The IBCLC® is the national standard in clinical lactation care.
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Advocacy in Action
February 7, 2017
USLCA's Top Ways to Advocate for the IBCLC in 2017

Here's a question we see IBCLCs asking all over social media: how can we all best represent our work and our identity as IBCLCs?  At USLCA, we want to inspire you, our dedicated and hard-working members, to advocate for yourselves every single day.  Here are some ideas for how to keep forging connections that help people understand what we do.  
  • Attend lactation conferences, continuing education seminars, and webinars - and consider attending some that are not focused solely on breastfeeding.  Educational events provide ideal opportunities to enhance your own skills and enrich your practice while also opening doors to connect with others and represent what we know and do.  Wear your name tag and credentials proudly, and use descriptive identities online when you log in to webinars.  
  • Get involved with your local breastfeeding coalition or task force, USLCA chapter, and other local organizations working to improve the health of parents and children.  Doors open when you put yourself in the midst of others doing the work of supporting healthy families.  You'll find that these organizations offer you opportunities to mentor aspiring IBCLCs, educate your peers, provide insights to others from your perspective as a professional clinical lactation provider, and so much more.
  • Write letters and emails to respond to the discrepancies and misinformation about breastfeeding you see in the world around you.  You've got a wealth of knowledge about how best to support breastfeeding families - don't keep it to yourself!  If you read an article that perpetuates myths about breastfeeding, send an email to explain the facts, and identify yourself as an IBCLC with an explanation of what that means.  
  • Plan a bi-monthly lunch meeting for a group of multi-disciplinary providers.  Gather a group of providers who care for breastfeeding families in any capacity - a chiropractor who provides prenatal and postpartum care to women, a pediatrician, a naturopath, an OB/GYN, a NICU RN, an ENT who performs frenectomy - and see what transpires when you start sharing your knowledge and insights.  It's so important to get out there and proactively create new pathways to help other providers understand what we offer.  
  • Share your experience advocating for the IBCLC!  Let us know what has worked for you, how you have taught others about our amazing profession, and what kind of ideas you have for advocating for the IBCLC.  Let your professional association support you as you represent our role to the world!
Be a Part of the Healthy People 2030 Committee  - Ensure that the Voice of the IBCLC is represented!
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Becoming involved with this Healthy People 2030 process may be helpful in advancing the IBCLC profession by ultimately recommending breastfeeding goals that involve the services of the IBCLC.

Click Here to Register
USLCA looks forward to the New Horizons in Clinical Lactation Conference and to seeing friends, old and new, gathered together in one place for one purpose: to enrich the practice and the life of the IBCLC® and aspiring IBCLC.
#NewHorizons in Clinical Lactation is the theme of our May 3-6, 2017 USLCA Conference.   
We're supporting today's IBCLC with the latest research, techniques, and concepts to help advance your practice!  We're busy lining up excellent plenary speakers, fascinating breakout sessions, and great networking activities and opportunities.

Follow #USLCA17 and #NewHorizons on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the conference!

 EarlyBird Registration Is Open Now! Member Discounts are available, so be sure your membership is active.  

Click to Enter Conference Site
The conference will be held at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, Texas.   The resort has amenities like a golf course, wave pool, bicycles to ride on the bicycle paths, fitness center, pools and hot tubs, a full-service spa, and excellent dining options.  There are great kids' club options which are all free!  There's so much to do for you and your traveling companions, you may not want to leave!

JAMA Publishes USLCA's Response to Commentary on BFHI 

Many IBCLCs who have worked tirelessly to promote the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and to assist their hospitals and facilities with undergoing the journey to Baby-Friendly designation were disappointed to read the online commentary “Unintended Consequences of Current Breastfeeding Initiatives”  by Bass et al  in JAMA-Pediatrics on August 22, 2016.  IBCLCs are often well-positioned to advocate for the BFHI and to implement its Ten Steps, as well as to perform research that is used in its implementation.  
On behalf of those committed to promoting best practices in breastfeeding and maternal child healthcare, USLCA crafted a response to the commentary, as did many other organizations and individuals.  Fortunately, JAMA recognized the value of these responses.  Several were recently published by JAMA.

Click here to access the JAMA page containing these responses.  Please scroll down to the “COMMENTS and RESPONSE” section to find the responses titled The Importance of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.  The response from USLCA is signed by our President, Debi Ferrarello.  
Please join us on Feb 15 at 10a.m. EST for a webinar with Kathy Parkes!  IBCLCs often find that families experiencing loss have been "shielded" by others from information about lactation.  Kathy will highlight how gentle and thoughtful care of the family who has recently experienced peri- or post-natal loss can help guide them more naturally through their lactation needs, allowing them to live their experience of grief in their own way.  Register Here

Membership in Your Professional Association

 Our members are the reason we exist, and we want you, our members, to feel valued, to be recognized, and to feel that your membership dollars bring you incredible benefits.  As your professional association and the ONLY organization working to advocate for the IBCLC® in the United States, we work diligently on your behalf. USLCA offers unmatched member benefits.  We offer benefits such as quarterly Clinical Lactation, 8 free CERPs per year, discounts on continuing education, an affinity program that saves you money on products and services you already buy, updated professional advocacy documents, a Member Marketplace where you can advertise your services and products to other members, and an optimized and mobile-ready website that works better for you AND is designed to appear higher in online searches.  
We work hard to keep costs down and we offer multiple levels of membership.  We have annual and monthly payment options, making USLCA membership even easier on your budget.

Current Membership Rates: 
Contributing Professional $109/year
Monthly $9/month
Individual $85/person
Retired IBCLC $50/person
Group $75/person (Group of 5 or more)
Student $43/person

You might find that you can easily build a group of 5 for group membership by gathering colleagues in your practice group, your WIC site, your hospital lactation team, your local breastfeeding coalition, or any other network of lactation professionals you know!  

Click Here to Join, Renew, or Learn More! 

Advocacy Opportunities Featured at the USLCA National Conference

Working on IBCLC licensure or thinking about it? Want more information on the process? Then USLCA has just what you need! During the pre-conference day, Wednesday May 3, we will be conducting a mock legislative hearing where you will have the chance to observe and practice testifying at a legislative committee hearing.  We have heard that many people can be intimidated by this, but practice makes perfect! Learn to use targeted bullet points and zero in on what legislators need to hear in the limited time allocated for testimony.

Then attend the break out session on strategy for achieving licensure in your state. Learn the dos and don'ts, what works and what doesn't, what needs to be in a licensure bill, and what the legislative process looks like.

USLCA strives daily to meet the needs of our members and all IBCLCs who work so hard providing lactation care and services to so many breastfeeding families. Visit our website to view the entire conference program and register early for the best value!  Early Bird Registration Ends Feb 28! 

Copyright © 2017 United States Lactation Consultant Association, All rights reserved.

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