILCA’s core value of diversity.





LM: What is your vision for breastfeeding support in Taiwan and ethnic Chinese regions?


(SFW): CLCA aims to impact the health of Chinese-speaking society through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care.  CLCA supports breastfeeding and lactation by providing human resources, consultations, and exchanges of lactation care skills, which are specifically tailored to Chinese culture.

Screening of MILK in Taiwan, 13 November 2016

Screening of MILK in Taiwan, 13 November 2016

The goals of CLCA include:

  1. Practicing code and research: Developing research and evidence-based practices for lactation consultants.
  2. Promotion of IBCLCs and ethics regulations: Following the ethics regulations of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®), CLCA has established professional conduct codes for lactation consultants, such as the charging standards. We promote equality and develop monitoring strategies among lactation consultants.
  3. Creating classification and qualification systems: Holding regular training courses and offering continuing education opportunities for Chinese lactation consultants. We aim to provide research evidence and clinical experience to improve the knowledge and skills of Chinese lactation consultants. The qualification committee manages the certification and re-certification process, and updates the list of qualified Chinese lactation consultants regularly.
  4. Collaboration and building of networks and advocates: Establishing a platform for human resources, marketing the professionalism of IBCLCs, collaborating with related professions through advocacy and codes, working to maximize the influence of IBCLCs in society.
  5. Promoting education and community supports: Following the International Code of Marketing Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent resolutions of the WHO to provide the public and medical professions the latest lactation evidence-based knowledge through establishment of support groups among breastfeeding mothers and parentyoung child seminars for communities.


  1. 執業準則與實證研究:發展科學技術研究平台,建立實證為基礎的泌乳顧問執業標準。
  1. 執業促進與倫理規範:在泌乳顧問國際認證委員會(IBLCE)的倫理與紀律規範下,建立華人泌乳顧問運營規範,設置執業倫理規範與收費標準;推動同業公平發展監督機制。
  1. 能力分級與進階制度:辦理華人泌乳顧問培訓及進階繼續教育,根基研究成果和實務經驗,進行華人泌乳顧問專業能力進階與分級制度;設置審查委員會,進行資格認證和複審,定期審核並公佈認證華人泌乳專業人員名單。
  1. 合作網絡建置與推廣:建構人力資源平台,行銷並建立泌乳顧問專業形象,促進與規範與相關行業合作機制,擴大組織外部資源,以提升社會影響力。
  1. 推廣教育與社區支持:遵從母乳代用品之國際銷售守則,對公眾及醫療專業同僚提供最新泌乳實證知識;建立母乳媽媽互助機制,辦理社區親職講座並避免利益衝突。



Dr. Shu-Fang Wang, PhD, RN, CNM, IBCLC, CBD is the president and a founder of the Chinese Lactation Consultant Association (CLCA), a mother of three children, and a breastfeeding mother of almost 60 months. She has a PhD in Nursing from Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan, and two Master degrees: one in Nursing from Liverpool University, Great Britain; and another in Midwifery from National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taiwan. She is currently a nurse midwife at Tzu Chi Hospital, and an associate professor at Tzu Chi University.  She became an IBCLC in 2007 and is one of the first six IBCLCs in Taiwan. She is the first and only non-physician to open an independent clinic for lactation consultation in Taiwan, which is in still in operation now.


3 Responses to National—Regional Partner Update: Chinese Lactation Consultant Association (CLCA)

  1. Margot Mann 19 December 2016 at 20:23 #

    Dr. Shu-Fang Wang, I wish you and your colleagues success! it is a brave and important task you have taken on!

  2. Jennifer Gardner-Johnson 20 December 2016 at 17:42 #

    Dr Shu-Fang Wang,I wish you much success my question for you is I often work with Chinese patients who never believe that the baby is getting enough to eat with just breastmilk how do you respond to this?

    • Shu-Fang Wang 8 February 2017 at 22:57 #

      Hi J: Just like the huge different ways of say “Hi” , instead of “How’re you”? Chinese people generally say “Have you eat?”
      So, eating is big deal in Chinese culture. For example, the first month of postpartum, we called “doing the month”, actually, postpartum women do nothing but eat well.
      You might think in the historical background, such as; compared to the number of population, the food is not enough.
      Yes, concern of not having enough milk is always big issue in Chinese society.

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