Today is IBCLC Day!
This year, the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) is honoring the day by “taking this opportunity to thank the International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) that have made a difference in our lives.”
We know that many aspects of the midwifery model of care result in very high breastfeeding rates among midwifery clients. The recent study by the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health found that women who intended to give birth at home had exceptional breastfeeding outcomes. At six weeks postpartum, more than 97% of newborns were at least partially breastfed and 86% were exclusively breastfed.
Despite the many practices of midwives that encourage breastfeeding, some women still experience breastfeeding challenges. This can be the result of anatomical issues (like tongue tie, flat or inverted nipples, or previous breast surgeries), medical issues (premature infants, infants with disabilities, or mothers with illness or disabilities), or just the process of learning a new skill.
For example, Treesa McLean, a Licensed Midwife in California, works in consultation with an IBCLC in her community if a baby has special needs. “Premature infants or babies with disabilities may need extra breastfeeding help. I trust our IBCLCs to support moms who need it.”
Other times, a midwife might have the knowledge base to provide a family with support, but time limitations. “If I am at a birth and a mother needs immediate help, I’ll refer her to a local IBCLC,” said Washington State-based midwife Louisa Wales, LM, CPM.. “Or if I think she’s going to need ongoing care that would be better provided by someone who focuses exclusively on breastfeeding.”
Most midwives have stories to tell about how International Board Certified Lactation Consultants have helped improve outcomes for families. Take today to thank IBCLCs in your community! Share your story of working with IBCLCs in the Facebook post here. You can also show your gratitude by clicking share and posting on the Facebook “wall” of an IBCLC that has helped you and the families with whom you work.