1 E-CERP + 1 CEU

Inclusive IBCLC Care Includes Formula
(It's Not Poison)

Kate DiMarco Ruck, BA, IBCLC, CBS
Course description
Inclusive IBCLC Care Includes Formula. For too long IBCLCs have had the reputation of “Lactivists” who advocate for breastfeeding and human lactation at all costs. What this attitude can cost is their reputation, clients, and access to any human milk. Artificial infant milk is a reality for many families we work with, and that choice should be treated with respect and not as a tragedy.

Formula feeding families deserve to have access to skilled and compassionate infant feeding care, just as much as breast/chest/bodyfeeding families. IBCLCs need to actively listen to and understand the families they are working with, and work on their bias against anything that isn’t the feeding of human milk. It is imperative that IBCLCs realize that their explicit and implicit bias against having a solid knowledge base regarding infant formula can cause harm, especially to already oppressed communities. We can teach about artificial infant milk and the safe preparation of formula and still be WHO Code Compliant. We can help our clients feed their babies formula and still promote, support, and protect human lactation as the biological norm. It is our job as infant feeding experts to be able to guide our clients with information regarding choosing an appropriate formula, preparing that formula safely, and how to best feed it to their baby.
Meet the Instructor

Kate DiMarco Ruck, BA, IBCLC, CBS

Brooklyn-based Kate DiMarco Ruck, BA, IBCLC, CBS is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Certified Breastfeeding Specialist providing breast/chest/bodyfeeding support to families in the New York City Metro Area.
Kate is a compassionate and knowledgeable IBCLC trained in the Oral Habilitation of the Breastfeeding Dyad, and Rhythmic Movement and Reflexes in the Infant.
Kate has volunteered internationally within refugee communities through Carry The Future, providing necessary breastfeeding support and aid during emergency situations.
She is an active participant in the local, national and international lactation community. 
Kate currently serves on the board of New York Lactation Consultants Association as Education/Events Coordinator and Marketing/Outreach Director. Kate enjoys collaborating with her colleagues, through brainstorming on client situations, speaking together at conferences, and organizing events for professional development. Kate is continually attending professional conferences and trainings to keep up with the evolving field of human lactation in order to provide the best possible care for her clients. 
Kate is founder of The Parenting Studio- a community space in Brooklyn, NY. Kate lives with her husband Ken, and two formerly breastfed children, Orion (13) and Josie (10), and they all really want a pandemic dog.
Patrick Jones - Course author

Learners say 

I learned so much from this specific presentation. It will definitely change the way I talk about formula with families. Thank you so much! 

Elianne Josel, MSN, CPNP-PC, IBCLC

Kate provided me with another avenue in which to demonstrate my expertise into the community earning more respect as a trusted expert. 

Alicia D. Farina, BA, RN, IBCLC

Kate Dimarco Ruck presented a very challenging topic with ease and a great communication style! I felt so empowered as an IBCLC to continue my support for parents who choose or need formula.

Cathleen Walker, MA, RNC, IBCLC

Start learning now!

Knowledge Gap
Many IBCLCs feel that they don’t really have to have conversations about formula with their clients, and that this information should be discussed with a healthcare provider. The thought extends to all formula has to be the same formulation to be regulated by the FDA or other governing body, so why should I know the difference? Some IBCLCs feel conflicted that talking about formula or teaching parents how to use formula is a violation of the WHO Code and goes against the Clinical Competencies for the IBCLC. What is the history of infant formula, and what examples are there of predatory marketing? How can we offer our clients compassionate care and stay within the boundaries of our Clinical Competencies? How in the time of infant formula shortages and recalls is it even more imperative for formula feeding families to have access to compassionate and unbiased information in regards to how best to supplement their babies?


Understand why it is the job of the IBCLC as the infant feeding expert have a working knowledge of infant formula.


Have proficiency of the history of infant formula, its marketing, and how formula recalls impact families.


Clear up confusion regarding talking about infant formula, teaching it’s safe use, the WHO Code, the IBLCE Clinical Competencies, and IBCLC’s Scope of Practice
IBLCE Content Outline
VII. B5 - Educating mothers and families
VII. B6 - Educating professionals, peers, and students
VII. C3 - Code of professional conduct
VII. C5 - WHO code - advocacy and policy
VII. E2 - Advocate for compliance with World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes (WHO Code)

Course Lessons

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