Lactation Management Training: From Novice to Expert

Pathway 3 is the pathway for those who have varying levels of education and/or experience.

Pathway requirements are determined by the IBLCE. If you have questions about the requirements contact the IBLCE directly at or by telephone at 703-560-7330.

In order to become eligible to apply for the IBLCE board certifying exam, the following components must be completed:


Lactation Specific Education:

90 hours of comprehensive lactation training, which can be accessed for one year after registration. Look for a program that is approved by the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC), such as our online lactation consultant training programs. For additional information go to IBLCE Certification and view our YouTube video.


Health Science:

    Higher Education:

If you have taken any of these college level courses in the past, they do not need to be repeated. Simply have transcripts or other proof that you have completed them. If you have not taken any or all of these courses, they can be obtained through an online college or at the closest community college or university. Click here for additional details.

To review details about the IBLCE health science course requirements, go to the IBLCE Health Sciences Education Guide.

  • Biology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Human Physiology
  • Infant and Child Growth and Development
  • Introduction to Research
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology or Counseling or Communication Skills
  • Sociology or Cultural Sensitivity or Cultural Anthropology


    Continuing Education:


Lactation Specific Clinical Experience:

500 hours of clinical experience is required. This must be directly supervised by an IBCLC® and preapproved by the IBLCE before starting. Clinical experience starts with observation, then participation and finally independent practice with your mentor nearby. There are organized clinical internships available in certain areas. LER offers Pathway 3 internships in the Washington DC and Baltimore MD metro areas. To find IBCLC supervision for your clinical experience you may:

If you plan to qualify for the IBLCE exam through Pathway 3, you must submit an Application for Pathway 3 Plan Verification to IBLCE before you begin earning the 500 required clinical hours. Pathway 3 Plan applications may be submitted on the IBLCE website at any time.