Christelle Hagen

Cert. Prof. Breastfeeding Counselor

As the Co-Founder of Breastfeed {Naturally}, a breastfeeding support and training organization based in the USA, I am passionate about helping women breastfeed and training up breastfeeding specialists who will serve mothers around the globe. I am a Certified Professional Breastfeeding Counselor, and Certified Breastfeeding Advocate & Educator. In addition to my qualifications in breastfeeding, I am a certified birth & perinatal loss doula from Minnesota, USA (Hypnobabies). My career as a women's health educator began in 1999 when I became a certified instructor of natural family planning classes. I became a dual certified childbirth educator, first with ICEA in 2001 and Apple Tree Family Ministries in 2007, and was re-certified in 2013. It is my mission to help women understand, appreciate and cooperate with their natural designs for fertility, birth, and breastfeeding so that they can succeed while they breastfeed.


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Are you a Breastfeed {Naturally}-Certified Breastfeeding Advocate who wants to pursue breastfeeding education as a career or part-time job?  Or do you want to acquire further information and skills to help you launch and lead a mother-to-mother breastfeeding support group?  If so...make the Certified Breastfeeding Educator credential your next step!

Course Objectives

By completing the Certified Breastfeeding Educator course, the learner will deepen their understanding of:

  • Breast anatomy and the process of how mothers make milk
  • The vital importance of nutrition for mothers and their breastfed babies
  • Breastmilk: its amazing components and how crucial it is for the health and development of babies
  • Substances and chemicals to which mothers may be exposed and how they can affect babies and breastmilk
  • Characteristics of adult learners and how to engage them in your topics
  • Teaching Skills: Guidance and training in how to create fun classes that help your students retain the most important information
  • Support Groups: Skills and ideas for launching and leading a mother-to-mother support group
  • Business skills: so you can promote and fill your classes

Characteristics of an Excellent Certified Breastfeeding Educator

  • An experienced breastfeeding mother who wants to teach other mothers and babies how to achieve effective, joyful breastfeeding

  • A breastfeeding advocate (or childbirth educator, midwife, doula, etc.) who wants to expand into teaching breastfeeding classes and wants to gain teaching skills you can use as a volunteer breastfeeding counselor

  • A new or experienced BfN-Certified Breastfeeding Advocate who has decided to expand the support she provides to current or future breastfeeding families by teaching breastfeeding classes
  • -OR- A woman who intends to pursue additional training opportunities for breastfeeding professionals through Breastfeed {Naturally}

Course Prerequisites

In order to be admitted to this class, you must have successfully completed the Certified Breastfeeding Advocate training course, which is also located right here on the website.  

You will also need to have a positive recommendation from the instructor who taught your BfNA training course.

If you have not yet taken the Certified Breastfeeding Advocate training course, view our website for upcoming training start dates.

Certification Requirements

In order to earn the title, "Certified Breastfeeding Educator," you must complete the following requirements:

  1. You must be a current member of Breastfeed {Naturally} (US$25).  You may pay for your membership on the Breastfeed {Naturally} website.
  2. Submit a signed copy of agreement with the Breastfeed {Naturally} Principles, Statement on the Family & Code of Conduct for Educators.  Mail a signed copy or scan and send the signed document via email to the Student Support Guide.  (If you have signed the statement within the previous calendar year, you do not have to submit the form again.)
  3. Successfully complete this course, including active participation in the forum, and passing scores on the quizzes and final exam and a positive recommendation from your instructor.  Since the course is only available in the English language, you must be able to communicate in English fluently.  You must also have access to a reliable computer with high-speed internet access, since the course is online.
  4. Pay for this course in full to gain access to the course.
  5. Be willing to improve your skills after the course through BfN's continuing education opportunities.  As long as you are a current member of BfN, you are welcome to participate in our continuing education opportunities for free!

    Cost and How to Register for the Course

    1. The cost of the course is US$150.  I will lead you through the payment process when you are accepted into the course.
    2. Visit this webpage: and apply for the course.
    3. I will be in touch with you to talk about your application information and to answer any questions you might have.
    4. The main text for the class is Counseling the Nursing Mother, 6th edition, by Judith Lauwers and Anna Swisher.  If you have this edition, you're set!  If not, I appreciate your purchase of the textbook through BfN's Amazon astore.  A small portion of your purchase helps support Breastfeed {Naturally}!  Please note that, again, we will only use one section of the textbook in this course; however, it will be a good reference book for you to have on hand, and furthermore, this is the one textbook we use through all of our more advanced trainings, so your purchase may be used again in the future should you choose to take additional training through BfN!

    Course Length

    The coursework for the Certified Breastfeeding Educator course takes approximately seven weeks.  The last two weeks of the course are reserved for working on the final exam, so you may be able to finish in as few as six weeks, if you stay on schedule and finish your exam promptly.

    The course schedule is as follows:

    • WEEK 1. Prenatal Preparation for Breastfeeding; Adult Learners & Teaching Skills
    • WEEK 2. The Science of Lactation; Launching a Support Group
    • WEEK 3. Maternal Nutrition; Support Group Leadership Skills
    • --Break / Catch-up Week Recommended
    • WEEK 4. Health Effects of Infant Feeding Choices; Business & Promotion Skills
    • WEEK 5. Substances in Human Milk; Skills for Individual Teaching Sessions
    • WEEKS 6 & 7.  Final Exam weeks (you should be able to finish the exam in two weeks.  It is perfectly fine to take longer if needed)


    The Lactation Instructor of the course is Gina Peterson, B.S., IBCLC.  Gina has been married for 20 years to her husband, Dominic, and has five children--all ecologically breastfed. She is a home educator, a retired La Leche League Leader of over twelve years, and has volunteered as a lactation consultant for nine years.  Gina serves as the Executive Director of the Catholic Nursing Mothers League, and is the author of "Getting Started with Breastfeeding: For Catholic Mothers." She has a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Basic Sciences from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, New Mexico, USA.  During the course, Gina will help students with breastfeeding, lactation, and breastfeeding counseling questions.


    The Certified Breastfeeding Educators Training Course was developed by me, Christelle Hagen, B.A., BfNC(P), HCHD, ICI.  Amie Norris, CLC, IBCLC, and I are the Co-Founders of Breastfeed {Naturally}, a breastfeeding support training program and outreach of my small business, St. Croix Birth & Parenting.  I am a Certified Breastfeeding Advocate & Educator, a provisionally Certified Professional Breastfeeding Counselor, and a certified birth & perinatal loss doula.  I am also an experienced breastfeeding mother, having breastfed my six children into early childhood.  I have been teaching health education classes for adults (natural family planning, childbirth, and breastfeeding education) since 1999.  I have a B.A. in History with a Medieval Studies concentration from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, USA.  During the course, I will be the Student Support Guide, helping students with administrative questions about navigating the course, assignments, deadlines, and the certification process.


    Gina and I are available for students in need of assistance, both for mothers with a need for breastfeeding counseling, as well as students with questions or comments related to the class.  You can contact us by posting a message on the course forum, or send us an email.  My email address is on my Eliademy profile page.  Gina's email address will be sent to all enrolled students.

    Contact Gina with any breastfeeding and lactation questions that arise as you are studying.  Contact me (Christelle) with any membership, assignment, deadline, or certification questions.  Feel free to contact us anytime!

    Course content

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    Content of this course is available by invitation only. You can not access this course if you don't have an invitation from the course instructor.

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