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Certified Lactation Counselors: What They Do, and How They Can Help

Ann Bailey, Karen Johnson

Breastfeeding Challenges

When you are expecting a baby, there are many things  you are trying to prepare for. One of those things is making the decision to breastfeed your baby; however, oftentimes new moms aren’t prepared for the challenges that may come with breastfeeding. Or, it could be your second or third baby, and while breastfeeding your first was a breeze, maybe this baby isn’t latching quite as easily. No two pregnancies or breastfeeding journeys are the same. 

Certified Lactation Counselors: Here To Help

That’s where we – certified lactation counselors – come in, and we are here to help! A certified lactation counselor is a health care professional who has completed training and passed an exam, demonstrating the skills required to provide safe, evidence-based counseling for pregnant, lactating, and breastfeeding women. 

What Do Counselors Do, And Who Can Benefit?

By assessing the needs of mother and baby, lactation counselors work with families and their health care team to solve breastfeeding problems and provide education, recommendations, and skills for successful breastfeeding. 

At Prevea Health, women can make an appointment with Annie Bailey, CNM, CLC, and Karen Johnson, CNM, CLC, at any time during their breastfeeding journey. Patients do not need a referral from their health care provider and appointments are normally scheduled for an hour.

“We’re here to help, guide, listen, and support breastfeeding mothers in achieving a successful breastfeeding experience,” Bailey says.

The goal of the appointment is to provide counseling, education, and assistance, which support the mother’s desires and goals for successful breastfeeding. Patients can expect to discuss the following at their appointment:

  • What are their goals for breastfeeding?
  • What issues or difficulties are they having with breastfeeding?
  • Brief health history intake and discussion of birth experience for both mother and child.

Along with discussion of breastfeeding goals and current issues, the lactation counselor may also assess a breastfeeding session. 

“As certified lactation counselors, we want to make sure that breastfeeding is successful and meets the mother’s goals for successful breastfeeding,” Johnson says.


Annie Bailey and Karen Johnson are certified nurse-midwives and certified lactation counselors with Prevea Health, a community partner of Chippewa Valley Family magazine. For more information or to make an appointment with one of Prevea’s Certified Lactation Counselors, call (715) 717-3870. To learn more about Prevea Health or Prevea Women’s Care services, visit www.prevea.com/expecting.