How Do I Become an IBCLC?

Visit the IBLCE website to help you decide which pathway is right for you.

  • Pathway 1

is appropriate for candidates already holding another healthcare credential or those with a background in mother-to-mother support, such as La Leche League leaders or accredited breastfeeding peer counselors. Pathway 1 candidates usually have met the clinical experience requirement on the job or through the accredited mother support counselor position.

  • Pathway 2

is for candidates who have access to an academic program offering a degree in lactation consulting where they will complete all the IBLCE requirements through the degree program. IBLCE has a list of currently available academic lactation programs.

  • Pathway 3

is for candidates who have other backgrounds not included in Pathways 1 or 2. Pathway 3 candidates demonstrate completion of the required college level general education courses, the continuing education courses and lactation-specific education. Pathway 3 is also appropriate for healthcare professionals who cannot acquire the necessary breastfeeding management experience on the job (e.g. an RN who works in the ICU). Pathway 3 candidates then complete OBRC’s clinical training program where they will work with experienced IBCLCs in a variety of settings (hospital, clinic, community, milk bank).