Posted by: Admin | September 18, 2014

What is a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)!


Creebreastfeeding has not published frequently lately. It is not for lack of ideas, but for lack of time. Creebreastfeeding is in fact one person, myself. I work for the Public Health Department of the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay. I love my job, although it does get kind of hectic at times. As a PPRO (Planning, Programming and Research Officer), I am asked to collaborate on many different files. My main file is breastfeeding because I am a Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). This means that I hold a diploma in Human Lactation from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). We are presently 1632 IBCLCs in Canada. We are not to be confused with breastfeeding advisors or volunteers. We do not work in a support group setting (although some of us do a lot of volunteer work). Being an IBCLC is a profession with its own Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. We have professional associations. ILCA is our international one, CLCA our Canadian association and QCA, is at the provincial level.

Even though there are more and more IBCLCs in Quebec, there are still not enough of us to fully support all breastfeeding mothers. Also, many regional agencies, hospitals and clinics do not have the budget to hire an IBCLC. They usually ask their nurses to support breastfeeding as well as doing all their other tasks. We do know our health system is stretched thin and even though the workers do their best, it is difficult for breastfeeding mothers to get timely and adequate breastfeeding support. Presently at the CBHSSJB, there is one nurse who is also an IBCLC working locally at the CMC in Waskaganish. A dream of mine would be to have one IBCLC per community. Even better would be for this IBCLC to be Cree. It takes time and commitment to become an IBCLC but if anyone is interested I am available to mentor and train that person towards the certification.

If this is something you would consider or if you know someone would be good at this, write me an e-mail at dany.gauthier@ssss.gouv.qc.ca or contact me via the Creebreastfeeding Facebook page.

Enjoy your day!

Dany G.

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