Video Vignettes – Breastfeeding in Public

In our monthly Video Vignette series, we review the use of the internet to empower moms to meet their breastfeeding goals.  This month, let’s utilize YouTube to assist moms in getting out of the house and finding the confidence to breastfeed in public.

As we all know, today’s new mothers are excited to reconnect with the outside world.  Breastfeeding mothers can take advantage of the simplicity of breastfeeding outside of the home once they get some helpful tips.   During consultations and hospital rounds, suggestions for breastfeeding in public can be provided; a handout or follow-up email listing videos to watch at home can supplement your ‘breastfeeding in public’ message.

Breastfeeding in Public Tips:  Encourage mothers to practice breastfeeding at home until they can put their baby to the breast without fumbling.  Suggest nursing in new places around their own home and while doing new activities (talking on the phone or working at the computer).  Move on to nursing at a friend’s house or in a changing room at a shopping mall or local clothing store.  Once the private locations are mastered and breastfeeding confidence is established, recommend breastfeeding on a park bench, in the shopping mall, or at a quiet restaurant.

Clothing should provide easy access to breasts.  Loose tops with layered buttoning shirts or sweaters provide great cover and will give the mother plenty of ability to maneuver.  Unbuttoning from the bottom up will allow for discrete coverage of the mother’s sides and will keep her shoulders covered and warm.   For additional privacy, a shawl or baby blanket draped across mother’s shoulder can form a tent over baby as she nurses.

Nursing in a sling, carrier, or wrap is also a great recommendation for breastfeeding in pubic.

Lactation Consultants can also mention that nursing openly and proudly reminds people that breasts are for feeding babies.  Nursing in public helps our society become a more welcoming place for mothers and babies.  Encourage the mother to smile proudly as she nurses – she is doing the best for her baby.

As follow-up to verbal tips and advice, we have selected three videos to encourage breastfeeding in public through the use of the internet.

The Australians have it right with this short video.  Mothers will laugh and gain confidence as they see how ridiculous breastfeeding in some setting can be.

Baby Gooroo presents an empowering video including dads discussing their fears about breastfeeding in public and exposure.  Simple, short and multi-cultural.

Lastly, this simple woman-to-woman video presents the legal perspective to breastfeeding in public.  Mothers are encouraged to check out their state laws and provided with tips for confronting individuals who may challenge the woman’s right to breastfeed.

Remember, 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.

These videos are only a beginning – we encourage you to search for additional video

Wendy Wright, MBA, IBCLC, Guess Blogger

Utilizing the web to reach our breastfeeding target market Co-owner Lactation Navigation – Workplace Lactation Consultants, LLC

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Introducing One of Our Newest IBCLCs – Effath Yasmin

What inspired you to become an IBCLC?

Motherhood stirred my life in a direction that only bought more warmth and deep sharing of empathy all along. It has been a dream-come-true for me.

Becoming an IBCLC has been a natural progression similar to a tree growing deeper roots. Challenging breastfeeding experience drew me closer to La Leche League International. Being a Le Leche League Leader connected me with some wonderful people and this is the best thing that happened to me besides my husband. I had the opportunity to interact on a personal level with some of the eminent personalities in the Lactation field such Rachel Myr, Diana West, Gini Baker, Diana Cassar-Uhl, Katheleen Kendall-Tackett, Nikkie Lee, Jane Kershaw, Susan Burger, and Catherine Watson Genna among others. What most struck me about these people was their humility and humanness. I find them profoundly philanthrophical in their ideas and sharing of knowledge.

What were some of the highlights during your journey?

The use of technology which connected me the outside world, from my home, while I cared for my family is perhaps the biggest highlight.

4 years ago, as a mother with breastfeeding challenges and my quest for answers, carved a pathway to becoming a counsellor and an IBCLC. The highlight remains the clarity of thought and answers I finally uncovered about the challenges of my nursing. The road to this realisation hasn’t been easy for me but it strengthens my commitment to help the mothers who are seeking help.

What challenges did you face?

The uncertainty of being a committed La Leche League Leader who enjoyed volunteering my time and knowledge, and moving into a role of a professional lactation consultant. The differential roles, these two credentials, play in supporting a mother. The clarity of thought came during the endless conversations I had on the forum of Health-e-learning with Denise Fisher.

I perceived a possible conflict of interest in holding these two roles may be my biggest challenge as a Le Leche League Leader/Lactation Consultant, however this turned out to be the least of all challenges I have faced.

There were challenges with the IBCLC exam, as it included studying and getting to know about the different cases and familiarising oneself with different breast conditions even though it is quite difficult to practically have experienced all these conditions and scenarios. The other challenge was being the lone candidate from Mumbai and I did long for a partner to study with and a mentor.

What are you most excited about now that you are an IBCLC?

My approach or level of care to the mothers I help has not changed but being an IBCLC has given me a tremendous amount of confidence in the knowledge of clinical management of breastfeeding. This will translate as assurance in mothers I help and increase their trust in my ability to provide them breastfeeding support. I also feel empowered to help influence the belief and opinions around breastfeeding among young mothers for the better and the credential of IBCLC makes it easier to be heard and trusted. This is most true amongst the medical community and health care providers that I have and will be working with than the mothers I care for.

What questions would you like to ask your IBCLC colleagues who have been practicing for a while?

I would like to learn more about scope of practice in a hospital setup and level of follow-up. I would appreciate looking at samples of reports to be shared with clients or communication samples with other health care providers. It will be a big help to know more about managing and gathering funds to attend conferences, which I believe are a great source of learning and networking. Also an insight to involve health insurance for reimbursement for lactation care for clients will be helpful.

Effath Yasmin, MA,HDSE,CLEC(USA),IBCLC, is the founder of Nourish & Nurture Lactation Care & Parenting Solutions, a pursuit to becoming an outreach center for mothers and families who are seeking professional lactation support. She found herself transitioning naturally into a profession that enriches her role of a mother of 4 year old, Zaara. Yasmin naturally saw a calling and a desire to help other mothers in their journey of motherhood. She fervently pursued to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant specialising in clinical management of breastfeeding. She works towards providing high quality of care integrating in her plan of care approaches of nutrition, lifestyle and draws outcome from referred treatment therapies such as homeopathy, craniosacral therapy, acupressure, physiotherapy, and hypnotherapy towards solving and managing breastfeeding issues. Yasmin insists in recognising & acknowledging the psychosomatic factors & the impact of birth trauma in breastfeeding issues.

Yasmin is very passionate about her role as an accredited Le Leche League Leader  providing support and counselling to hundreds of mothers over the past years. She is also very enthusiastic about her affiliation with International Baby Food Action Network and applauds the work of IBFAN to promoting better standards of food for infants and young children. Yasmin supports and volunteer a significant amount of her time for the mission of Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India and Birth India for the cause of educating women of their childbirth choices and the direct impact it has on breastfeeding.

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Mama Aroha means ‘mother love’ in Maori – New Zealand

Mama Aroha means ‘mother love’ in Maori. ‘Aroha’ can be interpreted as love, compassion, sympathise, and pity. It is this ‘aroha’ that drives most of us to do what we do. For the beautiful breastfeeding wahine (women) that we all work with, her ‘mother love’ that flows through her breastmilk not only provides nourishment, but also ‘aroha’ (love) for her baby

Imagine if every health worker provided every mother with consistent and accurate breastfeeding information.  Imagine then if that same mother received the same messages each time she came in contact with a different health worker.  Imagine if we provided this mother with all the necessary skills and knowledge she would need to continue to breastfeed her baby.  Imagine if she could then pass this knowledge and skills onto her friends and family.

It has been this vision that has inspired me, and given me the drive, to develop a new resource that makes breastfeeding simple, interesting and accurate for our 21st century mothers. These ‘talk cards’ were launched in August 2011 at the New Zealand Lactation Consultant Association Conference.

Almost two years ago while I was running a breastfeeding drop-in centre in the community,  I would often find myself scribbling diagrams on bits of paper while I was talking my way through the mother’s issues as this was the most effective way to get information across. Traditionally for Maori, we are an oracle culture who can often catch on quickly and easily when the information is explained verbally.  In fact studies have shown that only 10% of all adults retain information by reading it, while 70% learn through participation in a discussion. Yet, while I was working in the Maternity Unit as a midwife I found there was a lack of resources that suited this type of learning. We needed something that could be used while sitting with the mother ‘talking’ about breastfeeding.

Over the past two years I have continued to help breastfeeding mothers in the community, worked as a BFHI coordinator, set up a peer counselling programme, and became a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). But my biggest qualification in life is being a mother of four young children. I am still breastfeeding my nine month old baby and find most of my inspiration while I am up feeding him in the early hours of the night.

What makes these ‘talk cards’ unique is that they have been developed at a grassroots level, they are New Zealand-owned and have been made with no other intention other than to help breastfeeding mothers of all cultures reclaim ownership of the knowledge and skills that are necessary to breastfeed a baby. The beautiful mothers and babies that are featured in the cards have been very much a part of the process. These cards have come from the women, this is what they want, and this is what works for them. I have seen with my own eyes how much impact they can have on a mother and her family.

It has been a long process with no sponsorship or funding and there have been many times that I have wanted to give up. There has never been any project planning, just inspiration! So I had to finish what I had started. However, it is the vision to help mothers understand breastfeeding that has kept me going, kept me motived. I often ask myself, “Has this been worth it?” When a mother looks at the cards and has a ‘light bulb’ moment, when I hear her passing on what she has learned to her family, when I see her feel empowered by this knowledge…I can say, “Yes, it has all been worth it.”

“I’m a busy mum of four young children which has given me my biggest qualification in life! “ Written by Amy Wray, BM, IBCLC, PCPA

Lactation Matters co-editor, Decalie Brown, adds …..This was Amy’s very first conference she had presented at, as her family championed her in the background. A loud call to her from the back stalls of the room was her baby being minded by her sister. Amy responded with a  nod as she calmly picked her baby.  There was a scurry towards the stage to produce a chair, where she sat and calmly breastfed her baby , completing her presentation to the ‘oh’ of the audience.   It was a truly magical moment, Amy!

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The Essence of Nelson Babies Growing: Part Two

If you missed the first installment of this article, please see The Essence of Nelson Babies Growing: Part One.

A planting area is born:
We approached the local city council for an area that would be appropriate. We also hoped it would be an area of significance in the region so that families would feel more compelled to plant there. We were delighted when they came back to us with the suggestion of the Centre of NZ where they have a conservation planting programme in progress and are looking for groups to contribute to the planting. This indeed was a significant area for Nelsonians!

The Centre of NZ is the geographical centre of New Zealand. It was deemed so by some surveyor in the UK when the early maps of New Zealand were being developed. Every year when I hike to the top of the hill I picture this surveyor as someone with a sense of humour. Of course the centre of NZ was never going to be on the flat fields all around the hill!

Hiking to the Centre of NZ

Since 2008, once a year, the local NZ College of Midwives, local iwi, and Nelson City Council, host a planting session in our newly formed whenua area. Representative of this are two large totara trees, which were planted at the start of the area and will stand over the area… and a third ‘Lyndell’ totara.

When we first started looking into providing a planting area, we did expect to come up against some obstruction, especially around burial of ‘body parts’.  Strangely enough placenta weren’t considered body parts. Or perhaps we can just be thankful to our maori forbearers who paved the way for us!  Checking health regulations, the only restriction was avoiding planting near waterways…easily done on a hill!

The fact that it is a re-vegetation planting area gave us clear guidelines and very little to discuss around ‘rules’ for the area. So we agreed to the council’s following conditions:

  • The area will be available over a number of seasons until the entire area is planted out. It will then be closed to further planting.
  • The site will only be available for this purpose once a year for the NZCOM event. Casual placenta burying or planting at other times of the year is not permitted.
  • Planting programme: this site is part of the council’s wider re-vegetation programme. There is no particular ownership or expectation about the future of the plant that is planted upon an individual’s placenta.
  • Participants also need to acknowledge there is no assurance that any individual plant will grow or be maintained to maturity given the usual rates of mortality from restoration projects and, as with any maturing forest, that a number of these plants will be replaced by other species as the restorations process continues. To this end we have selected an appropriate planting time to best ensure survival of the plants.
  • Council needs to ensure that appropriate native plants are planted from seeds/cuttings that have been collected from the correct areas (eco-sourced). To best achieve this, only NCC supplied plants can be used for the plantings.
  • As this site is a natural restoration area, no markings of any plant locations are permitted.

During the first year of planting, we had no idea how many families would take up the opportunity of this planting area. In this region there are around 1000 births per year. So it was a pleasant surprise to come over the brow of the hill and see the families who had made the trek.

First year of planting

The land is blessed ….

A song and a prayer…..

And the planting begins…..

In 2010, the Nelson Soroptmist club provided a hand crafted seat for rest and reflection alongside the whenua planting area.  Maia Hegglun, local carver, builder and father, designed the seat from a cultural perspective, to compliment the Whenua Planting Project. The seat is designed as a sculpture telling the story of the seen and unseen aspects of two different cultures coming together and as a functional enduring seat to be used by families (whanau) and the public.

The area has not been without some interesting discussion. It has led some Maori to express some unease about the area. We left the idea with local iwi for some months for them to have a final say and we would have respected any unease they had, but this wasn’t to be the case.  Some Pakeha (European), especially of the mature generation, have also expressed an unease, (or more a queasiness!) about walking past an area where placenta are buried. We hope in time their queasiness will settle.  The dogs that walk with them seem relaxed and we haven’t had a single plant lost to dogs digging them up. The plants from the past three years are flourishing!

Families who have planted their whenua in the area use the walk as regular family time to check on the progress of ‘their’ plant.  They describe the area as ‘special’ and ‘peaceful’.

Indeed a special place to sit and reflect …Nelson babies growing the area, with flourishing plants representing how life moves on and along…

Suzi Hume, Anounska Myer, and Andrea Vincent

Andrea Vincent, Case-loading Midwife, Nelson, NZ via Seo Companies

Toitu he kianga; whatungarongaro he tangata
People are transient things but the land endures

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The Essence of Nelson Babies Growing: Part One

Planting the placenta

Over the past three years our annual ‘planting’ has caused reactions a plenty!  Families clambering up to New Zealand’s geographical Centre is not an unusual sight. Planting in a conservation area also is not unusual, however the ‘fertiliser’ used perhaps is somewhat different.

For New Zealand birthing families to be asked “Do you want to keep your placenta (whenua)?” following the birth of their child, is quite routine.  For those not of these shores we are greeted with a mixture of reactions.  Were it not for our indigenous Maori culture demanding respect of the whenua (placenta), such a question might not be so routine, but still viewed as slightly alternative.

Background:
In Maori culture whenu is the word for land and also the placenta (afterbirth).
All life is seen as being born from the womb of Paptuanuku, under the sea.
The lands that appear above the water are placentas from her womb.

Tangata whenua = people of the land. These people are those who have authority in a particular place. This is based on the deep relationship with that place, through their births and their ancestor’s birth.
As tangata whenua express themselves in that place, they gain the authority and confidence to project themselves into the world.

Child with ipu whenua

Burying a whenua (placenta): Traditionally whenua and pito (umbilical cord) of newborn babies are buried in a significant place, in a specially prepared receptacle. This reinforces the relationship between the newborn child and the land of his/her birth.

Ipu whenua: the receptacle used to house the whenua (placenta) on its journey to its special resting place. Usually clay, it remains unfired to the land (also whenua), so too will the clay of the ipu break down and return to the land. The ipu is lined with absorbent materials such as moss, fern or hair to soak up any blood.

Traditionally Maori bury the whenua in a place of significance to the whanau (family) or ancestors.

It was in the 1930’s when medicine deemed birth to be far too dangerous to occur at home or private nursing homes that, within a 10 year period, all births occurred in one central hospital. The ‘ownership’ of the placenta (whenua), seemed to also be assumed to be that of ‘the hospital’! It took a further 30-40 years for Maori to freely be able to leave the hospital with their whenua (placenta) without an argument with hospital authorities ensuing. It is only in the past 20 years that the change to asking all birthing parents if they wish to keep their placenta has become ‘routine’.

Planting the whenua

The addition of planting a tree on top of the whenua (placenta) is relatively new, but is very popular with Maori and many non-Maori families.

As mentioned in a recent article by Kaumatua Pita Pou:
“It’s no surprise given the kiwi obsession with quite literally putting down roots. That dates back to before the earliest days of European settlement. Maori were known to plant cabbage trees to mark hunting tracks, while the puriri tree, with its sometimes gnarling branches, was used as a burial ‘cradle’. Bodies would be place inside the tree and left to decompose, with the bones later removed and placed in caves or ditches.
The purpose is for the tree to embrace the bodies …so the flesh returns to the earth”. (Ref. The Marlborough Express 1/1/2009 – History’s plantation threatened.)

Increasingly, European families, having experienced the life changing event of childbirth and parenting, also appreciate the significance of ‘honouring the whenua’. Many realise what an amazing organ it is that has sustained the life of their child over those formative months.

Lyndell's husband, Boaz, and Midwifery colleagues

One of our local midwives, Lyndell Rown-Gabay, also held a ‘passion and respect’ for whenua – whenua the land and whenua the placenta. She was unable to bring herself to dispose of the whenua (placenta) in any other way but to bury them. So if parents didn’t want to do so themselves she would take them home, or under the cover of darkness, bury them in some more public place! The Centre of NZ, a local public walkway was one such place. Lyndell also had a flourishing garden!  In 2007, Lyndell died unexpectedly, at aged 40 years old.

Over the years, those of us who work as community  midwives, came to realise many families stored their placenta  in the freezer sometimes for many years. We would return for subsequent pregnancies for the family to joke – ‘oh great now we will have to make room in the freezer for another placenta’.

While many Maori families bury their whenua in a traditional area of their ancestors and iwi land, many don’t. Many young families, are more on the move these days and don’t put down roots in a particular property or are renting that property and don’t feel it is a significant place to them to go so far as planting their child’s whenua.

With this in mind and wanting to honour Lyndell and the work she did, it prompted us to establish a planting area in Nelson for everyone to use if they felt it was the appropriate place for them.

The Essence of Nelson Babies Growing: Part Two will be featured on November 17, 2011.

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THE MANY BENEFITS OF ATTENDING AN ILCA CONFERENCE OR HOW NILS BERGMAN ENDED UP IN CROATIA AND SLOVENIA

Irena Zakarija-Grković, MD, FRACGP, IBCLC, is a GP and passionate breastfeeding advocate from Melbourne, Australia who moved to Split, Croatia in 2004 with her husband and three children. Irena now works at the University of Split School of Medicine where she is involved in teaching and research. Irena is a founding member of the National Breastfeeding Committee, a BFHI educator, president of the Croatian Association of Lactation Consultants, 80-hour breastfeeding course provider, former IBLCE coordinator for Croatia and an active member of ILCA (volunteer member of Scholarship Committee and Multilingual Committee)and ABM. She also conducts breastfeeding classes for expectant parents, does some private practice as a lactation consultant and is the author of several chapters in Croatian on breastfeeding . Irena loves what she does and tries hard to infect others with her enthusiasm for breastfeeding.

Back in 2007, I was a fortunate recipient of an ILCA scholarship and so, thanks to the generosity of numerous friends of ILCA, I was able to attend my first ILCA Conference, held in San Diego, California.

It was an exhilarating experience and among the many interesting talks I attended, the one that stood out was the talk given by Nils Bergman, on the importance of skin-to-skin contact for brain growth. After the presentation I struck up a conversation with Nils and soon found out that Nils traveled to Europe regularly to visit family in Sweden. Immediately, the thought of Nils visiting Croatia came to mind but seemed too farfetched to mention at the time, so I left San Diego with some lovely memories and lots of useful information and resources.

Upon returning to Split, I realised that unless I tried to bring top experts to Croatia the likelihood of my colleagues hearing about the latest recommendations in the field of breastfeeding medicine was minimal, and hence I set about making plans on how to bring the exciting world of evidence-based breastfeeding medicine to Croatia. This wouldn’t have been possible without collaborating with neighbouring Slovenia, specifically the Slovenian Association of Lactation Consultants and UNICEF in Slovenia. Together we’ve brought several renowned speakers to our neck of the woods over the years and by doing so have raised the awareness of the importance of breastfeeding. This, in addition to organizing an annual 80-hour breastfeeding course for health professionals (5 years running) and getting the IBLCE exam translated into Croatian and offered in Split (since 2009), has brought the number of certified lactation consultants in Croatia from one in 2007 to 21 in 2011!

This year, for WBW, the Croatian Association of Lactation Consultants (CALC) was honoured to welcome Nils Bergman to Croatia. My dream had come true- thanks to Nils’s trust in me, his generosity of spirit, and to the support of my Croatian and Slovenian colleagues. Nils’s tour started off with a two-day visit to sunny Split where he was run off his feet meeting the media, giving talks to health professionals and demonstrating to mothers and staff at the University of Split Neonatal Unit how to practice kangaroo mother care.

The latter was the highlight of Nils’s visit because it brought home the importance of placing the baby in its proper environment, the beauty of which brought tears to the eyes of all present. For some mothers with babies in the Neonatal Unit, it was the first time they had held their children. The media were so impressed with what Nils had to say on the topic of caring for premature babies that he made the midday news and was featured on four other TV programs!

  Next, Nils spoke in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, to a full house at the Hospital of the Holy Spirit and was then whisked off to Lasko, in Slovenia, where he was an eagerly awaited speaker at the Slovenian breastfeeding symposium.

Despite all the work involved in organising Nils’s visit, it was well worth the effort and has brought hope, joy and revelation to all those he met. Thanks Nils and good luck with all of your endeavours in promoting kangaroo mother care!

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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

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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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