Breast/Chestfeeding Course for Health Care Providers

The Douglas College Breastfeeding Course for Health Care Providers (BCHP 400) provides comprehensive information in breastfeeding counseling and lactation theory. This course's curriculum has been revised to incorporate the latest evidence-based information in human milk feeding. It offers the tools needed to help students support, counsel and empower families to reach their breast/chestfeeding goals throughout their feeding trajectory. Meets the minimum 90 hours of lactation specific education and 5 hours of Communication education required to write the IBCLC Exam.

This dynamic online course focuses on engagement through interactive live sessions led by an experienced IBCLC and guest speakers who are experts in lactation care. Discussion forums and short student presentations facilitate sharing and learning from peers with diverse backgrounds as we explore together lactation tools, techniques, and clinical controversies in practice. Live case study sessions provide an opportunity for students work together to apply what they have learned to common lactation challenges. Throughout the course students will engage in observational, watch, listen and learn experiences to broaden and consolidate learning about human milk feeding. Each live session is capped at 25 students to facilitate optimal discussion environments and interactive teaching and learning. Live sessions repeat to offer a variety of times to accommodate different schedules and are recorded for student viewing.

The BCHP 400 curriculum focuses on former or practicing health care provider workers or students i.e.: nurses, doulas, midwives, massage therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dietitians, dentists, etc.

Course Outline and Expectations

Students will have the advantage of flexible online learning and capped class size for live sessions.

Zoom Sessions:

  • 6 core live 1.5 hour sessions with option to select an evening or weekend.  Live attendance at all sessions is encouraged as this enriches the learning for all students, however we understand this is not always possible, so sessions are recorded to accommodate those who are unable to attend live. 
  • 4 optional guest speaker sessions

Attendance at live session No. 3 student tool and technique demo assignment in week 7 is mandatory.  Exceptions can be considered for extenuating circumstances. 

Weekly Course work

Students will work at their own pace through course content on a weekly basis over 12 weeks.  Each folder contains:

  • Short video lectures
  • Readings – Textbook Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, sixth edition Karen Wambach and Becky Spencer, 2021 and articles as provided
  • Brief quiz
  • Supplemental podcasts, webinars and readings students can select for observational watch, listen and learn experiences

Discussion Forums

  • Students will be asked to participate in 6 brief written discussion forums over the duration of the course. 
  • Live participation in a guest speaker session can be used to in place of 2 of the 6 discussion forums.    


  • 4 assignments: prenatal class outline, 5 minute tools/technique presentation, clinical controversy bibliography and discussion session, self reflective journal.

Final Exam

  • All registrants are required to attend the final exam online.

Live Sessions:

Students will have live sessions throughout the semester, with options to join typically on:

Wednesday and Thursday evenings PST and Friday and Saturday morning PST

Please note the following:

  • Live sessions are subject to the number of registrants and the days may change.
  • Additional webinars and discussions may be scheduled outside of these times.
  • All sessions are recorded for later viewing if needed.
  • All students will be contacted via email closer to the start of the course to explain how to get started.

Other things to know:

  • The course is the equivalent to a fourth-year university course.
  • Good understanding of basic medical terminology and biology are required to be successful in the course. This course assumes that that the student has a good foundation in anatomy and physiology and evidence-based theory. This course requires significant student dedication and involvement.
  • All course participants should be fluent in both spoken and written English.
  • In addition to serving as a nursing elective at various educational institutions, this course prepares students to write the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Exam. However, if you are looking for a basic-moderate breastfeeding course, we recommend our popular 20 Hour Breastfeeding Course: Foundational Concepts.
  • This course also meets the new requirements for the IBCLC exam application for candidates taking the IBCLC Exam or later must have a 5-hour communications course.  
  • ***If you are a Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) employee please contact your Supervisor, Manager or Educator prior to registering for this course as sponsorship may be available through this health authority.

For the first time we are offering a Summer BCHP!

This is a compressed timeframe course therefore students will complete this course in 8 weeks and can expect minimum of 12 hours of work each week via readings, lectures, quizzes, discussion forums and live sessions.

Course fee:  $1,017.00

CRN:  21071

Start date:  Monday, May 6th, 2024 - End/Exam Date: Thursday, June 27th, 2024

Deadline to withdraw:  Tuesday, April 30th, 2024


Fall Session

Course Fee:  $1,037.00 

CRN: 31020

Start date: Monday, September 9th, 2024  End/Exam date:  TBA - December 2024

Deadline to withdraw:  Tuesday, September 3rd, 2024 @ 4:00 pm PST

Notification of withdrawal and/or refund request, by email or contacting CE Registration at 604-527-5472 - 3 business days prior to the beginning of classes, minus $15 processing fee.

NO exceptions and no refunds will be granted after the above stated timelines.

If 30% of the course has gone by with no student participation, the student will be graded with a "UN".

Technical Requirements - Please read

Required Text book:

Student must purchase the book: Wambach & Spencer, Breastfeeding and Human Lactation (Includes Navigate 2 Preferred Access) 6th Edition; ISBN: 978-1-284-15156-5 Can be ordered or purchased at the Douglas College David Lam Bookstore (

Please Note:

We recommend the required textbook be purchased as soon as possible.  The textbook can also be purchased at the Douglas College Bookstore email:


Optional Textbooks

Breastfeeding Answers: A Guide For Helping Families 2E, Nancy Mohrbacher, June 1, 2020 release

Another good resource but not required

Interdisciplinary Lactation Care, Approval Review Committee (LEAARC),

ISBN: 978-1-284-11116-3, 1284111164, eText ISBN: 978-1-284-17411-3, 9781-284-17411-5

  • Provide basic knowledge to help support families through their breastfeeding journey.
  • Provide students with comprehensive evidence-based understanding of the basics of lactation, including childhood development and anatomy and physiology of the lactating breast.
  • Utilize cultural and gender appropriate family-centered-care principles.
  • Encourage the development of sound and effective breastfeeding techniques, counseling and assessment skills.
  • Establish breastfeeding as the cultural norm in hospitals, communities and the workplace. 
  • Discuss health implication of prescribed medications and recreational substances on breastmilk/breastfeeding.  
  • Become change agents in the area of breastfeeding/lactation and disseminate this knowledge among breastfeeding families and other health care providers.
  • Identify breastfeeding agencies of national and global significance.
  • Discuss key frameworks such as Family-Centered Maternity & Newborn Care Principles and Primary Health Care & Population Health including informed/shared decision making, social determinants of health, health equity, cultural humility & safety, trauma informed care, and importance of community partnership

Do I have to be a nurse to take this course? What are the Pre-requisites?

You will have to have some sort of health care background as the course is a fourth year health science course. You do not have to be a nurse, but nursing is one easy way to get the requirements. You need to be familiar with biological pathways, research, etc. However, if you want to start and have a basic understanding while you get your science courses as required by IBCLC (see pathways link), you can take our popular 20 Hour Breastfeeding Course: Foundational Concepts:

Can I sit the IBCLC exam after I finish this course? 

No, you cannot sit the IBCLC exam after this course if you do not have all the requirements to write the exam. This course is just ONE of the requirements depending on which pathway you fall under. Please check here to get an idea of what you will need to sit the exam.

I am on parental leave, can I take this course during my parental leave?

It is up to you if you want to take it during your parental leave.

I would like to become a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). What are the steps to follow?

Please check the IBCLE website to determine which pathway you fall under and what courses you need to take.

Why do I have to take this course?

BCHP 400 is one of the requirements to become a lactation consultant.  You will need 95 Lactation Education Hours (L-CERPS) in order to meet the lactation education (in addition to other courses as per their website).  This course has been approved by LEAARC (the curriculum overseer for LC courses) for 120 lactation education hours. This course INCLUDES the 5 new hours of communication that are required to apply for the Board Exam.

Do your clinical hours/observational experiences hours qualify for IBCLC and I can sit the board exam?

No. The observational/alternative experiences hours required for the reflective journal are not hands on clinical practice so do not qualify as clinical practice hours for the purpose of application to write the IBCLC exam. 

Will the college provide the clinical hours required to sit the board exam?

No, Douglas College does not provide clinical practice hours. 

Should I take this course first before applying to a job?

It is up to you. You can take our breastfeeding course for healthcare providers and have the course in order to provide adequate support to breastfeeding moms at work. 

No/minimal experience working with breastfeeding families but I would like to take this course. Can I take it?

Yes as long as you are a health care provider. However, if you are not familiar with breastfeeding, we have our 20 hour breastfeeding course which provides the foundation for anybody who is starting out helping mothers breastfeed.



Christine Leong
Dr. Christine Leong, PharmD, Assistant Professor, Clinical Pharmacist. College of Pharmacy, RFHS, University of Manitoba.  Dr. Leong’s research focuses on drug utilization and outcomes from a population perspective.  Her program aims to optimize treatment and to improve the quality of care for patients taking medications.  Projects include examining the use of adherence of medication before, during, and after pregnancy; and describing the experiences of people and healthcare provides regarding mediation use during breastfeeding.  Pharmacoepidemiology, qualitative research and survey studies are methods used in this program.
Karen Lasby
Karen Lasby, RN, MN CNeoN(C), with more than 35 year of experience as a neonatal nurse, educator, research and author and is a respected expert in in caring for premature babies and their families.  Karen leads a specialized nursing team in post-discharge follow-up of extremely premature babies beyond the neonatal intensive care unit.  Her experience, compassion and dedication to preemies and parents make her a leading expert in the neonatal journey.
Marnie Turner
Marnie, Indigenous Birth Keeper and Lactation Counsellor.  I am Okanagan, French Canadian and European.  I have supported North American First People with all things postnatal for the past ten years.  However, a few years ago I was gifted the opportunity to learn and work with Indigenous families prenatally and birthing.
Shaz Tayebi

Shahrzad Tayebi, IBCLC, CST, practiced midwifery in Iran for 18 years before coming to Canada.  She is a prenatal educator, private practice LC, educator, Youtube producer, speaker and documentary director producer.

We’re Mammals documentary demonstrates how we can support infants, inform feeding behaviors to improve lactation experiences.

Nadia Hawkins
Nadia Hawkins, BScN, RN, IBCLC  The More Milk Sooner team originates from Saskatchewan.  In 2018 Dr. A. Prollius, Dr. T. Yen and Naida Hawkins teamed up to help more families to have access to prenatal/first hour hand expression after noting their patients were finding this helped them to have an easier time starting and continuing to breastfeed.  Seeing the success of this approach in their own practices they recognized the responsibility they had to bring this life changing practice to families and health care providers as possible.  They have presented both nationally and internationally on this subject but feel the most impactful thing they did was start a website and YouTube channel for families and healthcare providers to learn more.
Tin Yen

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