Breast/Chestfeeding Course for Health Care Providers



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 lactation theory. It offers the tools needed to help students support, counsel and empower families to reach their breastfeeding goals throughout their feeding trajectory. With the guidance of an IBCLC as their instructor, students will learn how to manage common breastfeeding concerns and challenges and develop a well-rounded and evidence-informed understanding of current optimal infant feeding practices.

This dynamic online course focuses on engagement through discussion forums, activities, and group projects. Students will practice and apply what they have learned through interactive case studies and live online lectures. In addition, each participant will be mentored through observational experiences, parent and provider interviews, and their own professional practice (when applicable) as a way to consolidate their learning by observing the application of theory to practice in real life settings.

While clinical experiences are currently limited due to Covid-19 precautions, a full list of alternative experiences (including virtual observational experiences) will be available.

Students will have the advantage of flexible online learning, with the expectation that coursework will be completed on a weekly basis over 12 weeks with final exam on week 13. Students are further expected to participate in five instructor-led "live" online collaborative sessions featuring interactive case-studies & guided learning and the sixth class is the final exam.  Additionally, throughout the course there will be opportunities for live webinars, discussion sessions, student teaching demonstrations, and other events. All opportunities will be recorded and have the option for alternative student participation to allow for flexibility in participation. It is expected that those who miss attending a live session will watch that session within the same week in order to keep up with the classroom’s pace. Dates will be announced and scheduled after the course start. 

Unlike many online courses, our classes are capped at 25 students to facilitate optimal discussion environments and online interactive teaching.

Upon successful completion of all course components with a 70% grade or higher students will receive a Douglas College Certificate of Completion with 136 Lactation-Education-Hours to sit the International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants Exam. It is the student’s responsibility to verify if they meet the requirements to write the exam. This course is also an approved Douglas College Nursing Elective and at other educational institutions throughout Canada (student to verify with own educational institution).

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.

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

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.


***All course participants should be fluent in both spoken and written English.

***This course also meets the new requirements for the IBCLC exam application for candidates taking the IBLCE 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


Winter Session

CRN: 11031

Course Fee:  $1,017.00 

Start date: January 9th, 2023  End/Exam date:  TBA - April 2023

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:

  • Additional webinars and discussions may be scheduled outside of these times.
  • All sessions are recorded for later viewing if needed
  • All students will participate in Session 6, the Final Exam.
  • All students will be contacted via email closer to the start of the course to explain how to get started.

Notification of withdrawal and/or refund request, 3 business days prior to the beginning of classes, minus $15 processing fee.

Deadline to withdraw is Wednesday, January 4th, 2023.

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".

Next offering:  September 2023 - registration will open in July 2023.

If you would like to be added to the communication list please: email, Subject Line:  Waitlist BCHP September 2023 - Your name

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 (

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

Please Note:

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 IBCLE (see pathways link), you can take our popular 20 hour Breastfeeding Foundational Concepts course:


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

No, you cannot sit the IBCLE 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 until at the end of 2022. 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. :

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 BHCP. 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.

Does your clinical hours/Observational Experiences Hours qualify for IBCLE and sit the Board Exam?

No. The assignment hours of the observational experiences do not qualify for the extra requirement of the These are volunteer or practice hours helping mothers when it comes to breast-feeding education. These are in addition 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. Please be aware that this course Is a heavy workload I need is a fourth year university course.

I don’t have any experience working with breastfeeding 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 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.



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