integrated lactation education
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California Advanced Lactation Institute offers the lactation education you need to prepare to support breastfeeding/chestfeeding families and to sit for the IBCLC® Exam

45 Hours - Lactation Education Specialist Training

Covers Basic Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding Management Techniques such as Positioning, Attachment, Physiology & Hormones of Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding, Milk Production, Common Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding Challenges, Counseling Skills, Creating A Prenatal Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding Class, Adult Learning Techniques, plus more  

Summer 2018 Dates: June 4, 11, 18, 25 and July 2



Advanced Series - Comprehensive Lactation Education

Builds upon the learner's knowledge of Basic Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding Management skills and knowledge in LES course, exploring all topics in-depth and guiding the learner through the process of critical thinking and reasoning for optimal outcomes as is required for an IBCLC© in practice


2018 Dates:  6/16, 7/14, 8/18, 9/15, 10/20

(Completion of LES Course or an equivalent 45-hour course in basic breastfeeding/chestfeeding management is required for this Advanced Series)

Taught by local, experienced IBCLCs, our program has been built from scratch to cover all areas of the IBLCE Exam Content Outline to ensure that our attendees have a well-rounded and thorough background in human lactation.  Join us in 2018, our 6th year of bringing together local individuals who are passionate about improving the quality of breastfeeding/chestfeeding support in our community.  There are NO prerequisites to take this course and it is appropriate for any individual with a high school diploma or GED-equivalent.  

Our 45-hour lactation educator series (Summer 2018 Dates: June 4, 11, 18, 25, and July 2) covers basic breastfeeding/chestfeeding management, creating and teaching a prenatal breastfeeding/chestfeeding curriculum, and touches on all areas of the IBCLE Detailed Content Outline (for those preparing to sit for the IBCLC Board Exam.)  Lactation educators work in many settings in our community including WIC offices, hospitals, providing education alongside doula and midwifery care, and as volunteers at Baby Café Bakersfield.  While lactation education specialists do not provide hands-on breastfeeding/chestfeeding support without supervision, the scope of practice for an LES does position the individual to provide prenatal breastfeeding/chestfeeding education to groups and individuals, facilitate breastfeeding/chestfeeding support groups, and to advocate for breastfeeding/chestfeeding in the community and the public health realm.  There are no prerequisites to take this course and registration is just $550. 

Becoming an LES can be the first step in your journey to becoming an IBCLC!  All candidates for the IBCLC exam, regardless of their background, need 90 hours of lactation-specific education - this series gets you halfway there, plus our curriculum spans the Content Outline.  You will be introduced to many areas of lactation practice and research.  

Our advanced series (the second set of 5 courses) covers each area of the Content Outline in more detail.  2018 Dates are 6/16, 7/14, 8/18, 9/15, 10/20.  

Registration Open Now




How Do You Want to Study Lactation?

There’s the old way: learn the information in a classroom and from textbooks, then answer some questions on a quiz and see how much you “know.” 

There’s the online way: learn the information by reading course content online on your own schedule, then answer some quiz questions and test your “knowledge.”  

Now there’s a new way: A comprehensive, competency-based lactation education and internship program which prepares you for the IBCLC exam while building your skill set and experience to help parents and babies.  We are proud to offer in 2018 both the LES Training Course and the Comprehensive Lactation Internship Program (CLIP.)

 We provide evidence-based lactation education to individuals who care for breastfeeding families.  Now we offer additional resources and opportunities for educating aspiring lactation professionals and other healthcare providers, as well as a searchable bank (under construction) of published research, case studies, practice tools, and photo/video galleries to complement lactation education.

The field of human lactation is ready to take inspiration from other movements which connect across disciplines to improve the level of care everyone provides.  CALI contributes significantly to public health by advocating lifelong health through a normal course of breastfeeding/chestfeeding.

We provide and curate evidence-based lactation education to enhance your ability to help parents.

We believe it's simple: breastfeeding/chestfeeding education helps parents make informed infant feeding choices.  We collect and share the most current evidence-based information about breastfeeding/chestfeeding, and we educate healthcare professionals and the community.  


The information contained on this entire website is presented for informational purposes only and should NOT be interpreted as medical advice.  

California Advanced Lactation Institute will NEVER disclose or sell your personal information.  We collect information from you ONLY for marketing our own services and sharing information with you directly and you can unsubscribe at any time.  


Copyright 2018, California Advanced Lactation Institute, Bakersfield, CA


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Who We Are

Adrienne Guirguis is a Registered, International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (RLC, IBCLC) working in a private healthcare system, a Certified Childbirth Educator (CCE), and former (retired) La Leche League Leader (LLLL).  Adrienne passed the IBLCE Board Exam for the first time in 2003.  In 2008, she re-certified by continuing education units, and in 2013 Adrienne re-certified as an IBCLC by Exam as required by IBLCE.  Adrienne has over 20 years experience assisting and educating families and health care providers both within the hospital and in private practice.  Adrienne specializes in helping mothers experiencing low milk supply for any reason and is very well-educated in the intricacies of babies with tongue ties and other oral restrictions.  She volunteers her services as an IBCLC to the mothers who attend Baby Cafe© Bakersfield.  Adrienne is the President of Central Valley Lactation Association, a chapter of the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA.)  She has been married for 27 years and has 2 intelligent, ambitious sons , 1 a recent college graduate and 1 a college senior.  



Christine Staricka is a Registered, International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (RLC, IBCLC). To accomplish this, she completed over 90 hours of lactation-specific education;  10 college courses in basic anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and other related subjects; and she documented over 1500 supervised clinical hours helping mothers breastfeed.  She sat for the Boards in 2009 and passed the exam, certifying her as an IBCLC.  In 2014, she completed the re-certification process; in 2019 she will again take the Board exam to re-certify as an IBCLC.  In 2007, she also earned her certification as a childbirth instructor (CCE)  through the Academy of Childbirth Educators and she recertifies every 3 years.  Christine is a private practice IBCLC with over 16 years experience in breastfeeding support, including 10 in the hospital. Her area of emphasis is preterm infants and milk supply management, and she is very well-educated on the intricacies of assisting mothers of babies with oral restrictions.   She is the Facilitator of Baby Cafe© Bakersfield and volunteers her services as an IBCLC to the mothers who attend.  Christine is currently the Board President of the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA.)  She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.  She has been married for 23 years and has 3 intelligent, funny daughters.  


Leslie Bloomquist - Bio Coming Soon!

For additional information on the certification process to become an IBCLC, please visit


Speaking Engagements

If your organization has a need for lactation education, we would like to help!  Please contact us if you would like to arrange something different from what you see offered here.  

We have flexible curriculum options, including a 1-day course on postpartum breastfeeding management called ©The First 100 Hours, individual workshops on specific topics, and additional options which are under development.  

Our courses are appropriate for any healthcare provider AND can be targeted to a specific audience at your request.  Please email us at for additional information!

Why We Do What We Do

We believe it's simple: breastfeeding education helps mothers make informed infant feeding choices.  We collect and share the most current evidence-based information about breastfeeding, and we educate healthcare professionals and the community.  

Like most lactation professionals, our journey began with personal experiences.  Today, after years of helping mothers and babies through support groups and in local hospitals, we observed that many mothers are unable to reach their own breastfeeding goals because they are derailed by poor information from others and because our society does not honor breastfeeding as the normal way of feeding a baby.  Breastfeeding matters.  It's important.  It changes health outcomes for mothers and babies.  The science is already established.  What moms and babies need are people to advocate for them in the community.

To provide the best, most ethical education possible, we do not partner with companies which are not compliant with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.  Ever.  The Code protects women and their children from harmful marketing practices and we fully support it.  


Why do we teach these courses? We love to do it!  It is incredibly rewarding and enriching for us to interact with our peers in this way.  It is extremely energizing and invigorating for us and we bring that energy back to the moms and babies we help every day in our "day job!"  

After our first four years of teaching, which encompassed 7 separate courses and presenting at several other types of educational events, we realized that teaching fulfills us in a way we didn't expect.  Interacting with our peers, being challenged by their questions, and constantly revising our curriculum to keep it up-to-date has made us work hard to stay current and creative.  The quality and intelligence of our clients ensures that we stayed focused on bringing them the latest research and the most enriching activities.  Their energy makes it possible for us to continue this endeavor.  Without such an amazing group of individuals having participated in our educational events since 2013, we would not be continuing this work in 2018.  

We hope you will join us someday and experience it with us. - Christine & Adrienne

California Advanced Lactation Institute is a privately-owned, for-profit organization which offers fee-based educational consulting to health professionals and fee-based clinical consultation to breastfeeding families. We curate research-based information and share it on this website for free for the convenience of those searching for accurate information about human lactation.  Please contact us if you find a broken link or if you have additional information to be shared at no cost to users. 

Every parent deserves top-quality breastfeeding/chestfeeding support!

Baby Cafe is a free drop-in center offering professional support from IBCLC©s and peer support from other nursing parents - all in a relaxed, non-medical environment.  Join us for light refreshments and breastfeeding support on Tuesdays and Fridays between 10am and 1 pm and on Wednesdays from 6-8pm.  We also have an infant scale so you can weigh your baby!  

Baby Cafe provides support, information, and guidance for mothers and parents at all stages of breastfeeding/chestfeeding, including weaning.  Published research shows that parents who attend Baby Cafe drop-ins are more likely to continue breastfeeding/chestfeeding their babies and wean when they are ready.   


Baby Café meets at 211 S. Montclair St in Bakersfield, CA


Follow Baby Cafe© Bakersfield on Facebook by clicking this link and "Liking" the page

Baby Cafe© is a non-profit project which is being managed by Central Valley Lactation Association and Warm Line, a Division of La Cresta Foundation.  All operating expenses of Baby Cafe© Bakersfield are provided through donations and sponsorships from individuals, physicians, and businesses.  If you wish to become a sponsor or make a donation, please contact Christine at  All donations are tax-deductible and receipts are provided upon request.  


This partnership between California Advanced Lactation Institute and Baby Cafe© Bakersfield links lactation care providers with breastfeeding/chestfeeding parents in a setting which is new to our community.  By opening the licensed Baby Cafe© Bakersfield location, our intention was to meet the needs of parents who may not be able to afford private IBCLC care.  Since our opening in March 2014, the response has been overwhelming, and we have been humbled by the reception this community has provided.  This service has filled a deep need in the community and we are extremely proud to be part of it. 

Baby Cafe Bakersfield is sponsored by:

Planet Bambini

Dr Hitesh Shah, Southwest Pediatrics

Mary Stanley, RN, IBCLC, RLC

The Guirguis Family

The Staricka Family

The Pomroy Family

April Wood, lactation educator

Briell Dodgen, IBCLC

Kathleen Ancheta, IBCLC

Caroline Elliott, IBCLC

Leslie Bloomquist, RN, IBCLC

Mike Alexander, State Farm Agent  312 H St Bakersfield CA 93304  (661)322-9244

Gallagher Family Chiropractic

The Witcher Family

The Reynolds Family

The Mebane Family

Steph Rill

The Witham Family

What Our Clients Say

At the end of our courses, our clients fill out an anonymous evaluation form.  Here are some of their comments:

2015 - "This class has helped me to become excited about learning again.  Thank you so much for sharing all of your combined knowledge.  I cannot wait to take additional classes next year!"

"Awesome teaching skills.  Love coming to class.  Explained everything very well using details to help me understand better."

"I have learned a lot in this class which I will definitely use in my interaction with patients and will surely improve my teaching knowledge."

"The class was very comprehensive.  It covered a range of topics and inter-related aspects of breastfeeding."

"Very easy to learn in a relaxed and no-pressure environment."

"I really appreciate your dedication to evidence-based practice."

"Loved the class, enjoyed all the time spent together - thank you both!"

"Both of you have a passion and enthusiasm for breastfeeding that is contagious"

"Excellent, learned new information which I will be able to implement in my daily work routine.  Thank you!"

"Wide range of topics and tips for the Board exam"

"Speakers were professional, informative, well-spoken.  I was intrigued the whole time.  Love the idea of the 'First 100 Hours.'"

Are you looking for speakers with evidence, energy, and enthusiasm about breastfeeding?

We'd love to present to your audience.  Please contact us and tell us about your lactation education needs.  We offer custom presentations based on your audience, and we also have several topics prepared.

We can also provide education for large or small groups of hospital staff who require updates or initial lactation education to comply with the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative© requirements.  If you provide the setting and the students, we will help educate and inspire your group with evidence-based lactation information and motivation to help your facility advance its journey to becoming Baby-Friendly© certified!


Why We Do What We Do

We believe it's simple: breastfeeding/chestfeeding education helps parents make informed infant feeding choices.  We collect and share the most current evidence-based information about breastfeeding/chestfeeding, and we educate healthcare professionals and the community.  

Like most lactation professionals, our journey began with personal experiences.  Today, after years of helping parents and babies through support groups and in local hospitals, we observed that many parents are unable to reach their own breastfeeding/chestfeeding goals because they are derailed by poor information from others and because our society does not honor breastfeeding as the normal way of feeding a baby.  Breastfeeding matters, and a diet of human milk matters.  It's important.  It changes health outcomes for parents and babies.  The science is already established.  What parents and babies need are people to advocate for them in the community.  Here we are. 

Reliable Sources of Information About Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding and Expressing Milk While Away from Baby

Link to 6 Key Laws Parents in California Need to Know:

This page contains links to information for parents who need to breastfeed or express milk during times when they are away from their babies for non-medical reasons. Some of the information also applies to parents who are separated from their infants for other reasons, but it is not meant to replace the information provided to you directly by a qualified IBCLC or other trained breastfeeding/chestfeeding supporter.  If your baby is sick, hospitalized, born prematurely (including those born more than 1 week before due date), or has a medical condition, you need to seek assistance from an IBCLC if you are having problems with breastfeeding/chestfeeding, expressing milk, milk supply, or if your baby is not able to feed at the breast for any reason.  

Please keep in mind that general information and tips created for a broad audience do not always help individuals who are struggling with any aspect of breastfeeding, and if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications or herbs, the "advice" you find on the internet may not apply to you or may even endanger you, your baby, and/or your milk supply.  Seek individualized assistance from a qualified source, such as Baby Café or an IBCLC, if you are experiencing specific challenges with breastfeeding/chestfeeding or expressing milk.  

 Many mothers choose to express milk by hand; in fact, globally, more mothers use their hands than use breast pumps!  Both methods of milk expression can be effective with attention to good technique!

Many mothers choose to express milk by hand; in fact, globally, more mothers use their hands than use breast pumps!  Both methods of milk expression can be effective with attention to good technique!

Link to Information from the US Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) on Federal Law regarding break time for nursing mother

From US Department of Labor on Break Time for Nursing Mothers

Laws and Regulations Specific to California's collection of articles on Pumping for Employment contains a multitude of topics and useful facts.

Maya Bolman's Hand Expression Video

Dr. Jack Newman's Article on Expressing Milk

Best for Babes: "Working Moms: Top Tips for for Success" from - includes list of additional links

The Business Case for Breastfeeding - A comprehensive toolkit for companies who need to create a lactation program for their employees - From the US Department of Health & Human Services

Nighttime parenting can be challenging.  We recommend the following resources to help guide you to make choices about how you parent at night based on what is known about infant development and what works best in your family.  Just like you, babies can't be forced to go to sleep.  People in general sleep when they feel secure and safe.  These resources offer you many options for how to help your baby feel comfortable so they can sleep well.  

Guide Produced by UNICEF for a Global Audience of Parents


Link to La Leche League's Sweet Sleep information, including an info graphic, printable tear sheets, and ordering info for the 2014 book

"Sweet Sleep" by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Linda J. Smith, and Teresa Pitman

Published by Ballantine Books, a Division of Random House (in the U.S.)


Dr Helen Ball, Professor of Anthropology at Durham University

(Also links to Infant Sleep Information Source Online with information suitable for health professionals)



Information from Dr James McKenna on Safe Cosleeping Guidelines, including "What Every Health Professional Should Know"



Scientific-Based Information about "Sleep Training" Methods

A meta-analysis of studies conducted in 2006 and published by the Journal of Pediatric Sleep regarding "sleep training" methods was, itself,  shown to be incorrectly conducted, negating the results of the meta-analysis, as shown here

Seeking clinical mentorship as you prepare for the IBCLC Board Exam? We offer internships to qualified individuals in the Bakersfield, CA area!


Our experienced IBCLCs consult with clients at Baby Café Bakersfield and in private practice consultations.  If you have already completed at least a 45-hour course in basic breastfeeding/chestfeeding management (including our 45-hour Lactation Education Specialist course), we invite you to apply for an internship with us.  We offer several types of packages.

For individuals who are seeking up to 100 hours: these are particularly helpful for those who are on Pathway 1 but whose current practice setting is limited to one age of babies (i.e. labor & delivery unit, NICU, etc.)  OR those who already have obtained some of their clinically supervised hours

For individuals who are on Pathway 3: these options are made for you, offering half (250) or all (500) of the clinically-supervised hours you need in preparation for the exam

A la carte: for individuals who need to precept a prenatal breastfeeding/chestfeeding class as part of another type of training; individuals who need fewer clinically supervised hours than our other packages, or individuals who are seeking a trial internship


Pricing for packages varies, and discounts are available for individuals who received their lactation education with us at California Advanced Lactation Institute. Contact us for pricing.  Click Here for Details about our Classes!

Families deserve the best lactation care, and a thorough, high-quality clinical internship sets you up to be an excellent IBCLC! We’ll help you obtain a well-rounded experience with a variety of parents and babies along the entire spectrum of breastfeeding.
— Christine Staricka, IBCLC
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We invite you to contact us regardless of where you are on your journey to becoming an IBCLC.  We would love to talk with you about your experience and your plans, and we hope you will choose to study with us here in Bakersfield! - Adrienne, Christine, & Leslie