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The acronym IBCLC stands for "International Board Certified Lactation Consultant", an allied healthcare professional who has robust hands-on training and education in evidence-based breastfeeding management. An IBCLCs preparation and practice is governed by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. IBCLCs are experts in anticipating and preventing breastfeeding issues, and they help families restore breastfeeding when issues present throughout the duration (no matter how long) of a family's breastfeeding season. For this reason, IBCLCs are relied upon by obstetric, midwifery, pediatric, pediatric dentistry, speech pathology, and neonatology providers. In addition, community breastfeeding supporters such as support group leaders, breastfeeding peer counselors, doulas, etc. refer families to IBCLCs routinely.
Where do IBCLCs usually practice?
Just like other healthcare providers, IBCLCs practice in different settings.
To find an IBCLC in your area, enter "IBCLC (your city or zip code name here)" in to a search engine.
Important: Not everyone who says they're a lactation consultant is an international board-certified lactation consultant (which ensures they are trained to what the
US Surgeon General considers the gold standard of lactation training). If you have questions about whether or not someone is certified as an IBCLC, you may visit www.IBLCE.org to verify their certification status.
Interesting facts about IBCLCs:
Who can be an IBCLC?
A IBCLC can be any person (yes, men and women who have never been mothers can be breastfeeding experts, just like they can be obstetricians and midwives) who is serious about committing time to pursuing the education required to sit for the IBCLC Board Exam (which takes about 2-5 years to prepare for). Although many IBCLCs have a healthcare background, or a degree, neither is currently required to qualify to sit for the exam. Candidates should, however, expect to work hard via an internship, possibly returning to college or university, and taking lactation-specific classes. To learn even more about becoming an IBCLC, visit the IBLCE's Certify page.
Families and providers alike can rely on the skills and critical-thinking skills of IBCLCs. Where most providers can take on only a mother, or only a baby as a patient, IBCLCs are very experienced and able to care for both a mother and her baby. An IBCLC will understand the intricate relationship and dependance that one has on the other, and will help you troubleshoot and balance your breastfeeding.
If you are in San Antonio or surrounding areas and feel like your breastfeeding relationship needs balancing, Laura Gruber, IBCLC can help.
IBCLCs provide breastfeeding families