The CLC – Scope of Practice

CLCs have successfully completed a minimum of 45 hours of training based upon the footprint of the World Health Organization/UNICEF Breastfeeding Counseling Training Course; have successfully passed a criterion-referenced examination; and demonstrated the competencies and skills required to provide safe, evidence-based counseling for pregnant, lactating and breastfeeding women including the ability to:

  • Recognize one’s own and others’ attitudes, values and expectations about infant feeding and healthy lifestyles.
  • Apply the concept of an individualized approach to counseling and management of breastfeeding.
  • Use appropriate, effective and sensitive communication skills.
  • Identify opportunities to offer information/education within the counseling encounter.
  • Assess physical and psychosocial aspects of the breastfeeding dad.
  • Utilize reliable tools to assess effective/ineffective breastfeeding and milk transfer.
  • Incorporate evidence-based approaches to practice and make appropriate referrals.
  • Gain knowledge of programs, policies and legislation on state, national and international levels that promote, protect and support breastfeeding.

Knowledge and Competency of the CLC

CLCs have demonstrated the knowledge and skill to:

  • Construct and maintain conditions that predispose mothers and babies to an uncomplicated breastfeeding experience through counseling, education and support.
  • Monitor and evaluate behavioral, cultural and social conditions predisposing mothers and babies to an uncomplicated breastfeeding experience.
  • Assess for, monitor and evaluate physical conditions that predispose mothers and babies to a complex breastfeeding experience.
  • Monitor and evaluate behavioral, cultural and social conditions that predispose mothers and babies to complex breastfeeding experiences.
  • Identify and advocate for aspects of breastfeeding management programs that facilitate optimal health outcomes.
  • Assess breastfeeding using a multi-faceted approach.
  • Use counseling skills and techniques that are supportive to breastfeeding mothers and babies.
  • Identify and advocate for public health strategies that serve to protect breastfeeding.
  • Coordinate care consistent with standards of professional ethics and behavior.

Thus, the CLC has demonstrated readiness to:

  • Promote breastfeeding as the optimal method of infant feeding and care.
  • Counsel and educate pregnant women and mothers regarding breastfeeding.
  • Conduct comprehensive assessment of mother and child related to breastfeeding.
  • Develop a care plan specific to the needs identified through assessment and counseling.
  • Assess the needs of women and babies who are at risk of, or currently experiencing lactation difficulties, providing care and triaging referral to other care providers as needed.