ALCI Spring Study Day 2018 Write-Up

The 2018 Members-Only ALCI Spring Study Day was held on 10th March at the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland Building at University Hospital Waterford.  There were close to 100 ALCI members in attendance and the overall feedback on the day was overwhelmingly positive. ALCI was delighted that the new National Breastfeeding Coordinator, Laura McHugh, was able to attend. Laura, herself a breastfeeding mother of three, introduced herself to attendees and spoke with great enthusiasm about her new role. We wish her luck!

 

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Following a welcome to attendees by ALCI President Sue Jameson, the first speaker was Dr Justin Roche, consultant paediatrician at The Infant Feeding Centre and South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. He spoke about his experiences of doing tongue tie releases at the centre, and discussed the kind of post-frenotomy care that he advises his clients to do.  Some of the questions that were asked after Dr. Roche’s presentation raised issues around lack of access to frenotomy providers in certain parts of the country and the lack of consensus among providers on best practice around the procedure. According to Dr. Roche a team approach is necessary for a successful outcome for babies with tongue restrictions, this includes a tongue tie provider, IBCLC, Bodywork/CST and post-division exercises. Dr. Roche made the pertinent point that we are all learning and that what we are saying in regard to tongue tie today may be different to what we are saying in a few years’ time.

 

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Paediatric physiotherapist Patricia Weldon from the Rainbows End Clinic in Kilmessan, Co. Meath was also very warmly received. She spoke about the kinds of issues that she helps babies with, such as misalignments of the skeletal system, central nervous system dysfunction, stress, birth trauma and developmental challenges. It was a very interesting talk which provided insights into how these physical and neurological issues can make breastfeeding difficult for some infants. Patricia also spoke about how the “mother’s mind surrounds the baby’s mind,” and how as practitioners when can care for the mother, we are indirectly caring for the baby.

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The AGM was held after coffee break. Two council members who recently stepped down, Helen Byrt from UMHL and Megan Shepherd from The Coombe, were thanked for their time and work on Council. One new Council member, Aine O’Leary, was proposed and seconded and welcomed on Council. ALCI still has one vacancy on Council and put out a request for a volunteer.

 

 

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After the AGM, IBCLC Claire Bulfin livened things up with her very interesting talk about the web chat service, ‘Ask the Expert,’ that is provided on the HSE website www.breastfeeding.ie. This service is available from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. It is a 35-hr per week role which is shared by 6 different IBCLCs. In 2017, there were 1588 interactions with breastfeeding mothers. Claire spoke to us about some of the common issues that mothers contact the service with, and some of the more unusual queries!  Claire finished her talk with some music and managed to get everyone in the room up dancing, which was quite an achievement. It really helped create an atmosphere of togetherness and positivity, and the sense that we are all working towards a common goal.

 

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In addition to all of the above, there were a couple of short ‘nuggets’ presented. One was by Dr Yvonne Fogarty and Ciara McCorley of the University of Limerick, who spoke about the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) which was set up by IBFN to assess and monitor key breastfeeding policies and programmes. Yvonne and Ciara made an appeal for anyone with an interest in getting involved with WTBi Ireland to contact them. The Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/WBTIIreland/. The other nugget on the day was by ALCI President Sue Jameson, who described the techniques involved in hand expressing and therapeutic breast massage. She played this video to help demonstrate the practice https://vimeo.com/65196007.

 

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Sue also facilitated a workshop at the end of day on ethics for the IBCLC. The workshop included ethical scenarios that IBCLCs encounter in clinical practice on a daily basis and created much discussion among attendees. The resource for guiding IBCLCs in relation to ethical issues can be found on the IBLCE website as follows

https://iblce.org/resources/professional-standards/

https://iblce.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/code-of-professional-conduct.pdf

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Review of Jaye Simpson’s Structure and Function Course

Course review by Aine O’Leary IBCLC

 

Course Title: Structure and Function –  How Infant Structure affects the Infant’s Function.

 

Facilitated by: Jaye Simpson-Haleryn (CLE, CIM, BT.)  started her career in lactation in 1995, and qualified as an IBCLC in 2000. She also became a certified instructor of infant massage, tailoring classes for parents of babies with additional needs and structural issues due to birth trauma. Jaye became a Bowen Therapist in 2010 and subsequently developed the Structure and Function training programme in 2013 following research and training to support professionals in the area of birth and breastfeeding.

 

 

This two part live educational programme facilitated by Jaye via a virtual meeting room was extremely informative and thought provoking for lactation and post partum practice, and child development. The course was facilitated in a structured semi-formal and very practical manner with flexibility for question time throughout the sessions. When I did the course, we did part 1 on a Tuesday evening from 8:00 to 10:30pm and part 2 the following Wednesday evening from 8:00 to 10:30pm.   There were 9 participants doing the course which really added to the interactive feel of the course.

 

Jaye, through her thoroughly engaging presentations, outlined various trajectories that may impact babies from birth, into childhood and throughout their life. Various means are detailed on how practitioners can develop their observational skills to identify how any variance/deviation in a baby’s anatomical structures can impact their function. Jaye imparts practical tools for practice in the field of child development and lactation. The findings were clearly outlined through discussion, illustrative and video format. I would strongly recommend this course for any professional working with babies and children but most notably IBCLCs as it strengthens your skills in child development, assessments and observations of the anatomical structures of infants and the knowledge can be readily transferred into every day practice. The course supports the practice of reflection regarding the possible impact on breastfeeding outcome, behaviours and the infant’s life as a whole. Additionally Jaye touches on the various complementary methods that support a baby’s/child’s/adult’s recovery. The benefits and outcomes of accessing complementary supports most notably bodywork in real life case examples are outlined. Helpful links, articles and resources and a link to Jaye’s Facebook page is a bonus following completion of the course.

 

This course made me reflect on babies that I had the pleasure in supporting in their breastfeeding journey, some of whom struggled and had trouble establishing feeding, and exhibited distressed expressions. On reflection, these issues arose from birth and could be observed through variable anatomical features, structural asymmetries and this had a direct impact on their behaviour and feeding. Additionally, this course further compounds the benefit of bodywork in the early stages of an infant’s life and beyond.

 

Jaye’s Website https://jayesimpsonpresents.wordpress.com/

 

Please Note: ALCI has organised Jaye’s course for a number of ALCI members  earlier in the year. If you are interested in doing Jaye’s next Structure and Function Course in April, please contact Caoimhe Whelan caoimhew@gmail.com.