Choosing a Pathway to the IBCLC

All prospective IBCLCs must complete education requirements to sit the IBCLC examination:

  • Health Sciences Education
    • Complete 14 Health Science Courses OR
    • As an IBLCE Recognised Health Care Professional
  • Lactation Specific Education
    • 95 hours of lactation education, including five hours focused on communication skills

Additionally, all candidates must adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct for IBCLCs.

There are, however, three Pathways that candidates can choose from to meet the Lactation Specific Clinical Practice requirement. Learn more about each Pathway below:

Meet IBCLCs and learn more about their Pathway to the IBCLC here.

Pathway 1: Recognised Health Professionals and Recognised Breastfeeding Support Counsellors

Complete a minimum of 1000 hours of lactation specific clinical practice are required in an appropriate supervised setting within the five years immediately prior to examination application.

Learn more about providing breastfeeding support through a Recognised Breastfeeding Support Counsellor Organisation here.

Pathway 2: Accredited Lactation Academic Programmes

Complete a comprehensive, accredited academic programme in human lactation and breastfeeding, along with 300 hours of directly supervised lactation specific clinical practice.

Pathway 3: Mentorship with an IBCLC

Complete a structured, defined mentorship between an applicant and IBCLC(s), according to the specifications found in the Pathway 3 Plan Guide, which must be preapproved, including 500 hours of directly supervised lactation specific clinical practice.

Still have questions about which Pathway is right for you? Contact the region that serves you.