Issue with Italian IBCLC exam - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-28-2010, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

I frequently read the website http://www.mama-is.com/ because she creates awesome comics that promote attachment parenting and breastfeeding.

A few days ago she posted a link to a story about a woman in Italy trying to take the IBCLC exam with her 3.5 month old. The woman is a pharmacologist and is leading the way in instituting breastfeeding friendly pharmacies in Italy. She thought that becoming IBCLC certified would help her reach a wider audience.

She had her son in May and needed to sit the exam at the end of July. Therefore she requested she be allowed to bring him with her so she could nurse him in a sling during the 4 hour exam. She was advised that she should pump milk and have a babysitter!!!

Her full story is here http://www.farmaciapozzi.it/IBCLC_english.html

I have written to some of the people she advises contacting. I thought this group would be interested in spreading the word. It is just appalling a woman sitting a BREASTFEEDING exam would be told she cant breastfeed!
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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I dunno, maybe I'm just not seeing the problem here.

They are willing to accommodate her to pump. I think that's a reasonable accommodation. They aren't telling her not to pump. They seem to be willing to give her breaks, which is great.

Having a baby in the exam? That could be a huge distraction for the other test-takers.

It's a 4 hour exam. That means she could nurse the baby before, pump once, then nurse after the exam. Can the another care-giver stay nearby with the baby so she doesn't have to be far away when the test ends?

I just don't see this as something that is worth making a fuss over. Especially since even an "easy" 3-month old will likely fuss a bit during that time, need to be changed, etc. Even in a sling.

I brought my baby to work with me from 5 weeks to 4 months, and wore him in the sling all day. But even so, when I had serious meetings I needed to focus on exclusively, I had a babysitter those days, because yes, he can be distracting and then I can't focus on my job.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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If the exam area is set up anything like the ones I have to use for my licensing requirements, a baby would be a HUGE distraction to everyone else taking exams. In my area, we go to test taking centers that give exams for a wide variety of jobs and industries, the person to your right might be taking a contractors exam, while the person to your left might be taking their medical boards. We aren't even allowed to take our purse into the exam, drivers license and locker key (no wallet, no water, no snacks, no tissue). You even have to sign out/in and show your driver's licenses to use the bathroom.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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I'm sorry but I completely disagree. This is a professional EXAM. This women should have made other arrangements. At most birth professional conferences, etc they remind their guests that it is inappropriate to bring older babes. 31/2 months is certainly old enough that she could have made other arrangements.

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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Most examining bodies allow for candidates with special needs. This is one case where (particularly given the nature of the examining body!) I believe a separate room should have been provided for her to take the exam.
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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At breastfeeding conferences I have been to, babes in arms *are* welcomed, but older children are not if the venue is unsuitable and if there are no childcare facilities.
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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Most examining bodies allow for candidates with special needs. This is one case where (particularly given the nature of the examining body!) I believe a separate room should have been provided for her to take the exam.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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I don't know if the exam administration in Italy is very different than in the US, but I just took the IBLCE boards here, and their breastfeeding policy is amazingly accomadting.

First, the actual exam sessions are 2.5 hrs in the morning and afternoon. Most people finish each session in less than 2 hrs. So most people would not need special accommodation, other than someone to watch the baby during the exam.

If you have a baby under six months of age, you can apply to get breastfeeding breaks during the exam itself. You have to apply with some proof of the baby's age (birth certificate or doctor's note). They will then hire an extra person just to take you on two breaks (one am and one pm) for breastfeeding. You are required to take those breaks (as the extra proctor has been hired) and you have to set up the timing and location beforehand. However, I've never heard of another professional board that comes close to this level of accomodation.
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Old 07-31-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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Most examining bodies allow for candidates with special needs. This is one case where (particularly given the nature of the examining body!) I believe a separate room should have been provided for her to take the exam.

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Old 08-01-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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If you have a baby under six months of age, you can apply to get breastfeeding breaks during the exam itself. You have to apply with some proof of the baby's age (birth certificate or doctor's note). They will then hire an extra person just to take you on two breaks (one am and one pm) for breastfeeding. You are required to take those breaks (as the extra proctor has been hired) and you have to set up the timing and location beforehand. However, I've never heard of another professional board that comes close to this level of accomodation.
I agree that it's accommodating compared to others but it still may not be 'enough' for some, and they are supposed to be supporting breastfeeding... What if baby takes an hour to nurse? Then you're left with only 1.5 hours for that portion of the exam & it takes most people 2 hours so you wouldn't be able to finish it. Or what if you have a baby that needs more frequent feedings? My DS at 3.5 months was nursing 3-4 times an hour... I could maybe get away with skipping one session but likely would have still needed at least 2 breaks during the 2.5 hours... And why the 6-month age limit? Many babies (including my DS) are still nursing very frequently with limited or no solids at age 1 & beyond...

I feel a separate testing room would be a good solution (don't they do this for people with certain disabilities?), or special permission to allow a designated caregiver on premises to bring her the baby to nurse as often as necessary.

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Old 08-03-2010, 03:12 AM
 
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I also didn't see what the big deal was, I found their policies to be generous about nursing babies. I didn't sit last year because I had a young baby, for me personally, I found it best for my family to wait a year until DS was older.

Finding another room means that another room must be reserved and possibly paid for with another proctor hence the 6 month old rule. The testing environment is quite structured even compared to other boards I have sat for in the past, people coming and going is a distraction. I feel like it will never be enough so they do have to draw the line somewhere, and they have at 6 months.

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Old 08-03-2010, 03:20 AM
 
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What is this woman planning on doing when she returns to work? I am assuming that she is taking a licensure exam so that she can be employed as a pharmacist. I am sure she will be allowed to take a break and pump. If she can't go 4 hours without nursing her baby then how is a career going to happen for her? I'm all for breastfeeding and supporting nursing mothers, but if you want to feed your baby on demand, every hour, then you stay home.

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Old 08-03-2010, 05:20 AM
 
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What is this woman planning on doing when she returns to work? I am assuming that she is taking a licensure exam so that she can be employed as a pharmacist. I am sure she will be allowed to take a break and pump. If she can't go 4 hours without nursing her baby then how is a career going to happen for her? I'm all for breastfeeding and supporting nursing mothers, but if you want to feed your baby on demand, every hour, then you stay home.
the exam is once a year. A mama who takes it may be planning to take a full year mat leave, and then may need the qua;ification to return to work.

and why must a mom who nurses more than once every 4 hours stay home? why not work for a world with on site daycare?
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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the exam is once a year. she may be planning to take a full year mat leave.

and why must a mom who nurses more than once every 4 hours stay home? why not work for a world with on site daycare?
In a perfect world that would take place, but how many pharmacies have an onsite daycare for their employees? If she has something lined up, then good for her, that's awesome. But I just don't see that as being realistic.

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Old 08-03-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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Just a gentle reminder-- it really is not the purpose of the Lactivism forum to criticize individuals or to speculate on what they may or may not do in the future. Please focus on the incident at hand, the policy, and whether or not it was a fair one or one that promotes breastfeeding. What she will be doing several months down the road is irrelevant and outside the scope of this forum.

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