Wondering how to become an IBCLC?

I often get asked how to become an IBCLC. And I love it! But my responses were often long and cumbersome. Now, ILCA has a straightforward article about becoming an IBCLC with links to more in-depth information when necessary. I’ll always happily answer questions on how to become an IBCLC, but this article is a great place to start!

Wondering How To Become An IBCLC-
Are you an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) who gets questions about how to join the profession? Or are you considering becoming an IBCLC?

The International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) has a number of resources to help you become an IBCLC and prepare for the certification examination.

The basic requirements needed to become an IBCLC

To become an IBCLC, you’ll need to take certain health science courses, acquire lactation education hours, obtain clinical hours supporting breastfeeding families, and sit for the certification exam. The exam is developed and overseen by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®).

There are three pathways to becoming an IBCLC. The one you choose may depend on whether you have a background in health sciences and how you plan to obtain your clinical hours. You can learn more about the three pathways here at IBLCE’s site.

Finding the right course for you to become an…

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A Little Less Lost and Alone

I attended a conference called Project Mom today. It was a day for moms to get out sans kids, get some swag and hear speakers on relevant topics. You know, typical conference stuff. I skipped the breakout sessions, but caught the beginning and ending keynote speakers. The message I got from them was “you are the perfect mom for your child” and “get connected so you don’t feel so alone.”

The first one is good, because I do need the reminder that I’m not royally screwing up my kid. There is a reason he, with all his endearing-yet-maddening personality traits, was given to me. I’m not a perfect parent, but I am the perfect parent for him. Helps keep the suicidal thoughts away (only joking here, right?).

The second message brought into sharp focus just how alone I feel. I’ve never been good at connecting with people. I forced myself to learn how to do it superficially (alcohol helped; relearning it in sobriety was even harder), but really letting people IN has always been hard. I lost some close friendships in the past year, which has made it even harder. Though I know the loss was partly my fault, and we’re mending the friendships slowly, the pain of losing women I considered sisters makes me not want to get close to anyone else. I don’t want to get hurt again.

So, I’ve lost my two closest friends. I’m in a new town and don’t know many people. Family and other friends are far away. When I’m in those low moments that seem to happen all-too-often with this pregnancy, I feel completely and utterly alone. I laid on my bed sobbing last week, wanting to reach out to someone but not coming up with any names. And it’s frightening. I guess I just haven’t figured out what is more frightening – opening up and telling someone I need help, or continuing on with these overwhelming feelings on my own.

Luckily, I went to Project Mom with a friend. She’s in a similar situation, and I feel like our friendship deepened a little with our shared experience today. I don’t feel quite so lost and alone, knowing there’s at least one other mom out there who shares my fears.

Cover songs – better than the original?

Jen Kehl - My Skewed View www.jenkehl.com

Twisted Mixtape Tuesday, and it’s all about covers this week. I kind of had a hard time remembering the cover songs I like, because for some reason all the cover songs I HATE kept popping up in my head (I’m looking at you, Britney, with your horrifying rendition of “I Love Rock & Roll”). But I want this to be a positive mixtape, so I’m ignoring my cranky tendencies and celebrating those songs that are still pretty awesome the second time around.

1. Me First & the Gimme Gimmes – Tomorrow

Me First & the Gimme Gimmes is a band that pretty much does all covers, so it’s hard to pick just one of their songs. I think I have to go with “Tomorrow,” though “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is a superclose second.

2. Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal

So I won’t say it’s better than the MJ original, but it just has such a different sound. Alien Ant Farm kind of made it into their own song, so it’s hard to compare it to the original. That’s about as technical as I’m going to get – I just love the song.

3. The White Stripes – Jolene

I’ve never really heard Dolly Parton do this song. I’ve never been a big Dolly fan so I’m ok with that. Jack White could sing a song about a turd and make it sound breathtaking. I’m not saying this song is a turd – he’s just that damn talented.

4. Nirvana – The Man Who Sold The World

Will I be lambasted if I admit that the first time I ever heard this song was when Nirvana played it? In this very video? I didn’t even know it was a cover for the longest time (no offense, David Bowie, I just wasn’t that into you back when I was going to marry Kurt Cobain). I worshiped Nirvana back in the day. I hated Courtney Love just because she married my Kurt. And when he killed himself, my (12-year-old) world shattered. This is my favorite Nirvana album, and while this isn’t my favorite song off there, I still dig it.

5. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Higher Ground

Soooo…there’s this movie called Center Stage that for some reason, I absolutely adore. Love it. It’s mostly about ballet, but at one point they do an awesome some-other-kind-of-dance to this song. Ever since then, it’s been rotating in and out of my workout playlist. Plus I like to pretend I can do the moves from the movie (I can’t). Sorry, Stevie, your original doesn’t get me moving the way this one does!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the mixtapes at http://jenkehl.com/music/twisted-mix-tape-cover-songs-playlist/. You may find a few you like (or hate, depending on your mood). Mad props, as always, to Jen for hosting!!


I’ve been thinking a lot about control lately.

Sometimes it’s a good thing, like when you want to eat all the Cheez-Its while your healthy dinner is cooking (true story). Self-control is an amazing quality to have and one I continue to cultivate.

But where else is control a good thing? Can a person really control anything besides his/her own behaviors, actions, thoughts and feelings? I’m inclined to say no. And I think we spend a lot of time being unhappy because we’re trying so dang hard to control things that are, frankly, out of our control.

I had one of those “a-ha” moments recently. Dinner has always been a battle with my son. To the point where pretty much everyone dreaded it. I’d cook a healthy meal, my husband and I could beg/cajole/threaten/barter/bribe our son to just take a bite, he’d refuse. Repeat. Sometimes it ended with me in tears, because even though I know I shouldn’t take the opinions of a 3-year-old to heart, sometimes it really, really hurt that he rejected the meals I cooked. It got so bad that one night (when he was having sweet potato pancakes – a favorite – for dinner), my son announced, “This isn’t dinner. This is yummy!” Dinner had officially became a bad word.

Well, I got tired of being angry and frustrated after a meal. So I hopped on Google and found this wonderful piece from Positive Parenting Solutions. It wasn’t about the food – it was about power. Colt is definitely entering a more defiant stage, so it makes sense that he’s figured out he can assert power over us at the dinner table, IF WE LET HIM. .

For the past few days, I have not engaged with him. I give him a plate of food (making sure to add one or two familiar foods if the main dish is something new), I ask him to eat and then I let it go. We tell him when dinner is about to be over, and then take the plate away when it’s over. No fighting, no whining, no threatening. He doesn’t always eat, but that’s ok. I’m giving him the power to choose, rather than trying to control whether he eats or not.

I know from my recovery work that trying to control too much is a guarantee that something will go wrong. Took me awhile to make the connection between the dinner battles and my need to control everything, but now that I have – sweet relief. Dinner is pleasant again. The part I can control is providing him with healthy foods. The rest is up to him.

What areas of parenting do you think you’ve been trying to control too much?

Breastfeeding isn’t all tender moments and unicorn farts

Breastfeeding isn’t all tender moments and unicorn farts

Ashley Nicole, model and girlfriend of Miami Dolphins player Phillip Wheeler recently posted a picture of herself breastfeeding on Instagram:


Of course, people lost their shit. Cover up! You’re holding the baby wrong! Don’t wear sunglasses because you can’t make eye contact. You shouldn’t be dressed so sexy while feeding [really? who said nursing moms have to look frumpy?]. And one of my favorite comments:

Problem is she is standing up, holding the baby like a sack of potatoes and not even looking at the baby. Doesn’t look like a tender moment.

Uh, so when did breastfeeding have to be all about tender moments? Yes, part of breastfeeding is bonding with the baby, making eye contact, enjoying the rush of feel-good hormones. Those are important and necessary for both mama and baby.

But honestly, we all know it’s not that way 100% of the time. Sometimes, it’s about getting the job of feeding done. Sometimes (like this mama) we’re on our way out the door and baby decides it’s time to nurse. Maybe she decided to multitask and feed while getting ready to leave. Maybe she thought, I’ll feed him right up until he goes in the car seat, and then I can feed again when we get to where we’re going. I know I’ve had those thoughts before!

It would be wonderful if every time the baby feeds, we could hit the pause button on Life. The majority of the time, we can. But sometimes, we can’t. And mothers should not be chastised for fitting breastfeeding into their busy lives

The point is, don’t try to pretend that breastfeeding is 100% rainbows and sweet moments and then berate a mother for not following that credo. Breastfeeding is hard work, and occasionally you have to sacrifice the tender moment to keep life moving. Don’t hate the mama who is making breastfeeding work for her.

Soundtrack to my school life

It’s Twisted MixTape Tuesday Time, Y’all!

www.jenkehl.comThe theme for this week was “If My Life Had a Soundtrack.” You know, if someone decided my life was sweet enough to turn into a movie, theoretically these are the songs someone would pick. The thing about me is music has been huge in my life. And specific eras in my life demanded specific types of music and artists. So what I’m saying is this would be a very random soundtrack with little cohesiveness. Which I guess is a good way to describe my life, really.

I didn’t pick any bands that have really gone the distance. Nirvana, No Doubt, The Killers, Garth Brooks, The White Stripes and Tim McGraw would all be on the soundtrack as well because they are my homies for life. The songs listed here are the ones that come to mind first when I think about the different phases of my life and aren’t necessarily still on my go-to playlist.

To keep this from getting super long and unwieldy, I’ve limited myself to the first 18 years of my life. So if someone made a movie on my life from birth to the year 2000, this is what would have to be there:


Jermaine Stewart – We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off

According to my mom, this was my favorite song when I was like 4 years old. She said I’d sing it loud and proud. This and Papa Don’t Preach were my jams. Guess I was a cool little kid? Really wish I’d kept this philosophy once I was old enough for sexy times…

Elementary school

Celine Dion – Water from the Moon

I loved Celine Dion. There, I said it. Her music perfectly sums up the ridiculous, hopeless romantic I was in elementary school. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, PEOPLE. I was reading Danielle Steele novels and assuming I’d marry every guy I “dated.” And listening to copious amounts of Celine Dion. I practically wore this song out on the first CD I ever owned.

Junior high

Blackstreet – No Diggity

Of course I went through a stage when I thought I was a badass. Ok, so Blackstreet doesn’t exactly make me “hard” but this album was sweet.

High school

NOFX – Please Play This Song on the Radio

In high school, I was into No Doubt and Blink-182. Later, I was taken a little deeper into punk/ska music, thanks to a dude who moved to our tiny coastal town from southern California. I dated him, but I really don’t like to think about that anymore. At least I was able to discover some sweet new bands like Goldfinger, Me First & the Gimmie Gimmies, Less Than Jake and NOFX.
***Note: song has profanity. You see what they did there? With the title? Nice.

Alanis Morrissette – Thank U

Had to include two from high school because this song got me through my suicide attempt, my dad’s suicide attempt and my parents’ divorce (all happened within the span of 6 months). To say it was a rough time in my life would be a gross effing understatement.

What songs would be on your soundtrack? Make sure you head over to the lovely Jen Kehl’s place to check out other mixtapes. Who knows – you may find a new entry for your soundtrack!