Episode 162 Being an IBCLC
I need to keep reminding myself that on any given show, there are many new listeners. I have a bad habit of assuming that you know me, certain things about me and about the show. While I don’t want to bore my regular listeners, there are a few things worth repeating once in a while.
A little about myself – My name is Lori Jill Isenstadt. I am first and foremost a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother. My roots are Brooklyn, NY where I was born and the rest of my heart lies
on Long Island, NY where I grew up and spent a majority of my formative years and early years of marriage and mothering. We moved our family to Phoenix, AZ a number of years ago and I could not be happier with the 9 months out of the year that is Tshirt and jeans and short weather.
You will hear me introduce myself as an IBCLC and this stands for International Board. Certified Lactation Consultant Because this is so long, myself and others have picked up a habit of calling ourselves LCs or lactation consultants. This was fine for a while, however in recent years there have been many weekend or week long courses that have cropped up and when a person graduates from that course, they can call themselves a LC ( lactation consultant) or or an LS ( lactation specialist)or BC (breastfeeding counselor) or CBC ( certified breastfeeding counselor) or CLC ( certified lactation consultant) or any number of titles.
There is a huge distinction between an IBCLC and all of the other titles. While I am not going to go into all of them on an individual basis, the big difference is the IBCLC has likely had over 1000 hours which are likely to have been mentored by another experienced IBCLC and a thousand or more hours of helping others moms, before they can qualify to take the all day exam, that when passed, you become an IBCLC. All of the other labels that you will hear, have probably had between 20 and 100 hours, usually less than a few weeks to 1 college semester of learning. Once they graduate, they typically do not have to take any more courses to keep their title. IBCLCs who spend thousands of hours learning, are required to recertify every 5 years.
When you are suffering with breastfeeding issues, think about who you want helping you.
Next Season, I am going to share more detailed information on the differences, but because this comes up over and over in questions to me, I thought I would address it for all the newest listeners.
For more detailed information about myself and what makes me tick and My Why for doing this show, just go back into the archives. This means when you open up itunes you have to scroll and scroll until you get to the very first show. Take a listen and you will learn more about me. If subscribing to this show is confusing to you, just check out the show notes and I will walk you through the process.
On that note of checking out my very first show, I wanted to mention that I have done a number of shows where I have interviewed book authors. Don’t worry if you are not in a place where you can write down this info. You can replay this episode and take notes or you can just check out the show notes and find the info there. Some of these are the most popular and heavily downloaded shows. Let’s see, let’s go back to Episode # 20, where I interviewed Jessica Shortall who wrote a book on breastfeeding and pumping in the work world. I love the name of her book: Work. Pump. Repeat.She traveled the world pp and dragged her pump wherever she went and shares her stories of how she did it. Episode #24 – Nancy Mohrbacher, one of my favorite authors in the breastfeeding world. We talk a lot about what is in her book – Breastfeeding Made Simple and we get a glimpse into her personal life. You know how I like to get personal with my guests and Nancy shared some fun stuff with us that you just don’t learn from a book. Episode #41 – my good friend Vanessa Merten, host of the Pregnancy Podcast, which you should all tune into. She recent wrote – The birth Plan and you can check that out as it is available on amazon. Next up is Episode #44 with anther great author Jack Newman. He has written so many books and is such a dedicated pediatrican who really cares about breastfeeding. He recently wrote a piece for Huffington Post and I am going to talk about that in a few minutes. I am incredibly psyched for Season 2 as I have some well known authors that I have interviewed and you are going to get to know them better and learn a lot. So stay tuned for Season 2 which begins in October.
On to Dr. Jack Newmans Huffington Post article. One of my favorite things that he says always melts my heart when I hear him say it:
Breastmilk is not just about the milk. It is a relationship” He is incredibly wise and so right about this. the title of his article is: Do mother’s really have the right to choose to breastfeed? This is a pretty hard hitting article. I am going to go over some parts of it and I am very interested to hear your thoughts about it. He goes on to explain that, of course, mothers have the choice. However, he then goes on to explain that while they have the choice, sometimes the odd seem to be against them.
Moms are reliant on assistance from their health care providers as they deem them the experts in breastfeeding. He says that: If the slightest problem arises with regard to the mother or baby and their breastfeeding relationship, the first thing many mothers will hear from doctors is “give the baby formula” or even “stop breastfeeding altogether.”
Dr. Newman talks about the common practice of moms being pushed and sometimes forced into bottlefeeding their baby formula and if they don’t comply, they are made to feel like a bad parent because they are not thinking in the best interest of their baby. Once they do comply, frequently the breastfeeding is lost. Mothers are then left frustrated and devastated because they desired to breastfeed and now are not. They often express feeling like a failure.
Dr. Newman comes from a place of experience and what he sees happen to the mothers at the clinic where he works. He acknowledges that the moms are having problems with breastfeeding, however feels that with some good help, the mother can go on to breastfeeding exclusively. He is advocating for the mother to receive excellent and experienced help with breastfeeding as a first, rather than go to pumping and bottlefeeding or formula feeding as the first response.
Dr. Newman states in his article that, in only a small minority of cases do the moms actually get the help they need. I would say that when moms get the right help early on, frequently the fix is quite simple and in a few days after receiving help, a majority of mom could be exclusively breastfeeding. The push to move away from breastfeeding is why Dr. Newman feels that , in his words “we don’t allow mothers to breastfeed their babies.
In his article, Dr. Newman gives a few examples of the myths that have been passed down and the incorrect medical advice that moms are given that frequently send their breastfeeding desires on the wrong path and make it difficult to exclusively breastfeed.
The first myth is that when a mom gives birth to a baby is less than 34 weeks gestation, that babies must learn to bottle feed before they can breastfeed. His argument with this: There are no scientific studies that proves this. Mom should be encouraged to breastfeed their premature baby. Let’s work together with experts and see how your baby does and go from there. It is just not true that breastfeedig is more tiring that bottlefeeding. Sometimes the new mother does not have the volume or the flow that baby needs and the baby tends to fall asleep at the breast, but there are ways of keeping your baby at the breast, while you are building your supply. An experienced IBCLC will be able to help you decide how to proceed and if there is a good reason for alternative feedings;
In my private practice, I see it as standard of care for premature babies to be fed fortified milk with cows milk. This is another myth that all premature babies need this. Dr. Newman feels that not all babies need this fortifier and it should be decided on an individual basis and if they do need additional milk to be fortified, it can be made from human milk. This is a very important point, because in order for your baby to get this fortifier, they need to be it from a bottle or other form of alternative feeding methods. What if your baby is breastfeeding well, and actually does not need the fortifier. Then we have introduced the bottle, which frequently undermines the breastfeeding.
The next myth is one that drives me absolutely insane. You have heard me rant about it before. Babies born with Low Blood sugar or who are tested during their hospital stay, are often forced to feed their baby formula. This is insane. What we know is that this baby more than likely needs more milk, not cows milk. What we know is that this baby needs mommy’s milk, which is far better for preventing and treating low blood sugar than formula is. So, why are mothers told to feed their babies formula? I believe it is because there is a lack of knowledge of how breastfeeding works, the importance of good latches and milk transfer and a huge lack of knowledge about the properties in human milk.
Other concerns are brought up in the article as additional reasons moms are told they cannot breastfeed or they need to supplement. I will have a link to the article in the show notes. It is interesting to note and important for me to say, that there are enough times in my private practice where I do feel a baby needs to be supplemented. The first choice is always mothers milk or donor milk. the reason I find the need for babies to be supplemented is that at the point where I get to work with the mom, the breastfeeding has been severely compromised, the supply is way low and the weight loss is way too much and the baby is unusually sleepy. What would not have been a big problem, what could have been a fairly easy fix, now may take more work, supplement and many days to turn around. However, it can still be done and I see this happen every single day with moms I work with.
I often tell moms, here is what you need to turn this around: Continue to stay motivated and dedicated to your goal of exclusive breastfeeding. A commitment to ensuring your baby is well fed and you are doing all you can to boost your supply if it is low. You need to keep doing all you can to work on breastfeeding. Some good old fashioned family support and excellent help from a professional IBCLC. It never fails to give me goosebumps to see how quickly many difficult situations are turned around in a week or two of dedicated work.
Thanks to all the authors I have interviewed. You have written great books that help the breastfeeding mom with all aspects of breastfeeding. Thank you Dr. Newman for another great article.
I hope that we an carry this conversation on in our Facebook Group. If you have not joined yet, go ahead and do so. Just search for AABC in Facebook and click on the link that says Join. Become involved in the conversation, introduce yourself and let’s have fun getting to know one another. If you want to have a say in what kind of shows I produce, go into the Facebook group and participate in my poll in which I ask you what kind of shows do you want to see more of.
One of the many reasons I am loving this facebook group is the ease and ability to connect with moms from all over the world. Kristina is a member and I would like to say Hi Kristina. thanks for introducing yourself. I thought what you had to say was so interesting I am going to read your introductory post on air. here goes:
Kristina, I’m a regular listener from Sweden. Thanks a million for all the episodes so far! I just joined this group because breastfeeding has become a genuine interest of mine – both the practise and the theory behind it. I like that it is a craft, fine art and science all in one nurturing, bonding act. I’m 33 years old and am currently on maternity leave with my first child – a girl just about to turn 18 months, and also just about to be entered into public day care system (jikes). Put togehter i’ve been home twelve months and my husband seven. I’m still breastfeeding, (pretty must on demand) and plan on keeping it up until she self-weans. Sweden and out neighbours (most of all Norway) are best in class when it comes to being family friendly. I think that all our hospitals are “baby friendly” ones and parental leave is paid (80% of salary) and we can start our leave two month before the baby even comes and if one can afford it you could stretch the parental pay to cover two or even three years at home. Most people though, opt for about 18 months at home.
I would say that breastfeeding is absolutely considered to be the norm and is encouraged. That being said, there is room for improvement. Good knowledge on breastfeeding is not widely spread, health care providers promote that breastmilk is “the best for the baby” but is it not always evidence based advice that is being given to mothers of breastfeeding. I was told to feed every fourth hour by a paediatrician in the hospital after delivering out daughter. A nurse gave us a pacifier on day 2 and said that we should always keep formula at home “just in case”. A third one confirmed that breastfeeding did hurt and it was something to muster through before it got better. Thankfully, there are a lot of knowledgeable individuals in the system as well, and all in all we got off to a good start. What makes me sad is that we were _lucky_ to meet the right person and she could offer valuable insights that should be given to ALL new mothers. Also, while breastfeeding is the norm, in the general mind it raises eyebrows when breastfeeding past a year. From what I experienced, it is expected to phase out breastfeeding somewhere between six to twelve months. Everything into the second year is “extended” breastfeeding. OK, this clearly turned into a novel..
Not only am I not afraid of “novels” like this, I truly enjoy them and imagine other member do also. What better way to learn about life in other countries than to have moms share their own stories.
In the United States we are light years behind in Paid Maternity Leave. Just one more subject that drives me insane. I have been talking about this for over 25 years. The system as we now have it, is a huge barrier for moms and breastfeeding. Some of us are just beginning to find our groove and before we know it, we need to return to work. Not in Sweden where you can stay home for 18 months and be paid 80% of your salary! This is so wonderful. Moms in the Us, can you imagine how much less stressful your life would be like if that were the case for you. No more crazy pumping moms trying to stash away milk for your return to work. No more trying to figure out pumping at work or taking on that extra work load. The benefits are miles long and I know there are some wonderful people in the US working very hard to make this happen. Jessica Shorthall my guest from episode #20 is working hard to make this happen. She gave an excellent TED Talk on this subject, which I will link to in the show notes.
I have a great show for you next week as we talk to a new mother. She recently had her second baby, is a postpartum doula and we have a great discussion about all things breastfeeding and at the end of the interview she shares a fun story of how we met and what happened when we met! Sort of sounds like a cliff hanger……. Well, stay tuned and you will find out.
One last thing before I sign off. I am a woman on a mission now. I continue to learn and always strive to do my best with this podcast. Now that we are heading into Season 2 of the All About Breastfeeding show, I really want to grow my audience and One of the easiest ways to continue to grow my audience by leaps and bounds is to have my listeners literally share this show with your friends. Send them links to the show in an email or a text message or Facebook message. Just think of all that you have learned so far by listening to this show. Can you think of a few friends who are newly pregnant or just gave birth and are breastfeeding. Of course you can. Go ahead and share this show with them. The next thing I am going to do is ask everyone a big favor. It is not hard and it does not take more than 5 minutes. I want more mothers to have access to this show and the BEST way to do this is for each one of you to take 5 minutes and go into itunes. Search for the show. Subscribe to the show. Rate and Review the show. It is those 5 star reviews that makes Itunes stand up and pay attention and make this show more visible to people checking out itunes.
I leave you with this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Lori’s first show: http://www.allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/lori1/
Dr Jack Newman http://www.allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/jack_newman2/
Jessica Shortall http://www.allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/jessica_shortall/
Nancy Mohrbacher http://www.allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/nancy_mohrbacher/
Vanessa Merten http://www.allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/Vanessa_Merten/
Dr. Newmans articles in Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/breastfeeding-no-choice_us_57dabcbae4b053b1ccf294a9?
Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC
Lori Jill Isenstadt, IBCLC is a huge breastfeeding supporter. She has spent much of her adult life working in the maternal health field. Once she became turned on to birth and became a childbirth educator, there was no stopping her love of working with families during their childbearing years. Lori became a Birth doula and a Postpartum doula and soon became a lactation consultant. She has been helping moms and babies with breastfeeding for over 25 years. Lori founded her private practice, All About Breastfeeding ( allaboutbreastfeeding.biz) where she meets with moms one on one to help solve their breastfeeding challenges. She is an international speaker, book author and the host of the popular itunes podcast, All About Breastfeeding, the place where the girls hang out. Lori is the proud owner of the online membership site – All About Mothering (allaboutmothering.com) You can reach Lori by email at: [email protected] or contact her via her website: allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/contact
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