FREEBIE FRIDAY: FREE Lecture & L-CERP by Nancy Mohrbacher from Gold Lactation

GOLD Learning Online Conferences is thrilled to honour IBCLCs, those aspiring-to-be and breastfeeding supporters from around the world with this free presentation from Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA.

In “A Mother’s-Eye View of Breastfeeding Help” Nancy offers us a unique opportunity to examine breastfeeding helping situations from the mother’s point of view. This lecture draws upon relevant research to help us understand how we can be both effective and empowering in our interactions.

This presentation is available online in the GOLD Learning Library. Four weeks of access time is included with this lecture, as well as the downloadable speaker handout. Upon completion, you will be awarded 1 L-CERP – all of which are FREE! Don’t miss this excellent opportunity to advance your practice and increase your skill!

Do you have something to share for FREEBIE FRIDAY? Don’t be shy! Contact me  with your ideas. I can’t wait to hear from you.

***Disclaimer: I do not get paid for any resource, product, etc. featured on Galactablog’s ‘Freebie Friday’ series. I’m just sharing free resources I think may be beneficial to lactation professionals and those aspiring-to-be. 


FREEBIE FRIDAY: FREE Bi-Weekly Newsletters from Breastfeeding Medicine

Join Galactablog for its brand-new series: FREEBIE FRIDAY! Every Friday, a new resource will be featured. And best yet, it will always be FREE. Who doesn’t love a freebie? Stay tuned.

Do you want to stay current with breastfeeding research, information, news and articles from around the world? If so, sign-up for “Briefings in Breastfeeding Medicine” – a FREE bi-weekly e-newsletters published from the editors of Breastfeeding Medicine – an evidence-based, peer-reviewed journal which provides “unparalleled peer-reviewed research, protocols, and clinical applications to ensure optimal care for mother and infant. The Journal answers the growing demand for evidence-based research and explores the immediate and long-term outcomes of breastfeeding, including its epidemiologic, physiologic, and psychological benefits. It is the exclusive source of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine protocols.”

Sign-up for the free e-newsletter here
View past archives here

Do you have something to share for FREEBIE FRIDAY? Don’t be shy! Contact me  with your ideas. I can’t wait to hear from you.

***Disclaimer: I do not get paid for any resource, product, etc. featured on Galactablog’s ‘Freebie Friday’ series. I’m just sharing free resources I think may be beneficial, helpful and/or interesting to lactation professionals and those aspiring-to-be. 

Galactablog Is Back!

purple im backDid you miss me? Have no fear. After several various (and quite serious) health trials and tribulations, I’m back.  Galactablog now has my full attention. Stay tuned for several new blog posts, including topics such as but certainly not limited to (and in no particular order):

  • What’s in a Lactation Bag?
  • Fun Lactation Education Teaching Tools & Methods
  • Scales & Weights for Lactation Professionals (and how to use them)
  • More DIY ‘how tos’ & videos
  • Helpful apps for breastfeeding families
  • Helpful apps for Lactation Professionals
  • List of recommended lactation textbooks for your office
  • Important lactation journals & organizations in the field
  • Free CEUS/CERPS & lactation training opportunities
  • FREE IBCLC exam study guides, resources and tips
  • How to get fathers/partners/supporters more involved in the breastfeeding experience and tips to share with your clients
  • Tips for domestic and foreign travel to share with your breastfeeding clients
  • Children’s books that promote breastfeeding
  • Where to access free lactation-related handouts for parents, health professionals and lactation professionals
  • Lactation Training Program Reviews – if you’d like to submit one, you can do so here
  • The development of a review form for various online and in-person IBCLC study/prep courses
  • More ‘Words from the Wise’ on life in Private Practice
  • And of course, lots of free resources, discounts for Galactablog readers and guest posts as always

Whew! And that’s just a start. Stay tuned.

If you see a topic listed above that you’re absolutely dying to write about, or you have a topic that you’d like to see addressed or you’re interested in writing a guest post, please comment below or contact me here with your ideas and we’ll go from there. I look forward to hearing from you.



2017 GOLD Online Lactation Conference – Special Discount for Galactablog Readers

Join me at GOLD Lactation 2017! As one of this year’s Speakers – tune in for my
presentation, “Contextualizing Breastfeeding in Lebanon” – I’ve been provided a special promotional code to share which for a limited time, will allow Galactablog readers to register for the event at their Early Bird pricing.

The conference runs all the way until June 2 and not only will you have access to my talk, but to that of 26 other amazing speakers. Speakers present live on scheduled days and then participants have unlimited access to the recordings throughout the conference period. It’s quite a comprehensive program with new research, clinical skills, cultural perspectives and industry discussions, plus you can interact with a vibrant professional community through live chat, forums and discussion groups.

Don’t forget about educational credits. A total of 25.5 continuing education hours will be available through the main conference and 6 hours through each of Gold’s add-on packages. Educational credits offered: 25.5 CERPs (23.5L, 2E), 25.5 CMEs, 25.5 Nursing Contact Hours / CNE’s, 2.5 MEAC Midwifery CEUs & 25.5 Dietetic CEUs.

To claim your discount, visit and register by April 30.

Lactation Lessons From Leanna – FREE Ebook Promotion!

lessons from leanna picLeanna Mae Sexton has just published a new breastfeeding book, Lactation Lessons From Leanna. It can be purchased on Amazon here. More awesome news! She is offering a FREE Ebook promotion from June 28th to July 8, 2016.  Yes, you read that right. Absolutely free! You can download the FREE Ebook version (in pdf form) here but you better hurry, it’s only free for a few more days.

In this blog post, Leanna reveals why her book is the “ultimate” breastfeeding book and what makes it unique.

Do you want to know more about a certain breastfeeding topic? Leanna is welcoming comments and feedback on her recently released book. Or consider writing a review for “Lactation Lessons from Leanna” on Amazon or Goodreads.

“Lactation Lessons From Leanna”
Guest Post by Leanna Mae Sexton
July 5, 2016

Lactation Lessons From Leanna has everything you need to know about lactation, but it’s different than the rest. Instead of writing it like a novel, this book has been written in lessons similar to a Q&A. Nobody wants to have to flip through hundreds of pages to find the answer to their question. Flip to the detailed outline in the beginning of the book and easily be able to find the topic you have in mind. It’s extremely organized. It’s easy to read. Information is clear and straight to the point. Lists are bullet pointed for quick referencing. This book will bring clarity to all your lactation questions.

When asked the reasons why I wrote this book, it is because I wanted an easy to understand reference for all education levels. I noticed most breastfeeding books are written like novels with a vague table of contents. You have to flip through hundreds of pages to hunt for your answer. I wanted to write something more like a Q&A. I made an outline of all the topics discussed at the beginning of the book. This book is an extremely organized easy read that anyone can reference.

My goals are to improve lactation education in every home. I would love to see this book being recommended by lactation professionals and obstetric staff. It is a dream of mine to get it in hospital gift shops and maternity units.

leanna profile image

Leanna Mae Sexton is an author, activist and a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist. Want to know more about Leanna? Follow her on Facebook, Tweet with her on Twitter and Pin with her on Pinterest.

Babies and the Art of Sucking

While completing an online lecture via Lactation Education Resources (LER), Jane Bradshaw, RN, BSN, IBCLC stated something so eloquently in one of her lectures that I couldn’t help but share it with my fellow lacties.

One of the most common questions (and concerns and fears) new mothers consistently have is, “Do I have enough milk? Why does my baby want to suck all of the time? This MUST mean I don’t have enough milk!” This quote not only sums up a baby’s biological need and desire to suckle simply and beautifully but it also empowers a breastfeeding mother to know that yes, she can make enough milk to meet her infant’s needs.

final sucking instinct quote

Photo used with permission. Copyright © 2016 Galactablog and Tamara Drenttel Brand.



Mom2Mom Global: Breastfeeding Peer Support for Military Families

By: Amy Smolinski, MA, ALC, CLC, Executive Director of Mom2Mom Global

February 2, 2016

Research has shown time and again that peer support is one of the most effective ways to help breastfeeding mothers meet their goals.  We know that breastfeeding is a “right-brained” activity, that must be observed to be learned, and that, historically through much of human history, women learned how to breastfeed by being around breastfeeding mothers, typically in their own communities from mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, and friends.  

Current American culture is at a crossroads.  After several decades of bottle and formula feeding prevalence, breastfeeding is only just now beginning the return to being an accepted, normal feeding practice for babies and young children.   And it’s hard, we have growing pains.  Moms all over the US feel lost and confused and are often unsure of what to do when breastfeeding their children.  

For military families, it’s even harder.  Not only do we struggle with whatever our internalized cultural beliefs are about breastfeeding, but we also don’t have our close female friends and family nearby to help with a new baby.  Many families have a Permanent Change of Station (PCS)–or the civilian word, move–during a pregnancy, leaving a mama with a new baby in a new place, without a support system of friends nearby.  Often, due to deployments, temporary duty assignments, trainings, or the needs of the military, we don’t even have our partners with us.   I have a half-baked conspiracy theory that the reason Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) want your due date is so they can immediately cut orders to either deploy or PCS within a month of having a new baby!    

For Active Duty mamas, the challenges can be even harder.  They have the difficult task of working to establish a breastfeeding relationship and build up a pumping routine, with the added pressure of, depending on the service branch, as little as 6 weeks of “convalescent leave” (only the Navy and Marine Corps offer maternity leave) and the need to return to physical fitness standards and cope with the demands of a military career—all while breastfeeding.

Within this context, Mom2Mom Global offers support, friendship, and networking. Started in 1999 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, Mom2Mom Global is a military breastfeeding peer support organization that provides individual and group support to help new mothers meet their own personal breastfeeding goals.  In 1999, one of the pediatricians at LRMC, Dr. Laura Place, chatted during an office visit with the mother of one of her patients, Mrs. Claire Louder.  Mrs. Louder was a breastfeeding mother, and her husband, Dr. David Louder, was the head of maternal-infant medicine at LRMC.  Dr. Place shared that she was seeing a concerning trend. Many moms in the community who wanted to breastfeed were starting off well in the hospital, but by the time they came for the baby’s first well-baby check (at the time, 2 weeks postpartum), breastfeeding was not going well.  Moms lacked adequate resources and support for even basic questions about normal newborn behavior, so by the two-week mark, many had simply given up on breastfeeding altogether.  Dr. and Mrs. Louder had worked with the WIC Peer Counseling program in Texas, so they were familiar with the impact peer support can make on breastfeeding outcomes. Together with Dr. Place and Mary Reidy, a registered nurse in the Mother-Baby Unit, they developed Mom2Mom’s hallmark program, Peer Mentors.

A Mom2Mom Peer Mentor is a mother who has breastfed for a minimum of 6 months and considers it to be a positive experience.  These mothers take a one-day free training, where they learn the basics of lactation and the counseling skills to help pregnant and breastfeeding mothers define and meet their own individual goals.  Mom2Mom strives to provide Mentors who have successfully breastfed through a wide variety of different situations, to offer the benefit of peer support from the perspective of someone who’s “been there, done that.”  

Some examples of our Mentors:

  • Active Duty moms
  • Civilian working moms
  • Exclusively Pumping moms
  • NICU moms
  • Twin/Multiple moms
  • Tandem-nursing moms
  • Full-term breastfeeding moms
  • Moms who use a Supplemental Nursing System
  • Moms or babies with medical conditions or history that impact breastfeeding

Mentors provide phone, email, or online chat support to their mentees at the end of pregnancy and during the first few months after the baby is born.  A Mentor offers support, empathy, a listening ear, and a sounding board to help a new mother figure out strategies that will work for her baby and her family.   Mentors are trained to recognize symptoms that may indicate the need for professional lactation advice, and to refer moms and babies to local resources to get help when necessary.

m2m members

Mom2Mom KMC members participate in a charity event, photo taken by friend, Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Mom2Mom also offers group support, facilitated by trained lactation professionals, in both an online Facebook group and in-person through regularly scheduled meet-ups.  Each chapter holds weekly meet-ups that are open to anyone who supports breastfeeding.  Moms can come with their babies and older children to meet other families in the community and discuss any breastfeeding concerns that they have.  The structure varies from chapter to chapter, but is very informal and welcoming.  Trained lactation professionals are on hand to provide individual assistance for mothers and babies struggling with specific concerns, and the meet-ups offer a great place for mothers to practice nursing in public in a safe environment.  Friendships are born here, among both the mothers and the children.  Our closed, confidential online forums function as a 24/7 support group, as there is always someone up nursing a baby and posting to the group.  

We have a specific component, Mom2Mom Double Duty, for Active Duty and civilian working moms.  Double Duty holds meet-ups at times that fit into a working mom’s schedule.  Double Duty typically also has its own closed Facebook group where concerns are discussed specific to workplace and Active Duty breastfeeding families.  A working or Active Duty mom will be assigned a Peer Mentor who has successfully breastfed while working full time.

What makes Mom2Mom work?  Our mission to support and celebrate each mother’s individual breastfeeding journey.  Our moms help each other through the rough spots, provide encouragement, and celebrate every drop of milk as a gift.  They offer practical suggestions for obstacles, and cheer each other on, and respect that every mom and every baby is on a different path.  Our groups are “no-drama” zones, where differences of opinion are welcomed, but everyone’s unique experience is respected.  

We also are committed to providing up-to-date, accurate, evidence-based lactation information, so mothers can make informed decisions about infant feeding.  The leaders of each chapter are required to take additional lactation-specific training beyond the Mentor training and hold an accredited lactation credential.  We work with each chapter to help leaders attain this through scholarships and MyCAA.  We see a new level of mentorship arise as experienced lactation professionals work alongside newly-minted lactation specialists in military communities, sharing knowledge and helping mothers and babies.  

Over time, as mothers support each other, and new mothers come in and get support from the more seasoned moms, we are seeing a culture change at installations with Mom2Mom chapters.  When mothers feel supported in their communities, breastfeeding becomes a normal, accepted, unremarkable part of life.

Mom2Mom Holloman Big Latch On, photo courtesy of Journey Wings Photography, Holloman AFB, NM

Mom2Mom Holloman Big Latch On, photo courtesy of Journey Wings Photography, Holloman AFB, NM

Our longest-running flagship chapter, Mom2MomKMC, still operates in the Kaiserslautern Military Community in Germany.  In addition, there are active chapters at Fairchild AFB in WA, Holloman AFB in NM, Ft. Bragg in NC, San Diego, CA, SHAPE in Belgium, and USAG-Bavaria, Germany.  New chapters are planned or under formation at more military installations around the world.  We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.  

In addition, part of Mom2Mom Global’s mission is to ensure that mothers can easily find support at any military installation.  To that end, we have a database of all breastfeeding support groups, military-wide.  We actively support other Peer Support programs, such as WIC Peer Counselors, Breastfeeding USA, La Leche League, and more.  If you are looking for a peer support group, or if you are part of a mother-to-mother support group (on or off base) that serves a military community, please let us know!

For more information on Mom2Mom, or to start a local chapter in your community, contact or follow us on Facebook.

Amy head shot

Amy Barron Smolinski Photo credit Gerelynn Trisl Photography

Amy Smolinski, MA, ALC, CLC is the Executive Director of Mom2Mom Global, an international breastfeeding peer support organization that seeks to address the unique needs of breastfeeding families in the U.S. military.  She is an Army wife, and a breastfeeding mother.  

This article was originally published as a guest post on Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, a blog and website dedicated to supporting Active Duty breastfeeding mothers, and is shared here with permission.  You can view original article here.

Editor’s note: February 5, 2016 – Since the publication of this article, the military’s maternity leave has increased to 12 weeks fully paid maternity leave. You can read more about the policy change here.

How a Simple Candy Dispenser Can Help Teach a Wide, Deep Latch

A shallow latch is more often than not the cause of sore nipples and nipple damage. The importance of a wide, deep latch (mouth open at a 160 degree angle) and chin touching breast first is an important concept to portray to breastfeeding families (and those intending to breastfeed). I am always on the hunt for new and innovative ways to describe this image, particularly when I am trying to troubleshoot over the telephone or working with a mother who speaks English as a Second Language.

Fortunately, Angela Love-Zaranka, BA, IBCLC, RLC, in her “latching and positioning” pez 3lecture for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) Nurse, Physician and Staff Training offered by Lactation Education Resources (LER), has provided yet another fantastic tool I can add to my repertoire. It’s simple, brilliant and cheap (and chances are, if you have a little kid at home, it’s free). What is this magic tool you say? It’s a Pez Candy Dispenser. Yes, you read that right!

Angela explains, the “baby’s head looks like a Pez Dispenser coming to the breast helps parents understand the concept of bringing baby’s chin to breast first.” Thanks Angela! Now the fun and most difficult part – picking out which Pez Dispenser you want to use for demonstrations.800px-Hello_Kitty_PEZ_dispenser_open_II

Do you have a nifty trick that makes your life as a lactation specialist (or one aspiring to be) easier? Well, please don’t be shy! Please share it with Galactablog and we’ll share it with all of our loyal followers. Of course, we promise you full credit for your brilliancy. Contact us here or at galactablog{at}gmail{dot}com.


Lactation Program Review: Lactation Education Resources (LER) Lactation Consultant Training Program & Breastfeeding Specialist Certificate

Lactation Program Review: 

Lactation Education Resources’ (LER)

Lactation Consultant Training Program

with Breastfeeding Specialist Certificate 

Reviewer: Anonymous

December 10, 2015

Year enrolled in Program: 2015

How long did it take you to complete the program? 9 months

Certification or Certificate Offered – Breastfeeding Specialist certificate

Delivery of Program – Completely online

Books & Materials Required – The textbook Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 5th Ed is required by LER. Materials are all online power point presentations and lectures.

Cost of Program (Including books, materials, application fees, etc.) – $716

# of L-CERPs, Nursing Contact Hours, CEUs, CPEs, etc. offered – 90 L-CERPs, 90 Nursing Contact Hours and 90 CPE Level II.

Do this program’s hours meet partial or full requirements for the IBCLC exam’s lactation specific training requirement?

Yes, it meets the full 90 hour IBCLC lactation education requirement.

What did you like about the program?

  • It’s online!
  • You have up to 12 months to complete it.
  • No schedule to follow.
  • Clinical video modules were more helpful and clinical scenarios were useful.

What did you dislike about the program?

  • The lectures were outdated and sometimes had misinformation.
  • The main mode of education was clicking through slides with little to no interaction. Had to click for every single slide, which was annoying.
  • No workbook or actual assignments.
  • Content was moderate. I felt I learned as much from LER’s training as from my La Leche League (LLL) training.

What would you change about the program?

  • Update the lectures.
  • Need to have innovative content delivery and improved interaction with varied delivery mode.
  • Incorporate better accountability for the student. It’s easy to just click through slides and not get much out of it. This sets a low bar for expectations in lactation education.

How rigorous/time consuming did you find the program?

Not rigorous. Easily completed at night after kids in bed.

Would you recommend this program to others?

Not really. I just don’t think I got that much out of it other than the “check mark” of having completed the 90 hours. I think it needs updating and needs to require students to learn and work a little more.

Knowing what you know now, would you take this program again? 

No. Wish I had done the Childbirth International (CBI) program. It takes longer and requires more, but I think it has more accountability with an actual person following your progress. I would have learned more instead of just clicking mindlessly through slides.

Do you feel the course and/or certification helped you obtain your goals?

Yes- I got my 90 hours, but I don’t feel I learned terribly much, which is sad.

Does your program/credential require you to recertify? If so, how long does the credential last and what is required to recertify? No, we don’t have to recertify.

Would you like to write a review of a Lactation Training Program that you’ve taken? If so, don’t be shy! You can access the review form directly from Galactablog. Or directly online via Google Forms here.

See here for more information on LER’s lactation training programs, along with comparison of similar lactation training programs.

**Disclaimer – The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Galactablog. It’s important to note that these views are not the only source of information about this particular lactation training program.

Words from the Wise: Do’s & Don’ts of Running a Private Lactation Practice

 Guest Post By Brandy Walters, BBA, IBCLC, RLC   Brandy 2

In private practice, you are vulnerable. You are entering someone else’s home that you’ve never been to before. They may know about you, what you look like, about your family and more through your website or business Facebook page; however, you know nothing about them, except that they have a baby.  Just like in your mothering, listen to your instincts.  Google the address you are heading to BEFORE the day of the consult – not on your way there. If you have any sort of “funny feeling” you can say no. This is a relationship you are beginning and you have half of the say.

Blank and DOs and DON'Ts memo papers attached with green and pink pins.

  • Do not go to a home of someone you have not talked with. If you have only spoken with a male, never heard a mother’s voice or had all contact via text with a male, don’t go to the home. I did this once.  Exactly once.  I called the midwife I was working with and told her my mistake. She said to keep my phone in my hand with 911 dialed and my finger on Send OR simply cancel the appointment.  When I arrived at the condo, there was construction on the front so a large piece of plastic was over the door. A male answered the door and to the left of the door were three pairs of men’s shoes. I insisted he go up the stairs first and my heart stopped pounding when I saw a baby swing. I should not have put myself into that position.
  • Do not go to a home you feel weird about, have a funny vibe about or just plain do not want to go to.  You reserve the right to not service a client. Listen to yourself, your instincts and heart.
  • Do not say yes to someone you should say no to. You can say no to clients just like they can say no to you.
  • Do not leave yourself in an uncomfortable position. I had a client who laughed when I was finishing our very long 2.5 hour consult when I told her I would need my fee and needed to finish with her for the day. She said, “You expect payment?!” I responded, “Yes, we discussed it over the phone and my fee is $XXX.” She replied, “You get paid through the hospital, they sent you here.” I reminded her I was not from the hospital or affiliated in anyway with the hospital. She did write me a check and I deposited it immediately.
  • Do not go to the hospital as a private IBCLC. You don’t have privileges there. You don’t belong there. Your role is in home support.

    Do not talk about your family, your kids, your schedule, your breastfeeding experience. None of that matters. This is about the mother. The very needy mother in front of you, not you. If she asks, keep your answers simple. How many kids do you have? 3 boys. How long did you nurse your boys? Over a year each. Quickly bring the subject back to her: What is your breastfeeding goal?

Blank and DOs and DON'Ts memo papers attached with green and pink pins.

  • Do wear a name tag when you get out of the car before you enter a client’s house.
  • Do introduce yourself the minute the client answers the door.  Acknowledge everyone in the room including grandparents and especially a dad. Do use everyone’s name while talking to them, including the baby’s.
  • Do have the client sign a consent form first. Every time you see her. Every client you see.
  • Do give the parents a receipt for payment and any health reimbursement forms they can submit for possible reimbursement for your services. Any time our lactation codes get in front of the insurance companies, it is an opportunity.
  • Do wear business casual WASHABLE clothes. Jeans or shorts are not appropriate. Present yourself as a business person. But be sure everything you wear can be washed due to dog hair, baby spit, baby poop, baby drool and mommy tears. wash hands
  • Do wash your hands before touching the baby!
  • Do have boundaries and KEEP them. If you decide you don’t take texts or phone calls after 8 pm, do not take a call at 8:05 pm. If you don’t work on Sundays, do not do doctor reports or go over your finances.
  • Do go on online support/help forums, Facebook pages of La Leche League, birth worker groups and such. You can get referrals this way, learn about midwives in your area and develop relationships with the people you need for referrals.

But Do NOT get anxious, nervous and distraught if you see YOUR clients reaching out for more help other than yours. Social media is a means for mothers to get support. Some mothers need a lot of support and from different sources. Do NOT question your ability if she wants another opinion or reaches out for more ideas. Just know the ONE negative comment can hurt more than three referrals or satisfied clients.

  • Do take a vacation. Change your voice mail message, and put on your vacation responder on your email. If you are lucky enough to have another IBCLC in the area you can trust, ask her if you can refer people to her for that time and leave her number on your voicemail. Birth workers give and give and give. We need to  take a break and to recharge too.
  • Do continue your education. Either through CERPS or individual study, it is important to stay up-to-date in our field. Connect with other professionals and learn from them. Enroll in online breastfeeding conferences such as iLactation and Gold Lactation.  

Brandy Walters, BBA, IBCLC runs In Home Lactation Specialists, LLC. Look for her on Facebook. Stay tuned for part 4 coming soon.

Are you a lactation specialist (of any kind) in private practice? Consider sharing your experience – tips, lessons learned, do’s and don’ts, challenges, etc. in Galactablog’s “Words from the Wise” series. Contact us here or at galactablog{at}gmail{dot}com.