Archive for January, 2012

Keeping Track

January 4, 2012

One thing that sets becoming an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) apart from other programs is the degree of independence that it requires. Where university degree programs specify which courses are required to graduate and provide you with opportunities to fulfill the requirements, the designation I am chasing simply lists what courses I need to take and how many clinical hours I need (500!)… finding appropriate courses and learning opportunities is entirely up to me.

Case in point: When I went to teacher’s college, I was assigned a “home group” with which I traveled to my various courses throughout the week, and when it came time for practicum, someone sitting in an office somewhere printed me off my assignment of which classroom I was to show up to practice teach in on what date. Of course, that degree (and other degree programs) do take dedication and hard work, but everything is laid out for you.

The IBLCE allows candidates a five year period within which to fulfill all requirements to write the exam. My plan is to write the exam in July 2015, which will mark the end of my five years.  All contact hours and courses must be completed by April of that year. This  gives me a little over three more years to fulfill all of my obligations.

I decided to take stock of exactly where I am, to better understand where I am going and what I need to do to get there.

The verdict: I need to kick it up a notch. I’ve still got lots of time, but I’d rather meet the requirements slowly but surely than to be panicking when only a few months remain.

University level academic requirements achieved:

  • Biology
  • Infant and Child Growth and Development
  • Psychology
  • Research
  • Sociology

Still to achieve:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition

Lactation specific education: Two courses down (Nine to go!)

There are a further six mini courses I must complete: (These are the ones that sound extremely exciting to me. YAWN!)

Basic life support (e.g. CPR – I have this one), Medical documentation, Medical terminology, Occupational safety for health professionals, Professional ethics for health professionals, and Universal safety precautions and infection control.

Clinical hours required: 500

Clinical hours achieved: 25 (only 475 to go!)

My biggest challenge right now is meeting the 500 contact hours requirement. I am currently interning one afternoon a week which typically gives me 2.5-3 hours. (To count for hours I must be actively working with mother-baby dyads). I don’t have enough weeks left to record just 3 hours at a time. Looks like working one more half day a week is in my future!

I’m starting a new course tonight, “Positioning and Latch of Baby at the Breast” – off to study I go!

The Magic of Christmas

January 3, 2012

Sometimes having children causes you to experience life as a child all over again.

We excitedly stop and stare and point at fields full of grazing geese. We “ooh!” and “aahh!” at every airplane and bird passing overhead. And there is something tremendously exciting about squishing play dough in your hands or splashing in a tub full of bubbles.

Everyone’s heard the saying that sometimes the box is more fun that what’s inside? It’s definitely true at our house!

It’s because of this unbridled childhood excitement for all things that Christmas truly delivered.

Tristan especially, at three and a half, is at an amazing age to really experience the magic of Christmas. He truly believes and it takes such little effort to elicit amazing displays of joy and excitement.

Every activity we did turned out to be “one of the greatest things ever!” which makes this mama only want to find better, even more exciting activities to keep us busy every day. It’s so rewarding to see such delight spread on the faces of my children, and it makes the activities fun for me as well to get to share these precious first experiences.

Exhibit # 1: Our mitten Advent Calendar. Each day throughout the month, a note, a treat or a small gift awaited Tristan. The kid never missed a beat (often reminding me to stuff that day’s mitten!)

Then of course there is writing a letter to Santa….

… and the excitement that follows when he actually sends you video in return!

Top all that off with baking a seemingly endless supply of Christmas cookies, making crafts and homemade gifts, and sprinkling sparkling reindeer food on the front lawn, and it was a  pretty busy month (leading to poor Tristan being fast asleep by 5:00 Christmas Day!)

But oh we had fun! It was a great holiday filled with joy and time spent with family. I hope your Christmas delivered as much as ours did. 🙂