Global Breastfeeding Support Community Lactnet Honored for Email List Communication Excellence

Group Wins Innovation Award in L-Soft's LISTSERV Choice Awards – the Only Global Recognition for Outstanding Email Lists

Bethesda, MD (June 9, 2006) – Lactnet, a major online resource for the professional and lay breastfeeding support community, has won the LISTSERV Innovation Award in L-Soft's 2005-2006 LISTSERV Choice Awards program. The award recognizes more than a decade of Lactnet's creative and effective use of email list technology in promoting maternal-child health on a global scale.

Lactnet runs on L-Soft's hosted email list service, powered by LISTSERV®, the email list solution that launched the industry in 1986. The list is designed for anyone involved in providing support to mothers in breastfeeding their infants and young children. Founded by Kathleen Bruce, a Vermont nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and Kathleen Auerbach, PhD, IBCLC, who wanted to create a network of support for isolated lactation consultants who lacked the benefit of local peers, Lactnet has been operating for 11 years and has approximately 3,500 subscribers from 38 countries, covering every continent except Antarctica. It is led by Kathleen Bruce and five co-facilitators or "listmothers" across the United States, Australia and Europe.

With the past decade of scientific advancements in lactation research and breastfeeding, virtually all relevant government agencies and medical associations – including the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Academy of Pediatrics – have issued position statements and launched major initiatives supporting breastfeeding as the optimal source of infant nutrition and nurturing as well as a significant contributor to maternal health.

Rather than providing direct support to breastfeeding mothers, Lactnet serves a broad group of individuals involved in supporting mothers in breastfeeding their infants and young children, with members including lactation consultants, lay breastfeeding counselors, nurses, doctors, midwives, public health advocates, pharmacologists, marketing experts, writers, journalists, scientists, dieticians and doulas. The goal is to provide information, tools and support to those who work on the frontlines with mothers and babies during a critical and vulnerable time, the early days and weeks of nursing as well as later when other challenges may arise.

"By having contributors from such diverse practice settings, we see that with knowledgeable support, mothers can overcome almost any challenge to continue to breastfeed their babies. We plan for Lactnet to continue to support breastfeeding advocates indefinitely," said Karleen Gribble, Lactnet co-facilitator, of New South Wales, Australia.

"Lactnet uses the power of email list technology to provide its members with instant and constant access to a wealth of knowledge from thousands of experts – something that I daresay no other medium could accomplish so well for such a geographically dispersed professional community. As a result, Lactnet is impressive in its reach and in the immediacy and dynamism of the list activity. For example, just after the events of September 11, 2001, members living in other nations where acts of terrorism are common reached out and provided expertise to Lactnet members in New York, preparing the New York lactation support community for the kinds of questions and problems they might encounter from breastfeeding mothers as their city reacted to what had happened that day," said Eric Thomas, L-Soft Founder and CEO and inventor of LISTSERV®. "Lactnet deploys LISTSERV round-the-clock to set off a chain reaction – helping support professionals to empower and assist mothers in providing their babies with optimal nutrition and nurturing – contributing to the global positive impact of healthier mothers and healthier children."

In addition to active daily list postings and discussions, Lactnet utilizes digests to provide scientific and practical information in a user-friendly format on a wide range of topics that are important to lactation educators. Lactnet also offers public list archives that provide members as well as the general public with an online compendium of the list's lively discussions, which span the areas of difficult breastfeeding problems; ethical issues; information on newly published articles, books or research; controversial issues; networking; and emotional and informational support among members.

Lactnet members are extremely appreciative of the support the email list provides. "I wanted to add my congratulations to Lactnet and the listmothers for a well-deserved award. I cannot even begin to thank you for the information, advice, and camaraderie I have found here. I only wish I had found Lactnet years ago. I hope that Lactnet will be around for a long time to come," said Renee Drake, list member from Orland, California.

To read more about the LISTSERV Choice Awards winners, visit:

About L-Soft

L-Soft, which was incorporated in 1994, offers email list and opt-in email marketing software and outsourcing services for managing email newsletters, discussion groups and marketing campaigns. Recognized in 2004 as one of Maryland's top 50 fastest growing technology companies by Deloitte & Touche, L-Soft's products deliver about 30 million messages a day to more than 110 million list subscriptions.

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