An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. IBCLCs have completed college level courses including biology, anatomy/physiology, infant growth and development, nutrition, and psychology. They have completed at least 90 hours of lactation-specific education and have spent a minimum of 300 to 1000 hours directly assisting breastfeeding families (depending on which pathway they take.) In addition, they have passed an exam administered by International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners demonstrating their competency in these areas, they complete ongoing continuing education, and they must recertify every five years.
If breastfeeding is difficult or stressful for you, you should see a lactation consultant. We can help with things like sore nipples and breast pain, milk supply issues, a baby who refuses to latch, a baby who is gaining too little or too much weight, a premature baby, or twins. We can offer advice on medications while breastfeeding, how to continue breastfeeding while you are working, breastfeeding when you are ill, how to wean from a nipple shield, and pumping your breastmilk.
If you are receiving conflicting advice or discouraged about breastfeeding...call your IBCLC!
As an IBCLC, my duty and desire is to promote and normalize breastfeeding, and to share the information that will help you to make an informed decision. At the same time, I am aware that there are many factors that may affect a mother's decision when choosing how to feed her baby, and I am aware that “breastfeeding” may look different for different families. As your Lactation Consultant, my goal is always to support and encourage you in reaching your goals.
I have 15 years experience assisting new families with breastfeeding, first as a RN working in Mother-Baby and NICU, and then as a lactation consultant for Baptist Health, which included answering phone calls for the Arkansas Breastfeeding Help Line.
I currently teach a free breastfeeding class at RISE education center once a month, and lactation support is included in my midwifery care for the first six weeks after delivery.