give us your name and contact info for the CNML website and blog
agree to and sign and date the CNML faith statement and email it to CNML
agree to read the CNML disclaimer at the start of each meeting and have it listed at the top of your sign in sheet
sign and date the CNML disclaimer and official statement and CNML leader policy and email to CNML
agree to communicate regularly with CNML about your group meetings
You are welcome to use the Resource Guide for Starting a CNML Group, Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood, Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing, and Getting Started with Breastfeeding: For Catholic Mothers as resources for running your group.
Here is the CNML disclaimer and official statement:
Disclaimer and Official Statement of CNML(to be read at the start of each CNML meeting, book discussion session, and ecologicalbreastfeeding class and also listed at the top of your sign in sheet for each CNML function)
The Catholic Nursing Mothers League (CNML) does not train or accredit breastfeeding counselors or insure its group leaders. Any info obtained through a CNML leader or group should be verified with a health care provider or other appropriate licensed professional and does not constitute medical, legal or professional advice. CNML is not responsible or liable for any info shared in a group or in any communication with its group leader. The role of a CNML leader is to share personal experience and resources she has found helpful in her personal experience and to facilitate the sharing of info, experiences and support by mothers attending the group.(If you have a breastfeeding credential, add this as the next paragraph of the disclaimer in addition to more detailed info about your particular credential and insurance:) Sometimes a CNML group will be facilitated or led by an individual who holds a professional credential related to health care or breastfeeding (MD, RN, CNM, CPM, IBCLC, certified breastfeeding counselor, certified childbirth educator, etc). If she offers any info or support that is within the scope of her credential, she does so on her own authority and under the coverage of her own liability or malpractice insurance. CNML does not endorse any specific credential, and individuals attending CNML meetings or communicating with CNML leaders rely on the professional advice offered entirely at their own risk.
About the Catholic Nursing Mothers League: The organization was founded in April 2006 for three purposes: 1) to provide opportunities for Catholic mothers to receive encouragement from experienced nursing mothers; 2) to enjoy the fellowship of other nursing mothers; and 3) to discuss breastfeeding, ecological breastfeeding, and mothering in the context of their Catholic faith. The League groups also hope to reach out to parishes and communities to educate their members about the long-standing Church teaching in support of breastfeeding as well as its many physical and maternal benefits.
CNML Leader Policy
CNML leaders may share 1) personal breastfeeding experiences, 2) info they have obtained about breastfeeding from a reliable source (if they are able to identify the source on request), and 3) experiences other mothers have shared with them, in the course of leading CNML meetings and communicating directly with mothers (and others).
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should CNML leaders give medical advice, including but not limited to, advice about the safety of particular drugs while nursing (prescription or non-prescription), herbs, supplements or other substances, advice about whether a baby's weight gain is sufficient, or whether a baby should receive supplemental formula. Any advice that could affect a baby or a mother's health should be referred to an appropriate health care provider. The same policy applies to legal or other types of professional advice.
A CNML leader may share info (not give advice) in the following ways, using these verbal or written formulations:
1) personal experience - if you have personal experience with a breastfeeding question or concern, share your experience prefaced by "in my own experience, I found that..."
2) info you have read - if you have read or heard info you feel would be helpful ( from a reliable source), share it prefaced by "my information is that..." and be able to state where you found the info. You may consider having a breastfeeding book handy in case you want to read info from it when a question comes up. Some possibilities: The Baby Book (updated and revised edition 2013) by The Sears family; Sheila Kippley's three breastfeeding books: Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood, Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing, and The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor; Getting Started with Breastfeeding: For Catholic Mothers by Gina Peterson)
3) Info you have learned from other mothers sharing their experiences - if you have encountered other mothers who have dealt with the same issue, share it prefaced with "I know some other mothers who have found that..." Or "many mothers find..." Be careful not to share confidential info. If you are sharing another mother's experience, be careful to protect her identity and privacy. Share in a generic way, as in "I once knew a mother who found that..."
NEVER give advice, ie. never tell a mother "you should do X" or " You should not do X." CNML leaders are only authorized to share info they have read or heard from reliable sources (if they can identify the source) and personal experience or the experiences of other mothers shared with them.
Questions related to weight gain, formula supplementation, medications, or possible health problems of baby or mother - even if they seem trivial - should ALWAYS be referred to a health care provider. Questions related to divorce, custody, or other legal matters should always be referred to a lawyer. Questions related to postpartum depression or other mental health issue can be shared and discussed in the manner described above but should also be referred to a health care provider or mental health provider.
If CNML leaders limit their sharing to personal experience, info obtained from reliable (and Identifiable) sources, and the experiences of other mothers they have known (while protecting confidentiality and privacy), they should not exceed the limits of CNML as a Catholic ministry/support group which does not accredit and insure breastfeeding counselors.
If you are a credentialed professional, you will need to draft your own disclaimer form describing your scope of practice and stating whether or not you are insured. In the CNML forum, you may act within the scope of your credential as long as you are doing do on a volunteer basis (not using CNML for profit-making purposes) and as long as you made the full CNML disclaimer, as well as your individual informed disclosure document available to all who are in contact with you through CNML.
Here is the CNML faith statement:
Statement of Faith of the Catholic Nursing Mothers League, Inc.
· The Catholic Nursing Mothers League acknowledges that the Catholic Church was founded by Christ, and the League assents to all that the Church authentically teaches through the Magisterium.
· The teachings of the Roman Pontiffs and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are accepted by CNML as authoritative.
· In particular, the Catholic Nursing Mothers League assents to the following specific teachings that bear on our work as supporters of breastfeeding mothers:
1. We respect the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. We oppose all forms of abortion, both surgical and via abortafacient devices and drugs.
2. We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and that children are the supreme gift of marriage. We believe that married couples are called to be generous in the service of life and to exercise responsible parenthood.
3. We reject all unnatural forms of birth control, and we reject as contrary to God’s plan all means of seeking conception in which technological interventions are substituted for the marriage act. We accept the morality of natural means of birth regulation for couples with a serious reason to space their children.
Thanks for your interest!