BC Guide - Counseling Mothers in Diverse Situations

Breastfeeding Counselors have the skills to counsel mothers of all types and to provide breastfeeding information and support for diverse situations. General counseling techniques are applicable to all mothers, regardless of their particular circumstances. Breastfeeding Counselors should feel confident that they can provide effective support for mothers in diverse situations, even if they have not had parallel experiences. By asking questions to understand the mother’s circumstances and responding with empathy, Breastfeeding Counselors can provide mothers with the support they need.

While mothers in special situations can benefit from the information and support provided by any Breastfeeding Counselor, these mothers may appreciate the opportunity to connect with other mothers in their situation. In the future, Breastfeeding USA will maintain a list of Breastfeeding Counselors with special experience who can provide this extra level of mother-to-mother support. (Currently, Breastfeeding Counselors can contact BCSupport@breastfeedingusa.org to determine if there are BCs with applicable experiences who may be willing to communicate with a mother.) The organization also has plans to open special forums for mother-to-mother discussion of special breastfeeding situations.

Finally, while recognizing that every mother’s situation is unique, sometimes special circumstances have similarities. Breastfeeding Counselors who are familiar with common aspects of mothers’ experiences may be more effective counselors to those mothers. Future sections of this BC Guide will address some of the common aspects and concerns of families in the following diverse situations:

  • Employed and Student Mothers
  • Adoptive Mothers
  • Same Sex Families
  • Mothers and Babies with Complex Medical Conditions
  • Deafness, Blindness, and Physical Handicaps
  • Single Mothers
  • Young or Teenage Mothers
  • Stillbirth, Infant Loss, and Other Loss