g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Clairvoyance: 08:00 PM

Full Schedule
g Breastfeeding Site

BellaOnline's Breastfeeding Editor


What is a Lactation Educator

Guest Author - Nicki Heskin

A lactation educator is a breastfeeding support professional that is trained to assist women with the normal course of breastfeeding. Educators are trained to teach breastfeeding classes, run breastfeeding support groups and provide general training and counseling on breastfeeding. Lactation Educators are not IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants), who have additional training in many breastfeeding issues and are certified to do more complex one-on-one clinical consulting.

Attending a class or support group run by a well-trained lactation educator can be a great choice as they specialize in this sort of contact with mothers. Lactation educators can offer assistance with learning or fine-tuning positioning and latch to avoid or correct sore nipples. They can also assist with supporting mothers with common breastfeeding concerns or counsel and support mothers on the return to work or school or other breastfeeding issues. Educators are trained to refer to IBCLCs for more complex issues and are generally familiar with resources in their area.

How are Lactation Educators Certified?

Technically, lactation educators are not certified, as there is no central certifying organization for this title, but they receive certificates from an awarding institution for the completion of an appropriate program. Most lactation educator programs involve 40-45 hours of classroom instruction, in-person or online. Many, although not all programs, involve homework assignments in addition to those hours and/or a clinical observation component. Depending on the organization offering the educator course (some well-known programs include UCSD, UCLA, Healthy Children's Center for Breastfeeding and CAPPA), initials used by educators may vary. Some common iterations include LE, CLE, CLEC and CLC.

Many lactation educators are also maternity nurses or medical professionals working at hospitals or postpartum centers who are seeking specialized training in breastfeeding to support their current responsibilities. WIC staff or breastfeeding peer counselors may also take lactation educator programs to support WIC participants. However, a lactation educator may also be any interested individual wanting to receive training to support breastfeeding mothers through independent classes, support groups and/or private practice counseling.

It's important to understand the difference between IBCLCs and lactation educators. In general, a lactation educator has completed a formal program culminating in this certificate. In some cases, the classroom training received by educators is the same course required for the classroom component of the IBCLC certification, and some lactation educators may be in the process of pursuing the IBCLC certification. However, the initials IBCLC also indicate an immense amount of clinical training not required of educators, experience with complex breastfeeding situations and successful completion of the IBCLC exam given each year by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). Only an IBCLC can rightfully use those initials on business cards and other identifying materials.

Lactation educators can be a great resource for nursing women. Many early breastfeeding problems can be avoided or solved through education or one-on-one instruction in positioning, latch and good breastfeeding practices all of which educators are trained to provide. When necessary, lactation educators should be able to refer breastfeeding mothers to IBCLCs for additional support.
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add What+is+a+Lactation+Educator to Twitter Add What+is+a+Lactation+Educator to Facebook Add What+is+a+Lactation+Educator to MySpace Add What+is+a+Lactation+Educator to Digg What+is+a+Lactation+Educator Add What+is+a+Lactation+Educator to Yahoo My Web Add What+is+a+Lactation+Educator to Google Bookmarks Add What+is+a+Lactation+Educator to Stumbleupon Add What+is+a+Lactation+Educator to Reddit

Types of Lactation Professionals
Breastfeeding Help - La Leche League
The Importance of Breastfeeding Support
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Breastfeeding Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2018 by Nicki Heskin. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Nicki Heskin. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
Breastfeeding and Scales

Breastfeeding Help Matters Why I Write

There are No Breastfeeding Nazis

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Note: BellaOnline uses cookies to help provide a consistent user experience. Our advertisers may use cookies to help customize ads. Please contact us with any question about our cookie use.

Summertime Foods
Corn on the Cob
Burgers on the Grill
Apple Pie


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2018 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor