Presentation Information

Helen Gray

Lactation Consultants in Today's World: A Global Perspective

  • Speaker: Helen Gray , MPhil, IBCLC
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME, 0.1 Midwifery CEU, 1 Dietetic CEU

The profession of lactation consultant has grown around the world and has evolved enormously since its inception in 1985. At first, the development of the profession provided skilled breastfeeding counsellors with a role that aligned with the medical model, provided a career pathway, and provided evidence of lactation skills and experience.

Over the years, the certification has grown and now there are over 33,000 International Board Certified Lactation Consultants© (IBCLC©) in 125 countries with the exam now offered in 17 languages. Lactation consultants are now recognised at national and global levels as providers of expert lactation care, and they work within a “landscape” of varied roles and qualifications, each of which brings their own important skill set. IBCLCs play many roles, ranging from advocate to clinical expert, from policy consultant to researcher. The profession has evolved in response to sociocultural change and global issues. One major change has been the increasing importance of technology and the internet, driven partly by the fact that the consumers of breastfeeding care are the most internet involved generation in history, with a particularly rapid transition in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Major shifts have included the recognition of structural racism, health disparities, inequities in health care and in breastfeeding support, the importance of building a more diverse workforce, recognition of the gendered nature of lactation care and the need for inclusion for people of all genders, breastfeeding as a reproductive right and as a human right of the breastfeeding dyad, and the impact of how babies are fed on many other spheres, including climate change and public health.

Live Presentation Schedule

Apr 4, 2022