About the Speaker

Cathy Carothers, IBCLC, FILCA is a lactation consultant (since 1996) and Co-Director of a national nonprofit organization, Every Mother, Inc. (2005-present), which provides counseling and lactation related training programs for health professionals and the business community. Her special expertise is in the field of marketing and public relations which she has used to develop national level breastfeeding promotion and support initiatives.

She served as a university publications director, and training and outreach coordinator (2000-2005) for Best Start Social Marketing, which developed the national USDA breastfeeding campaign, Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work. As the former State Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Mississippi State Department of Health WIC Program (1995-2000) she developed a statewide breastfeeding support initiative that dramatically raised breastfeeding rates and earned the state the National WIC Award.

Cathy has served on the Board of Directors of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) as president (July 2010-2012); director of marketing (2003-2009), and has recently chaired the Lactation Equity Action Initiative (2013-2015). She has also served as chair of the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) (2012-13), member of the USBC Board of Directors (2011-2014), and chair of the marketing committee (2005-2011). She currently chairs the Monetary Investment for Lactation Consultant Certification (MILCC) (2014-present) and is a member of the board of directors for the Mother’s Milk Bank of Mississippi (2013-present). She was designated Fellow of the International Lactation Consultant Association (FILCA) in 2009, and was awarded the National Leadership Award in the “Friend of WIC” category by the National WIC Association in 2014.

Official Bio for Brochure

Cathy Carothers. IBCLC, FILCA is a board certified lactation consultant (since 1996) with rich experience providing training and technical assistance for health professionals and communities across the U.S. Her unique blend of humor, storytelling, and innovative teaching techniques using a visual learning platform have made her a highly sought after speaker for a wide range of audiences from health professionals to business leaders. She has developed national breastfeeding curricula for several national government agencies, and has led the national workplace support training and technical assistance initiatives for the HHS Office on Women’s Health and Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Her training events are known for being fun and memorable, and filled with practical “can do” strategies that can be immediately applied.

Bio for Introduction

Cathy Carothers is co-director of EVERY MOTHER, INC., a nonprofit organization providing counseling and lactation training for health professionals across the United States.  She is the recent past Chair of the United States Breastfeeding Committee, and past president of the International Lactation Consultant Association.  She is a Fellow of ILCA, and has been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 1996.  She is also the recipient of the 2014 National Leadership Award in the “Friend of WIC” category by the National WIC Association.

An experienced trainer and speaker, Cathy has provided more than 650 training events in every U.S. State and Territory, and several countries.  She has led numerous national breastfeeding promotion and training projects for Federal agencies, including the HHS Office on Women’s Health project, Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions online searchable resource and training curriculum, and USDA’s national WIC peer counseling curriculum, Loving Support Through Peer Counseling: A Journey Together.

A former University public relations director, she served as the State Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Mississippi WIC Program, coordinating the state’s comprehensive peer counseling program and breastfeeding promotion campaign that earned them the “National WIC Award.”

Cathy is married to a United Methodist minister, and is the proud mother of five healthy breastfed children, now ages 23-35, and two breastfed grandsons ages 3 and 5.


High Five for Success

Time-frame: 60-90 minutes
CERP: yes

There are many things to potentially teach mothers about breastfeeding during pregnancy and beyond, and mothers often feel overwhelmed about how much they have to learn, making breastfeeding appear complicated and out of reach. Five strategies are crucial for helping mothers prepare for their hospital experience and succeed in their breastfeeding goals. Consistent messaging and practices from prenatal, in-hospital, and postpartum providers make the difference! This session will provide the evidence for these five crucial practices, strategies to address barriers mothers have to these practices, and practical ways to teach the information to families in a way that helps make them memorable.

L-CERP Session

Pump it Up: Ramping up Support for Mothers Who Choose to Exclusively Pump or Supplement

Time-frame: 60-90 minutes
CERP: yes

A growing number of mothers today choose to “breast milk feed” or use breast milk and formula rather than directly or exclusively breastfeed their babies.  There are many reasons for this growing phenomenon, and breastfeeding counselors have unique opportunities for helping mothers make informed decisions. This session explores the basics of milk production, how to talk with mothers about their feeding decisions, and reasons mothers choose other options. The session also looks at practical strategies for helping mothers maintain their milk when mothers choose to exclusively pump or supplement with formula, and how to use patient-centered approaches to counsel mothers effectively.

L-CERP Session 

Returning to Breastfeeding after Supplementation has Begun

Time-frame: 90-120 minutes
CERP: yes

Prevention makes the difference in getting breastfeeding off to a good start. But what happens when mothers miss the important prevention window and breastfeeding goes awry? The real world for many postpartum providers and public health/WIC staff is seeing mothers at 2 or 3 weeks postpartum after supplementation with formula has already begun. How can we help them get back on track and return to full breastfeeding? This session provides information on milk production basics and how to teach that to families, guidance for conducting an appropriate infant and maternal assessment, and helpful hints for assuring that babies thrive during the transition back to full breastfeeding.

For WIC-Specific Training Events: this session can also include guidelines for tailoring food packages to provide the minimum amount of formula needed, and participant-centered counseling strategies.

L-CERP Session

Mother Knows Breast: Helping Mothers Gain Confidence in their Milk Production

Time-frame: 90-120 minutes
CERP: yes

Helping women gain confidence in their milk production has been cited in the research as critical to improving breastfeeding exclusivity and duration rates.  In this lively session, the mysteries of how the breast makes milk are explained in simple, practical language that can be shared with new mothers to help them gain confidence in their ability to breastfeed.  The session includes visual tools and analogies that can be used both in both one-on-one prenatal or bedside counseling, and in breastfeeding classes or support group meetings to help assure new moms they can make plenty of milk for their baby.

L-CERP Session

Making the Connection: Counseling and Communication Skills for Breastfeeding Educators

Time-frame: Flexible enough for a short 1-hour conference session to a full-day workshop
CERP: yes

This session takes a fun, interactive approach to assisting mothers with their infant feeding decisions through the concept of “connection before content.” Using humor, case examples, and video, this client-centered communication approach includes rapport-building strategies for quickly identifying hidden motivators and emotional triggers to enhance effective and powerful communication with new families…even when facing more challenging situations.

The session has been used very effectively in a variety of learning situations, including conference plenary and breakout sessions, in-person training events, and webinar formats.

Shorter Session: As a shorter conference session or webinar, the presentation hits brief highlights of active listening skills and ways to build self-efficacy among pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

Longer Workshop: As a half-day or full-day workshop, the session explores barriers to breastfeeding, the impact of beliefs and personal experience in infant feeding decisions, exploring the counselor’s personal counseling practices, active listening skills, the power of emotion-based messaging, ways to build self-efficacy among pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, effective education techniques  using powerful adult learning approaches, and many PRACTICE opportunities to reflect on and apply the information learned.

R-CERP Session

Dealing with the Tough Ones: Counseling in Difficult Situations

Time-frame: 60-90 minutes
CERP: yes

In this session, attendees will address common counseling situations faced by pregnant and postpartum breastfeeding mothers, and common strategies for addressing.  The session will review effective counseling principles and how to apply them in specific case studies presented by attendees, including dealing with cultural/language barriers, abusive situations, environmental factors, lack of support from colleagues, mothers who are closed to breastfeeding, addressing concerns of unsupportive family members, and other difficult counseling scenarios.

R-CERP Session

Making it Work: Supporting Nursing Moms at Work

Time-frame: Can range from 60 minutes to a half day or full day intensive workshop
CERP: yes

There has to be an easier way!  Many women returning to work after maternity leave find that the challenges are great, and often breastfeeding is seen as the key to making life easier.  At the same time, employers of these women are often even less likely to know how to support them, even though creative solutions abound. This presentation is based on findings from the research on what employers and mothers alike need to support breastfeeding in the workplace, Federal and state requirements for lactation accommodations in the workplace, new national resources to support employers and families, and strategies for breastfeeding advocates to use in conducting effective outreach with employers or supporting working moms. It can be divided many different ways and across many different time segments to meet the needs of the group requesting the training.

Single Session – General: As a single session content addresses the business case for breastfeeding with bottom-line benefits to the employer, needs of employed breastfeeding women, Federal requirements for lactation accommodations in the workplace, a few look at creative solutions for supporting moms in non-office work settings, and resources to support employers and mothers.

Single Session – Employers: As a single session, content addresses brief bottom-line benefits to employers, needs of employed breastfeeding women, Federal/relevant State requirements for lactation accommodations in the workplace, understanding the motivators and barriers of employers in establishing employee lactation support services, outreach strategies that resonate with employers, creative solutions to share, and resources to support employers with implementing and sustaining lactation accommodations.

Single Session – Working Mothers: As a single session, content addresses needs of employed breastfeeding women, including emotional constraints, establishing and sustaining milk production, rebuilding milk production, helping women navigate avenues of support, talking with supervisors and coworkers about their needs, counseling mothers about specific pumping strategies and schedules tailored to the mother’s work situation, and sharing available resources.

Half-Day Workshop: Typically a half-day workshop combines two of the above training sessions, often focusing on the needs of working moms in the first part o the workshop and how to conduct effective outreach with employers in the second half of the workshop.

Full-Day WorkshopThe full-day workshop is a highly interactive event modeled after the original 2-day “Business Case for Breastfeeding” training events held in 36 U.S. States across the country from 2008 to 2012. The full-day event includes a short strategy session at the end of the day for facilitated regional or community based strategy planning to identify strategies to reach targeted employers. Typical breakdown of content sessions in a full-day workshop includes the following sessions. Note: each session ends with personal/group reflection and application on the content learned for immediate application and knowledge retention.

1. Preparing and Supporting Moms at Work – an overview of the needs of breastfeeding women, particularly women working in low-wage environments, and how to empower them to reach their breastfeeding goals.

2. Building a Village of Support for Nursing Moms at Work – practical solutions for time and space to support women working in a variety of  difficult work environments.

3. Federal/State Requirements and Resources – overview of Federal and appropriate State requirements for accommodating nursing women at work, with strategies on how to use the resources in a variety of teaching and outreach situations with employers and families.

4. Engaging Employers in Providing Breastfeeding Support – understanding the motivators and barriers of employers in providing lactation accommodations, learning the language of the business model in developing communication approaches, and conducting an effective outreach program to targeted employers, and applying that in a facilitated regional/community based strategy planning session.

5. Strategy Planning – facilitated regional/community-based conversations to select businesses to target for outreach, identify barriers and motivators to factor in conducting outreach with those employers, and to develop a community plan for reaching the employer.

Most sessions are R-CERP eligible. Sessions focusing on working mothers only are L-CERP eligible. 


Supporting Low-Wage Workers with Breastfeeding

Time-frame: 60-90 minutes
CERP: yes
Although new moms who return to work after having their baby often WANT to continue breastfeeding, the demands of motherhood and employment can make breastfeeding seem overwhelming. The challenges are even greater for women working in low wage job settings where time and space to express milk require creative solutions that are not so easily apparent.This session gives practical tips for supporting nursing moms working in low wage jobs, including creative strategies for non-office job settings typical of low-income women working in a variety of challenging environments. The session includes research on the impact of the low-wage job setting on breastfeeding outcomes, the role of support from supervisors and co-workers, engaging family members who are often the child care support for working moms, and resources available to working families and breastfeeding counselors.

R-CERP Eligible


Working with Childcare Centers to Promote Breastfeeding-Friendly Practices

Time-frame: 60 minutes
CERP: yes

One of the greatest challenges for women returning to work after the birth of a baby is finding and working with child care providers who are supportive of her breastfeeding goals, including both formal day-care settings and family and in-home caregiver environments. This session explores the research on the impact of childcare providers on breastfeeding exclusivity and duration rates, barriers of childcare providers to supporting breastfeeding, regulations around breastfeeding support in the childcare setting, and strategies for engaging childcare providers. The session also explores training needs of providers, models of support, and ways to help breastfeeding mothers talk with their family members (including dads and grandparents) who will care for their babies.

R-CERP Session


The Time is Right: Seize the Moment! The Landscape of Breastfeeding Support

Time-frame: 60-90 minutes
CERP: yes

This inspiring presentation explores how the landscape for breastfeeding support has changed in recent years, with opportunities for engagement and action! The session explores current initiatives and resources in the following areas: government, health care, primary care, employment, legislation, and social media. By the end of the session, attendees will agree: we have reached a tipping point in the U.S. and NOW is the time to act!

Note: This is an excellent motivating conference opening session!

R-CERP Session

Loving Support Through Peer Counseling: A Journey Together – FOR MANAGERS

Time-frame: Can range from 60 minutes to a full day
CERP: yes

This single session or full-day workshop was developed for the USDA WIC Program for State and local WIC agencies interested in implementing/expanding and sustaining a WIC peer counseling program.

Single Session – As a single session topics include an overview of the USDA “Loving Support Model,” evidence-based guidelines for the appropriate implementation of a peer counseling program in the WIC Program. Highlights include the importance of recruiting true peers from the community, ways to support peer counselors to build effectiveness and retention, integrating peer counselors into the WIC clinic flow, and reinforcing a breastfeeding-friendly environment within the agency.

Full-Day Training – In a full-day training event the Loving Support through Peer Counseling: A Journey Together – FOR WIC MANAGERS is used with a strong interactive approach to help managers follow evidence-based guidelines in managing their peer counseling program. Topics include:

  • Peer Counseling in the WIC Program
  • Peer Counseling: Making a Difference for WIC Families
  • Program Planning
  • Pro0gram Development and Implementation
  • Staffing Considerations
  • Scope of Practice
  • Practice Settings for Peer Counselors
  • Training Peer Counselors
  • Mentoring and Supervising Peer Counselors
  • Retaining Peer Counselors

R-CERP Session(s)

Loving Support Through Peer Counseling: A Journey Together – FOR TRAINING PEER COUNSELORS

Time-frame: 2-Day "Train the Trainer" workshop OR single session training directly for peer counselors
CERP: yes

The Loving Support through Peer Counseling: A Journey Together” training initiative was developed for the USDA WIC Program for State and local WIC agencies across the country to use in training new peer counselors or reinforcing training needs with current staff. This highly interactive, comprehensive training curricula can be presented as a “Train the Trainer” for educators in the state or local agency. Individual sessions can also be pulled and provided as direct training for peer counselors based on the needs of the community.

Topics include:

  • Module 1 – Becoming a Peer Counselor
  • Module 2 – Helping Moms Say YES to Breastfeeding
  • Module 3 – Helping Moms Overcome Common Barriers
  • Module 4 – How to Talk with Moms About Breastfeeding
  • Module 5 – Ways to Reach New Moms
  • Module 6 – Encouraging Exclusive Breastfeeding
  • Module 7 – Supporting New Breastfeeding Moms
  • Module 8 – Helping Moms when Things Don’t Go as Planned
  • Module 9 – Talking with Pregnant Women about Breastfeeding
  • Module 10 – Talking with Mothers about Breastfeeding in the First Month
  • Module 11 – Talking with Mothers about Breastfeeding as Baby Grows
  • Module 12 – Talking with Mothers about Breastfeeding when Mother and Baby are Separated
  • Module 13 – Providing Peer Counselor Services in Other Settings

L-CERP Sessions

Using Loving Support to Grow and Glow in WIC

Time-frame: 2-Day Training Event
CERP: yes

Using Loving Support to Grow and Glow in WIC is a national breastfeeding training curriculum developed for the USDA WIC Program for State and local agency training of direct service providers, including dietitians, nutritionists, nurses, peer counselors, clerks, front desk workers, and other staff. It is also appropriate for engaging community partners in the training, including local providers, breastfeeding organizations and advocates, Healthy Start and Zero to Three agencies, and other government or nonprofit organizations. The training includes 10 highly interactive, comprehensive training modules covering a wide range of topics relevant to the WIC community, and can be easily tailored to the audience being trained. The content is includes numerous personal stories, humor, and real life examples to make the information relevant and memorable to staff.

The modules include:

  • Module 1 – How WIC Supports Breastfeeding
  • Module 2 – Feelings About Breastfeeding
  • Module 3 – Communicating with WIC Families About Breastfeeding
  • Module 4 – Barriers to Breastfeeding
  • Module 5 – Promoting and Encouraging Exclusive Breastfeeding
  • Module 6 – Promoting Breastfeeding During Pregnancy
  • Module 7 – Providing Support for New Breastfeeding Moms (Birth to 1 month)
  • Module 8 – Helping Mothers Continue the Breastfeeding Relationship (Month 1 to Month 12)
  • Module 9 – Talking with Mothers About Breastfeeding when Mother and Baby are Separated
  • Module 10 – Solutions for Common Breastfeeding Problems

Making Meaning of What We Do

Time-frame: 60 minutes
CERP: yes

This session provides a humorous and heart-warming look at the joys and frustrations involved in caring for new families. It provides an inspiring look at the reality of life in the “giving” business, with practical strategies on how to deal with burnout, how to set priorities that matter, and how to feel good about the important work you do.

Note: This is a popular conference closing session as it leaves attendees feeling inspired and ready to continue their work making a difference in the lives of families.

R-CERP Session

When Disaster Strikes: Supporting Breastfeeding in Emergencies

Time-frame: 60-90 minutes or a half-day workshop
CERP: yes

Natural disasters and other emergency situations are inevitable and often unpredictable. In the midst of these situations, infants and children are always the most vulnerable. Breastfeeding can be preserved, encouraged, and facilitated.  In fact, breastfeeding can often become the one constant way for families to regain a sense of normalcy and to improve survival and optimal health for infants and children.   This session explores ways breastfeeding advocates can provide appropriate help to breastfeeding families in an emergency, ways to help mothers maintain or increase milk production in an emergency, and strategies for working with emergency relief organizations and workers to provide support.

L CERP Session


Cathy Carothers

Country: USA
Phone number: 662-931-6368
Email: Cathy@everymother.org
Site: cathy@everymother.org


Supporting Nursing Moms at Work

Online searchable resource for employers and working moms developed for the HHS Office on Women’s Health

Supporting Nursing Moms at Work

Comprehensive presentation platform for breastfeeding educators and advocates working with employers and working mothers, developed for the HHS Office on Women’s Health. Available for download at the US Breastfeeding Committee website.

Loving Support Through Peer Counseling: A Journey Together

National curricula developed for the USDA WIC Program. The innovative visual platform includes hundreds of photos and videos presented in a flexible navigation platform. Curricula include a training resource for program managers, training modules for educators to use in training peer counselors, and peer counselor materials.

Business Case for Breastfeeding

National resource for business employers developed for the HHS Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Using Loving Support to Grow & Glow in WIC

National breastfeeding training curricula for WIC staff developed for the USDA WIC Program