COVID-19 RESPONSE: Open Arms is taking necessary steps to protect our clients, employees, and community. We realize that parents still need lactation support. Breastfeeding Peer Counselors are currently being matched with clients and conducting visits via phone and video conferencing.

Please see our COVID-19 Resource Page for information and resources to help your family.

Open Arms certified and trained Breastfeeding Peer Counselors provide no cost, community-based breastfeeding support to families. They prepare them for their breastfeeding journey by providing in-home education during pregnancy. Once the baby is born the Breastfeeding Peer Counselors help initiate breastfeeding within the first 24 hours of life and conduct home visits every day for the first week, and frequently for the first six weeks. Breastfeeding support continues throughout the first year.

Shevonne Tsegaye

African American Community

Shevonne is a community-based birth doula, breastfeeding peer counselor, advocate, and birthing justice activist. After birthing and breastfeeding her own three children, she realized her passion for supporting other parents on their journey into parenthood and the postpartum period that follows. While providing perinatal and lactation support, Shevonne respects and protects parents space while providing a calm, nurturing, and judgement free environment. She offers practical, evidence-based information to support them in making informed decisions and believes in the importance of making sure birthing and lactating parents feel heard and supported throughout the entire perinatal season.

“When I see my precious son gaze into my eyes and grin that milky grin — the same eyes that looked into mine minutes after he careened out of my body; the eyes that convinced me that my only job was to keep this child thriving with the miraculous resources given to me though my body — not much else matter.” – Salma Hayek

Mary Concepcion

Pacific Islander Community

Mary Concepcion is a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor proudly serving King County, with a special focus on the Pacific Islander community. “Be who you needed when you were younger.” is a phrase that Mary takes to heart.  Her past struggles as a new mom breastfeeding twin girls was the catalyst for her becoming an Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor.  She is a mother to three amazing daughters: teenagers and a full-fledged tweenager.  In another life Mary served her Air Force community as Key Spouse for the 25th Air Support Operations Squadron in Hawaii supporting families of frequently deployed combat Airman. She operated an in-home child care center in partnership with the US Navy at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. Mary is currently and IBCLC candidate and working towards her license as a massage therapist. She looks forward to combining breastfeeding and perinatal support with body work to better serve babies and parents. She enjoys connecting with parents and guide them through this beautiful journey of breast/chest feeding. Her goal is to raise the breastfeeding rates of the Pacific Islander community.

“Breastfeeding as a reclamation of our pre-colonial cultural practices and a return to our roots as mothers and caregivers.”

Elizabeth Montez

American Indian/Alaska Native Community

Elizabeth Montez is a member of the Perinatal Breastfeeding Collaborative team as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor and Supportive Pregnancy Health Educator. Elizabeth is a lactation professional (Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor, Lactation & Postpartum Educator, IBCLC candidate), a postpartum doula, a perinatal mental health advocate, a retired professional chef and eternal food justice advocate. She’s the mother of two sparkling humans, a member of the urban Native American and Latinx diaspora, a proud descendent of the Anishinaabe people of Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians. After battling birth trauma, a failure to thrive diagnosis, a hidden tongue tie, barriers to care and postpartum mood disruptions, she realized that birthing people and their families deserve more. Her personal journey includes actively decolonizing her life, and restoring supportive community to families is a key part of that. Every time folks come together in collaboration and support, it creates strong medicine to restore the connection and strength that our families need to thrive; this work weaves us back together, and Elizabeth is honored to be a thread in this beautiful tapestry of humanity.

“Food justice starts at birth, feeding babies can be a revolution.”

Want to get connected with a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor?

If you are looking for a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for yourself, please call us at 206-866-0729 or email us at Please share with us your expected due date or baby’s birth date, the community that you identify with, and the best way to reach you.

Open Arms staff will usually reach out within five days to complete an intake conversation.

If you are a provider referring a client,  please fill out this form and email it to or would like to receive email updates about our Breastfeeding Program please call 206-866-0729 or email

Are you pregnant?

Open Arms offers many programs to serve pregnant families. You may qualify for our Supportive Pregnancy Groups, Birth Doula Services or Community-Based Outreach Doula programs.

Click here to find out about all the programs that we offer to support families.