The International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) Peer Breastfeeding Counseling Program is September 2015. This training is the result of the ICTC working closely with the African American Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon (AABCO) where we realized that there is a shortage of African American Peer Breastfeeding Counselors in Oregon. The ICTC was able to respond through funding from the Kaiser Permanente.
The training is 16 hours and the criteria is to learn the historical context of breastfeeding in America for African Americans, the benefits of breastmilk, how to promote breastfeeding and how support Black women who seek to breastfeed and those who are breastfeeding.
The Role of the ICTC Peer Breastfeeding Counselor
- Counsels pregnant and breastfeeding mothers by telephone, home visits, and/or hospital visits at scheduled intervals determined by the family.
- Counsel women in community and faith houses.
- Receives a caseload of ICTC participants and makes routine periodic contacts with all mothers assigned.
- Gives basic breastfeeding information and support to new mothers, including telling them about the benefits of breastfeeding, overcoming common barriers, and getting a good start with breastfeeding. She also helps mothers prevent and handle common breastfeeding concerns.
- Respects each participant by keeping her information strictly confidential.
- Keeps accurate records of all contacts made with ICTC participants.
- Refers mothers, according to ICTC-established protocols, to the:
- WIC nutritionist or breastfeeding coordinator.
- Lactation consultant.
- The mother’s physician or nurse.
- Public health programs in the community.
- Social service agencies.
- Attends and assists with prenatal classes and breastfeeding support groups.
- Reads assigned books and materials and do a 12 hour internship.