Tag Archives | community

Applications Being Accepted for IBCLC CARE AWARD!

careawardThe International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) are once again proud to announce the IBCLC Care Award is ready to be launched for 2013.

This first Global IBCLC CARE AWARD recognizes Hospitals and Community facilities.

All Hospitals/birthing facilities/birthing services and Community Based facilities who have achieved the specific criteria are eligible to receive the IBCLC Care Award for a 2-year period. The Award is presented to facilities in recognition for staffing professionals who hold the prestigious International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® certification (IBCLC®), for those who continue to provide a lactation program, or activities that protect, promote, and support breastfeeding , and those who can demonstrate that they have a commitment to breastfeeding training of medical staff who care for new families.

Be sure to check if you meet the specific criteria for your facility today and apply!

IBCLC Hospital Care applications are OPEN September 27 through to November 29, 2013. IBCLC Community Care applications OPEN February 3 to March 21, 2014.

Learn more about the IBCLC care Award at www.ibclccare.org.

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World Breastfeeding Week 2013: The Family and Social Network Circle of Support

During World Breastfeeding Week 2013, we will be highlighting the work of IBCLCs in each of the 5 Circles of Support mentioned in this year’s theme ~ Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers. Each weekday during this celebratory week, we will be shining the light on innovative and exciting models of care in each of these areas. Check back everyday for more encouraging examples of breastfeeding supporters being close to mothers.

Katya Lokshina, Russia

katyaKatya is a former linguist turned IBCLC serving in Moscow, Russia. She is the mother of three children and was proud to be the first Russian La Leche League leader. She was one of the group of 12 first-ever Russian speakers in 2011 to pass the IBCLC exam in the former Soviet countries. She now leads a popular mother-to-mother support group and works as a private lactation consultant. She shared with us the following responses.

This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme is “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers”. The organizers have identified 5 Circles of Support that are critical for breastfeeding mothers in our world and one of those circles is “Family and Social Network”. Can you describe for us a bit about the work you are doing in the field of lactation to support breastfeeding families? How did you become involved in this work? What does a typical day of supporting breastfeeding families look like?

I am the mother of three children and providing breastfeeding support is both my day AND night job! I must balance my private life with that of being a breastfeeding professional. On a typical day, I get a few calls from mothers. While my children are at school, I do home visits. Sometimes driving to a mother’s home can take up to 1.5 hours due to the heavy traffic in Moscow. Russian women rarely get professional breastfeeding support at the hospital but things are slowly changing.

Being not only an IBCLC but also a La Leche League leader, I encourage expectant mothers to visit a breastfeeding support group. Watching other mothers and babies and talking with them can go a long way towards building a foundation for a successful breastfeeding relationship.

I believe that EVERY mother can be a huge promoter of breastfeeding! At the hospital, at family gatherings, at the playground, in the doctor’s office, and in many public places like shopping malls, cafes, on an airplane – simply by breastfeeding our babies and kindly answering questions and comments from others (those from teenagers and kids are most important!), we are doing a great job of supporting breastfeeding.

The World Breastfeeding Week organizers stated “Husbands, partners, fathers, family, and friends compose the mother’s immediate and continuous support network. Social support includes community support – at the market place, within a religious context, at a neighborhood park, etc. Support during pregnancy reduces stress. Support during labour and birth empowers the mother. Societal support increases the mother’s confidence in her ability to breastfeed beyond the early weeks and months.” Can you expand a bit on what some of the unique challenges breastfeeding women and their babies face in your community? What is the reaction to breastfeeding women who feed in public? How is your group providing support?

As a La Leche League leader, I am able to observe the mothering styles from many different countries. Russians are less afraid of feeding in public than their American counterparts. Still, there is much to do in this field. Many Russian mothers are not willing to bring their babies into a public place at all. We are afraid of “infections” and, especially in the first weeks, of the “evil eye”. We’d rather ask for a home visit from a doctor or lactation consultant than come to an office or support group. BUT, it is gradually changing! I can see a difference after 8 years of working in the field. 

The challenges and need for support for breastfeeding support is universal. What has encouraged you in the last year when working with breastfeeding families? What are your hopes for the future?

My encouragement is my environment. With every year, I find more and more breastfeeding mothers offering their help to La Leche League. I have become acquainted with many highly-skilled professionals and I’ve met wonderful pediatricians, surgeons, general practitioners, and midwives, all of whom are well informed about supporting breastfeeding families. It is a pleasure to cooperate with them. This makes me very optimistic about the future of Russian babies!

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Care for a Virtual Cuppa? Australia’s first Online Breastfeeding Café launched.

Written by Maddy Knight

The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) has welcomed the newest addition to its stable of services for breastfeeding families, the Online Breastfeeding Café(OBC).

With so many blogs on the web about breastfeeding (ILCA’s Lactation Matters recently referred to BlogHer’s study where over 98% of respondents said they trusted the information they received on blogs), the Online Breastfeeding Café has been developed by the ABA as an online community where users can share, discover and chat with guaranteed reliable, up to date information.

The OBC also has families in mind. This means the inclusion of  an additional men’s parenting section and private, log-in only forum for Dads.

The new site was launched on behalf of NSW Minister for Health, the Hon. Jillian Skinner by State Member Roza Sage at Glenmore Park Child and Family (NSW real estate Australia) precinct on Tuesday 26 June. Also present at the launch were Cr Greg Davies, Mayor of Penrith and Todd Carney representing Federal Member the Hon. David Bradbury.

The Online Breastfeeding Café was three years in development and was designed with Generation Y parents in mind, knowing that for today’s families both mums and dads want to share in the breastfeeding and parenting journey.

“The OBC can help make sure mother’s and fathers both have a place to go to ask and share about their experiences. It really helps them to parent from the same page” says Nicole Bridges, Australian Breastfeeding Association Assistant Branch President.

“These days dads aren’t passive breastfeeding supporters, they want to know what’s going on and how they can help and support mum in any way they can. If she’s happy then the whole family is happy.”

The Online Breastfeeding Café features many of the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s reliable resources and information, but packaged in a new, vibrant and easy to use website that compliments its existing website.

The concept of the breastfeeding café as a physical venue first took off in the UK a couple of years ago. The OBC is the first attempt to take the concept of a comfortable, relaxed place to share and chat about breastfeeding and turn it into an online community.

A café theme runs through the website, with areas such as The Breastfeeding Couch, full of great tips, latest articles and breastfeeding videos; a dad’s-own section of the website aptly titled Dad’s Espresso Bar; great stories and inspiration in A Cuppa and a Read, as well as a long list of popular tools such as finding your local breastfeeding-friendly café.

More features of the Online Breastfeeding Café:

  • Most asked breastfeeding questions, and tips on making breastfeeding easier.
  • How to find your local breastfeeding class or breastfeeding-friendly café or lactation products.
  • Information on breastfeeding and returning to work.
  • The latest breastfeeding articles from the ABA and other trusted sources.
  • Great forums to get involved in, including a general/mum’s forum and completely private Dad’s forum.
  • In “Dad’s Espresso Bar”, a new father can find some practical ways to develop his own special unique bond with his baby even though mum does the breastfeeding. He can also chat with other dads in a private forum about some of the unique concerns of fathers.

The Online Breastfeeding Café also has forums that are fully mobile (containing every post) so you can take it with you and have a virtual cuppa and chat with other parents, all while you enjoy your latte at your local breastfeeding-friendly café.

We would love new mothers (and dads) to know all about this great new online community.

Log in today at www.onlinebreastfeedingcafe.com.au or contact the community manager@onlinebreastfeedingcafe.com.au for more information.

Maddy Knight is Project Director of the Online Breastfeeding Café. She is an experienced journalist, media advisor, publicist and graphic designer and has worked extensively with non-profit organisations including the Australian Breastfeeding Association. The Online Breastfeeding Café was her brainchild for which she developed the website plan and layout, edited and wrote much of the content and even designed the logo and slogan. She spends her spare time singing and writing her blog Bondi Sourdough 101. She lives in Bondi Beach with her husband and cat, Luna.

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How can we best support mothers to reach their breastfeeding goals?

Written by Jennie Bever Babendure, PhD, IBCLC

Photo via laurabl @ Flickr

Despite the recent media attention on toddler breastfeeding, a majority of women in the US and many other countries struggle to reach even 6 months of breastfeeding. To help mothers reach their breastfeeding goals, researchers have long created and studied support interventions. On May 16th, a review and meta-analysis was released by the Cochrane Collaboration looking at breastfeeding support interventions at the highest tier of evidence, randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials. The study, “Support for healthy breastfeeding mothers with healthy term babies” focused on the effectiveness of 52 postnatal support interventions from 21 countries between 1979 and 2011 looking at primary outcomes of breastfeeding duration and exclusivity in healthy full term babies born to healthy mothers. 1

While some of their findings came as no surprise, others are very telling for the future of our efforts to increase breastfeeding duration and exclusivity all over the world.

What we might have expected:

1. Taken as a whole, support interventions reduced the number of women who stopped breastfeeding before 6 months and reduced the number of women who were no longer breastfeeding exclusively at 4-6 weeks and at 6 months.

2. Face to face support was more effective than telephone support

What we might not expect:

3. Support interventions were more effective in populations in which breastfeeding initiation was high.

Support is more effective when women are already motivated to breastfeed.

4. Lay support was more or as effective as professional support in reducing breastfeeding
cessation.

As the most common reason mothers cite for stopping breastfeeding is the perception of not enough milk, encouragement and education from a peer counselor, community health worker, or other lay supporter can be exactly what a mother needs to reach her goals.

Most significantly, the study found that:

5. Interventions in which mothers had to ask for support, travel a distance to access
support, and in which only one interaction was provided were NOT effective at increasing
breastfeeding duration and exclusivity.

The review goes on to conclude that “Support that is only offered if women seek help is unlikely to be effective. This indicates that women should be offered predictable, scheduled, ongoing visits.” For most countries, providing this type of proactive support to all mothers would require systematic change. Most of the reviewed studies provided support by home visits or telephone calls to mothers soon after birth and continuing for many weeks postpartum. Home visits by lactation consultants, nurses, midwives, and peer counselors have demonstrated positive results, as has an intervention to incorporate lactation consultations into the regular pediatric office visits. For a more in-depth discussion of the need for proactive support, see my most recent post at www.breastfeedingscience.com.

Based on the above findings it is clear that if we are to create systematic, sustainable impacts on how mothers feed their children, we need to think about how ongoing proactive support for breastfeeding mothers can best tie into our existing culture. Given the recent movement towards sustainability and health, our community has an opportunity to put forth a unified front and effect change to ensure that routine lactation support is as normal as a pediatric check-up.

The 203 page study is freely accessible in its entirety here.

1. Renfrew MJ, McCormick FM, Wade A, Quinn B, Dowswell T. Support for healthy breastfeeding mothers with healthy term babies. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012; 5.

Editor’s Note:  Please take the opportunity to read Jennie’s companion post to this one on her blog. In it, she highlights how formula companies have figured out how to make their product available to mothers in the ways mentioned above and makes suggestions for ways that lactation professionals could change their thinking on such matters.

Jennie Bever Babendure, PhD, IBCLC

I am a mother of 2 active boys and an Assistant Research Professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University. As breastfeeding researcher, I am constantly scanning the literature for articles that guide my research and inform my clinical practice. One of my goals is to increase the evidence base of our profession as lactation consultants. I feel it is important for lactation professionals to be aware of and contribute to breastfeeding research, especially when so much of it is fascinating! As an ongoing contributor to Lactation Matters, it is my hope that you will find the articles I highlight as interesting and informative as I do, and that you will use them to guide you in the important work of lactation professionals and breastfeeding advocates.

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Thank You!

The editorial staff of Lactation Matters and ILCA would like to take a moment to thank you.  Our first week in the blogosphere has been tremendous, full of excitement and new challenges.  We are sincerely grateful for the outpouring of support that we have received with the launch of this blog.  In one week we had over 2,000 visits and a number of wonderful commenters encouraging us along.  This blog has been created for all of you, to create an ongoing source of community and support for our fellow LC’s.

At times it can be hard to remember how small the world really is, and how connected we are.  While the facilities that we practice at may be different, we are all working towards the same mission.  Our goal with Lactation Matters is create a safe and informative place that LC’s can gather and never feel alone in their profession again.

Quite an ambitious goal that we’ve set for ourselves, to ensure that this blog stays current and meeting your needs we want to encourage you to submit questions, comments, suggestions, and thoughts to lactationmatters@gmail.com.  This blog is your blog and we want to make sure that Lactation Consultants and healthcare professionals working with breastfeeding mothers around the world are having their voices heard.  Stand as one, be united, and let us know what is happening in your own community.

We look forward to what the future holds for our ‘baby’ blog and watching how all of you connect and interact with us.

Again, thank you for subscribing, reading, and sharing. Stay tuned for some exciting posts next week and a poll coming your way this Friday!

Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC, Lactation Matters Editor

Decalie Brown, RN, CM, CFHN, IBCLC, ILCA Director of Marketing

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