When it comes to caring for newborns, breastfeeding is at the top of the list in terms of hot topics. It promotes bonding, provides the perfect mix of nutrients and antibodies for fighting off infection, and is easily digestible. However, moms sometimes have trouble getting started.
At Tri-County Health Care, moms don’t have to navigate this world alone. Sarah Riedel, RN, BSN, is an expert in breastfeeding and lactation and was recently certified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
What is an IBCLC?
An IBCLC specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. They are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, which is trusted worldwide for the certification of practitioners in breastfeeding and lactation.
According to Sarah, there are 16,616 IBCLCs in the U.S. and only 359 in the state of Minnesota.
For Sarah, the rigorous certification entailed one year of independent studying that culminated into a one-week class and international test. This exam is only offered twice a year and is taken on the same day across the world. IBCLCs must be recertified every five years.
Because of Sarah’s love of education and teaching, she knew pursuing an IBCLC would align with her goals. It allows her to keep up with changing trends and research related to breastfeeding and gives her a greater depth of knowledge. As a result, this produces enhanced services for patients.
“I love working with moms and babies,” Sarah said. “I love it when breastfeeding works, and I love making it work.”
Why are IBCLCs important to moms?
IBCLCs are held to a high standard and boast a wealth of knowledge and skill related to breastfeeding and lactation care, not just in day-to-day routines but in high-risk situations as well. They deliver essential information to moms while acting as their support system.
“The more information and help that is out there for moms, the better,” Sarah said. “I want to keep them breastfeeding as long as they desire.”
IBCLCs address a variety of breastfeeding subjects, including:
- Basic position and latch
- Milk expression and storage
- Inadequate/overabundant milk supply or nipple/breast pain
- Breastfeeding after returning to work
- Feeding twins or a premature infant
Sarah wants to meet her patients at a place where they are comfortable, whether they choose to breastfeed or not. If they opt for breastfeeding, Sarah helps them determine goals while addressing any concerns they might have, but she will also help with mixing formula and other details related to bottle feeding.
“I know breastfeeding is good for moms and babies both, but no matter what you choose, it’s all about helping you reach your personal goals so that you can be confident with your baby,” she said.
If you are interested in a consultation with Sarah, call 218-631-7538. Check with your insurance or talk with Sarah to learn about the cost and coverage.
For more information about IBCLCs, visit www.ilca.org.
About the Author: Sarah Riedel is a Tri Baby Beginnings registered nurse and prenatal educator who is also certified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) at Tri-County Health Care in Wadena.