Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training Program

Breastfeeding Peer Counselor 5 Day Training Class completed February 20th, 2015

Here's a review from "Lesley K.", one of the graduates:

“ I cannot say enough good things about this course!  [Rush Mothers' Milk Club] has created a unique and informative course which covers all aspects of the peer counselor role and provides a solid foundation of lactation knowledge. The uniqueness and understanding it brings of the essential role of the peer counselor in the NICU was not only informative but inspiring. All presentations throughout the course, from both Katie and the guest speakers were excellent. Time has been built into each day for discussions and questions. The hands on workshops were so beneficial.  Thank you!  I'm so glad to have been a part of such a great course.”

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Former RUSH NICU parents and area students among our graduates of newly trained breastfeeding peer counselors (MARCH 2014)

The Rush Mothers Milk Club is proud to introduce our most recent group of newly trained Breastfeeding Peer Counselors who graduated on March 28th, 2014

Left to right back row:  Zapria Osborne, Amy Guerra, Vieva Villegas-Parker,Vanessa Feuerstein, Rochelle Hunter, Marquita Turner.  Seated: Maria Dimond & Kelly Murray

(Left to right back row:  Zapria Osborne, Amy Guerra, Vieva Villegas-Parker,Vanessa Feuerstein, Rochelle Hunter, Marquita Turner.  Seated: Maria Dimond & Kelly Murray)

We are proud to present our third group of graduates from our Breastfeeding Peer Counselor training program.  This group includes four parents of infants formerly hospitalized in the RUSH NICU. Participants successfully completed 30 hours of course work and home work, gave a final oral presentation, and passed a 100 question final exam in order to receive their breastfeeding peer counselor certificate.  Each graduate has a desire to use this certificate as a launching pad toward a role of support and education within a hospital setting.   Here are comments about the course taken directly from the graduates:

"It was great learning the science of lactation"
“I loved hearing the presentations from my fellow classmates"
"This class was great - don't change a thing"
“I LOVED this course!"
“The workshop was my favorite part"
“The scripts (learning exactly what to say to the families as a BPC) were extremely helpful"
Re: Paula Meier guest speaker, " Can I give her a 10?! (Out of 5 possible) Captivating! So easy to listen to Paula.  I love her enthusiasm and demeanor"
“Tons of information.  I love how it was presented"
“I felt prepared for the final exam”
NOW ENROLLING in upcoming training courses.  Scholarship opportunities available.
For more information contact Katie McGee, RN, IBCLC  course instructor:
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The Rush Mothers’ Milk Club celebrates the graduates of its first Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training Program for Lactation Practice in a hospital setting (November 2013)

On November 1st, 2013, The Rush Mothers’ Milk Club celebrated with five ladies as they graduated from Rush University Medical Center's  new five day breastfeeding peer counselor (BPC) training course.  The ladies, who came from a variety of backgrounds, all shared a common goal: the desire to become prepared in order to support and assist new mothers who are breastfeeding and/or pumping milk for their babies in the hospital.  The students spent five days together during this 30- hour evidence-based course.  Unlike community based BPC training programs, the Rush Mothers' Milk Club training program prepares graduates for a role as a BPC within a hospital setting. Course content included the latest evidence about basic topics such as lactation physiology and management,  as well as the more technical topics of hind milk collection, performing creamatocrit and test weight procedures, proper sizing for breast shields, as well as HIPPA, professionalism, and strategies for effective communication within the hospital setting.


Each class day included scenarios for the participants to acquire information and then practice using the new information with accompanying "talking points" and techniques in real life situations they are likely to encounter as BPCs in hospital settings such as the NICU, PICU, pediatrics, L&D, ante-partum and post-partum hospital units. The course was conceptualized and directed by instructor Katie McGee, RN, IBCLC, LLL program administrator, and included special guest speakers:  Dr. Paula Meier, RN, PhD (Director for Clinical Research and Lactation in the Rush NICU and a Professor of Pediatrics and Women, Children and Family Nursing);Dr. Beverly Rossman, RN, PhD (Assistant Professor of Women, Children and Family Nursing),  Dr. Dawn Riemann, RN, DNP (Education Coordinator, Rush Perinatal Center), Judy Janes, RN, BSN (Clinical Nurse III in the Rush NICU, and Research Specialist for the program's numerous funded projects) and current Rush Mothers' Milk Club BPCs:  Krystle Ekhoff, IBCLC and Esmeralda  Covarrubias [P1] .  Each presenter shared a specific area of research and practice, followed by a special discussion of the BPC role with respect to each topic.  Students successfully completed all required course work and homework, a final oral presentation and passed a final exam to receive the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor course completion certificate.  The graduation was attended by Rush staff, and the families of the new BPCs.  Each new BPC plans to use this certificate as a springboard for a role using her skills and knowledge to provide lactation care in a hospital setting.  Rush Mothers’ Milk Club is actively enrolling participants in upcoming BPC training courses.  For more information please email:

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