CLC and IBCLC (Certified Lactation Counselor and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, respectively) are both professionals who specialize in providing lactation support, but they differ in terms of their training, scope of practice, and qualifications.

Comparisons between CLC and IBCLC

  1. Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC):
    • A CLC is trained to provide basic breastfeeding support and education to breastfeeding mothers.
    • CLCs typically undergo a training program that lasts around 45 hours, which covers topics such as breastfeeding techniques, common breastfeeding challenges, and basic counseling skills.
    • They may work in hospitals, clinics, or community settings, providing education, support, and assistance with common breastfeeding issues.
  2. International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC):
    • An IBCLC is a healthcare professional who has met the highest standards in lactation consultation.
    • IBCLCs have undergone extensive training, typically through a combination of education, clinical experience, and examination.
    • They are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE), which requires candidates to complete specific coursework, clinical hours, and pass a rigorous exam.
    • IBCLCs are qualified to assess and manage complex breastfeeding issues, provide advanced lactation support, and work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practice, public health agencies, and lactation centers.

Both certifications require several hours of training and passing certification exams. They also work in many different environments from home settings to clinics and hospitals.

While both CLCs and IBCLCs offer valuable support to breastfeeding mothers, IBCLCs have a higher level of training, certification, and expertise, allowing them to address a broader range of lactation issues and provide more comprehensive care.