• OUR MISSION: We are dedicated to fostering
  • the physical and emotional health of mothers
  • and babies during the CRUCIAL FIRST YEARS OF LIFE.
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The Certified Lactation Consultant: Special Care for Special Needs

Although not every breastfeeding mother and baby necessarily require the help of an IBCLC, it has been demonstrated that "breastfeeding education and access to a lactation consultant can be critical to the successful initiation and continuation of breastfeeding."

The only health care professionals specifically trained as breastfeeding specialists are International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (also called IBCLCs).

WHAT IS AN IBCLC?

The IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) is a health care provider trained to focus on the needs and concerns of the breastfeeding mother-baby couple and to prevent, recognise and solve difficulties that may arise during breastfeeding. She is a breastfeeding and lactation specialist whose approach is respectful of the unique needs and goals of each family, and fosters parental autonomy and growth.

The Lactation Consultant has completed comprehensive training and accumulated extensive clinical experience to acquire and perfect skills in breastfeeding management and counselling, including problems and special situations.

This multidisciplinary training includes knowledge of:

  • maternal and infant anatomy, physiology, and endocrinology
  • growth parameters and developmental milestones from preconception to beyond twelve months
  • maternal and infant nutrition, biochemistry, immunology, and infectious diseases
  • maternal and infant pathology, pharmacology, and toxicology
  • psychology, sociology, and anthropology
  • reading and interpretation of scientific research
  • ethical and legal issues related to the practice of lactation consulting
  • technology related to breastfeeding
  • public health issues surrounding lactation


Mandatory recertification every 5 years assures that all IBCLCs keep their knowledge and skills current and up-to-date. The IBCLC credential is the only internationally recognised accreditation for breastfeeding professionals.

In what situations could you benefit from the help of an IBCLC?

  • Prenatal breastfeeding education and preparation
  • Difficulties with latching; baby refusing the breast
  • Painful breastfeeding; sore, damaged or cracked nipples
  • Severe engorgement
  • Blocked ducts, mastitis, yeast
  • Milk supply issues (over-supply, low supply)
  • Slow or insufficient weight gain in baby
  • Special maternal circumstances (previous breast surgery, hormonal disorders, etc.)
  • Special infant circumstances (cleft lip/palate, hospitalised baby, reflux, etc.)
  • Breastfeeding premature babies/multiples
  • Mother-infant separation, going back to work, etc.
  • Advice on renting or purchasing a breast pump or other breastfeeding equipment

Note that situations that contra-indicate or require interruption of breastfeeding are rare. In the vast majority of circumstances, with skilled help, the breastfeeding relationship can be maintained for the mutual benefit of mother and baby.

Stephanie Dupras, RN, IBCLC, RLC, Doula is a Registered Nurse, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, birth doula and childbirth educator, in addition to being a mother of four. Her philosophy of care fosters respect, gentleness, confidence and autonomy. She offers support during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum in a climate of trust and confidentiality. Her combined skills result in a unique approach to helping new parents become informed, empowered and confident in the choices they make, ensuring the best possible start for their new baby.

To schedule a consultation in greater Montreal and its surrounding areas, please call (450) 661-6629 or (514) 996-8280.

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