FAQs About Online Lactation Education
How do I become a lactation consultant?
What are the IBLCE Pathways to certification? Are NC State's courses right for the Pathway that I plan to do?
Pathway 1 is for health care professionals or recognized peer support counselors, who obtain at least 1000 hours of lactation-specific clinical experience through paid or volunteer time. Our course is an excellent fit for those completing Pathway 1. Read more here about Pathway 1 for peer supporters or for health care professionals.
Pathway 2 programs are comprehensive college-based academic programs that include both lactation-specific education and clinical experience. We are not a Pathway 2 program currently; you may find a list of Pathway 2 programs here.
In Pathway 3, lactation-specific clinical experience is obtained through mentorship with a practicing IBCLC. Our program is an excellent fit for those completing Pathway 3, as long as they feel confident they can or have found mentorship that will allow them to complete their clinical hours as well. We offer Pathway 3 mentorship opportunities through NCSU, but please note it is a small, competitive program which requires students to take both semesters for credit (not as continuing education), and to take the second semester course on campus (not online). For more information about our on-campus Pathway 3 program, contact us.For more comprehensive information, check out our overview of all the pathways
Can I find work as a lactation consultant if I am not a nurse?
Is this an accredited training program?
Does the program cover all the topics I need to be prepared to sit the IBCLC exam?
Yes. The program is divided into two courses.
Part 1: Breastfeeding and Public Health, which covers topics from the IBLCE Exam Detailed Content Outline, including many topics from Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology; Ethical and Legal Issues; Research; Development and Nutrition, and Public Health Advocacy.
Part 2: Clinical Breastfeeding Support covers the remaining topics from the Content Outline including Physiology and Endocrinology; Pathology; Pharmacology and Toxicology; Techniques; and Clinical Lactation Skills.
Note that topics are not strictly split between courses, but the above should serve as a general idea of what is covered in each half of the program.
Why are the courses 55 hours each, instead of 45 hours?
I have already completed some of my lactation education hours. Can I take only one of the courses? If so, which one should I take?
How long will I have access to each course?
Can I go back and review the course more than once?
Can I do the course on a tablet or phone?
Are there additional costs to the course?
There are some additional books you will require for each course. We believe these are books you will find indispensable in your practice as a lactation consultant, so they are an investment in your long-term library. Supplementary readings will be posted on the course website and are included in the course fee.
Required Course Materials for Breastfeeding and Public Health
- Core Curriculum for Interdisciplinary Lactation Care, Editors Suzanne Hetzel Campbell, Judith Lauwers, and Rebecca Mannel, 1st Edition, 2018, ISBN 9781284111163, ~$100
Required Course Materials for Clinical Breastfeeding Support
- Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, Editors Karen Wambach, and Jan Riordan 6th Edition, ~$135
- Breastfeeding Atlas, by Barbara Wilson-Clay, and Kay Hoover, 6th Edition, 2016, ISBN 9780967275840, ~$80