Please read about the qualifications of the lactation professionals who offer skilled lactation care and support in India. There are many types of lactation professionals who care for families during lactation.
Board Certified International Certification
IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant) IBCLE Website IBCLC Scope of Practice IBCLC Pathways An Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant is someone who has studied the comprehensive science of lactation and put in the most clinical hours (a minimum of 1000 hours) observing and working with families during lactation. An IBCLC, sometimes just called an “LC,” in order to obtain his/her credential sits for an examination (similar to the boards taken by medical doctors). This is the only internationally, standardized lactation credential available. IBCLCs are required to recertify every five years, by educational credits or exam, in order to retain their title. They work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, private practice and other settings. Some IBCLCs make home visits as well. Many IBCLCs have taken one of the certification programs below to obtain his/her 90 hours of lactation specific education. Requirements for IBCLC:
14 hours health sciences credits
90 hours of lactation specific education
1000 clinical hours focused on breastfeeding
CLP India (Certified Lactation Professional)
ACLP (Advanced) 90 Hours
CLP 45 Hours (Core I or Core II)
Begin Ed India Website Begin Ed India Scope of Practice A Certified Lactation Professional has taken between 45 and 90 hours in lactation specific coursework in India from Begin Ed India's online lactation programs. After completing the coursework, the ACLP/ CLP must pass a final exam to complete the certification process. CLPs are required to obtain continuing education every 5 years to maintain the CLP certification. CLP coursework can also lead to becoming an IBCLC through taking the IBCLE international board examination. A CLP is qualified to help with common situations involving latch issues, counseling needs, milk supply challenges and also more complicated situations (like premature, low birth weight and other medically challenging situations). CLPs can work in hospitals, outpatient settings, private practice and in the community in India.
CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor)
A Certified Lactation Counselor has taken coursework in breastfeeding management (45 or 90 hours) and passed a final examination. CLCs are required to obtain continuing education credits every 3 years to maintain their certification. CLC is often a stepping stone to becoming an IBCLC. A CLC is qualified to help with commonly encountered situations, including assessing latch, suggesting corrective interventions, counseling mothers, understanding and applying knowledge of milk production in special circumstances (such as preemies, or newborns affected by medications). CLC can work in maternity units, at doctors’ offices, or parenting centers.
CLE (Certified Lactation Educator)
Certified Lactation Educators have taken a 20-hour lactation education course. Their primary role, as the name suggests, is to educatefamilies interested in learning more about breastfeeding. CLE’s can encourage families during lactation, often support them in the role of a doula or childbirth educator, and offer an experienced point of view to foster confidence in breastfeeding. A CLE can be a source of non-biased, evidence-based information for nursing families. CLE’s do not offer medical assessment or advice, but instead refer families to local resources if a problem arises. The primary difference here is that a CLE offers information and education, not a personal assessment or treatment plan.
IYCF Counseling Specialist
BPNI Website BPNI and IBFAN Asia offer a training course on “Infant and Young Child Feeding Counseling: A Training Course – The 3 in 1 Course (An Integrated Course on Breastfeeding, Complementary Feeding and Infant Feeding & HIV-Counseling)” in different parts of India to prepare “Infant and Young Child Feeding Counseling Specialist”. Participants, who wish to be certified as IYCF Counseling Specialists, should be doctors or nurses, nutrition or other social or health professionals who are involved in care of mothers and children.
La Leche Website La Leche League Leaders have been accredited by La Leche League International to offer mother-to-mother support for breastfeeding. LLLI Leaders have breastfed their own babies for at least nine months, adhere to LLLI statements of belief, and have demonstrated knowledge of breastfeeding through essays and personal work with her supporting leader as well as the “Leader Accreditation Department.” Generally, a leader works for about a year to earn her accreditation. In a nutshell, an accredited leader is an expert in basic breastfeeding management and physiology, problem-solving techniques, and the normal course of breastfeeding. Like a CLE, a LLL Leader can offer education about breastfeeding, about maintaining supply while separated from baby, about introducing solids. Leaders do not offer advice or medical assessments. LLL Leadership is one way people earn enough observation or hands-on hours to qualify for the IBCLC exam, but unlike the previous categories, these leaders work as volunteers.
PC (Peer Counselor)
A Breastfeeding Peer Counselor (peer support person) is someone who offers mother-to-mother support for breastfeeding, advocates for breastfeeding as the normal, optimal way of feeding an infant, and helps to establish or prolong the time spent breastfeeding. Peer counselors are accredited by various agencies and have varying qualifications. Most have completed around 20 hours of training and taken some sort of examination. Peer Counselors, like the name suggests, have all breastfed their own babies for at least a year and so can come to nursing mothers with hands-on experience. Peer counselors, like LLL Leaders, have been there in the nursing mom’s sleep-deprived, unmatched shoes and signed up for their role because they want to help. PC’s offer education and support, but do not offer assessments or medical advice.