Mar 6, 2017

​This week’s CHAMPion of the Week is Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy (NABA). Marsha has worked as a breastfeeding practitioner, advocate, author and speaker for the past 40 years. We are excited to announce that she is our featured speaker for this week’s CHAMPS webinar, “Code Compliance and Purchasing Formula.” The webinar will take place this Wednesday, March 8 from 11 am – 12 pm Central Time.

In this webinar, Marsha will explain what the International Code for Marketing of Breast-milk (the Code) is, why it is important to adhere to, and some of the subtleties involved. In short, the Code is an international policy set forth by the World Health Assembly and World Health Organization to discourage the marketing of formula and promote breastfeeding, and adhering to it is one of the critical steps for a hospital to become Baby-Friendly designated.

Marsha’s background brings a wealth of knowledge to this subject. NABA is the International Baby Food Action Network organization that monitors the Code in the United States. Most of Marsha’s work at NABA involves staying on top of Code issues, watching for Code violations, consulting with those asking questions about Code compliance, as well as being a resource on Code issues for organizations such as United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA), International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), Kelly Mom, and Best for Babes. She also lectures and writes on Code issues.

In addition to her work at NABA, Marsha serves on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Lactation Consultant Association, on the program committee of Baby-Friendly USA, on the licensure and reimbursement committee of USLCA, and she advocates for the licensure of the IBCLC. In the past she had a large clinical practice at Harvard Pilgrim and served on the board of directors of ILCA, USLCA, Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition, and Baby-Friendly USA. She has authored numerous articles and books on breastfeeding, including the current 4th edition of Breastfeeding Management for the Clinician: Using the Evidence.

What personally motivates Marsha to do this work? She shares: “I think the personal motivation comes from knowing what a profound health impact that breastfeeding has on the population of mothers and infants. Being a part of shaping the future health and well-being of mothers and infants is an honor as well as a rewarding endeavor.”