Nursing Mothers Counsel Member Site

Volunteer Training

Training Information

NMC members are volunteers who go through extensive training to become skilled counselors. Each member has breastfed her baby for at least six months, receives 21 hours of breastfeeding education, completes extensive reading requirements, attends an NMC breastfeeding community class, shadows on hospital rounds with a lactation consultant or participates in a home visit, counsels moms, and takes a comprehensive exam to fulfill the requirements of becoming a fully trained counselor.

New members serve a provisional period for up to twelve months, under the guidance of an experienced member who serves as her advisor/mentor. New members are often women who received assistance from NMC counselors and want to provide support to other new moms so they, too, can have a successful and positive breastfeeding experience. 

If you have any questions, please contact our membership coordinator via email at membership@nursingmothers.org.

Types of Membership

1) Full Member: If you have breastfed your baby for at least six months and complete the NMC training within one year, you will become a Full Member and counselor. Full Members receive the NMC newsletter (with news about our chapters as well as timely breastfeeding-related articles), access to our Yahoo group, and free continuing education.

2) Affiliate Member: If you are a professional (nurse, dietician, doula, etc.) who would like to receive NMC’s training to further your career goals, you can complete our training and become an Affiliate Member. You will not be an NMC breastfeeding counselor, but you will still receive our newsletter and continuing education opportunities.

CLASS FULL as of 07/27/16

We have had a fantastic response this year and are both happy and sad to say we cannot accept more membership applications at this time. If you have already submitted an application and are in the process of registering, you will still be able to do so. Our registration deadline is August 1.

Next Training:
September - November 2016

There is a mandatory orientation on Saturday, August 20 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

Training sessions will be on 8 consecutive Wednesday evenings, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

September 14, 21, 28
October 5, 12, 19, 26
November 2

Location: Sequoia Health & Wellness Center, 749 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City, CA 94063

Steps to sign up:

  1. Determine whether you wish to become a full or affiliate member (see descriptions at left.)
  2. Complete initial membership application.
  3. Complete phone screening with NMC membership coordinator (full/volunteer members only).
  4. Complete online signup and payment.
  5. Plan to attend the orientation meeting on August 20, 2016.

Questions? Email our membership coordinator at membership@nursingmothers.org.


Membership Requirements - Full (Counseling) Members

The following requirements must be met for full (volunteer counseling) membership:

  • Have at least six months nursing experience with one child
  • Attend orientation meeting prior to the start of training
  • Attend all sessions of training or make arrangements to make up. We strongly advise attending all.
  • Complete written exam (during training)
  • Attend one NMC Board meeting (scheduled during training)
  • Successfully counsel at least two (2) contacts under the guidance of an assigned NMC advisor
  • Communicate regularly with your NMC advisor during the provisional period about all contacts
  • Observe and evaluate one NMC breastfeeding class (current schedule and locations on our website)
  • 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
  • File copies of your TB test results with NMC's Membership Chair (required by the completion of training and before you have any contact with mothers and infants)
  • Complete required readings: Chapters assigned during training from Counseling the Nursing Mother by Lauwers & Swisher; 2 of the following 3 books: 1) Breastfeeding Made Simple – Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett; 2) The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Jack Newman; 3) The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League.
  • Pay annual chapter dues ($25 per year; 2016/2017 dues included in training fee for first year; 2017/2018 dues payable in August 2017)
  • Attend at least one training followup meeting (scheduled within 3-9 months of the end of training)
  • Complete above requirements within one year.

The following requirements must be met in order to maintain your membership status:

  • Work with 4–6 breastfeeding moms annually
  • Complete at least 2 hours of service to the organization (e.g., distribute brochures, assist at events, serve on the board)
  • Attend one continuing education event every 2 years (NMC holds 1–2 per year)
  • Keep up to date on annual dues (currently $25)
  • Keep NMC volunteering separate from any professional paid work (for example, a doula or IBCLC cannot be paid by an NMC contact).


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