My mom is a lactation consultant. Can you tell? From building a snowman, or an anatomically correct breastfeeding snow-woman, to traveling across America in a large pink RV to promote breastfeeding, our kids are no worse for the wear. They are learning to be breastfeeding advocates, in hope for a better and healthier future in America.
I love to hear stories from children raised in the homes of loving mothers, who happen to also be International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. My good friend and co-worker, Jackie Schroeder, RN,IBCLC sent me this photo of her 12 year old daughter Elly the other day, and gave me permission to share this photo in my blog. It made me giggle and smile and remember some funny stories involving my own family. I love hearing about hilarious encounters from other families’ and of course the children of IBCLC’s.
I remember helping a distressed new mother with breastfeeding her infant at the hospital one day, and being a little worried about her state as we were discharging her to home, so I gave her my home phone number. A couple of days later, my husband reported to me, nonchalantly “somebody called and left a voicemail about sore nipples and engorged breasts, or something of that nature-you better call her back”. Of course the kids overheard as well, and many interesting questions ensued. These types of conversations and language are common place in the home of a lactation nurse. I believe my children can only benefit from these unique life lessons, learned in the home of an IBCLC.
I was once away at a lactation conference in San Diego, when I could not help but notice a large RV in the parking lot, painted entirely pink with Milk for Thought, “Latch on America” and “taking action to empower breastfeeding moms” painted across the sides. As I approached the RV to see what was going on, I met founder Ryan Comfort. He is the son of a lactation consultant and he was raised with such strong beliefs and a conviction about the importance of breastfeeding, went so far as to make a 45 day, 20 city trek across America, raising awareness about the Surgeon General’s Call to Action, and 20 steps listed below, to support and promote breastfeeding in America.
1) Give mothers the support they need to breastfeed their babies
2) Develop programs to educate fathers and grandmothers about breastfeeding
3) Strengthen programs that provide mother-to mother support and peer counseling
4) Use community-based organizations to promote and support breastfeeding
5) Create a national campaign to promote breastfeeding
6) Ensure that the marketing of infant formula is conducted in a way that minimizes its negative impacts on exclusive breastfeeding
7) Ensure that maternity care practices throughout the United States are fully supportive of breastfeeding
8) Develop systems to guarantee continuity of skilled support for lactation between hospitals and health care settings in the community
9) Provide education and training in breastfeeding for all health professionals who care for women and children
10) Include basic support for breastfeeding as a standard of care for midwives, obstetricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners, and pediatricians
11) Ensure access to services provided by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants
12) Identify and address obstacles to greater availability of safe banked donor milk for fragile infants
13) Work toward establishing paid maternity leave for all employed mothers
14) Ensure that employers establish and maintain comprehensive, high-quality lactation support programs for their employees
15) Expand the use of programs in the workplace that allow lactating mothers to have direct access to their babies
16) Ensure that all child care providers accommodate the needs of breastfeeding mothers and infants
17) Increase funding of high-quality research on breastfeeding
18) Strengthen existing capacity and develop future capacity for conducting research on breastfeeding
19) Develop a national monitoring system to improve the tracking of breastfeeding rates as well as the policies and environmental factors that affect breastfeeding
20) Improve national leadership on the promotion and support of breastfeeding
Heather Knott, RN-IBCLC