Becoming a Lactation Consultant in Rhode Island – RI
The Rhode Island Department of Health and the Office of Health Professionals Regulation oversees licensure and registration of healthcare professionals in Rhode Island. At this time, lactation consultants are not required to be licensed separately as an occupation. However, healthcare professionals that often attain additional certification as lactation consultants, such as midwives, nurse practitioners, nurses, physicians and physician assistants, are, of course, required to be medically registered and licensed.
Many Rhode Island hospitals, as part of their maternity service offerings, strive for the Baby-Friendly designation from the World Health Organization to signify that they promote breastfeeding and employ certified lactation consultants. To become a certified lactation consultant, the desired credential is that of an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) awarded by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). There are three avenues for IBCLC certification for applicants to consider. All candidates must complete education at the college or university level that satisfies requirements in medical terminology, infant and child growth and development, nutrition, cultural sensitivity or sociology, human anatomy and physiology and psychology or counseling. Health care professionals with post-secondary degrees have typically fulfilled these requirements as part of their coursework.
In addition, all must complete clinical experience that is directly supervised that includes assisting pregnant women, new mothers and their families with lactation issues and breastfeeding. For detailed information on the IBCLC eligibility pathways, visit http://www.americas.iblce.org/exam-eligibility-pathways.