Support Breasfeeding

Did you know that you don't have to become an IBCLC to educate and support breastfeeding families? So many of my colleagues come to this work and think that in order to support breastfeeding, they have to become an IBCLC, which is going to take several years and several thousands to accomplish.
While I understand that the IBCLC role is the gold standard for breastfeeding support--and I did the 7 years of work and all the $$ to make it happen back in 2011--I just want to point out that everyone can help with breastfeeding!
Postpartum doulas and NCS help with breastfeeding every day. And they spend way more time with these families than an IBCLC generally can, so they fill the gaps incredibly well.
WIC workers and peer counselors are available to support breastfeeding and give education and hands on help to their patients.
Pump rental stations can be so helpful with educating parents about pumps, milk storage, and maximum output.
Phone counselors like Nursing Mothers Counsel of Oregon can be extremely helpful, both with breastfeeding and with going back to work transitions.
And LACTATION EDUCATORS can both educate and support breastfeeding, either prenatally or after baby arrives.
When we teach Lactation Educators through our CAPPA CLE program, we are not just preparing educators to provide evidence based information, but also helping them prepare a message of kindness, gentleness, and empathy for their clients/students. It isn't just knowing what to say, but knowing how to support without judgement, without blame or guilt, and with encouragement regardless of what direction parents want to go.
If you have thought about supporting breastfeeding, could a step in that direction be a CLE training? There are several coming up all over the US...maybe one is near you?

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