Lactation Management Self-Study Modules – Level 1

Third Edition, 2009
Prepared for Wellstart International by Audrey J. Naylor, MD, DrPH, FAAP, FABM and Ruth A. Wester, BA, RN, PNP

Lactation Management Curriculum

In 1985, to assist in meeting this need for curriculum content in lactation management, Wellstart International began providing education and training in lactation management and breastfeeding promotion for both students and faculty of the health professions. In 1999, with funding from The United States Maternal Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration and in collaboration with the University of California San Diego Medical School, Wellstart developed the Lactation Management Curriculum: A Faculty Guide for Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Nutrition (LMCG), now in its fourth edition.

The LMCG was developed to facilitate the integration of lactation management knowledge and skills into the curriculum of medicine, nursing and nutrition programs. It is a competency based tool and provides guidance in curriculum assessment, content suggestions and resources for three levels of professional responsibility. Level I provides basic knowledge needed by all health care providers to be supportive of normal mothers and their healthy full term infants. Level II includes more clinical detail for complex situations and is targeted at those who practice one of the perinatal specialties (pediatrics, obstetrics, family medicine, neonatology, etc). Level III is designed for those who will specialize in breastfeeding medicine and will serve as key faculty in leadership positions.

All health professionals regardless of whether or not they specifically provide care for breastfeeding mothers and infants should attain Level I knowledge and skills during their initial preparatory (preservice) program. Before entering the practice of their profession, they should have an understanding about the scientific basis for encouraging and supporting breastfeeding, the physiology and basics of clinical management of lactation for normal mothers and newborns and the societal influences on lactation and breastfeeding promotion. They should be able to provide health care that supports breastfeeding initiation and maintenance, and avoids creating barriers. While they need to be aware of the principles of lactation management, they do not necessarily need to attain clinical expertise in the area.

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