6 CERPs + 6 CEUs + 5.5 CPEUs

Immunology and Lactation

Hope Lima, PhD, RDN, IBCLC

Course description

The immune system is fascinating – from the time an individual is born, immune cells are sending messages to teach the body which foreign molecules are benign, and which are a threat. It does take time for a newborn infant’s immune system to function properly; however, evolution has accounted for this. Human milk provides essential bioactive and immune components that support the infant’s developing immune system so that appropriate responses can occur. In this course, you will learn about the basics of the immune system and how it develops, the immunological components in human milk, and how breastfeeding is theorized to protect against the development of chronic disease. 

Meet the Instructor

Hope Lima, PhD, RDN, IBCLC

Hope Lima completed the Mary Rose Tully Training Initiative at UNC School of Global Public Health, becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2017. She graduated with her PhD in nutritional biochemistry from NC State University in May 2018. 

In addition to owning and operating Hope Feeds Babies, Hope is employed full time at Winthrop University in the Department of Human Nutrition overseeing the Certificate in Medical Lactation and running a research lab that focuses on helping mothers to reach their infant feeding goals, improving access to human milk, and analyzing the nutritional content of human milk. 

As an IBCLC, Hope has a passion for connecting with mothers to help them to reach their individual feeding goals and advocacy for maternal health. She currently serves as the co-chair for the South Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition and is actively working to improve the landscape of breastfeeding support.
Patrick Jones - Course author

Learners say 

This course was great in fully understanding how the immune system is as a foundation when baby is born and how uniquely it is developed. I enjoyed learning more about how mom & baby’s immune systems interact and build.

Julie Fields, IBCLC

Really great info. I love that the beginning is going over immunology 101 before you get into the human milk parts.

Christina Berlett, RN, BSN, IBCLC

Start learning now!

Knowledge Gap

Many practitioners provide evidence-based recommendations, but sometimes do not understand the why behind the recommendations. For individuals seeking a greater depth of knowledge, this course will allow providers to understand WHY breastfeeding is so important for a developing infant from the lens of immune protection.



Create a diagram of the immune system, including innate and adaptive immune systems.


Describe the process by which the immune system develops from infancy through 2 years of life.


Create an evidence-based recommendation about the importance of breastfeeding for a minimum of two years through an immunological lens.

IBLCE Content Outline

I A2 Food intolerances/allergies
I B3 Composition of human milk
III A1 Allergies
III A7 Infant acute disease (bacterial, viral, fungal, systemic)
V 3 Milk expression
VII D1 Apply research in practice
Dr. Hope K. Lima has no actual or potential declarations to make in relation to this program.

Course Lessons

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