Lactation professionals provide skilled lactation care and support to families through the perinatal time period. LPs work in various community settings with a referral based support team** and do not provide medical services, treatment, prescription or diagnosis unless their primary degree permits this (ie: doctors, pediatricians, OB/ Gynacs, etc).
**Referral based support teams may include doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dentists, psychologists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, and others professions.
Please read below about the different qualifications of lactation professionals (LP) who offer skilled lactation care and support in India. There are many types of lactation professionals (LP) who care for families during lactation. ALPI believes in a referral based system, where skilled lactation support is provided at all levels and all communities throughout India. Thank you for supporting families together!
International Board Certified Lactation Credential
IBCLC* (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant) Internationally Recognized Highest Gold Standard *IBCLC is the internationally trademarked term by IBCLE. **Please note the abbreviation and title of lactation consultant, IBCLC and LC is exclusively for those who have passed the IBCLE Board Examination. 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, IBCLE's internationally trademarked term, 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 globally. IBCLCs are required to recertify every five years, by educational credits or exam, in order to retain their title. They work on a health team in hospitals, doctor’s clinics, lactation support centres and other settings. Some IBCLCs make home visits as well. Many IBCLCs have taken one of the certification courses below to obtain his/her 90 hours of lactation specific education. Requirements for IBCLC by Pathway 1:
14 hours health sciences credits
90 hours of lactation specific education
5 hours communication specific education
1000 clinical hours focused on breastfeeding
IBCLC Examination (initial examination, followed by renewal every 5 years)
CLP India (Certified Lactation Professional)
ACLP: Advanced Course (97 Hours)
CLP Core I (52 Hours)
CLP Core II (45 Hours)
CLSP (25 Hours)
Begin Ed India Website Begin Ed India Scope of Practice A Certified Lactation Professional has taken between 25 and 97 hours in lactation specific coursework in India from Begin Ed India's online lactation courses. After completing the coursework, the ACLP/ CLP/ CLSP 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's International Lactation 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 on the health team in hospitals, outpatient settings, lactation support centres and in the community in India.
Please NOTE: Begin Ed India neither provides degree or diploma programs in lactation nor certifies lactation consultants. All CLP India certificates (ACLP, CLP, CLSP) are valid for 5 years and are renewable every 5 years through continuing education. Please see the link for more information on the course resource page. "Certified Lactation Professional" is the exclusive title for graduates of Begin Ed India's courses.
A Lactation Counselor has taken coursework in breastfeeding management (45 or 90 hours) and passed a final examination. Lactation Counselors are required to obtain continuing education credits every 3 years to maintain their certification. Lactation Counselor is often a stepping stone to becoming an IBCLC. A Lactation Counselor 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). Lactation Counselor can work in maternity units, at doctors’ offices, or parenting centers. (Possible Alternate Titles: Certified Lactation Care Counselor/ CLCC, Certified Lactation Education Counselor/ CLEC)
CLE (Certified Lactation Educator)
Certified Lactation Educators have taken a 20-hour lactation education course. Their primary role is to educate families 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 confidence in breastfeeding. A CLE can provide evidence-based information for 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 (IYCF/ CS)
BPNI Website BPNI (Central) offers 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. Generally, a leader works for about a year to earn her accreditation.
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.
Other Lactation Certifications
ALPI understands there are many options for lactation courses and training programs, both in India and internationally. ALPI Executive Team reviews each member's application and lactation certification documents. ALPI ET has the right to ask for more documents and has the right revoke any potential member's application.
**Updated Jan 2022 by ALPI ET** This document is reviewed annually by the ALPI Executive Team (ET). If you have any feedback or questions please contact ALPI at: email@example.com