Human Lactation

Human Lactation (HLACT)

HLACT 301 Supporting the Mother-Baby Connection: Evidence-Based Practices for Perinatal Care

  • Same As:NURSE 391
  • Units:1
  • Hours:18 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU

This course is designed for practicing health care professionals as well as students preparing to enter the fields of nursing, nutrition, health education, or early childhood development. It focuses on the physiology of attachment, bonding, and breastfeeding and the short- and long-term impacts of perinatal care practices on the mother-baby dyad. It grapples with the challenges of applying best-practice guidelines and model hospital policies to alleviate barriers for mothers choosing exclusive breastfeeding and creating environments that support maternal-infant biology and the newborn's natural capabilities, allowing improved outcomes with less time and effort. This course meets Board of Registered Nursing continuing education requirements and, when combined with requisite supervised clinical experience, fulfills all criteria for staff education as set by the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. This course is not open to students who have completed NURSE 391.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • examine and explain the rationale for professional, national, and international policies that promote, protect, and support breastfeeding as a public health goal.
  • create through collaboration a new standard of perinatal care based on best practice guidelines as defined in the following documents: a) The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, b) American Academy of Pediatrics Workgroup on Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk, c) Providing Breastfeeding Support: Model Hospital Policy Recommendations, and d) U.S. Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.
  • identify human species-specific norms for growth and development and disease resistance based on the exclusively breastfeeding mother-baby dyad and explain the risks to the mother and infant of early introduction of artificial milk.
  • communicate effectively about infant feeding, identifying teaching points appropriate for prenatal and postpartum women regarding breastfeeding and when educating or counseling parents who are using bottles and/or formula.
  • evaluate current hospital practices in terms of barriers to maintaining mother-baby connectedness.
  • devise solutions to alleviate common barriers to exclusive breastfeeding in the hospital setting, integrating concepts of system change.
  • create an environment that supports the newborn's natural capabilities.
  • integrate concepts of the neurobiology of breastfeeding to address initiation and problem remediation and to support milk-supply maintenance issues.
  • demonstrate techniques and skills to transition the newborn from one state of alertness to another and to help families perceive and understand the language and patterns of the newborn.
  • describe essential components of community support for mothers to sustain breastfeeding beyond the early weeks.
  • discuss contraindications to breastfeeding in the United States and identify acceptable medical reasons for supplementation of breastfed babies based on national and international authorities.
  • uncover and explore personal values and attitudes related to the birthing and breastfeeding experience.

HLACT 302 Fundamentals of Lactation Consultant Assisting

  • Units:2.5
  • Hours:45 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU

This course is designed for community workers responsible for promoting and protecting breastfeeding and charged with providing basic assessment, support, and appropriate referral for breastfeeding mothers in the community. It is also an introductory course in human lactation for students entering or preparing for professions in nursing, nutrition, health education, or early childhood development as well as for practicing professionals in these fields. This course provides an overview of factors impacting breastfeeding rates, explores health effects and current recommendations, discusses the anatomy and physiology of lactation, and considers the role of the lactation consultant assistant in facilitating breastfeeding. It covers counseling skills, cultural awareness, and community resources for promoting, protecting, and supporting breastfeeding. This course is formerly known as NURSE 390.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • describe the lactation consultant assistant's role, scope, and limits of practice.
  • evaluate breastfeeding status and potential based on understanding of lactation anatomy/physiology and signs of adequate milk transfer.
  • compare and contrast breastmilk and breastfeeding with artificial baby milks and artificial feeding in terms of composition and physiologic/developmental effects.
  • employ effective counseling skills, establishing a therapeutic relationship with respect for individual and cultural differences.
  • demonstrate the educational and technical skills required to provide basic assistance with successful breastfeeding initiation and maintenance.
  • recommend appropriate interventions and referrals given a range of common early breastfeeding problems, questions, and challenging situations.
  • examine barriers to breastfeeding and investigate approaches to normalizing breastfeeding in the community and society.
  • propose counseling options to address individual responses to barriers that are impacting breastfeeding success.
  • recommend in-hospital practices to support breastfeeding in light of current research evidence.
  • apply concepts of client confidentiality, professional etiquette, and appropriate documentation practices to the lactation consultant assistant's role.

HLACT 311 Human Lactation for Lactation Counselors & Educators

  • Units:2.5
  • Hours:42 hours LEC; 9 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:HLACT 302 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Corequisite:HLACT 301 or NURSE 391; AND HLACT 321.
  • Advisory:ECE 312, PSYC 300, PSYC 372, or SPEECH 361
  • Transferable:CSU

This course prepares healthcare professionals, or other interested individuals who work with mothers and children, to provide evidence-based support to families, focusing on the normal processes of human lactation, the principles of adult education, and the art of counseling. It enables participants to provide accurate and consistent information about breastfeeding and lactation from birth through the process of weaning to improve breastfeeding outcomes.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • evaluate physical, behavioral, cultural, and social conditions predisposing mothers and babies to either a complex or an uncomplicated breastfeeding experience.
  • construct and promote conditions that predispose mothers and babies to an uncomplicated breastfeeding experience or to resolution of common problems throughout the breastfeeding experience, through counseling, education, and support.
  • recommend sound nutritional practices for both breastfed and non-breastfed children during the first two years of life.
  • distinguish possible need for and appropriate level of referral to other care providers as indicated.
  • choose and apply appropriate counseling skills and techniques in support of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, their babies, and their partners or significant others.
  • develop an individualized teaching plan specific to the needs identified through assessment and counseling.
  • plan and conduct lactation and related group health classes or programs and facilitate breastfeeding support groups.
  • evaluate written and media materials for their suitability in lactation education and counseling.
  • catalogue and recommend community resources for lactation support.
  • discuss issues of professionalism and practice.
  • defend and advocate for evidence-based breastfeeding management programs that facilitate optimal health outcomes and public health strategies to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

HLACT 321 Interpreting Baby Behavior

  • Units:0.5
  • Hours:9 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU

This course provides expertise in cutting-edge, evidence-based messages about babies’ cues, crying, and sleep patterns and how to teach these to new parents. Parents with inaccurate expectations about infant behavior are less able to interact effectively with their infants. Infant crying and waking are common reasons for using supplemental formula or discontinuing breastfeeding. Helping parents better understand their infant's behavior supports new mothers in providing appropriate interactions and responsiveness to their infant's needs while meeting their breastfeeding goals, preventing overfeeding and the risk of obesity. This expertise is essential for lactation support professionals as well as for those in the child development and early childhood education professions.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • explain the rationale and evidence base for specified focused messages on infant cues, crying, and sleep when teaching parents and caregivers of infants.
  • explain infant states and state modulation, describe the six distinct infant states, and teach the key caregiver education messages associated with each state and with helping infants when changing states.
  • differentiate between engagement and disengagement cues, explain the relationship between states and cues, and interpret clustered cues in young infants.
  • discuss normal crying, explain persistent crying, assess parental perceptions of crying, and teach techniques for promoting self-soothing skills in infants and for calming crying babies.
  • discuss misconceptions and realities around infant sleep states and sleep-wake cycles, developmental changes through infancy, comparison to adult sleep cycles, and reasons for excessive waking.
  • demonstrate skills in teaching the simplified core messages about infant cues, infant crying, and infant sleep and supporting healthy caregiver-infant interactions.
  • describe abnormal baby behaviors that are possible signs of newborn illness or compromise.

HLACT 322 Nutrition and Biochemistry of Human Lactation

  • Same As:NUTRI 321
  • Units:1
  • Hours:18 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:NUTRI 300 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Advisory:BIOL 102
  • Transferable:CSU

This course addresses dietary recommendations for lactating women and for infants and young children with an emphasis on breastfeeding as the evidence-based norm. It also covers cultural and physiologic weaning practices and appropriate complementary foods. Primary topics include comparison of human milk with milks of other mammals and with other products and artificial baby milks, the array of individual biochemical and biological components in human milk, and their multiple nutritional and bioactive functions with a focus on immunologic components. Toxicology and pharmacology related to human milk and lactation are addressed. This course is not open to students who have completed NUTRI 321.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • recommend dietary choices for lactating women with consideration of health status and cultural or lifestyle preferences and evaluate the need for further lactational or nutritional services.
  • evaluate infant and young child intake based on international standards for best practices with reference to caloric and volume requirements and adequacy of key nutrients and determine the need for further lactational or nutritional services.
  • explain the rationale for current breastfeeding recommendations and the health and nutritional effects for both mother and child.
  • correlate maternal dietary intake with the possible effects on milk volume and composition and describe the adaptive nature of human milk as well as the range of causes for variability.
  • describe the detrimental effects of unclear definitions of breastfeeding on development of a sound evidence base for infant and young child feeding recommendations.
  • compare human milk with milks of other mammals and with other products and artificial baby milks, discuss the array of individual components in human milk, and explain their multiple nutritional and bioactive functions.
  • discuss principles of lactational pharmacology and toxicology as they relate to medications, vaccination, environmental chemicals, and drugs of abuse.

HLACT 331 Foundations of Lactation Consultant Practice

  • Units:2
  • Hours:36 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Corequisite:HLACT 351
  • Enrollment Limitation:Acceptance into the Human Lactation Certificate Program.
  • Advisory:HLACT 322 or NUTRI 321 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU

This course builds core competencies for lactation consultant practice. It is designed for individuals who will be working with mothers and young children in a variety of healthcare and other settings and is suitable for physicians; midwives; community, pediatric, and perinatal nurses; dietitians; speech, physical, and occupational therapists; social workers; and others with the requisite background in social and biological sciences and the field of human lactation. It provides preparation for conducting a systematic assessment of mother and child related to breastfeeding; selecting effective, evidence-based, individualized assistance for the breastfeeding dyad including triage and referral to other care providers as indicated; evaluating the outcomes; and revising the plan of care as required. Emphasis is placed on coordinating care of women and babies who are at risk of or currently experiencing lactation difficulties related to pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, and newborn interventions and complications, with particular focus on choosing behaviors consistent with standards of professional ethics and the lactation consultant scope of practice. Interpretation of scientific research is introduced.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • apply to lactation consultant practice the Code of Professional Conduct, Scope of Practice, and Clinical Competencies standards, legal mandates, and occupational safety principles of the profession.
  • evaluate breastfeeding research critically and apply it to client education and practice and to the support of public policy that is evidence-based.
  • recommend and structure a plan of care in the context of selected breastfeeding challenges based on the lactation consultant process.
  • incorporate effective communication, documentation, and professional collaboration into lactation consultant practice.

HLACT 342 Managing Complex Problems in Lactation Consultant Practice

  • Units:2
  • Hours:36 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:HLACT 331 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Corequisite:HLACT 322 or NUTRI 321; AND HLACT 352.
  • Enrollment Limitation:Acceptance into the Human Lactation Certificate Program.
  • Transferable:CSU

This course builds on the skills and knowledge base acquired through HLACT 331 and HLACT 351 to cover all areas of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners certification examination blueprint. It applies the lactation consultant process to complex breastfeeding experiences, including those affected by mental or physical health alterations or physical disabilities in the mother; anatomical, neurological, gastrointestinal, or other serious health alterations in the child; and vulnerable, at-risk populations including those experiencing emergency events or disasters. It covers appropriate use of selected breastfeeding aids, techniques, and devices in specific clinical situations and integrates behaviors consistent with standards of professional ethics and the lactation consultant scope of practice. The systematic review and critical analysis of relevant research is developed to support evidence-based practice.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • synthesize a professional self-definition as lactation consultant that incorporates concepts of ethical practice, quality standards, cultural and professional competence with humility, mentoring the next generation, and engagement with the wider community from local to global levels as promoter, protector, and supporter of breastfeeding as the community norm.
  • apply the lactation consultant process to complex breastfeeding experiences, including those impacted by mental or physical health alterations or physical disabilities in the mother or the need to induce lactation or to relactate.
  • apply the lactation consultant process to complex breastfeeding experiences, including those impacted by twin or higher-order-multiple offspring, prematurity, or anatomical, neurological, gastrointestinal, or other serious health alterations in the child.
  • apply the lactation consultant process to complex breastfeeding experiences, including those impacted by factors related to membership in vulnerable, at-risk populations including those experiencing emergency events or disasters.
  • evaluate the appropriateness of selected breastfeeding aids, techniques, and devices when applied to specific clinical situations.
  • integrate the systematic review and critical analysis of relevant research into evidence-based practice and accurate education of clients and the healthcare team.
  • manage the basics of lactation consultant practice at entry level in relation to a variety of possible settings, including healthcare institutions, independent or collaborative practice, community outreach, milk banks, schools, and workplaces.

HLACT 351 Clinical Preceptorship in Lactation Consulting I

  • Units:3.5
  • Hours:189 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Corequisite:HLACT 331
  • Enrollment Limitation:Acceptance into the Human Lactation Certificate Program.
  • Transferable:CSU

This course provides clinical opportunities to apply the cognitive knowledge and skills gained in HLACT 331 and its prerequisite courses. It serves as preparation for the more advanced clinical expectations in HLACT 352. Clinical experience is provided in regional hospitals and clinics under the direct supervision and evaluation of an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with over 5 years post-certification experience. Field trips are required. Students are responsible for costs associated with meeting the health, background check, liability insurance, and CPR certification requirements for Allied Health Program clinical placement.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • apply the IBLCE Code of Professional Conduct for IBCLCs, the IBLCE Scope of Practice for the IBCLC, and the IBLCE Clinical Competencies for the Practice of IBCLCs as the framework for professional practice and conduct.
  • recognize and apply evidence-informed findings to practice within the laws and regulations of the given jurisdiction and setting, and provide evidence-informed education that is free of conflicts of interest to women, families, health professionals and the community about breastfeeding and human lactation.
  • utilize appropriate counseling skills and techniques, respecting the mother’s race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, age, and national origin; obtain her permission to provide care to her and her child; ascertain her goals for breastfeeding; and offer support and encouragement to enable her to meet her goals.
  • evaluate potential or existing challenges and factors that may impact on a mother or her child in meeting her breastfeeding goals; provide anticipatory guidance to reduce potential risks; and assist and support the mother to develop, implement, and evaluate an appropriate, acceptable, and achievable breastfeeding plan utilizing all resources available.
  • perform a maternal, child, and feeding assessment related to lactation and provide services for mothers and families at a beginning level with guidance.
  • gain the mother’s consent for obtaining and disclosing of information as needed with respect for the privacy, dignity, and confidentiality of individuals and families, except where the reporting of a danger to a mother or child is specifically required by law.
  • produce written documentation of all client contacts, assessments, feeding plans, recommendations, and evaluations of care.
  • practice collaboratively with the health care team and provide information on community resources for breastfeeding assistance.

HLACT 352 Clinical Preceptorship in Lactation Consulting II

  • Units:3.5
  • Hours:189 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:HLACT 331 and 351 with grades of "C" or better
  • Corequisite:HLACT 342
  • Enrollment Limitation:Acceptance into the Human Lactation Certificate Program.
  • Transferable:CSU

This course provides clinical opportunities to apply the cognitive knowledge and skills gained in HLACT 342 and its prerequisite courses. It serves as the final clinical preparation course for Lactation Consultant preparation. Clinical experience is provided in regional hospitals and clinics under the direct supervision and evaluation of an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with over 5 years post-certification experience. Field trips are required. Students are responsible for costs associated with meeting the health, background check, liability insurance, and CPR certification requirements for Allied Health Program clinical placement.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • integrate into personal practice the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) Code of Professional Conduct for International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), the IBLCE Scope of Practice for the IBCLC, and the IBLCE Clinical Competencies for the Practice of IBCLCs as the framework for professional conduct.
  • incorporate evidence-informed findings into practice within the laws and regulations of the given jurisdiction and setting, and formulate thorough evidence-informed education that is free of any conflicts of interest for women, families, health professionals and the community about breastfeeding and human lactation.
  • integrate the appropriate counseling skills and techniques, respecting the mother’s race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, age, and national origin, applying the principles of family-centered care to maintain a collaborative, supportive relationship; obtain her permission to provide care to her and her child; ascertain her goals for breastfeeding; and offer support and encouragement to enable her to meet her goals.
  • evaluate potential or existing challenges and factors that may impact on a mother or her child in meeting her breastfeeding goals; provide anticipatory guidance to reduce potential risks; and assist and support the mother to develop, implement, and evaluate an appropriate, acceptable, and achievable breastfeeding plan utilizing all resources available.
  • manage all components of a comprehensive maternal, child, and feeding assessment related to lactation; prioritize and provide competent services for mothers and families; and choose techniques and devices appropriately to support initiation and/or continuation of breastfeeding when indicated.
  • gain the mother’s consent for obtaining and disclosing of information as needed with respect for the privacy, dignity, and confidentiality of individuals and families, except where the reporting of a danger to a mother or child is specifically required by law.
  • create complete written documentation of all client contacts, assessments, feeding plans, recommendations, and evaluations of care.
  • practice collaboratively with the health care team to provide coordinated services to families, organize information on community resources for breastfeeding assistance, and make appropriate referrals to other health care providers and community support resources in a timely manner depending on the urgency of the situation.