International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are health care providers who, by meeting eligibility requirements and by passing an independent examination, are certified to possess the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to provide quality breastfeeding assistance to babies and mothers.
IBCLCs are valuable members of the health care team who find recognition and career opportunities that may not be available to others who have studied lactation, but are not board certified. There are now many designated positions for IBCLCs. They work in hospitals, maternal and child health, the community and private practice.
As more health care facilities make a commitment to improving their breastfeeding practices and breastfeeding rates, education of staff has been identified as a crucial step in this procedure. Health facilities that encourage and support their staff to become board certified find that the exam provides them with a strong incentive to extend their study and skills. Some hospitals now require all clinical staff who help mothers with breastfeeding to work towards IBCLC certification.