UNM Hospitals recently secured a hard-earned International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Care Award. The “IBCLC nurse” is a member of the maternal-child health team with specialized skills in breastfeeding management and care. IBCLC certificants have passed a rigorous examination that demonstrates their ability to provide comprehensive lactation and breastfeeding care. IBCLC-hospital criteria include:

  • One or more dedicated lactation consultant support positions and a dedicated lactation program available 5-7 days a week.
  • Any evidence-based project started within the last two years that protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding and the IBCLC credential.
  • Project documentation and examples: Establishment of a lactation consultant service, setting up a lactation consultant warm line, establishment of a breastfeeding support group, establishment of in-patient skin-to-skin care, etc.
  • Documentation of breastfeeding training/updates within the last two years for nursing, medical, and other health professional staff who care for new families.

Those earning the IBCLC certification are required to keep their skills current, and must recertify every five years through continuing education and re-examination.

“We’ve worked hard to create a supportive, nurturing environment with emphasis on promoting and protecting breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact for new mothers, their babies and their families,” says Andrea Petitto, UNM Hospitals Mother-Baby Unit director. “Women are more likely to stop breastfeeding in the first month when they experience difficulties with breastfeeding. We help moms overcome challenges and support their breastfeeding goals.”

For more information on UNMH’s Mother-Baby Unit and Lactation Clinic, visit https://hospitals.unm.edu/children/mbu_lc.shtml.