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NOW is the Time! Registration Open for 2015 Membership

ILCA Membership BLOG HEADER (1)

Today is the day!

Registration is now open for 2015 membership with ILCA. 

Join Now

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ILCA is committed to world health transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care. It is our highest priority to promote the professional development, advancement, and recognition of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLC®) WORLDWIDE for the benefit of breastfeeding infants and their families.

We encourage all ILCA members to also join their regional or national affiliates.

ILCA Offers You MORE in 2015!

The new membership package for 2015 includes benefits that allow you to:

Join or Renew Now!

If you are new to ILCA and are joining for the first time, you can receive up to 3 months FREE by joining as soon as possible. As soon as you join, you will have full access to all of ILCA’s member benefits.

Join Now

If you are a current ILCA member, your membership expires on 31 December 2014. If you would like to continue your membership and receive the new benefits for 2015, including access to earn up to 10 FREE CERPs, you must renew by 1 January 2015.

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In addition to our standard membership, also consider our Student membership and Retired membership. Each comes at a reduced cost to encourage all those supporting breastfeeding families to be an ILCA member. Click HERE for more information.

Want to take advantage of our GROUP discounts? These offer you a 10% discount for each individual participating in a group. Group memberships require a minimum of five (5) people to submit their membership applications via mail to the ILCA Office.

If you have any questions, please contact membership@ilca.org.

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ILCA Offers You MORE in 2015: Membership Details

ILCA Membership BLOG HEADER (1)

You shared your needs with us in our 2014 Member Survey, and we listened! Based on what you told us you needed most, we have developed your new membership package for 2015.

First and foremost, ILCA is committed to world health transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care. It is our highest priority to promote the professional development, advancement, and recognition of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLC®) WORLDWIDE for the benefit of breastfeeding infants and their families.

ILCA Offers You MORE in 2015!

The new membership package for 2015 includes:

Earn FREE CERPs (NEW in 2015):

All ILCA members are eligible to earn up to 10 FREE CERPs. As you know, IBCLCs are required to recertify by CERPs or exam every five years. Be sure to take advantage of this benefit: over the course of five years, you can secure up to two-thirds of your required CERPs for the recertification process. You won’t want to miss this benefit!

The Journal of Human Lactation (JHL):

Guide your practice by reading the research you need in  three ways: on paper, online, and mobile. In addition to the print edition that will arrive in your mailbox, you can also read full articles online at the JHL website, on your computer, or your mobile device. Use your ILCA membership number and password to log in.

Find A Lactation Consultant (FALC) Listing:

New families who are in need of breastfeeding support want to find YOUR contact information. Our FALC directory connects families seeking support to the gold standard in lactation support: IBCLCs. The FALC helps them find you: a verified IBCLC in their community.

Build Your Practice Toolbox:

Inside Tracks are exclusively for ILCA members. Get evidence-based handouts for families on topics like tongue-tie, returning to work, Vitamin D supplementation, hand expression, and more. Available for printing or sharing as PDFs with your clients. Check out the full list HERE.

Stay Connected:

Receive weekly email updates which includes information about educational opportunities, advocacy efforts, techniques to improve your practice, and the latest in lactation research through our ILCAlert. In addition, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. And, as always, be sure to check out Lactation Matters, the official blog of ILCA, for in-depth analysis of research, highlights of innovative programs, and new ideas to incorporate into your practice.

Save Money:

Get significant discounts on all of ILCA’s continuing educational opportunities, webinars, CERP modules, the ILCA bookstore, and our annual conference!

And MORE!:

Access our translations of practice documents and relevant research.

When do I need to join or renew?

If you are a current ILCA member, your current year membership expires on 31 December, 2014. If you would like to continue your membership and receive the new benefits for 2015, including access to earn up to 10 FREE CERPs, you must renew by 1 January 2015. You can do so online, starting 1 October, 2014, HERE.

If you are new to ILCA and are joining for the first time, you can receive up to 3 months FREE by joining as soon as possible after the membership registration opens on 1 October 2015. As soon as you join, you will have full access to all of ILCA’s member benefits. Go HERE, starting 1 October, 2015 to register.

What will this cost me?

We have recently made changes to the membership structure for our members from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States.

Previously, members in these areas were required to join both the international organization (ILCA) and their respective regional organizations (USLCA, CLCA, and LCANZ). Their membership fee was divided between the two groups and members received the benefits of both, independently administered, organizations.

That is now changing and the requirement of membership in both the international and regional organization has been lifted.

As a part of the change in structure, your membership fee will also change. We have taken into account the concern expressed by our members that these changes would lead to a significant increase in the cost of membership. We are glad to announce our new fees for 2015 represent only a $2 (USD) increase over the portion of last year’s fee that came directly to ILCA.

As before, your membership fee varies based on your home country. You can find complete information about our 2015 membership fees HERE.

Still not sure?

Did you know that you can try ILCA FREE for 30 days? Want to figure out a bit more of what ILCA is about? Just email membership@ilca.org with your contact information (name, mailing address, email, and phone numbers) and you will receive a login and password that will be good for a 30 day ONLINE TRIAL membership.

Do you support and promote breastfeeding? Then you are a valued member of our community. You do not need to be an IBCLC to be a member!

If you have any questions, please contact membership@ilca.org.

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Announcing a NEW Membership Structure for ILCA

ILCALogo_full_text (2)As the International Lactation Consultant Assocation® (ILCA®) prepares to begin our campaign for our 2015 Membership year, we want to make you aware of changes to our membership structure. We deeply value all members of the lactation field and we have put significant effort into identifying and delivering the services most important to you. We are also evolving to meet our vision of “World Health Transformed through Breastfeeding and Skilled Lactation Care.”

Up until now, ILCA members who lived in the United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand had their membership “bundled” with one of our Partner Affiliate organizations (In the U.S., you are bundled with the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA); in Canada, with the Canadian Lactation Consultant Association (CLCA); and in Australia and New Zealand, with the Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand (LCANZ)).

This means that, when a member joined ILCA, they automatically received membership in the national or regional organization in their area. For example, our Canadian members were automatically signed up for both ILCA and CLCA. The membership fee was divided between the two groups and members received the benefits of both, independently administered, organizations.

That is now changing. Members living in the areas served by our Partner Affiliates will no longer be required to join both the international organization (ILCA) and their respective regional organizations (USLCA, CLCA, and LCANZ).

Recognizing the potential benefits, ILCA and the Partner Affiliates have considered this action for some time. The primary rationale for this decision is to provide our existing members the opportunity to freely choose membership based on their needs and objectives and to provide potential members greater latitude to join like-minded local, national and/or international organization(s) that are within their budget. This new option will allow all the organizations to run more effectively and meet the unique needs of their particular region.

Additionally, the ILCA Board of Directors has renewed our commitment to strengthen and expand our affiliate relationships WORLDWIDE. Until now, ILCA has been intently focused on our three Partner Affiliates, often to the detriment of organizations and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) in other countries. This renewed commitment to emerging IBCLC institutions will allow ILCA to help elevate these organizations to the world stage by providing much needed organizational support.

Of course, ILCA remains strongly committed to our current affiliates and the needs of IBCLCs in those countries. If we are to truly embrace our vision of world health transformed through breastfeeding and skilled lactation care, we will need effective partnerships with both established and emerging affiliates. And most importantly, we need you: individuals committed to advancing the IBCLC profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research.

Finally, we strongly encourage everyone to join both ILCA and your local or national professional association, in order to support efforts to advance the IBCLC profession both worldwide and in your community.

Together, these steps to remove the membership requirement and to strengthen ILCA’s global outreach are major initiatives with far-reaching benefits.  We look forward to continuing to serve you and hope you will renew your upcoming membership and partner with us to meet these exciting goals. Look for additional information about your membership renewal coming to you soon.

Sincerely, on behalf of the ILCA Board of Directors,

DSC03591Decalie Brown, RN, CM, IBCLC, CFHN, BHMtg
President (2014-16)

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2013 USLCA Conference Wrap-Up!

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By Mistel de Varona

It’s always good to be home after being away, but even better when I’m still glowing from a wonderful experience! USLCA’s inaugural conference “Gateway to Excellence” was excellent, but it did not feel like a novice was hosting it! The education, speakers, vendors, networking, and all the little details were top notch.

uslca1The education was multifaceted, varied in degree of interest and knowledge, as well as exciting and refreshing. Marsha Walker set the foundation for the conference with the first plenary “The State of Breastfeeding in the US: We’ve Come a Long Way with Miles to Go Before We Sleep”. These are notes I will revisit many times. I’ve already shared with my La Leche League group the plethora of information Marsha taught or reminded me of at the conference. To move forward, it is essential to know where we came from. I was surprised to learn it was just in 1999 that the federal law was passed to protect nursing mothers and babies breastfeeding on federal property!

posterIf Dr. Thomas Hale is a lactation rockstar, than I am a groupie! Since I was first introduced to the lactation world, I have admired Dr. Hale’s work (and who wouldn’t!?). He is a phenomenal speaker and was so funny! He gave interesting insight into his Infant Risk program (that let you host your site at Hostgator.com) stating “I’ve been asked everything, and everyday I’m asked something new!” Dr. Hale shared his ongoing journey researching Domperidone and the complicated process to FDA approval. It is a gift to be informed by someone you admire and respect on a topic that is up and coming. It also feels cool to be part of a group that is getting information first hand from the researchers and being able to come home and share with your coworkers, mother-to-mother support group, and coalition partners!

poster2In addition to the seven plenaries, there were workshops and concurrent sessions. I enjoyed Barbara Robertson’s “Infant Supplementation: Should We or Should We? And How Much?” Barbara approached this sensitive topic with skill and compassion. Diane Wiessinger had a very appealingly titled session “Everything Else About Breasts”. It was entertaining to learn about the history of breast culture and other variables that can impact breast health. A new favorite speaker of mine came from the no nonsense approach of Linda Smith. She spoke about “Lactation Consultant Time and Effectiveness”. This was a great review of what is necessary and what isn’t when a consultant is crunched for time with a mother and baby. She is a must see! Linda Smith is a featured speaker at the upcoming ILCA conference “Born to Breastfeed: A Global Public Health Imperative” in Australia along with many other fantastic speakers. 

mistelAttending events like these are priceless. I walked away feeling educated and reenergized. In addition to the education, the conference provided me with an amazing networking experience. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many familiar faces from my first conference, ILCA 2012 in Orlando. We picked up where we left off, just like old friends. New relationships were formed too. I also found the authors and speakers that I admire easily accesible and friendly. How cool to have a conversation with Diana Wiessinger about normalizing breastfeeding in our culture or to personally thank Nancy Mohrbacher for a great resource book for La Leche League leaders to help mothers!

uslca2I’m also very proud that I was a part of helping USLCA raise a significant amount of money to help fund their mission to advance the IBCLC profession. With the essential help of the volunteer coordinator, Annette Leary, conference volunteers, conference participants and generous donors, we raised funds through the silent auction and raffle. Thank you to everyone for being a part of it!

deniseMy favorite part of the USLCA conference, hands down, was connecting with another attendee that gave me a lead on a job. Coincidence or not, it was after Denise Altman’s session entitled “Where are the Jobs?” Come for the education, networking, break from everyday life, but attending a conference may have life changing consequences!

ilcaHow will you benefit from ILCA’s 2013 Conference in Melbourne, Australia? Please attend and find out! There are still a few days left to receive the early bird rate but you must register by May 15th for the discount.

mistelMistel de Varona found her passion for breastfeeding advocacy shortly after the birth of her daughter. Eager to support and educate fellow new mother friends, one suggested she become a lactation consultant. A light bulb went off with that idea and has only gotten brighter. Mistel holds a CLS, is an aspiring IBCLC, pursuing an RN and is a Le Leche Leader Applicant. She’s a self-professed nerd and enjoys helping her daughter explore the world. Follow @Mistel_dV on Twitter for evidence based information mostly about lactation.

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Highlights of USLCA’s Upcoming Inaugural Conference: Gateway to Excellence

By Mistel de Varona and Annette Leary

299737_10152662816125424_1453935094_nSpring is here and USLCA’s first national conference is on its way. Gateway to Excellence will kick off in two weeks! There are many exciting things to look forward to if you are attending and an abundance of wonderfully tempting reasons to commit if you are undecided.

Not registered? It’s not too late! The standard registration rate is available until April 20th. On-site registration is available for a small additional charge. Click HERE to register!

St. Louis Union Station - A DoubleTree Hotel

Photo via hotel website

The beautiful and historic St. Louis Union Station Hotel currently has rooms available for the standard rate. We are looking forward to staying four days at this gorgeous hotel and the pictures on the hotel’s website are breathtaking. Beautiful lodging, first rate education and fun networking make this conference the perfect working vacation. Sharing a room is a great way to build a relationship with another attendee and will help minimize your travel costs. Check out our forums to find a roommate.

The Grand Hall

Knowledge is Power

In a previous post, we highlighted our seven plenary sessions. Check them out:

The State of Breastfeeding in the US: We’ve Come a Long Way with “Miles to Go Before We Sleep” – Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC

Reflux, GERD and Breastfeeding – Catherine Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC

How to Evaluate Drug Usage in Breastfeeding Mothers – Thomas Hale, PhD

Into the Mouths of Babes: An Exploration of Infant Oral Skills – Robin Glass, BS, OTR, IBCLC and Lynn Wolf, MOT, OTR, IBCLC

Breastfeeding and the Joint Commission: Partners in Health – Celeste G. Milton, MPH, BSN, RN

Whos’ Your Daddy…Mommy, Surrogate, or Donor? Modern Families and Lactation – Elizabeth Brooks, JD, IBCLC, FILCA

How to Influence Key Stakeholders and Promote Breastfeeding Powerfully – Todd Wolynn, MD, IBCLC

With such great and diverse concurrent sessions, there will be many new ideas to bring home and share with your colleagues. Subjects span from research skills, the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, social media, the “F” word (formula), birth trauma, WIC, pumping, preemies, and even a few sessions available in Spanish. It was a fun challenge to choose our topics during registration. Which ones will you be attending? Check out the conference brochure for a complete list of session topics.

We Need You!

All registered attendees are encouraged to get involved. More information about how to volunteer is HERE! We need help with the silent auction, selling raffle tickets and introducing speakers.

Win Amazing Prizes from the Silent Auction and Raffle!

Coming for the education, networking or a passion renewal? One of the real bonuses for some attendees will be winning unique and valuable items from the silent auction and raffles. This is a CAN’T MISS opportunity! Make sure to bring extra spending money! USLCA will accept cash, check, or credit cards for the silent auction and raffle. All proceeds will benefit USLCA’s mission to advance the IBCLC profession.

The Silent Auction will be filled with generously donated items including jewelry, artwork, gift baskets, baby carriers, lactation books and DVDs, as well as other lactation paraphernalia and online conference registrations! Come to the Exhibit Hall to place your bid starting at the beginning of the conference and we’ll keep it open until Saturday at lunch. Please consider donating an item to show your support!

ticketWe’ll also have the best raffle ever! Purchase raffle tickets at the USLCA book in the Exhibit Hall. This is your chance to win an iLactation online conference registration, a year’s worth of USLCA webinars with CERPs, or a full registration to the 2013 ILCA Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Winners will be announced during the conference.

Looking for Networking Opportunities?

Look at the communication board as we have reserved several tables each night to restaurants which are within walking distance to the hotel. Make sure you sign up to reserve your dinner spot.

Tweet to Share and Connect with #USLCA13

twitter-bird-white-on-blueGet involved on a deeper level and tweet leading up to and from the conference using the hashtag #USLCA13. It’s easy to join and a great way to stay connected with IBCLCs around the world. New to Twitter and want to get started? Here’s a great guide to get you started.

See you in St. Louis!

mistelMistel de Varona found her passion for breastfeeding advocacy shortly after the birth of her daughter. Eager to support and educate fellow new mom friends, one suggested she become a lactation consultant. A light bulb went off with that idea and has only gotten brighter. Mistel holds a CLS, is an aspiring IBCLC, pursuing an RN and is a Le Leche Leader Applicant. She’s a self-professed nerd and enjoys helping her daughter explore the world. Follow @Mistel_dV on Twitter for evidence based information mostly about lactation.

photo (4)Annette Leary is a mother of 4 and grandmother to 1 beautiful 2 yr old, Makenzie. She has been working with mothers , babies and families for over 25 years.  She became an IBCLC in 1995, and because of certifying at such a young age, she has calculated that she’ll have to sit for the IBCLC exam 4 times in her life!  She feels very blessed to not only be able to help new families latch onto parenting and breastfeeding but also for the opportunity to educate, groom and mentor colleagues in the field of lactation.

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URGENT ACTION NEEDED in the United States

By Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC, USLCA Director of Public Policy

USLCAMany mothers need breastfeeding help, but cannot access the level of care that they need.

Even though the Affordable Care Act requires breastfeeding support, it does not specify the provider that best fulfills this mandate. Many insurers will not credential IBCLCs nor maintain IBCLC networks because IBCLCs are not licensed. Breastfeeding care becomes more fragmented and deferred to providers who may not have the training or expertise to handle complex lactation situations. This means that many breastfeeding women are without the care they need, when they need it the most.

Your voice is needed.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is creating rules for insurance companies in the individual and small group markets under the new health care law. As part of this effort, they will take comments from the public about what services insurance companies must cover. Use this opportunity to tell HHS that mothers should have access to IBCLCs, that insurers should cover the services of the IBCLC, and that all breastfeeding mothers deserve access to IBCLCs, not just those who can afford it.

We’ve made a lot of progress – but there’s still more to be done. Send in your comments at HERE. Comments are due by 5:00 PM Eastern time on December 26, 2012. The entire proposed rule can be found HERE.

The US Lactation Consultant Association is working hard to assure that IBCLC services are available to all women. Thank you for all you do to ensure women have access to quality, affordable health care. Your letter needs to be brief as the portal allows only 2000 characters. You can cut and paste the following sample letter into the comment portal HERE.

Please state that insurance companies must cover the services of the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in the maternal and newborn section of the Essential Health Benefits (EHB). IBCLCs are allied health professionals certified through a rigorous credentialing process who possess the requisite skills to manage common and complex lactation management issues. Too many breastfeeding mothers lack access to the level of care that they need, resulting in fragmented care deferred to providers who may not have the training or expertise to handle complex lactation situations. See http://massbreastfeeding.org/landscape/ for a guide to lactation qualifications. This drives up the cost of and increases the number of health claims due to increased infant illnesses and conditions preventable by successful breastfeeding. Services of IBCLCs result lower health care costs to insurers. The U.S. Surgeon General included in the 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, the specific recommendation to provide reimbursement for IBCLCs independent of their having other professional certification or licensure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention use the IBCLC as a metric in its determination of the adequacy of breastfeeding support in its annual Breastfeeding Report Card. 

State required benefits should include IBCLC services to improve the quality and value of the coverage that is available for EHB. Please include coverage of IBCLC services under Sec. 147.150 Coverage of essential health benefits. Beginning in 2014, all non grandfathered health insurance coverage in the individual and small group markets, Medicaid benchmark and benchmark-equivalent plans, and Basic Health Programs (if applicable) will be required to cover essential health benefits. I strongly encourage Secretary Sebelius to expressly declare in the text of the final rule that health plans specifically state that coverage will be available for IBCLC services.

Thank you for helping USLCA with their advocacy efforts to bring increased access to lactation care for mothers, babies, and their families.

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United States Lactation Consultant Association’s Response to the Call to Action for Breastfeeding

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action for Breastfeeding offers opportunities for US-based IBCLCs in virtually every one of its twenty action steps. From #1, give mothers the support they need to breastfeed their babies to #20 improve national leadership on the promotion and support of breastfeeding. IBCLCs play key roles and the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA) is actively involved to promote, equip, and empower members. USLCA is working hard to ensure that IBCLCs are represented in discussions with both policymakers and caregivers in a variety of venues. The Call to Action strengthens the voice of the lactation professional and gives IBCLCs the credibility and clout to do what they do best for mothers, for babies, and the health of the nation.

USLCA is responding to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action by networking and relationship-building with organizations such as the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, AWHONN, the American Academy of Pediatrics, United States Breastfeeding Committee, National WIC, and Texas WIC Association. In every discussion, language is emphatically clarified so that a breastfeeding support person translates directly into IBCLC, as per the Surgeon General’s specific and strategic recommendation.

USLCA recognizes the responsibility for IBCLCs to provide the best care possible as they work with employers to develop breastfeeding-friendly workplaces, with hospitals as they move along on the Baby-Friendly journey, with educational institutions creating curricula to incorporate lactation care into health care education, with public health entities as they expand services for maternal and infant care, and for individual families as they seek to achieve their breastfeeding goals. To that end, USLCA publishes its peer-reviewed Clinical Lactation and presents cutting-edge educational programs each month via webinar technology.

USLCA encourages its members to be politically engaged at community, state, and national levels, participating in state Breastfeeding Coalitions and advocating for IBCLCs in a wide cross-section of settings. As Milk for Thought traveled the nation in the Big Pink Bus, USLCA members participated in community rallies at every stop. USLCA President, Laurie Beck, MSN, RN, IBCLC, participated in the documentary chronicling the tour and promoting breastfeeding.

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action is a wonderful tool to advocate for communities that support breastfeeding at every juncture with the goal of health care that begins with breastfeeding. IBCLCs are key figures in the Call to Action and USLCA is responding to the call by providing education, support, and advocacy for IBCLCs.

Laurie Beck, RN, MSN, IBCLC, RLC
President of USLCA on behalf of the USLCA Board of Directors

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