Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Should I Renew My CLC?

Back in 2010 I completed the Certified Lactation Counselor training through Healthy Children. I wrote about it on the blog, and a few weeks later I found out via mail that I had passed the test and could indeed call myself a CLC.

In the two years since, I haven't really done much with this certification, besides use those letters after my name for a few short-term consulting projects. I know the limitations of the CLC and I am not going to start a business providing breastfeeding support because I took a week-long training program. But I also do like being able to say I have a credential.

So do I bother to complete the continuing education requirements in order to recertify? I only need 18 hours and I have ten months to get it done. There are a few options for doing it online, like through Lactation Education Resources, which has a ton of classes that sound interesting, like The Politics of Breastfeeding. There are also classes I can do at my own pace through Healthy Children's Learn at Home modules. They have some courses I'd be interested in taking too, like Concerns about Infant Formula and The Role of Donor Milk in the Reduction of Infant Mortality and Morbidity.

But this don't come cheap. I've already invested about $600 to take the CLC course and recertifying isn't free either. All of those courses cost money and are worth varying amounts of contact hours. The cheapest I can do this for is about $265, and that's if I get in on the early bird special for recertification.

Is anyone else in the same boat as me? Is it worth keeping a credential I may or may not use for the next three years? Since I'm already in so deep, do I continue to spend a few hundred bucks every few years in order to call myself a CLC? What would you do?

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Seeking Donations for A Virtual Baby Shower!

I've been longing to get in some volunteer hours for quite some time now. I've mulled over joining various organizations that provide mother-to-mother breastfeeding support, but with my full-time job and my kids' activities, I just don't have the time to dedicate to it at this stage in my life. So I joined Hands on Broward, a local organization that matches people who want to volunteer with one-shot projects that mesh with their interests and skills. You pick the day and time and place you want to volunteer, put in your hours and volunteer again when you have the time. This is really the ideal situation for me now, and there are so many worthy local projects I can give my time to. I'm so excited about many of the opportunities available, and the first one I've chosen to be a part of is a baby drive for a non-profit called We Pass the Blessings.

Every year, We Pass the Blessings holds several events to provide goods and services to the community, including an annual health fair, a baby shower and holiday toy drive. I've decided to collect baby items for their Community Baby Shower for low income moms and moms-to-be, which will be held in March in Ft. Lauderdale. I really want to help this great cause and I just might have a small agenda and want to make sure that they get some breastfeeding related supplies.

Now, normally I would just put a bin in at work and ask people to donate, but I can't at my current position. So that's where you all in my network come in! I know that times are not that great for any of us, but I was hoping that some of you who are able to, would choose to help out some moms in need in South Florida.

So! We Pass the Blessings is asking for the following:

  • New and gently used baby clothes (size newborn to 3T)
  • Blankets
  • Diapers & diaper bags
  • Infant feeding sets
  • Health care sets (shampoo, lotion, etc) and Safety/First Aid kits
  • Pacifiers and teethers
  • New or gently used infant bath tubs, high chairs, strollers
  • Donations in any amount via Paypal on their site
I'm asking you to also consider donating:
  • Nursing pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Manual breast pump
  • Nursing pillow
  • Nursing cover
  • Baby carrier
To that end I've created a Wish List on Amazon where you can purchase items directly and have them shipped to me. I'll package everything up and deliver it, along with my own donations. I'll take pictures of everything and update you here. I hope to also be able to attend the Baby Shower and take some pictures there too. If you have gently used baby items you'd like to ship, please contact me at Blacktating at gmail and put Virtual Baby Shower in the subject line and I will send you the shipping address. Of course if you have any other questions for me, you can feel free to email me as well. 

The drive will be short: I'd like everything to arrive here by March 1 so I can make the drop on Saturday, March 2. 

You may be wondering why I didn't add an Ergo or Moby or *insert your favorite organic/sustainable/reusable product here* but I really wanted to keep every item under $40. If you are feeling generous, by all means, donate something more expensive. But I know those items aren't within everyone's reach and I didn't want anyone to not chip in because they couldn't afford to.

I appreciate all of you even reading this and considering it. I hope I can collect a ton of items for these women. Let's make it happen!

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