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Posts Tagged ‘lactation education’

By Karen Gehl, BS, ICCE

A client recently asked me, what do all those letters mean after your name, and what is the difference between being a “childbirth educator” and a “certified childbirth educator”?  This is a great question, and one many people have as they search the internet for resources and classes to help guide them through pregnancy, labor and delivery, and parenthood. If you have googled “pregnancy” lately, you already know there is an overwhelming amount of information to be obtained on the internet.  It can be very confusing, and unfortunately, often misleading.  It is important for expectant parents to really research the credentials of the people they hire to help them through this special process of bringing their baby into the world.  It is my belief that there is nothing more amazing, awe inspiring, and breathtaking than experiencing or witnessing the birth of a child.  We owe it to that tiny little being to provide him with the safest, most loving environment possible, both inside and outside of the womb.  This is why childbirth classes are so very important, and this is why I have dedicated myself to being the best childbirth educator I can be.  And this is why I welcomed this client’s question!

I explained to my client that I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Virginia Tech in 1987, which is why I have the initials B.S. following my name.  The ICCE initials stand for International Certified Childbirth Educator, which means that I have been certified to be a Childbirth Educator by the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA).  What does it mean to be certified through ICEA?  ICEA holds their instructors to a very high standard of knowledge and it has a very intense and rigorous certification process for childbirth educators.  From the time I decided to pursue a career in Childbirth Education to the time I actually received my certification, I had invested 2 full years to acquiring continuing education credits, attending conferences, completing the extensive list of required reading, observing classes, being observed, student teaching, and finally sitting for the 3 hour exam.  It was a very long and intense process, but I passed the test and was officially certified (and very relieved!) in spring of 2006.  That is when I earned the initials ‘ICCE’ after my name.

ICEA has achieved a reputation as one of the leaders in the field of childbirth education because of their strict standards for certification, which is also why they require ICCE’s to prove they are keeping current on childbirth issues!  How do they do this?  Well, in order to maintain the very highest quality of childbirth educators, ICEA requires recertification every 4 years.  I am required to keep up with all the latest research and information on pregnancy, labor and delivery, as well as breastfeeding and newborn care.  In order to recertify, I am required to prove that I am continuing my education and keeping current on all the available information in the field.

For example, July 2010 the ACOG (the American Congress of Obstreticions and Gynecologists) issued a new statement that a vaginal birth after a cesarean is “a safe and appropriate choice for most women . . . including for some women who have had two previous cesareans.”  You can read about it by following this link:   http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr07-21-10-1.cfm

I am very proud to say I have just recently completed my requirements for recertification!

But the studying doesn’t stop there, nor does my commitment to my clients!  The field of childbirth is always evolving and the information changes as new studies are done and new evidence based practices are implemented.  When I am not in the classroom teaching, I spend a great deal of time just keeping up to date on all the latest research and studies regarding pregnancy, labor, birth, newborn care and breastfeeding.  This is how I ensure that my clients will get the absolute best information, based on evidence and research, so they can make the very best choices for themselves, and for their babies and fully experience the life changing miracle of birth.

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Click Here to find one of Karen’s Childbirth/Lamaze Classes for you on our Event’s Calendar or call our office today at (434) 384-MAMA (6262).

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HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumour cells), was discovered in breastmilk several years ago, but it is only recently been possible to test it on humans.  In 1999, I went to the La Leche League International conference in Washington DC and heard the primary researcher, Anders Håkansson MD PhD, talk about his findings.  They put cancer cells in a dish with breastmilk and they all died, all of them, everytype of cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, etc.  When they put healthy cells in the breastmilk they just grew, and were happy.  The breastmilk told the unhealthy cancer cells, who were growing uncontrollably to stop/die.  They died by a process called apoptosis, or programed cell death, like the dry/dead layer of skin on our bodies.  There is something in the DNA of the cell that tells it when it is done–to shrivle up and die.   The other kind of cell death is necrosis.  When cells die of necrosis, they explode – like when cells are killed by an antibiotic, or by chemotherapy.  So the cells that died in the breastmilk were told to quit–stop dividing uncontrollably. We were all jumping out of our seats as we listened to him and asked how soon this would be used in cancer treatment.  He said he didn’t know and because he was a researcher it was not his job.  He passed this information along to the people who do clinical trials– tests and then put a treatment into use.  He said it ought to be soon as breastmilk is so safe–after all we feed it in large quantities to our babies!

Until recently, no one that I have ever talked to in the oncology field have even heard of this yet!  I do know people who have used breast milk to help treat their cancer.  Often they do it as a last ditch teatment when the other therapies are no longer effective.

Click this link to go to the news release from researchers at the University of Gothenburg who are focusing on how HAMLET can be taken up into tumour cells.

http://www.science.gu.se/english/News/News_detail/?contentId=930092&disableRedirect=true&languageId=100001&returnUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.science.gu.se%2Faktuellt%2Fnyheter%2FNyheter%2BDetalj

Also see this link for the original link from Discover Magazine in 1999:  http://discovermagazine.com/1999/jun/featcancer

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By Jane Bradshaw, RN, IBCLC, RLC, Childbirth Educator, HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator

What’s wrong with this statement? How could a woman benefit from Prepared Childbirth Classes if she definitely wants an epidural?

1. Because a laboring woman can not always have an epidural when she wants it. Usually she must be in active labor and progressing, effacing and dilating. It is worth it to know comfort measures to cope with labor until that point.
2. An epidural may slow or stop labor. If that happens more drugs are given to stimulate labor to ‘move it along’, usually pitocin. Both of these, the epidural and pitocin, are strong, serious drugs that can cause fetal distress. Parents need to understand these drugs well before choosing them, knowing the benefits, risks and alternatives, how to ask questions and discuss these with their care providers. Then they need to be able to consider their options to make the best decisions for themselves and their baby.
3. Sometimes an epidural, Plan A doesn’t work (roughly 10% of the time) or it may work on only 1 side only numb one area and not others. Then what do you do? Women who don’t have Plan B are more likely to feel totally unprepared, disappointed, upset, fearful and have more pain.
4. Sometimes labor goes too quickly to get the epidural! These quick labors are usually healthy but very intense. It is worth it to know techniques to help yourself through a fast & furious labor, just in case.
5. A woman or her baby may have a medical condition, at any time that makes her unable to have an epidural. This is a rude awakening if a woman has planned on getting it, and is not prepared to cope without one, again causing more fear, tension, and pain.

What do childbirth preparation classes, commonly known as Lamaze, teach that would benefit a woman who plans to have an epidural?

1. The normal process of labor and delivery. Many mothers fear labor and the knowledge acquired in childbirth classes can reduce fear, tension and pain.
2. All benefits, risks, and alternatives of treatments and medications, including epidurals, that are possible during labor so the woman and her partner can make smart, informed decisions.
3. How to talk with your care provider about your medical choices in labor. During labor, much of what happens to you is optional. Know your options!
3. Lots and lots of risk-free, non-medical comfort techniques for labor.
4. Techniques that promote a healthy labor, ways to help it progress normally, so it is as short as possible which is good for both mother and baby. Who wants a long labor anyway?

Prepared birthing classes are good for EVERY expectant couple!

Call Best Start Parenting Center for more information about Prepared Childbirth Classes or visit our classes page on our website by clicking here.

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Jane Bradshaw is traveling this week, sharing her expertise at a Clinical Skills Workshop this week in Rockville, Maryland. Lactation Education Resources provides comprehensive online lactation consultant training for those who wish to become eligible for IBCLC certification. Over the past years, Jane has teached Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners, Midwives, Obstetricians, Pediatricians, Family Practice MDs, La Leche League Leaders, WIC workers, Breastfeeding Peer Counselors, women who have breastfed their infants, and women who have a degree in an unrelated field — anyone with a commitment to breastfeeding mothers and infants! So you can see that people who come into the field of lactation come from a wide variety of backgrounds.

If you have ever wanted to find out how you can learn more to help moms and babies breastfeed or even get certified as a Lactation Consultant, visit the Lactation Education Resources website and read “Where to Start” by clicking here.

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International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) recently participated in a video production about the IBCLC credential and the public health importance of care provided by IBCLCs.

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Great short video on premature babies and donating human milk.
Jane

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