Lactation Management Training: From Novice to Expert

Where to Start?

First let us say congratulations on choosing a career in lactation consulting. We think that you will find that it is a very rewarding field!

The organization that administers the international board certification exam for lactation consultants is the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). On their website you will find three pathways to choose from, to become a lactation consultant. Please visit the IBLCE website to verify the requirements for each pathway. We have put together some interpretations of the IBLCE requirements which can be viewed on YouTube and on our Pathways page. While on the IBLCE website also pay attention to the Key IBLCE documents and the IBLCE Candidate Information Guide. The pathway that you choose to follow will depend upon your previous education and experience.

We offer a comprehensive way to both meet the IBLCE elgibility requirements and study for the IBLCE exam:

IBLCE Pathways

Do you know how many Clinical Internship Hours you will need? Each pathway has specific requirements. We can help.

Compare Pathways


We offer online training options to cover the 75 required CERPs to Re-Certify your IBCLC credential. This link from the IBLCE explains the re-certification process.

Re-Certification Options


Want to hear about a day in the life of a Lactation Consultant from a practicing Lactation Consultant?
We are proud to offer interviews with Lactation Consultants.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the CBS™ (Certified Breastfeeding Specialist™) professional certification?

What is the CBS™ (Certified Breastfeeding Specialist™) professional certification?

The Certified Breastfeeding Specialist™  CBS™ is our trademarked certificate that is awarded upon completion of one of the following:

This Certification is good for 5 years!
To view the Scope of Practice for a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist click here.

Where can I find out about IBLCE professional certification?

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) currently offers the certification exam twice a year. It is offered in computerized testing centers located in most large cities throughout the U.S. and in many countries around the world. Visit their website find out more.

Which IBLCE Pathway is right for me?

Pathway 1 is generally for those who are licensed medical professionals that have already obtained, or will obtain a minimum of 1000 hours of lactation specific clinical experience through paid or volunteer work as a Recognized Health Professional and/or Recognized Mother Support Counselor.

Pathway 2 is for those who want to complete a college or university program in lactation management in order to become eligible to sit for the IBLCE Exam. Look for a program that is LEAARC Accredited.

Pathway 3 is generally for everyone else with varying experience and previous education. Pathway requirements are determined by the IBLCE. If you have questions about their requirements you can contact the IBLCE online or by telephone at 703-560-7330.

We are accredited by LEAARC and our courses are accepted by the IBLCE. For more information about how we can help you meet the IBLCE requirements, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Do I need to become certified?

Although certification is not a legal requirement, it is the ethical thing to do. By becoming certified you are offering your clients a measure of reassurance that you have achieved a certain level of competence. It also separates you from colleagues who have an interest in breastfeeding support, but have not taken the extra step of becoming certified. Being certified may give you an advantage in hiring for certain positions.

How can I find a mentor for obtaining clinical hours?

Lactation Education Resources offers a Clinical Internship for those who have taken a comprehensive lactation training course and who wish to gain practical experience. Programs of 100 hours to 500 hours are available. LER has internships in many states. View this page for more info.

If you do not currently have a position that involves contact with mothers and babies, you may need to volunteer at places such as WIC, your local health department, pediatrician's office, etc. View our YouTube Video about where to find an internship in your area.

You can ask any current IBCLC© to be your mentor. If you do not know one, consider these options:

  • Ask a pediatrician to whom he/she refers patients to when they have breastfeeding problems

  • Get names of LCs from the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA©) website

    • Go to the "Find a Lactation Consultant" page

  • Meet local ILCA group members and lactation consultants in your area

    • Contact ILCA

    • Find a location that provides clinical experience supervised by an IBCLC©

  • Attend your area Breastfeeding Coalition and meet the local lactation consultants

  • Get names from a local La Leche League Leader. To find a league in your area go to

  • Call your local hospital

  • Visit our Internship page

You may have to ask many people before you find someone to work with you. Do not get discouraged!

The IBLCE provides a clinical practice worksheet to help you determine how many clinical hours you have generated before applying to take the exam. Go to IBLCE Documents, go under the Guides column, and click on Lactation Specific Clinical Practice Calculator to bring up the Excel spreadsheet. For more information on clinical hour requirements, please contact the IBLCE or call them at 703-560-7330.

Can I become a Lactation Consultant if I am not a Nurse?

Yes, the most likely Pathway for you is Pathway Three. For more information go to: Where to Start.

Where can I find work as a lactation consultant?

IBCLCs can work in a wide range of health care settings such as Hospitals, Public Health Clinics, Lactation Centers, Milk Banks, Medical Practices, Midwifery Practices and/or Private Lactation Consultant Practices.

Educational activities can range from teaching parents and families to educating other health professionals and colleagues.

Is Lactation Education Resources an accredited training program?

Yes! Our 90 hour Lactation Consultant Training Program is accredited by LEAARC, the organization that accredits lactation training courses.
  • L-CERPs are awarded by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. Lactation Education Resources, Long-term Providershtip CLT 109-31.
  • Lactation Education Resources is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. Providership #P0519.
  • CPE's are awarded at the completion of the program. Lactation Education Resources is an approved provider by the Commission of Dietetic Registration #LA002.

How long will I have access to my online course?

All of our online courses offer 1 year of access from your purchase date. You may extend your access for another year with this extension form.

May I review the material multiple times?

You may go back and rewatch your lessons and/or retake your final exam as many times as you wish until your 1 year of access expires. You may extend your access for another year with this extension form.

Will these courses work on an iPad, iPhone or Android based tablet or phone?

Yes, we publish our lessons in HTML5 which plays best on the Google Chrome app!

Please check out our Tech FAQ's for specific information.

What should I know about the provider of the Education?

Please check out the page Questions to ask of your school for more information.

Where and when is the exam offered?

The IBLCE certification exam is now offered twice a year in various locations in the U. S. and several countries around the world. For IBLCE application deadlines and exam requirements, visit the IBLCE website or call them at 703-560-7330.

LER offers a Breastfeeding Specialist Certificate  CBS™ that can be used until you have completed all of the requirements for the IBLCE exam.

Upcoming Dates for the IBLCE Certification Exams

The IBLCE exam is offered two times a year. Please note these deadlines to ensure all required information is approved by the IBLCE so that you can take the exam without problems. Since changes may occur before exam testing, check the IBLCE website regularly to verify this information and for details as they become available.

Where can I find my payment receipt?

Where can I find my completion certificate?

Completion certificates are saved in your "Certificates" tab found on the MY COURSES page.