Tag Archives: Breastfeeding

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 – Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers

World Breastfeeding Week took place recently, and this year’s theme “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers”, highlighted the importance of providing support to breastfeeding families.


Infant feeding is one of the most important decisions that new families make. Evidence is clear that breastfeeding is the ideal way to feed an infant. Research shows that infants who are not exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life are more likely to develop a wide range of chronic and acute diseases, including ear infections, diarrhoeal diseases, asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, obesity and respiratory illnesses. Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding with a decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancers.


Despite most mothers wanting to breastfeed, many are met with multiple and complex barriers that keep them from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals. Support and encouragement from all angles can make success possible for mothers who wish to breastfeed. Negative attitudes and practices of the mother’s closest support network can pose a sizeable barrier, making it difficult for mothers and babies to successfully breastfeed. “Learning how to breastfeed takes time and patience for new mothers and infants. It is important to remember that families, friends, healthcare providers, employers, childcare providers, communities, and even the media play a crucial role in mother’s overall success with breastfeeding,” said Margaret Murphy, President of the Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland.


Appropriate breastfeeding support can build a mother’s confidence with breastfeeding. It is critical that breastfeeding families be supported by their community. This support can be expressed by healthcare providers adopting policies and practices that assume breastfeeding as the normal feeding method for infants, by employers providing a private place and flexible work options to express breastmilk during the work day, or by childcare providers talking to new families about how they support breastfeeding. Breastfeeding peer counsellors, mother-to-mother support groups, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) certificants work in communities and can provide a wealth of knowledge to breastfeeding families.

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 – Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers


An IBCLC is a certified healthcare professional with special knowledge and experience assisting breastfeeding families. The IBCLC can work in a variety of environments from hospitals to private practice to community health settings. Many work with employers and businesses to help establish worksite lactation support programs. Mothers can also find a local IBCLC to help them with breastfeeding questions and concerns by visiting the “Find a Lactation Consultant” Directory here on the ALCI website.

World Breastfeeding Week is coordinated globally by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA).

Keynote Speaker for ALCI Conference 2013 – Linda Smith

Keynote Speaker for ALCI Conference 2013 – Linda SmithLinda Smith MPH, FACCE, IBCLC, FILCA, is confirmed as the Keynote Speaker for the 2013 ALCI Conference. Linda is a lactation consultant, childbirth educator, author, and internationally-known consultant on breastfeeding and birthing issues. Linda is ILCA’s liaison to the World Health Organisation’s Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and consultant to INFACT Canada/IBFAN North America. As a former La Leche League Leader and Lamaze-certified Childbirth Educator, she provided education and support to diverse families over 35 years. Linda was a founder of IBLCE, founder and past board member of ILCA, and is a delegate to the United States Breastfeeding Committee from the American Breastfeeding Institute. She owns the Bright Future Lactation Resource Center, whose mission is “Supporting the People who Support Breastfeeding” with lactation education programs, consulting services, and educational resources.


This theme of this two day ALCI Conference is ‘Creating Realistic Breastfeeding Expectations’ and it will take place in the Green Isle Hotel, Clondalkin on October 4th and 5th 2013.


Further detail will be available here.

ALCI Members Only Day A Great Success

Recently many ALCI members, and some staff of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, enjoyed an informative and stimulating day with a variety of speakers; PR Consultant Marie Ennis O’Connor, CMS Teenage Pregnancy Una O’Brien, HSE National Breastfeeding Coordinator Siobhan Hourigan and Janet Calvert, RM BSc MSc.


The ALCI AGM also took place on the day. This included the official election of some Council positions, and ALCI Council now stands as follows;


  • President – Margaret Murphy IBCLC, Co. Cork
  • Vice President – Meabh Anne McNamara IBCLC, Co. Kildare
  • Treasurer – Johanna Riley Cusack IBCLC, Co. Clare
  • Secretary – Genevieve Becker IBCLC, Co. Galway
  • General Council Member – Audrey McVeigh Clarke IBCLC, Co. Galway
  • General Council Member – Norma Quirke IBCLC, Co. Dublin
  • General Council Member – Vacant


The next ALCI Event will be the Annual Conference on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th of October 2012 in The Green Isle Hotel, Dublin. The theme will be ‘Creating Realistic Breastfeeding Expectations’. This two day event will be the 10th Annual ALCI Conference. More details will be available here.

Breastfeeding Support and New Technologies – ALCI Members Only Spring Event 2013

Social Media and the IBCLC, Ethical considerations and targeting those least likely to breastfeed, Teenage Pregnancy and Taking a consumer approach to promoting breastfeeding will be the presentations at ‘Breastfeeding Support and New Technologies’, the ALCI Members Only Event, Spring 2013 on Saturday April 20th 2013 in the Nursing Education Centre of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.


Ms. Marie Ennis O’Connor, PR Consultant will present Social Media and the IBCLC. Ms. Janet Calvert, RM BSc MSc Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager Regional Breastfeeding Lead for the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland will discuss Ethical Considerations and Targeting These Least Likely to Breastfeed. Ms. Siobhán Hourigan, National Breastfeeding Coordinator, will discuss taking a consumer approach to promoting breastfeeding. Ms. Una O’Brien, CMS Teenage Pregnancy will present a session on Teenage Pregnancy.


4 CERPs have been awarded in total, 1.25 CERPs L and 3.75 CERPs E. The event fee is €20, which includes a light lunch. The event is open to all current ALCI members & staff of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda. Please feel free to include your ALCI MembershipMembership Renewal with your event registration. Pre-registered and pre-paying is essential. If you are unable to attend, a full refund will be made if 48 hours’ notice is given, or another member may attend in your place.


If you are not an ALCI member but are interested in attending, you are welcome to join ALCI and attend the event, just email info@alcireland.ie for membership and event forms.


Please contact ALCI at info@alcireland.ie or text 089 441 6497 if you have any queries.

IBCLC Day Celebrated Worldwide

The Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland (ALCI) is joined the International Lactation Consultant Association in celebrating IBCLC Day on March 6th, 2013. This year’s theme “Connect with IBCLCs, the Experts in Breastfeeding Care,” highlights the expertise of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® in providing breastfeeding care.


As part of ALCI’s IBCLC Day celebrations, Siobhan Hourigan (HSE National Breastfeeding Co-ordinator) was presented with a certificate from ALCI, of appreciation for her support and inclusion of IBCLCs. The certificate was presented at the National Breastfeeding Strategy Implementation Committee meeting. Also in the photo below (from left to right) are Nuala Molumby IBCLC, Meabh Anne McNamara IBCLC and Dr. Genevieve Becker IBCLC, all ALCI members on the National Committee.


IBCLC Day Celebrated Worldwide

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLCs) are healthcare professionals with expertise related to breastfeeding. In order to become certified, all IBCLCs have extensive training through coursework and clinical practice hours, and they have passed an internationally recognised exam.


Because of their training and required continuing education, IBCLCs are knowledgeable about evidence-based practices and experienced in managing a wide variety of complex breastfeeding situations. They advise mothers during pregnancy, help them establish breastfeeding, and provide assistance with any challenges that may occur. IBCLCs also train other health workers and educators so that they may support breastfeeding. IBCLCs undertake research, develop health materials, and implement programs and campaigns.


According to Megs Murphy IBCLC, President of ALCI, “Parents can be overwhelmed by the many sources of information on breastfeeding, some of which may be conflicting. An IBCLC has the expertise to provide parents accurate, evidence-based information specific to their needs.”


As allied health care professionals with the only internationally-recognised credential for professional lactation services, IBCLCs work in hospitals, clinics, private practice, community settings, health promotion programmes, education and in research. There are currently more than 26,000 IBCLC certificants in 94 countries worldwide. The IBCLC is certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®), which is accredited by the U.S. National Commission for Certifying Agencies.


Pregnant women, parents and health workers can find an IBCLC who is working in Private Practice in Ireland here.


The Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland (ALCI) is an affiliate of The International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), and promotes the professional development, advancement and recognition of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) for the benefit of breastfeeding infants and children, mothers, families and the wider community. Contact ALCI at info@alcireland.ie


ALCI Welcomes Recent ERSI Report

The ERSI Perinatal Statistics Report for 2011 was released on the 20th December 2012. It had some good news on breastfeeding and reported that 55% of babies recorded any breastfeeding in 2011, compared to 51% in 2007 and 44% in 2002. A reported 47% of babies were exclusively breastfed, compared to 45% in 2007 and 41% in 2002. The rising rate of breastfeeding provide a healthy start for babies, aid long term health, and reduces national health care costs.


The report found that breastfeeding was more common than artificial feeding amongst mothers aged between 25 years or more, with the highest proportion of breastfeeding mothers in the 30–34 year age group, of whom 50.2 % reported that they were breastfeeding.   The rise in breastfeeding in Ireland may be attributable to the increased population of non-Irish mothers who are more likely to breastfeed. Babies of Irish-born mothers and mothers under 25 years of age were reported in the 2011 statistics as least likely to be breastfeeding highlighting the major influence of the mother’s cultural and social background. Greater availability and access to International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) would assist in meeting the need for on-going support and promotion of breastfeeding in these mothers. Increased recognition of the importance of breastfeeding support in the early days combined with interaction between breastfeeding support organisations and the Health Service could help increase rates across the board.


An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a globally recognised qualification that identifies a member of the health care team who has acquired specialist skill, made an in depth study of breastfeeding and passed an international exam. IBCLCs work to promote, support and protect breastfeeding. The over 170 current International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) in Ireland have played a key role in the increase in breastfeeding rates. IBCLCs work in hospitals, community health services, education, private practice and national health promotion programmes. They work individually with mothers and groups as well as in training other health professionals and in policy implementation. Contact with an IBCLC can often be instrumental in getting breastfeeding off to a good start and can help mothers who may be having difficulties to solve them and continue breastfeeding.