Why I became an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant:
I decided to become a lactation consultant after the birth of my second daughter. I had been teaching elementary school in North Sacramento for several years before my children were born. I loved teaching and helping my students learn new skills as well as working with families to help my students succeed. When my older daughter was 4 months old I visited a friend in Southern California and I went with her to her weekly breastfeeding support group. I was amazed by the knowledge and support a lactation consultant was able to provide. I left feeling more confident in my abilities as a breastfeeder and as a mother. The seed planted by this experience grew over the next few years as I dealt with my own breastfeeding difficulties and watched on when dear friends faced their own challenges. It was then that I decided I wanted to help moms and babies breastfeed. Over the following 2 years I returned to school and took classes that allowed me to enroll in UC San Diego's Lactation Consultant program. During the year long UCSD program I attended lectures and worked as an intern for two well established lactation consultants with over 20 years experience each. I learned the art of breastfeeding support from these two amazing women. I then sat for, and passed, the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners test to be certified as an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
Providing breastfeeding support combines two things I am passionate about: breastfeeding and education. We mothers often feel that breastfeeding is supposed to be easy and that it should happen organically. If it doesn't we often feel negative about our ability to mother our children. For most of us, and our babies, there is a learning curve with breastfeeding. It takes time, patience, and support. I have learned that there is no one right answer, one right way. What is right is what works for momma, baby, and family.
What does Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) mean?
A lactation consultant who is Internationally Board Certified has passed a board exam that is offered once a year and is designed to assess a lactation consultant's knowledge and skill. To be eligible to sit for the exam, candidates must complete college level courses in anatomy, phyisology, child development, and nutrition as well as medically specific courses in documentation and disease prevention. In addition to these prerequisite courses candidates must complete a year long course in lactation consulting and 300 hours working under an experienced lactation consultant as an intern. An IBCLC has a deeper knowledge base and considerably more training than a Lactation Educator Counselor and is better equipped to handle complex breastfeeding issues.
Internationally Board Certified Lactaion Consultant
UC San Diego: Lactation Consultant Program
UC San Diego: Lactation Educator Counseler Program
San Francisco State University: Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential
UC Santa Barbara: Bachelor of Arts