International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) are health care professionals who specialize in the clinical management of breastfeeding.
The field of Lactation is full of passionate women and men who, oftentimes, have been truly moved by their own personal experiences. These are sometimes positive, rewarding experiences, but just as often, their personal challenges and breastfeeding struggles have led these professionals to dedicate their lives to furthering our understanding of Lactation Science.
Although mothers have been breastfeeding their babies since the beginning of time, the field of Lactation is a relatively new science with credentialing and licensure still in its infancy. Historically, breastfeeding assistance has been provided by a variety of healthcare professionals, and many of those have become IBCLCs after years of related healthcare experience and other credentials.
Lactation Consultants can be found in private practices and hospitals working directly with moms and babies. These clinicians are on the front-line managing breastfeeding issues and providing breastfeeding support. Lactation professionals also work in research to further our understanding of the mammary system, human milk composition and its benefits, as well as why some mothers struggle with milk supply and ways to overcome breastfeeding issues. Still other Lactation professionals work in education, legislation, and public health to raise awareness of the health imperative of breastfeeding. Lactation science is an exciting new field of study and its amazing to witness it growing and developing right along with the breastfed babies.