Lactation consultants are health care professionals with specialized knowledge and clinical expertise in breastfeeding and human lactation. Lactation consultants may work in various settings including hospitals, public health units, community agencies or doctor’s office.
Lactation consultants are relatively new members of the healthcare field. They promote changes that support breastfeeding and help reduce the risks of not breastfeeding. Typically, Lactation consultants help mothers and babies with latching difficulties, painful nursing, low milk production, or inadequate weight gain.
Lactation consultants duties:
-helps mothers understand the fundamentals of lactation
-help women meet their breastfeeding goals in light of special circumstances such as returning to work or school
-teach classes for expectant and new breastfeeding mothers
-educate families, health professionals and policy makers about the long-lasting value of breastfeeding
-encourage a social environment that supports breastfeeding families
The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) develops and administers the certification examination for lactation consultants. Anyone who wants to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) must meet all of the following requirements:
•Prerequisite higher education in the health sciences
•Education specifically about human lactation and breastfeeding
•Clinical practice in providing care to breastfeeding families.