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Breastfeeding Support Consultants
Center for Lactation Education


Questions Most Commonly Asked

What is the difference between a breastfeeding counselor and a lactation consultant?

Many women who have breastfed their own children wish to help other mothers by sharing their experiences and offering support.  They are available by telephone to answer questions and may participate in a local breastfeeding support group that meets monthly.  When a breastfeeding counselor encounters a problem that is beyond the basic normal management, she will refer the mother to the primary health care provider or to a lactation consultant.  Breastfeeding counselors generally help mothers for free. More information about functioning in the role of a counselor is available from La Leche League, International.

Lactation consultants work in many settings  hospitals, physicians offices, home care services, health agencies, and private practice.  They assess the mother and baby, take a history, observe the mother and baby while breastfeeding, problem solve, develop a plan of care, work with and report to the mothers and babys primary care providers, and arrange for follow up.  Breastfeeding counselors and lactation consultants work closely together when a mother is experiencing a breastfeeding problem.  More information about lactation consultants is available from the International Lactation Consultant Association. 
What are the advantages of distance learning?
All of our courses are distance learning courses, so you have the flexibility and convenience of completing them from home.  Students are assigned an instructor to whom they submit their work by email or by postal mail.  Instructors provide feedback, support and ongoing mentoring throughout the course.  Instructors are very accessible to the students and are a valuable asset to our programs.

Can I complete the course more quickly than you have indicated? 

You certainly can!  Often, the use of email provides more rapid communication, making the coursework responses more timely. Questions and feedback done through email are a good way to spend less time waiting for responses and more time learning.  The times stated in the descriptions for the distance courses are guidelines.  If you wish to complete your course at a quicker pace, be sure to let your instructor know so that lessons can be graded as quickly as possible.  Be cautious about proceeding too quickly, however.  You want to allow yourself enough time to assimilate the information and going too quickly may compare to cramming for an exam.  You may remember enough to take the exam, but will not retain the information for the long term.  The goal of the course is long term knowledge and skills, not simply passing an examination.
I have been working with breastfeeding mothers and babies for several years.  How will your course help me?

Once you receive your course materials and begin completing the reading and assignments, you will become aware of how much there is to learn in the field of human lactation.  Because lactation is an ever-changing and dynamic field, new information is continually becoming available.  Our courses present fresh, exciting and current lactation trends which will expand the knowledge level of health professionals. Our new "HOT TOPICS" courses will assist you in staying current in the field of lactation. 
What else will I have to do in order to become certified as a lactation consultant?

In order to qualify to take the IBLCE exam please see the information on their website at Pathway options are discussed in depth.  Contact the IBLCE for further information at (phone) 703-560-7330.

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update 3-2-11