NMHS44150 Breastfeeding & Lactation

Academic Year 2023/2024

The module addresses a gap in breastfeeding and lactation education at level 9 for health care professionals. The purpose of the module is to educate healthcare professionals to promote, support and protect breastfeeding for women and their babies. Participants will enhance their knowledge and skills which will enable them to provide an increased level of care to women experiencing breastfeeding challenges.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
Interpret the Science of breastfeeding and its role in maternal and infant health.

Critically discuss the psychological, social and cultural factors that influence breastfeeding practices

Differentiate and provide management strategies to breastfeeding challenges

Describe how drugs are absorbed, distributed, metabolized and excreted in relation to the lactating woman

Critically discuss the Baby Friendly Health Initiative nationally and internationally

Indicative Module Content:

Development and Nutrition-Infant/ Maternal - Human Milk composition, anatomy and physiology of lactation, WHO Growth charts
Physiology and Endocrinology- Diabetes and breastfeeding, breastfeeding twins, hypogylcaemia,
Pathology: Infant and Maternal- Cleft lip and palate, reflux, mastitis, abscess, low milk supply/oversupply
Lactation and Pharmacology
Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology- Birth practices, safe sleep, weaning,
Clinical Skills-Teaching and Learning- Communication, position attachment and effective feeding, Preterm and term infant.
Ethical and Legal issues in relation to lactation
Research - Introduction to research
Public Health and Advocacy- BFI Ireland and International, International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk substitutes.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures- Face to face Live, in-person and online
Group presentation
Group work
Reflective writing
Clinical skills
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Presentation: 50 Multiple Choice Questions 50%
Group/individual Presentation or Podcast or Poster presentation 50%
Week 12 n/a Alternative non-linear conversion grade scale 50% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will receive feedback and feed forward during class preparation sessions. Feedback to group presentation- via group feedback. Individual feedback following reflective writing. Individual feedback prior to reflective writing as requested.

Professional Certificate in Breastfeeding and Lactation

Module Reading

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) (2014) Clinical Protocol #1: Guidelines for Blood Glucose Monitoring and Treatment of Hypoglycaemia in Term and Late -Preterm Neonates, Revised 2014. Breastfeeding Medicine. 9(4):p.173-179.
Alberdi G, O’Sullivan E, Scully H, Kelly N, Kincaid R, Murtagh R, Murray S, Mc Guinness D, Clive A, Brosnan M, Sheehy L, Dunn E and McAuliffe F. (2018) A Feasibility study of a Multidimensional Breastfeeding Support Intervention in Ireland. Midwifery. (58) p. 86-92.
American Academy of Pediatrics (2012) Policy Statement: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. Paediatrics’, 129 (3). 827-841.
Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) (2014) Clinical Protocol #22: Guidelines for Management of Jaundice in Breastfeeding Infant Equal to or Greater than 35 Weeks’ Gestation. Breastfeeding Medicine. 5(2): 87-93.
Aaserud T, Tveiten S and Gjerlaug A. (2017) Home visits by Midwives in the early Postnatal Period. Norwegian Journal of Clinical Nursing.12: p.1-12.
Anderson, J., Kuehl, R. A., Drury, S.A.M., Tschetter, L., Schwaegerl, M., Hildreth, M., Lamp, J. (2015). Policies aren’t enough: The importance of interpersonal communication about workplace breastfeeding support. Journal of Human Lactation, 31(2), 260-266
Atabay, Efe, Moreno, Gonzalo, and Nandi, Arijit (2015) ‘Facilitating Working Mothers’ Ability to Breastfeed: Global trends in guaranteeing breastfeeding breaks at work’, Journal of Human Lactation, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 81–88
British Association of Perinatal Medicine (2017) Identification and Management of Neonatal Hypoglycaemia in the Full Term Infant. - A Framework for Practice.
Bruk-Lee, V., Albert, D., & Stone, K. L. (2016). Lactation and the working woman: Understanding the role of organizational factors, lactation support, and legal policy in promoting breastfeeding success. In Research perspectives on work and the transition to motherhood (pp. 217-239). Springer, Cham.
American Academy of Pediatrics (2012) Policy Statement: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. Paediatrics’, 129 (3). 827-841. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827.full
Bramson L, Lee J, Moore E, Montgomery S, Neish C, Bahjiri K and Melcher C. (2010) Effect of Early Skin-to-skin Mother Infant Contact During the First Three hours following Birth on Exclusive Breastfeeding During the Maternity Hospital Stay. Journal of Human Lactation. 26: p. 130-137.
Breastfeeding the Healthy Term Baby (2013) Policy, Guideline and Procedure Manual. The Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-professionals/clinicalresources/clinical-guidelines-gps/
Brown, A. Jones, W. (2020) A Guide to supporting Breastfeeding for the Medical Profession. London: Routledge
Department of Health (2013) Healthy Ireland – A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013-2025. Government Publications: Dublin
Department of Health (2016) Creating a Better Future Together: National Maternity Strategy 2016-2026: Government Publications: Dublin
Hale, T., Rowe, H.E. (2017) Medication and Mothers Milk. 17th Edition. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
HSE. (2016). Breastfeeding in a Healthy Ireland Health Service Breastfeeding Action Plan 2016 – 2021. Health Service Executive: Tullamore
HSE. (2019). HSE National Infant Feeding Policy for Maternity and Neonatal services. Health Service Executive: https://www.hse.ie/file-library/infant-feeding-policy-for-maternity-neonatalservices-2019.pd
Ip S, Chung M, Raman G, et al. (2007) Breastfeeding and Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Developed Countries. Evidence Reports/Technology Assessments, No. 153: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); Rockville (MD)
Pérez -Escamilla R, Martinez JL, Segura-Pérez S. Impact of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative on Breastfeeding and Child Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Maternal Child Nutrition. 2016; 12(3): p. 401-417. Doi: 10.1111/mcn.12294.
Pollard, M. (2017) Evidence Based Care for Breastfeeding Mothers. A resource for midwives and allied health care professionals. Second Edition, London: Routledge
Purdy, J., McAvoy, H. and Cotter, N. (2017) Breastfeeding on the Island of Ireland. Dublin: Institute of Public Health in Ireland.
Rollins N, Bhandari N, Hajeebhoy N, Horton S, Lutter C, Martinez J, Piwoz E, Richter L and Victora C. (2016) Why Invest, and what it will take to Improve Breastfeeding Practices? The Lancet. Vol. 387: p.17 - 30.
Rosen – Carole C, Hartman S and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (2015) ABM Clinical Protocol 19: Breastfeeding Promotion in the Prenatal Setting. Breastfeeding Medicine. 10: p.451-457.
Rollins, N.C., Bhanderi, N., Hajeebhoy, N., Horton, S., Lutter, C.K., Martines, J.C., Piwoz, E.G., Richter, L.M. and Victora, C. G. (2016) Why invest and what will it take to improve breastfeeding practices. The Lancet; Vol. 387
Victora, C.G., Bahl, R., Barros, A.J.D., Franca, G.V.A., Hotron, S., Krasevec, J., Murch, S., Sankar, M.J., Walker, N., Rollins, N. C. (2016) Breastfeeding in the 21st Century: Epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. The Lancet; Vol. 387
Wagner E, Chantry C, Dewey K, Nommsen- Rivers L. (2013) Breastfeeding Concerns at 3 and 7 days Postpartum and Feeding Status at 2 Months. Pediatrics. 132 (4).
Wambach K and Riordan J. (2010) Breastfeeding and Human Lactation. Enhanced 5th Ed. Boston: Jones and Bartlett.
Walker, M. (2017) Breastfeeding Management for the Clinician. Using the Evidence. Second Edition. Boston: Jones and Bartlett
Yan, J., Lin, L, Zhu, Y., Huang, G. and Peizhong, P.W (2014) The Association between Breastfeeding and Childhood Obesity: A Meta-analysis. BMC Public Health, 14:1267 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/14/1267

Name Role
Miss Niamh Vickers Lecturer / Co-Lecturer