Why choose an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant?
An IBCLC is a health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of lactation and is certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE)
Before becoming eligible to write the international exam that tests clinical competencies candidates must complete a rigorous preparation including extensive lactation specific education and many hours of practical experience offering clinical care.
IBCLCs have a defined scope of practice and are subject to a Code of Professional Conduct as well as disciplinary procedures as governed by IBLCE.
As a member of the health care team, an IBCLC provides clinical lactation care. This means that after taking a thorough history, examining you and your baby and observing feeding, the IBCLC will form an assessment, develop a care plan, and provide follow-up as necessary. The IBCLC will collaborate with other members of the health care team to ensure comprehensive care.
IBCLCs are the gold standard in lactation care. They are the only clinician whose sole focus is human lactation and infant feeding. An IBCLCs knowledge is very specialized and runs very deep.
What sets us apart?
In Quebec, we are fortunate to have many options when it comes to help with infant feeding. It can be difficult to understand the different roles and what each has to offer. This should help:
Volunteers (La Leche League, Nourrisource, etc.)
These are individuals who have personal experience and have completed the training program of their respective organization. They are able to provide information and support to help you overcome minor challenges. They do not provide clinical care. I encourage all my clients to get involved with their local community support group.
Doulas are professionals who offer information, as well as physical and emotional support before, during, and after birth. They do not provide clinical care. Although no formal training is required to become a Doula, it is recommended to follow a reputable training program. Many Doulas have personal lactation experience and at least some formal training in assisting normal breastfeeding. However if you are experiencing challenges, you'll need to seek out a health care professional.
Nurses have a wide range of knowledge and provide clinical care in either a hospital, clinic, or community setting. Their knowledge of lactation and infant feeding can vary and depends on their individual experience and training. While its always a good idea to start with the nurses at the hospital or CLSC, like any service in the public system, their time is limited and you may need to call an IBCLC for more in-depth care.
Midwives provide comprehensive clinical care during pregnancy, birth, and for the fist 6 weeks postpartum for normal situations and minor challenges. The midwifery model of care promotes normal birth, informed choices, and continuity of care throughout the childbearing experience. If you are experiencing challenges with feeding your baby and you are followed by a midwife, she should be your first call. However, it is possible you need the more specialized care of an IBCLC to get things on track.