The choices in lactation professionals providing breastfeeding support can be confusing. When looking for breastfeeding help, it is advised to select a professional who has completed lactation-specific training and who is certified by a governing body or organization. This ensures that the professional has the proven knowledge necessary to support you most effectively. Also, as new research is continually entering the profession, you should choose a professional who’s governing body requires continuing education to maintain their credential.
IBCLC – International Board Certified Lactation Consultant The gold-standard in lactation care and considered the top credential of the field. IBCLCs are the only lactation professionals who have passed the rigorous requirements set forth by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE); the exam is the only National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) recognized examination for lactation practitioners.Before even applying to take the exam, IBCLC hopefuls must complete higher education in biology, human anatomy, human physiology, infant and child growth and development, nutrition, psychology (or counseling or communication skills), introduction to research, and sociology (or cultural sensitivity or cultural anthropology). Hopefuls must also demonstrate education in basic life support (CPR), medical terminology, medical documentation, occupational safety, ethics, and infection control. In addition, IBLCE requires 90 hours of lactation specific education and supervised lactation contact hours commensurate with academic background and experience.Additionally, IBCLCs are required to re-certify at 5 years through continuing education (at least 75 hours) and every 10 years by re-examination.Most IBCLCs join the International Lactation Consultants Association (ILCA) and the United States Lactation Consultants Association (USLCA), which are the recognized professional organizations in the lactation field.
The scope of practice for an IBCLC allows them to perform comprehensivematernal, child and feeding assessments related to lactation, and to develop and implement individualized feeding plans in consultation with the mother, using evidence-based research.It should be noted that ethically speaking, only an IBCLC can call oneself a lactation consultant.
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I am so glad to have you as a consultant!!!! I tell everyone I know that if it had not been for you I probably would not have had the birth I always wanted or the Breastfeeding relationship and passion for nursing!!!! You are the best! Jen A., Coeur d'Alene
Melissa is a true gem. She is patient and kind, highly knowledgeable, and willing to help a mother and baby in need at any time of day or night. I give credit to her for the patience she exhibited in walking me thorough the first weeks of breastfeeding; even at 2am when I was frantic, she helped me hold it together. It is because of her that I did not give up; and I successfully nursed my second child for a whole year. I highly recommend her services! Rachel T., Pennsylvania
Melissa Morgan was fabulous! She has such a peaceful demeanor and made something stressful not so stressful. And she actually listened! So happy with her help today. Julie D., Spokane
I am very grateful to have had Melissa's support. Elizabeth C., Coeur d'Alene
Melissa, you are fantastic and my only complaint is that I didn't know you when I was having trouble with my older child. I really think that without your help, I would have switched to formula and given up breastfeeding. Thank you! Ashley P., Coeur d'Alene
She really helped me. The instant she walked into my home, I was instantly at ease. Melissa answered all my questions about the issues I was having, and then to be able to see her once a week at mothers haven... I learned a lot about nursing and it was a great experience. Kate H., Spokane
Just wanted to thank you for your class! Because of you I was able to help my SIL get her teeny babe latched without a nipple shield, which she had been given in the hospital! Courtney P., Spokane
I wanted to thank you so much for the help you gave us at Lemon Drop Lollipop when you were co-leading a breastfeeding support group there. You are the reason I was able to continue breastfeeding, get my son off formula, and him start gaining weight. Your encouragement and knowledge in that very emotional stressful time was a God send. Thank you so much for the help you give! Your suggestion of a breastfeeding marathon is what saved us, plus latch support. Thank you again, so much! Breanne, Chattaroy
I just wanted to thank you for your wisdom that you shared with me. I breastfed my now (almost) 9 year old daughter for 3.5 years. She started preschool and was still nursing . It was because of the things you said that made me feel brave enough to nip even after she was well past the publically "acceptable" age. I have a new nursling now, he is almost 7 months and loves mommy's milk. I just wanted to say thank you! Alicia H.,
Thank you so much for our visit. I had no idea of the time and THAT is a true testament to your dedication to helping others. Thank you for giving of yourself. Jonell A.,
Your assessing tongue tie saved our breastfeeding. Thank you so much! Amanda M.,
Your knowledge and desire to help was a huge blessing. Thank you for your calm strength that helped me feel sane when I was around you. It was a rough start to breastfeeding, but it's so heavenly now. I'm so thankful I stuck with it and didn't give up. We are nursing happily and I no longer cringe, cry, or fear feedings. Amber M.,
Melissa was my saving grace when it came to breastfeeding! I was so discouraged when my daughter and I started seeing her at 1 week postpartum. She never doubted our abilities to succeed and now after a month, we have graduated from seeing her and we are doing so well. I am confident that we will be able to continue to breastfeed as long as my daughter is willing. I can never thank her enough for helping us succeed and I would highly recommend her to anyone! Caitlyn H., Spokane