Clinicians in the Trenches – Jaye Simpson

I am Jaye Simpson, CLE, IBCLC, CIIM.  I am a full-time Private Practice International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and have owned Breastfeeding Network in Sacramento, CA since July, 1995.  I got the sweetest surprise when I was told a dear friend nominated me and shared some wonderful comments about what I have done for her as a mentor and friend.  The funny thing is:  I can only hope I give to her as much as she has given to me.  Being a mentor to another is a very special honor for me.  I work hard to make sure I help as best I can.

How did you decide to become a private practice lactation consultant?

In 1994 I had my second son who caused me significant breastfeeding problems!  He had a bubble palate and serious suck issues.  Saying he damaged my nipples is an understatement.  When he was 13, I realized he had a submucosal tongue-tie.  What I went through to solve our issues, and the IBCLCs I worked with, showed me a career path I had never heard of and I was determined to help other mothers in any way I could so that they would not have to suffer the way I did.

What advice can you offer a lactation consultant who would like to start her own business?

I prefer working for myself because it allows me to focus fully on my clients and family without sacrificing either.   However, Private Practice is not easy.  It takes time to build a reputation and a client base.  After nearly 17 yrs in the field I see many repeat mothers and my new referrals come from local hospital lactation consultant lists, other IBCLCs, doctors, and personal referrals from friends and family members of those I have worked with in the past.  I am truly honored by that!

Aside from learning about business licenses and requirements for your area, and professional Liability and HIPAA laws, I recommend joining your local breastfeeding association affiliate for networking with other IBCLCs.  Know who you can refer to if needed and what skills other IBCLCs have.  Know your local birthing professionals.  Business cards are a must!  Know that it will take time for your business to grow – it won’t happen overnight.  Do a LOT of research – keep learning all the time.  Be able to back up what you are saying.  Never be afraid to say “I don’t know.”  And know that there are many ways to do things.  What works for one does not always work for another.

What is your favorite aspect of your business?

My favorite part of being an IBCLC is being able to help others.  I find fulfillment in helping mothers and I love working with other IBCLCs who are just getting started or just need to discuss a tough case.  With today’s birthing environment (in the United States) compromising so many breastfeeding dyads right from the start, IBCLCs are desperately needed.  And I believe it is in our best collective interests to know each other’s specialties and who to refer to or talk to when we are in over our head.  This isn’t about us:  It’s about the mothers and babies out there who need our help.

The best aspect of being a full-time Private Practice lactation consultant  is knowing I make a difference in the world – even if only one mother and baby at a time.  I tell them, “You do as much for me as I hope I do for you!”  And I mean it.  They make a difference in my world by welcoming me in to make a difference in theirs.

About Jaye:

Jaye Simpson is mother to 3 breastfed boys: Chris  26, Benjamin 17 and Patrick  14.  Chris nursed for 14 months, Benjamin for 3yrs 2 months with 9 months of tandem nursing with Patrick who nursed for 4.5 yrs.

Jaye became a WIC Peer Counselor and Certified Lactation Educator (CLE) in 1995 and then an IBCLC in 2000, recertifying in 2005 and 2010.  Jaye became a Certified Instructor of Infant Massage in 2005.
Jaye sponsors and hosts a New Parent’s Support Group, open to all parents regardless of feeding method and welcomes the partners of the many mothers who come for support.   The group is a free service to the community.

Jaye has no plans of ever retiring from this gift she calls her career.

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Welcome New IBCLCs!

We at Lactation Matters would like to congratulate all of the newest IBCLCs who found out that they passed the IBLCE exam last week!  What an amazing feat!  We would love to hear your story about your journey to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC.)

What inspired you to become an IBCLC?
What were the highlights during your journey?
What challenges did you face?
What are you most excited about now that you are an IBCLC?

We would love to collect your stories and share them with our colleagues and blog readers.

If you have a short story that would fit into the comment section of this article, please submit a comment.

If your story belongs as its own blog article, or you have photos and/or videos to share, please submit it/them to lactationmatters@gmail.com and we will contact you in the next few days.

Thank you so much for your connections and interactions on Lactation Matters, thus far.  We are ecstatic to hear from you!

Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC, Co-Editor Lactation Matters
Owner, San Diego Breastfeeding Center

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The Trend Towards Becoming a “Breastfeeding Friendly” University

Written by: Amber McCann, IBCLC, Owner of Nourish Breastfeeding Support

For many of us here in the United States, autumn is about a cool crispness in the air, pumpkin muffins and FOOTBALL! And by football, I mean crazy fans – yell at the TV – wear your jerseys kind of football. I know that in many other parts of the world you understand this fervor, rather in support of another kind of football (i.e., soccer!)
Where I grew up in Ohio, there was one team and one team only. THE Ohio State Buckeyes. The affection and community support runs deep…very, very deep. To cheer for our chief rival, Michigan, could get you booed right out of town. At several hospitals in the area, babies are given Ohio State onsies (infant-size shirts that snap over a diaper) at birth…the indoctrination into the fandom begins early!


So, when I recently saw a press release that said that my beloved Ohio State had won an award for becoming a “breastfeeding friendly” place, my inner Buckeye jumped up and down. They have established rooms in which breastfeeding mothers can feed their children or pump all over campus with “a mini-fridge for storage, a hospital-grade breast pump, a comfortable chair with reading materials and low-light settings for a calm, quiet experience.”

I quickly tweeted my excitement over this development and was met with some healthy “trash talking” from my colleague, Liz Brooks. Liz quickly mentioned that her daughter’s school, Indiana University, a fellow school in Ohio State’s Big 10 Athletic Conference, also had lactation rooms, provided by the Office of Women’s Affairs. With both of our schools in the WIN column, Liz was quick to find out that all 12 of the schools in the conference (a group of universities that all compete together), have established lactation programs!

*The fact that there are 12 teams in conference called the Big 10 is not lost on us! 🙂

Click on the name of the school to find out more about their lactation programs!

University of Illinois

Indiana University

University of Iowa

University of Michigan

Michigan State University

University of Minnesota

University of Nebraska

Northwestern University

Ohio State University

Penn State

Purdue University

University of Wisconsin

What an awesome testament to the importance of Lactation Rooms for mothers! If you have not taken the opportunity to familiarize yourself with The Business Case for Breastfeeding, supported by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, I encourage you to do so. The reports contained within states,
“There is ample evidence that a supportive worksite environment with a private place to express milk and access to a quality breastpump helps women feel more confident in continuing to breastfeed after returning to work (Galtry 1997; Frank 1998) and that lack of accommodations contributes to lower breastfeeding duration (Cobett-Dick & Bezek 1997).”

WAY TO GO to the BIG 10 schools for forging the way for great breastfeeding support in the workplace!

Action Step: Does you alma mater provide lactation rooms and breastfeeding support for their students and employees? If not, as an alumni, communicate with them your desire that they provide this service and link them to The Business Case for Breastfeeding!

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Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program

Mother-to-Mother Support has been identified as one of the key factors contributing to the success rate of prolonged breastfeeding, or at least exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months. In recent years, more and more evidence has arisen on the effectiveness and impact of peer counseling support. In 2003, D’Souza and Garcia found that:

  • •peer support as a stand-alone intervention is very likely to increase breastfeeding initiation rates among low-income women who express the wish to breastfeed;
    •support from a mother experienced in breastfeeding, complemented by professional services, is very likely to increase the duration of breastfeeding; and
    •peer volunteers are particularly beneficial in mediating between low income mothers and healthcare professionals.

Latest statistics reveal that the Malaysian Exclusive Breastfeeding rate at 4 months is 19%, while at 6 months is only 14.5% (Salim et al, 2006), and this is far below the global rate, which is about 38% EBF at 6months (Moccia P, 2008). If we focus on the  local trend alone, exclusive breastfeeding rates over the past ten years have plummeted, from  29% at 4 months (1996), despite huge efforts to promote the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and having higher initiation rates.

OBJECTIVES & GOALS
This project is focused on building capacity of breastfeeding counselors in Malaysia in order to sustain exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, and continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods up to 2 years and beyond. This project will go beyond the hospital setting, as it extends the circle of breastfeeding support, involving training of peer counselors among mothers and other non-medical personnel.

SusuIbu.com has been empowered by UNICEF to carry out a project called Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program. UNICEF initially funded the program that comprised of Train the Trainers, running the peer counselor training in 5 regions, and monitoring the overall project until the end of 2010. The project successfully trained 16 participants whom were trained by LLLI Leaders and program adapted from the Peer Counselling Program of LLLI. These 16 individuals are now functioning as Peer Counselor Program Administrators (PCPA) and Working Committee for this program. A nationwide training program for Peer Counselors was successfully conducted throughout 2010, comprised of existing breastfeeding support groups or mother-to-mother support individuals, who would benefit tremendously from the formal skills obtained from the training.

CURRENT SCENARIO IN MALAYSIA
In Malaysia there has been an on-going effort  to create a more effective Mother-to-Mother Support Group framework among the local mothers, but a more systematic and coordinated effort is needed to strengthen it. The Malaysian Ministry of Health is most supportive of breastfeeding, but its focus has largely been around hospital practices rather than support in the communities. All government hospitals in Malaysia are accredited as Baby-Friendly Hospitals and are continuously assessed as per requirements of the UNICEF/WHO Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Since this initiative was introduced in 1993,  121 hospitals  have been accredited as  Baby-Friendly Hospitals (2004).

However, it was revealed that one of the major causes of Baby-Friendly Hospitals failing their reassessment was Step 10,  “Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.” . In the current practice, breastfeeding support groups would be formed by hospital nurses, rather than the community. This adds strain to the workload of the healthcare professionals, without adequately meeting the needs of mother support. Furthermore, mothers are normally discharged from hospitals only 1 or 2 days after delivery. Thus, not much support activities can be done within the hospital’s set up.

According to the current Project Manager, Puan Nor Kamariah Mohamad Alwi, “Many mothers are interested to participate in these activities and are willing to support each other. However, there has been inadequate training done for this group of mothers who aspire to become Peer Supporters/Counselors.  In the current situation, these mothers have had to be included in hospital’s lactation management training which is largely meant for the hospital set-up and staff. It has been noted then that the hospital training given may not be  relevant to the mother-to-mother support needs. For instance,  participants who underwent  this training did not receive any proper guidelines on how to operate as peer counselors yet Mother Support particularly peer counseling has shown to be a most effective intervention in supporting breastfeeding. Furthermore, the peer counselors’ activities are not being monitored by any party.”

FUTURE PLANS

We realise that there is still a long way to go, but the awareness on MBFPC, and importance of mother-to-mother support, is on the rise among the public in Malaysia. In 2010, 145 Peer Counselors completed their training.  As of Sept 2011, 84 Peer Couselors completed their training. For 2012, we will focus on strengthening the skills of the currently trained peer counselors in our group. We realise that we will need help to empower our members further so that they can contribute better to the community in the future. Other than securing future funding to ensure sustainability, we hope to create links with other global groups as we believe we all share a common goal. There is an unspoken universal language of love that we share and that is – Breastfeeding!

For more information regarding the program, please visit www.mbfpc.org

———————————————–
Nurturing Concepts Sdn Bhd (NCSB)
Nurturing Concepts Sdn Bhd is a company founded by individuals and professionals who share a common mission which is to protect,  promote and support breastfeeding. NCSB operates 2 reputable entities:
1. Moms Little Ones – known as the Breastfeeding & Natural Parenting Store that purely focuses on producing and selling high quality breastfeeding and parenting range of products.
2. Susuibu.com – known as the Breastfeeding Support Centre that focuses on providing quality breastfeeding consultation services, education and training to the healthcare workers and the public. The popular online community forum “Mother-to-Mother” Support group now has more than 20,000 members worldwide and is recognised by The Ministry of Health Malaysia and WABA (World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is a global network of individuals & organisations concerned with the protection, promotion & support of breastfeeding. We are proud to be a WABA endorser.

CONTACT
Nor Kamariah Mohamad Alwi, IBCLC
Lactation Consultant
Project Manager, Malaysian BFPC

+603-89254614 (Tel)
+603-89254615 (Fax)
pm@mbfpc.org

Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Website – www.mbfpc.org

Article by: Rita Rahayu Omar, BSc, CISA, IBCLC
CEO, www.thenurturing.com

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IBCLC Care Award

In 2010, International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE) and International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) developed this IBCLC Care Award to recognize and promote facilities that hire/employ International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) as part of their commitment to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

The number of applications received for their first year far exceeded everyone’s expectations and it matched with an amazing caliber of professionalism and innovative breastfeeding & lactation projects being conducted in facilities globally.  These 192 successful facilities are now displayed on the IBCLC Care Award website and they have all received a recognition certificate which they can display proudly for 2 years within their facility.

We are about to embark on our second year of applications for the ‘IBCLC Care Award’. This exciting new IBCLC Care Award was celebrated in 192 facilities in Hospitals, Birthing Facilities, and Birthing Services in its inaugural year 2010.
The application process for this year is NOW OPEN and will be closing in just over 6 weeks, on the 30th of November at 5pm.

Don’t delay, have the IBCLCs and your facility globally recognized with receiving this award.

This prestigious IBCLC Care Award is at the moment FREE to enter and the applications forms are online.

The application process is as Easy as 1. 2. 3…
1. Check out the IBCLC Care Award on the website and FAQ’s.
2. To get started… It’s recommended to download and print off the IBCLC Care Award Checklist, and the ‘Sample Application’ and complete.
This checklist is so helpful to keep you on track and gives you exactly what to include in your application. When you’re ready to go …work through the ‘sample application’, navigate through each field making sure you have all the important information included. Remembering you must include (upload) all the ‘evidence /documentation’ at the same time  your final IBCLC Care Award application is submitted.
3. You’re set to go…Complete your ONLINE application, uploading all your documentation/evidence as instructed. Please note that you will not be able to save the application as you go.

For more information on the criteria, documentation and how to apply, visit the IBCLC Care Award website.

Closing date is coming fast………close of business November 30, 2011

Notification of successful applicants – January 2012

Now available FREE….  “Role and Impact of the IBCLC” supports the employment of IBCLCs to administrators and policy makers throughout the world. The document is available as a free download from the ILCA website. Printed copies are available for purchase from the ILCA Store.

For more information, please contact the ILCA Office at info@ilca.org or +1-919-861-5577.

The evidence shows ‘How IBCLCs Make a Difference’
Research studies have shown that an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) makes a difference in breastfeeding outcomes for new families.

Why Hire an IBCLC?
Customer satisfaction and safety depend upon recruiting and retaining qualified, skilled health care practitioners. The IBCLC certification is your assurance that lactation professionals on your team have the specialized knowledge and skills required to provide excellence in lactation care for new families. Certification as an IBCLC protects the public by helping consumers identify qualified lactation consultants, increases customer confidence, and helps you sustain a maternal-child health team that delivers evidence-based care for new families. When making employment decisions, health care systems can feel confident in using IBCLC certification as a measure of excellence.

Breastfeeding Rates
A baby is 2.8 times more likely to be breastfeeding upon hospital discharge if the facility employs an IBCLC. Among women receiving Medicaid, delivering at a hospital that employed IBCLCs was associated with a 4.13 times increase in the odds of breastfeeding at hospital discharge.
Castrucci, B., et al. 2006. A comparison of breastfeeding rates in an urban birth cohort among women delivering infants at hospitals that employ and do not employ lactation consultants. Journal of Public Health Management Practice. 12(6), 578–585.
Women who receive prenatal education, postpartum hospital and home visits, and telephone calls from a lactation consultant, are more likely to breastfeed through week 20 and at a higher breastfeeding intensity than women who do not receive assistance from a lactation consultant.
Bonuck, K., et al. 2005. Randomized controlled trial of a prenatal and postnatal lactation consultant intervention on duration and intensity of breastfeeding up to 12 months. Pediatrics. 116:6, 1413-26.
Guise, JM, et al. 2003. The effectiveness of primary care-based interventions to promote breastfeeding: systematic evidence review and meta-analysis for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Annals of Family Medicine. 1:2, 70-8.

Health Outcomes for Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies
Women are more likely to stop breastfeeding in the first month when they experience such problems as sore nipples, inadequate milk production, and infant difficulties with breastfeeding. A lactation consultant can help women overcome these difficulties and thereby increase duration of breastfeeding.
Ahluwalia, IB, et al. 2005. Why do women stop breastfeeding? Findings from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System. Pediatrics. 116:6, 1408-1412.

Healthcare Costs
Increased access to lactation consultants resulted in greater continuation of breastfeeding and a $149-per-delivery reduction in cost for planned hospital care, planned follow-up visits, and unplanned care costs.
Lieu TA, et al. 1998. Clinical outcomes and maternal perceptions of an updated model of perinatal care. Pediatrics.
102:1437-1444.

Corporate Worksite Support
IBCLCs are an integral part of many corporate lactation programs. Mutual of Omaha, Aetna, and CIGNA Corporation are among the many companies that now include consultations with lactation consultants as an integral part of their employee benefits program for breastfeeding employees. These lactation programs have been shown to dramatically increase breastfeeding duration rates, with resulting savings in health care costs, fewer prescriptions, and reduced absenteeism and turnover rates for employees.
Dickson V., Hawkes C., Slusser W., Lange L. & Cohen R. 2000. The positive impact of a corporate lactation program on breastfeeding initiation and duration rates: help for the working mother. Unpublished manuscript. Presented at the Annual Seminar for Physicians, co-sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and La Leche League International, on July 21, 2000.
Mutual of Omaha. 2001. Prenatal and lactation education reduces newborn health care costs. Omaha, NE: Mutual of Omaha.

What is IBLCE®?
IBLCE®, or the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners®, is the independent international certification body conferring the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) credential.

What is ILCA?
ILCA, or the International Lactation Consultant Association, is the independent professional association for health care professionals who care for breastfeeding families.

 

Paula Oliveira RN, IBCLC, IBLCE Board Member
Decalie Brown RN, RM, CFHN, IBCLC, ILCA Director Marketing.

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Why You Should Have a Facebook Business Page?

When I started my private practice business a few years ago, Facebook had just started to really take off.  I only had a personal page, which I used to post pictures of my kids and talk about my life as a mother of two young boys.  I also wanted to connect with my breastfeeding clients, but felt awkward sharing my personal life with them, at least on a semi-daily basis.  That’s when I knew that it was time to launch my business Facebook page.

You may ask, “How important is it to have a Facebook presence?”

My answer is: Extremely important! 

While you may not connect with your friends and family through Facebook, your clients and patients do…. And on a regular basis!  So, why miss this opportunity to continue your conversation with them?

Who should have a business Facebook page?
• Anyone or any business that wants more patients and clients.
• Private practice Lactation Consultants, Lactation Consultants in non-profits, lactation organizations, anyone who is looking to increase business through marketing
• It is imperative if you have a blog and/or private business.

Why Facebook could be good for your business?
• The new generation of mothers is not getting their information from traditional marketing arenas (i.e. newspapers, TV, radio, email blast).  Instead, they are looking to engage with content.  They want something interactive, engaging, and informal (hence, Facebook)
• When Lactation Matters posted Jane Morton’s article on Hand Expression of the 384 views to the article, 224 were ‘referred’ from Facebook.  It is a way to share your message.
• When I posted an article about Creating a Breastfeeding Basket , it got picked up by Kellymom and Hygeiababy, all because they found the article mentioned on my Facebook business page.  My San Diego Breastfeeding Center blog also received over 700 unique hits that day.  These are all potential people talking about my business and breastfeeding support.
• You can engage with your audience, clients, and followers in your niche groups by posting articles, questions, surveys.
• You can share great information with your followers.  You can follow others in your niche group.  You can enable a conversation.

A Few Key Rules to Keep in Mind:
• Keep your Facebook posts on a professional level, not a personal level.  Think about what you want your clients and colleagues to know about you.  They don’t need to see pictures of your grandkids’ birthday party, unless it is pertinent to an article you are posting.
• NEVER share info about clients, patients, etc.  Remember your HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ) laws and keep your posts out of other people’s personal lives.
• Don’t post the same content or links over and over again.  Your followers will ‘hide’ you, or worse, stop ‘liking’ you.
• Share great, pertinent information that you think your followers will find useful.
• Answer followers comments
• Follow other business pages that are using Facebook well.  Share their information and comment on their pages.

Examples of businesses and organizations that have a great Facebook business presence:
Kellymom.com and Best for Babes

So, take that first step into Social Media.  Create your Facebook business page.  Start engaging with your clients and colleagues in a meaningful way.  It’s amazing what you will learn!

Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC is the owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center.  She can be found playing around with social media on her website’s blog, her San Diego Breastfeeding Center Facebook page, and SanDiegoBFC Twitter account.   She is also the co-editor of ILCA’s blog, Lactation Matters.

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Hands-Free Breastfeeding

Most breastfeeding talks and support groups eventually get to the question – “How long should I breastfeed?” As an IBCLC, I offer the AAP Guidelines (American Academy of Pediatrics) as the basis for my answer, as I imagine most of you do. We are recommending a minimum of six months and up to two years and beyond – sounds great,  however, in order to make this work for the average busy mother – we should also provide some tools to assist her in accomplishing her goal.

This is where Hands-Free Breastfeeding comes in. The ability to feed baby and accomplish another task at the same time (talk on the phone, type, cook or care for another baby) can offer breastfeeding mothers the needed support they will require at some point during their nursing career.

How can you demonstrate hands-free breastfeeding and stay on schedule with appointments and rounds?

YouTube is the perfect classroom for the breastfeeding mother. She can watch at her leisure, in the privacy of her own home, pause, review and watch some more. We offer several videos here – some are more professional than others. Watch them all and select the one that “speaks” to your clients. We also encourage you to look for additional videos (there are new ones posted every day!) and share on this blog!

Pros: Simple, short and anyone can do this
Cons: Mothers may not have this type of wrap
I see LC’s referring mothers to this video in newborn classes, in newsletters and on their blogs. A great, simple resource.

Bonus Video:  (another mother breastfeeding in the Moby)

Hands-free pumping bras also come to mind when I think of hands-free breastfeeding, a guide on these can be found here at mommasbaby.com So, next time you have a mother ask “How long should I breastfeed?” you will not only have a medically supported (AAP) factual answer – but you’ll also have some mother-to-mother videos to share and improve her likelihood of breastfeeding for six months and beyond.. Enabling the pumping mother to go hands-free will allow for breast massage, compression and multi-tasking.  A snug fit is best, and if pumping frequently, encourage her to purchase two bras, if possible, so there can always be one in the laundry.

Are you currently incorporating YouTube video recommendations into your practice?

If so, which ones? and When?

What are your favorite videos?

What other ideas do you have to share about YouTube videos and our important work?

Wendy Wright MBA, IBCLC
Guest Blogger – Utilizing the web to reach our breastfeeding target market
Co-owner Lactation Navigation – Workplace Lactation Consultants, LLC
www.LactationNav.com

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Clinicians in the Trenches – Leigh Anne O’Connor

Written by: Amber McCann, IBCLC, Owner of Nourish Breastfeeding Support

I had the privilege of meeting Leigh Anne O’Connor at a conference last spring. The enthusiasm and confidence that drew me to her translates into the work she does with mothers and babies in Manhattan. We are honored, at Lactation Matters, to be able to share with you about the work Leigh Anne is doing.

Leigh Ann O’Connor lives in Manhattan, with her husband and their three children. She has spent more than 9 years as an IBCLC lecturing for professional organizations, setting up Corporate Lactation programs, teaching breastfeeding classes, leading support groups and seeing private clients all over New York City. You might have seen her on Bravo’s Pregnant in Heels, The Doctors and TLC’s Bringing Home Baby as an expert and advocate for breastfeeding. She has also been a Guest Lecturer at Columbia University Teachers College.

How did you come to be an IBCLC?

After struggling for a few days with breastfeeding, I fell in love with it. It was amazing watching my daughter, Phoebe, grow so big, happy and healthy – all at my breast.
My sister-in-law encouraged me to attend a La Leche League (LLL) Meeting, where I felt right at home. I became a leader with the organization and since many of the Leaders whom I respected were also IBCLCs, they encouraged me to work toward that goal.

What does a typical week of working with mothers look like for you?

I take my two younger children to school every morning and then I usually head off to see mothers and babies in their homes. If you were with me, you would see me on my phone answering questions and cheerleading a mom. In the park, I have been known to do quick consults and to touch my breasts as I demonstrate how to hand express over the phone. I pepper the time at home with e-mails and phone calls to clients in between dinner and homework with the kids.

In addition to leading LLL Meetings (including a Toddler meeting that I adore), I also have a support group/clinic twice a month. This is a great way for me to follow up with clients and to help mothers. The beauty of it is the mother-to-mother support. They really get into supporting each other and encouraging each other. They talk parenting philosophy. I answer more technical questions, but it is really about them finding their voices and owning their mothering.

What are your biggest challenges of working in Manhattan?

One of the biggest challenges is the weather. When it is nice, Manhattan is a pleasure. Toting around my scale can be tough. When I have my scale and my bag and I have to go to a fifth or sixth floor walk-up apartment, that is challenging. When there is rain or snow, it is hard to carry my supplies and an umbrella. My scale is on a cart with wheels, which I pull along behind me, but in snow it is a real drag. Also, toting my supplies up and down the stairs of the subway or on the bus is tiresome. Sometimes I spring for a taxi, but it really gets costly. I love when a client is nearby and I can walk to her home on a nice sunny day.

Also, we live in a highly competitive atmosphere. Many women are returning to work early or they are trying to create an idyllic life and that just does not mesh with young baby feeding. There is a big environment of sleep training and heavy scheduling. Often, I am helping a mother to learn to trust her instincts, to trust her baby and to not try to fit her round baby into a square hole.

What advice would you offer to other private practice IBCLCs?

I had one intern ask me, “How did you know you really want to be a Lactation Consultant?” I laughed because I live and breathe breastfeeding. I can always turn a cocktail party conversation into a breastfeeding conversation. I relate most of life back to breastfeeding. I think that the start is having a passion for breastfeeding, babies and families. You study hard and volunteer. Put yourself into the breastfeeding world. I like mother-to-mother support meetings because they help me know what is normal. A Private Practice Lactation Consultant often sees only problematic breastfeeding and her ideas about breastfeeding can become skewed, so, being in the company of normal is so important. I think that is why I love my Toddler Meeting so much. Breastfeeding a toddler is normal.

Also, if possible, shadow as many different IBCLC’s as possible. We are all a bit different but we all have something to teach.

I think I learned the most from nursing my three children – two of whom were tongue-tied!  And, I continue to learn from every mother I see.

4

IBCLCs Traveling the Globe: Conference in Uppsala, Sweden: Part 2

On September 14-16, 2011, 215 participants from 26 countries around the world took part in a 3 day Neo-BFHI program in Uppsala, Sweden. Ten Australians, from New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria were amongst the multidisciplinary group.

The purpose of the conference and workshop was to present and discuss evidence for adaption of the WHO/UNICEF 10 steps to Successful Breastfeeding for neonatal intensive and intermediate care and to discuss a draft document prepared by a working group from the Nordic countries and Quebec.

IBCLCs at the Uppsala Workshop

Day One of the conference was opened by Professor Paula Meier from the United States. She spoke of breastfeeding support for infants in neonatal units. Human milk banking was the norm in many units and Professor Meier stated ‘that by giving the at-risk premature infant artificial milk, it was putting them at further risk of complications’. The predominantly female lineup of speakers spoke on varying aspects of care with Renee Flacking, a health care worker and mother of a premature infant, discussing the U.K. and Swedish experience.

Randa Saadeh gave the WHO perspective on adaption of the ten steps, while Yvette Sheehy, from Sydney, discussed their Hospital in the Home: ‘The Discharge on Tubes – DOTS program’-infants discharged home on tube feeds with health care support.
The closing speaker for Day One, Birgitte L Ekeberg, spoke of ‘Moving towards family centered care , the first Family Centered Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Norway’.

On days two and three, participants chose workshop groups to attend, and discussed the draft BFHI Initiative in Neonatal Units document and the Ten Steps, and came together in the afternoon of the final day to present the outcomes of their discussions. The final document, which is a Global document, will need to be representative of all participants and there was considerable debate on how this could be implemented worldwide. As bottle feeding and pumping is the norm in some parts of the Western world the impact of including this in developing countries was an issue.

Uppsala University hosted the meeting and welcomed participants with a welcome reception opened by Vice-Chancellor Anders Hallberg followed by the conference dinner which was held at the Norrlands Student Club. Participants were serenaded by the student choir during the dinner.

Kersten Hedberg Nyqvist

Kersten Hedberg Nyqvist, one of the conference organizers, was overwhelmed by the number of participants who wished to visit the Uppsala Family centered neonatal unit and after discussions with the unit managers decided the numbers were too many. With the interests of those within the unit in mind and the interest shown by conference participants she opted on a presentation that was to challenge the practice of many. Parents live in the neonatal units with the babies and infants from 32 weeks. They are given the opportunity to have Kangaroo Mother Care, 24 hours a day, while parents are taught to recognize the cues of the baby and breastfeed them when they are ready. Babies are discharged at 34 weeks partially breastfeeding, partially tube-feeding. Kersten stated ‘that there is no such thing as non-nutritive sucking’. She also said that the program has taken time to implement and one of the biggest problems is staff attitudes to change.

While walking to the bus to leave Uppsala for home, the chilly wind was blowing as winter was closing in. Thousands of bikes were chained up in this university town and I thought how lucky these babies are to be cared for in a society so socially aware.

Susanna Scurry
RN,RM, BFHI Educator & Assessor, LCANZ Board of Director, IBCLC

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IBCLCs Traveling the Globe: Uppsala, Sweden: Part 1

Baby-Friendly Neonatal Care Conference and Workshop Uppsala, Sweden, Sept 14-16, 2011

L to R is Yvette Sheehy, Anne Merewood, Annette Wright, Susanna Scurry

IBCLCs, hospital clinicians, researchers, and lactation professionals from around the world met at the Baby Friendly Neonatal Care Conference and Workshop in Uppsala, Sweden, for a groundbreaking meeting on a proposed expansion of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The conference was the brainchild of the Nordic expert group, in response to the document “Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Revised, Updated and Expanded for Integrated Care”, UNICEF/WHO 2009.

On a packed first day in the beautiful and historic Uppsala University, 220 attendees from 27 nations listened to internationally representative presentations on the importance of breastfeeding in intensive care, and about innovatory programs and guidelines that are making NICUs more Baby-Friendly. Many speakers and participants were leaders of the Baby-Friendly initiative in their home countries.

On days 2 and 3, attendees met in workshops to discuss each of the Ten Steps, and their potential adaptation to the NICU. Participants also made suggestions for monitoring progress and standards. In the final session, group leaders summarized suggestions for all attendees.

Uppsala was an appropriate location for this conference, with its hospital NICU standing out as one of the world’s most family centered units. The working group will take conference suggestions and use them to create a final document to present to the World Health Organization for approval in the future.

Abstracts from oral, poster, and workshop presentations will be published online by the Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) in early 2012. JHL aims to publish the recommendations in full when they are finalized.

The conference was not all hard work. The Conference Dinner at Norrlands Student Nation included student singing and other musical entertainment, and the meeting opened with Swedish-style sing-alongs to “We are Family, Baby-Friendly Centered Family” and – but, of course – Abba’s Mama Mia…..

Anne Merewood PhD MPH IBCLC
Director, The Breastfeeding Center, Boston Medical Center
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine
Division of General Pediatrics
Boston, MA 02118

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