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The professionalism of the Chaffee County Public Health Department gained another notch this week as Emily Anderson, RN was awarded a Board Certified Lactation Consultant Certification.

Anderson has been a public health nurse for seven and a half years and a nurse home visitor for five years in Chaffee County. She took her IBCLC exam October 1 and learned during the recent holidays that she had earned the certification.

“We are certainly proud of Emily and this significant milestone she has achieved!” said Andrea Carlstrom, Chaffee County Public Health Director.

An IBCLC is a health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. They are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, Inc. under the direction of the United States National Commission for Certifying Agencies and recognized around the world for possessing the only standardized, board certified lactation credential available and being knowledgeable about up-to-date evidence-based practices in lactation as demonstrated through a rigorous exam process and re-certification every five years.

IBCLCs are educated to handle a wide variety of complex breastfeeding situations; assisting mothers with establishing and sustaining breastfeeding and lactation care, even during difficulties and high-risk situations. The role requires Anderson to be committed and sensitive to the needs of both mothers and children; working to help mothers meet their breastfeeding goals. As a member of the maternal-child health team, IBCLCs provide care in a variety of settings, sometimes making referrals to other health professionals and community support resources.

Anderson’s certification is part of Chaffee County’s focus on strengthening its breastfeeding network: an effort that has seen the county become the recipient of several state and local funding opportunities to carry out this important public health work. According to Carlstrom, Anderson and her colleagues and peers have encouraged local breastfeeding efforts and an active breastfeeding coalition, The county has hosted education and awareness events, and promoting World Breastfeeding Week.

“We are fortunate to have several IBCLCs in our department who are subject-matter experts in continuity of lactation care and who contribute to the continuum of services and supports that mothers need as they raise their children,” said Carlstrom. “Our nurse home visitation program, Healthy Start, now has two IBCLCs serving the families of Chaffee County. This program is free and available to all pregnant mothers.”

Those looking for more information regarding Chaffee County’s breastfeeding or nurse home visitation programs, can contact its main office at 719-539-4510.