Nursing Mothers Counsel Member Site

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I find out more about NMC before signing up?

A. We conduct phone screenings with all potential NMC volunteers to determine whether the organization is a good fit for you. You can ask any questions at that time, and you may also email our membership coordinator at any time.

Q. $300 seems like a lot of money to pay for training to become a volunteer!

A. We realize that this may seem expensive. As a nonprofit, we need to cover our expenses, which include paying the instructors and providing materials. Also note that you receive a $150 refund when you finish all the requirements to become a counseling member within one year. You may pay in installments for the training and we have a limited number of scholarships available for financial hardship.

Q. What if I sign and later find out I can’t attend the training?

A. We offer partial refunds before training begins. We regret that we cannot offer refunds after the start of training. See our refund policy.

Q. I am already an IBCLC. Do I still need to take your training to become a counselor?

A. The short answer is yes, but we have adapted our training for IBCLCs so that you may skip certain training sessions that cover basic breastfeeding knowledge (such as anatomy and physiology and milk supply). We feel it is important for IBCLCs to attend sessions on counseling techniques, related areas such as postpartum mood, and information specific to the Nursing Mothers Counsel. 

Q. You keep saying "counselor." What exactly does that mean? 

A. We call our volunteer members COUNSELORS and our organization the Nursing Mothers COUNSEL because we offer COUNSEL (advice and support) to breastfeeding mothers. We also refer to our counselors as "full members" of Nursing Mothers Counsel. Our "affiliate members" are members who have taken our training but who do not counsel mothers.

Q. Do I need any special skills to become an NMC counselor?

A. No, nothing beyond six months of breastfeeding experience! Even if you don't consider yourself a "people person" or have never offered support before, we help give you the tools and support YOU need so you can become successful at working with other breastfeeding mothers. 

Q. My own kids are all grown up so it has been many years since I breastfed. Can I still become a counselor?

A. Yes, as long as you previously breastfed for at least 6 months. We love having mothers of grown children join us because they often have more time and energy to devote to the community than do new parents--plus a wealth of experience. 

Q. Is there a limit on the number of trainees in each annual training session?

A. Due to space and resource constraints, we limit enrollment to 20 volunteer and 5 professional members.

Q. How much time does it take to be an NMC volunteer?

A. The most time-intensive part of becoming a volunteer is the initial training and provisional period (one year after the training). The information below lists time estimates to complete and maintain NMC’s REQUIREMENTS FOR MEMBERSHIP

APPROXIMATE TIME REQUIRED TO BECOME A COUNSELING MEMBER

ACTIVITY

HOURS

DESCRIPTION

Have at least six months nursing experience with one child

 

N.A.

Attend all sessions of training

24

 

Attend pre-training orientation and post-training followup meetings

4

 

Complete written exam (during training)  

3

3 in class, 3 out

Attend one NMC Board meeting (scheduled during training)

2

in class

Successfully counsel at least two (2) contacts under the guidance of an assigned NMC advisor

7

2 – 10 depending on complexity

Communicate regularly with your assigned NMC advisor during the provisional period about all contacts

2

~ 1 hour per contact; more for challenging contacts

Observe and evaluate one NMC breastfeeding class (current schedule and locations on our website)

3.5

2.5 to attend, about 1 to report

Observe and report on one of the following: an in-hospital counseling session; a lactation session with an IBCLC; a breastfeeding support group session; a home visit with qualified NMC full member

4

3 to attend; about 1 to report

File copies of your rubella and TB test results with NMC's Membership Chair (required by the completion of training and before you have any contact with mothers and infants). 

2

1-4 depending on whether you need to get test

Complete required readings

12

Depending how fast you read

Fulfill annual service requirement

2

2 hours minimum required; may be more depending on job

Pay annual chapter dues ($25 per year included in training fee for first year)

.5

Pay & join online

TOTAL

66

 

 APPROXIMATE TIME REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN MEMBERSHIP (ANNUALLY)

ACTIVITY

HOURS

Work with 4-6 counseling contacts annually*

15-30

Fulfill annual service requirement

2

Attend one continuing education event every 2 years

3

Read organization e-mails and newsletters

2.5

Keep up to date on annual dues (currently $25)

.5

TOTAL

23-38

  * Amount of time can vary greatly depending on needs of contact. Some contacts may require daily calls for a short time if it is a challenging situation. If you have small children or work full time, you will need to think about when you will be able to make phone calls to your contacts.

Q. When will you hold your next training session?

A. We usually hold sessions once every 12-18 months. Our next session is scheduled to start in September, 2016 with an orientation meeting on August 20, 2016.

HAVE A QUESTION NOT ANSWERED HERE? E-MAIL OUR ORIENTATION CHAIRPERSON.

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