New certification helps moms breastfeed with confidence

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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.

Young mother smiling while breastfeeding daughter at home.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?Beautiful Mother breast feeding her baby girl and smiling at her

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


Sarah Riedel and her family.

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.

Area Students Awarded Davis Family Nursing Scholarship

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Tri-County Health Care Foundation is proud to have awarded five $2,500 Davis Family Nursing Scholarships to area nursing students.

The recent recipients are:

1. Roland Gilbert III, M-State, Wadena

Roland Gilbert III









2. Autumn Jahnke, M-State, Wadena










3. Dana Meemken, Bemidji State University










4. Shelby Pulju, University of Jamestown










5. Alexis Rankka, North Dakota State University










A total of $12,500 in scholarships was distributed to deserving students in an accredited nursing program. Recipients are chosen using a blind selection process from the eligibility criteria established. The applicant should have residential ties to the Tri-County Health Care service area in Ottertail, Todd and Wadena counties.

The family of Gary and Benda Davis, of Wadena, and the Tri-County Health Care Governing Board established the Davis Family Nursing Scholarship in 2010 to give back to the community, inspire others to pay it forward and encourage qualified individuals to pursue a health care career in nursing.

The Tri-County Health Care Foundation is a private charity established in 1994 by Tri-County Health Care to attract and administer charitable funds for the benefit of the communities and surrounding areas served by Tri-County Health Care in Wadena.

For more information regarding the Davis Family Nursing Scholarship, visit, or call Holly Weller at (218) 632-8777.

Tri-County-Health-Care Foundation