What is a Chest/Breastfeeding Counselor and Educator?
I am a certified breastfeeding counselor through the Nursing Mothers Alliance, we offer a warm line where you can get free advice and questions answered from a peer counselor. I cover these calls a few days each month. I am also a certified breastfeeding educator through birth arts. Breastfeeding counselors and educators learn the same information as a CLC (certified lactation consultant) but do not sit for the exam.
I am dedicated to the promotion, protection, and support of chest/breastfeeding and human lactation and work to prevent and solve breastfeeding problems.
Offer non-biased focused information, support, encouragement, guidance, referrals, and education to their communities, which includes families and professionals
Provide culturally sensitive and adult based education
Refer to healthcare professionals when support requires clinical assessment, need for prescription, or medical diagnosis
Help families understand their rights according to current healthcare policy and legal statues
Advise parents on how to maintain lactation when they are separated from their infant, which includes information on hand expression and the usage of breast pumps
Offer continual support for families during the weaning process and beyond as it pertains to breastfeeding.
Educate, support and offer referrals to mothers who need to supplement or find that breastfeeding must be halted due to medical and/or personal reasons.
I am not a clinician and therefore I do not:
Take a medical history or take medical notes on their clients.
Provide clinical written histories to healthcare workers (as they do not take clinical notes)
Give clinical assessment of the mother’s breasts, the baby’s mouth, or the dyad’s dysfunctional latch
Use pre and post lacteal weight checks for assessment
Prescribe the use of medical devices including but not limited to nipple shields, supplemental nursing systems, and topical ointments