School of Public Health

Oregon Increases Access to Lactation Care Training

August 2017

Maternal & Child Health Program | Nutrition & Health Screening (WIC) Program

More than 92% of Oregon mothers initiate breastfeeding, but less than half continue to do so exclusively after one year. The Oregon Health Authority plans to make breastfeeding support more accessible to Oregon mothers by increasing the number of health workers trained in lactation care. 


Outpatient Breastfeeding Champion Training
by The Milk Mob

Medical and community breastfeeding supporters who attend this 16-hour clinically-focused course recieve CERP and a 3-year Milk Mob membership including access to continuing education, videos, breastfeeding education updates, and triage tools.

In 2016, the Oregon WIC program sponsored an initial Outpatient Breastfeeding Champion Training through the Milk Mob for WIC breastfeeding coordinators throughout the state.  It included an additional one-day “train the trainer” session for International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC). WIC required that the IBCLC attendees go on to conduct the Outpatient Breastfeeding Champion Training in their own counties within the next two years.  

The state MCH Program joined the WIC Program to facilitate statewide reach not only to health departments but also to community organizations, hospitals, and clinics. Both programs provide technical assistance to participating counties, as well as phone conferencing and financial support to training attendees.

The Outpatient Breastfeeding Champion Training covers basic evidence-based topics such as positioning, infant latch, pump management, acute mastitis, medications, signs of adequate intake, and complementary foods for the breastfed infant. It concludes with a segment on communication with the breastfeeding mother and role-playing exercises.

Did you know Oregon passed a workplace lactation law three years before the ACA?
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Oregon currently has a growing cadre of more than 50 professional and paraprofessional staff trained in advanced breastfeeding support. Jackson County staff are planning trainings for Fall 2017 and will invite health workers from the surrounding counties of Josephine and Klamath.

In post-training evaluations attendees reported that they felt more knowledgeable and more capable of providing support to breastfeeding mothers. “Attending the training helped me realize my limitations,” said a WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator from Coos County. “Getting training helps me feel confident in the information I am providing and helps me refer more often and more successfully."

For more information about this project please contact Robin Stanton, Nutrition Consultant at the Center for Prevention & Health Promotion, MCH, WIC Programs at