Pathway 3 is the pathway for those who have varying levels of education and/or experience.
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 up to 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.
- Human Anatomy
- Human Physiology
- Infant and Child Growth and Development
- Introduction to Research
- Psychology or Counseling or Communication Skills
- Sociology or Cultural Sensitivity or Cultural Anthropology
Health Science - Continuing Education:
- Basic life support (e.g. CPR) Available at your local hospital, fire department or Red Cross training facility
- Medical documentation (included in the online LER 90-hour training course)
- Professional ethics for health professionals (included in the LER 90 hour training course)
- Medical terminology (available through our online IBLCE General Education package)
- Occupational safety and security for health professionals (in our IBLCE General Education package)
- Universal safety precautions and infection control (in our IBLCE General Education package)
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:
- Ask a local pediatrician to whom he/she refers patients when they have breastfeeding problems
- Call your local hospital or Public Health Clinic
- Get names of LCs from the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA)
- Identify a clinical site through the Find an LC Directory
- Find your local 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 La Leche League International
The specifics of establishing a Pathway 3 Plan, which must be verified by IBLCE prior to beginning the directly supervised lactation specific clinical practice, can be found in their Pathway 3 Plan Guide.