Clinical and Communication Lactation Specialist (CCLS)

New dates announced for the Spring 2020: March 6-8 and April 24-26, 2020.

Early bird pricing ends 2-9-20. Pre-work for Part 1 opens 1-26-20 so register now!

This course is limited to 20 participants only! Don't miss this great opportunity!

Some of reasons why people are taking this course:

1. They want more concrete, hands on experience to really work with breastfeeding families
2. They want to get all of their required 90 lactation CERPs in one place
3. They want instructors that work with breastfeeding families everyday
4. They want the convenience of some online learning combined with the community of in-person work
5. They want the experience of working with real breastfeeding families
6. They want passionate, knowledgeable instructors who use the latest education methods for effective learning

Do you want to become a lactation consultant or to be able to better help your breastfeeding families? Let Barbara walk you through this process! For more information join us for a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, February 4th, 2020 at 7:00 PM to discuss the process and how our course is part of becoming a lactation professional. Email so she can send you a meeting invitation.

What attendees are saying:

"I found the experience invaluable. The course covers everything from the physiology of breastfeeding to the social and communication skills necessary to help clients through breastfeeding challenges. The learning environment is comfortable and inviting. Barbara’s teaching method is engaging and effective. Thanks to this course, I feel confident in my ability to effectively support clients in their breastfeeding journey." Amanda, Fall 2020

"Beyond welcoming, accepting, non-judgmental, WELL INFORMED, amazing teacher, professional, and human!...I found my passion and wanted to share this knowledge with other, it was seriously good stuff, so I recommended it to for making informed decisions is key, it is EMPOWERING, and it is a means of learning to tap into your super powers!" Kristine, Fall 2020

A certificate of completion will be provided at the end of the course. We offer a Clinical and Communication Lactation Specialist, CCLS, certificate for those who complete our course. For most, this certificate is considered a stepping-stone towards certification as an IBCLC and we encourage all of our students to apply for the IBLCE certification exam as soon as they are eligible. Nurses, doulas, dieticians, OTs, PTs, midwives and other health care providers may find this credential be helpful in their work and in finding employment. You can register here. To find out more of our approach to education and to working with families you can read this blog.

This 90-hour course is comprehensive and designed to cover most aspects of the IBLCE Exam Blueprint. This will help you not only be prepared to offer mothers and babies quality breastfeeding support but will also help you to prepare for the IBLCE exam. At this point and time all of our attendees have passed the IBCLC exam!

The course is offered in two parts. You may take each part separately or as one comprehensive course. In order to take Part 2,  you must have taken another 45-hour professional lactation course within the past three years.

Dates for Spring 2020:

Part 1
Pre-work: January 26th, 2020- 20 hours of pre-work assignments will open. Optional live webinars will be offered every other week for discussion of assignments and questions.
In-person: 3 Days 8 AM-5:30 PM- Friday, March 6-Sunday, March 8, 2020- 25 hours of in-person clinical work

Part 2
Pre-work: March 10, 2020- 21 hours of pre-work assignments will open. Optional live webinars will be offered every other week for discussion of assignments and questions.
In-person: 3 Days 8 AM-5:30 PM- Friday, April 24,-Sunday, April 26, 2020- 25 hours of in-person clinical work

The goal for the pre-work is to about 3 hours per week which needs to be completed before the in-person portion of the course.

All the pre-work must be completed and turned in and all the in-person portion of the course must be attended in order for the participant to receive the CCLS Certificate of Completion.

Space is limited to 20 attendees and several people have already registered or in the process of doing so! Don't miss this great opportunity!

Registration is open!

Our early bird prices ENDS February 9th, 2020!

For our payment plan of three payments go the 4th choice. You will make the first payments by Paypal or check now, the second payment in now, the second one mid-February of 2020, and the last one by March 1st, 2020. If you want to pay by Visa, Master Card, or Discover, please email and we can make these arrangements.


Topics to be covered:
Benefits of breastfeeding
Communication skills: Motivational Interviewing
Breast anatomy and development
Biochemistry of breastmilk
Birthing and breastfeeding
Mother and baby assessment
Breastfeeding assessment
When to supplement
Low breastmilk supply
Breast and nipple pain
Ethics in lactation
Communication skills revisited
Working and breastfeeding
Medications and breastfeeding
Nursing older babies
Twins and preterm babies|
More clinical practice with breast and nipple pain
Inducing lactation
Tools of the trade
And more...

Cancellation Policy: A full refund minus a $75 cancellation fee will be provided upon request up to 45 days before the In-Person portion of Part 1 of the training begins OR until the time a participant submits at least one assignment for the pre-work section of Part 1 to be graded. To be clear, once a participant has turned in at least one assignment for the Pre-Work section, no matter how many days before the In-Person portion of Part 1 this is, no refunds will be issued. After either of these terms, no refunds will not be issued.

Transfer/Make-Up Policy: Should you need to transfer your registration to another training in the future when it is available, you may do so without penalty up until four weeks before a training begins. Once we are within four weeks of a training, we cannot guarantee you a spot in a future training but will accommodate you IF there is a training scheduled and the training is under-enrolled and we have a spot available for a $75 fee. In this case, you may receive very short notice of a make-up opportunity and should plan accordingly. Illness, family emergencies, last-minute babysitting or transportation challenges, and so on, are not our responsibility but we will make every reasonable effort to accommodate your situation.

Winter Storms. We will not issue refunds due to winter storms and other conditions beyond our control. Please allow plenty of extra time for travel if bad weather is threatening. If extreme blizzard or ice conditions coincide with the onset of a workshop and make driving hazardous, we may delay the start time or otherwise adapt the parameters of the training (check your email for updates). We will make every effort to accommodate everyone should conditions be extreme or impossible (this has never happened in 20 years, fingers crossed). If driving conditions become hazardous in the middle of a training weekend and you are driving back and forth a fair distance each day, you are welcome to bring some portable bedding/change of clothes and stay at the Center overnight. We have two couches and a queen-size air mattress on hand, as well as floor cushions, pillows and blankets. We cannot be held liable for airfare costs accrued due to circumstances beyond our control. 

Attendance Policy. In order to provide you with proof of having completed the CCLS certificate requirements, you will need to attend the course and complete all assignments in their entirety. Should you become ill or otherwise unable to complete a training you have started, the Transfer/Make-Up Policy (above) will apply.



Frequently Asked Questions

No, but it is highly recommended and required to receive your CCLS credential.

The course is offered in small groups only. Plenty of chances to ask questions!

The location is Center for the Childbearing Year Teaching Space located at 722 Brooks Street Ann Arbor, MI 48104.

  1. Part 1:
    • 20 hours of pre-work with assignments and an optional bi-weekly webinar with Barbara Robertson, IBCLC, to discuss the assignments and ask questions
    • 25 hours, 3 days, of in-person education with homework
  2. Part 2:
    • 20 hours of pre-work with assignments and an optional bi-weekly webinar with Barbara Robertson, IBCLC, to discuss the assignments and ask questions
    • 25 hours, 3 days, of in-person education with homework
  1. IBCLCs who need Lactation CERPs for re-certification.
  2. Aspiring IBCLCs who are acquiring their lactation education CERPs as a stepping stone to becoming an IBCLC.
  3. RNs or other health care professionals who want to increase their breastfeeding skills or acquire 20+ hours of breastfeeding education for the “Baby Friendly” hospital initiative.
  4. Peer Counselors, La Leche League Leaders, anyone, who wants to be able to better help mothers and babies with breastfeeding concerns.
  5. Birth and post-partum Doulas who are interested in being on the cutting edge of breastfeeding support.


  1. We promise that you will not sit and just listen to powerpoint lectures for 45 hours.
  2. This extremely interactive course focuses on utilizing educational techniques research has shown to be effective for adult learning.
  3. In order to truly learn something, you have to use it in some way, not just hear it.

We will do small group work, work with actual mothers and babies, role play, case studies, large group discussions, problem-solving, and practice, practice, practice the skills we are using focusing on how to effectively communicate with our families.  With breastfeeding, social and emotional support are just as important as your technical knowledge.

  1. You will be able to understand the normal course of breastfeeding
  2. You will be able to identify breastfeeding problems
  3. You will be able to help identify the underlying causes of breastfeeding problems
  4. You will have direct exposure to clinical strategies and gain enhanced confidence
  5. You will be able to offer practical solutions in a compassionate, easily understandable way

Early Bird Prices

$1000 for Part 1 and 2

$620 for Part 1 only

$620 for Part 2 only

Late Registration Prices

$1300 for Part 1 and 2

$750 for Part 1 only

$750 for Part 2 only

Payment plans are available. All payments must be made before the first day of the in-person portion of the course.

Dates for Winter/Spring 2019 will be announced in September of 2018.