Resources for New Families

Breastfeeding Support: IBCLC and other titles

An IBCLC is the only Internationally recognized professional authority in lactation care.  Achieving the IBCLC credential requires years of study and clinical experience before becoming eligible to sit for the IBLCE board exam.  There are many other certificate programs out there and unfortunately some of these can be confusing even to people who work in the medical field.  It is important for mothers to know who they are getting support from.

 

Title College requirement Lactation specific education Clinical Experience
IBCLC – Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant 14 Health science courses 90 hrs 300-1000 depending on pathway are required before sitting for the exam.
CLC – Certified Lactation Counselor No 45 hrs Not required-experience will vary
PC – Breastfeeding Peer Counselor No 20 hrs Supervised clinical experience will vary
TBE – Trained Breastfeeding Educator No 28.75 hrs* Supervised clinical experience will vary
ALC – Advanced Lactation Consultant No – unless individual is also an IBCLC 45 hrs + previous completion of CLC course or IBCLC certification Clinical experience will vary
ANLC – Advanced Nurse Lactation Consultant Current RN (and) CLC or IBCLC 45 hrs + previous completion of CLC course or IBCLC certification Clinical experience will vary
*Many TBEs have also been through the Peer Counselor training

As you can see from the list above, it is understandable why there is confusion.  Central Texas Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies believes that every mother deserves quality care when she is having breastfeeding difficulty.  There are many knowledgeable individuals among us.  Even someone who has breastfed her own may have some great tips and advice for a new nursing mother, but  if you’re really experiencing problems with breastfeeding we would encourage you to ask for an IBCLC.  The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding states this:

“International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are health care professionals who specialize in the clinical management of breastfeeding. The only health care professionals certified in lactation management, they carry certification by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). Like all other U.S. certification boards for health care professionals, the IBLCE operates under the direction of the U.S. National Commission for Certifying Agencies and maintains rigorous professional standards. IBCLC candidates must demonstrate sufficient academic preparation as well as experience in supervised, direct consultation on breastfeeding to be eligible to take the certification exam.”

Ask your OB if you will have access to an IBCLC after delivery,  ask your Pediatrician if they employ an IBCLC in their practice, and if you need someone that can come to your house for a consultation visit our Austin Area Lactation Consultants page.  This is the most up to date list of IBCLCs in the area and you can search by area, parctice, or appointment availability.