Lactation Counselor Training and Certification

About Lactation Counselor Training

Many parents experience breast/chest feeding problems in the early days after having a baby. Lactation (Breastfeeding) Counselors have the opportunity to make a real difference to the families they work with. Childbirth International’s accredited lactation counselor training will enable you to assist clients to overcome feeding difficulties, building a close relationship with those you are working with, and knowing that with your support, you can help a parent and baby gain the benefits of human milk. Whether you want to become a Lactation Counselor on its own or take your first step towards the IBCLC certification as a Lactation Consultant, this ANCC accredited course will provide you with the knowledge, tools, and skills to achieve your goals!

Being a Lactation Counselor brings you into a family at a time when they may be struggling. Whether you’re helping a new parent learn how to latch their baby on, or working intensively someone who’s trying to overcome mastitis, your role will be a crucial one. At CBI we make sure you have a thorough grounding in all these areas and more. You’ll also have support and guidance from your trainer, and from our network of lactation counselors around the world.

Much of your work as a Lactation Counselor will be listening to the clients you work with and truly supporting them. As a student you’ll develop strong communication skills, learning the important skills of reflective practice, and effective and active listening. During this online training program, you will develop strong skills in using the counseling process to help clients feel supported and heard. You’ll also cover all the business aspects – how to build your client base, paperwork, forms and legal issues, advertising and promoting your business.

Join our Facebook group to learn more about options for Lactation Counselor training and certification and working as a lactation specialist: Becoming a Lactation Consultant

If you are unhappy with your course in any way, you can cancel within 48 hours of purchase and receive a full refund (less a $50 administration fee). You can read our refund policy for full details.

BFC, IBCLC, LC, CBC, CLC… Confused about the differences?

One of the most common questions we are asked about CBI’s Lactation Counselor course is the difference between a Lactation or Breastfeeding Counselor and a Lactation Consultant.

Read our easy guide to the differences and untangle the alphabet soup!

Look at our guide to IBCLC pathways

Download our comparison of training organizations providing lactation-specific education

If you are pursuing IBCLC accreditation, you might be interested in our Safety and Infection Control and Prevention course. This 9.2-hour professional development course meets the health science requirements for a course in universal precautions and infection control.

Certification Requirements

  • Two reflective practice assignments
  • Two assignments critiquing an article, podcast, or video
  • Physiology exams (online, open-book)
  • Reflections for two clients receiving lactation support (no need for a care provider and client evaluation)
  • Complete questions on breastfeeding case studies
  • Lactation services survey
  • Evaluation of the course




  • Five easy payments
  • Immediate course access
  • Buy printed manuals at end of the plan
  • Admin fee ($10/month)


US$970 + shipping

  • One single payment
  • Immediate course access
  • Printed manuals sent immediately
  • No admin fee




  • One single payment
  • Immediate course access
  • Use web or app
  • Gentle on the planet!

Read the payment plan terms and conditions

Topics in Lactation Counselor Training

No other lactation counselor training program makes it as easy to complete your certification while covering such a depth of topics. In addition to the counseling skills required as a Lactation Counselor, we also focus on strengthening your knowledge base of the physiology of lactation, developing communication skills, and provide a strong foundation in preparation for the IBCLC exam. We cover four subject areas in your breastfeeding counselor training: Communication Skills; Physiology of Lactation; Becoming a Lactation Counselor; Business of Birth.

Communication Skills

Enhancing your communication skills enables you to build strong relationships with clients and caregivers alike. Many of you will work in challenging environments. During the course, you’ll explore these challenges and develop skills in building relationships with caregivers, without compromising your professionalism or your client’s wishes.

At the heart of every CBI training and certification program is reflective practice. But what exactly is “reflective practice”?

At its simplest, reflective practice is looking at what you’ve done, or didn’t do, and reflecting on it. In relation to CBI training, though, it’s so much more. Reflective practice is about examining choices and decisions, considering them from different perspectives, thinking about alternatives, learning from them, and then applying that learning to your work. It demonstrates best practice in continuing education, increases confidence and professionalism. It’s an incredibly valuable skill that you can pass on to your clients and help them to assimilate their experiences and one that we believe is essential in a birth doula training program.

All CBI training programs have an ongoing reflective practice focus. In every assignment you submit, this will be evaluated by your trainer, providing you with feedback on this aspect and help you to see your own growth in this area. You’ll be encouraged to reflect on the language you use, your participation in discussions and how you approach every aspect of your work.

At the end of this module, you’ll write a reflective assignment that will be reviewed by your trainer who’ll provide feedback and assessment.

Topics in Communication

  • effective communication
  • language and communication
  • active listening skills
  • reflective practice and debriefing
  • diversity & cultural humility
  • evidence-informed care and informed choice
  • grief and loss
  • professional practice
  • perspective and recognition

Physiology of Lactation

Gain a thorough understanding of the anatomy and physiology of lactation. All student materials are focused on evidence-based care. Evidence-based means medical care that is based on sound research. The opinions and thoughts of experts on lactation are referred to throughout your student manuals – it’s important to hear the views of others in the field to build your own knowledge base.

A solid knowledge based in the physiology of lactation will build your confidence as a breastfeeding counselor and enable you to support your clients effectively.

At the end of this module, you’ll complete the online, open-book tests to assess your learning. You’ll also submit a reflective evaluation of this module which will be reviewed and assessed by your trainer. This module has been mapped to the IBCLC Exam Blueprint.

Topics in Physiology

  • physiology of lactation
  • breast and infant anatomy
  • infant growth and development
  • positioning and latching
  • early weeks of breast/chest feeding
  • feeding problems
  • health problems in the baby
  • illness in the mother
  • feeding a premature baby
  • feeding in special circumstances
  • medications and toxins
  • moving beyond lactation
  • equipment and supplies

Becoming a Lactation Counselor

Develop your hands-on skills as a Lactation Counselor, enabling you to provide the best care possible. You’ll learn how to use the counseling process to really hear clients and guide them through finding solutions to their feeding problems. You’ll examine the social and cultural influences on breast/chest feeding, and explore the formula industry and its impact on breast/chest feeding rates across the world.

Building strong counseling skills is a core part of lactation counselor training

During this module, you’ll provide reviews on three books, a survey, evaluations of the support hours you’ve provided, and answer a series of case study questions. These will all be reviewed and assessed by your trainer. This module has been mapped to the IBCLC Exam Blueprint.

Topics in Becoming a Lactation Counselor

recognizing perspectives on birth and parenting
the role of a lactation counselor
using the counseling process
counseling tools
teaching breastfeeding classes
the social and cultural context of breastfeeding
the formula industry and the WHO code
parenting and feeding
working towards IBCLC certification
working as a lactation counselor

Building Your Business

The Building Your Business module provides you with everything you need to know about starting up, or growing, your business. We take away the daunting aspects of running a business and help you to find strategies to get started. With this in mind, our easy step-by-step process will soon have you on track with a business plan (that you understand!) and all the documentation you need for success.

Lactation Counselors can, and do, have successful businesses that support them and their families. But to achieve that, developing business skills is essential. We want you to succeed, not just in your training, but in your business being sustainable, profitable, and personally satisfying!

This is an optional module and does not include any assignments. However, some students prefer to have more guidance. For this reason, we offer three different mentorship options that you can choose from.

Topics in Building Your Business

  • becoming a birth and parenting professional
  • determine your personal and business goals
  • learn marketing strategies such as segmentation, targeting, and positioning
  • develop a customer profile
  • analyze your competitors
  • determine your unique selling point
  • identify ways to broaden your products and services
  • develop your brand
  • learn the basics of website design
  • develop a social media strategy
  • determine your advertising approach
  • learn how to carry out financial analysis and avoid debt
  • understand the different options for a legal business structure
  • time management and ways to deal with work stresses