Breast/Chest-feeding Statement

Newborn Care Specialist Association

An NCSA Certified Newborn Care Specialist:

Should understand the importance of using inclusive language regarding infant feeding.  

Our language choices can help contribute to a space where parents know they are safe and valued and we should always ask parents for their preferences on the use of language such as breastfeeding, chestfeeding, bodyfeeding, breast milk, human milk, chest milk, and gender-neutral terms such as lactating person, pregnant person, or birthing person.

Should be familiar with and work only up to their highest level of lactation qualification’s scope of practice;

  • WIC or La Leche League Peer Counselor
  • Certified Lactation Educator
  • Certified Lactation Counselor
  • Certified Breastfeeding Specialist
  • International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

If an NCS has not yet obtained a lactation qualification, they are advised to take either the Lactation Education Resources course, Basics of Lactation Management or read and watch  Understanding Breastfeeding booklet by CAPPA as to pass the NCSA exam and become an NCSA Certified Newborn Care Specialist they should: 

  • Have a basic understanding of breast anatomy, the neuroendocrine system, and infant oral anatomy.
  • Have a basic understanding of the stages of lactogenesis and the roles of oxytocin and prolactin in lactation.
  • Be able to identify optimal positioning and latch, and refer to an IBCLC if optimal position and latch are not being achieved.
  • Be knowledgeable on feeding frequency and able to create and maintain a log of feedings.
  • Be able to identify effective milk transfer and refer to an IBCLC if there is concern that effective milk transfer is not being achieved.
  • Be knowledgeable on the difference between colostrum and mature milk and their roles in breastfeeding.
  • Understand the importance of establishing a milk supply and ways to support establishing a milk supply.
  • Have a basic understanding and be able to provide evidence-based information and handouts from reliable sources (never a formula company as their literature has been shown to be biased against breastfeeding) on common breastfeeding issues, such as:
    • sore nipples
    • physiological engorgement
    • plugged ducts
    • breast oedema
    • pathological engorgement
    • underarm engorgement
    • mastitis
    • blebs
    • breast refusal
    • breastfeeding a baby with jaundice
  • Know when referral to an IBCLC or an MD is appropriate.
  • Know when initiating pumping is appropriate and not encourage pumping before that time.
  • Be able to answer basic questions on types of pumps and be able to troubleshoot common problems with the pumps.
  • Be knowledgeable on the importance of flange fit; be able to identify blanching due to poor flange fit; and nipple damage such as blisters, abrasions and vasospasm; and refer to a CBS, CLC,  or IBCLC when these occur.
  • Be knowledgeable on best practices to safely handle and store pumped human milk.
  • Be knowledgeable on best practices for washing and sterilizing pump parts.
  • Be knowledgeable on the dangers of heating human milk in containers made with BPA.