Many of you know me as a Birth Doula, Bradley Childbirth Instructor, and an IBCLC (now retired from my Doula work but still teaching childbirth education and of course as an IBCLC). I want to focus on the IBCLC right now because tonight on a Facebook Group I was asked what an IBCLC is. IBCLC stands for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
There are many people who like to give breastfeeding advice. I see it every day on Facebook and other online forums. I understand the great desire of many to share what they have learned in their own breastfeeding journey. I would like to stress to all the well-meaning folks out there….every breast is different and every situation is unique. Just because shooting pains towards the back were thrush for you, doesn’t mean that it is thrush for someone else. Honestly, it is rarely ever thrush.
My path to becoming an IBCLC was a long one. I started working with breastfeeding mothers as a La Leche League Leader in 1999. I had been breastfeeding my first child since he was born in 1996. I met all of the training requirements and started to lead a Group in Austin in addition to answering phone calls and online help questions. I led meetings in Killeen, San Antonio and Corpus Christi before coming back to San Antonio three years ago (now 11 years ago) and leading meetings here again. In that time, I have helped thousands of women in person, over the phone, and online with breastfeeding issues. I have taken phone calls on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve as well as in the middle of the night. I love working with breastfeeding/chestfeeding families. I had the pleasure and privilege of staying home with my children for 12 years and so my early breastfeeding work was all volunteer time. I didn’t want to sit for the exam even though I was active in my local Breastfeeding Coalitions, organized the Texas State Conference for La Leche League and have always been a proud Activist. When I ventured back into the workforce, I was working an office job. I really hated it. It wasn’t my passion. I decided then to start working towards a job in a field that I love. I found a Mentor in an amazing woman by the name of Linda Worzer. I asked her tons of questions and started on my path as she had years before. I took my DONA training towards becoming a Doula. I flew to California to take training in the Bradley Method of Childbirth Education. The final step was towards becoming an IBCLC. I set my goal and started to gather my hours. Although I already had all of the hands-on hours I needed, I chose to shadow a local IBCLC in the NICU and asked for any insight she and others had to offer. I took in-person and online classes and started studying hard with my good friend Ginger Chun. We studied for months almost every day and finally we took the exam and PASSED!
(All new content) I have had the pleasure of serving families in San Antonio for many years now. I am honored to be able to support families in their breastfeeding/chestfeeding journey. I am asked often about the process of becoming an IBCLC. I am ALWAYS happy to help answer those questions for you. I know that the websites and online information are confusing. Here is a link to the first place to look https://iblce.org/step-1-prepare-for-ibclc-certification/ . Once you have looked there, if you still have questions, please feel free to contact me via facebook, email, etc.
I hope that everyone who is interested in pursuing their IBCLC, finds the kind of great support and mentoring that I found.