Overview

Infant and young child feeding practices are one of the basic pillars in ensuring nutrition status of young infants is protected, especially for infants under 6 months of age. The Lactation Specialist (LS) will complement the Nutrition and WASH emergency response program of NK by providing awareness and counselling to mothers/ caregivers of children under the age 2 affected by the war to ensure optimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF). The LS will assess the mothers/ caregivers’ wellness status and ability to breastfeed using a guided assessment in order to evaluate proper route of support by either providing close support on breastfeeding to lactating mothers, exploring if non-breastfeeding mothers can re-lactate and support them to do so or by linking mothers to donors providing breastmilk substitutes (BMS) while respecting The Code and following guided SOPs to provide BMS to these mothers in need, ensuring mothers are making informed decisions and are not coerced into using formula nor are they financially affected by this decision. The LS will reinforce Mission Armenia technical capacities.

Responsibilities:

- Assess mothers/ caregivers and their children to identify specific feeding support needs, using rapid and full assessments;
- Specify route of support to follow and referrals needed while consulting with team, as needed, in collaboration with the Nutrition Specialist;
- Support and counsel mothers identified with difficulties breastfeeding and/ or sub-optimal IYCF practices;
- Conduct regular follow-up and remote support to mothers assisted, as needed;
- Assist and give one-on-one counselling related to IYCF for pregnant women;
- Support non-breastfeeding mothers to re-lactate or get support from wet nurses or breastmilk donations as available;
- Counsel non-breastfeeding mothers/ caregivers on proper use of artificial feeding (BMS) through training, demonstration and on-going guidance until the infant is at least 6 months of age following SOPs developed by the nutrition sub-WG;
- Link non-breastfeeding mothers with organizations donating BMS, guide mothers on the proper use of BMS;
- Participate in other nutrition and health promotion activities that could be identified based on beneficiaries needs and linked with the nutrition context;
- Register and record all relevant data regarding the beneficiaries and the sessions conducted, keeping track of the needed follow-up sessions to plan and needed services expressed;
- Observe and collect information during activities sessions on the beneficiaries’ needs and vulnerabilities, keeping protection-related needs in mind;
- Conduct daily and weekly referrals to ACF staff as expressed by mothers or assessed during counselling and support on needs related to nutrition-vulnerability, including WASH, food security, general health, mental health, sexual and reproductive health;
- Establish mothers to mother-to-mother support groups, and support the activities of these groups;
- Transfer all data collected on hard copies to soft copies;
- Be in touch with the Project Manager on a daily basis and provide written report on weekly basis, on all activities, including type of support provided, targets reached, progress at work, follow-ups conducted, referrals made, challenges faced, lessons learned and needs;
- Document all forms and files used for mothers/ caregivers visited and counselled by keeping an updated register and storing all tablets, data, and documents in secure locations/ files;
- Design and conduct training in lactation support, re-lactation techniques for nurses working with Mission Armenia;
- Provide follow up/ coaching session to nurses trained;
- Carry out other job-related tasks assigned by the Project Manager.

Required Qualifications:

- B.S./ M.Sc. in Nutrition, Nurse, Midwife, Pharmacy or a related medical field;
- Certification as a lactation specialist and completion of at least the 20-hour training on Infant and Young Child Feeding; knowledge on IYCF in emergencies is a plus;
- Experience as lactation specialist/ IYCF counselor, with a medical background;
- NGO experience is a plus;
- Effective communication and excellent listening skills, and counselling techniques;
- Organization and planning skills;
- Excellent organization skills of setting workplans for counselling sessions and follow-up sessions with autonomy;
- Capacity to keep accurate and detailed documentation and reporting of activities conducted with challenges and lessons learned;
- Adaptability and flexibility;
- Motivation and teamwork skills;
- Gender sensitive;
- Native Armenian speaker; fluency in English language;
- Computer literacy (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint);
- Willingness to make trips to Masis and Hrazdan․

About Mission Armenia NGO

The Mission Armenia NGO has received financing from USAID. The goal of the Support to Social Sector Reforms program is to promote an improved and sustained social protection system in Armenia that is responsive to citizen needs. The program will do so by