Tag Archives | FILCA

Why ILCA Membership is Important to Me

 

By Robin Hollen, M.Ed., RN, IBCLC, RLC,  FILCA

Women of Achievement. picDear Breastfeeding Advocate,

You are passionate about breastfeeding and you’d like to help everyone reach their breastfeeding goals, all while learning all you can about this exciting field. BUT, joining ILCA just doesn’t seem to “fit” your goals and besides, you need that money for other things…

In 1987, I was exactly where you are, learning everything I could and attending the few breastfeeding conferences that existed. I participated in the Lactnet listserv when there were less than 100 people. I joined ILCA and, year after year, paid the dues and read the Journal of Human Lactation (JHL), went to some of the yearly conferences, got involved with a small ILCA committee, started a local affiliate group, and took my first board exam in 1991. ILCA kept me on my toes and my passion for breastfeeding never waned.

Fast forward to 2012 and I was a recipient of the Fellow of ILCA designation. This program recognizes significant professional achievements of the leaders and mentors in the field of lactation consultancy. By then, four children were young adults and I had the opportunity to build a private practice and work per-diem at a local hospital. The hospital caught wind of the FELLOW and INTERNATIONAL parts of the designation and the work I had done in the field to make it possible. The hospital celebrated it by submitting my name for the Nevada Women of Achievement, a recognition that was primarily given in the business world, saluting women for their unique and significant contributions in both professional and personal realms. The honoree has to have dedicated valuable time to enrich their community.

As I was honored in front of 1,100 business men and women, I was proud to be announced as a Lactation Consultant! What a way to get the word out about breastfeeding…and it all started with the passion, just like YOURS, and by being an ongoing member of ILCA.

About Robin:  After the birth of her first son, Robin’s passion for mothers and babies was nourished and nurtured.  She sat for certification as an IBCLC while pregnant with her fourth child in 1991, becoming the first person in the State of Nevada to hold this credential. She had the opportunity to participate in a variety of clinical settings throughout her career and develop Lactation coalitions and affiliates.

As well as the sole proprietor for Starfish Lactation, Robin is also employed as a Lactation Consultant at Renown Regional Medical Center and Nevada State WIC. She volunteers to mentor those passionate about the field of Lactation and provides inestimable volunteer hours each month supporting moms who are breastfeeding.  

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Becoming a FILCA: Part Two

In Becoming a FILCA: Part Two, Joy Heads shares her story.  Don’t miss Kathy Parkes reflecting on her designation as FILCA in Becoming a FILCA: Part One.

Joy Heads RM; CM, MHPEd, IBCLC, FILCA ILCA

BOD Global Outreach 2011-2014

Joy Heads describes being a FILCA as, “It’s important to be a Fellow of ILCA, as  ‘Fellowship’ is defined by the Encarta World English Dictionary (1999) as ‘a member of a learned or scientific society’. Professional organizations created the Fellowship as a formal way of recognizing a colleague’s contribution to their chosen profession. ILCA, as a relatively new professional organization, achieved this developmental goal in 2007, when it established the Fellow of ILCA. This designation would suitably recognize significant professional achievements of the leaders and mentors in the field of lactation consultancy.

Many IBCLCs contribute to their profession, not only by being a member but also by working on the various committees ILCA and its affiliates have. This may be, for example, on an Affiliate Board or part of ILCA’s Conference committee. Mentoring, lecturing, being an ILCA liaison or slogging it out at the coalface are all ways of promoting the profession of IBCLCs and their professional body, ILCA.

I wanted to be a Fellow of ILCA, because being a Fellow of ILCA recognizes proven commitment to ILCA which I am proud to have as my professional organization. The fact that it is self-nominated and self-funded appealed to me. I felt that I would be making an extra contribution to ILCA and in addition, if successful, I would be able to enthusiastically promote ILCA as THE experts in Human Lactation.

Within Australia, as in other countries we ‘compete’ – if that is the right word – with midwives. It is often difficult to present the Lactation Consultant as having an extended role in the mother/baby relationship. You have to remind everyone that midwifery care only covers the postpartum period of about six weeks. (International Confederation of Midwives 2005) where as the IBCLC can care for women for as long as they are breastfeeding – which in many cases is well beyond the second year of life.

Being accepted as a Fellow of your professional association is an amazing honor. You have to meet independently-set criteria that you know is objective. It was a real challenge to fill in the application form. I have been an IBCLC and an ILCA member since 1986 so digging back into my files/my life to document it was very empowering and proved to me that I had made the right choices along the way.

Breastfeeding became my passion when feeding my twins. Involvement in the Australian Breastfeeding Association and the Australia Multiple Birth Association followed. Once back at work and starting university for the first time the choices of teaching topics, electives and assignments revolved around my expertise… breastfeeding. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the lecturers didn’t compare notes – so I could use a breastfeeding angle in every assignment.

My first job as a nurse educator was to teach the “Bottle Feeding Demonstration” to the student midwives….. …that soon was replaced.  Over time, my professional life serendipitously fell into place to enable me to meet the established criteria and achieve my FILCA designation in 2008. Along with my Order of Australia Medal and my Masters being a FILCA is one of the highlights of my professional life.

All eligible ILCA members are encouraged to submit their application to permit this wonderful recognition as a Fellow of ILCA (FILCA).   Any questions, contact the ILCA office info@ilca.org.

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Becoming a FILCA: Part One

Become a Fellow of ILCA! Applications for this year are closing soon!

The deadline for applications for the 2012 Fellow of the International Lactation Consultant Association (FILCA) are about to close on December31, 2011.  This is a self-nominated, self-funded designation recognizing ILCA members who have achieved a high level of commitment to ILCA and to professionalism in the field of lactation consulting.

The application information for 2012 can be found on the FILCA webpage of ILCA’s website.  A “Fellow” of ILCA (FILCA) has achieved a high level of professionalism, demonstrated by meeting independently-set criteria, and will be permitted to attain this universal form of recognition. There is an application form, a fee to pay and once the Fellow of ILCA (FILCA) designation is achieved, membership is maintained by paying a small annual fee.

All eligible ILCA members are encouraged to submit their application to permit this wonderful recognition as a Fellow of ILCA (FILCA).  Any questions, contact the ILCA office info@ilca.org.

We have asked two of our Fellows of ILCA to give us some idea on what FILCA means to them.

Kathy Parkes, BSPsy, RN, IBCLC, RLC, FILCA

ILCA Treasurer, 2011-2014

Firstly, FILCA is an official recognition of your hard work. Have you spent years volunteering in your area affiliate group? Then moved on to work even harder and longer in your state affiliate? Have you mentored other up-and-coming lactation consultants, even though you know you have to put in many extra hours? Have you slaved away at the computer to write a book on lactation? You deserve recognition for all that time, dedication, love, effort, and work you put into your volunteer hours.

Secondly, being a FILCA is networking. You will be in a classification with other top-notch lactation consultants. Those with whom you can discuss situations and case studies, as well as practice guidelines, protocols, and situations about which you might be unsure.

Third, you are being a mentor. You are paving the way for new IBCLCs who will follow after you, in your footsteps, looking to you to share that knowledge with them. You are someone else’s mentor, the one they go to when they need to know how to solve a lactation problem, a hospital policy situation, or a private practice challenge.

And fourth, but certainly not last, being a FILCA is FUN. You can impress your favorite doctor with the new credential. You can meet other FILCAs and find out what they do that is totally outside of the realm of lactation. You get to eat lunch together at the annual ILCA conference.

So join us. Become a FILCA!

In Part Two, find out what being a FILCA means to Joy Heads.

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