- There are 3 certifications that are structured very similarly: CLC, CLS, and CLE
- Certified Lactation Counselor - also known as CLC, or "Lactation Counselor"
- Certified Lactation Specialist - also known as CLS or "Lactation Specialist"
- Certified Lactation Educator - also known as CLE
- Each of these (CLC, CLS, and CLE) have the following in common:
- Training: 45-hour course with test at the end, and certification upon passing)
- Scope of practice includes: Establishing good milk supply, helping mothers and babies with positioning and latch, giving mothers instructions on pumping and hand expression of milk, and other routine breastfeeding management
- Needs to refer to IBCLC or Lactation Consultant when breastfeeding challenges fall outside of their scope of practice
- International Board Certified Lactation Consultant - also known as IBCLC or "Lactation Consultant"
- Highest standard for breastfeeding credential
- Training: A bachelor's degree in a health field, 1000 hours working with breastfeeding mothers, 90 lactation-specific continuing-education hours, passing the IBCLC Boards. Certification must be renewed every 5 years with continuing education credits and re-examination every 10 years
- Scope of practice includes: all of the scope of the above groups, as well as more complicated maternal and infant breastfeeding challenges. Examples include NICU admission for infants, hyperbilirubinemia, congenital defects, oral/motor dysfunction and excess infant weight loss; for mothers examples include: breast abscess, induced lactation, mastitis, breast surgeries and anomalies.
What is the difference between a Lactation Consultant and a Lactation Counselor, Breastfeeding USA counselor, and all of the other names?
Nicole Van Klompenburg