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The passion I have always had for helping new mothers develop their skill in breastfeeding their babies now has a new face.  I am so pleased to announce my successful completion  of the ANCC-accredited Nursing Skills Competency Program, achieving the endorsement to be called a Certified Lactation Counselor.  This evidence based course  was provided by The Center for Breastfeeding/Healthy Children Project.  Please check out their website at http://www.healthychildren.cc.

The goal of a Certified Lactation Counselor is to encourage women to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding by educating on the clear health and economic advantages of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of baby’s life.  There is an emphasis on providing not only a knowledge base of why “breast is best”, but also one-on-one guidance and support for the more technical aspects of breastfeeding, and the promotion of the mother-baby milk-making team.

In a society where breastfeeding still mainly occurs behind closed doors, and most women have had little or no exposure to other women breastfeeding, they often find themselves trying to re-invent the wheel, so to speak.  Many new mothers are finding breastfeeding their newborns without professional support a difficult task which reduces their confidence along with their milk supply.  This often leads to early introduction of manufactured formulas, along with the implication that it provides a superior form of nutrition, which simply is not so. Many times a simple session or two of counselling about how to properly hold and latch the baby to the breast will cure a variety of lactation obstacles.  There are many other challenges which, with patience and protection of the baby’s best form of food, mother’s  breast milk, can be overcome.

I am delighted to have updated my knowledge base and skills as a registered nurse to provide this much-needed mentoring for mothers and their infants.  By adding evidence based counseling to my skill set as an acupuncturist, I am able to provide a comprehensive approach to helping new mothers with their lactation challenges.  Individual pre-natal counseling is most important  for its role in preventing many of the common problems which often come up.

Even on the label for a can of formula, there is an admission that it can only try to compete with the food a mother can provide for her infant.  I am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the health of these babies, in their newborn phase of life, as well as the many long-term medical issues which may be prevented in their childhood and adult years.

Mother’s Milk: it does a baby GREAT!

Deborah

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November 2011
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