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.
Pathway 1 is generally for those who work with lactation in a clinical setting 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 Breastfeeding Support Counselor Organizations.
Additional details are available in the FAQ section from the IBLCE.
Pathway 1 requirements are set by the IBLCE and may be viewed here.
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 allows those with little to no experience in a clinical setting to enter the field. This pathway requires mentorship by a practicing IBCLC.
Pathway 3 requirements are determined by the IBLCE and may be viewed here. If you have questions about their requirements you can contact the IBLCE online or by telephone at 703-560-7330.
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.
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.
You can ask any current IBCLC to be your mentor. If you do not know one, consider these options:
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.
Yes, the most likely Pathway for you is Pathway Three. For more information go to: Where to Start
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.
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
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
Yes, we publish our lessons in HTML5 which is mobile device friendly.
Please check out our Tech FAQ's for specific information.
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.
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.
Payment receipts are emailed directly to you, immediately after purchase. As a security precaution, they are not saved in your online account. You can request a copy of your receipt by emailing
Completion certificates are saved in your "Certificates" tab found on the MY COURSES page.