lactation consultant

  1. I was wondering if anyone may be able to tell me how do you go about becoming a lactation consultant. Do you have to have ob experience first? I am a new RN, and although we are suffering a nursing shortage in my area, it s still pretty tough to get into ob around here! Anyhow I've noticed in lots of the job postings, it says lactation consultant preffered. Your help is much appreciated.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   wsiab
    Certification usually involves classes and shadowing/training with a lactation consultant. The courses I have seen average aroung $1000 and are not offered often. Keep an eye out for classes, maybe try contacting La Leche League and see if they have any suggestions.
  4. by   KRVRN
    I believe you can do it without OB experrience. I only say this because one of the RT's where I work is inschool to become one. She has neither RN nor OB experience.
  5. by   Nursecathy123ca
    I am currently a Postpartum nurse and breastfeeding educator. I'm starting to collect practice hours to get my certification. On the web, search for "Lactation Consultant Certification" and IBCLC.
    In Texas, the Dept. of Health sponsors classes which are 3 days in length and only cost about $65. This will get you on your way. As you know, to be called a Lactation Consultant requires many hundreds of hours of BF education and passing the test.
    I got lucky and was hired in Postpartum when my hospital expanded and they really needed nurses in maternity. The current BF educators were overworked and are expanding their office to meet demands. So far, it has been a great experience.
    If you have a WIC office, that's also a great place to volunteer/work. Of course, if you do get into Maternity, part of your job will consist of teaching breastfeeding.
    Good luck.
  6. by   newnurse72
    Thanks to all for your suggestions and comments. I finally decided to accept a job on a med-surg unit, but am keeping my eyes open to positions in OB. In the mean time, I am looking into lactation consultant classes in my area. osborncs- What a great idea, I will call my local WIC office today! Thanks again.
  7. by   mother/babyRN
    Our lactation consultant is an Rn but has never officially worked as one...I am all in to breast feeding, but I have to say to be "totally" one way or the other is not realistic in my view. But then, I have breast fed 4 babies...I have noticed one big trend, if it wasn't the patient's idea to breast feed, it probably won't work. And, teenagers are into themselves so they may not elect to breast feed from that standpoint alone. I just don't think anything is cut and dried and to be a good lc, I think you have to respect that. Good luck. It is a great field....
  8. by   tntrn
    Good for you, mother/baby RN, for your open attitude. We have the Nipple Nazis, in our unit, who go so far as to suggest that dying in your adulthood from a disease, goes back to whether or not you were breast feed. Give me a break!

    My personal feeling is that we have created a problem by inventing problems, like nipple confusion. If a kid gets hungry, it will eat. The Koreans, as reported by one of our Korean nurses, do not get to even hold their babies for about a week. They are kept in a nurserym bottle fed, then are sent home to, guess what? breast feed.

    I'm sick and tired of going into patient's rooms to find the mom in tears because she's been told she's a rotten mom if she doesn't want to breast feed. This is not a third world country; your baby won't die if you bottle feed. My kids weren't. You can't pick them out of a crowd and one of them graduated with a 4.0. So there ya go. I say, support the mom in what she wants to do; don't thrust what you want her to do upon her.
  9. by   Nursecathy123ca
    I agree some of the BF educators are too rigid in their teachings. Too bad. That is the one reason I tend to shy away from recommending anyone to La Leche League--it's either "my way or the highway". According to them, giving a bottle, even once, will cause big problems. We know that's not true.
    I do take exception, however, to bottle feeding for a week, then trying to switch to breastfeeding, like the Koreans. I have seen a baby get nipple confusion after getting several bottles in a row. The formula in a bottle (especially a 'standard' nipple) just flows out--the baby hardly has to suck. Breastfeeding, of course, isn't quite that easy. It causes a great deal of frustration for a mom to put baby to the breast only to have the kid refuse to suck, push away, and start screaming. That's when they usually say "Just give him a bottle. He doesn't want to breastfeed." Usually, that's the end of breastfeeding. Well, if breastfeeding was the only thing he had known, he would be breastfeeding just fine.
    Of course, one bottle now and then doesn't hurt. We do need to be flexible and sensitive to parent's needs. Especiallyif they are hormonal postpartum moms!

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lactation consultant