After I became a birth doula, I did not automatically want to become a breastfeeding counselor right away. It took time to make that decision and then even more time to decide when the right time was to enroll in that course as well! I expected that the breastfeeding counselor course would be more challenging and take even longer to complete than the birth doula course (and so far, I am right!)! I enrolled in 2016 during the pregnancy of my youngest child but was hardly able to begin until after his birth and midway through my maternity leave with him. Our family also faced 3 moves within an 18 month time period, so that threw a wrench in my plans to be done my course sooner as well!
The breastfeeding counselor course is so comprehensive and thorough that it currently fulfills ALL of the 90 lactation-specific education hours if I later move on to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (the highest level of lactation professional out there currently, and a step above what I am becoming), and those 90 hours are not including the hours it takes to complete all of the components of the course (that includes only the lactation-specific education physiology portion). There is also the communications portion of the course (which I already completed when I did my birth doula course with CBI), the written case studies, the breastfeeding support services survey, book reviews, module evaluations, AND finally, but probably most importantly, the 30 hours (minimum) of breastfeeding support I also need to complete over time.
While I am continually and thoroughly working my way through the written and 'book work' portion of this course, I have learned so much already and am excited to say I have finally reached the point where I am ready to start accepting breastfeeding clients as I accumulate support hours. In order to help me accumulate those hours and be able to apply for my certification credentials, I have decided to offer up to 5 hours of combined lactation support (prenatal, postpartum, and beyond) to anyone who contacts me for this service (limited time only). If your challenges reach beyond my scope of practice or I am unable to help you identify/provide help for your breastfeeding journey, I will happily refer you to any other professionals you may need. just like I would do when I am certified as well.
For more information on what breastfeeding counselor support looks like, or to request your first consultation, please visit my breastfeeding services page.