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There are many Internet sites that can help mothers and providers with information, education, and resources for lactation. This column highlights examples of these sites.
The mission of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ICLA) is "to advance the profession of lactation consulting worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research." Their Web site (http://www.ilca.org/) provides listings of educational opportunities and resources, member news, annual conference details, research grants, research abstracts from recent conferences, and a bookstore, and a discussion forum can be accessed as either an ILCA member or as a guest. ICLA's 2005 Clinical Guidelines for the Establishment of Exclusive Breastfeeding with 20 evidence-based guidelines can be downloaded free on this site. The site also has directories to help in finding a lactation consultant as well as a speaker directory. Information on lactation consultant certification can be found at http://www.iblce.org.
Another online breast-feeding discussion forum for healthcare professionals is LACTNET (http://community.lsoft.com/archives/LACTNET.html). This tends to be a very active list. At the above site, archives of recent discussion threads can be read.
La Leche League International (LLLI) began in 1956. Its mission is "to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother" (From LLLI Policies and Standing Rules Notebook). The LLLI Web site http://www.lalecheleague.org provides resources for the public and professionals on breast-feeding, breast-feeding and the law, and educational and other resources for healthcare providers including independent study modules, bookstore, and resources for LLLI leaders.
http://Breastfeeding.com provides breast-feeding information and support via resources on their Web site, http://www.breastfeeding.com, as well as an online community of mothers and professionals. Resources available on this site include articles, how-to suggestions for common concerns, product suggestions, downloadable videos, referrals to lactations consultants, and advocacy. There is a specific area with articles, suggestions, and other resources for working mothers.
Breast-feeding resources from the US Breastfeeding Committee, a collaborative partnership of organizations, whose mission is to "protect, promote and support breastfeeding in the U.S.," can be found at http://www.usbreastfeeding.org. Contents on this site include links to issue papers and policy statements. Other resources are subdivided into 4 areas: promotion and support (includes excerpts for the Health and Human Services Blueprint for Action on Breastfeeding), government activities (links to current activities of various government agencies), national policies and frequently asked questions. Links to national policies include both government policies on breast-feeding promotion and those of major healthcare professional organizations.
A resource on breast-feeding and traveling can be found at the Centers for Disease Control site from the CDC Traveler's Health Yellow Book. The site, http://www2.ncid.cdc.gov/travel/yb/utils/ybGet.asp?section=children&obj=breastfe, includes tables on human milk storage while traveling and immunizations for breast-feeding women.
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine is "an organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding and human lactation." Their site, http://www.bfmed.org/, provides links to 15 clinical protocols for the care of breast-feeding mothers and their infants on topics such as going home/discharge (for term and NICU graduates), supplementation, mastitis, the near-term (late preterm) infant, and co-sleeping and breast-feeding.
Thomas Hale's Breastfeeding Pharmacology site, http://neonatal.ttuhsc.edu/lact/index.html, provides access to a Breastfeeding and Medications Forum for healthcare professionals. Other resources on this site include information on Dr Hales' books, a discussion of drug entry into breast milk, and a few links to selected updates and reviews of drugs and lactation. Other sites for information on this topic included the American Academy of Pediatrics listing on the Transfer of Drugs and Other Chemicals Into Human Milk from 2001 at http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/pediatrics;108/3/776.
The Breastfeeding and Human Lactation Study Center at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Department of Pediatrics provides healthcare professionals information via a bibliographic and drug (updated monthly) databases. Staff will search the database in response to inquiries and provide healthcare professionals information related to their query via telephone, fax, or e-mail. The center can be reached by telephone (585-275-0088) Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM eastern time.
Susan Blackburn, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor
Department of Family and Child Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle
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