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ILCA Conference Highlights – SATURDAY

Saturday at the ILCA 2013 Conference was the day for MOVING & GROOVING!  Attendees got their early morning exercise with a bit of “shift and squish” with Pat Martens, as she explained both the techniques of quality research as well as the incredible body of evidence that supports breastfeeding. Her talk was followed by the “ever energetic” Liz Brooks who entertained and educated us all on how to ethically and thoughtfully support today’s modern family. Morning tea with poster presentations, a 2nd amazing plenary with Dr. Howard Chilton, and a fantastic boxed lunch rounded out the early part of the day. The remainder of the day was spent in a wide variety of concurrent sessions on a number of exciting topics.

We were also able to celebrate with the presentation of the inaugural Patricia Martens Award for Excellence in Breastfeeding Research, award by the Journal of Human Lactation, to none other than…(drum roll, please)…Patricia Martens! Dr. Anne Merewood gave an inspiring insight into the impact that Dr. Martens has had on the work that we all do with mothers and baby. Congratulations, Patricia Martens!

No matter where you are in the world, you can be a part of the action but using the #ilca2013 hashtag on Twitter or you can follow the live Twitter stream HERE.


ILCA Conference Highlights – FRIDAY

Dr. Nils Bergman

Dr. Nils Bergman

What a fantastic day! We began our morning with the annual Parade of Flags and a traditional aboriginal welcome from a representative of Warundjeri Council. She is the youngest of 16 children and said “there was a lot of breastfeeding going on in our home”! We were also treated to research, thoughts, and hilarious moments with Nils Bergman, who shared of the neuroscience of birth and breastfeeding, Linda Smith who wowed (and frightened) us about how current birth practices dramatically impact breastfeeding, and Howard Chilton who encouraged us to think about how we feed infants and the impact it has on their future health and risk for obesity.

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4 ILCA Presidents, past and present: Liz Brooks, Cathy Carothers, Sallie Page-Goetz, and Jan Barger

After a very flavorful lunch, it was on to a full afternoon and early evening of concurrent sessions. It was exciting to hear conversations in the hallways of all the wonderful information being learned. We even got to catch up with some great groups of people in conversation, including four ILCA presidents, both past and current, all in one place!

No matter where you are in the world, you can be a part of the action but using the #ilca2013 hashtag on Twitter or you can follow the live Twitter stream HERE.


ILCA Conference Highlights – THURSDAY

ILCA Speaker Cathy Carothers

ILCA Speaker Cathy Carothers

ILCA’s 2013 Conference kicked off in a big way on Thursday, July 25th with 5 tracks of workshops highlighting communication techniques, research, clinical practice, professional practice, and clinical skills. At break times, attendees were abuzz with new information, new ways of connecting with breastfeeding families, and new ideas to take home. Speakers such as Cathy Carothers, Nils Bergman, Liz Brooks, and Linda Smith helped keep us all on the edges of our seats.

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Our new friend, Matilda the Koala

The day concluded with a fantastic President’s Social and the opening of our exhibition hall. The highlight for everyone was the visiting zoo which included a koala, black-headed python, tawny frogmouth, blue penguin, and a wallaby. No matter where you are in the world, you can be a part of the action but using the #ilca2013 hashtag on Twitter or you can follow the live Twitter stream HERE.


ILCA Conference Speaker Highlight: Linda Smith

During the weeks leading up to the 2013 ILCA Conference, we have been highlighting a number of conference speakers.  As we wrap up this feature, we’re eagerly anticipating the start of our 2013 Conference!

We are so pleased to have Linda Smith as one of the speakers at our conference in Melbourne in just a few short days!

linda_smithLinda J. Smith, MPH, FACCE, IBCLC, FILCA is a lactation consultant, childbirth educator, author, and internationally-known consultant on breastfeeding and birthing issues. Linda is ILCA’s liaison to the World Health Organization’s Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and consultant to INFACT Canada/IBFAN North America.  As a former La Leche League Leader and Lamaze-certified Childbirth Educator, she provided education and support to diverse families over 35 years in 9 cities in the USA and Canada. Linda has worked in a 3-hospital system in Texas, a public health agency in Virginia, and served as Breastfeeding coordinator for the Ohio Department of Health. Linda was a founder of IBLCE, founder and past board member of ILCA, and is a delegate to the United States Breastfeeding Committee from the American Breastfeeding Institute. Linda earned her Masters Degree in Public Health through the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University in 2011. She owns the Bright Future Lactation Resource Center, whose mission is “Supporting the People who Support Breastfeeding” with lactation education programs, consulting services, and educational resources.

On Friday, July 26th, at 10:15am, Linda will be presenting a plenary session at this year’s conference entitled “Impact of Birth Practices on Breastfeeding: 2013 Update”. This vital session will help us to understand how lactation is tied to what happens during a family’s birth.

In addition, she will be presenting three additional sessions, sharing from her wealth of knowledge and experience. Plan now to attend the following sessions:

Clinical Best Practice Workshop on Thursday, July 25

  • 1:00pm: Physics and Forces: When Counseling Skills, Better Positioning and Latch, and the Usual Tricks are Not Enough
  • 3:30pm: Sabotage by Another Name: Policies, Practices, and Attitudes that Keep Mothers and Babies Apart

Concurrent Session on Saturday, July 27

  • 4:15pm: Perinatal Lyme Disease: What we know and what we don’t know

For more information about our upcoming conference and to register, please visit the Conference Page on our website.


ILCA Conference Speaker Highlight: Howard L. Sobel

During the weeks leading up to the 2013 ILCA Conference, we will be highlighting a number of conference speakers.  Watch this space every Thursday for more profiles.

howard_sobelWe are so pleased to have Dr. Howard L. Sobel as one of the speakers at our conference in Melbourne in just a few short weeks.

Howard L. Sobel, MD, MPH, MS is the Team Leader of the Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition (MCN), World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Western Pacific.  His field of expertise includes public health, clinical, and preventive medicine.

On Sunday, July 28th, at 10:45am, Dr. Sobel will be presenting a plenary session at this year’s conference entitled “The First Embrace: Action Plan for Healthy Newborns in the Western Pacific Region”. This session will focus on the importance of Early Essential Newborn Care (EENC).

In addition, he will be presenting the following concurrent session:

Concurrent Session on Saturday, July 27

  • 4:15pm: David versus Goliath: Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding in Six Asia-Pacific Countries.

For more information about our upcoming conference and to register, please visit the Conference Page on our website.


ILCA Conference Speaker Highlight: Lisa Jackson Pulver

During the weeks leading up to the 2013 ILCA Conference, we will be highlighting a number of conference speakers.  Watch this space every Thursday for more profiles.

lisajacksonpulver-jpgWe are so pleased to have Lisa Jackson Pulver as one of the speakers at our conference in Melbourne in just a few short weeks.

Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver holds the Inaugural Chair of Indigenous Health, is Professor of Public Health and Director of Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit at UNSW. She is also a Wing Commander in the RAAF Specialist Reserve, an Adjunct Professor at UC and in 2011 was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). As an Aboriginal woman, Lisa is acutely aware of the lack of data or development and use of appropriate methodologies to identify underlying issues affecting the health for Aboriginal people. Along with her colleagues at Muru Marri, Lisa is working to provide that data. She is a member of a number of committees and working groups, including the Scientific Resource Group on Equity and Health Analysis and Research, World Health Organization; the Advisory Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics (AGATSIS), the Australian Health Survey Reference Group at the Australian Bureau of Statistics and is a current member of the Australian Statistical Advisory Council. She is Deputy Chairperson for AHMAC’s National Advisory Group Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Information and Data (NAGATSIHID). Lisa is a member of the Lowitja Institute, serves on the Board of her Medicare Local and is the co-founder of the Shalom Gamarada Scholarship Program, responsible for enabling over 55 students to receive a residential scholarship on campus at UNSW.

On Sunday, July 28th, at 3:45pm, she will be presenting a plenary session at this year’s conference entitled “Aboriginal Health in Modern Australia: Where Breastfeeding Hits the Wall”. Don’t miss this important session!

In addition, she will be presenting:

Concurrent Session on Saturday, July 27

  • 2:00pm:  A Time of Thought and Translation: “A Perspective.”

For more information about our upcoming conference and to register, please visit the Conference Page on our website.


ILCA Conference Speaker Highlight: Patricia Martens

During the weeks leading up to the 2013 ILCA Conference, we will be highlighting a number of conference speakers.  Watch this space every Thursday for more profiles.

pat_martensWe are so pleased to have Dr. Patricia Martens as one of the speakers at our conference in Melbourne in just a few short weeks.

Dr. Martens is a Professor in University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine, the Director of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, and IBCLC since 1987 (designated Fellow of ILCA in 2011). Patricia has spoken over 300 times in the last decade, and published over 200 articles.  She co-edited the 2nd and 3rd editions of ILCA’s Core Curriculum, writing the chapter on statistics and research design.  She enjoys making statistics and epidemiology relevant to healthcare providers.

On Saturday, July 27th, at 8:00am, Dr. Martens will be presenting a plenary session at this year’s conference entitled “Breastfeeding: A Public Health Imperative”. This session will focus on the population and public health perspectives of breastfeeding promotion, protection and support.

In addition, she will be presenting a workshop session, sharing from her wealth of knowledge and experience. Plan now to attend the following session:

Research Workshop on Thursday, July 25

  • 2:00pm: Taking the Mystery out of Planning Research Studies

For more information about our upcoming conference and to register, please visit the Conference Page on our website.


Melbourne 101: Everything You Need to Know to Fall in Love with our 2013 ILCA Conference City!

By Iona Macnab, BA(Hons), LLB, IBCLC


Melbourne – where to start?! On the banks of the Yarra River, of course – where for 30,000 years the Wurundjeri tribe (part of the Kulin nation) knew the river as Birrarrung, the “Place of Mists and Shadows”. The Yarra River appears to flow upside down (you’ll see why when you get here), and has always been an important focal point for the city of Melbourne. When white settlers arrived on the riverbank in 1835, John Batman famously declared: “This will be the place for a village”. The Immigration museum now stands on the place where he landed. Melbourne grew rapidly with the influx of people hoping for good fortune in the Gold Rush of the 1850s, and by the 1880s was known as Marvellous Melbourne. Investments were made into the wide street grid and the grand architecture of Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD); the Town Hall, banks, churches and the iconic main rail terminus at Flinders Street all still stand as a reminder of those affluent days and add a distinct European charm to Melbourne. You can find a fascinating piece of old Melbourne footage by clicking HERE.

Photo by edwin.11 via Flick Creative Commons

Photo by edwin.11 via Flick Creative Commons

The trams running through the middle of Melbourne’s central business district streets still serve the community as a major and much loved mode of transport. One tram is the free circle tram, which travels around the outer rim of the CBD, and anyone can hop on and off anytime. It provides a great way to enjoy a brief glimpse of the city for the time-limited lactation consultant! Melbourne’s cultural life maintains a riverside focus – the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the Arts Centre with concert halls and theatres, Federation Square, and Flinders Street Station are all a stone’s throw away from Batman’s original landing point. Federation Square offers Qigong for everyone on Fridays at 8am! The NGV is hosting its annual Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition and this year ILCA delegates will be able to enjoy Monet’s Garden from The Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris. Close by, ACMI Moving Image Museum has an exhibition of Hollywood film costumes. The great expanse of the Royal Botanic Gardens and its running track “The Tan” are all within easy reach for fitness enthusiasts.


Photo by Karthick R via Flickr Creative Commons

One of my favorite places along the Yarra river bank is the quaint congregation of rowing sheds including the historic Melbourne University Boat House built in 1909, home to Melbourne University Boat Club, the oldest rowing club in Australia. Every morning and evening the river comes alive with rowers in eights, fours and sculls – seeing them always brings back memories for me of my university rowing days, passing under Melbourne’s many beautiful bridges, rowing with freezing, blistered hands at 5:30am during winter training!

Photo via WikiMedia

Photo via WikiMedia

The 2013 ILCA conference in the Convention Centre is but a short paddle downstream from the boatsheds, alongside the Southbank River Promenade lined with a myriad of bustling cafés and restaurants, most with outdoor heating – perfect for Melbourne’s crisp sunny winter days. Trying your luck in Crown Casino may have a certain appeal, but for crafty IBCLCs, the Convention Centre is also hosting a massive craft fair the same weekend as ILCA and you may be able to squeeze some beautiful Aussie yarns into your suitcase.

Photo by ultrakmi via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by ultrakmi via Flickr Creative Commons

Melbourne is considered a city for foodies. You will not leave hungry. In fact you may even gain a few happy pounds with the diversity of food available and the café culture we have going here. Local coffee shops even cater for toddlers, with “baby chinos”: frothy milk in a small cup to match mum’s real cappuccino or latte. A short tram ride to the bustling Queen Victoria Market is a feast for the senses, with traditional delicatessens mixed with rows and rows of fresh produce. Sunday markets are also full of Australiana for those looking for sheepskin boots or Melbourne T shirts as souvenirs. The market also has the best fresh jam doughnuts sold from the original 1950’s van!


Photo by Luke Dirkin via Flick Creative Commons

Melbourne is the birthplace of Australian Rules football. A rough and tumble game with rules that mystify visitors and goalkeepers who have a unique sign language, for the sports connoisseur it’s worth going along to the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (the MCG) to hear the enthusiastic crowds “barracking” for their teams. Collingwood is a particularly popular team, and they are playing at the MCG on the last weekend of July. You can combine an MCG tour of the stadium and its history with a match and a visit to the National Sports Museum.

Photo by fk-foto via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by fk-foto via Flickr Creative Commons

If you are making a big Aussie adventure of your trip to ILCA 2013, you might have time for a trip down the Great Ocean Road to see the 12 Apostles, impressive rock stacks down the coast, featured on almost every Australian calendar! Winery tours abound with plenty of opportunities to taste a few good drops, but no trip is really complete without seeing koalas and kangaroos – Healesville Sanctuary, or closer to the city, the Royal Melbourne Zoo are the must-visit places for wildlife.

Photo by JohnvW via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by JohnvW via Flickr Creative Commons

For fans of the long-running TV drama show “Neighbours” , you can also take a Ramsay Street tour to see the set. If, however, shopping is how you best spend your free time, then jump on the free shuttle bus from the city to Chadstone, the biggest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere! Or stay close to the Convention centre with a visit to the DFO Outlet Mall right next door! Bourke St Mall in the centre of Melbourne has the famous department stores Myer and David Jones. Aussies have immortalized Myers in the expression “he has more front than Myers!” (meaning someone is overly forward), perhaps in a nod to the expanse of Myer windows which host novel Christmas displays each year. Buskers are often found in the Bourke St Mall which is closed to car traffic, but beware of the trams passing through!

While ILCA is the BEST reason to come to visit Melbourne in winter, there is certainly no shortage of other things to do and see while you are here. The journey may be long, but the friendly welcome that awaits, the great food, sights and memories will be amazing. Make that once-in-a-lifetime trip, come down under, hang out with your distant IBCLC cousins and go home enriched and refreshed! No worries mate, it’s all good!

Iona Macnab BA(Hons) LLB IBCLC Lactation consultant in private practice, co-founder of the iLactation and iMothering online conferences, and owner of Feed Baby Sleep®, an exclusively skype-based lactation practice. Iona will be presenting on her skype experiences at ILCA 2013 on Friday July 26 th.


What Are Your Educational Needs as an ILCA Member?

By Judi Lauwers, BA, IBCLC, FILCA, ILCA Education Coordinator

7220_159273157696_4699634_nAs the IBCLCs’ professional association, ILCA provides a wide array of services and resources related to education. Information about these resources is available on ILCA’s website. ILCA recently sent a survey asking members about a variety of preferences and priorities. We are taking this opportunity to also ask what matters most to YOU in the area of education.

What do you need that ILCA does not already provide?

What does ILCA provide that is most important to you?

Here is what ILCA provides to its members. Click on the headings for more information:

Core Curriculum: Perhaps the most important resource is the Core Curriculum for Lactation Consultant Practice. This pivotal resource was developed by over 45 educators, long-time ILCA members and other professionals. The third edition was recently released and is available in the ILCA Store. The text is the ultimate reference for anyone working with breastfeeding families. Educators use it to develop and update course content. Students use it to prepare for the certification exam. Clinicians refer to it as issues arise in their day-to-day work with mothers and babies. Policy makers use it to guide policy development.

Webinars: ILCA began offering live webinars in 2011 and they have become very popular. Until the end of June 2013, attendance at all live webinars is FREE. Attendees who wish to receive continuing education credit can purchase the recorded session and complete the continuing education process.

CERPs onDemand: When is the last time you visited ILCA’s CERPs onDemand site? There are over 80 online continuing education opportunities through recorded webinars, conference sessions, and study modules from the Journal of Human Lactation. Study modules in the journal can also be completed by paper and mailed to the ILCA office. ILCA produced an online study module on the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. We also have two study modules to compliment the Clinical Guidelines for the Establishment of Exclusive Breastfeeding (covering Strategies 1-10 and 11-20). Watch for a new edition to be released soon!

Conference: We can’t forget ILCA’s premier continuing education activity, our annual conference! The 2013 conference will be July 25-28 in Melbourne, Australia. Then back to the U.S. in 2014 for a conference in Phoenix, Arizona – one of the most popular venues for past ILCA conferences. Any ILCA members who would like to serve on the Conference Program Committee is encouraged to apply.

Educators: Educators can find links on a special Educator page to resources for curriculum development and clinical instruction.

Students: Students can find information on a special Student page for resources on recommended reading, selecting a course and how to prepare for the profession. ILCA’s Directory of Course Providers and Clinical Instruction Directory help students find sources for their education.

Committees: ILCA’s Education Committee and Clinical Instruction Subcommittee address a variety of education-related issues in the profession. Any ILCA member who would like to serve on one of these is encouraged to apply.

Resources: ILCA’s member newsletter, the eGlobe, posts Multi-Media Reviews and Teaching Tips for educators. A variety of other resources can be downloaded from the ILCA website.

We would like to hear from you!

Are there resources you need that ILCA doesn’t provide? Are there resources you think ILCA should discontinue? Which resources are most important to you?

Are you an ILCA member and interested in helping with education projects? Please send your comments and questions to


What We LOVE About Australia!

The exciting news is that the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) is headed DOWN UNDER to Melbourne, Australia for its 28th Annual Conference in July 2013.

The conference is July 25-28 2013 and Lactation Matters, over the next months, will give you a taste of what’s in store for you as you travel to the jam-packed 4 day conference. We will share some local knowledge to make sure you get the best value for the time you have in Australia.

You can start preparing, even now by:

  • SAVE YOUR MONEY. Begin planning who you will travel with, how long you will stay, and what your budget will be.
  • Request time off from your employer.
  • Begin talking with travel agents or researching airfares and hotel arrangements.
  • Remember that our conference will be during Australia’s winter so prepare your wardrobe…and don’t forget, the beaches are only a short flight away!

We did a quick poll of some of ILCA’s Board of Directors about what they love most about Australia and Australians.

Some of their responses might be identical to yours!

  • Australians have really cool accents.
  • They have nerves of steel, given all the poisonous flora and fauna found only on their continent.
  • Melbourne is a destination location for coffee lovers.
  • They aren’t offended when you ask about their ancestors’ criminal past! Because of the culture’s convict history, they aren’t easily fooled.
  • They make fantastic movies! *
  • We love Australian’s direct approach, frankness and relaxed attitude.
  • The country’s indigenous culture and amazing ancient rock carvings are spectacular.
  • Australian wines (especially Tasmanian Point Noir)!
  • The fun ways they use the English language and unique phrases like saying that something going “down the gurgler”.
  • The fact that their toilets flush in the opposite direction!
  • They love to have fun all the time!

Make your plans now to join us in July!

* Editor’s Note – We encourage those travelling to Australia to check out the movie “The Sapphires”. Ian Heads (spouse of Joy Heads, ILCA’s Director of Global Outreach, who hails from Australia) says, “Based on the real events first captured in a hit stage play, The Sapphires might just be the “feel good’ movie of the year”. It is a genuine Aussie yarn, telling the story of four Aboriginal girls who got together to form a singing group in country Australia in 1968 – and ended up going to Vietnam to entertain the troops. The film is sassy, bright, breezy and often hilarious – and the music is toe-tappingly wonderful. The Sapphires doesn’t dodge serious issues of the time – but you’ll come out with spirits uplifted, having been mightily entertained.”



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