LAST CHANCE to REGISTER for the #ILCA18 Virtual Conference

Whether you plan to participate live or watch the recording, TODAY is the last chance to register for the 
#ILCA18 Virtual Conference.

Don’t miss out!

The #ILCA18 Virtual Conference begins tomorrow, July 20 and continues through 21 July. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to join us . . . right from your computer!

We will be offering up to 12 Continuing Education Credits, a special online community, and an easy-to-use platform with lots of support. Watch live or on your own time for up to 60 days.

Click below for more information and to register. Questions? Email us at


ILCA Statement on WHA Resolution on Infant and Young Child Feeding

All families deserve public health policies designed to improve their health and well-being that are free from corporate interests. This is why the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) calls upon governments to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. This includes holding businesses accountable for misleading marketing practices that unfairly target vulnerable women and children and directly impact breastfeeding.

This statement is in response to events reported by the New York Times. The article, “Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials” reported on U.S.-delegation opposition to a resolution that aimed to call upon member states to strengthen promotion, protection and support for breastfeeding.

The resolution was to be introduced by Ecuador and “expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who had gathered . . . ” According to the article, Ecuador unexpectedly withdrew the resolution in response to threats made by delegates representing the United States. “The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.”

Ultimately, a weaker resolution was adopted after being introduced by Russia. These actions took place at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2018.

The proposed resolution included a number of key protections for breastfeeding families, including strengthening efforts to reduce predatory marketing of breastmilk substitutes and providing additional supports for families in emergencies. To be clear, it did not deny families access to breast milk substitutes.

As an organization, ILCA envisions “world health transformed by skilled lactation care;” a world in which human beings have every opportunity to thrive through breastfeeding. As such, ILCA stands in support of The Code and subsequent resolutions. ILCA also stands in unwavering support of families everywhere, to make decisions that are best for their families. When breast milk substitutes are desired or required, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLCs®) and other skilled lactation professionals are qualified to assist families in the safe preparation, storage and feeding according to WHO guidelines. For parents choosing to breastfeed, this means navigating a host of unique challenges to the breastfeeding family. Challenges may be clinical but also social. Social policies such as adequate maternity leave and the right to breastfeed or express milk in the workplace work in favor of breastfeeding continuation whereas the absence of supportive and protective policies work against breastfeeding continuation.

The NYT article sheds light on how corporate interest interferes with public health policy designed to improve health and well-being. The article also highlights the role that governments have to promote, protect and support breastfeeding rather than side with businesses to support corporate gains. ILCA strongly supports systems and structures that shift the responsibility for breastfeeding success away from parents and toward social policies that make breastfeeding easier, not more difficult.

As frontline health professionals, IBCLCs and other lactation caregivers around the globe know first-hand the challenges that families face in providing their children with the best nutritional start to life. Therefore, ILCA calls upon governments to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

ILCA has for many years provided representation at key meetings like the WHA, and will continue to do so. ILCA stands with other global allies and urges its members and partners to continue to advocate for policies that strengthen the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding at the government level. ILCA urges skilled lactation professionals all over the world to continue to provide individualized specialized clinical care to families while advocating at the local/regional/country level for policies that support the families in our care.

On behalf of the Board of Directors,




Michele Griswold, PhD, MPH, RN, IBCLC

ILCA President


In just one week! Hear why others are attending the ILCA Virtual Conference

We asked past conference participants what they valued most about the virtual conference:

It has given me the confidence I needed to be a better lactation consultant.

Why join the #ILCA18 virtual conference?

We all have busy lives between our roles at work and home.The virtual conference allows participation in the annual ILCA conference that many of us would miss otherwise. The speakers are both fascinating and informative.Thank you, ILCA!

Earn up to 12 Continuing Education Credits, a special online community, and an easy-to-use platform with lots of support. Watch live or on your own time for up to 60 days.

Great way to feel a part of ILCA on the international scale. So many of us are a bit isolated and the virtual conference helps to connect us to the big picture of what an IBCLC can mean to mothers who would like some help and encouragement.

Only one more week to register!

I want to thank the organizers for including this opportunity to view again. It allows me the opportunity to have better clarity of the information.

Click below for more information and to register. Questions? Email us at


Get Ready for World Breastfeeding Week: 1-7 August 2018

In a world filled with inequality, crises, and poverty, breastfeeding is the foundation of lifelong good health for babies and mothers. Please join us in celebrating Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life, the theme of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2018. The week of 1-7 August 2018 is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and highlights that breastfeeding is a universal solution that levels the playing field, giving everyone a fair start in life. Lactation Matters will feature blog posts and resources throughout the week to make sure you can make the most of this important week.

Need help preparing for #WBW2018? Check out this list of ideas and resources:

Visit the WBW 2018 website for general information and downloadable promotional materials, including the WBW 2018 Action Folder. The action folder information on the theme, and includes useful facts and figures, infographics, case studies, and suggested ways to take action.

Share your commitment to breastfeeding advocacy and education. The links between breastfeeding and nutrition, food security, and poverty reduction may be obvious to breastfeeding advocates, but there is still work to be done to make these connections clear to others. We know what needs to be done to support and enable families to breastfeed optimally, but we need to be more proactive and engage more people to make this a reality.

Look for information and action steps throughout WBW at Lactation Matters, where you’ll find articles, images, action steps, and more to help with your successful WBW 2018 observance.

For the most up-to-date information about WBW 2018 and to download promotional materials, please visit the World Breastfeeding Week website by clicking here.


Joint Position On Separation of Parents and Children from IBLCE, ILCA, and LEAARC

The International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®), the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®), and the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC) stand together in opposition to policies that unnecessarily separate a parent from their infant or young child.

The unnecessary separation of parents and young children has lifelong physical, psychological, and emotional impacts that have been well documented by health organizations worldwide, including UNICEF and the American Academy of Pediatrics, regardless of feeding status. In addition to these serious consequences, separation also disrupts breastfeeding, leading to further potential harm.

For breastfeeding to occur, mothers and babies must have unrestricted access and physical proximity to one another. The importance of breastfeeding for both infants and parents is well documented. These health protections extend into adulthood.1,2 Because of the range of health benefits conferred on the breastfeeding dyad, breastfeeding is recommended by the World Health Organization3 for up to two years of age or beyond. Separating parents from their breastfeeding children during this critical time has long-term consequences.

As organizations committed to ensuring worldwide health through support of parents and young children, we stand in opposition to policies that unnecessarily limit access to or separate parent and child.

Maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health: Breastfeeding. World Health Organization. Retrieved from Date accessed 6/20/2018.
Victora, C., Bahl, R., Barros, A., França, G., Horton, S., Krasevec, J., …Rollins, N. Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. The Lancet, 387(10017), 475-490.
3 Nutrition: The World Health Organization’s infant feeding recommendation. World Health Organization. Retrieved from Date accessed 6/20/2018.

JHL Call for Papers: State of the Science

Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) invites submissions to an upcoming issue with the theme State of the Science. State of the science articles are valuable to clinicians, educators and researchers, because their critical analyses provide evidence for standards of practice, establish the current level of knowledge on a topic, and highlight gaps in the evidence pointing the directions for future research. Click here to view JHL‘s new author submission guidelines.

It is our goal to bring our readership the most up-to-date information available. To facilitate this goal we are calling for critical literature reviews and meta-analyses, using established methodologies, about any one of the many and varied aspects of lactation. We are not interested in a summary or a synthesis of a body of literature, rather accepted manuscripts will provide a critical analysis of the evidence that identifies gaps in what we know, evaluates methodologies researchers have used and hypotheses the next steps needed to continue building our evidence.

The submission deadline for the special issue is 1 February 2019.

Click HERE to submit your manuscript online.

Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) is the top-ranked breastfeeding journal and the most valued benefit of ILCA membership. It 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.


ILCA Announces New Directors

The International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce two new Directors: Stephanie George and Angela Love-Zaranka. Stephanie comes to the Board through election by ILCA membership. Board member Lisa Akers is stepping down from her second term as Board Treasurer so she can devote more time to the newest member of her family. Angela has been appointed by the Board to finish the last two years of Lisa’s term. Both of our new Directors will begin their terms in July 2018 at the Annual Conference. We look forward to working with them to continue ILCA’s mission: to advance the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research.

Stephanie is an IBCLC and Aboriginal Midwife from Jarvis, Ontario, Canada. She is passionate about honoring and empowering all women through her healthcare practice. She also advocates for this platform through her roles on the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, the Baby-Friendly Initiative Strategy of Ontario, and the Expert Panel of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. She hopes to continue this important work as a Board Member at ILCA, specifically through increasing access to education for lactation consultants around the world. Stephanie has served ILCA in the past as a member of the Conference Program Task Force.

Angela has always enjoyed both serving breastfeeding families in a clinical setting and doing behind-the-scenes work to support the profession. She began her career as a mother-to-mother breastfeeding support professional in 1990. As she worked to earn her IBCLC, Angela began volunteering for the Virginia and West Virginia Chapter of La Leche League International, eventually serving as their Finance Director and President. Another project she completed on the state level was serving as faculty for the Virginia Maternity Quality Improvement Collaborative, which supported hospitals in moving towards baby-friendly accreditation. Her next step was to the international level. She joined the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners as a Board Member in 2006. Some of her duties included chairing the Finance, Audit, and Governance committees and overseeing the revision of several documents key to the lactation consultant profession. Angela is originally from Oklahoma and is proud of her Native American ancestry. She has resided in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area for the past thirty years.  Her current passion is learning about integrative medicine and traditional medicine from around the world.

We are proud to have Stephanie George and
Angela Love-Zaranka join the ILCA Board of Directors.

The ILCA Board would like to thank each of you for your continued support. To find out more, please visit our website at


Ramadan and Breastfeeding


by Nor Kamariah Mohamad Alwi, BE, MIT, IBCLC

Ramadan is the most holy month of the year for Muslims. During the month, those who follow Ramadan abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual activities between sunrise and sunset. Additionally, they practice being extra patient, kind, and generous throughout the four weeks. These observances can have an impact on breastfeeding so it is important that International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLCs®) understand how to best provide guidance to families.

Muslims scholars, or “ulama,” have been discussing breastfeeding while fasting for decades. Many rulings or “fatwas” have been issued to address this issue, enabling women to make wise decisions for themselves. Muslim women are encouraged to refer to the rulings of their respective local scholars to determine the options most suitable for their situations.

While fasting during Ramadan is not obligatory for all breastfeeding women, here is some guidance that I have found useful in my practice with clients in Malaysia who choose to fast during this time:

  • STAYING HYDRATED: Daily water intake is very important to keep the body sufficiently hydrated. It is recommended to drink bit by bit throughout the permitted time, from sunset to early sunrise. Drinking too much just before fasting will just fill up the bladder and gets urinated out soon after, resulting in the mother feeling thirstier for the rest of the day.
  • EATING WISELY: Eating well-balanced food, including proteins and complex carbohydrates, during “suhoor” – the meal right before the start of a fasting day – is very essential. This will provide the energy that mothers need for the rest of the day, until the breaking of the fast.
  • BREAKING THE FAST: As the fasting day ends, mothers should break her fast as early as possible, by eating natural high-energy foods, to quickly regain energy. A common option among the muslim community (which is also culturally recommended) are black dates. Mothers can opt for creative preparations such as blending the dates with milk.
  • HANDS-ON BREASTFEEDING: For mothers who are breastfeeding directly throughout the day, some will notice that their baby became a bit fussier at the end of the fasting day, as the mother’s body is impacted by the fast. Additionally, the milk ejection reflex can slow down due to the stress of the fast. When breastfeeding at this point, breast compressions while feeding will help drain out milk from the back of the breast. Mom will notice improved milk transfer, which can satisfy the baby faster.
  • EXPRESSING MILK: Expressing milk (for mothers who have to be separated from their baby) can be a varied experience. Some mothers find no change at all in terms of the quantity of expressed milk, especially in the first half of the day. However, some may find that the yield of milk collected at the end of the day is lower compared to earlier in the day. When this occurs, the mother needs to stay calm and understand how milk supply is produced. When milk is expressed from the breast regularly, a new milk supply will be produced. However, when the amount of body liquid reduces as part of the effects of fasting, the quantity of breast milk can be a bit lower than the usual, and mothers will find that their milk at this point usually looks thicker.

At any point in time during a fasting day that a mom feels too lethargic, it is important for her to carefully consider her condition, as well as her baby’s condition, before deciding to continue the fast. Consult with the local scholars and doctors, on how to deal with such situations.

Are there any religious and/or cultural implications that you find useful in your practice?


Nor Kamariah Mohamad Alwi resides in Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia. She created the online breastfeeding support forum in 2004 and is a co-founder and President of Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counselors. She is on the Local Governance Task Force Coordinator for World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). Kamariah is working with IBCLCs to establish a Malaysian Lactation Consultant Association. She is currently a private practice lactation consultant. (Read more about Kamariah in her ILCA Board of Directors nominee profile.) 


Win a FREE #ILCA18 Virtual Conference Registration!

Join Us for the #ILCA18 Virtual Conference:

LEARNING: INNOVATIVE EDUCATION on the topics you need. 12 Continuing Education Units will be available for the Virtual Conference.

CONNECTION: BUILD RELATIONSHIPS with the entire #ILCA18 community by joining our Online CONNECT Community, exclusively for conference participants. Chat with both face-to-face and virtual contributors, get your questions answered by speakers, and find and share resources on the topics discussed at the conference.

BUILD THE SESSIONS YOU NEED: In addition to the scheduled sessions, #ILCA18 virtual attendees get FREE additional continuing education. Choose the content YOU need most by selecting an additional credit from our on-demand learning in the Knowledge Center.

LIVE OR ON YOUR TIME: Participate LIVE 20 – 21 July or watch on YOUR time – 60 full days of ACCESS to your content.

EASY TO USE + HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT: We are here to help! You will receive a direct link to our EASY-TO-USE conference platform with dedicated and patient tech support. During the live sessions, our professional tech support is staffed by skilled moderators. We love bringing your online questions to the floor of #ILCA18!


Equity Access Pricing:

ILCA is committed to ensuring the lactation community has access to #ILCA18, even in low-resource countries. Live streaming pricing is based on the same equity pricing model as our annual membership dues:

Category A: Standard/Clinical Members – $165, Students/Breastfeeding Supporters – $89, Retired – $66

Category B: Standard/Clinical Members – $32, Students/Breastfeeding Supporters – $19, Retired – $13

Category C: Standard/Clinical Members – $8, Students/Breastfeeding Supporters – $5, Retired – $4

Category D: Standard/Clinical Members – $4, Students/Breastfeeding Supporters – $2, Retired – $2

Non-Member Pricing: $241

To find which category your country is in, click here.


FREE registration for the #ILCA18 Virtual Conference winner announced!

Thank you to all those who left comments on Lactation Matters and in this ILCA Facebook post letting us know from whom you are most looking forward to learning during the #ILCA18 Virtual Conference!

Congratulations to our contest winner, Gina Tseka! Gina will have the opportunity to learn from her top picks, James McKenna and Tom Hale, as well as participate in the rest of our #ILCA18 Virtual Conference lineup.


Announcing the 2018 IBCLC Care Award Recipients


The IBCLC Care Awards have been announced! Congratulations to the Community-Based Care Award and Hospital-Based Facility recipients!

What are the IBCLC Care Awards?

Hospital-Based Facilities and Community-Based Health Agencies that staff currently certified International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) certificants, host dedicated lactation support programs, and have completed specific projects promoting breastfeeding, can apply online to become a recognized IBCLC Care Award facility and be included in the IBCLC Care Directory.

The IBCLC Care Awards are promoted to new families and the general public which means Care Award facilities can enjoy the benefits of positive public relations in your community, including:

  • Enhanced attractiveness to potential patients
  • Competitive edge in recruiting lactation consultants, nurses, midwives, mother support counselors and other medical staff
  • General good will in the community by providing excellent care in helping new families reach their breastfeeding goals

Who are this year’s recipients?

To see a full list of the Care Award Recipients, click here.

The award was created by International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®). Learn more and apply here.


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