I Want to Become an IBCLC, But I’m Not Sure Where to Start

Welcome! We’re happy to hear that you are looking into becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. There is a ton of information out there to sift through, and our LiquidGoldConcept team is here to help. Once you have read through everything, make sure to check out our IBCLC Pathway 3 Global Mentorship Program to figure out if it is a good fit for you (we’re willing to bet it is).

Use this site as a guide to help you navigate your way through coursework, requirements, clinical hours, and finally, sitting for the exam with the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE).

What Are the Requirements?

  • 14 Health Sciences

  • 90 hours lactation-specific education

  • 5 hours of communication education

  • 300/500/1000 clinical hours (varies by pathway)

Selecting the Right Pathway For You

Frequently people wonder, which IBCLC Pathway is the right one for me? While no one can answer this for you, there may be contributing factors that make one Pathway a more obvious choice than another. Only you know your situation and resources. Choose whichever Pathway works best for you.

IBCLC Pathway 3

IBCLC Pathway 3

This pathway includes a direct mentorship with an IBCLC, which you are responsible for finding and must complete an application within your IBLCE account before beginning your accrual of hours. This can be completed through the IBCLC’s private practice, in a hospital or clinic setting, or wherever the IBCLC generally practices. You cannot count the time spent documenting or debriefing, but this pathway required 500 hours or direct contact with parents in assisting them with their breastfeeding goals. LiquidGoldConcept offers a Pathway 3 Global Mentorship Program. Get started on your IBCLC journey today!

IBCLC Pathway 2

IBCLC Pathway 2

This Pathway requires registering for an academic program through an accredited college or university, most often requiring you to have the 14 Health Sciences Courses completed before registration. The 300 hours of supervised clinical practice do not require an application to IBLCE and are generally included in the academic program.

IBCLC Pathway 1

IBCLC Pathway 1

This Pathway may be for you if you are a recognized healthcare professional or volunteer peer supporter through breastfeeding groups like La Leche League. If you aren’t a recognized health professional, you will be required to complete the 14 Health Sciences Courses; this applies to all pathways. The 1,000 supervised clinical hours required in Pathway 1 are to be completed in an approved clinical setting or through one of the approved support organizations.

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IBCLC Pathway 3 Global Mentorship Program

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