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Lactation Specialist

St Joseph Medical Center Tacoma, Washington
Requisition ID 2022-230828 Employment Type Per Diem Department Family Birth Center Hours/Pay Period 0 Shift Varies Weekly Schedule 7:30AM - 4:00PM Remote No Category Education and Training

In 2020, united in a fierce commitment to deliver the highest quality care and exceptional patient experience, Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan Health came together as natural partners to build a new health system centered around the patient: Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. Our combined system builds upon the scale and expertise of our nearly 300 sites of care, including 11 hospitals and nearly 5,000 physicians and providers. Together, we are empowered to make an even greater impact on the health and well-being of our communities.


Provides inpatient lactation education services to promote breastfeeding as the optimal form of infant nutrition to parents, children, and families for Franciscan Health System’s Lactation Services program. An incumbent provides training and support to mother/infant pairs to ensure that breastfeeding is a positive experience, thus increasing the duration of this health-enhancing and cost-saving practice.

Work requires knowledge of accepted standards/practices relating to lactation and breastfeeding, and of related supplies and equipment. May involve evening and/or weekend/holiday hours.

Provides accurate, current and consistent information on breastfeeding and instruction on proper breastfeeding techniques to mothers/babies in an inpatient setting. 

  • Considers the learning needs and levels of each client while counseling, supporting and promoting breastfeeding activities.
  • Explains techniques to minimize breastfeeding dysfunction and promote successful outcomes.
  • May perform visual breast assessment consistent with individual scope of practice. 
  • Provides information on related subjects, including specific information at upon discharge, such as maternal nutrition, breastfeeding challenges, breastfeeding support groups, etc.
  • Addresses concerns and corrects misinformation that may impact the decision to breastfeed.
  • Provides access to recommended equipment.
  • Provides consultation on medication use during breastfeeding within scope of practice.

Identifies breastfeeding experiences that are not the norm (e.g., improper latch-on, inadequate intake, etc.) and makes an immediate and appropriate referral (e.g., Lactation Consultant, other healthcare provider, or outpatient follow-up). 

Completes all required documentation in a timely, accurate, and thorough manner in accordance with FHS standards and procedures.

Provides education and community outreach on breastfeeding, including conducting or assisting with group classes, in-services and presentations to patients, healthcare providers and interested community organizations.

  • Assists in course development, revision and evaluation processes. 
  • Acts as a liaison/representative of the Franciscan Health System and Women’s Care Centers to care providers, community agencies, other FHS task forces and committees as requested. 
  • Attends staff meetings and stays up-to-date on breastfeeding best practices. 

Cultural Sensitivity and Competence:  Demonstrates proper use of communication tools/materials for effective communication and understands how the culture(s) of patient populations can affect communication, collaboration and the provision of care, treatment and services.  Patient Population Served:  Demonstrates knowledge and proper skills associated with the department’s defined specific populations served.

Performs related duties as required.


Education/Work Experience:

Completion of an accredited Lactation/Breastfeeding Educators course (or equivalent*) and one year of recent related work experience in areas relevant to course topics that demonstrates attainment of the requisite job knowledge skills/abilities. Adult teaching experience is preferred.

*Equivalency: Minimum of 50 Lactation-Cerps within last ten years and 500 hours of experience working with breastfeeding mother/infant pairs.


Current Certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) OR completion of a lactation educator program as reflected by certificate of completion.


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