Personal Experience Requirements
Below are the Personal Experience Requirements for mothers interested in applying to the Breastfeeding Counselor Education Program.
Each applicant shall:
I. Be a member of Breastfeeding USA
- Applicant is a current member of Breastfeeding USA.
II. Support the mission and policies of Breastfeeding USA
- Acknowledge that she has read supporting organizational documents* available on the Breastfeeding USA website and is able to work within the parameters and scope of a volunteer Breastfeeding Counselor as outlined in the Code of Ethics, Section 3.1
*Supporting documents include the Bylaws, Code of Ethics, and Breastfeeding Position Statement of Breastfeeding USA.
lll. Be interested in learning more about breastfeeding and breastfeeding support
- Understand the effectiveness of mother-to-mother support
- Exhibit an understanding of the cultural barriers to breastfeeding success
- Have a desire to learn more about breastfeeding and human lactation, and to share that knowledge within her community
- Be committed to promote breastfeeding to become the cultural norm
lV. Have personal experience with the biological norm for breastfeeding
- Value nursing at the breast as the biologically normal way to nourish, nurture and comfort her baby
- Have breastfed her baby for a minimum of one year. If baby has weaned, he nursed for at least the first year and his needs were respected during the weaning process (5/2012)
- Have started giving her baby complementary foods (solids) when he demonstrated readiness, usually around the middle of the first year for a healthy, full-term baby
- Recognize and respond to her baby's cues
- Further recognize and respond to her baby's need for her presence* as well as her breast milk
*If regularly separated from her baby, the applicant must do (or must have done) so with understanding and sensitivity to her baby's needs.
*She demonstrates a willingness to maximize mother-baby togetherness and to give high priority to reconnection after a period of separation.
V. Communicate effectively and respectfully
- Value the diversity of mothers' experiences and recognizes the role that social values and cultural norms play in mothers' decisions
- Exhibit a willingness to put aside her own personal biases when helping others
- Exhibit empathy and a respectful attitude towards others
- Have sufficient command of the English language to complete education in preparation for accreditation, and carry out the responsibilities of a Breastfeeding Counselor
- Practice consistent and clear email communication, including being willing to read and reliably respond in a timely manner to messages from the organization. (5/2012)
- Demonstrate, or be willing to develop, effective communication skills and an understanding of the principles of adult learning
- Listen attentively and respond to mothers with sensitivity and validation of their feelings
- Exhibit respectful parenting communication, empathy, and understanding of her child's (children's) needs and developmental abilities