Skilled Breastfeeding Counselling



The Problem: Many health facilities and professionals are not delivering optimal breastfeeding counselling and support to mothers, families, and infants.


The Solution: Strengthening health providers’ skills in breastfeeding counselling and incorporating breastfeeding counselling into all perinatal and critical child health contacts can increase rates of recommended breastfeeding practices and improve health, social, and economic outcomes.


Enabling mothers to access quality breastfeeding counselling will require strong alliances between government, civil society, health professional associations, and other stakeholders. Together, we can ensure that every health worker gives every child the healthiest possible start in life.  


Incorporation of breastfeeding education and promotion into pre-service and in-service trainings for maternity and newborn health providers in facilities and the community is imperative to equip them with skills for comprehensive breastfeeding counselling. The WHO/UNICEF Integrated IYCF course offers a comprehensive guide for health workers and lay counselors on building counselling skills around recommended feeding practices for infants and children 0-23 months of age.


This section of the Breastfeeding Advocacy Toolkit also includes case studies outlining program components and outcomes related to the training of skilled breastfeeding counsellors in Vietnam and India. Trained breastfeeding counsellors and health care workers are also integral to the improvement of maternity services.