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IBCLC Care Award – Community Health Agencies Apply Now!

careaward

The IBCLC Community Care Award is back again. We are proud to open the application process for our second year on February 3.

Is your Community Health Agency eligible?

If your community-based health agency currently staffs one or more International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLC), check the criteria today and see whether you are eligible to apply online to become a recognized IBCLC Community Care Award agency and be included in the IBCLC Care Directory.

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) developed this IBCLC Care Award to recognize and promote facilities that hire and employ those who are IBCLCs as part of their commitment to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. You can apply in two easy steps:

  1. Apply online from February 3 through March 21, 2014.
  2. Pay a nominal fee by either check or credit card.

A formal review will be completed by IBLCE & ILCA by mid-May (2014) and the announcement of approved agencies by May 30, 2014.

IBCLC Community Care Award Criteria are:

  • Have one or more dedicated lactation support positions with IBCLC as the required credential and have a dedicated lactation program available at least 2-5 days a week.
  • Provide a description of how the agency/program/clinic/office promotes, protects and supports breastfeeding.
  • Provide documentation which includes a description of a project started in the last two years (January 2012 to January 2014) that promotes, protects and supports breastfeeding and/or the IBCLC certification.

Don’t delay! This prestigious IBCLC Care Award requires only a nominal administration fee and application forms are online. For more information on the criteria, documentation and how to apply, visit the IBCLC Care Award website.

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Community Based Agencies Now Eligible for IBCLC Care Award

We are proud to announce…

We are now expanding the

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) Care Award

to include Community Based Agencies.

Prolacter2

Photo used wtih permission from Prolacter, a community based organization providing breastfeeding care by an IBCLC in Mexico.

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and the International Lactation Consultant Association™ (ILCA™) developed this IBCLC Care Award to recognize and promote facilities that hire and employ those who are an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) as part of their commitment to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

The IBCLC Care Award program is expanding now to include Community-Based Health Agencies that currently staff those certified as an IBCLC! Agencies will be able to apply online to become a recognized IBCLC Care Award agency and be included in the IBCLC Care Directory.

Back in 2010, we began accepting our first applications for the hospital program and now, just three years later, it’s been so successful that we are expanding the annual IBCLC Care Award to include those agencies in the community setting whose staff includes those who are certified as an IBCLC . To date, the number of hospital applications received annually has been staggering and definitely has exceeded everyone’s expectations giving us all the more reason to expand the award in 2013 to include the Community Agencies.

This Community Based award application process for this year is NOW OPEN and will be closing on the March 22, 2013. Successful agencies will be notified in May 2013.

Don’t delay! Have those certified as an IBCLC and your Community Agency globally recognized by receiving this award, to do this you should be able to use the products, here is how to use orogold products. This prestigious IBCLC Care Award requires only a nominal administration fee and application forms are online. For more information on the criteria, documentation and how to apply, visit the IBCLC Care Award website.

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A Response from Liz Brooks: Reaffirming the Mission and Vision of ILCA

By Liz Brooks, JD, IBCLC, ILCA President

“The IBCLC is the globally recognized professional authority in lactation.”

7220_159273157696_4699634_nThere it is … the Vision Statement for the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA). As the President of ILCA and an IBCLC in private practice, I am proud of this important strategic objective by my professional association.

So imagine my consternation to read an e-mail from one of ILCA’s members, who expressed concern about the Joint Stakeholder Letter recently sent worldwide as part of a multi-organizational effort to promote the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) credential and profession. Her primary concern: a message that IBCLCs are trying to keep other breastfeeding helpers from providing care to lactating women.

Oh, dear, I thought. That isn’t ILCA’s goal at all! How could our vision be misconstrued? Yet, it is not the first time I have heard about confusion over ILCA’s efforts to market the IBCLC credential.

So let me take a stab at explaining the motivation behind ILCA’s Vision and Mission, and the sending of the “Joint Stakeholder Letter” by ILCA (and co-signed by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiers, IBLCE, our certifying arm, and the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee, LEAARC, the organization promoting excellence in lactation education and curricula).

ILCA, IBLCE and LEAARC have never espoused the notion that only IBCLCs are able to provide support to breastfeeding families. Most mothers in the world do not even need the special skill and expertise that an IBCLC can bring to bear! Indeed, in a perfect world, every woman giving birth would be surrounded by female relatives, friends and neighbors — all of whom had happily and successfully breastfed their own children. Mother-to-mother connections have been going on since the dawn of time, and the simple feat of “learning by watching” and “teaching by doing” is the quintessential practice of breastfeeding support.

We are fortunate that modern medicine has allowed families — who otherwise would not have conceived or been able to fully lactate — to be able to bear children, and boost milk supply. Premature and sick babies are going home from the neonatal intensive care unit, to live full and fruitful lives. On the flip side, in our modern day world, women of child-bearing age (who comprise the greatest segment of the working population) often are not able to be with their breastfeeding children around-the-clock.

Situations such as these create tremendous challenges for lactating women. The demand for a specialty in the allied health care field was borne precisely from the recognition (by La Leche League Leaders) that some breastfeeding mothers need more than the loving, compassionate support of friends, relatives, and mother-to-mother counselors. And they recognized that primary healthcare providers (such as pediatricians, midwives and gynecologists) were not getting training or clinical rotation in lactation support during their own education.

The IBCLC is the only international credential in breastfeeding and human lactation, awarded by an independently-accredited organization. Those with the IBCLC credential are members of the health care team, who can help (and advocate for) mothers and babies with those higher-order challenges. It is a stand-alone credential, and the requirements for it to be awarded are substantial.

Distinguishing the IBCLC from other kinds of breastfeeding support is necessary, because we also know that there is tremendous confusion (by mothers, hospital administrators, and public health regulators) about “Who Is Who” in the field of lactation support. I just typed “get help sore nipples” into Google, and got 1,070,000 results. Options included sites for nipple creams and products, anonymous chat rooms, websites by medical professionals, websites by mother-to-mother groups, makers of baby products, etc. Imagine being the tired, sore, weepy mother, typing that phrase into her laptop at 3AM. Which site should she visit? What do all those initials mean?

Thus, ILCA (IBLCE and LEAARC) identified the need for promotion of the IBCLC credential and profession. Not to the exclusion of other kinds of helpers … but as the well-understood, stand-alone allied healthcare professional credential that it is. No one group of breastfeeding helpers (doctors, midwives, IBCLCs, peer counselors, mother-to-mother counselors, those who’ve acquired specialized short-term educational training) can “corner the market” on helping mothers. That is impossible. Does anyone think breastfeeding mothers have too much help and support?

But a corollary concept is: Each kind of breastfeeding support should be well and honestly marketed to the public — to the mothers, employers, hospital administrators and public health decision-makers who seek varying levels of expertise.

Every mother, everywhere, deserves to know what went into the education and training of the person who stands before her, offering support for breastfeeding.

For ILCA, marketing the IBCLC credential and profession is the cornerstone of its Strategic Plan, Vision and Mission. For ILCA, marketing our position paper The Role and Impact of the IBCLC is one way of making sure that mothers who need an IBCLC will recognize when they are getting an IBCLC. The Joint Stakeholder Letter — first proposed in March 2011 — is an effort by all three organizations who work on behalf of our profession (ILCA, the professional association; IBLCE, the credentialing arm; LEAARC, the education component) to jointly and publicly promote the IBCLC credential.

Perhaps to close I will state the obvious: Breastfeeding is the mammalian norm and our biologic imperative … which means the true breastfeeding “authorities” are mothers and their children! When expert help and advocacy is called for … when breastfeeding issues are morphing from mothering questions into healthcare concerns … then “The IBCLC is the globally recognized professional authority in lactation.” To quote U. S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, “Everyone can help make breastfeeding easier,” to create a supportive environment for mothers, babies and families.

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A Joint Letter to our Stakeholders

In a first-of-its-kind communication, on December 10, 2012 the

jointly sent a communication to nearly 100 stakeholder-organizations and policy-makers, worldwide, describing why the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is the essential credential for lactation support. Click here to read this important letter, and click here to view the recipients of this global communication.

7220_159273157696_4699634_nCentral to the revised Vision, Mission and Strategic Plan announced by ILCA in July 2012 is the promotion of the IBCLC credential and profession. ILCA, IBLCE and LEAARC are separate organizations, but each shares this strategic objective. The joint letter by ILCA-IBLCE-LEAARC is a tangible means of communicating to public health ministers, healthcare provider professional associations, and breastfeeding-support advocates the critical role the IBCLC can play as a member of the healthcare team.

Lactating women are everywhere, and almost all of them need support. Peer counselors, mother-to-mother groups, and healthcare providers who learned breastfeeding management from excellent educators can serve most mothers’ needs. But the IBCLC holds the essential credential for those families needing, instead, the specialized skill and expertise that IBCLC certification represents.

We encourage you, as an ILCA member, to share this letter with those who need to know more about your profession! You can download it from the ILCA website, along with a copy of the ILCA Position Paper on the Role and Impact of the IBCLC.

Sincerely, on behalf of the ILCA Board of Directors,

Liz Brooks JD IBCLC FILCA
President

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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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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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