Simply put, an
IBCLC is the highest certification that a lactation specialist can receive. There are many other lesser certifications. Make sure you are getting what
you pay for by choosing an IBCLC when you need breastfeeding help.
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) credential
identifies a knowledgeable and experienced member of the maternal-child health
team who has specialized skills in breastfeeding management and care. The IBLCE
certification program offers the only credential in lactation consulting and is
available globally.IBCLCs have passed a rigorous
examination that demonstrates the ability to provide competent, comprehensive
lactation and breastfeeding care.
Attainment of the IBCLC
credential signifies that the practitioner has demonstrated competence to:
• work together with mothers to prevent and solve breastfeeding problems
• collaborate with other members of the health care team to provide
comprehensive care that supports, protects and promotes breastfeeding
• encourage a social environment that supports breastfeeding families
• educate families, health professionals and policy makers about the
far-reaching and long-lasting value of breastfeeding as a global public health
With a focus on preventive health care, IBCLCs encourage self-care, empowering
parents to make their own decisions. IBCLCs use a problem solving approach to
provide evidenced-based information to pregnant and breastfeeding women and
make appropriate referrals to other members of the health care team.Why Hire an IBCLC?
Certification as an
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) provides evidence
that the practitioner has demonstrated specialized knowledge and skill in a
broad range of health disciplines that focus on human lactation and
breastfeeding. The credential enhances professional credibility and
increases consumer confidence. More and more health care facilities are recognizing
that it is essential to have IBCLCs on their staff.
satisfaction and safety depend upon recruitment and retention of outstanding
health care practitioners. IBCLC certification
demonstrates achievement of specialized knowledge and skill and requires
continued learning and skill development. When making employment decisions, health care systems can feel confident in using IBCLC certification as a measure of
excellence in lactation consulting practice. Certification as an IBCLC protects the public
by helping consumers identify qualified lactation consultants and increases
consumer confidence through assurance that their breastfeeding care provider
has met international competency standards.
IBCLCs emphasize individualized family care, client autonomy, informed
decision-making and optimal health care. By integrating cultural, psychosocial,
physiological, nutritional, and immunological aspects of human lactation into
practice, IBCLCs protect, promote and support breastfeeding within the
community, workplace and health care system.
The privilege to
hold the IBCLC credential is conditional and revocable for
cause. Complaints about the conduct of individual IBCLCs are received and
reviewed by the IBLCE Ethics and Discipline Committee as specified by the IBLCE
§ IBCLCs adhere to the IBLCE Code of
Ethics and practice within the Scope of Practice for IBCLCs.
§ IBCLCs are required to keep their
knowledge and skills current. They must recertify every 5 years through
continuing education or re-examination.
§ IBCLCs function and contribute as
members of the health care team and make appropriate referrals to other health
care professionals and community support resources.
§ IBCLCs possess the skills, knowledge and
attitudes to provide competent and comprehensive lactation and breastfeeding
care and education in routine and special circumstances across the
chronological spectrum of pre-conception to early childhood.