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International Board of Lactation Consultants Recognizes St. Francis

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) have recognized Bon Secours St. Francis Health System for excellence in lactation care. ST. FRANCIS eastside has received the IBCLC Care Award in recognition for staffing professionals who hold the prestigious International Board Certified Lactation Consultant certification (IBCLC) and providing a lactation program that is available five-seven days a week for breastfeeding families.

Rose M. Leo, VP, Women's & Ancillary Services/Bon Secours St. Francis said, “We are making breastfeeding a priority and are continually working to improve breastfeeding support for our patients. We want to make sure they have the best access to lactation consultants, information, communication and additional tools for success in achieving their breastfeeding goals.”

In addition, the facility demonstrated that is has provided recent breastfeeding training for medical staff that care for new families, and have recently completed activities that help protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

According to Liz Brooks, President of ILCA, “This recognition highlights the efforts being made by maternity facilities all across the world to help mothers get off to a good start with breastfeeding, and to support them in reaching their goals.  IBCLC is the leading internationally recognized lactation certification in the world, and IBCLC certificants are highly skilled in helping mothers with the questions and concerns that can arise. They are also an important part of the overall maternal and child health team by assuring that evidence-based policies and practices are in place that help mothers succeed with breastfeeding.”

IBLCE certificants focus on preventive care, so they are available during pregnancy to assess the mother and provide information on how to successfully initiate breastfeeding. They continue that assistance after the baby is born by helping mothers overcome breastfeeding challenges, providing accurate information, and continuing to support them as their baby grows. They assist mothers returning to work or school, help mothers in more unusual situations such as breastfeeding more than one baby or nursing a sick or premature infant, and help train nursing staff to manage basic breastfeeding care.

As allied health care professionals with the leading internationally recognized certification for professional lactation services, IBCLC professionals work in hospitals and birthing centers, clinics, public health agencies, private practice, community settings, government agencies, and in research. There are currently more than 26,500 such professionals in 96 countries worldwide that are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (www.iblce.org <http://www.iblce.org/> ), a program independently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).  NCCA accreditation represents a mark of quality for certification programs.

Brooks says, “Breastfeeding rates are on the rise today and with that dramatic increase, the need for trained professionals who can help also increases. Breastfeeding is natural and often works quite well without intervention. But there can be complications or risk factors and mothers need extra support. An IBCLC is the trained expert with clinical skill who works with the entire health care team so that a mother’s breastfeeding goals can be met.”

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