Specialized training for



Directed by
Ibone Olza, MD, PhD, perinatal psychiatrist
Carmela Baeza, MD, IBLCE

October 2019 – June 2020


Starts October 15, 2019


First Edition in spanish (2019-2020) certified by the International Board of of Certified Lactation Consultants
with 55 L-Cerps. Num. Reg. 318072K


The European Institute of Perinatal Mental Health launches this annual training focused on the most psychological, neurobiological and sociocultural aspects of breastfeeding. The training is based on the ecosystemic model of perinatal mental health attention, that on one hand acknowledges the neurobiological and affective needs of infants and their mothers in the perinatal period to then include the psychological processes of mothers and babies in the dyadic interaction. But it also recognizes the presence of the couple, the systemic processes of the family, the interaction with the professionals who attend them and the social and cultural context in which the upbringing will take place.

This Breastfeeding and Mental Health Training aims to cover a training gap in the field of breastfeeding, providing a rigorous evidence based update on topics such as the psychobiology of breastfeeding, the neurobiology of bonding, maternal psychology and detection and treatment of maternal or infant mental disorders, as well as alterations in the mother-baby relationship in the context of breastfeeding. We will give a deep insight on how to help and encourage breastfeeding in situations of stress or personal or family psychic suffering, in the understanding of how they influence or interfere with the psychological and psychopathological processes in breastfeeding and in the treatment of these conditions.

Despite the scientific, medical and social consensus regarding the benefits of breastmilk and the benefits of breastfeeding for the health of mothers, newborns and small children, the current rates of breastfeeding in the Western world are far from the recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) or the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEPED). Although a majority of women wish to exclusively breastfeed their babies after birth, there are still few who actually manage to achieve their goals satisfactorily.

Traditionally, breastfeeding promotion has been focused on making visible the benefits for mothers and babies. However, less has been done to deepen into the personal reasons that underlie early weaning. Although we know about the intimate, emotional and sexual dimension of the experience, the psychological aspects of breastfeeding are often omitted in the training received by professionals who attend these mothers. This omission leads to the situation that when mothers present difficulties or psychic suffering during postpartum, these needs are rarely detected or attended. In fact, neither the IHAN (Spanish Unicef program promoting Babyfriendly hospitals), nor the 10 steps program specifically consider mental health as an issue, nor do they offer specific training on how to care for mothers who present psychopathology during the perinatal period or related pathologies (Vanderkruik, Lemon, & Dimidjian, 2015).



  • Provide knowledge for mental health care professionals about the psysiology of breastfeeding, as well as about the main difficulties that may hinder breastfeeding.
  • Provide knowledge in perinatal psychology, such as postpartum psychology and possible psychopathological conditions during postpartum to healthcare professionals who care for nursing mothers.
  • Offer tools for an effective breastfeeding support in an individualized way, taking into account the psychosocial nature of breast-feeding.
  • Offer tools for the treatment of postpartum maternal mental disorders in nursing mothers.


The course is recorded in english and offered entirely online.



* One or two weekly classes recorded on video that can be seen starting Tuesdays of each week.
* additional teaching material for each topic.
* Access to internal online forum for support and networking.
* Throughout the training there will be additional tasks, necessary in order to obtain the final certification.

Starts October 15, 2019

Training blocks:

Part I: Biopsychosocial aspects of breastfeeding (OCTOBER 2019 – JANUARY 2020)
Part II: Breastfeeding and maternal mental health (FEBRUARY- APRIL 2020)
Part III: Breastfeeding and infant mental health (MAY – JUNE 2020)



Part I: Biopsychosocial aspects of breastfeeding (OCTOBER 2019 – JANUARY 2020)
  1. Ecosystemic perspective and evolutionary reasons for breastfeeding. Physical and psychological benefits of breastfeeding for child, mother and society. Ibone Olza and Carmela Baeza.
  2. Neurophysiology of breastfeeding. How breastfeeding works: hormones, reflexes, mechanisms of production and composition of breast milk. Definitions of self-regulation, on demand, trust. Ibone Olza
  3. Social and cultural aspects related to breastfeeding. What makes it so difficult to breastfeed today? María José Garrido
  4. Neurophysiology of childbirth. The impact of interventions during childbirth on breastfeeding.. Ibone Olza
  5. The beginning of breastfeeding: care during childbirth, birth and immediate puerperium. Carmela Baeza
  6. Breastfeeding after cesarean. Ibone Olza
  7. Psychology of the puerperium. Observation of babies and dyadic interaction. Ibone Olza, Esther Ramírez Matos.
  8. Breastfeeding observation. Common difficulties during the first weeks. Carmela Baeza
  9. Psychology of late Postpartum. Ibone Olza, Esther Ramírez Matos.
  10. The role of fathers in breastfeeding. Javier de Domingo
  11. Sexuality and lactation. Carmela Baeza
  12. Ecofeminism and breastfeeding. Maria Jose Garrido
  13. Low milk supply: medical treatments and specific situations. Carmela Baeza
  14. Communication skills in breastfeeding. Inma Mellado
  15. Mental health of breastfeeding professionals. How to take care of oneself while supporting breastfeeding. Ibone Olza
  16. Mother-to-mother breastfeeding support groups as a space for maternal development. Inma Mellado
  17. Introduction to breastfeeding research. Susanna Carmona, Ibone Olza


Part II: Breastfeeding and maternal mental health (FEBRUARY- APRIL 2020)

18. The brain and maternal behavior. Prolactin and oxytocin. Susanna Carmona
19. Psychology of breastfeeding. Ibone Olza

Introduction to perinatal disorders

20. Introduction to maternal perinatal mental disorders and their impacts on breastfeeding. Detection, assessment and diagnosis. Ibone Olza
21. Postpartum depression and anxiety. Barbara Figuereido
22. Postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder. Ibone Olza
23. Perinatal death, grief and breastfeeding. Cheli Blasco.
24. Puerperal psychoses and other maternal mental disorders (eating disorders, etc). Ibone Olza

Assessment and treatment plan for maternal mental disorders during lactation

25. General assessment and treatment plan. Common principles for the treatment of nursing mothers with psychopathology. Ibone Olza
26. Psychotherapy during lactation. Ibone Olza, Esther Ramírez Matos.
27. Psychotropic drugs and breastfeeding. Ibone Olza
28. Mother’s groups: promoting postnatal health from a salutogenetic perspective. Gabriella Bianco


Part III: Breastfeeding and infant mental health (MAY – JUNE 2020)

29. Breastfeeding and infant neurodevelopment. Nursing and physiological upbringing. Breastfeeding and bonding. Ibone Olza
30. Prematurity and infant psychism. Fátima Camba
31. Supporting breastfeeding in prematurity. Human Milk Banks. Concha de Alba
32. Breastfeeding support for specific situations: supplementation, relactation, lactation of twins or multiples, lactation of adopted babies, maternal or infant hospital stays. Carmela Baeza
33. Infant sleep and breastfeeding. María Berrozpe
34. Breastfeeding beyond the first two years. Tandem breastfeeding. Physiological weaning. Ibone Olza
35. Psychopathology of early childhood. 0-3 years: disorders and their impact on breastfeeding. (eating disorders, autism spectrum disorders, disability, etc.). Ibone Olza

Closing lecture

36. Breastfeeding on art.  Ana Alvarez-Errecalde


Adressed to:

Medical doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, midwives, lactation consultants, etc. as well as students of these professions related to maternal and infant health.




The ecosystemic focus



Please, consult this classification of countries of the world bank according to the level of income.

  • Tier 1 countries:
    • One payment:  850€
    • Payment in two installments (enrollment and December 1st): 450€
    • Monthly payment:
      * enrollment fee 100€
      * monthly payment (october-june) 100€
  • Tier 2 countries:
    • One payment:  600€
    • Payment in two installments (enrollment and December 1st): 325€
    • Monthly payment:
      * enrollment fee 70€
      * monthly payment (october-june) 70€
  • Tier 3 countries:
    • One payment:  350€
    • Payment in two installments (enrollment and December 1st): 200€
    • Monthly payment:
      * enrollment fee 45€
      * monthly payment (october-june) 45€