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This comprehensive 45-hour course prepares health professionals and other interested individuals to become lactation counselors. It furnishes the basic information necessary to promote breastfeeding and to interact in the breastfeeding situation by assisting and encouraging the breastfeeding triad of mother, baby, and support person. Topics include basic anatomy and physiology of lactation, early attachment of the baby, hospital care, support during the postpartum stage, common concerns and solutions, and appliances and apparatuses used in breastfeeding. At completion of the course students are "Lactation Counselors". The newly revamped Lactation Education Refresher course, offered quarterly, is intended for students to take three years after the Lactation Education Counselor (LEC) course has been completed.

The lectures are recorded, so no need to log in at a specific time, however assignments and quizzes are due weekly.   The videos are four to six hours per week with reading and homework in addition.  The course takes approximately six to eight hours per week to complete and you are able to work ahead.  Once a month, the instructor will have optional Zoom office hours and will answer questions and/or cover a relevant case study or topic.  Students who successfully complete the course receive an award of completion.    

Students have the option to follow the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice’s requirements through the Aggregate Pathway to receive the Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) credential.  To do so, you must have proof you are a currently licensed health professional (RN, APRN, physician, etc.) or hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.  The Lactation Education Counselor course meets the requirement of 45 hours of education within the past year that relates directly to the WHO/UNICEF (World Health Organization/United Nations Children’s Fund) breastfeeding counseling training course. 

You are provided with:

An award of completion
Counseling skills attestation
Resume of counseling skills attestation supervisor

The Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice is a separate organization and is not affiliated with UC San Diego Extended Studies.

RN: 45 hours of BRN CEUs

The textbook for this class:

Core Curriculum for Interdisciplinary Lactation Care 2nd
by Spencer, Campbell, Chamberlain
ISBN / ASIN: 9781284255515

You may purchase textbooks via the UC San Diego Bookstore.

Note: This course must be taken for a letter grade and is offered online every quarter. View the academic calendar here

Course content expires December 31, 2023. No one in a position to control content has a relevant financial relationship with an ineligible company.

Continuing Education hours: UC San Diego, Division of Extended Studies is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Course Number: RMED-40029
Credit: 4.50 unit(s)
Related Certificate Programs: Lactation Consultant: Pathway 2

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Ashley Calderon

My goal is to promote awareness and assist in educating my community about the benefits of breastfeeding while also providing support to those who may be struggling.

Ashley Calderon, Lactation Education Counselor
Simja Ramirez

As a mom, I know firsthand the benefits of having lactation support, so I wanted to pay it forward and ensure my clients and community have these and better opportunities.

Simja Ramirez, Lactation Education Counselor