The Douglas College Online Breastfeeding Course for Health Care Providers 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. This course is approved for 130 lactation education hours by the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC) meeting 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.
While clinical experiences are currently limited due to Covid-19 precautions, a full list of alternative experiences (including virtual observational experiences) will be available.
Course Outline and Expectations
Students will have the advantage of flexible online learning and capped class size for live 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
Live 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
- 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.
- All registrants are required to attend the Final Exam online.
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.
More important things:
- 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 Foundations Course.
- 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.
Course Fee: $1,017.00
Start date: September 11th, 2023 End/Exam date: TBA - Early December 2023
Deadline to withdraw: Wednesday, September 5th, 2023 @ 4:00 pm PST
Notification of withdrawal and/or refund request, by email or contacting CE Registration at 605-527-5472 - 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 (www.douglas.bc.ca/services/books)
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
The college bookstore is 'open' for pick up only. We recommend the required textbook be purchased as soon as possible.
- 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 Foundational Concepts course: https://www.douglascollege.ca/programs-courses/continuing-education/perinatal-career/20-hr-breastfeeding
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: https://iblce.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Which-IBLCE-Pathway-is-Right-for-Me.pdf
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 prenatal leave.
The course is 12 weeks long with an extra 4 weeks to finish the last assignment: The Observational Experiences. It is on our website.
I would like to become a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). What are the steps to follow?
The first step is to look in the IBCLE website and see what pathway you fall under. I imagine you would be pathway one but you have to check with IBCLE. They will tell you which pathway you fall under and what courses you need to take in order to become a lactation consultant. : https://iblce.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Which-IBLCE-Pathway-is-Right-for-Me.pdf
Why do I have to take this course?
The BCHP is one of the requirements to become a lactation consultant. You will need 97 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 136 Lactation Education hours. This course INCLUDES the 5 new Hours of Communication that are required to sign the Board Exam.
Do I have to take the 5 Hours of Communication Course you offer if I am taking the BCHP this semester?
No. Those 5 hours are already included in the BCHP. However, if you are renewing your LC license or you gathered your Lactation Education hours (the 97) at another institution which did not offer the 5 hours of Communication Course, then yes, you will need to sign up to the Communication Course in order to gather the 5 hours.
Do your clinical hours/observational experiences hours qualify for IBCLC and I can sit the board exam?
No. The assignment hours of the observational experiences do not qualify for the extra required for the exam. These are volunteer or practice hours helping mothers when it comes to breast-feeding education. These are in addition to your studies and has nothing to do with our observational experiences assignment; which is part of our big course (Breastfeeding Course for Health Care Providers). We do not provide them.
Should I take this course first before applying to a job?
It is up to you. You can take our breast-feeding course for healthcare providers and have the course in order to provide adequate support to breast-feeding 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 breast-feeding course which provides the foundation for anybody who is starting out helping mothers breast-feed. Some former students have told us that it really helped them taking the 20 hour first prior to starting in the BCHP. It is a heavy course, so the 20 hour will be a review. This is an individual decision.
Will the College provide the Clinical Hours required to sit the Board Exam?
No, it will not. The course will ask students to find their own Observational Experiences at this time (2021 and covid times). These hours can be done through online breastfeeding cafes, LLL, students’ work, own experience (up to a limit), interviews with moms, etc. There will be several ways in where students can find experiences. However, at this time we are not asking students to attend in face experiences or show up at hospitals or midwife clinics, etc. If they are invited to do so, it will be done voluntarily and Douglas College will not have any association with if something happened to the student or a parent ie: got sick, broke a leg, etc.