Why Take the Lactation Counselor Training Course?FAQ

Breastfeeding is an important public health issue.  In order to better support breastfeeding families, it has been recommended by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, among other international and national health authorities, that all maternal/child health care workers be educated in skills necessary to support breastfeeding families.  The art and science of breastfeeding is not a matter for specialists alone, but is a foundation of health that should be widely understood and respected. To further this goal, the World Health Organization and UNICEF have recognized the need for four different levels of breastfeeding training:  a 10 hour course for administrators and policy makers; a 20 hour course for maternity staff in Baby-Friendly birth facilities; and a more advanced 40 hour course for breastfeeding counselors, and an 80 hour course for trainers or Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative assessors. The Lactation Counselor Training Course is based on the footprint of the WHO/UNCEF 40 hour course.

CLC with MomWhat is the Lactation Counselor Training Course?

The Center for Breastfeeding's Lactation Counselor Training Course is a college level course designed to provide up-to-date, research based information and clinical competency validation for the provision of professional lactation care. This course is offered at a variety of locations throughout the United States and around the world, training over 4,500 participants annually. Learners are engaged in didactic and experiential activities during this five-day course.  On the final day, an examination is administered by the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice (ALPP).  The exam consists of two parts: a didatic multiple choice written test (some questions refer to photographs) and a practical video assessment test. A certificate, and the designation Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), is awarded by the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice to all learners who pass the exam and all competencies and who agree to comply with the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice Scope of Practice and the Code of Ethics.  Participation in the exam is not required of learners.  However, it is only after successful completion of the course and examination that the Lactation Counselor Certificate is conferred.  (Participants of the course receive continuing education credits regardless of the outcome of the examination.)

Who Should Take the Lactation Counselor Training Course?

The course is intended for professional and volunteer health care workers, such as nurses, midwives, physicians, dietitians, nutritionists, WIC staff, breastfeeding peer counselors, mother-to-mother counselors, childbirth educators, doulas, speech and occupational therapists, child welfare workers, etc.  While professional and personal experiences with breastfeeding are of benefit to learners, there are no pre-requisite requirements for this program, other than a sincere desire to learn about breastfeeding. What do people have to say about our course? Click here to find out!

What Does this Course Qualify Me to Do?CLC hands on

Successful completion of the course signifies that the learner has met the required competencies and has a firm grounding in information and counseling skills required to provide support to breastfeeding mothers and their children. Successful candidates have demonstrated competency in breastfeeding counseling, breastfeeding assessment and support skills.

Successful graduates who have earned the CLC credential work in hospitals, at WIC, at pediatric offices, in private practice, in community programs... They are L&D nurses, NICU nurses, mother baby nurses, public health nurses, LPNs, doctors, nutritionists, SLPs, OTs, doulas, peer counselors, midwives, perinatal outreach workers, volunteer breastfeeding counselors, and moms who want to learn more.

CLCs teach breastfeeding courses, counsel new mothers and babies, help with breastfeeding issues providing clinical management in the hospital and community and more. To see the scope of practice of a Certified Lactation Counselor, please click here.

Completion of this course also satisfies the 20-hour staff member training requirement of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.  The credit hours received through this five-day course may be applied to the continuing education hours required to sit for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (“IBLCE”) examination or to renew the IBLCE credential by CERPs. Many participants have reported that completing this course helped to broaden their knowledge of breastfeeding, identify their strengths as a counselor as well as the areas for growth. IBCLCs have also told us that taking this course was helpful in preparing to renew their credential through examination. This course is also one of the pre-requisites for the Advance Lactation Consultant and Advanced Nurse Lactation Consultant certifications.

Completion of this course does not expand the practice parameters of any health professional (nor does any other available lactation training program or credential).  Participants are encouraged to undertake ongoing study. The goal of the Center for Breastfeeding faculty is to provide a sound framework of research-based knowledge and to whet the appetite of learners so that they may build upon and enhance this framework with life long education.


What Kind of Continuing Education Credits are Available for Participants Who Take this Course?

ANCC The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

Healthy Children Project, Inc. is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

CDRThe Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the American Dietetic Association

The CDR has approved this program for continuing education credits for registered dietitians.

IBLCEThe International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners

Healthy Children has been approved as a provider of Continuing Education Recognition Points (CERPs) for lactation consultants.

AARCThe Lactation Accreditation and Approval Review Committee (LEAARC)

The Lactation Counselor Training Course, when combined with the optional additional 175 hour online learn at home module, is approved as a LEAARC course.

LamazeLamaze International
Credits gained from successful completion of this course may also be applied toward Lamaze recertification.



What about College Credit?

Participants who complete courses from Healthy Children Project can gain college credit recommendations from NCCRS (National College Credit Recommendation Service), accepted at more than 1,400 colleges and universities!

More information on College Credit may be found here.

What Books are Recommended?

During the Lactation Counselor Training Course, you will be using the required textbook: Pocket Guide for Lactation Management by Karin Cadwell and Cindy Turner- Maffei. It is available for purchase on the registration form, or you can purchase it from Amazon.com. There can be multiple participants using the same text book.

The Pocket Guide is Evidence-Based! This easy-to-use guide is the perfect planning resource and a key reference for the variety of situations commonly encountered by those working with lactating and breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Conveniently organized by presenting symptoms, this pocket guide helps caregivers quickly resolve key challenges such as: babies who aren't gaining weight fast enough, mother's with sore nipples, and sucking problems. Quick reference charts, algorithms and diagrams assist the caregiver in quickly determining whether they have assessed the situation correctly.

Would you like a flyer about taking the Lactation Counselor Training Course? 

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Lactation Counselor Training Course Information Request Form - the pathway to becoming a CLC!
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