As we come to the close of 2023, we have a lot to reflect on in the field of human lactation and infant feeding. The world is quite unsettled and the simple instinctive behaviour of breastfeeding, chestfeeding and bodyfeeding is also impacted. Yet this simple act is something that can save lives. We continue to see around the world, devastation due to conflict and natural disaster. Industry uses these situations to promote themselves and their products. It is essential that the knowledge of lactation and support is based on best practice and without industry influence.
We have attended several conferences finally in person this year including: The 4th World Breastfeeding Conference in Cairo, Egypt; The 33rd International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress in Bali, Indonesia (which was proudly Code compliant with over 2500 attendees). It was wonderful to be again at the ILCA conference in person as well as the Lactation Consultants of Great Britain (LCGB) and the Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland (ALCI) conferences. It has been lovely this year to have been able to catch up with so many colleagues and students.
I personally had the privilege of attending the WHO Code Congress in Geneva in June 2023 as part of the Canadian contingent. There is so much amazing work being done internationally. We need to continue lobbying our governments to put safe infant feeding on the agenda and to work towards implementing the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and Subsequent WHA resolutions into government policy and law. We also withdrew from conferences where we had concerns about conflict of interest and Code issues within those organisations. These are decisions we have to make otherwise how can we educate students about these topics unless we ourselves model what we are teaching?
As we enter into 2024, we will continue to support our students studying with us and encourage sharing our knowledge with one another and the families that seek our help.
Wise Words from our Tutors
BE01-02-03 is where it all begins. These courses will give you the basics of all your studies. Learning and understanding milk composition is so much fun. You will realize how breastmilk is amazing and it continues to astonish. Then we learn in BE02 how human milk is fabricated. The whole process shows you how amazing our bodies are. In BE03 you will learn how to put it all together by reviewing how the baby latches which will nourish them! So much to keep learning about the whole breastfeeding process. After almost 20 years teaching, I am still amazed!
Valerie (tutor for BE01, BE02, and BE03 – English/French)
As a tutor for the BE04, BE06, BE07, and BE08 courses in French, I've had the pleasure of talking with you about various topics covered over the past year. We discussed growth curves and weight gain in BE04. In BE06, you expressed your curiosity about human milk storage standards in the context of prematurity. The traditional question about candida treatment came back in force in BE07 and finally, we wondered if there were any contraindications to the use of cosmetics during lactation in BE08.
Each question is a moment for everyone to reflect, research and improve our practice with families. I'm looking forward to the New Year and to sharing with you all! Health and happiness!
Mélanie (Tutor for BE04, BE06, BE07, BE08 and LPPLUS - French)
The year is drawing to a close. Thoughts are awakening, of the past year with our team. It's a time to reflect on the latest news on a variety of topics, including breastfeeding that have been circulating throughout the year. And, reminds us of this wonderful environment of camaraderie, where we can exchange ideas, share views and reflect on this news. This time of year leaves me with a sense of gratitude, year after year.
Manon (Tutor for BE05, BE09, and BE10 – English/French)
Hi everyone! We have had an exciting year in BE04, BE06 and BE07, working together to help women/parents to prepare for breastfeeding, navigate the common challenges of the first week and beyond, and supporting best outcomes for sick and preterm babies.
Our forum discussions have covered such a variety of subjects, including exploring emerging technologies so we can broaden our support of breastfeeding women/parents, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19. We have debated the influence of health professionals on breastfeeding outcomes, for better or worse, as well as the logistics of breastfeeding on return to the workforce. We have danced around so many other interesting topics – maybe you should join us for a chat?!
Best of all we are hearing stories and shared resources from students across the globe, which has to be the best way to prepare to be an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant!
Wishing you all a very happy holiday, and looking forward to seeing you in the forums in 2024.
Kris (Tutor for BE04, BE06 and BE07 - English)
As a tutor for the BE08 and ET01 (Ethics) I've had nice discussions with students this year. In BE08 we discussed various topics including the updated ABM Mastitis protocol, the use of silver caps, and other hot topics like birth control and Domperidone. As for ET01, the topics of interest were conflict of interest and IBCLCs, the concept of ethical leadership, and the very important role of IBLCCs and the International Code of Marketing Breastmilk substitutes and subsequent resolutions.
I hope you will join me in 2024 in the forums. Peace and happiness to you all.
Tracey (Tutor for BE08, and ET01 - English)
The celebrations have started for those who recently received the news they have certified as new IBCLCs and others have recertified by exam. The LPEX/LPPLUS/LPMOCK are our exam preparation options and I love being the tutor of LPPLUS. It is such a privilage to walk the path with students on the final trek towards gaining their IBCLC certification. In the LPPLUS forum there are always wonderful discussions about clinical cases, new research, unusual topics and how to best evaluate an exam question so as to provide the correct answer. LPEX/LPPLUS/LPMOCK are only open twice a year a couple of months prior to the IBLCE exams so if you are getting ready to sit the exam in April, join us by enrolling in mid-January or if you are preparing for the September exam the July option will best suit you. Looking forward to chatting in the discussion forums soon.
Carole (Facilitator for LPPLUS)
Message from our Italian Tutor
The year 2023 was a busy year for Health e-learning courses in the Italian language version. Many updates and interesting exchanges with students. The module we were most excited about was the one dedicated to questions in preparation for the exam, the LP2023. Rich in content and emotions.
Chiara (Tutor for the Italian BreastEd series)