Bachelor of Science Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation

Union Institute & University’s Maternal Child Health in Human Lactation is proud to provide anyone with a passion for happy and healthy children with one of the only lactation programs in the country. Union is able to provide you with the skills and training to counsel expectant mothers and mothers of newborns about feeding and caring for their young infants, whether you’re experienced in lactation or new to the field.

The Bachelor of Science major in Maternal Child Health is the only CAAHEP-accredited Pathway 2 program that leads to a bachelor's degree.

120 Total credits
$545 Cost per credit hour
Jun 28 Next Start Date
  • 120 Credit Hours Program (minimum)
  • Full-time & part-time options
  • Classes start every 8 weeks!
  • Up to 90 semester hours in transfer credits
  • MCH 250- Pre-Internship/Pre-Practicum Planning
  • MCH 388- Applications in Lactation Care
  • MCH 460- Internship I
  • MCH 461- Internship II
  • MCH 150- Human Anatomy & Physiology
  • MCH 220- Foundations of Maternal Child Health
  • MCH 223- Lifecycle Nutrition
  • MCH 322- Research and Evidence in Maternal Child Health
  • GANT 220- Folklore in Childbirth
  • MCH 140- Medical Terminology
  • MCH 323- Maternal-Infant Nutrition
  • MCH 324- Skills and Strategies for Breastfeeding Problem Solving
  • MCH 325- Social and Cultural Issues in Health Care
  • MCH 327- Birth Outcomes: Joys and Sorrows
  • MCH 328- Developing a Community Based Support System
  • MCH 329- Perspectives in Professional Lactation Support
  • MCH 380- Mood Disorders in the Perinatal Period
  • MCH 429- Infant and Child Growth and Development
  • MCH 480- Power and Social Inequities in Maternal Child Health
  • HDC- Health Disparities & Childbearing
  • PW2- PW2
  • MCH 481- Politics and Social Justice in Maternal Child Health

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


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

How does one become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)?

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, 90- hours of didactic lactation education, and a certain number of clinical hours.  We are a CAAHEP accredited Pathway 2 academic program.

Does this program provide me with all of the requirements to sit for the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) exam?

Yes, our CAAHEP accredited Pathway 2 academic lactation program provides all of the requirements to sit for the IBCLC exam.

What if I already hold the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) credential? Am I still eligible for the Bachelor of Science in Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation Studies major?

Yes, we have quite a few students who come to us already holding the IBCLC credential. Within the Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation (MCHL) major there are three concentrations: General MCHL, Health Disparities and Childbirth, and Pathway 2 Lactation.  If student already has an IBCLC, he/she would enter as a general MCHL concentration student or a Health Disparities and Childbirth concentration student.

I see that your program contains a 300-hour clinical internship. Do I need to travel to Cincinnati, OH for this internship?

No, there is no travel needed in our program.  The internship is remote and student-identified, so you can choose a preceptor and location that is convenient to you.  We have a Clinical Coordinator who works directly with students to help them secure internship sites and all of the necessary agreements with the facility.

How does the 300-hour internship work? What is involved in the process of securing an internship site?
  • The 300-hour internship is split between two courses (150 hours per course). Within each course there is a set of competencies that students must complete along with the hourly requirement.
  • Internships can take place in hospitals, public health clinics, federal Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics, obstetrics offices, pediatric offices, or private lactation practice.
  • Students must have a preceptor who is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) at their internship site in order to oversee and facilitate that on-sight learning. We encourage students to use the S. Lactation Consultant (USLCA) website and the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) website to search for IBCLCs in their area upon admission into the program.   Internship courses occur in the students’ third or fourth semester, but it never hurts to get things lined up early.
  • The internship itself requires a completed Internship Application, background check, proof of health insurance, proof of professional liability insurance, and a completed Affiliation Agreement between UI&U and the internship facility. An Internship Packet, detailing all of this information, is available to all current students.
  • The internship approval process can take upwards of 6-8 weeks or longer.
What are career opportunities available for IBCLCs?

Many of our graduates have taken traditional career paths beyond graduation while others have taken nontraditional paths.  Many of our graduates go on to work in a clinical setting such as a hospital, obstetric office, or pediatric office.  Others have chosen to work in the public health setting for federal programs such as the USDA Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program.  Still others have gone on to open their own private lactation practice or nonprofit organization.

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