In light of this, our focus will be discussing IBCLE-accredited lactation consultant programs online. This piece of information is vital to figuring out the correct schedules.
If you’re interested in researching such programs, you’re at the right place.
IBCLE-Accredited Lactation Consultant Courses Online
Before enrolling in any online professional program, one of the first things to look out for is whether it’s accredited or not.
The same applies to programs that train lactation consultants.
The International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBCLE) is the certification body that accredits such programs.
What are these Programs about?
IBCLC-certified online lactation consultant programs provide individuals the opportunity to train to become board-certified lactation consultants.
Apart from online instructional delivery, there are options for in-person training formats. The program seeks to provide comprehensive education for future lactation consultants.
Courses covered during the duration of the study highlight common problems encountered by breastfeeding mum and baby, the foundation of the physiology of lactation, and the public policy of breastfeeding, among others.
Program Pathways for Training Lactation Consultants
To fulfill your desire to become a lactation consultant, you’ll need to choose one of three possible pathways. These include trade schools or undergraduate certificate programs.
Other pathways include bachelor’s degree programs in several related fields with a lactation consultant certificate.
These fields may include nursing, public health, or health sciences.
The third pathway to becoming a lactation consultant is enrolling in a master’s degree program in nursing, public health, or health sciences with a lactation consultant certificate.
Whichever pathway you choose, you can pursue board certification via the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE).
This earns you the title of Registered Lactation Consultant.
The Importance of Joining an IBCLE Accredited Lactation Consultant Program
Accreditation serves the purpose of setting the minimum standards or metrics of quality with which programs are assessed. Such a metric takes the curriculum, staff, and faculty into consideration.
Overall, the goal is to ensure that high academic and professional standards are met and maintained.
While the IBLCE offers three pathways for pursuing board certification and earning an International Board Certified Lactation Credential, lactation education programs aren’t included.
The Commission accredits entry-level education programs on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP). This includes lactation consultant programs in health science professions.
The Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) accredits CAAHEP.
Taking the IBCLC Licensing Exam
One of the requirements for accredited online lactation programs includes passing the IBCLC licensing exam.
The International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) exams are administered yearly.
Before taking the test, you must have met minimum prerequisite coursework and practicum requirements as the primary eligibility criteria.
Accredited Online Lactation Consultant Programs
As mentioned earlier, there are multiple pathways to reaching your objective as a lactation consultant.
These pathways include enriched lactation consultant training, core lactation consultant course, lactation consultant bridge course, and online or hybrid lactation consultant degree programs.
i. Lactation Consultant Training Program Enriched
This online accredited lactation consultant program trains you for the IBLCE exam.
It’s specially designed for aspiring IBCLCs and comprises around 95+ hours of lactation-specific education. The completion time for this course is about 4 to 6 months.
After this lactation consultant training program, you get awarded a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist (CBS) Certificate.
Depending on where you take the course, there may be slight variations in program details.
ii. Core Lactation Consultant Course
The core lactation consultant course (CLCC) is another online accredited lactation consultant program designed for aspiring certified breastfeeding specialists.
The program consists of 52+ hours of online instruction and 5 hours of communication skills training. It’s considered a stepping stone to the IBCLC.
iii. Lactation Consultant Bridge Course
There’s also the lactation consultant bridge course offered online.
It consists of 45 contact hours from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), 45 CMEs from the Interstate Post Graduate Medical Association (IPMA), and 45 L-CERPs from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE).
iv. Online or Hybrid Lactation Consultant Degree Programs
The online or hybrid lactation consultant degree program is yet another pathway toward becoming a lactation consultant.
The course lasts two to three years, with an accreditation issued by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP).
The coursework includes human anatomy, biology, physiology, and lactation practicum classes.
Requirements may differ from program to program. You’ll need to determine the specific requirements for the program you’re applying to.
Is a Medical Background Essential?
Before embarking on training in any field, part of the primary considerations you’ll have to make is determining whether or not you have met all requirements.
An often-asked question involves determining whether or not a medical background is required.
For the most part, medical experience or background isn’t required. While that may be the case, you may be asked to include clinical or related experience in maternal child health, childbirth, or lactation in your resume.
A degree may not be required for acceptance by most lactation consultant programs. The program may also accept non-traditional students in psychology, social work, technology, and education.
You’ll need to find out exactly what a program’s requirements are.
Preparing for Unique Career Opportunities
There are about four university-based lactation consultant programs in the entire nation. The completion of this program allows you to sit for an IBCLC exam.
Combining this credential with other degree programs like public health, nursing, health sciences, and nutrition can significantly improve your options.
Is this Program Right for me?
Sometimes, figuring out if a program is perfect for you depends on what it’s about and if you find such fascinating.
Having completed an online IBCLC accredited program, you get to fill all kinds of roles, including advising parents about breast bumps.
Others include weight checks on infants, helping position babies and mothers, and various other functions. You’ll need to research whether any of these responsibilities align with your interests.
These are IBCLC online accredited lactation consulting programs you can apply to. Before doing so, you’ll need to figure out the program specifics, especially the specifics, to know if it’s suitable for you.