In Summary - Lactation Consultant
An experienced member of a health care team who has acquired specialist skill in the area of breastfeeding and lactation.
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The Work - Lactation Consultant
Lactation Consultants are professional breastfeeding specialists trained to teach mothers how to feed their baby. They help women experiencing breastfeeding problems, such as latching difficulties, painful nursing, and low milk production. A lactation consultant also helps babies who aren't gaining enough weight.
Lactation Consultants work in private practice or in designated positions, though many use their skills in their roles as midwives, medical practitioners, child health nurses and nutritionists.
This is a rewarding profession, but it can be difficult to earn the required certification unless you are already a health care professional in a field related to maternal child nursing.
IBLCE stands for International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners - the organisation that administers the international certification programme for Lactation Consultants. Almost all IBCLCs are women, and the majority of them are also fully qualified nurses.
Interests - Lactation Consultant
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Entry Requirements - Lactation Consultant
To qualify as a Lactation Consultant you will be required to achieve a passing grade on the IBLCE examination.
There are a 3 pathways to becoming an accredited LC, depending on your educational background.
1. Recognised Health professionals and recognised mother support counsellors can undertake further specialised training
2. Candidates that do not hold a recognised Health professional qualification and are not recognised mother support counsellors can complete 14 Health Sciences Foundation Courses togtetehr with lacation specific education and clinical practice
3. A Mentorship option
Full details are available from ALC Ireland
IBCLC is a standalone qualification (i.e. you do not need pre-existing qualification to become an IBCLC) but you do need to meet the criteria in one of the pathways to be eligible to sit the exam.IBLCE stands for International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, the organisation that administers the international certification programme. IBLCE’s primary purpose is to certify individuals who provide quality care to babies and mothers worldwide.
IBCLCs adhere to a Code of Ethics and work within professional Standards of Practice. They are required to keep their knowledge and skills current, and must recertify every 5 years through continuing education or re-examination to remain registered.
For further information on the IBCLC credential or certification exam, visit: www.iblce-europe.org
Last Updated: July, 2015
Pay & Salary - Lactation Consultant
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 27k - 43k
Salary relating to Nurses and Midwives specialising in this area.
Last Updated: June, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.