What is a Lactation Consultant


This post created is in partnership with Flagstaff Birth and Women’s Center

Today we are proud to introduce you to Maya Radoccia-Kennen, BSW, IBCLC

Maya Radoccia-Kennen, BSW, IBCLC

I have developed a strong understanding of successful breastfeeding through a combination of professional development and personal experience. My clinical experience first began as a social worker for at-risk new families in rural Arizona. This soon sparked an interest in the field of lactation as I watched moms struggle and fail to breastfeed for lack of professional support. I became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2010 and began at Flagstaff Medical Center. As a mother of 3 breastfed children, I have experienced the many joys and benefits of breastfeeding. I have also experienced many of the real-life challenges like nursing a NICU baby, breast infections, postpartum depression and working and pumping. I still strongly believe that breastfeeding is the biological norm and that every baby deserves to be fed breastmilk. My professional passion lies in helping families achieve their breastfeeding goals with competent, evidence-based, compassionate and experienced support. It’s my honor and pleasure to be part of lives of the families I serve. I see breastfeeding as a means to a healthier, happier world!

An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a healthcare professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. An IBCLC is certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE).  IBCLCs have a unique body of knowledge and skill to provide breastfeeding and lactation care in routine and high-risk situations. The availability of IBCLCs increases breastfeeding rates, which, in turn, improves health outcomes. Formula feeding increases adverse health outcomes, difficult hospital re-admissions, hospital lengths of stay, and lost days at work by parents due to sick children. The increased number of infants that are breastfed because of the availability of IBCLCs lowers these formula-related risks.

An IBCLC works in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, physician’s offices, public health centers, private practice and birth centers like Flagstaff Birth and Women’s Center (FBWC). I am lucky enough to work at the lovely, comfortable, FBWC alongside a group of highly skilled Midwives, Nurses, a Naturopathic Physician and even a Chiropractor.

Here at FBWC, I meet with each new, expecting family to educate them on what to expect while breastfeeding, how their bodies will make milk and how to latch a baby. I am able to personalize this education for each individual mom based on her health history, specific anatomy, her goals and past experience. Then once the baby is born I am lucky enough to be able to help guide families that may be having difficulty nursing after their arrives. Sometimes families come to the office to get help but I often make home visits to families who have just delivered if they aren’t getting out much yet. Lactation care by an IBCLC is covered by all insurance companies which makes getting skilled help much more accessible than it used to be. I also teach a group breastfeeding class, a class specifically designed for working moms and facilitate a support group for nursing moms.

To learn more about the Flagstaff Breastfeeding Center at FBWC please visit their website