Lactation consultant

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A lactation consultant is an allied health professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding.[1] Lactation consultants commonly work in hospitals, physician or midwife practices, public health programs, and private practice. They are certified through the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE).[2] The lactation consulting profession was founded by a group of passionate and enterprising volunteer La Leche League Leaders who wanted to professionalize the skills they had developed while working with breastfeeding mothers in their communities.[3] The International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) is the professional association for lactation consultants. The association has affiliate organizations worldwide.[4] An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) may use the post nominals IBCLC and/or RLC after her/his name, as a physician would have MD or DO, or a registered nurse would have RN.

Pathways to Certification[edit]

The organization that gives the certification exam for lactation consultants is the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE).[5] Candidates for the IBLCE boards can choose various pathways to qualify.

Pathway 1: Health Care Professionals working in Maternal-Child Health or Volunteers in Recognized Peer Support Breastfeeding Organizations[edit]

RNs, RDs, DOs, MDs, PTs, La Leche League Leaders etc.

Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Training Course of a minimum of 90 hours within 5 years of sitting the exam 1000 hours of clinical experience (usually obtained in your employment) Education in biology, anatomy & physiology, nutrition, counseling or psychology, infant & child growth and development, introduction to research and sociology or cultural sensitivity (may be covered in basic professional education).

Pathway 2: College or university academic program[edit]

Education in anatomy & physiology, nutrition, counseling or psychology, infant & child growth and development, medical terminology, and sociology or cultural sensitivity (may be covered in this education). Clinical experience also covered in this education.

Pathway 3: Mentoring[edit]

Step 1: 90 hours of lactation specific education within 5 years of sitting the exam.

Step 2: College level education in anatomy & physiology, nutrition, counseling or psychology, infant & child growth and development, medical terminology, and sociology or cultural sensitivity.

Step 3: Continuing education classes in:

  • Basic life support (e.g. CPR) (available from your local hospital, fire department or training facility)
  • Medical terminology
  • Medical documentation
  • Occupational safety and security for health professionals
  • Professional ethics for health professionals
  • Universal safety precautions and infection control

Step 4: 500 hours of supervised clinical experience in a formal internship program can be completed with and IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) in your home area.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ What is an IBCLC?
  2. ^ International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE)
  3. ^ Countryman, Betty Ann. "BA, RN, MN". Leaven. La Leche League International. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  4. ^ ILCA Affiliates
  5. ^ IBLCE
  6. ^ IBLCE Continuing Education Review / Application Information

External links[edit]