Becoming a Lactation Consultant

“I was just wondering if there are any lactation consultant courses you specifically recommend? There seem to be so many out there, I don’t want to end up paying for something that doesn’t offer the knowledge I need”

International Board Certified Lactation Examiners (IBLCE) does not require, recommend or endorse any particular course. Some candidates undertake courses that have been awarded Continuing Education Recognition Points. In addition, you may use lactation specific education that is provided by health professional education approval boards and/or lactation specific education offered by your employer or volunteer organisation. Some courses certainly will give you information to help with breastfeeding and prepare you for sitting the international exam but it is your responsibility to contact each organisation and decide which course is appropriate for you.  View our ‘Courses’ page here.

“I am very interested in helping new mothers and babies with breastfeeding and would be very keen to find out what the study requirements are to become a lactation consultant?”

The pathways to becoming a Lactation Consultant does depend on your background as to what criteria you need to meet.  Please remember that an IBCLC is a professional member of the healthcare team. As such, a candidate for the International Board Certified Lactation Examiners (IBLCE) certification examination must have higher education in the health sciences, clinical practice in lactation and breastfeeding care and education in human lactation and breastfeeding.  For more information, please visit http://iblce.org/certify/eligibility-criteria/.

To become eligible to sit the IBLCE exam, candidates need to complete one of the following pathways:

Pathway 1 – Health Professionals and Mother Support Counsellors (MSC)

The exam candidate must practice as a health professional or certified/accredited mother support counsellor for a recognised mother to mother support organisation (such as ABA or LLI), and complete the following requirements:

  1. Minimum of 90 hours of lactation specific education within the 5 years immediately prior to exam application.
  1. 1000 lactation specific clinical practice hours within the 5 years immediately prior to exam application.
  1. Evidence of completing the required Health Sciences education in the identified subjects or be registered as a health professional on the IBLCE Recognised Health Professional list.

Pathway 2 – Academic lactation degree

This pathway is currently not available in Australia or New Zealand.

Pathway 3 – Apprenticeship or mentoring program

To be eligible to apply under pathway 3 you need an IBCLC who can provide supervision/mentorship and will assist you with your training.

The requirements for this pathway include:

  1. Your IBCLC supervisor will need to provide direct supervision for 500hrs within 5 years immediately prior to taking the exam
  1. Minimum of 90 hours of lactation specific education within the 5 years immediately prior to exam application.
  1. Evidence of completing the required Health Sciences education in the identified subjects or registered as a health professional on the IBLCE Recognised Health Professional list.  If you are interested in Pathway 3 you should read the pathway 3 guide which can be found here.

For more information on pathways, review the IBLCE website at iblce.org or contact your Country Coordinator,

Australia – aus@iblce.edu.au

New Zealand – nz@iblce.edu.au

Regional Office – admin@iblce.edu.au