Lactation Matters

Help Us Build a Diverse Slate of Presenters for #ILCA19!

To transform world health, we need everybody. We are #bettertogether.

At ILCA, we believe that, if we are to truly ENGAGE, we must hear from, and listen to, people with a variety of perspectives. We want our conferences, and the lactation professionals and supports who attend them, to include, encourage, and recognize people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions, and sexual orientations. We are not there yet.

We have recently opened up the presenter submission site for
our 2019 Annual Conference.

We are working to increase opportunities for people from underrepresented groups by actively recruiting diverse speakers for our onsite and virtual conferences, offering scholarships, and taking part in ongoing conversations about the value of diversity in the communities we serve. We feel like this is one place where we have the power to make real, measurable change.

As we prepare for #ILCA19, here are some ways you can help us build a more diverse slate of plenary, concurrent, and workshop presenters:

  • Contribute to our ILCA Scholarship Fund. {add info on how to do that}
  • Recommend presenters to the ILCA Conference Programming Task Force. {add info on how to do that}
  • Forward our Call For Proposals to relevant affinity groups with the message that we are looking for a diverse roster of presenters.
  • During the Call For Proposals phase of the conference, suggest to potential speakers that they submit proposals. {add info on how to do that}
  • Encourage potential authors, reviewers, and other content creators to work with us, or recommend them to us directly by emailing conference@ilca.org
  • Organize community-­based public speaking trainings and practice events. (Ignite is one popular format.)
  • Suggest ways that the onsite conference experience can be more welcoming and supportive. Send an email to conference@ilca.org.

We value diversity in the communities we bring together, and we welcome your contributions to creating balanced representation of the richness of our collective human experience. Please share your ideas and best practices for how we can realize our vision by sending an email to conference@ilca.org.

Win a FREE ILCA Membership! How has ILCA Membership Impacted Your Practice?

 

THANK YOU for your response to our recent ILCA membership survey. We learned new things and confirmed what you have shared with us before – like just how much you value the Journal of Human Lactation and your free continuing education. (A lot! Nearly 97% of you rate JHL or free continuing education as the MOST important ILCA benefit.) Your answers are helping us shape your member benefits package.

We want to hear more! Share with us how ILCA membership impacts you, and you’ll be entered in a random drawing to win an ILCA membership.

Here are  some questions we’d love to hear more about. Pick one to answer and leave your response in the comments. You’ll receive a second entry if you also paste your answer into the comments on THIS THREAD on Facebook. Watch here for the winner: we will select a winner by random draw on 1 October 2018.

  • How has ILCA membership impacted your practice?
  • What would you tell a colleague about the value of ILCA membership?
  • What ILCA benefit is most important to you? Why?
  • Or anything else you’d like us to know about why ILCA is important to you.

Your comments will certainly help guide our thinking about ILCA membership, and may be used as a part of the materials we use to help others learn about ILCA.

Thank you for helping us learn more about what matters most to you about ILCA.

ILCA’s International Advocacy: Understanding NetCode

As a part of our ongoing commitment to supporting the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (commonly known as the International Code), ILCA has signed on as a NetCode partner. The news was shared with members at the recent ILCA conference by immediate past president Michele Griswold.

While the International Code outlines critical protections against predatory marketing of breast-milk substitutes, regional and national laws and regulations in line with the International Code provide the on-the-ground provisions that support families. Those regional and national laws and regulations must exist and be enforced to ensure families have a level playing field to make feeding decisions.

NetCode is a coalition of organizations working to expand and strengthen the capacity of Member States and civil society to develop, monitor, and enforce national Code legislation. Formed in 2015, NetCode members include the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), select Member State representatives, and collaborating nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including ILCA.

ILCA board member Sabeen Adil recently attended the third meeting of NetCode to lend ILCA’s support to the efforts. She will be serving on the Advocacy Task Force, which will be focusing on efforts to advocate about code monitoring with health care professionals.

NetCode has developed a number of tools that you can use in your local community, including:

  • NetCode toolkit. To better enable governments to monitor adherence to the International Code, NetCode developed a toolkit, consisting of an ongoing monitoring protocol and a periodic assessment protocol. The toolkit is being piloted in countries including Mexico, Cambodia, and Ghana.
  • Introductory course on the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. This e-learning course on the International Code is available for free at www.agora.unicef.org. It is intended to provide a comprehensive introduction to the International Code, its contents, and ways in which it can be implemented and monitored. This resource is intended for policy makers, legislators, health practitioners, relevant UN agency staff and civil society partners staff.

ILCA looks forward to its ongoing involvement in NetCode’s efforts. To learn more, watch for updates here and in the ILCAlert.

Celebrate Black Breastfeeding Week: Guest Post by Stacy Davis, Executive Director of the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color

The International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) is proud to celebrate Black Breastfeeding Week (25 August – 31 August). We asked Stacy Davis, BA, IBCLC, and executive director of U.S.-based National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color (NAPPLSC), one of ILCA’s Global Partners, to share with us the importance of this week and how professional lactation supporters can support Black families.

 

Why is Black Breastfeeding Week important for International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLC®), around the globe, to celebrate?

Black Breastfeeding Week is incredibly important and necessary for professional lactation supporters to celebrate for many reasons. Black Breastfeeding Week is not simply about celebrating that Black women are breastfeeding, but rather about affirming the experiences of a Black woman, acknowledging the disparities for Black women and their children, and addressing the lack of support and resources in Black communities.

In the United States (and in many other places in the world), Black women are often not understood by women of other races and ethnicities. Black women often suffer from “strong woman syndrome” – the need to be strong and resilient in all situations and circumstances. This is often perceived as aggressive and militant, even in instances where we feel feeble. We grapple with the need to be the best and look our best AT ALL TIMES. We have to give even when nothing has been deposited.

Black women are charged with so much in our daily lives – we are breadwinners, caretakers, nurturers, educators, social workers, therapists, and so much more. We bear the burden of our families and our communities, while paying little to no attention to ourselves . . . and most of us struggle with self-care. When we fail (or feel as though we are failing), we internalize that and it tends to impact other areas of our lives.

So, when a Black woman decides to make breastfeeding a priority for herself, her child(ren), her family and her community, we need to celebrate that! We should not question why Black Breastfeeding Week exists. It is imperative that we, as professionals, providers, supporters, advocates, leaders, from around the globe celebrate all the Black women who sacrifice to chestfeed/breastfeed, as well as those who make sacrifices to support another Black woman. Black lactation professionals make DAILY sacrifices to support other women in, and out, of their community. Overall, Black Breastfeeding Week is about celebrating disadvantaged Black women and children and the boots on the ground doing the work with little to no recognition or pay.

 

How can IBCLCs support families of color in their communities?

IBCLCs can support Black families and other families of color by seeking training in equity, cultural sensitivity, cultural responsiveness, and cultural humility. It is essential that we incorporate these lessons into our lactation care and practice. Moreover, IBCLCs can embrace the LOVE model of care:

L – (actively) LISTENING with a open heart and open mind

O – (asking) OPEN-ENDED questions for better understanding

VVALIDATE and affirm feeling

EEDUCATE with focused, individualized messages (not blanket, textbook information)

 

What can national and international organizations do to increase the number of skilled lactation providers of color?

There is much that national and international organizations can do to support aspiring IBCLCs and increase diversity in the IBCLC profession, such as:

  • Create affordable mentorship programs in communities including opportunities for free and reduced-cost mentorships
  • Offer financial assistance through personal or organizational donations
  • Support the work and efforts of organizations such as NAPPLSC and the Reclaiming, Improving and Sustaining Equity (RISE) Lactation Training Model, and others
  • Help to create adequate job opportunities for current and aspiring non-medical IBCLCs
  • Be an advocate or an ally for diversifying the field
  • Ask an IBCLC of color what she/he believes is lacking and needs addressing

There is so much to be done, now and for years to come.

Want to learn more?

We encourage you to register for NAPPLSC’s 2nd Annual Black Breastfeeding Webinar. As an added bonus, NAPPLSC will be doing raffles and giveaways for FREE trainings and memberships. Click below for more information and to register.

 

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty #WBW2018

International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) is excited to join World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and other organizations and individuals the world over in celebrating #WBW2018 1-7 August. The theme of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2018 is Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life. Lactation Matters will feature blog posts and resources throughout the week to help you make the most of this important week.

A sustainable world begins with ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. According to Pinstrup-Andersen, “not every poor person is hungry, but almost all hungry people are poor. Millions live with hunger and malnourishment because they simply cannot afford to buy enough food, cannot afford nutritious foods, or cannot afford the farming supplies they need to grow enough good food of their own.” Hunger and poverty work together in a vicious circle that keeps people from achieving their full potential.

Breastfeeding is the great equalizer that can help break the cycle of poverty.

Breastfeeding is a universal solution that levels the playing field to give every child a fair start in life. It enables millions of young children to survive and thrive, setting them on a path towards better health and a more prosperous future. Breastmilk is the most nutritionally and immunologically potent food for infants and toddlers, a food that can fuel brain development like nothing else. Breastfeeding powers cognitive development and IQ of children, thus greatly improving educational attainment, participation in the workforce and lifetime earnings. Missing this critical stage of brain development during childhood can result in significant cognitive and economic losses. Breastfeeding improves the health and well-being of women and children and is the foundation of a country’s development and future.

Click to view slideshow.

For the most up-to-date information about WBW 2018 and to download promotional materials, please visit the World Breastfeeding Week website by clicking here.

 

9. Poverty – United Nations Sustainable Development. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/poverty/
10. Nurturing the Health and Wealth of Nations: The Investment Case for Breastfeeding. http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/infantfeeding/global-bf-collective-investmentcase.pdf

Ensuring Food Security, Even in Times of Crisis #WBW2018

International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) is excited to join World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and other organizations and individuals the world over in celebrating #WBW2018 1-7 August . The theme of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2018 is Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life. Lactation Matters will feature blog posts and resources throughout the week to help you make the most of this important week.

The United Nations defines food security as “existing when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet dietary needs for a productive and healthy life.” The first 1000 days are critical as this is when the foundation of human development is being built. Breastfeeding provides food security to infants from the very beginning of life and contributes to food security for the whole family. Policies that protect, promote, and support optimal infant and young child feeding should include food security for all pregnant and lactating women.

Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding is crucial for the health of our planet and its people.

Breastfeeding is a prime example of the deep connections between human health and nature’s ecosystems. Breastmilk is a natural, renewable food that is environmentally safe and green because it is produced and delivered to the consumer without pollution, packaging, or waste. By contrast, artificial feeding leaves a major environmental footprint that contributes to a depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation and climate change in a
number of ways. Dairy farming causes the production of greenhouse gases. Additionally, the production, packaging, storing, distribution and preparation of infant formula includes the considerable use of fossil fuels and large amounts of water. Therefore, artificial feeding contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases and water scarcity that further aggravate climate change.

Climate change leads to natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Unreliable supply chains of milk powder and the unhygienic conditions that commonly prevail in emergency situations make breastfeeding the safest option. Breastfeeding is a climate-smart decision that helps ensure food security even in times of crisis.

Click to view slideshow.

For the most up-to-date information about WBW 2018 and to download promotional materials, please visit the World Breastfeeding Week website by clicking here.

 

4. Food and Agricuture Organization of the United Nations. (n.d.). How close are we to #ZeroHunger? Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/state-of-food-security-nutrition/en/
5. Save the Children. (2018). Don’t push it. Why the formula milk industry must clean up its act. Retrieved from https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/content/dam/gb/reports/health/dont-push-it.pdf
6. Linnecar, A. et al. (2014). Formula for disaster. Weighing the Impact of Formula Feeding vs. Breastfeeding on Environment. Retrieved from http://ibfan.org/docs/FormulaForDisaster.pdf
7. During disasters, breastfeeding’s advantages shine. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ennonline.net//breastfeedingadvantagesdisasters
8. Nutrition in emergencies. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.wpro.who.int/nutrition_wpr/nutrition_emergencies/en/

Preventing Malnutrition in All its Forms #WBW2018

International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) is excited to join World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and other organizations and individuals the world over in celebrating #WBW2018 1-7 August . The theme of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2018 is Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life. Lactation Matters will feature blog posts and resources throughout the week to help you make the most of this important week.

It has long been recognized that malnutrition with underweight and stunting is common in low-income countries. In addition to this problem, overweight and associated non-communicable diseases are actually a larger contributor to the burden of disease in low-income compared to high-income countries. Lack of breastfeeding can be linked to both underweight and overweight in children. This double burden of malnutrition has major consequences on short- and long-term health.

Optimal breastfeeding helps prevent malnutrition in all its forms with positive lifelong effects on both children and mothers.

Child malnutrition, especially wasting, often results from artificial feeding in low-income settings. Wasting may be prevented indirectly, for example by preventing severe diarrhea. In addition to breastfeeding, many factors affect the optimal growth and development of children, including the introduction, amount, and frequency of complementary feeding. The risk of the other form of malnutrition, overweight and obesity, increases the more a child is artificially fed, and this is becoming more common in all settings.

Breastfeeding also has implications for maternal nutrition. The assumption that mothers will become malnourished and lose weight due to breastfeeding does not appear to be valid. Good maternal nutrition together with optimal birth spacing and access to contraceptives are the main factors for preventing malnutrition. Exclusive breastfeeding also helps mothers return to a healthy pre-pregnancy weight and possibly lowers the risk of her developing diabetes.

Click to view slideshow.

For the most up-to-date information about WBW 2018 and to download promotional materials, please visit the World Breastfeeding Week website by clicking here.

 

1. Child malnutrition. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/gho/child-malnutrition/en/
2. Akst, J. (2015). Breast Milk and Obesity: A study links components of a mother’s milk to her infant’s growth. Retrieved from https://www.the-scientist.com/
3. Sankar, M. J. et al. (2015). Optimal breastfeeding practices and infant and child mortality: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Paediatrica, 104, 3-13

Access FREE Articles from Journal of Human Lactation #WBW2018

World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is an annual celebration of the role of breastfeeding in our homes, our communities, and the world.  As a part of our 2018 theme, Breastfeeding: Foundation for Life, we are proud to announce that Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) is making available 10 essential articles to everyone – FREE* through 31 August 2018.

The Journal of Human Lactation is essential for building our knowledge as IBCLCs. We believe knowledge guides our practice, strengthens our value, and supports our role in transforming world health.

Read the following JHL articles—free through 31 August 2018!*

  1. Interventions to Improve Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy and Resultant Breastfeeding Rates: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by Meredith Brockway, Karen Benzies, and K. Alix Hayden
  2. Efficacy of an Osteopathic Treatment Coupled With Lactation Consultations for Infants’ Biomechanical Sucking Difficulties: A Randomized Controlled Trial by Juliette Herzhaft-Le Roy, Marianne Xhignesse, and Isabelle Gaboury
  3. The Atlantic Divide: Contrasting U.K. and U.S. Recommendations on Cosleeping and Bed-Sharing by Helen L. Ball
  4. The Impact of a Prenatal Education Video on Rates of Breastfeeding Initiation and Exclusivity during the Newborn Hospital Stay in a Low-income Population by Kathleen A. Marinelli, Sara L. Gill, Ann L. Kellams, Kelly K. Gurka, Paige P. Hornsby, Emily Drake, Mark Riffon, Daphne Gellerson, Gauri Gulati, and Valerie Coleman
  5. Randomized Controlled Trial on Effect of Intermittent Early Versus Late Kangaroo Mother Care on Human Milk Feeding in Low-Birth-Weight Neonates by Dhaarani Jayaraman, Kanya Mukhopadhyay, Anil Kumar Bhalla, and Lakhbir Kaur Dhaliwal
  6. Advising Mothers on the Use of Medications during Breastfeeding: A Need for a Positive Attitude by Kathleen A. Marinelli, Sara L. Gill, Riccardo Davanzo, Jenny Bua, Angela De Cunto, Maria Luisa Farina, Fabrizio De Ponti, Antonio Clavenna, Stefania Mandrella, Antonella Sagone, and Maurizio Clementi
  7. Enforcing the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes for Better Promotion of Exclusive Breastfeeding: Can Lessons Be Learned? by Kathleen A. Marinelli, Sara L. Gill, Hubert Barennes, Guenther Slesak, Sophie Goyet, Percy Aaron, and Leila M. Srour
  8. Public Attitudes Toward Breastfeeding in Public Places in Ottawa, Canada by Katherine Russell and Amira Ali
  9. Gestalt Breastfeeding: Helping Mothers and Infants Optimize Positional Stability and Intraoral Breast Tissue Volume for Effective, Pain-Free Milk Transfer by Pamela Douglas and Renee Keogh
  10. Obesity as a Predictor of Delayed Lactogenesis II by Irma Preusting, Jessica Brumley, Linda Odibo, Diane L. Spatz, and Judette M. Louis

Journal of Human Lactation is the official journal of ILCA. It is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal publishing original research, insights in practice and policy, commentaries, and case reports relating to research and practice in human lactation and breastfeeding. JHL is relevant to lactation professionals in clinical practice, public health, research, and a broad range of fields related to the trans-disciplinary field of human lactation.

*You may already have access to these articles through a library or other subscription.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! #WBW2018

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) is excited to join World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and other organizations and individuals the world over in celebrating #WBW2018. The theme of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2018 is Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life. Lactation Matters will feature blog posts and resources throughout the week of 1-7 August to help you make the most of this important week.

Are you ready to celebrate #WBW2018? Check out this must-do list to be sure:

Visit the #WBW2018 website for general information and downloadable promotional materials, including Announcement, Logo, Poster, Action Folder and other forms of multimedia. These materials are available in many languages and contain information on the theme, relevant facts and figures, case studies, and suggested ways to take action.

Share your commitment to breastfeeding advocacy and education. The links between breastfeeding and good nutrition, food security, and poverty reduction may be obvious to breastfeeding advocates, but there is still work to be done to make these connections clear to others. Thinking of organising your own WBW event? Then Pledge and Report your event to be placed on the Pledge Map and receive an e-certificate for each event you organise. Use the #WBW2018 Media Kit that contains information about the annual WBW campaign as well as the 2018 Press Release for your events. Join the online social media movement by participating in WABA interaction, polls, and activities such as the upcoming #AskMeAnything session through their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Don’t forget to view the Social Media Kit that is frequently updated with visuals, infographics, GIFs, sample posts, and relevant hashtags.

Look for information and action steps throughout WBW at Lactation Matters, where you’ll find articles, images, action steps, and more to help with your successful WBW 2018 observance.

 

For the most up-to-date information about WBW 2018 and to download promotional materials, please visit the World Breastfeeding Week website by clicking here.

LAST CHANCE to REGISTER for the #ILCA18 Virtual Conference

Whether you plan to participate live or watch the recording, TODAY is the last chance to register for the 
#ILCA18 Virtual Conference.
Don’t miss out!

The #ILCA18 Virtual Conference begins tomorrow, July 20 and continues through 21 July. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to join us . . . right from your computer!

We will be offering up to 12 Continuing Education Credits, a special online community, and an easy-to-use platform with lots of support. Watch live or on your own time for up to 60 days.

Click below for more information and to register. Questions? Email us at info@ilca.org.

ILCA Statement on WHA Resolution on Infant and Young Child Feeding

All families deserve public health policies designed to improve their health and well-being that are free from corporate interests. This is why the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) calls upon governments to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. This includes holding businesses accountable for misleading marketing practices that unfairly target vulnerable women and children and directly impact breastfeeding.

This statement is in response to events reported by the New York Times. The article, “Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials” reported on U.S.-delegation opposition to a resolution that aimed to call upon member states to strengthen promotion, protection and support for breastfeeding.

The resolution was to be introduced by Ecuador and “expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who had gathered . . . ” According to the article, Ecuador unexpectedly withdrew the resolution in response to threats made by delegates representing the United States. “The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.”

Ultimately, a weaker resolution was adopted after being introduced by Russia. These actions took place at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2018.

The proposed resolution included a number of key protections for breastfeeding families, including strengthening efforts to reduce predatory marketing of breastmilk substitutes and providing additional supports for families in emergencies. To be clear, it did not deny families access to breast milk substitutes.

As an organization, ILCA envisions “world health transformed by skilled lactation care;” a world in which human beings have every opportunity to thrive through breastfeeding. As such, ILCA stands in support of The Code and subsequent resolutions. ILCA also stands in unwavering support of families everywhere, to make decisions that are best for their families. When breast milk substitutes are desired or required, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLCs®) and other skilled lactation professionals are qualified to assist families in the safe preparation, storage and feeding according to WHO guidelines. For parents choosing to breastfeed, this means navigating a host of unique challenges to the breastfeeding family. Challenges may be clinical but also social. Social policies such as adequate maternity leave and the right to breastfeed or express milk in the workplace work in favor of breastfeeding continuation whereas the absence of supportive and protective policies work against breastfeeding continuation.

The NYT article sheds light on how corporate interest interferes with public health policy designed to improve health and well-being. The article also highlights the role that governments have to promote, protect and support breastfeeding rather than side with businesses to support corporate gains. ILCA strongly supports systems and structures that shift the responsibility for breastfeeding success away from parents and toward social policies that make breastfeeding easier, not more difficult.

As frontline health professionals, IBCLCs and other lactation caregivers around the globe know first-hand the challenges that families face in providing their children with the best nutritional start to life. Therefore, ILCA calls upon governments to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

ILCA has for many years provided representation at key meetings like the WHA, and will continue to do so. ILCA stands with other global allies and urges its members and partners to continue to advocate for policies that strengthen the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding at the government level. ILCA urges skilled lactation professionals all over the world to continue to provide individualized specialized clinical care to families while advocating at the local/regional/country level for policies that support the families in our care.

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

 

 

 

Michele Griswold, PhD, MPH, RN, IBCLC

ILCA President

In just one week! Hear why others are attending the ILCA Virtual Conference

We asked past conference participants what they valued most about the virtual conference:

It has given me the confidence I needed to be a better lactation consultant.

Why join the #ILCA18 virtual conference?

We all have busy lives between our roles at work and home.The virtual conference allows participation in the annual ILCA conference that many of us would miss otherwise. The speakers are both fascinating and informative.Thank you, ILCA!

Earn up to 12 Continuing Education Credits, a special online community, and an easy-to-use platform with lots of support. Watch live or on your own time for up to 60 days.

Great way to feel a part of ILCA on the international scale. So many of us are a bit isolated and the virtual conference helps to connect us to the big picture of what an IBCLC can mean to mothers who would like some help and encouragement.

Only one more week to register!

I want to thank the organizers for including this opportunity to view again. It allows me the opportunity to have better clarity of the information.

Click below for more information and to register. Questions? Email us at info@ilca.org.

Get Ready for World Breastfeeding Week: 1-7 August 2018

In a world filled with inequality, crises, and poverty, breastfeeding is the foundation of lifelong good health for babies and mothers. Please join us in celebrating Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life, the theme of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2018. The week of 1-7 August 2018 is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and highlights that breastfeeding is a universal solution that levels the playing field, giving everyone a fair start in life. Lactation Matters will feature blog posts and resources throughout the week to make sure you can make the most of this important week.

Need help preparing for #WBW2018? Check out this list of ideas and resources:

Visit the WBW 2018 website for general information and downloadable promotional materials, including the WBW 2018 Action Folder. The action folder information on the theme, and includes useful facts and figures, infographics, case studies, and suggested ways to take action.

Share your commitment to breastfeeding advocacy and education. The links between breastfeeding and nutrition, food security, and poverty reduction may be obvious to breastfeeding advocates, but there is still work to be done to make these connections clear to others. We know what needs to be done to support and enable families to breastfeed optimally, but we need to be more proactive and engage more people to make this a reality.

Look for information and action steps throughout WBW at Lactation Matters, where you’ll find articles, images, action steps, and more to help with your successful WBW 2018 observance.

For the most up-to-date information about WBW 2018 and to download promotional materials, please visit the World Breastfeeding Week website by clicking here.

Joint Position On Separation of Parents and Children from IBLCE, ILCA, and LEAARC

 

The International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®), the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®), and the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC) stand together in opposition to policies that unnecessarily separate a parent from their infant or young child.

 

The unnecessary separation of parents and young children has lifelong physical, psychological, and emotional impacts that have been well documented by health organizations worldwide, including UNICEF and the American Academy of Pediatrics (regardless of feeding status). In addition to these serious consequences, separation also disrupts breastfeeding, leading to further potential harm.

 

For breastfeeding to occur, mothers and babies must have unrestricted access and physical proximity to one another. The importance of breastfeeding for both infants and parents is well documented. These health protections extend into adulthood. Because of the range of health benefits conferred on the breastfeeding dyad, breastfeeding is recommended by the World Health Organization for up to two years of age or beyond. Separating parents from their breastfeeding children during this critical time has long-term consequences.

 

As organizations committed to ensuring worldwide health through support of parents and young children, we stand in opposition to policies that unnecessarily limit access to or separate parent and child.

 

JHL Call for Papers: State of the Science

Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) invites submissions to an upcoming issue with the theme State of the Science. State of the science articles are valuable to clinicians, educators and researchers, because their critical analyses provide evidence for standards of practice, establish the current level of knowledge on a topic, and highlight gaps in the evidence pointing the directions for future research. Click here to view JHL‘s new author submission guidelines.

It is our goal to bring our readership the most up-to-date information available. To facilitate this goal we are calling for critical literature reviews and meta-analyses, using established methodologies, about any one of the many and varied aspects of lactation. We are not interested in a summary or a synthesis of a body of literature, rather accepted manuscripts will provide a critical analysis of the evidence that identifies gaps in what we know, evaluates methodologies researchers have used and hypotheses the next steps needed to continue building our evidence.

The submission deadline for the special issue is 1 February 2019.

Click HERE to submit your manuscript online.

Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) is the top-ranked breastfeeding journal and the most valued benefit of ILCA membership. It is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal publishing original research, insights in practice and policy, commentaries, and case reports relating to research and practice in human lactation and breastfeeding. JHL is relevant to lactation professionals in clinical practice, public health, research, and a broad range of fields related to the trans-disciplinary field of human lactation.

ILCA Announces New Directors

The International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce two new Directors: Stephanie George and Angela Love-Zaranka. Stephanie comes to the Board through election by ILCA membership. Board member Lisa Akers is stepping down from her second term as Board Treasurer so she can devote more time to the newest member of her family. Angela has been appointed by the Board to finish the last two years of Lisa’s term. Both of our new Directors will begin their terms in July 2018 at the Annual Conference. We look forward to working with them to continue ILCA’s mission: to advance the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research.

Stephanie is an IBCLC and Aboriginal Midwife from Jarvis, Ontario, Canada. She is passionate about honoring and empowering all women through her healthcare practice. She also advocates for this platform through her roles on the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, the Baby-Friendly Initiative Strategy of Ontario, and the Expert Panel of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. She hopes to continue this important work as a Board Member at ILCA, specifically through increasing access to education for lactation consultants around the world. Stephanie has served ILCA in the past as a member of the Conference Program Task Force.

Angela has always enjoyed both serving breastfeeding families in a clinical setting and doing behind-the-scenes work to support the profession. She began her career as a mother-to-mother breastfeeding support professional in 1990. As she worked to earn her IBCLC, Angela began volunteering for the Virginia and West Virginia Chapter of La Leche League International, eventually serving as their Finance Director and President. Another project she completed on the state level was serving as faculty for the Virginia Maternity Quality Improvement Collaborative, which supported hospitals in moving towards baby-friendly accreditation. Her next step was to the international level. She joined the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners as a Board Member in 2006. Some of her duties included chairing the Finance, Audit, and Governance committees and overseeing the revision of several documents key to the lactation consultant profession. Angela is originally from Oklahoma and is proud of her Native American ancestry. She has resided in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area for the past thirty years.  Her current passion is learning about integrative medicine and traditional medicine from around the world.

We are proud to have Stephanie George and
Angela Love-Zaranka join the ILCA Board of Directors.

The ILCA Board would like to thank each of you for your continued support. To find out more, please visit our website at www.ilca.org.

Ramadan and Breastfeeding

 

by Nor Kamariah Mohamad Alwi, BE, MIT, IBCLC

Ramadan is the most holy month of the year for Muslims. During the month, those who follow Ramadan abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual activities between sunrise and sunset. Additionally, they practice being extra patient, kind, and generous throughout the four weeks. These observances can have an impact on breastfeeding so it is important that International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLCs®) understand how to best provide guidance to families.

Muslims scholars, or “ulama,” have been discussing breastfeeding while fasting for decades. Many rulings or “fatwas” have been issued to address this issue, enabling women to make wise decisions for themselves. Muslim women are encouraged to refer to the rulings of their respective local scholars to determine the options most suitable for their situations.

While fasting during Ramadan is not obligatory for all breastfeeding women, here is some guidance that I have found useful in my practice with clients in Malaysia who choose to fast during this time:

  • STAYING HYDRATED: Daily water intake is very important to keep the body sufficiently hydrated. It is recommended to drink bit by bit throughout the permitted time, from sunset to early sunrise. Drinking too much just before fasting will just fill up the bladder and gets urinated out soon after, resulting in the mother feeling thirstier for the rest of the day.
  • EATING WISELY: Eating well-balanced food, including proteins and complex carbohydrates, during “suhoor” – the meal right before the start of a fasting day – is very essential. This will provide the energy that mothers need for the rest of the day, until the breaking of the fast.
  • BREAKING THE FAST: As the fasting day ends, mothers should break her fast as early as possible, by eating natural high-energy foods, to quickly regain energy. A common option among the muslim community (which is also culturally recommended) are black dates. Mothers can opt for creative preparations such as blending the dates with milk.
  • HANDS-ON BREASTFEEDING: For mothers who are breastfeeding directly throughout the day, some will notice that their baby became a bit fussier at the end of the fasting day, as the mother’s body is impacted by the fast. Additionally, the milk ejection reflex can slow down due to the stress of the fast. When breastfeeding at this point, breast compressions while feeding will help drain out milk from the back of the breast. Mom will notice improved milk transfer, which can satisfy the baby faster.
  • EXPRESSING MILK: Expressing milk (for mothers who have to be separated from their baby) can be a varied experience. Some mothers find no change at all in terms of the quantity of expressed milk, especially in the first half of the day. However, some may find that the yield of milk collected at the end of the day is lower compared to earlier in the day. When this occurs, the mother needs to stay calm and understand how milk supply is produced. When milk is expressed from the breast regularly, a new milk supply will be produced. However, when the amount of body liquid reduces as part of the effects of fasting, the quantity of breast milk can be a bit lower than the usual, and mothers will find that their milk at this point usually looks thicker.

At any point in time during a fasting day that a mom feels too lethargic, it is important for her to carefully consider her condition, as well as her baby’s condition, before deciding to continue the fast. Consult with the local scholars and doctors, on how to deal with such situations.

Are there any religious and/or cultural implications that you find useful in your practice?

 

Nor Kamariah Mohamad Alwi resides in Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia. She created the online breastfeeding support forum susuibu.com in 2004 and is a co-founder and President of Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counselors. She is on the Local Governance Task Force Coordinator for World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). Kamariah is working with IBCLCs to establish a Malaysian Lactation Consultant Association. She is currently a private practice lactation consultant. (Read more about Kamariah in her ILCA Board of Directors nominee profile.)