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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            • 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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            Get allied health training with Ross Medical Education Center. We offer programs in dental assisting, medical assisting, medical insurance billing and office administration, and pharmacy tech.
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            • Dallas campus named 2013 School of the Year by the National Association for Health Professionals (NAHP).
            • Tuition covers course-required materials for campus students, including books, lab equipment, and class supplies.
            • Offers flat tuition rate to continuously enrolled students who are on track toward program completion.
            • Campus accreditation by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • 18 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
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            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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            • Flexible Online Learning — Career programs designed for anytime learning.  Study when you have time and test when you feel ready.
            • Accredited and Supported — Regionally and nationally accredited programs with expert instructors available to answer your questions.
            • Affordable Tuition — 0% interest and low monthly payment plans.
            • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
            • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
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