Whooo-hooo! I just finished teaching the Comprehensive Lactation Course in Orlando. What a thrill!
The first course of a new year is always exciting, although I always feel a little wary. It’s the time to put all of my preparations into action for the first time. For example, this year’s course syllabus totals 337 dense, action-packed pages. I started writing those 337 pages during the summer, and finished just in the nick of time. I’m hyper aware that I’m helping everyone to prepare for–and pass–the IBLCE exam. I want everything to be just right so that goal is realized. As many years as I’ve done this, I’m always nervous about the first one out of the gate in January.
This was definitely a memorable course, rich with contributions from our community of breastfeeding advocates. We all loved Qamariyyah’s story about how she convinced a mother who was determined to formula-feed to instead breastfeed her firstborn; she later breastfed her whole brood and told all of her friends to breastfeed, too! Someone immediately pointed out that Qamariyyah had changed more than the life of one child or one family; she had changed the feeding behavior and health outcomes of at least one generation–likely more than one generation–of children in that and other families.
We all learned from Ana’s clinical experiences with malaria, and a Elizabeth’s clinical experiences with tuberculosis. I think we all felt amazed that despite her perilous postpartum course, Sage had a successful breastfeeding experience. Then, I think everyone was grateful when Shona stood up to draw an illustration when we needed one; I can’t draw anything! And, let’s face it, no one could resist the entertainment that Cherie and Karen provided! How many times did the room rock with laughter?
I think it would be fair to say that everyone or nearly everyone asked a question, contributed a story, or shared an insight. It was a great group. I had a blast. I hope everyone else enjoyed the week as much as I did!