March 7th (tomorrow) is IBCLC Day. According to the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), IBCLC Day "was developed to recognize the important role of the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and the specialized knowledge each has to make a difference in the lives of breastfeeding families."
Lactation consultants with the credentials IBCLC have passed and maintain a rigorous set of exams and credentialing protocols in order to be called an IBCLC. They are found all around the world, working in hospitals, clinics, community health centers, medical offices, private practice and in families' homes supporting feeding between the parent-baby dyad.
March 7th is a special day set aside to recognize and honor those who work in this capacity and serve families throughout the world. Every childbirth educator probably knows many IBCLCs and refers to them on a regular basis. I know I do. Today I would like you to join me in showing our appreciation for all that these professionals do to support families everywhere.
Ideas for showing appreciation
Courtesy of ILCA, you can print out certificates of appreciation and give them to the IBCLCs you work with.
Share a meme or use an image on social media in the language of your choice thanking your IBCLC.
Create a temporary Facebook Cover image honoring IBCLCs.
Join the Facebook event page for IBCLC Day and get more ideas to celebrate.
Apply a custom "frame" to your Facebook profile picture by updating your profile picture and choosing the IBCLC thank you frame.
Honor your local IBCLCs with nice chocolate, some flowers or a handwritten thank you card.
Invite a local IBCLC into your classroom to do a Q&A with the families you teach.
Free webinars on breastfeeding
Here are some online learning opportunities for you that are free and a great opportunity to update your breastfeeding knowledge. CERPS are available for free in some cases!
Leadership Skills in Lactation: Make Extraordinary Things Happen - Breastfeeding challenges go beyond latching and positioning. To effectively support breastfeeding/chestfeeding families, lactation advocates need to also support the community. Breastfeeding advocacy is about building systems and consistently leading cultural changes to more deeply reinforce human feeding as the norm. When lactation leaders are able to align values and beliefs with actions and strategies to promote breastfeeding as part of the whole community, change can happen from the inside out through public health strategy. This session is taught by Paulina Erices.
A Mother's-Eye View of Breastfeeding Help - This is a free presentation from Nancy Mohrbacher, to honor all the amazing IBCLCs around the world. Every day IBCLCs improve the health of our future generations and empower families with their amazing work. Those of us who have been drawn to the work of caring for breastfeeding families play a critical role in shaping the future of our society. We should never underestimate the power that skilled IBCLC support and counseling can have during a vulnerable time in the lives of both parents and babies. As Nancy points out, Excellence as an IBCLC isn’t about clinical skills alone. Attitude and approach play a big role in how our clients respond to our efforts to help with breastfeeding. This presentation looks at recent research that provides insight into how breastfeeding help is perceived by the families in our care. Knowledge gained from this session can help you to elevate both your practice and our profession as a whole. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to gain valuable education while sharing in the passion and excitement as we celebrate IBCLC day together!
Skin-to-Skin and the Impact on Exclusive Breastfeeding - Presented by Dr. Susan Ludington, this exciting webinar that will introduce you to the numerous biological changes that mother and baby experience through the process of skin-to-skin care, as well as its stunning impact on breastfeeding exclusivity. Objectives include:
- Understand the effect of Kangaroo Care on breastfeeding
- Learn the influence of Kangaroo Care on exclusive breastfeeding
- Become aware of the steps that should be taken to provide SAFE skin-to-skin contact after birth
- Be prepared to do what needs to be done next in order to see the benefits of Kangaroo Care on breastfeeding
A Quick and Effective Way to Bring Your Staff on Board with Exclusive Breastfeeding - Debbie Young is the presenter. As a health professional, you know the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and are eager to increase rates according to The Joint Commission and other initiatives. But, how do you share this information and its practical application with busy nurses?
Join us for a one-hour webinar demonstrating InJoy’s new Practices to Increase Exclusive Breastfeeding: Core Concepts eCourse (co-produced with the International Lactation Consultant Association), and see why more than 30 hospitals and organizations have already implemented the course. Teaching maternity staff about new initiatives can be overwhelming. But, you’ll see that it doesn’t have to be—now you can provide required online training that they’ll actually enjoy!
Talk To Me: How Breastmilk Acts as a Communication and Gene Expression Tool Between Mother and Child - Laurel Wilson presents how breastmilk has long been understood to be a pathway towards long-term health for both mother and child. The specific mechanisms for how this communication works has long been studied and today many researchers believe that messenger RNAs and stem cells contribute in many ways to appropriate developmental pathways for the baby and cause gene activation that promotes health for life. mRNA in breastmilk can also be influenced by the time of day and even the timing of the babies delivery, becoming adaptive for the baby’s unique needs. Not only do these messenger RNA communicate important genetic information to the baby via breastmilk, changes in the mother's body via mRNA occur during lactation responding to a new “mothering” focus during the period of lactation. This may impact the mother’s postpartum mental states, adaptation to stress, and changes in fatty acids. This presentation highlights some of the fascinating studies that demonstrate the myriad of ways that stem cells and mRNA during lactation become the ultimate communicators, affecting change for years to come.
Lactation consultants are a critical part of the professional team that supports new families alongside doulas, childbirth educators, health care providers, and others. It is nice to have a day set aside every year to honor their knowledge and the valuable role they play in helping families. Lamaze International along with Science & Sensibility extends our deepest gratitude and appreciation for all the IBCLCs that work around the world every single day.