The Certified Lactation Counselor® (CLC) certification is the premier National Certification in Lactation Management in the United States. LCTC and CLC exam certification holders have demonstrated competence in the lactation skills, knowledge and attitudes that are essential to helping women and have agreed to comply with The Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice code of ethics.
CLC certification means that a person has received training and competency verification in breastfeeding and human lactation support, including assessing the latching and feeding process, providing corrective interventions, counseling mothers, understanding and applying knowledge of milk production including in special circumstances and other commonly encountered situations.
The CLC certification is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and certifies that the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice meets the ANSI accreditation program requirements and those set forth in ANSI/ISOIEC 17024:2003 General requirements for bodies operating certification systems of persons for Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC).
CLCs are members of the health care team who can provide knowledge and counseling about optimal and sub-optimal breastfeeding. CLCs understand that breastfeeding decisions are made by the mother, who may have values and goals different from the counselor. A counseling approach is used to gather information and provide appropriate support to the mother and her family. CLCs work as part of the health care team, assuring appropriate referrals and recommendations. CLCs are qualified to provide education, counseling and clinical management.
CLCs provide breastfeeding counseling and lactation management in:
- Maternity units in hospitals and birth centers
- Neonatal intensive care units and special care nurseries
- Outpatient lactation clinics
- WIC programs
- Visiting nurse programs
- Maternal and child health services at the state, county and local level
- Parenting centers, including military family support centers
- Physician and midwife offices