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Mother/Baby RN-Desire to become a Lactation Consultant-Considering CLC to start?

Posted

Specializes in Postpartum/Neonatal Unit. Has 2 years experience.

Hi Everyone!

Looking to the professional lactation consultant community for some career advise. I am a new grad nurse that has worked in a busy mother baby unit in the New England area for about 10 months. While I love many aspects of my job, juggling 3-4 patients and 3-4 babies at a time, especially in a high risk PP center, hasn't been exactly what I thought it would be. What I LOVE about my job, (and quite frankly, has kept me sane about my job), is the  breastfeeding support I provide to my families. It truly brings me joy, interests me like no other and is a career path I could see myself following for the rest of my life. Sounds weird, but it feels like "home", working with breastfeeding mothers. While my ultimate goal is to become a IBCLC, I know the path to get there is going to take a bit. Based on my math, I have around 250 hands on breastfeeding hours---no where near the 1,000 needed to fulfill the IBCLC hands on criteria. I really can't see myself doing bedside nursing that much longer (the anxiety of postpartum hemorrhages, elevated blood pressures/seizure precautions in mom, pain control issues, etc)., and also have a rough commute at the hospital I am currently at. I am looking to make a change, and hopefully in a nurturing, breastfeeding role capacity, but not sure what my options are. Should I apply to get my certified breastfeeding counselor certificate? What are my chances of being hired as a CLC while I work towards my IBCLC?

Thank you so much.

Edited by thankyounurses727

macawake, MSN

Has 13 years experience.

4 hours ago, thankyounurses727 said:

Hi Everyone!

Looking to the professional lactation consultant community for some career advise. I am a new grad nurse that has worked in a busy mother baby unit in the New England area for about 10 months. While I love many aspects of my job, juggling 3-4 patients and 3-4 babies at a time, especially in a high risk PP center, hasn't been exactly what I thought it would be. What I LOVE about my job, (and quite frankly, has kept me sane about my job), is the  breastfeeding support I provide to my families. It truly brings me joy, interests me like no other and is a career path I could see myself following for the rest of my life. Sounds weird, but it feels like "home", working with breastfeeding mothers. While my ultimate goal is to become a IBCLC, I know the path to get there is going to take a bit. Based on my math, I have around 250 hands on breastfeeding hours---no where near the 1,000 needed to fulfill the IBCLC hands on criteria. I really can't see myself doing bedside nursing that much longer (the anxiety of postpartum hemorrhages, elevated blood pressures/seizure precautions in mom, pain control issues, etc)., and also have a rough commute at the hospital I am currently at. I am looking to make a change, and hopefully in a nurturing, breastfeeding role capacity, but not sure what my options are. Should I apply to get my certified breastfeeding counselor certificate? What are my chances of being hired as a CLC while I work towards my IBCLC?

Thank you so much.

Hi there, welcome to AN 🙂

Unfortunately I can’t offer anything helpful on the lactation consultant query you have. I work in anesthesia, in Europe to boot. So I’m kind of useless on that front. I still wanted to reply to your post when I saw it because the sentence I’ve bolded stood out to me. 

You have less than a year of nursing experience under your belt. The first year of nursing can be and often is quite overwhelming. I can easily see how caring for up to eight patients can be daunting. Still, I can’t help but feel that it sounds like you’ve found a specialty that fits you quite well. Could it be that you are thinking of ”narrowing” your practice because of the understandable stress of being a recent graduate? 

I’m not writing this to discourage you or to try to talk you out of your plan. On the contrary, I’m hoping it might help you to know that most of us have at one point in our careers felt a bit out of our depth. But it does get better. A lot of my coworkers say, and I agree, that the first year was extremely stressful and then something happens after about two years or so when things just fall into place and you realize that you go entire shifts without feeling anxious, instead being entirely comfortable in your ”nurse skin”. Any way, you know yourself a whole lot better than I do, so this was just me offering my perspective.

Best wishes to you and I hope another forum member who has the information you’re looking for finds this thread 🙂

 

Edited by macawake

NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

Might get more responses +info in allnurses OB/GYN forum

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Moved to OB/GYN for best responses.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Hard to say - most places I've worked have required their LCs to have their IBCLC certification. But I know that some places do hire CLCs.

futuremidwife, CNA

Specializes in Labor & Delivery, Mother/Baby, NICU. Has 12 years experience.

Hi there! I know this was posted several months ago but I wanted to share some advice and reassurance for you as you're on your journey to happiness! I am on the path to becoming an IBCLC and a pre-nursing student. 

I started as a birth doula and widened by birth services to postpartum as well. In so doing, I decided to take one 45 hour lactation course in order to be a lactation educator. Well... Surprise, surprise! I fell in love with lactation and decided to take the secondary course so that I would be able to have a total of the 90 lactation education hours required to become an IBCLC. I have fulfilled that component and now as a non-nurse, I have to complete the 500 hours (under the supervision of an IBCLC) needed to sit for the IBCLC exam. 

As a nurse, especially one who works in a Mother/Baby Unit, you can count the hours that you have worked as your 1000 hours which is great. So if you worked at least a minimum of one year, it should be no problem for you to fulfill that requirement. It is based on the honor system. Hope that helps! Feel free to ask any further questions if you have them.