Breastfeeding Champion: Chele Marmet


Chele Marmet recognized early on that virtually none of the doctors or nurses who cared for newborns had any clinical expertise in lactation consulting. Therefore, she invented and helped to develop the field of lactation consulting, which she has led and shaped for more than three decades. Today, some 25,000 certified lactation consultants (LCS) in 90 countries assist mothers and babies worldwide.

In 1979, Marmet co-created the Lactation Institute in Encino, California and has served as co-director since its founding. In 1979 the Institute offered the first training program specifically designed for lactation consultants, and in 1985, the first bachelor’s and master’s degreee programs in the field.

Marmet helped found the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE), the examining body for LCs, and was directly involved in drawing up the blueprints of the first two IBLCE examinations. For the first ten years that the exams were given, she provided the slides and questions for the bulk of the test’s clinical components. She was also instrumental in founding the International Lactation Consultant Association, (ILCA), the professional organization for LCs.

Chele Marmet is a founder of the World Alliance for Breastfeeeding Action (WABA) and the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC). For 25 yeqrs she was a member of the Lactation Consultant Department of La Leche League International (LLLI). In addition, she has continued to volunteer her time as an active LLL Leader since 1975. She fervently believes that while mohters benefit most from mother-to-mother support, a few will need the technical clinical care provided by LCs. In 2007, in recognition of Marmet’s work, the LLLI Founding Mothers presented her with the LLLI Founders’ awared.

Marmet is the mother of three adut children.

Peggy O’Mara  (101 Posts)

Peggy O’Mara founded Mothering.com in 1995 and is currently its editor-in chief. She was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine from 1980 to 2011. The author of Having a Baby Naturally; Natural Family Living; The Way Back Home; and A Quiet Place, Peggy has lectured and conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League International, and Bioneers. She is the mother of four.

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