Over the next three years, with the support of Funds from the United States Department of Agriculture, the Breastfeeding Coalition of Ventura County and California State University, Northridge will offer a lactation professionals speaker’s series and networking event (3 events per year) which are designed to introduce current and prospective lactation students to careers in the field of lactation. Read the event flyer.
What Do Lactation Educators Do?
Lactation educators (also sometimes called lactation counselors or lactation specialists) provide basic breastfeeding education and support to women and their families.
Lactation Educator's Job Responsibilities:
Teaching prenatal breastfeeding classes.
Renting and selling breast pumps.
Answering calls on breastfeeding information lines.
Providing one-on-one breastfeeding education to new mothers during their hospital stay.
Education delivered by lactation educators includes:
- Advantages of breastfeeding
- Strategies to overcome common breastfeeding barriers
- The impact of various labor and delivery intervention on breastfeeding success
- How to get breastfeeding off to a good start
- How to maintain milk supply when separated from a baby (i.e., a separation due to illness, stay in the NICU, return to work or school, or brief separation)
- Where to access breastfeeding resources locally
Lactation educators also make referrals appropriately when concerns are beyond their scope of practice (i.e., to a lactation consultant, pediatrician, doctor).
Where Do Lactation Educators Work?
- Medical groups
- Woman Infant and Child (WIC) programs
- Breastfeeding stores
What Is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)?
An IBCLC is a healthcare professional trained to provide clinical expertise in the management of lactation from pregnancy through weaning. The IBCLC credential is the highest credential in the field of lactation.
International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant’s (IBCLCs) Job Responsibilities:
The IBCLC, like the lactation educator, can provide women and their families with basic breastfeeding education on the normal course of breastfeeding.
The IBCLC also has the clinical expertise to assist mother/baby dyads with more complex breastfeeding problems, including but not limited to assisting a mother/baby dyad when:
- The mother has a low milk supply.
- The breastfed infant is not adequately gaining weight
- The infant and/or mother has a medical problem
Where Do Lactation Consultants Work?
- Physican's Office
- Neonatal Care Units
- Human milk banks
- Private Practices