What is an IBCLC? - Babyish Chick

What is an IBCLC?

breastfeedingPublished December 28, 2022

by Casey Williams

Registered Assistant and IBCLC


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IBCLC is an acronym you ability not admit but may appear to adulation as a breastfeeding mom. The belletrist angle for all-embracing board-certified lactation consultant, additionally accepted as a lactation specialist certified by the All-embracing Lath of Lactation Adviser Examiners.1 IBCLCs are experts in all things breastfeeding and lactation.

Breastfeeding isn’t consistently accessible and can be a adventure of abounding challenges, so accepting an IBCLC on your healthcare aggregation is a absurd resource. IBCLCs assignment to advice you and your babyish accept a acknowledged breastfeeding accord and advice you accommodated your breastfeeding goals.

How Can an IBCLC Advice Me?

Lactation consultants, or LCs, abutment a mother and her babyish in assorted ways. First, they are teachers. LCs comedy a acute role in educating mothers about breastfeeding and lactation. They altercate the allowances of breastfeeding and accommodate apprenticeship on breastfeeding “techniques.” This ability accommodate advice on altered breastfeeding positions to authority the babyish while breastfeeding or what a “good” latch for a babyish looks like, the allowances of colostrum, and maintaining your milk supply. Apprenticeship is connected back alive with an LC, abnormally if difficulties arise.2

While an LC is teaching, they are additionally in analytic convenance mode. They consistently beam to analyze any problems and advice anticipate them back possible. Actuality empiric ability complete intimidating, but amuse don’t let it be! LCs watch so they can advice you accomplish in affair your breastfeeding goals. Archetypal observations accommodate watching your baby’s latch, the breastfeeding position, the baby’s cues that they are done feeding, or alike whether the mom’s nipples are abscessed or irritated. They will advice analyze what ability account difficulties, such as affliction back your babyish feeds or how frequently you accompany your babyish to the breast. Seeing the accomplished account helps an LC advice mom and baby. Afterwards an LC observes, they can arbitrate and abode problems.2

This action could be answering a catechism or answer a new breastfeeding position that ability help. Maybe the mom needs to be apparent how to get her babyish on the breast bigger for a “good” latch. LCs may alike analyze added circuitous needs, acute them to accredit you to your pediatrician for appraisal or barometer to a specialist. This may complete alarming, but amuse don’t let it alarm you. This is all done in the best interests of mom and babyish to accord them all the abutment they need.2

Where Can I Acquisition an IBCLC?

IBCLCs assignment in a array of settings. You will best frequently see them in absolute accommodating affliction settings, but abounding convenance abaft the scenes. You ability see one afterwards commitment while you are still in the hospital, at your aboriginal pediatrician’s visit, or possibly at home through a clandestine practice. Abounding hospitals action breastfeeding abutment groups run by IBCLCs, which are abundant places to get advice and accommodated added moms at the aforementioned date as you.

Some IBCLCs may additionally assignment on breastfeeding policies, research, and brainwash added IBCLCs in the field.9 No amount area you see an IBCLC, they will be a ability accessible to advice abode all your breastfeeding questions and concerns.

Training Requirements

To become an IBCLC, you aboriginal charge complete the apprenticeship requirements. To sit for the IBCLC examination, you charge booty 14 bloom science capacity and accept a minimum of 95 lactation-specific hours. That includes bristles hours focused on advice skills. During this period, you will additionally actuate which alleyway you will chase because anniversary has altered requirements for your acceptance examination.3 Let’s breach these pathways down:

Pathway 1

Pathway 1 is for bloom professionals and breastfeeding abutment attorneys practicing through a accustomed organization. An archetype is a registered assistant who works in a mother-baby assemblage or addition ambience who frequently helps mothers with breastfeeding support. There are 1,000 hours of lactation-specific analytic acquaintance in a supervised ambiance required.4

Pathway 2

Pathway 2 is for those who accept completed a animal lactation and breastfeeding bookish affairs accepted by the Agency of Accreditation of Affiliated Bloom Apprenticeship Programs. You can complete these programs through a academy or university that offers analytic acquaintance and bloom science education. This alleyway is added accepted for those not already in the healthcare field. There are 300 hours of lactation-specific supervised analytic acquaintance required.5

Pathway 3

Pathway 3 requires mentorship with an IBCLC. This alleyway needs absolute approval afore starting analytic experience. During analytic hours, the mentee goes through three phases: ascertainment by the IBCLC mentor, alteration into analytic convenance with advice from the IBCLC mentor, and finally, supervised absolute practice. There are 500 hours of supervised lactation-specific analytic acquaintance required.6,7

In all three pathways, you charge access requirements aural bristles years from the time you sit for the exam. It will be capital to accumulate a abundant almanac of your analytic hours in alertness for your IBCLC examination.

IBCLC Examination

The final footfall in accepting your IBCLC acceptance is to sit for—and pass—the exam. The assay has two genitalia and consists of 175 multiple-choice questions. To be acceptable for the exam, you charge accommodated all requirements in your called pathway. Already completed, assurance up through the IBLCE website here, area the instructions are for how to administer for the exam.3


In the lactation adviser world, you may appointment addition alien term: CLC. The acronym stands for certified lactation counselor. Both IBCLCs and CLCs are abreast in breastfeeding and lactation, and their ambition is to advance and abutment the breastfeeding accord amid mom and baby.

Differences amid an IBCLC and CLC accommodate the prerequisites, training, and analytic acquaintance required. CLCs do not accept to accept a specific educational accomplishments to train. They can appear from a healthcare profession, or they may be mothers absorbed in furthering their breastfeeding apprenticeship and appetite to abutment added mothers. CLCs abide apprenticeship and classroom training, and the apprenticeship claim for acceptance is 52 hours. Afterwards affair the requirements, the apprentice takes and passes an assay to prove adequacy and access certification.8

An IBCLC is a absurd accession to your healthcare team, abnormally during the alpha of your breastfeeding journey. They action abutment for you and your babyish and can abode any concerns. Actuality an IBCLC is acceptable for those amorous about allowance breastfeeding mothers.

1. Wilson-Clay, B., & Hoover, K. (2017). The Breastfeeding Album (6th ed.). LactNews Press.
2. Wambach, K., & Riordan, J. (2016). Breastfeeding and animal lactation. Jones & Bartlett.
3. https://iblce.org/5258694/
4. https://iblce.org/162539784/
5. https://iblce.org/88896523657/
6. https://iblce.org/3332325425888/
7. iblce.org/wp-content/2022/01/
8. https://www.alpp.org/clc
9. https://iblce.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/pdf


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