Bachelor of Science Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation

Union Institute & University’s Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation program is the only CAAHEP-accredited university program that leads to a degree in lactation. We will provide the skills and training for you to counsel expectant mothers and mothers of newborns about feeding and caring for their infants. Whether you’re experienced in lactation or new to the field, our Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation program is perfect for anyone with a passion for happy and healthy children.

Union's B.S. in Maternal Child Health is the only CAAHEP-accredited Pathway 2 program that leads to a bachelor's degree.

120 Total credits
$395 Cost Per Credit Hour
Jan 2 Next Start Date

B.S. Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation Concentrations

Students who choose a major in Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation may complete a generalized program or select one of the following concentrations:

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IBLCE Pathway 2

This concentration is for individuals who wish to earn the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) credential.  Students in this concentration will be able to discuss and evaluate concepts related to the management of human lactation and appraise the contemporary issues central to lactation care. The IBLCE Pathway 2 (PW2) provides the required elements that allow students to sit for the IBLCE exam via Pathway 2 upon successful graduation.

Our mission is to educate highly motivated, competent, and socially responsible entry-level International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). With the knowledge and skills they gain through experiential learning and scholarship, they will be prepared to engage in a lifetime of empowering and educating others.

Our goal is to prepare competent, entry-level Lactation Consultants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. (Standard II.C.)* 

*Outcomes data is available upon request.

baby in utero (1)

Health Disparities and Childbearing

This concentration is for individuals interested in learning more about the social and cultural aspects of childbearing and young child feeding.  Students in this concentration will be able to examine critical concepts and emerging trends in health disparities and explore how racism, power, inequities, and social structures influence the health of mothers and babies.

  • 120 credit hour program (minimum)
  • Full & part-time options
  • Classes start every eight weeks
  • Transfer up to 90 credit hours


General education courses are the foundation of a bachelor's degree and aim to introduce students to the world of critical thinking, written expression, broad philosophical topics, scientific method, quantitative reasoning, and more.

General education at Union Institute & University is different with a purpose. Most colleges have an assortment of “Introduction to….” courses for their general education curriculum - not Union. Our general education courses are topic-based, and they have a direct link to our popular majors. These topics make for a seamless transition from the breadth of general education to the depth of your major.  

Careers of our Maternal Child Health Graduates

Union’s Maternal Child Health graduates come from many types of backgrounds, including nursing and health care. We empower you to use your lactation knowledge and experience in a variety of fields and industries.

  • Medical & Health Care
  • Non-profit Institutions
  • Community Workers
  • Public & Government


“The Nest” is Union Institute & University’s new interprofessional telehealth clinic and offers virtual lactation consultations. The Nest provides students in our B.S. in Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation and the M.A. in Human Lactation Studies programs with direct learning experiences that might not be available otherwise. It’s an excellent opportunity for students to apply knowledge learned in the classroom while gaining practical experience, especially for those seeking to become International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). To participate, students must have a minimum of 90 didactic hours of lactation-specific education and be enrolled in their lactation internship courses so they are prepared to work directly with clients.

Group classes and consultations will be led by Union’s human lactation students and accompanied by Alicia Simpson, MS, RD, IBCLC, LD. Alicia serves as our faculty IBCLC who will work directly with students to offer The Nest’s lactation services. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in working with clients and students. Learn more about “The Nest”.


In partnership with WIC, Union Institute & University is offering 36 credit hours, in the form of free electives, to WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors who qualify. The credits can be applied toward the completion of a bachelor’s degree in Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation from Union.

To qualify, you must complete USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training and at least 560 total working hours.

For WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors to get the 36 free elective credits, Union must receive the following:

  • Copy of their USDA Food and Nutrition Service Training Certificate.
  • Verification letter from their supervisor on official letterhead, stating the employee has completed a minimum of 560 hours as a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor.

Skills & Benefits Union Students Gain

  • Apply critical thinking and problem solving methods to correctly identify and assess contributing factors and causes of breastfeeding management problems.
  • Develop and describe an appropriate individualized and client-centered plan, assist in the implementation of the plan, evaluate the effectiveness of the plan and document client interactions.
  • Communicate with clients and members of the health care team in a professional, integrated, interdisciplinary and culturally competent manner.
  • Explain and apply the major terms, methods, concepts and/or theories relevant to maternal child health and human lactation.
  • Identify, analyze and evaluate scientific research findings related to the methods, concepts, theories and practice of maternal child health and human lactation.
  • Apply the principles of biomedical ethics, lactation science and related disciplines in the provision of breastfeeding counseling and adult education services.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are three pathways through the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) by which individuals can become IBCLCs. Each pathway requires 14 health science pre-requisite courses, 95 hours of didactic lactation education, and a certain number of clinical hours.  We are a CAAHEP accredited Pathway 2 academic program.

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