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How to become a Lactation Consultant - UPDATED INFO AT TOP

Posted by on May. 29, 2009 at 12:31 AM
  • 24 Replies
1 mom liked this

New requirements for 2012 are here:

Thanks to Cindy for providing this info.

I'm currently working on becoming an IBCLC. I was a BF peer counselor at two local hospitals, I worked directly with IBCLC. I was hired by WIC but I was different then every other PC WIC employs because they normally work in the community and clinics. I worked for 2.5yrs and during this time I occurred over 500hrs. You need to work directly under supervision of an LC for the breastfeeding counseling hours to count.

In fall I'm taking a the Human Lactation course by Jan Rouridan via distance learning through Wichita State Univ. It accounts for 45 lactation education hours, 60 if you write a paper.

Im starting a breastfeeding peer counselor support group which I'm intending to become a LLL mtg. I need to send off my application and request for membership to LLL to start the accreditation process. Each year you are a LLL Leader accounts towards 500hrs of breastfeeding counseling, you can use only 2yrs. However it should be noted it is highly frowned upon to use LLL as a means to become an IBCLC.

With that said that is not why I'm becoming a leader. I've been wanting to be a leader for about 3yrs now and we have NOOOOO LLL groups in my entire state, we are in dire need of one.

Also there are a few college courses that are recommended you take; A&P, sociology, psych, child development, nutrition and medical terminology.

The IBCLC is offered once a year at major cities, it may vary on the month depending on the city or it may be just once a year in July.

I would recommend checking into becoming a WIC PC, if you do become one you must work with an IBCLC that has recert. within 5yrs. Most WIC PC coordinators are LC's, if not they should be. You could volunteer as a BF PC at a local hospital, the LC's could groom you if they are willing to. You could also become a LLL Leader.

Below are some links for more information on becoming an LC.
Approved and Accredited Courses

Becoming a Lactation Consultant

Kellymom Links to becoming an IBCLC



Let me know if you have any questions!!!

~ Cindy

by on May. 29, 2009 at 12:31 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on May. 29, 2009 at 12:35 AM

Thanks for the info!

by on May. 29, 2009 at 12:36 AM

Wow very cool! Thanks. I've called both of the LLL leaders in my area numerous times and never get a call back. I will ask the WIC office about being a PC! I really believe women should have more help than what is available.

by on May. 29, 2009 at 12:41 AM

bumpity bump bump so i can find this later :D

by on May. 29, 2009 at 1:06 AM

Thank you so much for making this a sticky!!!

Just wanted to add this:
The course Im taking in Human Lactation by Jan Rouridan. Shes the author of Human Lactation and very acclaimed. It's a semester long, 3 or 4 credits depending if you want to do the final paper. It's all distance learning.

The course consist of 80% nurses, most of students are working on their masters or PHD's. If you don't have any background in lactation more then likely you wont be accepted. It depends on a case-by-case basis.


~ Cindy
Mama to Reed and Jonas, wife to Rodney, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, Student Midwife, certifiably non-certified doula by choice, professionally trained baker, coffee addict, lactavist, birth junkie, born and raised in the San Francisco bay area, born-again Christian and attachment parenting mama!

by on Jun. 16, 2009 at 7:21 PM

wow, what great info! thanks for sharing, and good job! what a wonderful life path to take in helping others!!! :)

CafeMom TickersCafeMom Tickers
by on Jul. 23, 2009 at 7:39 PM

 I am a WIC breastfeeding peer counselor and this is how I plan to be eligible to sit for the exam. I do not work under an IBCLC but with the revised requirements I do not need to be. Here's the pathway I will take:

Other Provider of Breastfeeding Assistance

This category is available to individuals who provide breastfeeding assistance but are not licensed or registered healthcare professionals. The candidate must be accredited or certified to provide care and counseling to lactating women, must be working or volunteering within an organization that ensures supervision of his/her clinical practice and complete the following requirements:

A minimum of 45 hours of lactation specific education1 within the 5 years immediately prior to exam application. This I will do by getting my CLC which is paid for by the WIC office

2000 lactation specific clinical practice hours2 within the 5 years immediately prior to exam application. This I will accumulate by working at the WIC office counseling pregnant and lactating moms.

Applicants following these exam eligibility criteria are advised to complete at least one course in each of the six health disciplines recommended by IBLCE. Once I can find the time to add school on top of two jobs and three kids I will most likely take nutrition and sociology. Keep in mind it is only advised to take the courses NOT required.


Good luck to all the moms hoping and aspiring to become IBCLC's!

ETA: here's the link for the revised pathways:

by on Aug. 19, 2009 at 6:20 PM


by on Sep. 27, 2009 at 4:59 AM

It should be noted that in Ontario, the breastfeeding clinics are closing at an alarming rate (the one I went to is gone, along with the nurse who "could get milk out of a stone"). LLL is going to be busier than ever, so you might check with them first if you live here.

by on Aug. 10, 2010 at 12:40 PM


by on Aug. 30, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Would anyone be able to update this page with the new requirements coming in 2012?? I would love to become a lactation consultant...and it's all the requirements are sooooooo confusing to me!!! I don't know what to do first.  

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