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Helen Gray, MPhil IBCLC

  • Speaker Type: Latest in Lactation Symposium 2021
  • Country: UK

Helen Gray MPhil IBCLC is Joint Coordinator of the UK Steering Group of the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi). In 2017 she and Clare Meynell IBCLC jointly received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Breastfeeding from the Lactation Consultants of Great Britain (LCGB), for leading the UK’s first WBTi assessment of infant feeding policies and programmes.

Helen is an international speaker on ethics and conflicts of interest. She represents La Leche League of Great Britain on the UK Baby Feeding Law Group, which works to bring the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes into UK law. She is also Policy and Advocacy Lead for Lactation Consultants of Great Britain, and previously co-chaired LCGB’s Communications Team.

Helen’s background in anthropology and human evolution has influenced her interest in how breastfeeding, and the way we nurture our babies, are influenced by both human biology and culture.

Her current advocacy focus is the need for strong policies to protect infant feeding in emergencies. She currently serves on the Advisory Panel for a London Food Resilience research project with Oxford University.

In her spare time, she can be found sculling on the River Thames.

CE Library Presentation(s) Available Online:
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Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures
Lactation Consultants in Today's World: A Global Perspective
The profession of lactation consultant has grown around the world and has evolved enormously since its inception in 1985. At first, the development of the profession provided skilled breastfeeding counsellors with a role that aligned with the medical model, provided a career pathway, and provided evidence of lactation skills and experience. Over the years, the certification has grown and now there are over 33,000 International Board Certified Lactation Consultants© (IBCLC©) in 125 countries with the exam now offered in 17 languages. Lactation consultants are now recognised at national and global levels as providers of expert lactation care, and they work within a “landscape” of varied roles and qualifications, each of which brings their own important skill set. IBCLCs play many roles, ranging from advocate to clinical expert, from policy consultant to researcher. The profession has evolved in response to sociocultural change and global issues. One major change has been the increasing importance of technology and the internet, driven partly by the fact that the consumers of breastfeeding care are the most internet involved generation in history, with a particularly rapid transition in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Major shifts have included the recognition of structural racism, health disparities, inequities in health care and in breastfeeding support, the importance of building a more diverse workforce, recognition of the gendered nature of lactation care and the need for inclusion for people of all genders, breastfeeding as a reproductive right and as a human right of the breastfeeding dyad, and the impact of how babies are fed on many other spheres, including climate change and public health.
Lectures by Profession, Product Focus
Presentations: 6  |  Hours / CE Credits: 6  |  Viewing Time: 8 Weeks
Presentations: 1  |  Hours / CE Credits: 1  |  Viewing Time: 2 Weeks