Certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) provides evidence that the practitioner has demonstrated specialized knowledge and skill in a broad range of health disciplines that focus on human lactation and breastfeeding. The IBCLC credential enhances professional credibility and increases consumer confidence.
Consumer satisfaction and safety depend upon recruitment and retention of outstanding health care practitioners. Certification as an IBCLC protects the public by helping consumers identify qualified lactation consultants and increases consumer confidence through assurance that their breastfeeding care provider has met international professional standards. More and more health care facilities are recognizing that it is essential to have IBCLCs on their staff. Recognition for health care facilities that hire IBCLCs is available through the IBCLC Care Award program.
IBCLC certification demonstrates achievement of specialized knowledge and skill and requires continued learning and skill development. When making employment decisions, health care systems can feel confident in using IBCLC certification as a measure of excellence in lactation consulting practice.
Maintaining a collaborative, supportive relationship with clients, IBCLCs emphasize individualized family care, client autonomy, informed decision-making and optimal health care. By integrating cultural, psychosocial, physiological, nutritional, and immunological aspects of human lactation into practice, IBCLCs protect, promote and support breastfeeding within the community, workplace and health care system.
The privilege to hold the IBCLC credential is conditional and revocable for cause. Complaints about the conduct of individual IBCLCs are received and reviewed by the IBLCE Ethics and Discipline Committee as specified by the IBLCE Disciplinary Procedures.
IBCLCs are required to keep their knowledge and skills current. They must recertify every 5 years through continuing education or re-examination.
IBCLCs function and contribute as members of the health care team and make appropriate referrals to other health care professionals and community support resources.
IBCLCs possess the skills, knowledge and attitudes to provide competent and comprehensive lactation and breastfeeding care and education in routine and special circumstances across the chronological spectrum of pre-conception to early childhood.