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Lactation Support Provider Pathways Information

LactationConsult jpeg.jpgThis page discusses different options and paths that exist to become a Lactation Support Provider. The information provided here includes the different ways to qualify for credentialing exams as well as training opportunities that are tailored to community needs.

For information about specific courses or training that individuals can register for check out the Lactation Support Providers Training Directory which includes national organizations that offer lactation support courses and training, either online or in-person, across the country.

If you are a member of a national organization and want to submit information about training opportunities, please contact aspeece@usbreastfeeding.org.

Inclusion of an organization or training course in this directory does not imply endorsement or support by the United States Breastfeeding Committee.

Pathways to Qualify to Sit for the IBCLC Exam

Pathways to Qualify to Sit for the CLC Exam

Pathway to Become a HealthConnect One Breastfeeding Peer Support

Pathway to Becoming a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor

  


 

Pathways to Qualify to Sit for the IBCLC Exam

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Candidates must choose and complete one of the following pathways before applying for the IBCLC certification examination.

Pathway 1:

  1. Health science subjects – earned by Recognised Health Professionals or complete 14 health science courses.
  2. Human lactation and breastfeeding specific education – 90 hours within the 5 years prior to application.
  3. 1,000 hours clinical experience with breastfeeding families in an appropriate supervised setting within the 5 years prior to application.

Pathway 2:

  1. Health science subjects – earned by Recognised Health Professionals or complete 14 health science courses.
  2. Lactation specific academic program verified by IBLCE that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or an equivalent accrediting body.

Pathway 3:

  1. Health science subjects – earned by Recognised Health Professionals or complete 14 health science courses.
  2. Human lactation and breastfeeding specific education – 90 hours within 5 years prior to application.
  3. Mentorship with an IBCLC pre-verified by IBLCE (includes 500 clinical experience hours with breastfeeding families).

Recertification:

IBCLCs are to re‐certify every 5 years:

By CERPs: Every 5 years after passing the exam. 75 CERPs (L= Lactation, E = Ethics, R = Related)

  • Minimum 50 L‐CERPs
  • Minimum 5 E‐CERPs
  • 20 L-, E-, or R‐CERPs

By exam: Every 10 years after passing the exam REQUIRED. Also available instead of CERPs option.

For more information visit: https://iblce.org/step-1-prepare-for-ibclc-certification/

 


 

Pathways to Qualify to Sit for the CLC Exam

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There are three pathways to qualify to sit for the ALPP Certified Lactation Counselor Exam:

Comprehensive Course Pathway

This Pathway is designed for the person looking to take a single, comprehensive, course that covers all the skills and competencies necessary for breastfeeding counseling and human lactation. Individuals who complete this Pathway must successfully complete a lactation course that is taught by one of our approved training partners. These courses meet the following requirements:

  1. 45 hours of training based on the WHO/UNICEF (World Health Organization/United Nations Children's Fund) Breastfeeding Counseling Training Course, that is worth a minimum of 3 college credits
  2. Demonstrates the competencies and skills required to provide safe, evidence-based counseling for pregnant, lactating, and breastfeeding women, within the context of the course

The Aggregate Pathway

  1. Proof that you are a currently licensed health professional (RN, APRN, physician, etc.) or hold a bachelor's degree or higher.
  2. Proof of completion of a minimum of 45 hours of education within the past year that relates directly to the WHO/UNICEF (World Health Organization/United Nations Children's Fund) Breastfeeding Counseling Training Course; may be collected from different courses (must submit the completed Academic Content Checklist).
  3. Proof of mastery of the skills and competencies necessary for breastfeeding counseling through directly supervised lactation care (submit the completed Counseling Skills Attestation).
The Alternate Pathway
  1. Be a graduate of a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) approved, post-secondary, lactation consultant program.

Recertification:

In recognition of the fact that scientific and social knowledge about breastfeeding and human lactation is continually evolving, certificants are required to obtain a minimum of 18 hours of continuing education in the area of breastfeeding and human lactation every three years.

  • Approved continuing education offerings are ones that focus on evidence-based breastfeeding research, updated management training, advocacy, practice, counseling, promotion, protection, and/or support.
  • “Breastfeeding,” “lactation,” or “human milk” must appear in the title of the offering, or a specific talk within a larger offering.
  • All offerings bearing IBLCE “L” or “E” category CERPs count towards the 18-hour requirement (however IBLCE category “R” CERPs may not be used for this purpose).

For more information visit: https://www.alpp.org/certifications/certifications-clc

 


 

Pathway to Becoming a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor through HealthConnect One

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HealthConnect One is the national leader in advancing respectful, community-based, peer-to-peer support for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and early parenting.

HC One trains Breastfeeding Peer Counselors embedded in clinics, health centers, community organizations and national agencies, leading to rapid and dramatic increases in breastfeeding rates. Since 1986, HealthConnect One (HC One) has trained thousands of parents, community health workers and direct service providers.

  • Building relationships is the core of our model. Whether we are training five people in Chicago or 20 people in Albuquerque, our staff nurtures each individual to be her or his best.
  • Our trainings are highly interactive. Rather than simply delivering facts and information, we encourage participants to share their own experience with the group, providing space for discovery, growth and understanding. We bring participants in touch with their own strengths, their own skills, and a sense of personal and collective power.
  • Our training team represents a wide range of cultural backgrounds and expertise, drawing on years of combined experience designing, tailoring, and delivering training for both local and national agencies.

A Breastfeeding Peer Counselor is a woman who had a successful breastfeeding experience and is interested in supporting other women in her community to nurse their babies. She offers culturally appropriate support and information, identifies breastfeeding challenges, and provides strategies to help women achieve their breastfeeding goals. See more: https://youtu.be/KTKjr6FREbc

If you are interested in a peer counselor training for your agency, please contact info@healthconnectone.org or 312.243.4772.

For more information visit: https://www.healthconnectone.org/our-work/program_development/breastfeeding-support/peer-counselors/


  

Pathway to Becoming a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor

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Peer counselors are tasked with providing new WIC mother’s education and emotional support at all points along their breastfeeding journey. What sets peer counselors apart from other lactation and healthcare professionals is that peer counselors understand the difficulties WIC mothers face and provide realistic and practical guidance as a result of shared personal backgrounds and experience. Peer counselors are familiar with the resources available to WIC participants and with the questions a new breastfeeding mother may ask.

Minimum Qualifications for Becoming a Peer Counselor

  • Previous breastfeeding experience
  • Enthusiasm for breastfeeding
  • From the WIC target population and/or a previous/current WIC participant
  • Availability to WIC clients outside clinic hours and outside the WIC clinic environment

Preferred Qualifications for Becoming a Peer Counselor

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Car and valid driver's license
  • Ability to speak more than one language

Apply to Become a Peer Counselor
Call or visit your nearest WIC clinic to see if they have a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program. You can find your nearest WIC clinic by visiting www.signupwic.com and entering your zip code. In addition, WIC agencies will often post openings for breastfeeding peer counselors on online job boards and/or on the website for the local WIC agency.

For more information download a PDF info sheet.