Why Would You Need an IBCLC?
Quite often, when I tell someone what I do for a living, I get the response: “I did not even know such a profession existed.” Fortunately, my job does exist, and I am just one of many, many people throughout the world who has dedicated her career to helping moms and babies achieve their breastfeeding goals.
Sadly, this general lack of awareness means that many new mothers do not know about the resources available to them. Even fewer are aware of the title IBCLC—International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
An IBCLC is the only recognized professional breastfeeding qualification. All IBCLCs have demonstrated an average of 1,000 clinical hours and completed at least 90 hours of advanced lactation education. An IBCLC is also required to sit for an initial exam, and recertify every five years (to ensure he/she is up to date on all information and practices).2
In other words, when you reach out to an IBCLC, you are arming yourself with the best available breastfeeding support. Here are some of the many ways an IBCLC can help.
1. Prenatal breastfeeding education: An IBCLC can help identify any potential issues that would complicate breastfeeding and review any advance questions and concerns that you may have.
2. Dealing with breastfeeding issues: An IBCLC can assist with common difficulties, such as poor latching, low supply, breastfeeding multiples, damaged nipples, or a fussy baby. Remember that an IBCLC is trained to assist mothers and babies in continuing breastfeeding despite complications and high-risk situations.3
3. Back-to-work questions: When a mother plans to return to work, an IBCLC can address questions about pumping, milk storage, and more.
4. General support: An IBCLC is that shoulder to lean on and the cheerleader who gives endless encouragement. After all, a strong support system significantly helps mothers reach their personal breastfeeding goals.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful journey between a mother and a child that sometimes needs a little guidance. There is no shame in requesting outside support---that is why this profession exists! Let us help get you in the right direction.
1, 2, 3 - http://www.ilca.org/main/why-ibclc/ibclc
Updated June 8, 2017