B/F educators who aren't L/Cs?

  1. I never realized that a hospital would use a breastfeeding educator who wasn't a certified l/c, but I was reading over the minutes of a meeting that I missed this month and there are actually a couple hospitals here that don't require the certification. It makes me wonder about the yob they sent in to ''teach'' me when my son was born... I said to her several times, I really don't need your help, thank you, I'd like to do this privately. It didn't make any sense to me for her to impose herself on an intimate situation that I had totally under control when her assistance was probably needed elsewhere and some poor new mom was going to leave the hospital feeling like she didn't have enough ''training'', all in the name of me getting my ''mandated'' lesson. Doesn't it make more sense to spend your time helping the people who need it?
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Jolie
    2 of the very best "Breastfeeding Nurses" that I've worked with were not certified LCs, but rather experienced OB nurses and experienced moms who were working to establish a successful breastfeeding program at a hospital where most patients chose to bottle feed. They had been to conferences, had shadowed LCs, and were very knowledgable. But they were also well-grounded in the realities of floor nursing and caring for post-partum moms and babies, which enabled them to make their teaching and expectations realistic. They were also quick to jump in and help with patient care when needed, which made them very well-liked by the staff!

    I have heard a number of new moms describe your situation of a LC "imposing" herself on them without the mom's request, and then not taking "No" for an answer. I don't think that is so much a matter of certification vs. lack of certification as it is a matter of a dense, self-important, inconsiderate practitioner. LCs certainly don't have a monopoly on that. I have likewise met nursing instructors, social workers, psychologists, physicians, PTs, etc. who seem inclined to "force" their knowledge on undesiring patients, usually because they think they know better than the patient what is needed. However well meaning this may be, it is highly inappropriate.
  4. by   tinyscrafts
    I assume they have to have certification as a BF educator. Education is pretty different than LC work anyway. the educators teach normal and how to avoid problems. The LC fixes the problems , it'd be a waste of her time in a way to have her teach what someone "cheaper" could.
  5. by   mitchsmom
    It's interesting that you brought this up, the credentialing body for IBCLC's (www.iblce.org) is considering a second, entry/lower/educator-level certification for breastfeeding educators as we write (to clarify, the certifications that bf educators currently hold are typically through workshops or classes that are offered through private education places such as http://www.healthychildren.cc/ or one listed here http://www.ilca.org/education/courselistings.php ; but they are not standardized and administered by the IBCLE or another credentialing body as other board exams are [and the IBCLC exam is]). It's been quite a debate in the LC community.

    Some believe that hospitals would simply employ the "lower" credentialed people, making IBCLC's less able to be employed; also that the IBCLC designation is just now itself becoming more recognized and another credential would once again muddy the waters (it is still muddy for a lot of people who don't understand the difference in all the terms used as it is). Some would like to see it and the standardization it would carry for educators, and also like that it would be an entryway for those who want to go on for IBCLC. There are a lot of other points that have been brought up but those come to mind.

    "September 2006 - Breastfeeding Peer Support Credential: The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) has identified a need in Canada and the United States to define a baseline of competence for those providing community-based breastfeeding peer support. The Board is developing a criterion-referenced certification to evaluate the competence of these individuals, who are an important component of the continuum of care available to breastfeeding mothers in these countries. Relevant stakeholders are being consulted."

    For members of ILCA (www.ilca.org), there is a discussion about it on the members-only part of the forums. I'm sure that it's been on Lactnet too but I don't really keep up with it lately

    PS... maybe the LC considered what she was doing the same way as I do when I teach a baby bath to a para 4... I know she knows how to do it but we still are supposed to go through it anyway just to cover the bases... and really most protocols do say that all bf moms should be taught/latch assessed, etc... so she was really probably being evidence-based & well-intentioned, even if annoying
    Last edit by mitchsmom on Sep 23, '06

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