What is an IBCLC? An IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) is a healthcare professional who specializes in the clinical management of lactation, and is the gold standard when it comes to lactation care.
An IBCLC is certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE), independently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). IBCLCs can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, pediatric offices, public health clinics (like WIC), and in private practice.
Because IBLCE is an international organization, the scope and standards of an IBCLC are the same worldwide.
When you work with an IBCLC, you are working with someone who has:
passed at least 14 college-level courses in health science subjects, including biology, human anatomy and physiology, infant and child growth and development, clinical research, nutrition, psychology, counseling skills, sociology, anthropology, ethics, and medical safety, documentation, and terminology.
completed at least 90 hours of education in human lactation and breastfeeding
completed 300-1,000 hours of lactation specific clinical experience depending on the pathway that was chosen in order to certify (I personally have over7,000hours)
passed the IBLCE exam, given only twice yearly, which consists of 175 questions relating to physiology and endocrinology, pathology, pharmacology, toxicology, sociology, anthropology, psychology, breastfeeding techniques, infant development and maternal breast development, clinical skills, ethics, research, public health, and advocacy. (I scored in the top 2% on the IBLCE exam.)