Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training & Certification Program

Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training Certification Program

A course in the basics of lactation support for home visitors, prenatal clinic staff, nannies, students and others with an interest in maternal-child health, and more. Emphasis is on working with low-income families of color in the home, clinic or community setting.

Due to COVID-19, we have moved this course to an virtual format. Join our next online workshop on the Zoom Meeting platform.

This course can be brought to your agency as in-service training for staff.

Students in 2013 course practicing breastfeeding counseling skills.

Next Course:

November/December 2022

Contact: Carla Michael, Community and Professional Education Coordinator

Can’t attend a live course? This course is offered as a self-paced course online. Click here to register.


“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



Originally developed in 2002 for the Pasadena Public Health Department Black Infant Health Program, this 20-hour training will provide the basics of providing support to mothers who want to breastfeed and addressing barriers to breastfeeding. The interactive 3-day 24-hour course covers cultural awareness, communication and counseling skills, the importance of parental bonding and attachment, and positioning the baby at the breast. These are just a few of the things you will learn. No prior experience is needed!


Date of Course:   November/December, 2022 (exact dates TBD)

Day and Time of Course: 8:00  am to 2:30 pm, 4  days, 24 hours total. There will be two 15-minute breaks morning and afternoon and a 30-minute lunch each day.

Format: Due to Coronavirus outbreak, this course will be offered on the Zoom Meeting platform. Class is conducted in English, with English materials. We can provide materials and instructor in Spanish if requested.


Individual Rate: $750.00 per person

Early Bird Rate: $650.00 per person (payment must be received in full 2 months prior to course start).

Group Discount Rate: $550.00 per person for 4-10 people registering together from same agency or four friends registering together.

Payment Plan Option: $100.00 due at registration. Please contact Carla Michael to make payment arrangements.

Agency In-Service Rate: Contact us to schedule for your group. Minimum 10 people required. We suggest no more than 20 people per course. Extra fee for paper materials (PDF materials offered at no charge). Invoicing available for agencies. universities, public health departments.

Scholarships: We offer two half-scholarships each course ($325.00) for low-income persons of color. Please contact Carla Michael for an application and interview.


Contact us if you require CEUs for nurses, health educators and others.


Purpose of the Course

The purpose of this course is to give skills and knowledge to persons who want to support mothers in breastfeeding. Participants will also learn how to address barriers to breastfeeding initiation and duration.

Increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration in the United States is one of the Healthy People 2030 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.


We encourage persons of color to attend this workshop as the focus of the course is on working with low-income families of color.

  • Perinatal Clinic Staff
  • Case Managers
  • Health Educators
  • Home Visitors
  • Babysitters and Nannies
  • Mothers and Grandmothers
  • Early Childhood Educators
  • Family Health Advocates
  • WIC Workers
  • Birth  Doulas
  • Postpartum Doulas
  • Childbirth Educators
  • Student Midwives
  • Nursing Students
  • Public Health Students
  • Medical Students
  • LPNs, LVNs and CNAs
  • Registered Nurses


  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.
  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.)….and much, much more!


Within 6 months of completing the course, participants desiring certification will:

1. Pass written certification exam with score of 80%. May be taken twice if passing score is not achieved. Exam is available in Spanish or English. It is an open-book, take-home exam, based on the PowerPoint and Student Manual.

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

3. Prepare a breastfeeding community resource list for clients.

4. Annual re-certification is $50.00 + other requirements.


You will receive a 200-page manual for the course. This manual is in English. Spanish manual can be provided upon request. Other training materials are the PowerPoint for the class. (Available in Spanish upon request).

The Breastfeeding Answer Book (not included in tuition; available for purchase from Le Leche League International or used copies can be found on many online bookstores. We recommend you purchase this book prior to the training. 




Geraldine Perry-Williams, RN, MSN, ASRN, PHN, LCCE, CLE – Curriculum Developer and Co-Course Leader (Emeritus)

Geraldine Perry-Williams, PHN, MSN


Geraldine “Mama Gerri” Perry-Williams, RN, ASRN, BSN, PHN, MSN, a public health nurse who worked as the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Director and Black Infant Health Program Coordinator for the City of Pasadena Public Health Department for 30 years helped to develop this course. “Mama Gerri” passed away in June, 2018, but her spirit lives on in this course. Geraldine received her Masters in Nursing in Nursing Education from The University of Phoenix. Geraldine worked in the field of maternal child health for over 30 years in various capacities working in the hospital postpartum unit, NICU and high risk and in public health for 25 years. Geraldine was active with CityMatCH, an organization of Maternal-Child Health Directors dedicated to improving maternal-child health in urban centers in the USA. Geraldine was a Birth Assistant/Doula, a La Leche League Trained Breastfeeding Counselor Trainer, a Lamaze Pregnancy and Childbirth Health Educator, State Certified Outreach Worker Trainer, S.I.D.S. Trainer and CPR Instructor and Black Infant Health Program Worker Trainings. She presented on numerous health topics and workshops throughout the community. Geraldine developed and implemented numerous programs for the community. She volunteered in a variety of activities to promote public health including Public Health Week, community health workshops, and facilitating workshops on Trauma Informed Care, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Black women’s health conferences, organizing health fairs and community baby showers in the community of Pasadena, CA. She was married and active in church activities, and leaves behind four adult children and three grandchildren, all born healthy to healthy moms. Geraldine’s joyous spirit and wisdom lives on through this course, which she had the pleasure to develop and instruct for over 10 years until her sad passing in 2018.



Cordelia Hanna, MPH, CHES, ICCE, CLE, CBA – Curriculum Developer/ Principal Course Leader



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

Cordelia Hanna, MPH, CHES, ICCE, CLE, CBA, is the co-curriculum developer of this course and has taught this training since 2002 which she co-developed, with Geraldine Perry-Williams,  for Pasadena Public Health Department Black Infant Health Program in Pasadena, CA, where she worked from 2002-2012. The Black Infant Health Program is a California Department of Health-funded program to reduce African-American perinatal health disparities. Cordelia initiated and managed  the very first Breastfeeding Peer Counselor and volunteer community Doula program for African-American/Black families at the health department for ten years from 2002 to 2012.

Cordelia 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 from multi-cultural backgrounds 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 is passionate about promoting midwives, Doulas, community health promoters and breastfeeding peer counselors of color 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 capable, bright young adults. Cordelia is also a grandmother to two young girls and a grandson born in August 2020.

Carla Michael, MSW, CD, CPD, CLE, Student Midwife – Co-Course Leader

Carla Michael was born Hollywood and raised in Pomona, CA. As a mother to three girls, Carla is well aware of the necessity of love and care during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period.

 Her passionate desire to work with children and families led me to a career as a social worker and to obtain a master’s in social work at California State University Los Angeles. Craving a more personable relationship with families while exploring “birthing and babies”,  she decided to take a different route and become a full circle doula.
Carla obtained full circle doula training with Shafia Monroe Consulting’s Full Circle Doula Training® (an intensive 30-hour prenatal, labor and postpartum doula training course). This distinctive training is built on the legacy of the 20th century African American Midwife, who provided holistic perinatal services with birth and postpartum rituals and mothering skills building confidence and leadership abilities within families to improve birth outcomes and increase breastfeeding duration rates.
Carla models this model of care in her practice as a doula, which is improving birth outcomes by reducing prematurity, increasing breastfeeding rates and duration, reducing infant mortality and she has also completed an extensive 14-hour training regarding perinatal mental health and is well versed on the seldom-discussed mental health needs of mamas after birth.

With Carla’s first baby, she had no support with breastfeeding and always wanted to work for an organization such as La Leche League, not knowing that a career in breastfeeding was actually attainable. Therefore, in addition to her work as a doula, I received my certified lactation education specialist training through Breastfeed LA’s 95-hour program and is now currently on the pathway to becoming an IBCLC (international board-certified lactation consultant). This is critical because there are no statistics on how many Black IBCLCs there are in the United States. Carla believes that increasing the amount of Black IBCLC support will increase the rates of Black women’s breastfeeding outcomes, which is so crucial to their bundle of joy’s overall health in life. She enjoys instructing breastfeeding classes to pregnant mamas to prepare them before even before their little babies enters the world, and currently teaches Happy Mama Healthy Baby’s breastfeeding education classes for clients, and our Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training, Postpartum Doula Training, Perinatal Support Specialist Training and Birth Doula Training.
She is also currently a student midwife working in a birth center.  Carla believes in women-led births and that, with the proper support, education, and by listening to her intuition, a mama can have the birthing experience she’s always dreamed of. Carla is always honored to support a mama in this memorable, life-changing journey and looks forward to sharing her wisdom and experience with you in this training.


Ines (Augie) Rigual, CD (DONA), IBCLC, LCCE 


Augie Rigual, CD, IBCLC, LCCE

Augie Rigual teaches our course in Spanish. She is an Advanced DONA Doula and has been certified with DONA International for 15 years, having also worked in the Certification Committee for DONA International. She implemented and supervised a community doula program in Osceola County, Florida, for six years through a grant from the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, having achieved the goal of reducing the C-section rate 14% during the first two years in two hospitals in the county. Through this community doula program, they provided childbirth education and doula services to the inmates at the Osceola County Jail.

Became a Birth Doula Trainer in 2013 and have been offering trainings mostly in Puerto Rico, where two of the hospitals have already trained most of their Labor & Delivery nurses in an effort to reduce the hospital’s C-section rates. These hospital trainings have included doctors who have been educated on what a doula truly is and understand the work of the doula. She has trained in the Dominican Republic where an OB doctor became trained as is now a DONA Doula trainer for their country. Augie has been offering DONA Birth Doula trainings in Spanish in other states that have big Spanish communities like Utah and North Carolina.

As a Lamaze Childbirth Educator for the past 18 years, Augie offers the childbirth education classes in English and Spanish for two County Health Departments in Florida on a weekly basis.

In 2010 Augie became certified as an IBCLC and recertified in 2015. She established the CAFÉ Postpartum Group at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies and this program carried through to the Osceola County Department of Health, where the group still meets every Wednesday morning. The CAFÉ offers not only breastfeeding support but postpartum support in general and has become the place where moms feel they can help other moms and feel good about themselves. CAFÉ stands for Compassion, Apoyo (Support), Faith, and Education. Augie is the Programs Specialist for the Healthy Start Coalition of Osceola County, Florida.


Carla Michael, MSW, Community and Professional Education Coordinator

Telephone: (626) 388-2191 ext. 1 or Email:


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.




Carla Michael, Manager of Community Education

Call: (626) 388-2191 ext. 1 or Email her at: