Lactation Consultant Training

What type of degree or training is necessary to become a lactation consultant?

Many people are unaware that there are a number of different levels of credentials for lactation professionals, and many states do not regulate these levels. It is important to know the difference between someone who is board certified and someone who isn’t. It is also essential that breastfeeding moms receive an appropriate level of care from a skilled professional. Learn more about lactation consultant certification.

There are a couple of viable avenues by which to pursue a career as a lactation consultant. Most aspiring lactation consultants choose to earn a bachelor’s degree while gaining their registered nurse status. However, those who chose not to pursue a career in nursing as either an LPN or RN, can earn a bachelor’s degree in another health related field that would be well suited to this career. Earning LPN or RN status is the path most frequently chosen because it is a convenient way to obtain the number of contact hours required to qualify for the International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) exam.

Aspiring lactation consultants who have earned a bachelor’s degree in something other than nursing will still have an opportunity to acquire the necessary contact hours. The La Leche League Leaders organization facilitates the acquisition of contact hours by allowing aspiring lactation consultants the opportunity to work as WIC peer counselors. There are also ample opportunities for field experience and exposure to the daily duties involved in lactation consultation by simply job shadowing another IBCLC.

Learn more about lactation consultant salary.

Where can I receive my training to become a lactation consultant?

Depending on the pathway chosen (RN or another health related degree), there are various options for where to receive the training. For those who want to earn a bachelor’s degree, that can be done at traditional or online universities. For those who are interested in a nursing degree, that can typically be done at most state universities, some private colleges, and nursing schools. There are courses at some local community colleges to become a Certified Breastfeeding Consultant (CBC). There are also courses offered for "preparation for the IBCLC exam," but no specific course that provides the IBCLC accreditation upon completion. The applicant must qualify for and pass the exam in order to receive the credentials.

Lactation Consultant Schools

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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 11:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Offers classes built around small teams, so students get personal, one-on-one skills training.
            • Has 100 campuses— many of which are on or near public transportation routes.
            • Provides trained student finance planners to assist students seeking financial aid.
            • Incorporates hands-on training into all programs to provide students with important experience.
            • Provides day, evening, and weekend classes. (Classes offered may vary by location.)
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            • Accredited
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            South College , Knoxville
            • Ranked among the Best Grad Schools for their Physician Assistant program in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Campus is 56,000 square feet of modern lecture classrooms, specialty laboratories with state-of-the art equipment, writing and math lab, student center, and more.
            • Programmatic accreditation from several organizations, including the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
            • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            5 Program(s) Found
            Centura College , Virginia Beach
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
            • Listed as a 2015 Best for Vets school in the Career & Technical College category by Military Times.
            • Offers programs in health science, business, legal studies, technology, and skilled trades such as HVAC and building maintenance &    repair.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • 3 campuses located in Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida.
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