What is an IBCLC Lactation Consultant?

IBCLC means: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC): http://iblce.org/

Before one may begin training to become a Lactation Consultant, it is necessary to have completed a basic breastfeeding and lactation training course, and to have provided 1500 hours of practical support for breastfeeding mothers, for example within a volunteer-run association such as La Leche League, Solidarilait, or Message, or as a health care provider (paediatric nurse, paediatrician, etc.).

Once the above requirements have been met then one can apply to the Lactation Consultant training programme. I completed the programme at the CREFAM: http://www.crefam.com. It included:

  • 190 classroom hours
  • a thesis
  • internships with experienced Lactation Consultants
  • an international exam to verify technical knowledge and interpersonal skills.

Certification is valid for 5 years. To re-qualify, Lactation Consultants must, alternately, provide proof of a minimum number of hours of continuing-education and re-sit the qualification exam. This ensures that information, interpersonal skills and techniques are in-line with French and international recommendations based on the most recent scientific research.