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Lactation Consultant

Salary: $22.58-$27.56 hourly / $3,926-$4,793 monthly / Range: 5582

DEFINITION: Under general direction, conducts breastfeeding assessments either in person or over the phone; counsels and provides clients with solutions to problems such as insufficient weight gain, cleft palate and prematurity in infants and mastitis in nursing mothers; provides clients of the Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC) with up-to-date information regarding breastfeeding; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This is a journey-level classification responsible for providing consultation, information, and education to WIC clients regarding breastfeeding. It is distinguished from the Breastfeeding Coordinator by the Coordinator's responsibility for directing the Breastfeeding Program and for supervising staff assigned to the program. This class is also distinguished from Health Education Assistant, Seniors in the WIC program by its responsibility for counseling clients on more complex issues and problems.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:

1. Conducts assessments of mothers and infants at high risk for breastfeeding complications and provides counseling to WIC clients either in person at clinics, during home visits, or over the phone; determines physical or other impediments to successful breastfeeding; develops a care plan and conducts follow-up assessments, including monitoring weight and health of the baby to ensure that both mother and child are healthy; documents assessments and notes case progress in the case file; when necessary, refers mothers to qualified medical professionals; when requested, provides physicians with written case summaries.
2. Provides breastfeeding education, both one-on-one and in group settings, to discuss the advantages of breastfeeding, educate mothers on medical or other problems that might be encountered during nursing, and explain the nutritional needs of nursing women and babies.
3. Assists the Breastfeeding Coordinator in conducting outreach activities to increase public awareness and to gain community support for the breastfeeding program; makes presentations to groups and individuals to provide program information and promote the benefits of breastfeeding; serves as a technical resource to the general public, WIC staff, and representatives from other county and community health agencies.
4. Assists the Breastfeeding Coordinator in ensuring that WIC staff in the clinics are properly trained and are providing accurate breastfeeding information to WIC clients; keeps informed of current issues and trends in the field.
5. Monitors the Breastfeeding Program's inventory of breast pumps; ensures that accurate records are kept regarding the location and number of pumps; researches missing pumps and locates pumps that are no longer in use and brings them back into inventory.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS: Certification as a Lactation Educator from an accredited college or university and:

1. two years of experience providing breastfeeding assessment, consultation, and information to new mothers; or
2. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to the employment standard listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Qualifications: Incumbents are expected to qualify for and obtain the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant certification (IBCLC) within 18 months of appointment. Failure to obtain the IBCLC certification may result in termination of employment.

Knowledge of: human lactation and breastfeeding; nutritional needs of infants and nursing women; common breastfeeding problems, including medical and physical conditions which may impede breastfeeding and best practice protocols to solve problems; community resources available to assist and provide treatment to nursing women; counseling techniques; educational methods appropriate for program participants; methods of assessing problems and developing care plans; correct application and operation of breast pumps; standard English usage; common office software programs.

Ability to: accurately evaluate information and draw logical conclusions; read and interpret program rules and regulations; identify medical problems or other common barriers to successful breastfeeding; establish rapport with and motivate individuals from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds; prepare and maintain client records; maintain client confidentiality; communicate effectively both orally and in written format; speak persuasively before groups; establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers and members of the community; work independently.

Desirable Qualifications: Possession of a dietitian registration from the American Dietetic Association and the ability to speak both English and Spanish are highly desirable.

 



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