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Lactation Education Counselor Course Description
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 prerecorded lectures are four to five hours per week in addition to two to three hours of reading and assignments.  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.

Canvas, our online learning platform, is not compatible with smart phones or tablet devices. We recommend students plan to use a laptop or desktop for our courses.

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.


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

Contact Hours

45 hours. Contact hours are awarded for the completion of all assignments, and a final grade of 70% or higher. The instructors for this course have no conflicts of interest to disclose. This course was last updated in 2023. Content is reviewed and updated as needed but no longer than three years. The expiration date for this course is December 31, 2026.

Department: Healthcare & Behavioral Sciences
Phone: 858-534-9263

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.

UC San Diego, Division of Extended Studies is an approved provider of re-licensure credit for registered nurses by the California Board of Registered Nurses, provider number 00058.  

The Lactation Education Counselor course (RMED-40029) is recognized by the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee.


Lactation Information Session

Learn how to expand your current knowledge and provide the best patient care in lactation education and how to become a Lactation Consultant.

Course Number: RMED-40029
Credit: 4.50 unit(s)

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

Related Certificate Programs: Lactation Consultant: Pathway 2

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