Over the past 10 months, I have had the esteemed honor of acting as co-editor of Lactation Matters. When I first met with Decalie Brown, ILCA Director of Marketing, at the ILCA conference in San Diego, CA (2011), she shared with me as a member of the Marketing committee, the blog idea that had been recommended by (SAGE Rep) Courtney Pugh, ILCA’s Journal Human Lactation Publisher a day or so earlier. Courtney, Decalie and I met just as the conference started and virtually within 3 weeks created and launched ILCA’s Lactation Matters blog by publishing a blog article every day of World Breastfeeding week in August 2011, a huge and exciting task ! We had no idea what it would look like or the type of articles it would contain, but we knew that its purpose was to share pertinent, research-based information with our colleagues, the international board certified lactation consultant. Since July, I have watched Lactation Matters blossom from its infant-stage into a full-grown blog with over 60,000 hits in the first 10 months. I never imagined it would have such great success!
It is with this hope for continued success that I have decided to step down from my role as co-editor. I know that Lactation Matters has the potential to grow in ways that I, as a volunteer, do not have the time to nurture. I have had my own private practice, the San Diego Breastfeeding Center, for almost 3 years now and it is time to me to attempt to grow my business and help support my family of four. I have absolutely loved creating and maintaining Lactation Matters and I feel so lucky to have worked with my co-editor, Decalie Brown, and with such a fabulous team of writers.
I would like to introduce my friend and colleague, Amber McCann, who will be taking my place as co-editor of Lactation Matters. As a contributor to our “Clinicians in the Trenches” posts since the launching of the blog, Amber has a real love of connecting people through the use of blogging and social media.
Amber says, “As a young mother myself, I found that connecting with other mothers online was vital to my survival in those early days. Now, 10 years later (and still friends with many who I met when my daughter was an infant), I use many of the same technologies, and a slew of new ones, to provide online support and information to breastfeeding mothers.”
When not working on a variety of online breastfeeding support projects, such as being the blogger responsible for the “Celebrity Breastfeeding News” section of the Best for Babes blog, she works as an IBCLC in private practice with Nourish Breastfeeding Support, just outside if Washington, DC . In addition to working directly with mothers online, she speaks professionally about social media to other birth and breastfeeding professionals. She also offers one-on-one social media coaching to her colleagues. When she’s not furiously composing tweets (you can follow her at @iamambermccann) or updating her Facebook page, she’s probably snuggling with one of her three children or watching terrible reality TV.
Lastly, I would just like to thank all of my colleagues and the Lactation Matters readers for their support and guidance over these past 10 months. It has been such a pleasure to ‘meet’ so many inspiring lactation consultants making a significant difference in the lives of mothers and babies. Your comments and suggestions have truly helped to create this amazing dialogue among our community. I am so thrilled you have enjoyed the blog thus far and I cannot wait to see how it continues to grow over the next few years!
Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC
Message from Decalie:
Not knowing what lay ahead , Robin volunteered unselfishly to support me and the process of creating and developing ILCA’s first blog. Robin’s first surprise was she had a co-pilot that didn’t really know anything about a blog, let alone writing one! The experience working together was amazing and we took up the task and the challenge to birth Lactation Matters blog in August 2011 (in just 3 weeks) and continued to tailor this social media blog to the needs of the IBCLC . Moving though the months to today we have had a core group of amazing volunteer guest bloggers. Without them, and Robin’s input and coordination, ILCA’s Lactation Matters blog success may have been different.
I can still remember Robin confidently and eagerly stating early in the process, “we should be able to publish 2 blogs a week, no worries!” and this was actually managed most weeks.
On behalf of the ILCA Board of Directors and all ILCA members, I would like to sincerely thank Robin for her commitment, expertise, her professionalism and contribution to the Lactation Matters blog and for taking time to volunteer for ILCA. We wish her well in her IBCLC practice.
P.S. Fortunately, Robin she has agreed to be a Lactation Matters guest blogger and remain as a volunteer on ILCA’s Marketing committee. Thank you, Robin!
We are very excited to warmly welcome Amber McCann, who has kindly offered to be co-editor of ILCA’s Lactation Matters blog as of June 1, 2012 through the end of this year. After this time the ILCA Board is proposing to advertise this wonderful opportunity to members to apply.