1 R-CERP + 1 CEU

Care Plans for Supplementing Families: How to Use Motivational Interviewing to Create Feasible, Sustainable Plans and Goals

Johanna Sargeant, BA, BEd, IBCLC
Course description
Lactation consultants often accompany new parents as they make difficult decisions, and those involving supplementation can hold many layers of emotional and practical complexity. We need to ensure the baby is fed, protect the parent’s mental and physical health, and ensure we hold a deep awareness of the power of our words throughout such conversations. It is clear, however, that much of the feedback from families has been that their lactation consultant has failed to provide adequate, individualised, sensitive support during such conversations. The deep desire to ‘help’ a family or to ‘fix’ their situation by giving evidence-based information alongside clear advice and prescripted plans can actually significantly reduce positive outcomes, further isolating them emotionally and increasing their risk of harm. Instead of wanting to fix, we must enter each consultation with a deep curiosity about these people before us, and learn ways to mobilise them towards their own goal in ways that are feasible, sustainable and deeply emotionally aware. Learners will explore some specific Motivational Interviewing strategies that they can immediately apply in consultations so that parents feel wholly supported, motivated towards any necessary changes, feel ownership of their plan, and to ultimately increase the likelihood of their own sense of success.
Meet the Instructor

Johanna Sargeant, BA, BEd, IBCLC

Johanna Sargeant is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, teacher and writer based in Zurich, Switzerland. She is passionate about utilising her background in education, biological science, psychology and language to empower parents with empathetic support and evidence-based information through her private practice, Milk and Motherhood. Originally from Australia, Johanna provides much-needed English-speaking support to many thousands of parents throughout Switzerland and across Europe, and has recently been contracted to create the new education modules for the European Society of Paediactric Research and the European Society of Neonatology. Along with speaking at a variety of international conferences, she has taught at the University of Zurich, has spoken as a panelist for the WHO’s Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative congress in Geneva, and has been an expert speaker and facilitator for Google. The complexities of her personal feeding experiences have led her to the establishment of the sole peer-to-peer milk-sharing network in Switzerland, and fuels her passion for providing knowledgeable, guilt-free infant feeding support globally.
Patrick Jones - Course author

Learners say 

Perhaps it's where I am in my life right now, but this presentation spoke volumes to me. The mindset shift that has occurred, from hearing this information in the context of lactation support, is mind-blowing. I feel that I can be a more effective and well-rounded consultant after hearing this information.  

-Julie W.

Very informative! I enjoyed this focus on honing our counseling skills. If we can’t counsel effectively, then our clients will not ultimately get the care they need. 

- Katie Swaving, BS, CLC

My Care Plans have already started to shift to be more succinct and focused on the things each client reports as "take-aways."

-Jennifer Hafele, M.Ed., IBCLC

Start learning now!

Knowledge Gap
Being a lactation consultant is a caring profession, and as such, we are often in situations where we want to advise and to fix. Unfortunately, the literature shows that this desire can actually harm the client’s chance of success, and increase their chances of developing postpartum mood disorders. Families who are supplementing are particularly vulnerable to breastfeeding grief and trauma, and this class will teach lactation consultants to use specific counselling tools that ensure clients leave consultations feeling confident, empowered and successful.


Understand the 'righting reflex': how our desire to give advice and to 'fix' situations can frequently result in worse outcomes overall.


Use the motivational interviewing tools of engagement, open questions, reflections and summaries to move clients forward when they feel paralysed by decisions.


Identify ways to use 'change talk' and/or 'sustain talk' to guide our consults in appropriate directions.


Create client-centred care plans that focus on the client’s own choices.
IBLCE Content Outline
VII. B1 Active Listening
VII. B2 Anticipatory Guidance
VII. B3 Care Plan Development and Sharing
VII. B4 Documentation
VII. B5 Educating Mothers and Families

Course Lessons

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