BE04: Breastfeeding Initiation and the First Week

US$ 135.00

This course is designed for the practitioner who cares for families prenatally, intrapartum, and lactating dyads in the first week postpartum. The positive and negative influences of prenatal and birthing circumstances as they affect feeding are discussed. You will learn about the normal course of lactation, such as the importance of skin-to-skin contact for the first feed and the changes in mother's/lactating parent's breasts and milk. Common problems, such as engorgement, nipple damage, breast refusal, hypoglycemia, jaundice, etc will be discussed in terms of cause, prevention and management strategies.

Access Time:
1 month (starting from time of purchase)
Enrolling in more than 1 course? Time is cumulative ie buy 2 courses, have 2 months access to both courses
12 L CERPs / 12 pre-exam education hours (IBLCE)
12 CH
This course is facilitated by an experienced International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)

Well-constructed online learning gives you the best of both worlds - quality content that you can work through at your own pace, in your own place, but with a level of personal attention that even rivals face-to-face programs. And, you guessed it, Health e-Learning-IIHL programs are the BEST of online learning with all these great features:

  • Log in when it suits you 24/7/365
  • Study at your own pace within your enrolment period
    • no formal deadlines, stressful exams or assignments
  • All reading provided or linked
  • Periodic testing of knowledge with fun self-test activities
  • Course facilitation by highly experienced IBCLC tutor
  • Gain valuable support and network with students from all over the world
  • Immediate feedback for final online assessment
    • certificate of completion issued immediately
  • Administrative and technical support available online


A knowledge of pregnancy and birthing is desirable. A quality maternity nursing/midwifery text to refer to will support your studies.
Knowledge of adaptation of the neonate to extrauterine life, and the common problems encountered during the early weeks is also desirable. A quality pediatric text will support your studies.


  1. The Infant Feeding Decision
    • Associated factors
    • Addressing the barriers
    • Prenatal education
    • Important messages
  2. The Intrapartum Period
    • Interventions
    • Mode of birthing
  3. Birth to First Feed
    • The first feed
    • Birthing room practices
  4. The First Week
    • Practical skills
    • Infant safety for discharge
    • Support and self-confidence
  5. Problem-solving
    • The non-latching newborn
    • Hypoglycemia
    • Engorgement
    • Nipple damage or pain
    • Hyperbilirubinemia
    • Supplementation


An active forum, where topical issues may be raised, case studies discussed, questions posed and answered, links to additional information provided, etc, is facilitated by an experienced IBCLC and is an integral part of the course. Reading and participating in this forum will enhance your learning experience and that of your colleagues.

Reading Material

  • All required reading materials and resources are available online.
    • A quality, current lactation text is advisable to augment your studies. Please see our list of recommended resources for further information.
  • Participants are permitted to print one (1) copy of their course for personal use only.
    • If you do wish to print, please be aware that some courses are over 60 pages in length. Please be advised that links to articles and interactive activities are not available in the printed version.

Quality Assurance

  • Author: Denise Fisher, MMP, BN, IBCLC
  • Reviewed by subject matter experts: Sue Cox IBCLC, Ruth Cantrill PhD IBCLC, Bridget Ingle IBCLC.
  • All course are reviewed annually, as well as being updated as new knowledge becomes known.
  • Course review and updates by Melanie Gringras, BScN, IBCLC, and Carole Dobrich, B.Sc., RN, IBCLC 


The purpose of this course is for you to be confident in your ability to inform and influence the mother/lactating parent regarding feeding, facilitate the birthing and postnatal environment to support breast/chest feeding and to problem-solve common difficulties encountered in the first week postpartum.


On successful completion of this course the student will be able to

  • plan the most effective strategies to support mothers/parents to choose to breast/chest feed
  • list and address 3 common barriers to breast/chest feeding
  • plan evidence-based prenatal breast/chest feeding education covering the topics as outlined in Step 3 of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (revised 2018)
  • identify those factors that occur in the birthing room that interfere with and support successful initiation of breast/chest feeding
  • describe the immediate post-birth environment that will facilitate the initiation of breast/chest feeding as outlined in step 4 of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (revised 2018)
  • list the effects on the mother/lactating parent, the infant or their breast/chest feeding experience as a result of separating the dyad
  • describe and indicate to a mother/lactating parent the progression of feeding behavior in their infant during the first postpartum week
  • demonstrate how-to guide and use optimal positioning techniques for the dyad to be able to correctly latch
  • demonstrate how to teach the correct technique for hand expressing 
  • develop a check-list of educational messages that are essential to cover with a new mother/parent prior to them leaving health care supervision
  • list the causes, prevention, and management of common difficulties encountered in the first week postpartum related to feeding


Achievement of the learning objectives is assessed by automatically graded, online, multiple-choice questions. A passing grade is 80% - 85%.

A Workbook, downloaded from the course, is not required to be submitted, but completion will aid learning and provide an excellent resource.

On successfully completing this course, you will be able to download, save and print your Certificate of Completion. Your Certificate will note ongoing education accreditation points.


On successful completion of this course you will be awarded:

  • 12 L CERPs*
  • 12 Professional Development Education hours*
  • 12 CH*

For IBLCE examination preparation, this course provides 12 pre-exam education hours.

Do we offer CEUs? Need other types of accreditation? Please see our Accreditation FAQ for more information.
*Please see our Accreditation table for the most up-to-date accreditation numbers


  1. This course is facilitated by an experienced International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
  2. The course is available as a one-month subscription commencing on the day of notification to you of your username and password.
  3. The subscription time is cumulative - for example, if you purchase 8 courses - you receive 8 months' access to all 8 courses.
  4. The subscription time may be extended by purchasing extensions, but must be purchased before the subscription expiry date.
  5. The average time taken to complete this course and the assessment is 12 hours.
  6. On successful completion, your Certificate will be available to you in pdf format from the course website or emailed to you.
  7. Replacement certificates can be obtained for a fee, however we maintain an official transcript that is available free for all customers to download at any time.

Fees and Payments

  • Enrollments are accepted online.
  • Payments online are available via credit cards through either PSiGate or PayPal gateways.
  • The cost is US$135.00 per course.
  • Additional fees, that are out of our control, may be charged by your bank to convert this to your local currency.
  • Please see our Payments FAQ for more information.

Refunds and Privacy

Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information regarding refunds and our Privacy Policy is also available.