The Early History of the Southeastern Lactation Consultants Association (SELCA)

October 12, 2016

SELCA began in 1988 with 4 IBCLCs, who sat the IBLCE (International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners) Board Exam together in 1987, deciding to form a professional organization of Lactation Consultants.  Those 4 IBCLCs were Sharon Birdseye, Amy Spangler, Kimarie Bugg and Sandey Staynoff.

Sandey was SELCA’s first president.  Sharon was the group’s secretary and Kimarie was its first vice president.  Sharon became president six month’s later.  Liz Klehr then joined the new group and eventually served as the third SELCA president.  Ann Calandro also joined and created SELCA newsletter, “Abreast of the Times”, which continued until the mid 1990’s.

Amy Spangler and Sharon Birdseye wrote the first set of by-laws for SELCA, when Debbie Wicker was SELCA president, around 1994.

To encourage expanded International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) membership throughout the Southeast, SELCA had meetings throughout Georgia and even visited Birmingham, AL for a meeting in the mid 1990s.

SELCA sponsored half day workshops on lactation in 1989 and 1990, eventually advancing to full day and 2 day workshops in the ensuing years. Today, SELCA provides continuing education for members at every meeting.

As ILCA continued to grow, SELCA eventually became one of the original affiliate groups of ILCA.  As the years went by, and the US Lactation Consultants Association (USLCA) formed, SELCA was also designated a chapter of USLCA.

Today, SELCA continues to support ILCA as an affiliate member and USLCA as a chapter.  SELCA welcomes all who assist and promote breastfeeding and supports and advocates IBCLCs in all areas of practice.  Continuing education and networking opportunities are provided at meetings to promote professional development.  In 2016, SELCA continues to make history by aiding IBCLCs with the process of licensure, as Georgia becomes the 2nd State to pass licensure requirements for lactation professionals.

If you hold any information on the early days of SELCA, either from memory, or in written form, we would love to hear from you.  Expanding this section is an ongoing endeavor, which we can only do with your help.  Email the Outreach Coordinator at