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Join Us in Celebration of IBCLC DAY!


Let the celebration begin! Once again, the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) is proud to partner with YOU in singing the praises of all the ways International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLC®) impact their communities. We hope you will join us!

We chose the slogan of “Supporting You as You Support Your Baby” to reflect the essential role of the IBCLC in the lives of the families we serve. Very often, while providing skilled lactation care, we provide a “structure” or “scaffolding” to support the family. We provide not only clinical care, but a strong support for parents as they learn to best care for their babies.

We developed a number of shareable images to reflect this theme (available in English, Spanish, and French). They echo the important and supportive statements we make to encourage, to uplift, and to educate. You can find them on our website and on our various social media profiles.

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COME JOIN THE PARTY! Our IBCLC Day Facebook Event Page will be hopping with questions, opportunities to give shout-outs to your favorite IBCLCs, and images to share on your own social media profiles. If you haven’t joined yet, make sure you do so you don’t miss any of the excitement!

In addition, we invite you to consider changing your Facebook profile image and cover image with our IBCLC Day downloads here.

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We want to see your IBCLC Day Gear! Many of your purchased items from our IBCLC Day Pop-up Store and we’d love to see how and where you’re using your items. Post on the Facebook Event page, on Twitter, or on Instagram using the hashtag!

What’s happening in your community? We’d love to hear about how you are honoring the role of the IBCLC in your community and how YOU are being honored! Did you receive a note of appreciation? Did your employer plan a celebration? It’s not too late to get in on the party. Check out the downloadable cake art and certificate of appreciation on our website.

Tell us how YOU and YOUR COMMUNITY have been impacted by the incredible work of IBCLCs! We want to hear from you, both here in the comments, and on our various social media profiles, about the positive impact IBCLCs are having, all around the world, to reach ILCA’s vision of “World health transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care.”

All of us at ILCA want to send up a big, huge THANK YOU!

We’re glad to celebrate #happyIBCLCday with you!



SAVE THE DATE: ILCA is Proud to Celebrate IBCLC Day on 4 March 2015

IBCLCDayLogoWe are just over one month away from this year’s IBCLC® Day Celebration! Once again, the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) is proud to partner with you in singing the praises of all the ways IBCLCs impact their communities.

Get connected to the IBCLC Day celebrations! We’ve planned a number of ways to celebrate so make sure you join us on our IBCLC Day Facebook Event Page by clicking here to stay up-to-date.

Get Your IBCLC Day Gear. Want to show the world exactly what IBCLCs do? Check out our IBCLC Day Pop-up Store for t-shirts, mugs, office supplies, and even mobile phone cases with our IBCLC Day slogan. Items are available in English and Spanish, with additional languages coming soon! Order NOW to assure that all of your items arrive by 4 March 2015.

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Looking for items in YOUR language? We’d love to help to provide them. Send your translation of our slogan to

Help us share your inspiration with the world. On IBCLC Day, we want to share with others the wisdom and inspiration we know that you share with families every single day. As we create visuals and other content to share online for #happyIBCLCday, we need you! We want to hear the wisdom you share with families. We’re especially looking for the inspiration you share when you know a family needs your most heartfelt support – in sound bite form that is easy to share online. We’ll share some of your brilliance on IBCLC Day! Feel free to leave your phrases, top tips, and inspiration in the comments, or email us at

Get ready to share! We’ll have Facebook cover images, profile images, and visuals for you to share on IBCLC Day. Follow along on our Facebook event page or grab your downloads at the ILCA website here.

Don’t forget to share your inspiration and top tips for families in the comments below! #happyIBCLCday!


IBCLC Day 2014: Sharing Our Gratitude

IBLCDaySocialMedia-Final-AThis Wednesday, 5 March 2014, is IBCLC® Day!

Every day, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants help families reach their breastfeeding goals. IBCLC Day is our opportunity to honor and thank the individuals that help parents and their babies year-round.

Did an IBCLC help you reach your breastfeeding goals?

“Thanks to my IBCLC, my baby and I went from a failure to thrive babe who had not regained birth weight at 5 weeks to a full milk supply. She helped me with a plethora of support tools: SNS, formula, pumping, and domperidone. I was able to breastfeed him for two years! I will be forever thankful.”

Was your baby in the NICU or special care nursery? Did an IBCLC help you establish breastfeeding?

“My hospital IBCLC worked like crazy when my baby was in the NICU. She really advocated for me and my baby and she knew how important it was to keep us together.”

Did an IBCLC help you out when the first latch wasn’t as smooth as you’d hoped?

“Our IBCLC helped us with our tongue tied newborn. She saw us for several follow up visits to make sure breastfeeding was going well.”

Did an IBCLC help you feel supported as you managed your unique breastfeeding situation?

“One of the most helpful things she has done for me is to continue to reach out to me on a daily basis. It makes me feel not isolated on solving my breastfeeding problems, and tells me that she really cares about my success.”

Did you or your baby have unique medical issues that made breastfeeding more challenging?

“My IBCLC helped me develop the confidence in my altered body [post breast reduction surgery] to successfully nurse. She taught me about supplemental nursers and milk increasing herbs.”

There are many ways to thank an IBCLC today – please join us!

Tell us your story. Leave thanks for your IBCLC in the comments here or on our Facebook page here.

Thank your IBCLC. Stop by the ILCA Facebook page and show your gratitude. We’ll be posting content starting Wednesday (at noon UTC +11). Or share our thank you image here on your lactation consultant’s page. You can also send a e-card here.

Thank the hospital, birth center, or community center that employed an IBCLC that helped you. Share your appreciation with the facility today by sharing our thank you image here (live starting Wednesday at noon UTC +11, but you can download one at any time here) on their Facebook page.

Show your gratitude to the IBCLC that helped you help a family. Are you a health care provider or doula that collaborated with a lactation consultant this year? Are you an IBCLC that consulted with another IBCLC recently? Let them know you appreciate it! Share this image on their Facebook page or send thanks in an e-card.

Are you celebrating IBCLC day in other ways? Please share with us, either in the comments here or on Facebook.


A Poem to Celebrate IBCLCs Everywhere!

Hopefully, in the days since IBCLC Day, you’ve received expressions of gratitude and gratefulness for the work you do with breastfeeding families. We received the following poem from Lindsay Giroux, a first-time mother to Eric Ryan (6 months) from Cary, North Carolina, USA. Lindsay and Eric attend a wonderful breastfeeding support group weekly, led by two IBCLCs, Bonny Reid Cullom and Bonnie Marcotte Moore. The stories of other mothers’ challenges, and the support from the IBCLCs, inspire the poem’s verses.

imageNipples burning, might be thrush
Cluster feeding and in no rush
Vasospasms, lightning boob
Nipples like a lipstick tube
Milk blisters, mastitis
Random pain, leftboobitis
Swollen nipple, clogged ducts
Shallow latch, reflux
Pedi says slow weight gain
Chomping, teething, nipple pain
Engorgement, leaking through pads
Clueless, confused, baby dads

Frustratingly low pumping yield
Weaning off the nipple shield
Trying hard to boost supply
Green poops, MSPI

Baby prefers a faster flow
Returning to work, don’t wanna go
Forceful letdown in baby’s face
No freezer stash for just in case

Won’t drink from a bottle, or a cup
Feeling like milk is drying up
Low milk transfer, tongue tie
Fussy baby, don’t know why

Baby has teeth and likes to bite
Can’t get the SNS just right
Lipase milk that baby won’t drink
Nursed all night, can’t really think

Nursing is hard; Don’t know what to do,
Here comes an LC to the rescue!

Fenugreek ’til you smell sweet
Heating pads with lots of heat
More Milk Plus, Mother’s Milk tea
Tongue tie clipped by the ENT

Blessed thistle, special blend
Soothie gels ’til your nips mend
APNO magic cream
Recline to lessen the stream

Power pumping for an hour
Try massage in the shower
Epsom salts to soak the breast
Side lying to get some rest

Move the milk to make some more
Dangle feed on all fours
Eat oatmeal and try flaxseed
Mama’s milk is all they need

Nurse and nurse right through a cold
Try the Boppy or a football hold
Scald the milk, don’t let it boil
Try nipple butter or coconut oil

Give probiotics once a day
Paced bottle feeding is the way
Skin to skin snuggle fest
Make a sandwich with your breast

Domperidone and goat’s rue
Visualize while pumping too
For milk storage, the rule of six
Swirl the bottle if hindmilk sticks

Nipple toward the nose, flange the lip
Get support on Joined at the Nip
Need to reduce an oversupply
Block feeding, give it a try

Or cabbage leaves, cold like ice
Peppermint tea might work quite nice
Burp often while feeding
Kellymom is good for reading

Leave the breastaurant open all day
Some babies snack, some like the buffet
Check diapers- dirty and wet
If they’re plenty, you’re all set

Look at the baby, not the scale
Breast compressions, Guinness ale
Your baby is perfect, that is true
Do whatever works for you

It is hard work, but, alas,
Like everything, this too shall pass.

All that rhyming, just to say,
Happy IBCLC Day! 



What Makes IBCLCs Essential in Their Communities? {Leslie Stern, RN, CNM, IBCLC}

In celebration of IBCLC Day, we’re asking IBCLCs of all sorts to reflect a bit on what makes them essential within their communities. Today, we highlight Leslie Stern, an IBCLC working in private practice in Durham, NC, USA. 

What makes an IBCLC essential in my community?

Leslie-Stern-4679We (the IBCLC’s) are the protectors of breastfeeding. We are who the mothers can turn to when breastfeeding isn’t going as planned…when there’s pain, not enough milk or other reasons why nursing isn’t working out. We troubleshoot, we are the detectives who take the time to try to figure out what’s going on to help the mother meet her goals. We can be found in a variety of settings…in the hospital, in outpatient clinics, and in private practice. I personally love going to a mother’s home and working with her in her own environment, with her own pillows, and on her couch or in her bed. We can’t make any guarantees that breastfeeding will work, but we will try our hardest to do what we can. The IBCLC is the essential credential for lactation support and I’m proud do be one in Durham, NC.

Leslie Stern started her career as an RN working in the Pediatric ICU and quickly learned she wanted to be with moms and babies. She became an IBCLC in 1997 while working in Labor and Delivery in the midst of becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife in 1998. After working as a CNM in Brooklyn, NY, she married and started a new chapter of her life as a mother of 2 (who are now 8 and 5). Leslie started private practice as an IBCLC in Durham, NC and is happily married, living with her hubby, dog, 2 kids, 2 fish, 4 cats, and 10 chickens.


What Makes IBCLCs Essential in Their Communities? {Shannon Riley, RNC-OB, IBCLC}

In celebration of IBCLC Day, we’re asking IBCLCs of all sorts to reflect a bit on what makes them essential within their communities. Today, we highlight Shannon Riley, an IBCLC working as a Registered Nurse on the Mother and Infant Care Center and as a Lactation Consultant at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. 

What makes an IBCLC essential in my community?

shannonMost healthcare workers spend carefully designated time learning about specific topics related to their field through school and training. However, they likely did not receive much more information about breastfeeding during their education than a few “catch all” phrases, such as the now-famous “breast is best”.

But what does that mean? Why is it the best? Even if I endorse it for obvious reasons, how do I serve the mother who is panicking with her newborn? How do I help?

These are the questions I asked myself as a Labor/Delivery/Postpartum Nurse for about a decade before I took purposeful steps to learn more about what the current science and hooplah around breastfeeding is! I LOVE that it’s now my full-time job to be closely connected to what is current and to be sharing any gained experience with my fellow healthcare providers who are often handling a myriad other responsibilities in their positions. These days, our patients expect and deserve that we all to be able to address basic breastfeeding so I see my function as this:  like a lake-tossed pebble that creates that rolling “ripple effect”.

At my first ILCA conference in 2011, I heard it said, “If we do our jobs right, we won’t need Lactation Consultants someday”.  I think we’re safe to keep our jobs for now but that statement really resonated with me!

Shannon Riley, RNC-OB, IBCLC started her career in the US Army Nurse Corps after attending Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.  After serving on active duty from 1999-2005, she and her husband came to the Washington DC area. She enjoys her continued service to military families as a Registered Nurse on the Mother and Infant Care Center and as a Lactation Consultant at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. She obtained her IBCLC in 2009.  She is married to her best friend and they have two very fun kids, 5 and 3. Her daughter has suggested more than once that Shannon is employed as a wet nurse.


What Makes IBCLCs Essential in Their Communities? {Dr. Todd Wolynn}

In celebration of IBCLC Day, we’re asking IBCLCs of all sorts to reflect a bit on what makes them essential within their communities. Today, we highlight Dr. Todd Wolynn, IBCLC of the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh, Kids Plus Pediatrics, and also the National Breastfeeding Center

What makes an IBCLC essential in my community? Why, I’ve been desperately waiting to for someone to ask me that question.

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Dr. Wolynn has been an IBCLC since 1995– and is darn proud of it!

IBCLC’s – well they’re just great people… and so knowledgeable in the ways of the force!  They’ve got big hearts, supportive shoulders and how should I say… a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’.  Every community ought to have one. No, make that ten!

All kidding aside, IBCLC’s are people who want to help.  They are committed and do their work passionately – unfortunately, often at their on expense.  In this day and age, in this economy when there is are fewer available resources – IBCLC’s are just not willing to let a mom or baby down when they need the help.  Breastfeeding support is crucial, and vital, and needs to be appropriately compensated.

Our communities are starting to ‘get it’. Some a lot faster than others but most are now recognizing the benefits of increased breastfeeding initiation and duration rates.  IBCLC’s are a critical resource available to communities, hospitals and medical practices who improve breastfeeding experiences and rates.

So in MY Pittsburgh community – my essential “Top 3” favorites goes like this:

1)   Penguins

2)   IBCLC’s

3)    Steelers (would have been higher had they won the Super Bowl)

*editor’s note: And if you know anything about Pittsburgh sports culture, you know that IBCLCs must be knocking it out of the park to be ranked amoung these beloved teams!

Dr. Todd Wolynn has been a General Pediatrician and IBCLC since 1995.  He returned to Carnegie Mellon University from 2006-8 to obtain his Master of Medical Management degree. Dr. Wolynn serves the AAP Section on Breastfeeding Executive Committee and serves in an advisory capacity at the United States Breastfeeding Committee.  He has written and presented nationally on breastfeeding benefits and the need for more support. Dr. Wolynn is recognized nationally for teaching physicians ‘how to’ powerfully and effectively support breastfeeding in hospitals and offices. He is very proud of his effort to create the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh (in 2006) and the National Breastfeeding (in 2011).


Happy IBCLC Day!

IBCLC dayTHIS IS YOUR DAY!  This year’s slogan is “Connect with IBCLCs, the Experts in Breastfeeding Care” and it supports ILCA’s vision that the IBCLC is the globally recognized professional authority in lactation by highlighting the extensive expertise that IBCLCs provide breastfeeding mothers and babies to help them reach their breastfeeding goals.

Not only is IBCLC Day intended to recognize and celebrate the value of IBCLCs, it is also serves as an opportunity to educate employers, mothers and other healthcare providers of the extensive training IBCLCs have completed and maintain through continuing study that makes them uniquely qualified to provide current, evidence based support to breastfeeding families.

In celebration of this day, we’ll be highlighting how IBCLCs impact their communities in a series of posts over the next several days. Please join us in every day for the rest of the week as we celebrate IBCLCs!

Here are some great “freebies” to help you celebrate!

As always, and especially today, we appreciate all you do as an IBCLC in your communities!


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