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.

 Join our next online workshop on the Zoom Meeting platform.

This course can be brought to your agency as in-service training for staff virtually over Zoom or on location at your site.

Students in 2013 course practicing breastfeeding counseling skills.

Next Course:

March 2024

Interested? Contact: Carla Michael, Community and Professional Education Coordinator


“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!”

– Salkana S., 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.”

– Milagra J., 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:   January 2024

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:  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- Principal Course Leader (English Course), Curriculum Developer


CordeliaCordelia Hanna has been working in the field of maternity care for over 30 years. She obtained her Master’s 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. Cordelia is currently pursuing her doctorate in Health Psychology at Walden University. Cordelia is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), the gold standard for professional health educators, accredited by NCHEC. She 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 is an apprenticeship-trained midwife, who has worked as an Assistant Midwife and Labor Companion/Monitrice in homes, birth centers, and hospitals throughout Los Angeles County and Oregon since 1991.

Cordelia is passionate about promoting indigenous health promoters– breastfeeding peer counselors and doulas and community midwives– to address ethnic health disparities such as low rates of breastfeeding, high rates of prematurity cesarean section, and maternal and infant mortality occurring in communities of color.  Cordelia thinks about maternal-child health globally and acts locally. Cordelia worked as a Perinatal Health Educator and Promoter for The Pasadena Public Health Department Black Infant Health Program from 2002-2012, a California Department of Health-funded program to reduce African-American/Black perinatal health disparities. Here, along with her mentor and collaborator the late Ms. Geraldine Perry-Williams, PHN, MSN, CD, CLE, LCCE, she initiated and managed a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program and established the very first Community-Based Doula Program for African-American/Black families in Los Angeles County; succeeding in lowering the high rates of infant mortality and cesarean section among Pasadena’s African-American population.

From 2011 to 2019, Cordelia worked with Esperanza Community Housing Corporation’s Promatora de Salud/Community Health Worker Program, providing training in perinatal health and Doula support for Community Health Promoters/Promatores de Salud working in South Los Angeles, one of the Los Angeles county regions with the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality due to negative social determinants of health.

Cordelia is a mother of two home-born, breastfed, and attachment-parented children who are now bright and capable young adults. She is a grandmother of two granddaughters and a grandson. Her life partner is from Ghana, West Africa, and they enjoy an international lifestyle spanning two continents.

Carla Michael, MSW, CD, CPD, CLE, CPYT, CCE, Student Midwife – Co-Course Leader (English Course)
Carla Michael

Carla Michael is an advocate for maternal and child health and a multifaceted professional with a deep-rooted commitment to addressing disparities in healthcare. With a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her work.
In addition to her MSW, Carla holds several certifications and qualifications that make her a well-rounded expert in her field. As a Full Circle Doula, she’s passionate about providing holistic support to expectant mothers during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. Her dedication to empowering women during this transformative journey is further exemplified by her certification as a certified lactation education specialist, ensuring that mothers receive the guidance and resources they need for successful breastfeeding.
A registered yoga teacher, Carla recognizes the importance of physical and mental well-being during pregnancy and beyond. Her yoga expertise allows her to offer valuable guidance on maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle, which is especially crucial for expectant mothers.
Carla’s journey towards becoming a midwife reflects her unwavering commitment to addressing healthcare disparities. With a keen focus on maternal and child health, she’s working tirelessly to make childbirth a safer and more equitable experience, particularly for Black mothers and babies.
As a mother of three, Carla brings a personal perspective to her advocacy efforts. Her own experiences have fueled her dedication to creating a world where every Black family has access to the care and support, they deserve.
Her involvement with initiatives like AAIMM (African American Infant and Maternal Mortality) of Los Angeles County demonstrates her commitment to addressing racial disparities and promoting equitable healthcare. Through her work and passion, Carla is making a significant impact in the field of maternal and child health, ensuring that every mother and baby has the opportunity to thrive.

Carla is Manager of our Community and Professional Education and is Program Director, Generating African American Infant and Nurturers’ Survival Initiative (GAAINS) Postpartum Doula Program. Carla co-teaches our professional trainings coordinates our scholarship and certification programs and community perinatal health education classes for expectant parents. She looks forward to sharing her wisdom and experience with you in this training.



Ines “Augie” Rigual, CD, CPD, IBCLC, LCCE


Ines “Augie” Rigual, LCCE, CD, CPD, IBCLC

Augie Rigual es Doula Avanzada de DONA y está certificada con DONA International desde hace 15 años, habiendo trabajado también en el Comité de Certificación de DONA International. Implementó y supervisó un programa de doulas comunitarias en el condado de Osceola, Florida, durante seis años a través de una subvención del Fondo Onza de Prevención de Florida, habiendo logrado la meta de reducir la tasa de cesáreas en un 14 % durante los primeros dos años en dos hospitales. en el condado A través de este programa comunitario de doulas, brindaron educación sobre el parto y servicios de doulas a las reclusas de la cárcel del condado de Osceola en Florida. Augie se convirtió en capacitadora de doulas de nacimiento en 2013 y ha estado ofreciendo capacitaciones principalmente en Puerto Rico, donde dos de los hospitales ya han capacitado a la mayoría de sus enfermeras de trabajo de parto y parto en un esfuerzo por reducir las tasas de cesáreas del hospital. Estas capacitaciones en hospitales han incluido médicos que han sido educados sobre lo que realmente es una doula y entienden el trabajo de la doula. Se ha capacitado en la República Dominicana, donde un médico obstetra se capacitó y ahora es una entrenadora de DONA Doula para su país. Augie ha estado ofreciendo capacitaciones de DONA Birth Doula en español en otros estados que tienen grandes comunidades hispanas como Utah y Carolina del Norte. Como educadora de parto de Lamaze durante los últimos 18 años, Augie ofrece clases de educación de parto en inglés y español semanalmente para dos departamentos de salud del condado en Florida. En 2010, Augie se certificó como IBCLC y se recertificó en 2015. Estableció el Grupo de Posparto CAFÉ en el Hospital Winnie Palmer para Mujeres y Bebés y este programa se extendió al Departamento de Salud del Condado de Osceola, Florida, donde el grupo todavía se reúne todos los miércoles por la mañana. . El CAFÉ no solo ofrece apoyo para la lactancia sino también apoyo posparto en general y se ha convertido en el lugar donde las mamás sienten que pueden ayudar a otras mamás y sentirse bien consigo mismas. CAFÉ significa Compasión, Apoyo (Apoyo), Fe y Educación. Augie es el especialista en programas de la Coalición Healthy Start del condado de Osceola, Florida.


Carla Michael, MSW, Community and Professional Education Coordinator

Telephone: (626) 388-2191 ext. 3 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: