Early in the course of my breastfeeding career, I heard the term “IBCLC” countless times – during my hospital stay, consults with LCs, visits to various forums and online researches. An IBCLC is defined as “a specialist in lactation management,” who “possesses the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to provide substantive breastfeeding assistance and skilled technical management of lactation-related problems.” IBCLCs are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. The Philippines belongs to the Asia-Pacific Region, with head office in Australia.
There are several breastfeeding support groups here in the Philippines but there are only five recognized and certified IBCLCs in the Philippines. However, it does not mean that only IBCLCs can give support to nursing mothers. Several members of the support groups are breastfeeding or peer counselors who have been trained to give support/information to nursing moms and may be working towards becoming certified as an IBCLC. The path towards being certified as an IBCLC is not easy and in fact a candidate is allowed up to 5 years to complete her certification.
The IBCLCs in the Philippines are:
1. Dr. Ma. Gracia V. Agrasada of UP PGH.
She is an ambulatory pediatrician. However, she does not have clinic hours and can only be contacted through e-mail. She is connected with the Philippine Children’s Medical Center in Quezon City. However, she currently does not accept lactation consultations.
2-3. Dr. Elvira L. Henares-Esguerra, RPh, MD, FPDS, IBCLC and Nona D. Andaya-Castillo, IBCLC
Dr. Esguerra is a dermatologist and works with Ms. Nona and put up Children for Breastfeeding, Inc. They can be contacted through:
271-0954 and 444-4716 7014429-30 or 09198395555.
Dr Henares-Esguerra also has a new clinic in Makati Medical Center effective June 2011. Tower B – Room 135. Her clinic hours are M-T-Th 10am to 4pm first come first served but appointment recommended. W-F&Sat by appointment only. Call M-T-Th 10am to 4pm to ensure an appointment 8888999 local 7135.
4. Dr. Patricia Malay-Kho
Dr. Pat Kho is an ob-gyne who is also a member of the Best Friends in Breastfeeding support group. She has clinics in Medical Center Makati, Potenciano Hospital and East Medical Center. She can be contacted through 8449185 or 09178505872 or 5314911 loc. 158.
5. Dr. Elynn L. Go
Dr. Go is a pediatrician who is based in the Emergency Room at St. Luke’s. She also has clinics at Asian Hospital, Paranaque Doctors, Las Pinas Medical Center and Alabang Medical Center. Lactation consults are only by appointment. She can be contacted through 0917-8444831 or at St. Luke’s Emergency Room – (632) 723-0101 ext. 1913.
Dr. Go usually sees lactation patients at her clinic (Room 522) at Paranaque Doctors’ Hospital Her clinic hours are Thurs 1-3pm; Friday and Sat 4-6pm. Appointments can be made through her secretary, Donna, by calling 7760644 loc.7510.
Dr. Go and Dr. Agrasada also work on charity cases. They hold free lactation consultations for charity patients at UP-PGH every Wednesday morning. Call UP-PGH (5548400) and ask to be connected to Pediatrics, Out-Patient Department.