What is the difference between a breastfeeding counselor and a lactation consultant?
Many women who have breastfed their own children wish to help other mothers by sharing their experiences and offering support. They are available by telephone to answer questions and may participate in a local breastfeeding support group that meets monthly. When a breastfeeding counselor encounters a problem that is beyond the basic normal management, she will refer the mother to the primary health care provider or to a lactation consultant. Breastfeeding counselors generally help mothers for free. More information about functioning in the role of a counselor is available from La Leche League, International. Lactation consultants work in many settings hospitals, physician s offices, home care services, health agencies, and private practice. They assess the mother and baby, take a history, observe the mother and baby while breastfeeding, problem solve, develop a plan of care, work with and report to the mother s and baby s primary care providers, and arrange for follow up. Breastfeeding