Becoming a Lactation Consultant in South Carolina – SC
The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation does not require practicing lactation consultants to obtain a license or to register at this time. However, when becoming a lactation consultant in South Carolina, it is advantageous to achieve certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners administers the certification examination. More information can be obtained at http://americas.iblce.org/.
There are three pathways to meet the eligibility requirements for IBCLC certification. The amount of hours of classroom education varies from 45 to 90 hours of classroom instruction. Note that in 2012, 90 hours will be the minimum education threshold in South Carolina. Typically, medical professionals such as registered nurses, physicians and dieticians have obtained the necessary classroom instruction already during their medical training. Individuals who chose to follow Pathway 3, which is mentoring with an experienced certified IBCLC, should be aware that, while two years of secondary education is not required, it is highly recommended in order to pass the written examination.
In addition to coursework, depending on the pathway, 1000 hours of clinical practice assignment hours may be required. For detailed information on what constitutes acceptable clinical experience in South Carolina, visit the IBCLC’s eligibility pathways online information at http://americas.iblce.org/exam-eligibility-pathways. For example, a licensed and registered health care professional may receive credit for their on-the-job experience counseling new mothers and families regarding breastfeeding and lactation issues.
Opportunities for lactation consultants to obtain the clinical experience necessary to achieve certification can be found at many South Carolina hospitals, including the Roper Hospital, Palmetto Health, Providence Hospital and the Medical University of South Carolina.