Training the next generation
As I look back on an almost 30 year career as a lactation consultant, I have witnessed a huge amount of change for the support of breastfeeding. It is heartening to see support from every corner; the federal, state and local governments, professional organizations, workplaces, and the Affordable Care Act. Even new mothers are better informed and more are choosing to breastfeed. But we still have a ways to go before we reach optimal breastfeeding nationwide.
There are pockets where breastfeeding rates are low and exclusive breastfeeding rates are even lower. Historically, areas that have the lowest rates are the US southeastern states. Also areas where African American, Hispanics and Native Americans live, rates are low.
Lactation Education Resources trains about 350 students to take the IBLCE certification exam each year. But we realize that often the areas that need it most do not have access to a certified lactation consultant. This year we have given four scholarships for our Enriched Lactation Consultant Training Program to individuals who indicated they intend to work in underserved areas once certified.
The winners of this year’s scholarships are:
Gloria Bauta, Miami, FL who will be providing low-cost lactation services to area mothers at MilkWorks
Jill Olds of Monroeville, PA who will be providing lactation services through her WIC clinic
Charlene Parrish of Whiteriver, AZ will be on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, Whiteriver, AZ
Chanel Porchia of Brooklyn, NY will continue to offer infant feeding classes and free/low cost lactation services in her area.
Best wishes to these four winners who will be part of the next generation of Lactation Consultants.