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 designed for those who have breastfeeding counseling experience, including nurses working with mothers and babies, and lay counselors such as La Leche League Leaders and NMAC breastfeeding counselors. It requires 1,000 hours of breastfeeding counseling as well as the Health Science classes and the 90 hours of lactation specific courses.
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. 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 Annika at Annika@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 mentorship 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 mentorship is $10/hour. Please contact Annika at Annika@BRC4babies.com if you’ve completed all of the education requirements of your pathway and you are interested in interviewing for the mentorship program at the BRC.