What to Look for in a Lactation Consultant
By Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC, www.second9months.com
A lactation consultant is a skilled healthcare professional who specializes in the study of the science of human lactation (breastfeeding), and in the assessment of breastfeeding women and their children. Lactation consultants come from a variety of professional backgrounds. Nursing, education and midwifery to name a few. To ensure that a consultant has the minimum competencies recognized in the field, see an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) requires at least 2500 hours of “breastfeeding consultancy,” a bachelor’s degree, and proof of specific education in lactation as a prerequisite for taking the exam. A lactation consultant is expected to maintain her credentials with continuing education and re-certification.
Lactation consultants in private practice charge a fee for their work (sometimes covered by insurance) and hospital based clinics may charge a fee or be free (more likely if you’ve given birth in that particular hospital).
Read when to seek a lactation consultant for more information.