Can Anyone Call Themselves a Lactation Consultant?

Pregnancy and Postpartum Care for Everyone

The short answer is "No"! In most places, the title "lactation consultant" is regulated and requires specific qualifications. A lactation consultant typically needs to be certified by a recognized body, such as the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). This certification involves completing educational prerequisites, gaining clinical experience in lactation services, and passing a comprehensive exam.

Using the title without the proper credentials can be misleading and, in some jurisdictions, illegal. This ensures that individuals offering lactation consulting services are properly trained to support breastfeeding mothers and handle complex issues related to lactation. If someone is offering lactation services without certification, they may use a different title, like "lactation educator" or "breastfeeding counselor," depending on their training and qualifications.

What is a Lactation Consultant?

A lactation consultant is a healthcare professional specialized in the clinical management of breastfeeding. These consultants are often certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and may carry the title IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). This certification is globally recognized and requires passing a comprehensive exam as well as completing clinical hours and specific educational pathways.