Archive | ILCA 2012 Conference

Embracing the ILCA Sisterhood

By Indira Lopez-Bassols, BA with hons, MPP, IBCLC

My first encounter with the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA) was in the form of an email when I had just become an IBCLC. It was invitation to a trial membership, which of course I accepted. Although I did look around the articles online and found the information sheets invaluable, I thought naively that it looked like an interesting AMERICAN organization but too far across the Atlantic sea to be valuable to me in Great Britain.

A set of coincidences allowed me to embrace ILCA and become an avid fan! My inlaws celebrated their Jubilee anniversary in Tampa, Florida in July 2012. I had received the information about the 2012 ILCA Conference which looked amazing but again seemed quite unreachable. But then it clicked to me that I was going to be in Tampa just a few days before the conference in Orlando!

My first moves were to see if I could fit the days into our itinerary, enroll as a member of ILCA to get a great deal for the conference, and apply to Lactation Consultants Great Britain (LCGB) for some funding. All three tasks were completed quickly and successfully and I was off to Orlando for the conference. It was mind blowing! Luck was on my side as the oral skills sessions were full as I had signed so late so I attended the Spanish sessions, which I thought were incredibly well presented.

In the first session I actually sat next to Roberta Graham de Escobedo, without realizing the role she played on the ILCA Board of Directors. She was so welcoming and warm, no wonder she is in charge of ILCA memberships!

I remember thinking after the morning session, “This has already been so worth it! Thank be to God for all these coincidences!” The following day were the plenaries and I just could not believe how so many people together could share the same interest and passion as me!

I said hello to people I had met in the past and enjoyed all the networking from the International delegate gathering and meeting the Hispanic community. Being Mexican, married to a Peruvian/Italian/American citizen, having lived all over the world because my father was a Diplomat, and now residing in the UK, you can imagine how I feel like a true citizen of the world.

I came out of the conference feeling exhilarated, refreshed and uplifted. There are around 26,000 IBCLCs working around the world today, and only 423 of those are in the UK. The National Health Service has yet to recognize us so although there is a lot of work to be done nationally, it sometimes feel we are riding solo into the battle. I was really impressed as the group of IBCLCs in Orlando felt like a more cohesive united group with a true international presence from different fronts.

I swore that, if in the future, I had money to attend breastfeeding conferences, my priority would be on those produced by ILCA. The following year after I attended, I revisited the ILCA website to stay connected and read voraciously every Journal of Human Lactation I received through my subscription.

Jill Dye, Director of LCGB and Indira

Jill Dye, Director of LCGB and Indira

There are coincidences in life and we use them to craft our destiny. My next set of coincidences came in the form of another email I received, a reminder about the ILCA conference scholarships. I had no idea ILCA offered any type of scholarship. I still thought the 2013 conference in Melbourne, Australia was way too far away and expensive, so I didn’t imagine I could attend, even in my wildest dreams. But, I took a risk and emailed Glenna Thurston, who was in charge of ILCA Membership Development, to ask her about the application form and process as I might apply in the future to another ILCA Conference in the US which is closer and more accessible economically to London. Glenna kindly explained the process but did encourage me to apply to Melbourne anyway. I did so and was awarded a scholarship! I again applied to LCGB for a bit extra funding and I was able to cover airfare and the remainder of the conference fee. To make my trip possible, a friend of a friend that lived in Melbourne kindly opened his home for that week.

Two consecutive years, I was able to attend the ILCA Conference and I felt like I was in heaven. I enjoyed tremendously the whole experience. Before the conference started, I went on the guided tour to the Sanctuary where we saw Australian native species and learned about some of their mammal’s breastfeeding experiences. One of the IBCLCs shared that kangaroos make pink milk but none of the zoologists onsite could confirm that for us.

I enjoyed most of the sessions that I attended and found Linda Smith to be a wonderful presenter with a great sense of humor. Influenced by her, I will definitely be adding more humor to my teaching and presentations in the future. Nils Bergman’s presentation was also fantastic and particularly useful to have science affirm what we have known for millennia about attachment and separation.

This year, I, like many others, volunteered to help out at the Conference. I was a bit nervous the first time I stood in front of everybody to introduce the speaker but soon it became second nature. I had a strong gut feeling that, although I am, like we say in Spanish still a bit “fresh like a lettuce”, the day will come that I will be a presenter.

The pinnacle of the Melbourne Conference for me was a session I attended as part of the Oral Skills rotating session on supporting mothers with voluptuous breasts, presented Gini Baker and Decalie Brown. Gini asked for two volunteers to pretend they had voluptuous breasts and were having breastfeeding problems.It was slightly embarrassing but on the funny side as she made us feel all so comfortable. She reminded us gently that we were all on the same boat: the sisterhood. That was a highlight, an “aha” moment for me. It is truly a wonderful sisterhood, as we all speak the same language, we are all passionate about what we do, we are fanatics about supporting breastfeeding families, and most important of all: united we are stronger!

Joining ILCA is much more than getting a membership. It is also about being a part of the sisterhood of wise, passionate, bright women that are changing the world one breastfeeding baby and mother at a time.

If after reading this article you have been gently persuaded to become an ILCA member, please mention me through the Each One Reach One Campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to increase membership by spreading the word. Who knows? Your support may help me to attend a third ILCA Conference in the future.

Indira Lopez-Bassols, B.A. with Hons, M.P.P. and IBCLC, works in private practice in London and at Kings College Hospital Tongue Tie Clinic.   In addition, she leads the La Leche League Wimbledon group.  In combination with her doula work and her passion for teaching, she also offers breastfeeding study for doulas.  In her scare free time, she enjoys writing about birth and breastfeeding and has published in several related magazines.  She was awarded the 2013 ILCA scholarship to attend the organization’s annual conference in Melbourne, Australia.  For more information, visit: www.indirayoga.com

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Conference Wrap-Up

By Amber McCann, IBCLC

Truthfully, its takes me about this long to gather my energy, edit some photos, gather some links and get my head out of the “That was amazing!” clouds!  As a conference “newbie”, I was unsure of just what I was getting myself into when I attended the 2012 ILCA Conference. It did not disappoint!

If you missed all this fun, make your plans to join us next year in Melbourne for ILCA 2013.  And, don’t forget, you can still order recordings of this year’s session here.

Thank you to all the ILCA Staff, Board of Directors and staff of the JW Marriott for making this a wonderful experience!

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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ILCA’s NEW Strategic Plan Begins With Your Elevator Speech About IBCLCs

by Liz Brooks, JD IBCLC, FILCA, ILCA President 2012-14

Can you describe your work, to a total stranger, in the time it takes to ride an elevator?

Try these:

“I’m an IBCLC. It’s the essential credential for lactation support.”

“IBCLCs empower women, and save babies’ lives.”*

Why, you wonder, would an IBCLC ever need something like that?

Because it means IBCLCs around the world can promote and advocate for our credential (and jobs!) …. starting right now, today. ILCA has nearly 6,000 members around the world; there are nearly 23,000 IBCLC certificants worldwide. That is a powerful grassroots force, promoting “what IBCLCs do,” in a marketplace that is very confused about who all the different breastfeeding helpers are.

ILCA announced its revised Vision, Mission, and Strategic Plan at the Annual General Meeting held recently at its international conference in Orlando, Florida, USA. Think of the vision as “the perfect ending” at some point in the future … and the mission as the means to get there. The strategic plan then describes the specific tasks and projects that will accomplish the mission. For ILCA, they are:

Our vision is that the IBCLC is the globally recognized professional authority in lactation.

Our mission is to advance the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research.

You can click here to view ILCA’s new Strategic Plan, but the five main pillars, in a
nutshell, are:

Goal One: Promote the IBCLC credential and profession.

If not us, who? If not now, when? IBCLCs around the world worry about job security by the proliferation of government and administrative rulings carving out how lactation support is defined, and reimbursed. Our members want ILCA to provide them with advocacy materials for them to use on the job, to protect their jobs.

Goal Two: Promote professional development through member services.

If not us, who? If not now, when? Our members want ILCA to give them education and professional development opportunities and tools: conferences, webinars, on-line learning, clinical protocols, position papers, and family-centered handouts so they can offer the latest in evidence-based practice … and opportunities to strengthen their resumes and expand their influence by meaningful leadership and writing opportunities within the member organization.

Goal Three: Collaborate with decision-makers to develop global, national and local policy.

If not us, who? If not now, when? Decisions are made by the people who show up. Our members want ILCA to be at the table — or to give them the materials they need at their local tables — when policy and practice decisions involving breastfeeding and public health are on the agenda.

Goal Four: Actively foster research that supports evidence-based IBCLC practice.

If not us, who? If not now, when? Our members want ILCA and its stellar publication, The
Journal of Human Lactation, to give opportunities for doing, and publishing research: by IBCLCs, about our work, about issues affecting our work.

Goal Five: Promote organizational excellence and financial stability.

If not us, who? If not now, when? Our members want ILCA to provide these services in a
manner that keeps our costs — their membership dues — carefully in check, while returning the maximum in member benefit. Their annual renewal fee is an investment in themselves… and they want their money’s worth!

Lactating women are everywhere, and almost all of them need support. Peer counselors, mother-to-mother groups, and healthcare providers who learned breastfeeding management from excellent educators (such as those approved by LEAARC, the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee) can serve most mothers’ needs. But the IBCLC is the essential credential for those families needing, instead, the specialized skill and expertise that IBCLC certification represents. (Read the ILCA Position Paper on the Role and Impact of the IBCLC here.)

IBCLCs are passionate about their work, but often the job is difficult because we are
underpaid, misunderstood, and under-appreciated. And that’s evidence-based!** The time is now for this strong new Vision, Mission and Strategic Plan, to guide the International Lactation Consultant Association in advocating for IBCLCs. And it starts with you, the IBCLC, honing your elevator speech to advocate for your profession.

* Thank you, Ursuline Singleton, for sharing this perfect phrase! We were pleased to have you, as the Public Health Analyst at the Office of Women’s Health (U. S. Dept. of Health and Human Services), share greetings in your plenary to the 2012 conference on behalf of U. S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin. And we were all touched by the story of your early days as an IBCLC in a NICU, when you first described IBCLC work in this way.

** From Aimee Eden, MA, PhD(C), presenting “The challenges and benefits of practicing as an IBCLC: A qualitative study informing the [U. S. Surgeon General’s] Call to Action” at the Plenary Spotlight on Research, ILCA Annual Conference, July 28, 2012.

Please take a moment to check out the new ILCA Vision, Mission and Strategic Plan by clicking here.

Liz Brooks, JD, IBCLC, FILCA, is a lawyer (since 1983), private practice lactation consultant (since 1997), and leader in her professional association (since 2005.) As an IBCLC, Liz has worked in private practice (offering home visits); a hospital setting (offering prenatal education, “rounding” on breastfeeding mothers and babies in the full-term and Level III NICU nurseries, and providing in-service education to nurses, doctors and midwives); and a non-profit, community-based breastfeeding clinic (which provides IBCLC service to mothers on a sliding fee scale).

Liz is currently the president of the International Lactation Consultant Association; she is the United States Lactation Consultant Association Alternate to the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) (since 2011); she remains active in her local USLCA chapter PRO-LC. Liz was designated Fellow of the International Lactation Consultant Association (FILCA) in 2008, the inaugural year for the program.

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Thank You, Cathy Carothers!

As the 2012 ILCA Conference has come to a close, one of the things that was expressed time and time again was the gratitude towards our leadership for bringing the advocacy fo breastfeeding and especially the IBCLC profession into this exciting era of breastfeeding promotion. Cathy Carothers has served as our president during this time and, as she passes the gavel to Liz Brooks, we want to take a moment to express our thanks to Cathy for her term as President of ILCA.

We caught up with Cathy during the conference and here’s what she had to say about her service:

1. How did you first get involved with ILCA in a volunteer capacity? What jobs have you held before becoming president?

That’s an interesting story!  My professional background is in the field of marketing/public relations, and I got excited about the lactation “profession” when a WIC nutritionist asked me to consider becoming a peer counselor when I was pregnant with my 5th child.  I had loved breastfeeding and believed in it passionately, and once I became a peer counselor helping mothers and babies, I was convinced, in my naiveté, that I wanted to someday save the world for breastfeeding families.  I set my sights on becoming an IBCLC and immediately joined ILCA back in the early 1990’s.  But it wasn’t until someone on the ILCA Board asked me to consider running for a board position (the new position of Director of Marketing in 2003) that I realized I had gifts that could contribute to my professional association, as well.  And what an incredible ride it has been!  If only I had known how rewarding service to ILCA could be, I would have gotten involved much sooner!

2. What has been your most fulfilling accomplishment as president? Your most challenging?

Without question, my most fulfilling accomplishment as President of ILCA was watching ILCA’s  most comprehensive and bold strategic plan ever unfold (Editor’s Note: Look for an upcoming blog post about this exciting plan!).  But it wasn’t MY accomplishment at all…it was based on the constructive suggestions of over a thousand ILCA members and global stakeholders who took the time to tell us what matters most to them, and a group of smart, passionate board members who weren’t afraid to say YES to our most important calling: to promote the IBCLC credential.  The challenges over the years have been so minimal they’re hardly worth mentioning…keeping monthly calls to an hour when everyone is so excited about the incredible momentum building, keeping time zones straight when working with an international board, and remembering to bring chocolate for meetings.

Cathy and her husband, Davis.

When I look into my ILCA crystal ball, I see an incredible vision of IBCLCs in every hospital and birthing facility, valued and respected for the expertise they provide.  I see universities with quality lactation programs integrated into their curricula, and global policy makers relying on IBCLCs in  international forums.  I see IBCLCs who are connected and confident as skilled professionals, and mentoring the next generation of IBCLCs.  I see an explosion of lactation research that not only forms our foundation of evidence-based practice, but is accessible and USED by all health professionals and policy makers.  I see professional education available in languages that people speak and accessible to the far corners of the world.  And I see that EVERY ILCA member is a part of that vision.  Can I just say it?  ILCA truly IS YOU!

Cathy, we thank you and appreciate the leadership you have provided!

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Get to Know Liz Brooks, Incoming ILCA President

Saturday’s ILCA General Meeting at the 2012 Conference welcomed Liz Brooks to her term as the ILCA President.  We caught up with Liz to get a glimpse into her history with ILCA and what motivates her to serve in this capacity.

How did you first get involved with ILCA in a volunteer capacity?  What jobs have you held before becoming president? 

I was asked.  As simple as that.

I was studying to sit the IBLCE exam in 1997 after many years as a mother-to-mother counselor with Nursing Mothers Advisory Council (NMAC). At Kay Hoover’s suggestion, I joined both ILCA, and my local affiliate Pennsylvania Resource Organization for Lactation Consultants (PRO-LC), to start networking and to acquire some of the needed hours of pre-test education.

In my early years as an IBCLC, I devoted volunteer time in leadership positions to PRO-LC (I was the newsletter editor for years, and later the board secretary).  It was a wonderful way to get to know my colleagues, get up to speed on lactation issues, and to mix-and-mingle with the greats (Kay Hoover!  Chris Mulford!  Debi Page Ferrarello!).

I presented/taught on breastfeeding, legal and ethical matters starting in 1998 … but I knew I had “hit the bigs” when my proposal to present at ILCA  2002 in Boca Raton, Florida (on conflict of interest) was accepted.  I used an overhead projector to show my “slides,” and I still have folks tell me they remember how I piled a bunch of hats on my head to open the session.

When the ILCA Board was searching for qualified candidates for the position of Secretary, I was called by the Nominations Committee Chair/Past President Maureen Fjeld to ask if I was interested in running.  Heck yeah! Secretary?  Taking minutes and tending the policy manual?  For a governance wonk like me?  I’m in!  The rest, as they say, is history.  I ran unopposed for the post, was elected in 2005, and concluded my second term (and sixth year on the ILCA Board) in July 2011.

2.  What is your highest priority for your term as president?

Marketing the credential of IBCLC.  Get to the point where any mother or healthcare institution or government official knows what that credential means, and understands it’s worth.  Individual IBCLCs, their professional association (ILCA), and the certifying organization (IBLCE), *all* have separate and distinct — but highly compatible — motives for assuring that the public knows what those five special letters “I-B-C-L-C” entail.

There is a part for everyone to play in educating mothers, healthcare professionals, public health/education officials, employers, community organizations, and policy makers about the role and impact of the IBCLC.

ILCA certainly must be a leader in the effort at the macro level: we are an international, member-based organization with 6000+ members in 85 countries around the world! ILCA can also help by developing educational and professional development tools that our individual members can use in their own work settings — at the micro level.  The truth of the matter is that there are more IBCLCs than there are ILCA members.  While ILCA exists to serve its members’ needs, an enhanced appreciation for the IBCLC profession, as a whole, is the next critical phase in its development.

3.  Why should IBCLCs get involved in ILCA?

It is the fast track for individual professional growth and development!  ILCA depends on volunteers to run *all* of the policy-related aspects of our organization, from the Board through to the Committee and Task Force structure.  Our staff  and contracted positions are paid, of course.   But members who “pull an oar” for ILCA reap personal professional development, “in the loop” access to the newest policies and research, and the satisfaction of helping shape the future of their chosen profession. Sounds like a win-win to me!

And, for just a wee bit of fun…

Liz, we look forward to your time of service to ILCA!

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Let the Conference Begin!

Photo by permission of JW Marriott

The 2012 ILCA Conference has finally arrived and everything,

from airport transportation

to the welcome we received at the JW Marriott

to the volunteer orientations and registration

to the Lazy River

to a lovely dinner at Primo…

Everything has been absolutely top notch!

ILCA volunteers are ready to help you! Look for their purple scarves.

As IBCLCs and breastfeeding professionals from around the world arrive, the hotel is humming with activity.  Friends getting reacquainted, contact information being shared and volunteers getting ready to spring into action. Day #1 of the conference will include workshops on Spanish Language Clinical Practice, Health Promotion, Global Advocacy, Research and Building Clinical Skills.  Something for every IBCLC!

If you are attending, please leave a comment about your favorite conference moment and if you are not able to be with us, follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #ilca2012!

Welcome to ILCA 2012!

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A Little {Twitter} Bird Told Us About Some Prizes…

Will you be tweeting about the 2012 ILCA Conference under hashtag #ilca2012? If so, you’ll have a chance to win one of our daily prizes, regardless of whether you are attending the conference or not! Consider this our small way of thanking the TwIBCLCs (IBCLCs who tweet) for spreading nuggets of knowledge to people interested in breastfeeding around the world. If you will be joining us in Orlando, be sure to pick up a Twitter sticker for your name tag at a volunteer meeting, the registration desk or in the ILCA Lounge. If you won’t be joining, follow this live stream of all things #ilca2012.

Here’s a run-down of the prizes that we’ll award:

  • 1 Free ILCA Webinar Registration – Our webinar topics vary from legal to logistics to the latest lactation research, all earning you continuing education credit from the comfort of your own home (you can even attend in your pajamas and slippers!).
  • $30 Off ILCA Study Modules – You’ll find a wide variety of study modules derived from articles in the Journal of Human Lactation (JHL), conference sessions, webinars, and notable publications. Need a few more E-CERPs? ILCA has them! Need to update your knowledge on a particular topic? ILCA has scores of topics from which to choose!
  • $20 Off Purchase from ILCA’s Bookstore – We’ll have some of our latest books at the conference so you can have instant gratification with your prize or save it for another day.
  • 1 Day Registration at the 2014 Conference – One lucky TwIBCLC will win one paid day (registration fee only) to the 2014 ILCA conference in lovely Phoenix, Arizona.

Happy travels and happy tweeting!

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Speaker Profile: Louise Dumas, RN, MSN, PhD

During the weeks leading up to the 2012 ILCA Conference, we will be highlighting a number of conference speakers.  Watch this space every Friday for more profiles.

Louise Dumas, RN, MSN, PhD

Honorary professor-researcher in Nursing sciences, at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (Western Quebec), Louise has studied in Canada, USA, and Sweden. Most of Louise’s researches have been focused on perinatal practices, breastfeeding, and patient education. As guest researcher at the Karolinska Institutet, she is part of a research team studying Russian swaddling, skin-to-skin and early mother-infant interaction.  Louise has published many articles and book chapters and presented numerous conferences throughout the world. Louise is also lead assessor for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiatives, one of the Canadians at the WHO-BFHI committee for industrialized countries. Louise has received many awards for the excellence of her work at the clinical, administrative, teaching and research levels. Yet, Louise remains a simple and open person, passionate for breastfeeding and Baby-Friendly Initiatives. She is also the proud mother of two adult children and grand-mother of two grand-children aged 3 and 8 years old.

You can hear Dr. Dumas speak on Thursday, July 26 from 2:30-3:30pm in a plenary session entitled “Skin to Skin Care: Safe Transition for All Mothers and Babies”. She will also be giving a concurrent session at both 2:00-3:00pm and 3:30-4:30pm on Friday, July 27th called “Best Practices to Reduce ‘The Stress of Being Born'”.

ILCA looks forward to welcoming Dr. Louise Dumas.

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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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Speaker Profile: Lisa Ann Marasco, MA, IBCLC, FILCA

During the weeks leading up to the 2012 ILCA Conference, we will be highlighting a number of conference speakers.  Watch this space every Friday for more profiles.

Lisa Ann Marasco, MA, IBCLC, FILCA

Lisa Marasco has been working with breastfeeding mothers for over 20 year, first as a La Leche League Leader and then as an IBCLC since 1993.  She holds a Master’s degree in Human Development with specialization in Lactation, is a designated Fellow of ILCA, and co-authored The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk. Lisa is currently employed by WIC of Santa Barbara County and serves on the board of the Breastfeeding Coalition of Santa Barbara County.

Solving breastfeeding mysteries has always been a passion for Lisa, who is known for her inquisitiveness and tenacity. Her specialization in milk production was born when, after a resurgence in scheduled feeding began to sabotage unwitting mother’s milk supplies, she discovered that there was no comprehensive, referenced source to explain milk production to parents. The process of researching and writing such a document laid the foundation upon which her later work was built. Lisa also personally experienced a mysterious loss of milk supply with her fourth child, the cause of which only became clear to her years later as her research into milk production issues deepened. As a result of her own experience, she has great empathy for her clients and a renewed desire to understand the mysterious and difficult. This led to her eventual master’s thesis on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and its possible relationship to milk production problems, and other clinical situations have led to new areas of research. A born teacher, Lisa enjoys sharing what she has learned as much as the process itself. Her passion for her topics comes through clearly in her dynamic presentations, and she takes a personal interest in answering the needs and questions of any and all attendees. It is her desire that attendees not only go home with “what to do’s,” but more importantly, have a deeper understanding of the topics so that they can think through the unique situations that they face and develop better strategies targeted to the problems.

You can hear Lisa speak in a concurrent session on Friday, July 27 from 3:30-4:30pm on the topic “What about next time? Helping a mother with low milk production plan for the next baby”.

ILCA looks forward to welcoming Lisa Marasco.

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