Anatomy & Physiology of Lactation

This course focuses on the anatomical and physiological basis of lactation and breastfeeding, and the biological components of human milk that make it the best nutrition for infants. This course is appropriate for any person who wants to support breastfeeding families; as well as, individuals preparing for IBLCE certification.

Course Objectives:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the anatomy of the human female breast and the physiological mechanisms of milk production.
  2. Recognize the anatomy of the oral structure of the human infant and the physiological mechanisms of suckling.
  3. Interpret the biological components of human milk, and the biochemical messages that contribute to the well-bring of the mother and infant.


Credit Hours
Success in this 1.0 credit hour course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of 15 hours over the length of the course in direct instruction as provided by the instructor and an additional 30 hours outside of class reading, reflecting, and evaluating the topics for a total of 45 hours.

Grading Scale: Badge/No Badge

Evaluation: 100% completion of badge criteria


Jolynn A. Dowling

Jolynn Dowling

Jolynn worked for 17 years in a Level 3 NICU, with 5 of those years as a lactation consultant, before coming to Wichita State University as faculty in the School of Nursing. Her clinical work as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner included critical care for newborns and families, critical care newborn transport with LifeWATCH, and management of complex lactation issues. This expertise has evolved into an involvement with establishing community connections to reduce the impact of infant mortality. Jo coordinates undergraduate course and clinical instruction for N450 Care of Populations; and graduate course instruction for N720 Human Lactation. Jo has membership in the following professional organizations: USLCA (United States Lactation Consultant Association), ILCA (International Lactation Consultant Association), Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, La Leche League International, Kansas Public Health Association, and Sigma Theta Tau: International Honor Society for Nursing.

Anatomy & Physiology of Lactation Badge


CRN Course # Term
17192 HP 325 BG Fall 2020