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Personal Experience Requirements

    Below are the Personal Experience Requirements for those interested in applying to the Breastfeeding Counselor Education Program.

    To apply to become a Breastfeeding USA Counselor you must:

    I. Be a member of Breastfeeding USA

    • Applicant is a current member of Breastfeeding USA.

    II. Support the mission and policies of Breastfeeding USA

    • The application process will have you acknowledge that you have read the Bylaws, Code of Ethics, and Statement on Breastfeeding, and commit to working within the parameters and scope of a volunteer Breastfeeding Counselor as outlined in the Code of Ethics, Section 3.1.

    lll. Be interested in learning more about breastfeeding and breastfeeding support

    • Understand the effectiveness of peer-to-peer 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 your community
    • Be committed to promoting 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 your baby regardless of your own breastfeeding journey
    • Have breastfed  or pumped milk for your baby for a minimum of 6 months. If baby has weaned, their needs were respected during the weaning process 
    • Have started giving your baby complementary foods (solids) when they demonstrated readiness, usually around the middle of the first year for a healthy, full-term baby
    • Recognize and respond to your baby’s cues
    • Further recognize and respond to your baby’s need for your presence as well as your breast milk

    V. Communicate effectively and respectfully

    • Value the diversity of  parents’ experiences and recognize the role that social values and cultural norms play in mothers’ decisions
    • Exhibit a willingness to put aside your 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
    • Demonstrate, or be willing to develop, effective communication skills and an understanding of the principles of adult learning
    • Listen attentively and respond to parents with sensitivity and validation of their feelings
    • Exhibit respectful parenting communication, empathy, and understanding of children’s needs and developmental abilities

    Adopted 2/2011
    Revised 5/2012
    Revised 4/2023