Becoming a Lactation Consultant in Alaska – AK
The goal of most students is to gain enough education and training to qualify to take a national competency examination administered by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). Upon successfully passing examination, students are granted the professional title of international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). Even though neither federal nor state regulations demand certification, it proves occupational aptitude that employers weigh heavily on when hiring new employees.
To qualify for examination, students must complete college-level courses that directly instruct on human anatomy and physiology, sociology/cultural anthropology, nutrition, psychology/counseling/communication, infant and child growth and development, and medical terminology. Eligibility requirements also demand a large amount of hands-on clinical experience in an approved health care setting under the supervision of a health care professional, like an IBCLC. Most academic programs will include a clinical experience portion to the curriculum. If not, students are advised to engage in an internship, job shadowing, or volunteer activities that familiarize them with providing care to breastfeeding individuals and families. More specifically, students should complete between 1,000 and 300 hours of lactation specific clinical experience and between 90 and 45 hours of education in human lactation and breastfeeding. Many students that ultimately plan to get lactation consultant certification in Alaska begin by enrolling in nursing degree programs to gain this necessary clinical experience.