Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training & Certification Program

Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training Certification Program

A basic course in lactation counseling/breastfeeding support  for community-based doulas, perinatal health workers, nurses, student midwives, student nurses and  nannies.

Join our next workshop in Los Angeles or bring this course to your agency as an in-service training for staff.

Students in 2013 course practicing breastfeeding counseling skills.


 “This class exceeded my expectations and left me wanting more! I was amazed to learn about the amazing newborn and what she is capable of doing right out of the womb!”

–  A participant in the  October 2011 course

“After taking this course, I plan to embrace my ancestor’s cultural traditions  for mothering and breastfeeding and to share the light of women’s wisdom with future generations.”

– A participant in the February 2011 course


About the Course | Training Details | Training Description | Certification Requirements | About the Instructor | Training Materials | Tuition | CEUs | Contact Us

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Originally developed  in 2002  for the Pasadena Public Health Department Black Infant Health Program, this training is available for  perinatal health workers, nurses, and doulas  who want to learn lactation support skills. This is an exciting, interactive 3-day 21-hour course which will provide you with basic knowledge, skills and tools for assisting pregnant women and new mothers who want to breastfeed. Cultural awareness, communication skills, the importance of bonding and attachment, and positioning the baby at the breast are just a few of the things you will learn. We offer certification referrals after completion of the course. Certification is optional. Requirements are obtained after the course. No prior experience with breastfeeding is required.


Date of Course:   TBA, contact us for dates of next course.

Day and Time of Course: 9:00  am to 6:00 pm, 3 days, 20 hours total

Location:  The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health, 3655 S. Grand, Suite 260, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Deposit: $100 per person. Payment plans are available. Contact us to make arrangements. 

Individual Rate: $400 per person, includes materials. Registration Deadline: 2 weeks prior to course. Payment Plans are Accepted. Contact us to make arrangements.

Early Bird Rate: $300 per person, includes materials. Must register 3 months prior to course.

Group Discount Rate: $200 per person when 4 or more persons register together.

Agency In-Service Rate: This course can be scheduled as an In-Service for company employees. We can come to your location, or host a private course for you at our Downtown Los Angeles office. Global Fee includes tuition plus materials for up to 15 persons. Contact us for pricing and to schedule.

Cancellation Deadline: December


Purpose of the Course

The purpose of this course is to give women who want to support other women in breastfeeding their babies the skills and information to do so and to address barriers to breastfeeding initiation and duration.

Increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration in the United States is one of the Healthy People 2020 objectives for the public’s health. Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for mothers and children including lowering rates of infant mortality and morbidity, enhances bonding between mother and infant, and decreases women’s risk of breast, cervical and uterine cancer.

Who Should Attend?

Aspiring lactation educators, aspiring lactation consultants, perinatal case managers, prenatal and postpartum home visitors, community health promoters (Promatoras), Parent Educators, Parent Coaches, Family Health Advocates, Certified Perinatal Health Workers (CPHWs), parent educators, Community Health Outreach Workers (CHOWs), health educators, doulas, childbirth educators, childbirth assistants, midwife assistants, midwifery apprentices, aspiring midwives, student midwives, student nurses, nurses, medical students, mothers, grandmothers, any woman who wants to help other women breastfeed. We encourage women of color to attend to help promote breastfeeding in their communities.


  1. Common cultural biases and differences and their impact upon the counselor-client relationship.
  2. Three Step Strategy for communication and lactation counseling.
  3. Benefits of breastfeeding to infants and mothers, fathers and society.breastfeeding counseling
  4.  The father’s support in breastfeeding success
  5. Social, political and economic reasons why women don’t breastfeed.
  6.  Nutritional components of breastmilk.
  7. Types and Phases of Breastmilk
  8.  Anatomical structures of the lactating breast and the role of hormones in the physiology of breastfeeding.
  9. Helping mothers manage breastfeeding.
  10.  Getting Moms Started:  Positioning the Baby at the  Breast.
  11.  Common  problems encountered by breastfeeding mothers and  remedies for these problems.
  12.  Dealing with Mother-Infant Separation: Pumping and Storage of Breastmilk and Describe Safe Milk Handling guidelines.
  13. Breastfeeding in Special Situations (adoption, prematurity, etc.).


1. Pass certification exam with score of 80%.

2. Assist three mothers with lactation support and provide three self-reports and three client reports.

3. Prepare a community resource list for clients.

4. Annual re-certification is $250.00 + other requirements.


You will receive a 200-page manual for the course.

Recommended Textbook:

The Breastfeeding Answer Book (not included in tuition; available for purchase from Le Leche League International. We recommend you purchase this book prior to the training. It is available at the website where you will go to register.


Individual Rate: $400.00 per person. Registration Deadline: 1 month prior to start date.

Early Bird Rate: $300 per person. Registration Deadline: 3 months prior to start date.

Agency In-Service Rate: Global rate. Up to 15 persons may attend for this price, and includes materials. Call us to schedule this training at your worksite or a private course at our downtown Los Angeles location.


Contact us if you require CEUs.


Cordelia Hanna, MPH, CHES, ICCE, CLE, CBA, Lead Instructor


Hair and Make Up & Photo by Heidi Light (1heidi1light)


Cordelia Hanna obtained  her Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Health Education and Promotion/Maternal Child Health from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California in 2008  and her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance from Indiana University, Bloomington in 1986. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), the gold standard for professional health educators, accredited by NCHEC. Cordelia is also an ICEA-Certified Childbirth Educator, CAPPA-Certified Lactation Educator, and ALACE-Certified Birth Assistant who since 1991 has taught Childbirth Preparation Classes and Breastfeeding Education to hundreds of couples in private practice, clinics, public health, hospital and community settings. She has attended births as a Primary Midwife Under Supervision, Assistant Midwife and Labor Companion/Monitrice in homes, birth centers and hospitals throughout Los Angeles County since 1991. Cordelia  has taught the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor training since 2002 which she co-developed for Pasadena Public Health Department Black Infant Health Program, where she worked from 2002-2012.  Cordelia is passionate about promoting midwives, doulas, promatoras (community health promoters) and breastfeeding peer counselors to address ethnic health disparities such as low rates of breastfeeding, high rates of prematurity and cesarean section, and to reduce maternal mortality globally.  Cordelia is a mother of two home-born, breastfed and attachment-parented children who are now bright and capable young  adults and she is also a grandmother of two granddaughters.


Cancellation Policy

 Cancellation must be made in writing by deadline (30 days prior to start of course). Tuition will be reimbursed less $50.00 administrative fee if notification received by this date. After this date, there will be no refunds. However in extenuating circumstances such as documented illness or emergency, the tuition is fully transferable to another person or training (this course or another topic); credit is good for the amount of training. If course registering into is higher price, the additional balance will be required. If it is a lesser price, there will not be any refund of balance. Credit will be honored for one year from the training. If not used by that time, the credit will expire.

Special Cancellation Policy for Doulas and Midwives:

If you are “on call” and have a birth during the training, please notify instructor as soon as possible that you will not be attending. The full tuition will be transferred to another person, or different training (this course or another topic) to be used within one year of the training date. If the course you are registering into is higher price, the additional balance will be required. If it is a lesser price, there will not be any refund of balance.



Debbie Benton, Coordinator of Community Education

Call: (626) 388-2191 ext. 2 or Email her at