Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Can't go to #ILCA2014? Attend via Twitter!

The annual professional conference for
all things lactation is taking place this week in Phoenix Arizona. The International Lactation Consultant Association's Real World ILCA 2014 gathering starts tomorrow and continues through Saturday.

Can't go? Bummer! I can't go either. I was planning to attend to live-tweet for @HumanMilkNews, but family events are keeping me close to home.

What's the next best thing? I love following conferences via Twitter. You can do it too, and you don't even need to be on Twitter (but you're going to want to be!!)

You can follow anyone or anything you want on Twitter by heading to the Twitter website and plugging in a search term or a name or Twitter account. Try it: http://www.twitter.com. Type in #ILCA2014 in the search window at the top, and hit return. Et, voila!

Didn't work? Here's a handy link! And here's the livestream:

Isn't that awesome! If you're already at the conference, consider joining Twitter and getting in the fun. Check out this how-to from ILCA social media master Jeanette McCulloch:

Conference Twitter 101 for Birth and Breastfeeding Pros: Getting Started

There's also an app! Search for 2014 ILCA and load it on your smartphone or tablet. The tablet version includes a live Twitter feed.

Not at the conference, and scared to try something new?  I've made a custom #ILCA2014 guide that'll get you up and running on Twitter in five minutes flat. The screenshots below are instructions for a laptop.

So jump in! If you're on the #ILCA2014 search page already, on your laptop it'll look something like the screen below. Otherwise, just head to http://www.twitter.com, or download the Twitter app on your smartphone. Sign up! You'll be asked to enter your name, email address, a password and a username. If you're on an iPhone or Android device, the process is similar.

Tips for a username - try something short and descriptive. I use @jodinechase for my personal Twitter account and @HumanMilkNews for the account that pairs with this blog. Jeanette McCulloch, ILCA's social media whiz, uses @JeanetteIBCLC.

If your username is taken, Twitter will suggest another one, but you don't have to take what is on offer. Try your name with a middle initial, or add your credentials.

If you're using a laptop and a browser Twitter will offer you a Welcoming Tutorial. Go ahead and take it. If you're on your phone, it'll offer you the opportunity to download the Twitter app. Do it! 

The Twitter Tutorial gets you set up and on Twitter fast. This is a good place to pause for a moment and absorb two key things about Twitter:

1) It's all about sharing: Chances are you're already on another social network like Facebook and you get the concept of sharing your thoughts or information in status updates. Twitter is like that, except pretty much everything you share goes out into the wide world and is always public. And you can only type out status updates, or posts, or "tweets" that are 140 characters long.

This is 140 characters long This is 140 characters long This is 140 characters long This is 140 characters long This is 140 characters long This is 140 characters long Th

It's all about following: Twitter is all about following the tweets sent by people who share your interests, and exploring tweets about specific interests. People use hashtags - words preceded by the hash mark - to tag and track those tweets. When Twitter asks you to follow 5 people, type the #breastfeeding hashtag in the search window to bring up people who use that hashtag for ideas of who to follow. Take a look at the list of people presented, and click the "follow" on those you know and are interested in.

 Twitter will ask you to follow a few more people, and it will also ask you to type the names in of people you know. You can type in names like Liz Brooks or Karleen Gribble or Jodine Chase, or you can type in Twitter IDs like @HumanMilkNews or @ILCA1985, which is the official ILCA account.

As a last touch, Twitter will ask you to personalize your account. It wants you to add an image - it can be a photo of you, or an avatar or other image, and a short bio. Don't worry if you can't find the right picture or think of a bio of anything now. If you're on an iPhone or Android device you may be offered the option of taking a selfie to use as your photo ID.

And you're ready to begin Tweeting! Note until you confirm your account from your email, you may see the confirmation bar at the top of your screen. Twitter will continue to recommend people for you to follow on the right.

If you want to reply to a tweet, select or hover over the tweet and you will see the Reply, Retweet, and Favourite options.  

Your reply goes directly to Robin B. Frees, whose Twitter handle is @RobinFrees, and if you add the #ILCA2014 hashtag, anyone following will also see it. 

To compose a new tweet, click the compose button at the top right. Don't forget to include any relevant hashtags in your Tweet! Twitter will show you replies with its notification features. 

And that's it! You can now follow the ILCA conference, whether you're at the conference or at home, by searching tweets using the #ILCA2014 hashtag. (Try that on Facebook too!) By retweeting, replying, or typing your own tweets will be able to comment, ask questions, and interact with other conference goers or people who are also following along. Happy tweeting!

Note: I am a member of the ILCA Medialert Team. My views are mine alone and do not represent ILCA.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Indy, LLL latch-on events sprouting up across Canada and the US

What's a latch-on?
It's a celebration of breastfeeding! Women gather in the same place and latch on their babies all at once. The idea started in Australia in 1999 when 536 children were latched on and was picked up the following year by Quintessence Foundation. Every year Quintessence hosts the annual Breastfeeding Challenge in October during Canada's national breastfeeding week. By 2003 the celebrations had expanded to sites around the globe.

The world record?
In 2002 a group of moms in Berkeley, California, challenged the Australian record and set a new world record of 1,130 children breastfeeding simultaneously. In 2006 a group of moms in the Philippines set a new world record of 3,738 children breastfeeding at one site and the following year registered 590 sites with over 22,500 women breastfeeding their children. According to Quintessence,
"The organizers of this massive 2007 event, the Children for Breastfeeding and the Nurturers of the Earth in partnership with WABA, explained that "these events were organized because at the time, US lobbyists and businesses were trying were trying to get the Department of Health to water down breastfeeding advocates efforts to strengthen the laws that protect breastfeeding. The battle with the companies reached the Supreme Court and the halls of the Philippine Senate and Congress in public hearings."  This was certainly an impressive effort!" (From History of the Quintessence Challenge)

Big Latch On 
New Zealand has been hosting a latch-on since 2002 and has had over 1,000 moms and children breastfeeding at one site. In 2005 the Big Latch On initiative was started by the Women's Health Action Trust in New Zealand to coincide with World Breastfeeding Week in August. There are now almost 100 sites in New Zealand. In 2011 the movement was brought to the USA by the company Small Beginnings Group and according to their website the The Big Latch On grew with the support of La Leche League to include sites across the US.

LLLUSA and Indy latch-on events
Concern over private ownership and inappropriate corporate sponsorship has led to an pause in the partnership between The Big Latch On and some non-profit organizations. La Leche League USA is hosting latch-on events under its own umbrella "Live, Love Latch" site and there are also independent latch-on events being held:

Latch On Events:
Aug 1
Live, Love, Latch Potluck, Little Rock, Arkansas
La Leche League of Central Arkansas

Aug 2
Live Love Latch, Mobile, Alabama
La Leche League of Mobile and Baldwin Counties

Greater Edmonton Latch On, Edmonton, Alberta

Live Love Latch Family Picnic, Sierra Vista, Arizona
La Leche League of Sierra Vista


World Breastfeeding Week 2014 - Ms. Wright's Way, Granada Hills, California
Ashley Wright

Latch and Link Long Beach, Long Beach, California

3rd Annual Breastfeeding Celebration, Stockton, California
La Leche League of Lodi

Live Love Latch, Ventura, California
Breastfeeding Coalition of Ventura County and La Leche League Ventura

Live, Love, Latch, Fort Collins, Colorado
La Leche League Fort Collins

Live, Love, Latch, Boynton Beath, Florida
La Leche League of Lake Worth/Boynton Beach

MiLLLk and Cookies: A toast to World Breastfeeding Week
La Leche League of Marion County

Live, Love, Latch, World Breastfeeding Rally and Info Fair, St. Mary's, Georgia
South Georgia World Breastfeeding Week Committee

Live Love Latch Family Picnic, Treasure Valley, Idaho
La Leche League of Treasure Valley

Live Love Latch Family Festival, New Albany, Indiana
La Leche League of Southern Indiana

Live Love Latch Family Picnic, West Lafayette, Indiana
La Leche League of Greater Lafayette

Live, Love, Latch, Mankato, Minnesota
La Leche League of Mankato/St. Peter

World Breastfeeding Week Family Picnic, Springfield, Missouri
La Leche League of Springfield

Live Love Latch Kickoff Picnic, St. Louis, Missouri
La Leche League of St. Louis

Mamafest, Rolla, Missouri
Rolla Birth Network

New Mexico
Live Love Latch Ice Cream Social, Farmington, New Mexico
La Leche League

New York State
Live Love Latch Celebration, Twin Tiers, New York
La Leche League of Twin Tiers

World Breastfeeding Week and Live Love Latch Family Picnic, Mason, Ohio
La Leche League Cincinnati

Columbus Latch and Splash, Columbus, Ohio
Clintonville Breastfeeding Support Group

Community Breastfeeding Celebration, Duncan, Oklahoma
La Leche League of Duncan & the Oklahoma Mothers' Milk Bank

Live, Love Latch in the Heartland!, Norman, Oklahoma

Live Love Latch Breastfeeding Family Faire, Rogue River, Oregon
Breastfeeding Coalition of Josephine County/La Leche League of Grant's Pass

The Breastfeed'in, Eugeine-Springfield, Oregon
Daisy C.H.A.I.N. Creating Healthy Alliances

Lancaster Celebration, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
La Leche League Groups of Lancaster County

Live, Love, Latch Picnic, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
La Leche League of Greencastle/Waynesboro,

South Carolina
Live, Love Latch in the Low Country, Charleston, South Carolina

Latch On Texas, Austin, Texas

Latch On Texas, Dallas, Texas

Latch On Texas, Fort Worth, Texas
Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition

Celebration, Lewisburg, Tennessee

RVA Latches On!, Richmond, Virginia
Richmond Health Action Alliance

Skagit Family Jubilee, Burlington, Washington

Contact the editor to add an event.

See also: Who own's breastfeeding, or why I'm troubled by the Big Latch On this year

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

25 years of milkbanking in Mumbai

Lokmanya Tilak Hospital NICU
This is a wonderful article on India's oldest milk bank at the Lokmanya Tilak Hospital in Mumbai. It was originally funded by a private company and when that ran out its founder, Dr. Armida Fernandez, had to convince the local hospital to pick up the funding: 
"Dr. Fernandez had to get creative in her argument. She cited the popular Hindu myth of the god Lord Krishna, who was separated  from his biological mother at birth and nursed by another woman. The example, at once familiar and reverent, struck home, and eventually, the breast milk bank was allocated money from the hospital’s budget."
Read the whole article below: