IBCLC stands for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. An IBCLC provides skilled lactation management for everything from general lactation education and basic latch issues to more complicated lactation problems, such as tongue-tie or weight gain problems.
There are many different lactation helpers available to new mothers -- Breastfeeding Educators, Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC), WIC Peer Counselors, La Leche League Leaders, Breastfeeding USA Counselors and more. Many of these helpers have some lactation training, and some are required to take an exam showing basic knowledge. However, none of these designations require the level of training, experience and skills required to achieve the IBCLC certification. "The Second 9 Months" website has a great article explaining the different types of "Lactation Consultants."
IBCLC's are healthcare workers who have extensive education and clinical hour requirements. Additionally, IBCLC's are required to to pass a comprehensive exam to gain certification. IBCLC's are required to recertify with continuing education every 5 years, and must retake their exam every 10 years to demonstrate current knowledge.. The IBCLC is considered to be the Gold Standard of lactation knowledge.
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