ILCA (International Lactation Consultant Association) defines an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) as “A health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding and human lactation. IBCLCs are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, (IBLCE), under the direction of the U.S. National Commission for Certifying Agencies. IBCLCs work in a wide variety of health care settings, including hospitals, pediatric offices, public health clinics and private practices.”
An IBCLC will assist you and your family by:
- Facilitating breastfeeding through education and anticipatory guidance to prevent future breastfeeding problems such as sore nipples, engorgement, plugged ducts, mastitis, low milk supply, sleepy and/or sensitive baby etc.
- Identifying infant feeding cues.
- Finding comfortable positioning and attachment techniques.
- Taking a comprehensive family health history and breastfeeding assessment to discover the problem’s source and identifying events and/or medical conditions that may negatively impact breastfeeding.
- Assessing effective and adequate milk transfer by the infant and preventing infant’s excessive weight loss and poor or slow weight gain.
- Developing an individualized breastfeeding plan of care based on your specific breastfeeding goals and needs.
- Assisting implementation of the plan of care and evaluating it.
- Providing techniques to initiate and sustain a full milk supply from birth to weaning.
- Providing evidence based information regarding the mother’s use of medications, tobacco, street drugs, herbal remedies and complementary therapies during breastfeeding and their potential effects on the mother’s milk supply and infant.
- Teaching techniques to breastfeed multiples, premature and/or special needs babies.
- Continuing breastfeeding and maintaining milk supply by milk expression when mother is separated from the infant by school and/or work.
- Appropriate use of breastpumps, equipment and supplies.
- Family planning methods and their relationship to breastfeeding.
- Induced Lactation and/or relactation.