Simply put, an IBCLC is the highest certification that a lactation specialist can receive. There are many other lesser certifications-make sure you are getting what you pay for by choosing an IBCLC when you need breastfeeding help.
From www.ibcle.org :
The International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) credential identifies a knowledgeable and experienced member of the maternal-child health team who has specialized skills in breastfeeding management and care. The IBLCE certification program offers the only credential in lactation consulting and is available globally.
IBCLCs have passed a rigorous examination that demonstrates the ability to provide competent, comprehensive lactation and breastfeeding care. Attainment of the IBCLC credential signifies that the practitioner has demonstrated competence to:
• work together with mothers to prevent and solve breastfeeding problems
• collaborate with other members of the health care team to provide comprehensive care that supports, protects and promotes breastfeeding
• encourage a social environment that supports breastfeeding families
• educate families, health professionals and policy makers about the far-reaching and long-lasting value of breastfeeding as a global public health imperative.
With a focus on preventive health care, IBCLCs encourage self-care, empowering parents to make their own decisions. IBCLCs use a problem solving approach to provide evidenced-based information to pregnant and breastfeeding women and make appropriate referrals to other members of the health care team.
Why Hire an IBCLC?
Certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) provides evidence that the practitioner has demonstrated specialized knowledge and skill in a broad range of health disciplines that focus on human lactation and breastfeeding. The credential enhances professional credibility and increases consumer confidence. More and more health care facilities are recognizing that it is essential to have IBCLCs on their staff.
Consumer satisfaction and safety depend upon recruitment and retention of outstanding health care practitioners. IBCLC certification demonstrates achievement of specialized knowledge and skill and requires continued learning and skill development. When making employment decisions, health care systems can feel confident in using IBCLC certification as a measure of excellence in lactation consulting practice. Certification as an IBCLC protects the public by helping consumers identify qualified lactation consultants, increases consumer confidence through assurance that their breastfeeding care provider has met international competency standards.
Maintaining a collaborative, supportive relationship with clients, IBCLCs emphasize individualized family care, client autonomy, informed decision-making and optimal health care. By integrating cultural, psychosocial, physiological, nutritional, and immunological aspects of human lactation into practice, IBCLCs protect, promote and support breastfeeding within the community, workplace and health care system.
The privilege to hold the IBCLC credential is conditional and revocable for cause. Complaints about the conduct of individual IBCLCs are received and reviewed by the IBLCE Ethics and Discipline Committee as specified by the IBLCE Disciplinary Procedures.
- IBCLCs adhere to the IBLCE Code of Ethics and practice within the Scope of Practice for IBCLCs.
- IBCLCs are required to keep their knowledge and skills current. They must recertify every 5 years through continuing education or re-examination.
- IBCLCs function and contribute as members of the health care team and make appropriate referrals to other health care professionals and community support resources.
- IBCLCs possess the skills, knowledge and attitudes to provide competent and comprehensive lactation and breastfeeding care and education in routine and special circumstances across the chronological spectrum of pre-conception to early childhood.