Lactation education

Trust trains 17 lactation and breastfeeding consultants :: North Cumbria Integrated Care

Seventeen staff from the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust have passed the exams to become lactation consultants.

The staff – who are passionate about supporting families with infant feeding – have spent the last 18 months undergoing intensive training to prepare them to take the IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) exam.

They all work in the midwifery, medical visits and child nursing teams.

Those who took the course were: Laura Rodgers, Beth Rengers, Ellen Dicicco, Andrea Harriman, Bernice Radcliffe, Sarah Hargreaves, Debbie de Vaal, Denise Lightfoot, Pamela Storey, Helen Mbaye, Lib Wyborn, Sarah Rushton, Karen Brown, Cat Pattinson , Alice Robson, Charlotte Wilkinson and Sian Whitaker.

Laura Rodgers, Infant Feeding Coordinator and IBCLC at NCIC, said, “We are absolutely thrilled and incredibly proud of our incredible staff and what they have accomplished to improve care for families. We know that 80% of mothers stop breastfeeding before they want to and we hope this will help change that in Cumbria.

“Parents can ask to be referred to a food specialist in their area. Their midwife, health visitor or general practitioner can help them. We encourage anyone with eating problems to seek help, because help is there.

Bernice Radcliffe, Maternity Infant Feeding Coordinator at NCIC, said: “The course was fantastic and so rewarding, the exam was super tough, but so worth it!

“Lactation consultants are generally available to some people, while in other areas private practitioners charge for their services. Here at NCIC, this does not have to be the case for the families we care for and it means that everyone can access specialist support if they need it.

Andrea Harriman, Infant Feeding Manager, Specialist Midwife and Lactation Consultant, said: “Infant feeding has always been an area that has always been very exciting to me and when the opportunity for further training was announced to the staff thanks to our trust, I was so excited and feel so lucky to have had this opportunity.

Andrea shared how passing the exam helped her advance her skills and knowledge.

She said: “The 18 month training and exam has allowed me to advance my skills, knowledge and confidence to a level I never thought possible and with the network of my colleagues we can providing mums and babies in Cumbria with the support that every breastfeeding mum deserves and is vital to supporting them through their breastfeeding journey.

“I am very excited about the future of breastfeeding in Cumbria.”

Funding for the course came from NHS England’s Breastfeeding Continuation Fund, which is provided to areas with the lowest breastfeeding rates.

If you need help, contact your local health visitor or midwife who will put you in touch with your local coordinator.