2017 Conference Speakers – Zoe Faulkner and Gretel Finch

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Dr Gretel Finch

Zoe Faulkner, IBCLC

The role and current practice of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) in Great Britain

Dr Gretel Finch is a Research Associate working in the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit at the University of Bristol, UK. In 2016, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship on effect of infant feeding method on maternal eating behaviour, food choice and weight control. Previously, Gretel worked at the Institute of Food Research, Reading UK on various research projects concerning human eating behaviour. She gained her first degree in Food Science and her PhD. in Psychology at the University of Reading (Institute of Food Research). Gretel is also a trained breastfeeding peer supporter and is currently gaining clinical practice to qualify as an IBCLC Lactation Consultant. Gretel is also the current Research Lead for Lactation Consultants of Great Britain (LCGB) aiming to build a database of UK researchers in the area of human lactation and breastfeeding. This includes facilitating collaborations between IBCLCs, researchers and other allied health professionals and advocacy for the IBCLC profession.
Nutrition and Behaviour Unit, School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, 12a, Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TU, UK Email: gretel.finch@bristol.ac.uk

Zoe Faulkner is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and since 2008 has been working a Breastfeeding Peer Support Coordinator for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust in Brighton and Hove, managing approximately 40 volunteers at any one time. In addition to jointly coordinating the peer support programme, she jointly coordinates the busy IBCLC led specialist breastfeeding drop in within the city of Brighton. Zoe has been Chair of Lactation Consultants of Great Britain (LCGB) since 2015, representing the organisation nationally and internationally with a keen interest in equality and diversity issues. Zoe has been involved in Lactation Equity Action Committee since July 2015. Prior to this, she was Chair of the Communications team, and led the development of the new LCGB website. Zoe also has a modest private practice in the Brighton area.
Sussex Community Foundation Trust, c/o Moulsecoomb Children’s Centre, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 4SE, UK Email: zoe.faulkner@nhs.net

Session Outline
For the future of the IBCLC profession, it is important to understand the role of IBCLCs in terms of breastfeeding support, promotion, training, education and policy across geographical regions and countries. The local context, health service models and culture around breastfeeding differ around the globe. In the United Kingdom, there are an estimated 495 qualified IBCLCs (International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, 2016) and an unknown quantity of aspiring IBCLCs. This research aims to investigate the role and current practices of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) in Great Britain. IBCLCs including aspiring and retired IBCLCs are being recruited through a variety of methods, including social media, email and website links. These findings will help advocate both the IBCLC credential and role in the geographical context of Great Britain.


IBCLE (International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners) http://iblce.org/about-iblce/current-statistics-on-worldwide-ibclcs/: accessed 11 December 2016.

International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. Position paper on the role and impact of the IBCLC. http://portal.ilca.org/files/resources/ilca_publications/Role%20%20Impact%20of%20the%20IBCLC-webFINAL_08-15-11.pdf : accessed December 2016.