What is a Lactation Consultant?

Breastfeeding is a normal, biological process for babies and moms. It is not a “condition” that requires medical training. Your doctor helps you with medical concerns. A lactation consultant will help you with breastfeeding. Lactation consultants may work in hospitals, clinics or may come to your home.

A lactation consultant is a skilled healthcare professional who specializes in the science of human lactation (breastfeeding), and in the assessment of breastfeeding women and their babies. Lactation consultants come from a variety of professional backgrounds. To ensure that a consultant has the minimum competencies recognized in the field, see an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). “Breastfeeding specialists” or “lactation educators” have not met those minimum competencies.

A lactation consultant must be certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). IBLCE requires several hundred hours of hands-on experience and classroom education before a candidate is permitted to sit for the certifying exam. The exam is offered once a year all over the world. When certified, the lactation consultant must maintain her credential with continuing education and periodic exams.

The credential of IBCLC stands alone. That means that an IBCLC with a PhD is not necessarily better than an IBCLC with a bachelor’s degree. When selecting a lactation consultant, however, feel free to ask about her experience and qualifications! It’s important to trust the person who will be helping you to begin your breastfeeding journey.

See also:  “Why do we Need Lactation Consultants?”


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6 Responses to “What is a Lactation Consultant?”

  1. What is a Nipple Shield? « Breastfeeding Between the Lines Says:

    […] seek guidance from an experienced lactation consultant before considering the use of a nipple shield. Improper use can lead to inadequate milk intake and […]

  2. Ten Reasons to Call a Lactation Consultant « Breastfeeding Between the Lines Says:

    […] Between the Lines Straight from the hip breastfeeding info for moms and moms-to-be. « What is a Lactation Consultant? Can I Meet with a Lactation Consultant While I’m Pregnant? […]

  3. Can I Meet with a Lactation Consultant While I’m Pregnant? « Breastfeeding Between the Lines Says:

    […] I Meet with a Lactation Consultant While I’m Pregnant? By Renee Beebe Many lactation consultants are happy to meet with you prior to your baby’s birth to help prevent problems. It can be very […]

  4. Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk? « Breastfeeding Between the Lines Says:

    […] Finally…trust your instincts! Nature gave you powerful intuition to help you with mothering. If you ever feel unsure that your baby is not feeding well, check with your pediatrician or lactation consultant. […]

  5. nurturethemother Says:

    Beautiful. Keep it up! Knowledge is power!
    Cecilia

  6. Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk? | The Second 9 Months Says:

    […] Finally…trust your instincts! Nature gave you powerful intuition to help you with mothering. If you ever feel unsure that your baby is not feeding well, check with your pediatrician or lactation consultant. […]

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