MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Children’s Hospital has been recognized by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) for excellence in lactation care.

To receive the International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) Care Award, organizations must have the board certified consultants and provide a lactation program that is available five to seven days a week for breastfeeding families. They must also demonstrate that they have provided recent breastfeeding training for medical staff that cares for new families and complete activities that help protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

“This recognition highlights the efforts being made by maternity facilities all across the world to help mothers get off to a good start with breastfeeding and to support them in reaching their goals,” Cathy Carothers, president of ILCA, said. “IBCLCs have the only internationally recognized lactation credential in the world and are highly skilled in helping mothers with the questions and concerns that can arise. They are also an important part of the overall maternal and child health team by assuring that evidence-based policies and practices are in place that help mothers succeed with breastfeeding.”

IBCLCs focus on preventive care, so they are available during pregnancy to assess the mother and provide information on breastfeeding. They continue that assistance after the baby is born by helping mothers latch their babies appropriately and answering their questions and continue supporting them as their baby grows. They assist mothers returning to work or school and help mothers in more unusual situations such as breastfeeding more than one baby, nursing a sick or premature infant and dealing with other challenges.

As allied healthcare professionals, IBCLCs work in hospitals, clinics, public health agencies, private practice, community settings, government agencies and in research. There are currently more than 22,000 IBCLCs in 81 countries worldwide that are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners under the direction of the U.S. National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

“Not only are we honored to receive this award, but more importantly, we are proud to be able to provide this service to new mothers and families, who can rest assured that they will receive the quality care they need and deserve when their babies are born,” Cheryl Jones, R.N., director of WVU Children’s Hospital, said.

In addition to finding IBCLCs at WVU Children’s Hospital, mothers can also find an IBCLC near them by visiting the ILCA website at Follow the “Find a Lactation Consultant” link and search for an IBCLC by postal code, city and state or country.

For more information: Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 04-21-11