Step 1: Become a Lactation Education Specialist

Just getting started on your lactation education journey? Start here! BreastfeedLA’s Lactation Education Specialist (LES) course prepares community health workers and others working to promote health and wellness for families to become lactation educators. This 45-hour course covers basic breastfeeding management such as basic anatomy and physiology of lactation, positioning and latch, common breastfeeding challenges, counseling skills, early postpartum management, alternative feeding methods, creating a prenatal breastfeeding class, local and global public health considerations and more. Upon completion of the course, graduates may use the title “Certificated Lactation Education Specialist” (CLES). This designation is valid for 5 years from date the certificate is issued. Renewal is offered by application only. Please email for details.

Step 2: Complete your Lactation Consultant Education

BreastfeedLA’s Lactation Consultant Education course is an advanced and comprehensive educational course that provides the additional 50 hours required by the IBLCE to meet eligibility criteria to sit for the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) certification examination. Course content will provide graduates with the background necessary to make the leap from educator to clinician while preparing students to sit for the IBLCE exam for certification as an IBCLC. This course may be utilized to satisfy the lactation education requirements for Pathway 1 or Pathway 3 of the IBCLE requirement — including the IBLCE 2021 updated requirement for 5 hours of counseling and communication skills training. Prerequisite is BreastfeedLA’s LES course or another comparable 45-hour lactation education training provided in the previous 5 years.

Step 3: Get your Clinical Training Hours

BreastfeedLA’s Clinical Lactation Training Program is designed to offer graduates of the 95 hour Lactation Consultant Education course (or equivalent) a chance to receive hands-on experience in clinical lactation management. Once admitted to the program, students will be paired with an experienced IBCLC mentor at local healthcare facilities in Los Angeles, CA. During placement, students will have the opportunity to gain exposure to and experience with the clinical competencies set forth by IBLCE, mastering skills and gaining the hands-on experience required to sit for the IBCLC exam. This program supports candidates for pathways 1 & 3, offering opportunities to gain between 500-1000 hours of clinical experience.