What is an IBCLC? How are IBCLCs different from other Lactation Consultants?
IBCLC stands for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. This is the gold standard for lactation consultants. To acquire this certification, I spent a lot of time (1000 hours) working under experienced IBCLCs, took 75 hours of courses in human lactation, and then studied for and passed the IBCLC exam. I initially took and passed the exam in 2011. Every five years, an IBCLC has to recertify; I recertified in 2016 with 75 hours of continuing lactation education.
What makes an IBCLC different from other lactation consultants? A Certified Lactation Counselor, or CLC, has taken a short (usually 40 hours) class and passed a written test; there is no required hands on component. Don’t misunderstand: there are many experienced Lactation Counselors out there who can offer valuable assistance! But do ask what kind of experience the person you are seeing has. You want someone helping you who has both book knowledge and supervised hands on experience.
I was a CLC on my journey to becoming an IBCLC. I currently have more than 16 years of experience caring for breastfeeding mothers, along with my certifications. I would love to work with you and your baby to help you reach your breastfeeding goals.
Find out more about how to become an IBCLC from IBLCE.