March 7, 2012, is the 11th annual IBCLC Day, a global celebration of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants.
So what is an IBCLC exactly?
International Board Certified Lactation Consultants® (IBCLC) promote, protect and support breastfeeding worldwide by:
- Providing expert lactation and breastfeeding care.
- Improving staff training and breastfeeding policies within the health care system.
- Increasing community-based support for breastfeeding.
- Reducing societal barriers to breastfeeding support services.
- Expanding legislation, regulations and policies that support breastfeeding.
IBCLCs have the specialized skills needed to:
- Work together with mothers to prevent and solve breastfeeding problems.
- Collaborate with other members of the health care team to provide comprehensive care.
- Encourage a social environment that supports breastfeeding families.
- Educate families, health professionals and policy makers about the far-reaching and long-lasting value of breastfeeding as a global public health imperative.
The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) defines the standards for IBCLC certification. These standards include:
- Prerequisite education in the health sciences
- Clinical experience in providing care to breastfeeding families
- Education in human lactation and breastfeeding.