Centre for Breastfeeding Education and Research
The Centre for Breastfeeding Education and Research’s mission is to improve breastfeeding and human lactation education, enhance innovative research and foster communities of practice in the field.
The Centre for Breastfeeding Education and Research hosts the international Breastfeeding London Course, as well as tailored breastfeeding education/training for Health Care Providers (HCP).
The Breastfeeding London Course is a set of 13 monthly/bi-monthly Study days (146 hours of lactation specific education, including 10 hours of education focused on communications/counselling skills) at a postgraduate level of education, that prepares candidates to sit the International Board Lactation Consultant Examiners exam and exceeds the 95 hours Lactation Specific Education requirements. It is designed for HCPs and lay professionals who want to provide culturally effective up-to-date evidence-based breastfeeding care and information to expectant/new families.
Our Course is the only one in the UK that is taught by a multidisciplinary faculty and we have an outstanding IBLCE exam passing rate from students that have taken the full Course. We have become an approved Open College Network London centre and the course has held in the past the professional accreditation by the Royal College of Midwives.
We have been teaching the Course for the past 12 consecutive years and it is listed as a Course Provider by the International Lactation Consultants Association.
The content applies to best practice issues in the clinical setting; it includes didactic, practical clinical and counselling skills, as well as homework. We use real clinical cases to help students develop clinical thinking and problem-solving skills. The Study Days are interactive, they enhance multiple kinaesthetic learning styles and they include:
- Lectures using principles of transformative learning
- Small group sessions that enhance active learning
- Practical activities
- Clinical skills
- Clinical cases to enhance critical thinking
- Arts-based learning
- Mindfulness based practices
We offer a NEW monthly IBCLC exam prep session (online and free) for all our students, alumane from the full course who want to get ready for sitting the exam.
A material pack, as well as a Course Certificate, will be issued upon completion; this includes the topics covered from the IBCLE Exam Blueprint.
We offer 2 modalities of Course delivery: fully live online and a hybrid option (mixture of live online and in-person). We use a blended learning approach which includes live interactive online sessions, pre-recorded webinars, in conjunction with a learning management platform.
For those wanting to sit the IBLCE exam, our Course meets the 95 hours lactation specific education criteria from Pathway 1. If you are not a HCP our Course does not cover the 14 subjects set forth as part of the Health Science requirements. It is your responsibility to check directly with IBLCE all pathways and requirements, prior to applying to our course. It exceeds the 5 hours of education in Communication and Counselling skills requirement, with a specific focus on lactation and breastfeeding care.
This is a popular Course with more applicants than available places. We are proud to say that our international students numbers are growing in our fully Online live Course; with people joining us from Iceland, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Austria, Bermuda, Australia, Hong Kong, Belgium, France, Iceland to name some. This course will soon also be offered in French and Spanish, if you are interested get in touch.
The Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust group after finishing their full 12 days Course in March 2017!
Our Breastfeeding Course is intended for:
- All health professionals with an interest in supporting breastfeeding dyads that want to update their knowledge
- Midwives and student midwives
- Infant Feeding Coordinators/Lead
- Health Visitors
- Doctors, Paediatricians or GPs
- Dieticians and Nutritionists
- Nurses (including NICU)
- Breastfeeding counsellors or breastfeeding support workers
- Complementary Alternative Medicine Practitioners supporting breastfeeding dyads
- Community and children centre's staff
- Birth and postnatal doulas
- NCT/Birth preparation educators
- Maternity nurses
- Passionate breastfeeding mothers
Study day 1: Anatomy and physiology
- Breast and nipple structure and development
- Breast and nipple anatomical variations (including inverted nipples)
- Maternal physiology and endocrinology (hormones, lactogenesis, endocrine/autocrine control of milk supply)
- Breastfeeding cultural beliefs and practices around the world, including the WHO Code and the UNICEF Baby friendly hospital initiative
Study day 2: Position and attachment
- Physiology of the suck/swallow/breathe triad
- Getting breastfeeding started with evidence-based care
- The diversity of position and attachment (mother and baby-led approaches)
- Latch problems and how to improve
- Strategies for non-latching babies
Study day 3: Breast milk composition
- Maternal and infant health risks of formula feeding
- Biochemistry of human milk: nutritional and immunological properties
- Impact of birth practices on breastfeeding
- Antenatal breastfeeding preparation for couples/mothers
Study day 4: Breast and nipple pain + related pathologies
- Understanding breast and nipple pain/trauma
- Engorgement, Plugged ducts, Mastitis, Abscess, Bacterial + Fungal Infections and Raynaud's syndrome (indluding non white skin tones)
- Other breast pathologies
- Available treatments based on NICE guidelines and Complementary Alternative Medicine evidence-based treatments
Study day 5: Breast surgeries and management of undersupply
- Breastfeeding after augmentation surgery
- Breastfeeding after reduction surgery
- Insufficient milk supply/insufficient milk transfer and their management
- Social/family context of breastfeeding and post natal adaption
Study day 6: Research and ethics
- Research, theory and lactation
- How to appraise research
- Ethics: standards/scope of practice
- Case scenarios: how to respond from our moral compass as IBCLCs
- The anatomy of a consultation
Study day 7: Ankyloglossia/Tongue ties
- Anatomy of the infant oral cavity
- Classification and assessment tools of tongue ties (anterior and posterior)
- Intraoral examinations
- Impact of tongue ties on the breastfeeding dyad
- Supporting the dyad through the journey: pre and post division
Study day 8: Breastfeeding devices
- Expressing protocols (including hand expression and colostrum harvesting)
- Alternative methods of supplementation and other breastfeeding devices
- Donor milk banking
- Re-lactation and Breastfeeding without birthing
Course content might vary slightly according to the needs of the study day.
Study day 9
- Weaning: mother led and biological
- Abrupt weaning after still birth
- Working while breastfeeding
- Introduction of solids
Study day 10
- Premies and late preterm babies
- Infants/mothers with other challenged including:
- Downs syndrome
- Infants with clefts
- Inverted nipples
- Oversupply and its management
- Colic, reflux, GERD, allergies, food intolerances and lactose intolerance in the breastfed baby
Study day 11: Newborn assessment + Paediatric conditions
- Newborn assessment: physical and behavioural including neonatal reflexes
- Maternal medication and breastfeeding
Study day 12: Counselling/communication skills and connection
- Right and left brain approaches for effective communication/counselling,
- The alchemy of connection
- Mindfulness practices for IBCLCs
- Chestfeeding, supporting LCBTQAI+ families and the use of inclusive language
Study day 13
- Breastsleep, bed-sharing and SIDS
- Preparing for the IBCLC examination (overview and strategies)
- How much have you learnt: recap group work
- Mock exam!
I really appreciated the TT study day. As an IBCLC there are two important things you should always have: a current and evidence-based knowledge and good communication skills; Indira gave us both. Her teaching was understandable and in-depth. She gave us all the information about anatomy and physiology, differences and classification of TT, and the effects on breastfeeding. We worked on different clinical cases, and throughout play-role games we strengthened our communication skills. Her commitment to respect women' wishes was palpable, and I share her feeling too; during our consultations with mums we always have to give correct information, but never imposing our decision: breastfeeding is a mum's choice. I hope to meet the teaching team again to learn more things from her and about her experiences. Margaret RM and IBCLC
Thank you, Indira!
I have found your passion and knowledge inspirational. I have found the Course invigorating and for the past 12 months, I have gone away from the study days with my batteries recharged to carry on with my role of Infant Feeding Coordinator. The Course has enabled me to deliver the Baby-Friendly Initiative with much more confidence and knowledge. You have provided us with a wonderful learning experience with a warm, welcoming and friendly environment. Once again thank you! Diane Clark, Health Visitor and IFC
"Thank you for all your time and support throughout the whole Course, I have learnt so much. Despite completing my midwifery and health visitor training, I never felt confident in dealing with more complex feeding issues other than attachment and positioning. I honestly was skeptical about attending a Course created by someone who is not a HCP as I was very used to midwife/doctor education. To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. I have found this Course the most interesting, interactive and informative Course that I have ever attended in my professional career! I know colleagues who completed online learning and felt that they didn't learn anything, I can only rave about how much I learnt from you and the others in the group!" Angela Chalkley RM, HV + IBCLC
“Thank you BFL team very much for a lovely set of Study Days. Your knowledge of lactation is immense and I have learnt so much. What was also great was meeting and interacting with so many people that have a genuine love for breastfeeding dyads and that come from so many different backgrounds. Thank you.” Jeanette Larkins, Infant Feeding Coordinator, RM and IBCLC
“I just wanted to let you know that your grace, humility and passion about what you taught us on the Course really resonated with me... As a student midwife we have had little breastfeeding training so far. But I am already working at the post ward supporting breastfeeding mothers. I have found the study days fabulous. The use of clinical cases and life models for anatomy and physiology makes it so captivating. Any midwife that has a chance should attend this Course, I highly recommend it. People come up to me and ask as they say I am very good at helping and supporting breastfeeding women for a first-year midwifery student. I am forever thankful for these lifelong skills you have equipped me with!” Charlotte
Firstly, I cannot thank you enough for what you are doing in the lactation field and wider audience. Having completed this training I believe this information needs to reach every professional, and layperson in contact with a new mother for education and support.
Having spent many hours prepping and reading around lactation and linking it with my specialism for my essay and presentation, I can see the amount of work you have put into the course which was beautifully presented by Claudia and Constanza.
Claudia is exceptional in her teaching great energy, warmth and patience. I always ask questions, and this was a completely new subject for me, so I feel I challenged the latter quality in the fullest sense. Questions were explained in full in the most professional warm manner throughout the course. Constanza is also a lovely energetic teacher. Yesterday, a very difficult subject, research, was beautifully presented to the point I actually understood it and was very interested in it, albeit I am not academic.
I will highly recommend your course, and indeed if you wish any musculoskeletal specialist interested in this area to contact me to answer any questions via email, I will be more than happy to have a chat with them. Tracy Elroy
A very enjoyable and informative 12 months Course. They use different learning styles, so it is very interactive and the trainers create a relaxed learning environment which makes it very easy to follow and learn an incredible amount of information. Even though I had previously done the basic 2 days UNICEF training Course including the Train the Trainer one, this Course is of another calibre! I have really enjoyed the Course and learned much more than I could have ever imagined. Thank you, Indira, Anna, Claudia and Costanza, so much!
South Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent NHS Partnership Trust
“Indira, Claudia, Anna and Costanza; Thank you for such an inspirational and motivating year. My practice supporting breastfeeding dyads has already improved so dramatically and my knowledge base has grown exponentially. Even better my appetite for breastfeeding information is now insatiable! You have facilitated the most wonderful group of women, which has personally supported my journey in early motherhood. Thank you, thank you! Jen (Midwife)”
Excellent Course! Good mix of theory and practical application and group work.
Pauline Evans, UNICEF IMPLEMENTATION LEAD, Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust
FULLY BOOKED, applications closed! Hybrid (online and in-person) COURSE to start in February 2024:
- Study Day 1: Friday 23 of February 2024
- Study Day 2: Friday 22 of March
- Study Day 3: Friday 19 of April
- Study Day 4: Friday 24 of May
- Study Day 5: Friday 21 of June (online)
- Study Day 6: Friday 12 of July
- Study Day 7: Friday 13 of September
- Study Day 8: Friday 25 of October
- Study Day 9: Friday 22 of November (online)
- Study Day 10: Friday 20 of December
- Study Day 11: Friday 17 of January 2025 (online)
- Study Day 12: Friday 31 of January
- Study Day 13: Friday 7 of February
Our next ONLINE course will commence in May 2024. We will post the dates shortly. If you would like to receive an application please email us: [email protected]
The venue for the in-person Study Days will be in near Tottenham Hale station in London; the exact location will be confirmed when places are offered.
We are offering two 30% bursaries for helpers. And we also offer one 50% scholarship for a breastfeeding volunteer who has no income.
Please email us if you are interested!
Clinical instruction/mentoring programme
Would you like to shaddow an IBCLC and learn more about how we work? This opportunity is available only to those that enroll in the full Course. The primary purpose is to prepare individuals for this profession and help them grow into competent and compassionate IBCLCs. A variety of settings and modalities are available (private consultations, remote/online consultations and clinic setting) and you would be able to shaddow any of our IBCLCs in the London area. Once you have attended Study Days 1 and 2 you are elligible to apply to this programme. You would be able to observe a minimum of 3 sessions but are welcome to top up as needed. Details and costs of this programme will be explained to all students during their course.
Pathway 3 is an option we are happy to explore with you if you have been accepted on our Course.
Cost for the Hybrid Course:
- Full 13 days Course: £1500 (one payment only, bank transfer or credit card)
- Full 13 days Course: £1650 (£390 non-refundable deposit + 3 X £420 by monthly standing order only)
- Full 13 days Course Course for unwaged voluntary Breastfeeding Counsellors (from an accredited Breastfeeding Organisation) or Student Midwives: £1250 which includes a £200 deposit (non-refundable) + 3X £320 monthly payments (by standing order only)
- Full 13 days Course when an invoice to an NHS Trust, grant funding or any third party is needed: £1800
- Credit card payment option for one payments only with a 3% surcharge
Cost for the Online Course
- Full 13 days Course: £1300 (one payment only, bank transfer or credit card)
- Full 13 days Course: £1455 (£300 non-refundable deposit + 3 X £385 by monthly standing order only)
- Full 13 days Course Course for unwaged voluntary Breastfeeding Counsellors (from an accredited Breastfeeding Organisation) or Student Midwives: £1050 which includes a £210 deposit (non-refundable) + 3X £280 monthly payments (by standing order only)
- Full 13 days Course when an invoice to an NHS Trust, grant funding or any third party is needed: £1600
- Credit card payment option for one payments only with a 3% surcharge
Full payment is needed PRIOR to the start of each Course.
People that book the whole Course are eligible to do the Clinical instruction programme during their Course duration, please enquire about the application process.
Terms and conditions
Terms of Service and Refund Policy
- Payment in full should be made within 10 days of receipt of the offer of place.
- If payment is made by instalments, the deposit must be paid within 10 days of receipt of the offer of place. Each instalment thereafter must be paid by the end of each month following the receipt of the offer of place. For example, where an offer is received on the 14th March, the deposit must be paid by 24th March, and each instalment thereafter must be paid by 30th April, 31st May etc.
- If you have paid your course and are unable to commence study, you may request a refund of the course fee. We will refund your fee on the following basis:
- If you cancel your place at least 28 days before your course starts, all tuition fees paid are refundable less an administrative fee of 10% of the full course fee.
- If you cancel your place less than 28 days before your course starts or withdraw before start date, 50% of the full course fee is refundable.
- If you withdraw after commencement date norefund is payable.
- Any refund will be paid within 4 weeks after receipt of your completed request for refund.
- If any or all of the course runs online for any reason, our terms and conditions remain the same.
Payments from NHS Trusts or other institutions or third parties
When an invoice to an NHS Trust or other institution or third party is required, you MUST have obtained approval for funding from the NHS Trust or other institution or third party PRIOR to submitting your application. It is your responsibility to ensure payment of the invoice is made and received by Breastfeeding London 14 days prior to the start of the course. Your place is only secured once full payment has been received by Breastfeeding London. If payment is not received in accordance with this paragraph 5, your place will be deferred to the next available course.
You can miss a maximum of 1 Study Day during the full Course and make these up in the following calendar year (same venue) at no extra cost. More than 1 missed study day, you will have to pay each to make up the missed study
General Data Protection Regulation
We endorse the Innocenti Declaration and believe that observing real breastfeeding dyads is a central part of breastfeeding education. Therefore, babies in arms (up to 6 months old) are welcome. As a matter of courtesy, if your baby becomes too loud or disrupts the session, it might be better to step outside.
Professional training for hospitals/HCP (in-house)
Would you like our training to come to you? Do you have a group of colleagues (HCP, midwives, nurses, health visitors, GPs, lay professionals) that might be interested and have some teaching space? We have delivered training over a one 1 year period (1 Study Day per month) or a condensed version (2 Study Days per month over 6 months).
Our training can be delivered according to your needs and requirements anywhere in the UK or abroad (in English, French or Spanish) and can include:
- breastfeeding peer supporters training
- specialist conferences,
- practical seminars,
- one-day training courses,
- basic seminar,
- team training on individual topics.
The Septemeber 2016-Septemeber 2017 London group