Whether you are currently practicing as an IBCLC in the United States or aspiring to be one, USLCA has gathered the following information specific to the needs of IBCLCs. If you have suggestions for additional resources to be added to this list, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accreditation | Advocacy | Becoming an IBCLC | Breastfeeding Organizations | Careers | Clinical Resources | Continuing Education | Demographics | Job Descriptions | Liability Insurance | Mentorship | Professional Development | Professional Standards | Research | Salaries | Working In
The IBCLC credential is administered by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®). Questions pertaining to pathways, examination, scope of practice, certification status, etc. should be directed to IBLCE.
Advocating for recognition and understanding of the importance of the IBCLC credential can be a challenge. Whether you are looking to advocate for yourself in your workplace or join a committee dedicated to policy-making, USLCA is here to help.
Becoming an IBCLC
Are you interested in becoming a lactation care provider? Depending on where you are on your journey, the following resources may be helpful.
There are many organizations in the lactation world. Here is a brief description of some of the most influential organizations in the field and what they do.
The accrediting body for the IBCLC credential
IBLCE®, or the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners®, is the independent international certification body conferring the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) credential.
The international professional association for IBCLCs with a focus worldwide
The International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) is the member association for International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLC®) and other healthcare professionals who care for breastfeeding families. ILCA membership is open to all who support and promote breastfeeding. Members may join at any time and do not need to be an IBCLC to be a member.
An organization that sets the standards for education in lactation
LEAARC reviews and recognizes didactic courses as well as accredited lactation programs in postsecondary institutions.
A coalition of coalitions focusing on breastfeeding policy and equity
The United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) is an independent nonprofit coalition of more than 100 influential professional, educational, and governmental organizations that share a common mission to drive collaborative efforts for policy and practices that create a landscape of breastfeeding support across the United States.
The United States-based professional association for all lactation care providers.
USLCA exists to support the advancement of the lactation profession and lactation care providers for the health of families across the country.
Whether you are looking for a job in your area or hoping to post an opening, these job boards are intended specifically for IBCLCs.
No one knows the lactation profession better than your colleagues. USLCA members that have tools, resources, and products are eligible to publish their business in the USLCA marketplace. Review the full list here.
IBCLCs can obtain Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs) through in-person and/or online education from a variety of sources. You may find CERPs available through educational events at your local or state breastfeeding coalition or task force, as well as through national and international organizations, including USLCA.
USLCA Members offer:
USLCA is currently collecting demographic data from those in the lactation profession. Please review the IBCLC specific data here.
Review our 2019 data here.
Want to contribute to this data? Click here to fill out the survey.
Based on a collection of job descriptions, let this model job description serve as a core that can be customized for each individual workplace.
IBCLCs who are not insured by their employer (i.e. hospital) are encouraged to hold a liability insurance policy. USLCA does not promote or endorse any specific liability insurance company but are aware of a few options you may want to look into:
Pathway 3 IBCLC candidates are required to find an IBCLC to mentor them for 500 hours. The profession relies on committed IBCLCs to help mentor and educate the next generation. IBLCE will provide mentors up to 25 CERPs per mentee (not to exceed 50 in a 5 year period) for offering mentoring services.
USLCA hosts an online mentorship directory, available to members, to help aspiring IBCLCs connect with available mentors in their area. Click here to learn more.
As a professional health care provider, the IBCLC has responsibilities around clinical lactation care as well as conducting oneself as a professional in the public eye. Maintaining excellence in the public persona of the IBCLC is a very important piece of ensuring that our collective voice is heard at every policymaking table, making access to IBCLC care for all families a reality.
The privilege of using the term “IBCLC” comes with responsibilities which include adhering to all the guidelines and requirements of IBLCE. Specifically, the IBCLC is called to act responsibly and dutifully, ethically and justly, and in a manner which is consistent with leadership in the larger community of our country. By remaining aware and informed on matters of importance to the general population, the IBCLC will be able to conduct themself with confidence and dignity.
This includes pursuing additional forms of training and education on skills such as:
- Improving communication
- Efficient and effective meeting/group work
- Promoting health equity
- Creating and facilitating diversity in workplaces and organizations
- Professional development methods
In service of these needs, USLCA provides this list of potential resources for the IBCLC to pursue continuing development:
Professional standards for IBCLCs are set by IBLCE. Review them here.
Resources for understanding and implementing the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (also known as the WHO Code or the International Code) include the following:
In order to practice evidence-based care, research is an imperative component. The following are links to journals from the lactation field, current protocols, and a link for connecting USLCA members with research participation opportunities.
IBCLCs salaries may vary depending on multiple factors including work setting, additional certifications held, and location. Some current resources that exist are:
Setting up a private practice can be a big undertaking. Review a list of resources and ideas on our Private Practice Resources page.
IBCLCs who work in a hospital sometimes have a secondary certification such as an RN or RD. The IBCLC credential is a stand-alone credential, but each hospital sets their own individual policy on how that is observed.
State WIC agencies around the country adhere to different models. Some employ IBCLCs to care for clients upon referral through their peer counseling program.
Working in a physician’s office may provide an avenue for reimbursement while seeing patients on an outpatient setting. Physician offices may employ a variety of lactation care provider types to help triage lactation questions.