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

Adopted 2/2011
Revised 5/2012