Lactation Program Review: Union Institute & University

Lactation Program Review: 

Union Institute & University’s 

MA in Health & Wellness with a Concentration in Lactation Studies

By Anonymous 

November 20, 2015

What year did you enroll in the program? 2012

How long did it take you to complete the program? 2.5 years

Degree, Certification or Certificate OfferedMaster of Arts (MA) Degree in Health & Wellness with a Concentration in Lactation Studies. Union Institute & University (UI & I) also offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Maternal & Child Health with a major in Human Lactation.

Delivery of Program – Online

Books & Materials Required – Via partnership with The Healthy Children Project, Inc. (HCP), the program requires you to become a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) in order to do your clinical hours.

Cost of Program (Including books, materials, application fees, etc.) – $40,000+

Do this program’s hours meet partial or full requirements for the IBCLC exam’s lactation specific training requirement? Yes. This program fulfills the entire lactation education requirement needed to sit for the IBCLC exam.

What did you like about the program?

I liked having classmates who were also working in lactation that I could bounce ideas off of. It was nice to not have to explain what a “lactation consultant” is over and over again. I still keep in touch with many of these students and consider them to be trusted colleagues.

What did you dislike about the program?

Overall, there were quite a few things I disliked about the UI&U program.

  • The Lactation faculty consisted of two professors who seemed to play “good cop/bad cop” with the students.
  • The program offered no help whatsoever in finding a placement for internship hours, and I was told at one point that I couldn’t complete my hours in the state where I live – when I was already halfway through the program!
  • I felt that we received very little instruction as to how to complete assignments.
  • In our final semesters, many of us scrambled to answer others’ questions on the online message board as the instructors very rarely checked in.
  • I was often confused and lost, and when I spoke with faculty I was told that I was doing things wrong.

What would you change about the program?

  • I strongly feel that this program should help their students to gain internship placements. So many of my classmates had their schooling delayed by a semester or more because they couldn’t find anywhere to earn their internship hours.
  • This program sorely needs more involved faculty members and a better designed curriculum.

How rigorous/time consuming did you find the program?

I finished my degree in 2.5 years while usually being enrolled 3/4 or full-time, working part-time, and taking care of my 3 kids including one who was born during my program. At times the program was very time consuming (mostly dealing with internship hours and when writing my thesis) but for the most part, I was able to complete it during nap times and during one full day of school a week.

Would you recommend this program to others?

For the most part no, I would not recommend this program. If you are looking solely for a program to meet Pathway 2 requirements and give you the knowledge to pass the IBLCE exam, look elsewhere. If you are already an IBCLC, if you would like to specialize in breastfeeding research, or if you have a deep interest in gaining your graduate degree within the lactation field and you are highly self-directed and self-motivated, then yes, I’d recommend this program.

Knowing what you know now, would you take this program again? 

No, I would not take this program again. It’s very hard to admit that you feel you made a mistake that cost your family almost $50,000. There have to be better ways to get meet IBLCE requirements, which was my main purpose in joining this program. I am left with huge student loans and a bad taste in my mouth.

Do you feel the course and/or certification helped you obtain your goals?

I know that the course helped me, on paper, to meet IBLCE’s requirements before sitting for the exam. I’m not convinced that the education I received really fit the bill of IBLCE’s intentions when setting those requirements.

 

Does your program/credential require you to recertify? No. My Master’s degree never expires!

Would you like to write a review of a Lactation Training Program that you’ve taken? If so, don’t be shy! You can access the review form directly from Galactablog. Or online via Google Forms here.

**Disclaimer – The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Galactablog. It’s also important to note that these views are not the only source of information about this particular lactation training program. See here for similar Lactation Training Programs that also offer clinical practice components and here for general Lactation Training and/Certification Programs without the clinical component. 

Lactation Program Review: Healthy Children’s Lactation Counselor Training Course & CLC Certification

Lactation Program Review: 

Healthy Children’s

Certified Lactation Counselor Certificate Training Program

By Laura Wauford, MSN, APRN, CLC

November 4, 2015

What year did you enroll in the program? 2014

How long did it take you to complete the program? 5 days

Certification or Certificate Offered – Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)

Delivery of Program – In-person

Books & Materials Required – The Pocket Guide for Lactation Management by Karin Cadwell, 2nd edition (can be purchased on Amazon from about $25-$35).

Cost of Program (Including books, materials, application fees, etc.) – About $650 total with class and book.

# of L-CERPs, Nursing Contact Hours, CEUs, CPEs, etc. offered – 45 Nursing contact hours, L-CERPs, CPEs; 4.5 CEUs for CNMs

Do this program’s hours meet partial or full requirements for the IBCLC exam’s lactation specific training requirement? Yes, partial (45 hours)

What did you like about the program?

  • After this course, I had a much better understanding of the process of milk production and a pretty good handle on how to get breastfeeding off to a good start.

What did you dislike about the program?

  • The class focused a LOT on what the latch *looks* like, but of course it matters much more what it feels like than what it looks like.
  • They do not teach reverse pressure softening technique.
  • They are not clear on what a CLC’s scope of practice should be.
  • The didactic portion of the course includes a ton of info on breastfeeding immediately after birth and in the first days/hours, but then the role-playing practice portion tackles problems that occur later in the nursing relationship that they have not exactly trained their students to handle.

What would you change about the program?

  • Make it much clearer what a CLC’s Scope of Practice (SOP).
  • Update some things, make sure everything is up-to-date and evidence-based.

How rigorous/time consuming did you find the program?

If you can take a week off work, you can do this course.

Would you recommend this program to others?

Yes and no. I believe this program is a fantastic place to start for RN/LPNs who work in labor/delivery/postpartum/newborn nursery as well as outpatient nurses from OBGYN and pediatric offices. Nurses in those settings really need this info. For people wanting to provide solo support to breastfeeding mothers via a private practice or other route, this is not the right education for you.

Knowing what you know now, would you take this program again? 

I’m not sure, honestly. Probably not. I would probably have been more inclined to do the Breastfeeding Specialist credential (the full 90 hours online) from Lactation Education Resources (LER) or the 90 hour Comprehensive Lactation Course from Breastfeeding Outlook.

Do you feel the course and/or certification helped you obtain your goals?

Yes. I learned a lot and really did enjoy it. It also was the push my employer needed to allow me to spend more time with breastfeeding dyads, which I need for my clinical hours toward IBCLC.

Additional Comments/Concerns?

My biggest concern with this course is that I don’t think they are clear with students about what their limitations are after receiving this education. I see so many women finish the CLC course and then immediately start a private practice when they do not yet have the tools in their toolbox that they’ll need to truly support moms and babies. The majority of what is taught is identifying whether something is within expected limits or not, but not much is taught about managing things when they are not within expected limits, and someone who is going to take on a private practice needs to know how to manage a wide variety of problems.

Does your program/credential require you to recertify? If so, how long does the credential last and what is required to recertify? My CLC credential lasts is good for 3 years. Recertification takes 18 hours of continuing education.

Would you like to write a review of a Lactation Training Program that you’ve taken? If so, don’t be shy! You can access the review form directly from Galactablog. Or online via Google Forms here.

**Disclaimer – The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Galactablog. It’s also important to note that these views are not the only source of information about this particular lactation training program. See here for similar Lactation Training Programs. If you’re interested in Lactation Training Programs that offer a clinical practice component, see here.

Lactation Program Review: Healthy Children’s Lactation Counselor Training Course & CLC Certification

Lactation Program Review: 

Healthy Children’s

Certified Lactation Counselor Certificate Training Program

By Anonymous

February 6, 2015

What year did you enroll in the program? 2013

How long did it take you to complete the program? 5 days

Certification or Certificate Offered – Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)

Delivery of Program – In-person

Books & Materials Required – The Pocket Guide for Lactation Management by Karin Cadwell, 2nd edition (can be purchased on Amazon from about $25-$35).

Cost of Program (Including books, materials, application fees, etc.) – I paid $575 course + $37 book = $612 total

# of L-CERPs, Nursing Contact Hours, CEUs, CPEs, etc. offered – 45 Nursing contact hours, L-CERPs, CPEs; 4.5 CEUs for CNMs

Do this program’s hours meet partial or full requirements for the IBCLC exam’s lactation specific training requirement? Yes, partial (45 hours)

What did you like about the program?

  • The program taught the hospital nurses in my training class how hospital policies impede basic lactation – particularly the separation of mother and baby.

What did you dislike about the program?

  • I learned much more during my training as a La Leche League Leader.
  • The instructors refused to teach Reverse Pressure Softening as a way to reduce engorgement.
  • They also taught that babies can be sleep trained after 4 months, per the “notebook” we were given on the first day of class, despite the evidence of the damage that sleep training causes to babies’ neurological development and to breastfeeding.
  • The handouts we were encouraged to purchase base supplementation and baby weight on formula-fed babies, used outdated studies from the 1980s. The lack of up-to-date information was extremely frustrating, especially since the training workbook said 2013-2014.
  • The worst part is, if I hadn’t kept speaking up in class, this would have meant a whole class full of new CLCs was giving outdated information and recommendations as “evidence-based” support to new families.

How rigorous/time consuming did you find the program?

It’s a training class given from 8:15am to 4:30pm for 4 days and ends after the exam on the 5th day. Someone working full-time or with a young child at home would have difficulty unless they used vacation days and hired babysitters. I took the class because my son started nursery school and was able to stay till 5pm that week.

Would you recommend this program to others?

  • Not really – it doesn’t provide enough accurate information.
  • The workbook used in class discussed supplementing breast milk based on calculations for formula.
  • The instructors tried to minimize the tremendous difference between CLC and IBCLC, which requires twice the lactation hours, hundreds of hours of clinical and practical experience and 14 health science subjects before the applicant can even apply to sit for the IBCLC the exam. See here for Preparing for the IBCLC Certification.

Knowing what you know now, would you take this program again? 

No. It was incredibly frustrating. I’m astonished that the IBLCE grants 45 CERPs for taking it.

Do you feel the course and/or certification helped you obtain your goals?

  • If the only goal is to have some letters after your name that lets you buy insurance and work, then yes.
  • If the goal is to learn current evidence-based information, then no. I would recommend investing in GOLD Lactation, iLactation, La Leche League (LLL) and local Breastfeeding Coalition Conferences (which are available all across the nation), which is how I earned more than 45 CERPs towards the 90 hour lactation requirement for the IBCLC certification I’m working toward.

Does your program/credential require you to recertify? If so, how long does the credential last and what is required to recertify? My CLC credential lasts is good for 3 years. Recertification takes 18 hours of continuing education.

Would you like to write a review of a Lactation Training Program that you’ve taken? If so, don’t be shy! You can access the review form directly from Galactablog. Or online via Google Forms here.

**Disclaimer – The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Galactablog. It’s also important to note that these views are not the only source of information about this particular lactation training program. See here for similar Lactation Training Programs. If you’re interested in Lactation Training Programs that offer a clinical practice component, see here.

Lactation Program Review: Healthy Children’s Lactation Counselor Training Course & CLC Certification

Lactation Program Review: 

Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding’s  

Lactation Counselor Training Course

By Stormy Miller

January 18, 2015

How long did it take you to complete the program? 1 week (Monday-Friday)

Certification or Certificate Offered – Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)

Delivery of Program – In-person

Books & Materials Required – The Pocket Guide for Lactation Management by Karin Cadwell, 2nd edition (can be purchased on Amazon from about $25-$35). I paid $32.

Cost of Program (Including books, materials, application fees, etc.) – I paid $575 (early bird price) + $120 (application fee and exam fee) +$32 book = $727 total cost

# of L-CERPs, Nursing Contact Hours, CEUs, CPEs, etc. offered – 45 Nursing contact hours, L-CERPs, CPEs; 4.5 CEUs for CNMs

What did you like about the program?

  • The course was Monday through Friday – I could knock it out in 1 week. I took a week off work while my toddler was in daycare so I could finish it quickly. Since I work full-time, I don’t much extra time at home.
  • The course was very comprehensive. I learned a lot of evidence-based information.
  • We were sent home with homework every night, but reviewed it in class the next morning. I was able to keep the majority of it and use it as a study guide. The homework wasn’t too bad – I could still complete it on top of my “wife” and “mom” responsibilities with a 15 month old breastfeeding toddler.
  • During lunch and breaks, we got into groups to complete role-plays.
  • The instructors were very nice and knowledgeable.
  • I was allowed me to pump in the back of the room!
  • With the CLC certification, I can open up a private practice if I wanted to.

What did you dislike about the program?

  • The Training Program was a little rigorous, but it was doable. My personal breastfeeding experience and health science background helped me a lot as well.
  • The Training was a little outdated. It showed a lot of old videos and referenced older studies, which made me wonder if there are in fact, more current studies and videos they could’ve utilized?
  • We didn’t cover anything to do with nursing to sleep and this is a very common question asked by new mothers.
  • The issues of pumping, returning to work and balancing working and breastfeeding were barely discussed, nor was how to give infants bottles in a breastfeeding-friendly way (paced bottle-feeding), which is essential information for a caregiver while mom is away at work. Literally, there were only a few bullet points in the whole book/program. I feel this is a very basic thing that many mothers deal experience and need help with.
  • We were only showed 2 examples of LATCH videos to practice. We definitely need to have more practice for the exam! And I would’ve liked more latch video examples.
  • The instructors told us that there wouldn’t be any questions regarding statistics on the exam, but in fact, there was.

How rigorous/time consuming did you find the program?

Since I work full-time, I did have to arrange to schedule Monday-Friday off. The homework wasn’t too bad, and I was still able to complete with a 15 month breastfeeding toddler at home.

Would you recommend this program to others?

Yes, if someone is interested in lactation, I would say this this is a very good program to start with.

Knowing what you know now, would you take this program again? Yes.

Do you feel the course and/or certification helped you obtain your goals?

Yes. I want to help working mothers and I’m also working with the state coalition with a daycare project.

Does your program/credential require you to recertify? If so, how long does the credential last and what is required to recertify? My CLC credential lasts is good for 3 years. Recertification takes 18 hours of continuing education.

Would you like to write a review of a Lactation Training Program that you’ve taken? If so, don’t be shy! You can access the review form directly from Galactablog. Or directly online via Google Forms here.

**Disclaimer – The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Galactablog. It’s also important to note that these views are not the only source of information about this particular lactation training program. See here for more program details on Healthy Children’s Lactation Counselor Training Course, along with comparison of similar Lactation Training Programs. If you’re interested in Lactation Training Programs that offer a clinical practice component, see here.