Any Lactation Consultants here to answer some questions?

  1. 0
    I'm hoping to get some input on becoming a lactation consultant. I've been mulling over all the info on the IBLCE website and different online programs available out there, but still a tad lost. Some background on me: I have my ADN and a Bachelors in Psychology. I worked in med-surg for 2 years, homecare med surg (not mom/baby) for 6 years. Since having kids lactation consulting has really called to me. I think that I am most eligible for pathway 2 on the IBLCE website since I can't count any hours at work towards clinical hours. So.. questions:

    1. Anyone recommend a certain online program (there are none in my area - NJ) that they have taken and was good? (lactationtraining.org, union institute, health -e learning)

    2. Is it worth it to become a lactation counselor in the meantime.. or am I wasting my time? I could take the week long course with healthy children to become a counselor and get 45 CERPS.

    3. For those with a RN background not in mom/baby and needing the clinical hours.. who did you ask to monitor you and how did you go about seeking the help.

    Thanks SO much for any information you can provide
  2. 12 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Hi, I am an IBCLC and have been since 2007 (just recertified in 2012). I will try to answer your questions.

    1) I really liked the Health E-Learning/Breast-Ed courses. I did all of my lactation specific education and earned all my CERPs needed for the exam through them. I did the entire lactation series (I think there is a series of 10 classes?), and I also signed up for the exam prep course, which is VERY helpful.

    2) It depends on what you mean by "worth it" - if you take the Breast Ed series, you won't need the additional CERPs, but you may be able to use any hours you accrue as a lactation counselor towards your consultancy hour requirement. But becoming a counselor just for the sake of becoming a counselor? No, I would say probably not.

    3) I work(ed) as an L&D nurse, but I earned the vast majority of my consultancy hours prior to becoming an RN (I became an RN in 2006, and an IBCLC in 2007). I was a La Leche League Leader for 10 years, and you earn 500 hours of consultancy hours for every year as an active LLL Leader. So that's how I earned my consultancy time. Other options would be checking with your local OB department or NICU, they usually have an IBCLC department, and they may be willing to have people shadow them to earn their hours. Also, IBCLCs in private practice can do that as well. However, the IBCLCs must have had at least one recertification before they're allowed to mentor, I believe.

    Hope this helps!
  4. 0
    Thanks! That was very helpful. I was debating the lactation counselor, thinking that would give me a step up.. but it doesn't seem so after all.
  5. 0
    I am just starting my journey to becoming an RN and IBCLC.

    I took the Lactation Counselor course through UC San Diego Extension, I did half in class and half online. They have a all online option as well. The program is very well produced and I feel I learned a lot. Since I did half online and half in class I can attest to the fact that the online video lectures are very similar to the content she presents on class so watching them online is not a disadvantage. There are a lot of assignments to complete but they are all very relevant and not just "busy work." I took the class for a few reasons:

    1. Since I was applying to a direct entry Masters in Nursing program (MEPN), and had no prior medical experience, I thought the course would make me a more competitive applicant for my specialty of Public Health Nursing. I think it was also helpful in solidifying my passion for the lactation profession and my desire to be an RN. I was just accepted to the MEPN program and will start in fall 2013.

    2. I will likely take my IBCLC course through UC San Diego as well and the lactation counselor course is a pre-req to the IBCLC course for that program.

    3. I won't start the IBCLC course until fall 2014, after completing my RN coursework and testing for my license. I'm hoping the Counselor course will be helpful in finding a position that will give me the direct patient care hours I need while completing the IBCLC course along with my Masters courses in Public Health Nursing.

    Good luck!
  6. 0
    Hello! It will be very difficult (not impossible) to become a LC w/o some kind of maternal-child work experience. It is not worth it to cut corners & I strongly suggest getting some experience under your belt. Taking a breastfeeding educator class is very helpful, but hands on experience is a must. I have been an IBCLC for 14 yrs., BF educator x 4 yrs prior to that, & RN 30 yrs. When I first certified I had about 7-8 yrs of OB experience & still felt I could have used more. I sometimes feel that this area of advanced practice nursing is treated like a back magazine mail-in degree certification or something. I've known a few that have misrepresented their credentials/experience to gain their IBCLC. This practice (I feel) has eroded the professionalism of the LC in some instances. IBCLCE seems to have taken steps to increase the educational & clinical requirements to sit for the exam. You can hire a mentor to help w/ the clinical experience- check the ILCA web site for information. I also suggest getting involved w/ LaLeache League; very helpful w/ learning to council the BF mother & some insight. The online courses are good & convient but cannot take the place of conferences or seminars. Get a copy of Dr. Ruth Lawrence's book, "Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Professional" & Riodan's "Breastfeeding & Human Lactation". Both are expensive but pretty much all you will need (for now). And..... Learn the rules of diplomacy! It's a incredibably rewarding but tough profession. I've secretly thought that it is safer to discuss politics & abortion than breastfeeding.Good luck!
  7. 1
    I'm an IBCLC and I'm a SN. I chose to complete Pathway C (or 3?). It is not a way to cut corners, it's a legitimate pathway offered. I worked with a mentor and completed far more than the 500 hours hands on clinical experience. Before even starting a mentorship, I volunteered with my mentor and the hospital lactation program and their support group.
    losbozos likes this.
  8. 0
    I am in your same situation. Have you made any leeway since this post? I was a Med-Surg RN for a few years and since I had my first child I have found that becoming an IBCLC is my true passion in life. I am currently a stay at home mom and want to work on getting my IBCLC at this time. I, too, think Pathway 2 is best for me but I still have several questions. I have had such a hard time finding answers to my questions and can not get ahold of anyone from UCSD, where I am planning to do the online program.

    I plan to do the coursework 100% online as I live in South Carolina. I am wondering if I can set up the clinical all on my own and not have to pay the extra $2,000 to add the clinical part to my schooling through UCSD. Can only Pathway 1 students take the $995.00 dollar option of just coursework and classes? If I am doing Pathway 2, do I have to do my clinicals through UCSD and pay the apprx $3,000 for the whole class?

    The program begins every September, right? Even if I begin the coursework in September, is there any way I can start doing my clinicals as soon as possible? I am at a rare place in my life where my husband is able to help more and watch our son so I would love to get started.

    I have emailed Gini and the Lactation program itself through the website and have not heard back. I am so anxious and excited to get started but I still kind of feel in the dark and would love to talk to someone who has been there to ask some questions! Please someone write back and help me... I appreciate it so much!!!!!
  9. 0
    I have some questions for you! I am a RN with no maternal-child work experience so I am planning on doing the Pathway 2. I would like to start this coming fall. You said the lactation counselor course is a pre-req to the IBCLC course. Is that true for a RN doing Pathway 2? I have never seen anything about that.

    I posted below as well, do you think you could read through that and answer any questions that you may have an answer to? I would appreciate any insight. Thank you so much and hope to hear from you soon!
  10. 0
    Quote from atkpop
    I am just starting my journey to becoming an RN and IBCLC.

    I took the Lactation Counselor course through UC San Diego Extension, I did half in class and half online. They have a all online option as well. The program is very well produced and I feel I learned a lot. Since I did half online and half in class I can attest to the fact that the online video lectures are very similar to the content she presents on class so watching them online is not a disadvantage. There are a lot of assignments to complete but they are all very relevant and not just "busy work." I took the class for a few reasons:

    1. Since I was applying to a direct entry Masters in Nursing program (MEPN), and had no prior medical experience, I thought the course would make me a more competitive applicant for my specialty of Public Health Nursing. I think it was also helpful in solidifying my passion for the lactation profession and my desire to be an RN. I was just accepted to the MEPN program and will start in fall 2013.

    2. I will likely take my IBCLC course through UC San Diego as well and the lactation counselor course is a pre-req to the IBCLC course for that program.

    3. I won't start the IBCLC course until fall 2014, after completing my RN coursework and testing for my license. I'm hoping the Counselor course will be helpful in finding a position that will give me the direct patient care hours I need while completing the IBCLC course along with my Masters courses in Public Health Nursing.

    Good luck!
    I have some questions for you! I am a RN with no maternal-child work experience so I am planning on doing the Pathway 2. I would like to start this coming fall. You said the lactation counselor course is a pre-req to the IBCLC course. Is that true for a RN doing Pathway 2? I have never seen anything about that.

    I posted below as well, do you think you could read through that and answer any questions that you may have an answer to? I would appreciate any insight. Thank you so much and hope to hear from you soon!
  11. 1
    Quote from atkpop
    I am just starting my journey to becoming an RN and IBCLC. <br>
    <br>
    I took the Lactation Counselor course through UC San Diego Extension, I did half in class and half online. They have a all online option as well. The program is very well produced and I feel I learned a lot. Since I did half online and half in class I can attest to the fact that the online video lectures are very similar to the content she presents on class so watching them online is not a disadvantage. There are a lot of assignments to complete but they are all very relevant and not just "busy work." I took the class for a few reasons: <br>
    <br>
    1. Since I was applying to a direct entry Masters in Nursing program (MEPN), and had no prior medical experience, I thought the course would make me a more competitive applicant for my specialty of Public Health Nursing. I think it was also helpful in solidifying my passion for the lactation profession and my desire to be an RN. I was just accepted to the MEPN program and will start in fall 2013. <br>
    <br>
    2. I will likely take my IBCLC course through UC San Diego as well and the lactation counselor course is a pre-req to the IBCLC course for that program. <br>
    <br>
    3. I won't start the IBCLC course until fall 2014, after completing my RN coursework and testing for my license. I'm hoping the Counselor course will be helpful in finding a position that will give me the direct patient care hours I need while completing the IBCLC course along with my Masters courses in Public Health Nursing. <br>
    <br>
    Good luck!
    <br><br><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(231, 239, 248);">I have some questions for you! I am a RN with no maternal-child work experience so I am planning on doing the Pathway 2. I would like to start this coming fall. You said the lactation counselor course is a pre-req to the IBCLC course. Is that true for a RN doing Pathway 2? I have never seen anything about that.&nbsp;</span><br style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(231, 239, 248);"><br style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(231, 239, 248);"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px; background-color: rgb(231, 239, 248);">I posted below as well, do you think you could read through that and answer any questions that you may have an answer to? I would appreciate any insight. Thank you so much and hope to hear from you soon!</span>
    amyibclc likes this.


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