If this is your dream, you’re among great company! You typically enter this field because you have a strong passion for breastfeeding and helping new mothers. There is not a more rewarding career.
Juggling the avenues to become an IBCLC are a little confusing for many. Step one is to determine what pathway that will work best for you. The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners compiles the possibilities for you here.
You have three options. (Please refer to IBLCE’s pathways for a more complete descritption)
Pathway 1: This pathway is best used for those who are already volunteer breastfeeding counselors and are regularly counseling mothers, such as, the LLL or NMAC in our local area. Those counseling hours count towards the clinical hours needed. Two full years of counseling would complete the requirements. You also need to take the Health Science classes and the 90 hours of lactation specific courses (which can be met online).
Pathway 2: You need to take all the Health Sciences Courses listed here.
Once you’ve taken those, you can apply to a certificate program through a number of universities. Our own Drexel University allows you to get all lactation specific education plus the 300 directly supervised clinical hours you need.
Pathway 3: You need the Health Science classes, you need the 90 hours of lactation specific classes (which can be completed online), and you need 500 hours of clinical hours.
If you want to talk to a knowledgeable BRC employee about what avenue is best for you and where to find the education you need, please contact Janice at Janice@BRC4Babies.com to set up a ½ hour session. The BRC charges $30 for this service.
If you’ve finished ALL of the education (both health sciences and lactation specific), you are ready for your clinical hours! The BRC has a great internship program. You will have the opportunity to work both in a hospital and at one or more of our out-patient offices. You will get a large variety of experience with many families from different socio-economic levels. The cost of the internship is $10/hour. Please contact Colette at Colette@BRC4Babies.com if your interested in interviewing for an internship position.