FNHC Health Visitor becomes an accredited Lactation Consultant

By Family Nursing & Home Care
Thursday 11 July 2024

Debra Hennessy, Health Visitor and BFI* Lead with Family Nursing & Home Care, has recently attained accreditation as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBCLE).

The IBLCE is an international credentialing body whose mission is to serve the global public interest by advancing professional practice in lactation consultation and support through accreditation. It established the IBCLC certification programme in 1985 and currently there are over 37,000 IBCLCs in 134 countries.

In order to gain the qualification, which is valid for five years, Debra was required to complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of lactation-specific clinical practice, undertake 95 hours of lactation-specific education and pass the IBCLC examination.

As the only current lactation consultant in Jersey, Debra explained how having this accreditation will impact her practice and support for new parents.

“The health benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby are now widely recognised and mothers feeding their babies breastmilk gives children the best possible start in terms of health and development. The advantage of being an IBCLC and working for a charity like FNHC, is that all mothers who need help with breastfeeding will have access to high quality evidence based information and support that is recognised globally as the gold standard of care, and women will no longer have to pay for and access this service from off island”.

Family Nursing & Home Care are currently working towards Stage 3 of UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative* and are committed to supporting families with their feeding choices from pregnancy and throughout the early years. Having an IBCLC working within the team will strengthen the support available to breastfeeding families as well as the Public Health element of their work that aims to improve long term health outcomes.

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