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 Breastfeeding London Course is a set of 12 monthly Study days (128 hours of lactation specific education) at a postgraduate level of education, that meets and exceeds the IBLCE exam requirements.  It is designed for health care providers and lay people who want to provide accurate, current and evidence-based information about breastfeeding and lactation to expectant/new families.


Our Course is the only one in the UK that is taught by a multidisciplinary faculty, we have a 100% IBLCE exam passing rate from students that have taken the full Course and it has been granted professional accreditation by the Royal College of Midwives.

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 critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The Study days are interactive, they enhance multiple kinaesthetic learning styles and include:

  • Lectures using principles of transformative learning
  • Small group sessions that enhance active learning
  • Practical activities
  • Clinical skills
  • Clinical cases to enhance critical thinking
  • Games
  • Role plays
  • Quizzes
  • Artwork and more…

A material pack, as well as a Course Diploma certificate, will be issued upon completion; this includes the topics covered from the IBCLE Exam Blueprint (6.5 individual lactation specific education hours per Study day + an additional 30 hours of a written assignment).

We believe that in person-education is superior to online education. But given the latest government guidance on Covid-19, we are delivering our Course as usual on an online platform.

This is a very popular Course with more applicants than available places. If you are interested in our next Course which will commence in February 2021, please email us (bflcourse@gmail.com) to be added to the interest list.

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, breastfeeding peer supporters, breastfeeding support workers
  • Osteopaths/chiropractors
  • 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

  • Breastfeeding cultural beliefs and practices around the world
  • 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)

Study day 2: Breast milk composition

  • Maternal and infant health risks of formula feeding
  • Biochemistry of human milk: nutritional and immunological properties
  • Antenatal breastfeeding preparation for couples/mothers
  • How birth practices affect breastfeeding

Study day 3: Position and attachment

  • Physiology of the suck, swallow, breathe cycle
  • 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 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
  • Other breast pathologies
  • Available treatments based on NICE guidelines and other treatments

Study day 5: Under and oversupply + breast surgeries

  • Oversupply
  • Insufficient milk supply/insufficient milk transfer
  • Breastfeeding after augmentation surgery
  • Breastfeeding after reduction surgery

Study day 6: Counselling and communication skills

  • Right and left brain approaches for effective communication/counselling
  • Standards of practice/ethics
  • The anatomy of a consultation
  • Social/family context of breastfeeding and postnatal adaption

Study day 7: Ankyloglossia/Tongue ties

  • Anatomy of the infant oral cavity
  • Classification and assessment tools of tongue ties (anterior and posterior)
  • Intraoral digital 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
  • Hand expression and ante-natal expression/harvesting of colostrum
  • Alternative methods of supplementation and other breastfeeding devices
  • Donor milk banking
  • Re-lactation and Breastfeeding without birthing

Study day 9

  • Introduction of solids
  • Weaning: mother led and biological
  • Working while breastfeeding
  • The grief of a “failed” breastfeeding experience and how to prepare for next time; the loss of a baby and lactation care
  • Complementary alternative medicine for the breastfeeding dyad

Study day 10

  • Premies and late preterm babies
  • Challenging early feeds including
    • Downs syndrome
    • Twins & Multiples
    • Oral facial anomalies
  • Colic
  • Reflux and GERD in the breastfed baby
  • Allergies and food intolerances

Study day 11: Newborn assessment

  • Newborn assessment: physical and behavioural including neonatal reflexes
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hyperbilirubina
  • Maternal medication and breastfeeding
  • Preparing for the IBCLC examination

Study day 12

  • Research, theory and lactation
  • Breastsleep, bed-sharing and SIDS
  • The World Health Organization Code and the influence of commercial baby food industries
  • Exam review strategies and mock exam!

NEXT COURSE starts in February 2021!

  • Study Day 1:  Saturday 20 February 2021
  • SD2:  Saturday 20 March 2021
  • SD3:  Saturday 24 April 2021
  • SD4:  Saturday 22 May 2021
  • SD5:  Saturday 19 June 2021
  • SD6:  Saturday 10 July 2021
  • SD7:  Saturday 18 September 2021
  • SD8:  Saturday 16 October 2021
  • SD9:  Saturday 20 November 2021
  • SD10:  Saturday 11 December 2021
  • SD11:  Sautrday 15 January 2022
  • SD12:  Saturday 12 February 2022

If you are interested in our next Course, please email us!

  • Full 12 days Course: £1300 (one payment only)
  • Full 12 days Course: £1448 (£300 non-refundable deposit + 7 X £164 by monthly standing order only)
  • Full 12 days Course Course for unwaged voluntary Breastfeeding Counsellors (from an accredited Breastfeeding Organisation) or Student Midwives: £1050 which includes a £200 deposit (non-refundable) + 10X £85 monthly payments (by standing order only)
  • Full 12 days Course when an invoice to an NHS Trust, grant funding or any third party is needed: £1500
  • You can apply for a Bursary for this Course

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.

Cancellations/refund policy

As per Trading Standards, a full refund is available 7 days from receipt of payment.
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 no refund is payable.

Any refund will be paid within 4 weeks after receipt of your completed request for a refund. If the course is cancelled by the course provider; a full refund is available.

You can miss a maximum of 2 study Days during the full Course and make these up in the following calendar year (same venue) at no extra cost. More than 2 missed study days, you will have to pay each to make up the missed study

Babies welcome

We endorse the Innocenti Declaration and believe that observing real babies and mothers 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.

Clinical instruction/mentoring programme

This is available only to those that enrol in the full Course. The primary purpose is to prepare individuals for this profession and help them grow into competent and compassionate IBCLCs. This programme takes individuals through the minimal competency tested on the IBLCE exam to produce a professional IBCLC who can apply the knowledge and skills they have learned to support breastfeeding dyads. A variety of settings and modalities are available, do enquire if you are interested and would like to apply to the Clinical programme.

Pathway 3 is an option we are happy to explore with you if you have been accepted on our Course.

We receive an incredible amount of requests to shadow/observe our practice, but unfortunately, this option is only possible for people that enrol in our whole Breastfeeding Course.

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?

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.