I just sent off my registration to the trainer of the CAPPA Lactation Education course coming up here in Montreal in April. I am quite excited about this. I am a former La Leche League Leader, have been a doula for quite a while, and personally spent 17 years breastfeeding and/or pregnant (tandem nursing, child led weaning, all that)... so I'm pretty handy with the boob. With this experience along with my perinatal massage work, I have probably had my hands on over 500 sets of breasts, and have educated verbally near twice that. In fact, I teach others how to help with basic breastfeeding. But there is always room for more learning.
I think it is extremely important to keep educating oneself. I occasionally go to conferences on lactation...I LOVE conferences. There is one coming up this spring in Quebec City on Kangaroo Care which I am dying to go to, but am unable because the volume of clients I already have booked up for them. It's quite hard being booked around 8 months in advance, because planning things becomes quite a challenge....I was already booked before I knew about the conference. Anyhow, I was so happy to hear of this opportunity, because there are new studies and approaches always coming out, and I think a birth attendant should be kept up to date. The doulas on my team are also taking this course (except for Kimberley, who is already a board certified lactation consultant).
If you birth workers out there get the opportunity to do trainings here and there, do them! Even if you don't choose to do the certifications (which I probably won't in this case), the knowledge will be with you. You will always learn something. It's important to never get too complacent with your knowledge. If you don't keep up to date, you're going to start having clients ask you about studies and techniques you've never heard of. Thanks to CAPPA, for this opportunity to increase my knowledge base and enhance my skills.