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Breastfeeding Counsellor Training

(8 Posts)
Ruth21 Thu 16-Jun-05 23:11:54

I am thinking of training as a breastfeeding counsellor and wondered if those of you who have done it could tell me a bit about your experience. Eg, who did you train with and would you recommend them? (I am looking at NCT and ABM, but can't really figure out what the difference is.) How do you use your training now? How much of a time commitment is it during and after training? Do you see women one-to-one or just counsel over the phone (and on Mumsnet!)?

Also, less specifically--how do you feel about what you do? Why did you decide to do it and what do you get out of it?

Ruth21 Fri 17-Jun-05 17:47:18


mears Fri 17-Jun-05 18:10:24

There definately are Mnetters who can answer this - perhaps they will be on later.

IlanaK Fri 17-Jun-05 18:10:42

I am a counsellor in training with the ABM. My understanding from what others have said is that the ABM course is the most techinical. I have certainly found that to be the case so far. The modules I have done have given me a very thorough understanding of how the breast works and how milk is made and what problems there can be. I can't speak for any of the other courses as I have no experience of them.

As to the time commitment, the ABM course can be done over a two year period, or quicker if you like. You have to be self directed as it is up to you to get the work done. Afterwards, you go on a rota of taking telephone calls. As to whether you see any women in person, that is up to you. I run a support group which you could do, but there is no rule about doing that.


Ruth21 Tue 21-Jun-05 14:27:16

Thanks IlanaK, and sorry not to have come back to this thread sooner. I have now received info from both ABM and NCT. I think the style of the NCT training, involving personal contact rather than pure self-study, would probably suit me better, but I'm not sure. On the other hand I'm concerned about the cost of the NCT training--I know that the branches usually pay, but there's a possibility I will move away from my area before I complete the training, which would be unfair to the branch and also might make them reluctant to sponsor me. Would appreciate comments from anyone else who's done or is doing this training with any organization.

Roughly how many hours a week do you spend studying IlanaK (or any other bf counsellors)? Do you also do paid work?

JulieF Tue 21-Jun-05 14:58:51

Ruth, I am an NCT branch secretary.

Branches can not refuse to take on a trainee. It used to be that you had to show commitment to the branch for about 6 months before commencing training but that is no longer the case. If you move away from the area the branch you move into takes over your training commitments.

The only person who can accept or deny you is a tutor and they go entirely on your suitability, not finances.

Ruth21 Tue 21-Jun-05 15:02:29

Thanks Julie, that's interesting. The information pack I've been sent has a space for the branch sec to sign to say that they support you, but maybe that is more to make sure that you are in touch with your branch. What do branches that are short of money do?

JulieF Tue 21-Jun-05 17:08:23

They either fundraise or ask region or even a neighbouring branch for help. The issue came up in our branch as we have several new trainees and we HAVE to fund them.

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