Author Archive | lactationmatters

Two conferences for one

Help us celebrate that the #ILCA18 conference is now available in the Knowledge Center by enjoying two conferences for one.

For a very limited time, register for the #ILCA19 full in-person conference package and receive 60 days of online access to up to 19 select CERPs from #ILCA18.*

By registering now, your in-person registration can earn you up to 41 continuing education credits – more than half of the CERPs needed to complete recertification by continuing education!

To receive the two conferences for one, you must register for the #ILCA19 full conference by 30 April, so be sure to register now!

*Online access to the #ILCA18 content will become available immediately following the in-person conference and will be accessible for 60 days.

ILCA18 Sessions Available in this Offer:

Advocacy Needs, Strategies, and Outcomes: Applying Lessons Learned by ILCA’s Global Partner, ACCLAM, in Your Setting(Mariana Colmenares MD, IBCLC)

Deconstructing Fake Equity: Lessons Learned From a Dominant Culture Institution(Catherine Sullivan MPH, RD, LDN, IBCLC, RLC, FAND)

Gender and Queer Communities 101: Building a Foundation for Culturally Humble and Inclusive Care (Trevor MacDonald)

Global Partners Panel: Furthering the Global Breastfeeding Agenda through Collaborative Advocacy at the Local, National, Regional, and International Level (Global Partners)

Lactation Support in Disasters and Emergencies: Integrating Life Course, Psychosocial, and Human Rights Perspectives (Aunchalee Palmquist PhD, IBCLC)

Length of Stay and Breastfeeding Status Associated with Type of Milk Supplementation Among Late Preterm Infants in a Mother/Baby Unit: Results of a Retrospective Chart Review (Becky Mannel BS, BA, IBCLC, FILCA)

Preparing IBLCE Exam Candidates for Success: Lessons Learned From the First CAAHEP-Accredited Pathway 2 Program (Catherine Sullivan MPH, RD, LDN, IBCLC, RLC, FAND)

Safe and Sustainable Implementation of BFHI’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding: EMPower Breastfeeding and the New EMPower Training Initiative (Kathy Parry MPH, IBCLC, LMBT)

Safe Infant Sleep: Who Decides and on What Evidence? (James McKenna PhD)

SIDS and Colic: Do They Share the Same Breathing Control System Origin? (James McKenna PhD)

Skin-to-Skin Contact: Current Research and Mediating Mechanisms (Nils Bergman MB ChB, DCH, MPH, MD)

Step Up and Step Back: Guidance for Individuals and Institutions Addressing Inequity (Catherine Sullivan MPH, RD, LDN, IBCLC, RLC, FAND)

The Return of Breastsleeping: Humankind’s Oldest and Most Successful Sleep and Feeding Arrangement (James McKenna PhD)

The WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes: Global Relevance and Contemporary Challenges (Terrie Wefwafwa HSC)

To Clip or Not to Clip? Clinical Dilemmas Regarding the Release of Posterior Tongue Tie and their Implications for Infant Feeding (Gina Weissman DMD, RN, IBCLC)

Using the Hazelbaker Assessment Tool for Lingual Frenulum Function: Guidance for Clinical Settings (Alison Hazelbaker PhD, IBCLC, FILCA, CST-T, RCST)

WHO Guidelines on Protection, Promotion, and Support of Breastfeeding: Current Updates and Guidance for Facilities Providing Birth and Newborn Services (Trish MacEnroe BS)

Already registered for #ILCA19?
If you registered for the full conference package at any time before 30 April, good news!
You will automatically receive the #ILCA18 online package.


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ILCA Advocating for Maternity Protection at the International Labour Organization

ILCA continued its efforts to increase maternity protection, including advocacy for nursing breaks for mothers, at the recent International Labour Organization (ILO) Centennial Celebration.

The ILO, founded 100 years ago, exists to set labor standards, develop policies and devise programs promoting decent work for all women and men. Established as the first specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) in 1947, the ILO is unique in its tripartite structure, bringing together governments, employers, and workers from 187 member states.

Lisa Mandell, MBA, IBCLC, is one of ILCA’s liaisons to the United Nations. Lisa has for the last eighteen months joined other ILCA liaisons who have been working with the UN with the goal of elevating the needs of breastfeeding families in the workplace. On 10 April 2019 she attended the ILO Centennial Celebration, a High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York. This meeting was held to celebrate the founding of the International Labour Organization (ILO) 100 years ago, reflect on their accomplishments, and discuss the future of work.

The High-Level Meeting included remarks from high-level UN officials, including the UN Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, and the Director-General of the ILO and representatives from 24 different member states or groups of states. The speakers emphasized the importance of working toward the goal of decent work for all, how social justice is a part of this effort, and that labor should not be viewed as a commodity. Many discussed the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG 8) on Decent Work and Economic Growth. Challenges identified include mass unemployment, discrimination, and informal work; emerging issues include digitalization, climate change, demographic change. Of importance to ILCA, many speakers mentioned a focus on women and work, increasing women’s participation in the workforce and reducing the gender pay gap.

At two interactive panels, Addressing Unfinished Commitments to Achieve Decent Work for All, and The Future of Work, the challenges and emerging issues were discussed. Women’s employment remains a priority. With discussion of the changes in the world of work through technology and other issues, consideration of meeting the needs of working and breastfeeding parents will be critical.

In her role as liaison to the UN, Lisa not only advocates for lactation-related outcomes, but also brings back to the advocacy team a deeper understanding of the ways in which ILCA can align our advocacy goals with the larger world agenda around work. This continues the work ILCA has been doing, with other organizations, to emphasize the importance of maternity protection and pumping or nursing breaks for employed mothers, as identified in this statement for the Commission on the Status of Women.

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How Will #ILCA19 Change Your Practice?

ENGAGE at ILCA’s 2019 Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, United States on 24 – 27 July.

How will #ILCA19 Change Your Practice? We asked past attendees and here is what they had to say:

Learn from the leading experts around the globe.

I really appreciated the opportunity to learn at this conference. There was a great mix of topics that were socially and intellectually challenging. Thank you!”

“The speakers  . . . were fantastic, they were receptive to their audience, approachable with questions and the topics were all relevant and covered a wide range of the lactation field.”

Expand and refresh the skills you need to serve families in your community.

“I appreciate the effort to increase diversity and to discuss equity. It’s a hot topic and it seems many people want to see and help make improvements and don’t know how (myself included).”

“I enjoyed the variety of speakers and ability to choose from many subjects.”

“I will send my staff next year! I love the information and feel it wonderfully benefits the newer IBCLC in practice.”

Connect with the advocates improving lactation outcomes worldwide and bring your voice to the table.

“It was refreshing to witness all the inclusion as our field is rapidly changing. I met many new folks from all over the world and was glad for the time to chat with them over the meals.”

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Get Hands-On Skills: Clinical Skills Rotation at #ILCA19

Learn hands-on skills at our pre-conference Clinical Skills Rotation!

Participants will rotate between four skill stations, learning each skill from expert facilitators. All stations last 25 minutes, with 5 minutes between stations.

Quickly learn new skills or practice techniques with your peers.

Two Rotation options are available and are held as pre-conference sessions on Wednesday, 24 July.

Rotation one:

  • Clinical Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies: Skills for the Lactation Consultant
  • Slow Down the Flow: Helping Infants Overwhelmed by Milk Ejection
  • Putting the Pieces Together: An Interactive Case Review from Diverse Work Settings
  • Using Role Play to Identify Strategies to Provide Cultural Responsiveness and Sensitivity in Lactation Care

Rotation two:

  • Facial Massage Technique for a Functional Latch
  • Follow-up for Premature Babies After NICU Discharge
  • Give Yourself a Hand: Using Massage Techniques During Assessment
  • Tongue Tie: Clinical Cases to Improve Early Diagnosis and Management

These highly-popular sessions fill fast!

Pre-registration is required. The fee for these 2-hour sessions is $47 USD each and participants will earn 2 continuing education units per rotation group.

*Online registration permits selection of only one session at this time in order to accommodate all attendees who wish to register. If you wish to attend both sessions, please contact info@ilca.org to be placed on a waiting list.

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Advocacy Update: Research to measure exposure to breastmilk substitute marketing

ILCA, a NetCode partner, is advocating for research that aims to measure exposure to human/breast milk substitute (BMS) marketing in more than 90 countries worldwide.

The Demographic Health Survey program collects, analyzes and disseminates data to improve population health in more than 90 countries. Funded mainly by USAID, several surveys with various target populations measure topics such as child health, education, nutrition, maternal health and women’s empowerment among others.

ILCA is endorsing a proposed indicator that would measure exposure breast milk substitutes (BMS) marketing. As lactation professionals, we are familiar with research that demonstrates unethical marketing practices contribute to less than optimal breast/chestfeeding for families in our care. (For several recent publications from Helen Keller International, see below.) If accepted, the inclusion of this data in a representative global population would assist researchers in identifying the proportion of families exposed to breast/chest milk substitutes.

The new measure will also identify where they were exposed (in the community or health care facility as two examples), providing advocates with data to design effective advocacy interventions that reduce the influence of BMS companies on family health.

As active members of the WHO/UNICEF Global Breastfeeding Collective and NetCode, ILCA calls upon governments to implement, monitor and enforce the Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and the relevant WHA resolutions. ILCA will be part of an upcoming meeting at WHO in Geneva next month to continue to advocate for Code protection for the health and well being of families worldwide. Stay tuned for updates!

Learn more about exposure to BMS marketing here:

Feeley, A. B., Ndeye Coly, A., Sy Gueye, N. Y., Diop, E. I., Pries, A. M., Champeny, M., … Huffman, S. L. (2016). Promotion and consumption of commercially produced foods among children: situation analysis in an urban setting in Senegal. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 12 Suppl 2, 6476. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12304

Helen Keller International, & Ministry of Health. (2018). Breastfeeding practices and consumption of breastmilk substitutes among children under 36 months in Bandung City. Jakarta, Indonesia: Helen Keller International.

Pries, A. M., Huffman, S. L., Adhikary, I., Upreti, S. R., Dhungel, S., Champeny, M., & Zehner, E. (2016). High consumption of commercial food products among children less than 24 months of age and product promotion in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Maternal and Child Nutrition, 12. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12267

Pries, A. M., Huffman, S. L., Mengkheang, K., Kroeun, H., Champeny, M., Roberts, M., & Zehner, E. (2016). Pervasive promotion of breastmilk substitutes in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and high usage by mothers for infant and young child feeding. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 12 Suppl 2, 3851. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12271

Vitta, B. S., Benjamin, M., Pries, A. M., Champeny, M., Zehner, E., & Huffman, S. L. (2016). Infant and young child feeding practices among children under 2 years of age and maternal exposure to infant and young child feeding messages and promotions in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 12 Suppl 2, 7790. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12292

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Human Milk in the NICU Resources

Do you provide care in the NICU setting?

The Journal of Human Lactation has made a collection of articles, Human Milk in the NICU, free for a limited time.*

Click the links below to access the articles now, available until 15 May 2019.


Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal publishing original research, insights in practice and policy, commentaries, and case reports relating to research and practice in human lactation and breastfeeding. JHL is relevant to lactation professionals in clinical practice, public health, research, and a broad range of fields related to the trans-disciplinary field of human lactation.

Access to the Journal of Human Lactation is a top-ranked benefit of ILCA membership. Take advantage of year-round access to all JHL has to offer. Join or renew your ILCA membership today.

Click here to become an ILCA member today.

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Protecting Breastfeeding in Legal Proceedings: Q & A with Liz Brooks

As a leading expert in the ethical, moral, and legal conundrums that lactation consultants face, we at Lactation Matters were thrilled to talk to Liz Brooks, JD, IBCLC, FILCA.

As the author of the only textbook focusing on IBCLC ethics and law as well as chapters and articles in several texts and journals, we spoke with her about common issues IBCLCs face when asked to serve as expert witnesses.

Want to learn more? Liz is commonly ranked as one of our most popular speakers! Hear her at the upcoming 2019 ILCA Conference, 24-27 July in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Lactation Matters (LM): We are looking forward to your session “Litigation and Lactation: Protecting Breastfeeding in Legal Proceedings.” As skilled lactation professionals, why might we be involved in legal proceedings?

Liz Brooks (LB): Sometimes breast/chestfeeding itself is the subject of legal inquiry (imagine an employee being told they cannot express milk at work, or a parent is told to leave a public place for feeding their baby). Sometimes the lactating parent is involved in a controversy, and the ability to breast/chestfeed the child is under threat (imagine a family law matter where the non-lactating parent seeks multi-day custody of the still-BFg child).  The law of most countries of the world, in matters involving minor children, is designed to protect the best interest of the child.  How breast/chestfeeding care promotes those best-interests-of-the-child are rarely well- understood by the lawyers, judges, and legal guardians involved in the case.  An expert in clinical lactation care, like an IBCLC, can offer information to help the court make a good ruling.

LM: Being an “expert witness” could feel intimidating. How can we best prepare?

LB: Be “up” on your clinical knowledge and skill, and be well-versed in what makes you an expert (hint: READ all of your practice-guiding documents at IBLCE, and be able to describe what it takes to become and stay certified).  It is the lawyer’s job to prepare you for your appearance.  They can’t tell you WHAT to say, but they can practice with you HOW you will answer direct questions and cross-examination.  You don’t have to be an expert in expert-witnessing …. you just have to be an expert in lactation!  When in doubt, repeat over-and-over in your head: “I know more about lactation that anyone else in this courtroom.”  Because it is true!  

LM: While your expertise is in American law, we suspect that these professional challenges are present for IBCLCs around the world. How will this session inform our work globally?

LB: Families with young children find themselves in need of skilled support — legally, and for lactation care — all over the world.  We’ve seen how man-made and natural disasters decimate communities.  Families are forced to migrate as refugees, seeking asylum or legal immigration across native borders.  Families split up everywhere, and the interests of the children are in play.  While customs and traditions vary in cultures around the world, the inherent need for skilled advocacy is a constant.  While the laws-on-the-ground may differ from location to location, that is something the lawyers worry about. The expertise an IBCLC will offer will be universal.

Learn more from Liz and other leading experts. Join us at #ILCA19.

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Get Inspired By Dr. Camara Jones

Dr. Camara Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, is a public health thought leader and pioneer, known for (among many things) her gift for telling stories that take your understanding of – and ability to break down – structural health inequities to the next level.

Have you heard her speak about the cliff of good health yet? Start learning from Dr. Jones today with this quick video:

Then join us at #ILCA19 to continue the conversation, where we are honored to host Dr. Jones’ presentation, Achieving Health Equity in Breastfeeding: Naming and Addressing Racism and Other Systems of Structured Inequity.

Be prepared for Dr. Jones, Past President of the American Public Health Association (2015-2016) and a Senior Fellow at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine, to both deepen your knowledge and inspire your work.

As Michele Griswold, ILCA Past President shared with us, “Hearing Dr. Jones speak on racial health inequities was so powerful that it ultimately changed the course of my academic career. Her analogies take the complexities of the structural factors that create inequities in health care and make them clear in a way that inspires systemic change.”

Join us at #ILCA19!

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Five Reasons to Ask for Help from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant®

We asked IBCLCs from all over world what lactation consultants do and when families should seek their help.


WHAT is an IBCLC?

An IBCLC is a healthcare professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding and chestfeeding.

As Zoe Faulkner, an IBCLC in the United Kingdom, shared, “IBCLC lactation consultants provide experienced, expert and evidence based support to families, appropriate to the families circumstances, from establishing feeding in the early days to managing a complex situation.”


WHY should I seek the care of an IBCLC?

Lactation consultants shared with us a variety of reasons that you might seek an IBCLC. We summed them up for you here:

(click here to download)


WHEN should I consult an IBCLC?

Lactation consultants can help any time you have questions about breastfeeding and chestfeeding. From pregnancy and birth throughout your feeding relationship, an IBCLC can support you.

As Micaela Notarangelo, an IBCLC in Italy shared, “IBCLCs offer solutions, explanation, empowering,  and support. We are supported by knowledge, experience, understanding, and empathy.”

(click here to download)


WHERE can I find an IBCLC?

IBCLCs work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, pediatric offices, public health clinics, and private practice, where care is provided in your home or the consultant’s office in the community.

Looking for an IBCLC in your community?

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You Belong at #ILCA19 if…

No matter your role in lactation, you will find what you need to better ENGAGE with your work at #ILCA19.

If YOU provide clinical care…

Gain practical skills at our pre-conference Clinical Skills Rotation, on topics including tongue tie, massage, and supporting families after an intensive care stay or emergency.

Find clinical skills during our Concurrent Sessions from supporting the first hours of lactation, problem solving tough cases, and strategies for supporting common – and less common – breastfeeding challenges.

If YOU are an advocate…

Keep up-to-date on the latest advocacy issues and get the tools you need to be most effective, from sessions on the international policy and advocacy “big picture” to case studies on effective strategies on the ground around the globe.

Plus, make connections with colleagues from all over the world. You never know who you will end up sitting next to!

If YOU are a leader in your community…

Bring back the latest research and trends in the field to your local community. Take advantage of sessions on body dynamics, the role of neohormones, techniques for assessing swallowing, and more.

Find the sessions, connections, and relationships you need to meet YOUR goals.

Register Today!

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