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Why choose East Tennessee Lactation?

Ultimately families choose to work with us because of the care we put into supporting moms and babies. But we’d also love for you to know how we got here and how we support families behind the scenes.

East Tennessee Lactation is staffed by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) who have been working in the maternal/infant feeding field since 2013. The IBCLC has had the most lactation education, clinical hours, and required coursework of any other lactation credential at its base before we are eligible to take the certifying exam. That being said, we strive to support families “beyond the test”.

What this means to us is practicing beyond the basic knowledge required to offer lactation care. We frequently attend conferences, trainings, and workshops to be able to offer mothers and babies expert care when it comes to infant feeding. This includes everything from oral habilitation of the breastfeeding dyad to navigating breast surgeries and reductions, nipple care, ethical issues in lactation, supporting the mother with supply issues (low and oversupply), lactation after loss, pumping for the NICU baby, and much more than we could list here.

Working in private practice means that we often see babies with feeding issues that are difficult to navigate. We see mothers who may have trouble with supply - whether it is having too little milk or too much milk. We may see babies who have been diagnosed failure to thrive or babies who are unable to latch. We see babies with oral functional issues and make plans to help them eat well and help mothers feel confident and comfortable.

Why I took the Master Class and why I think ALL new IBCLCs should begin with the Master Class: Oral Habilitation of the Breastfeeding Dyad:

All IBCLCs must pass an exam that covers a wide variety of feeding and supply issues and circumstances (You can see exactly what is covered here). But there isn’t a hands-on or functional component to the exam. While it ensures IBCLCs have a base knowledge of many things, it doesn’t guarantee an in-depth understanding of oral function and correcting issues that come along with it.


The Master Class is the first of its kind that gives a comprehensive look into oral function AND habilitation. This class covers many things your lactation care provider needs to know, including:


  • Functional Assessment of the Breastfed Baby

  • Myofunctional Disorders: Origination in Infancy, Long-term Impact on Human Healt

  • Visual Documentation for the IBCLC

  • Rhythmic Movement for Function

  • The Role of Bodywork in Normalizing Function

  • Hands on: Tools for Oral Habilitation of the Breastfed Baby 

  • Collaborative Assessment of Neurologic and Biomechanical Function as it Affects Breastfeeding

  • Maternal History and its Role in Functional Habilitation

  • Supporting Healing and Optimizing Function Post Tongue-tie Release

  • Effectively & Ethically Communicating With & Teaching Parents, Professionals, Colleagues, Steps to Habilitation: Applying Our Tools in Normalizing Function

  • The Role of the Primitive Reflex in Oral Function & Rhythmic Movement for Function


And more, and more, and more.

This class has more than 30 hours of continuing education dedicated to areas surrounding oral function and habilitation. Compare that to the 95 hours total of lactation-specific education required to sit for the IBCLC exam, and you can see that this is a very large chunk of much needed learning for anyone who is working with infant feeding.

It is because of the unique mothers and babies we see that we continue to add onto our foundation of knowledge. When you choose us to support you, know that you are choosing IBCLCs who will listen to your concerns, develop feeding plans that work, and guide you every step of the way.

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