one of the most common questions we are asked about cbi’s lactation counselor course is the difference between a lactation counselor and a lactation consultant. one guideline is to look at the number of hours of education that are provided, together with the course syllabus. the education or training taken must be through another organization, be specific to lactation, and at least 90 hours in length. the education program must be recognized as an institute of higher learning (typically a college or university).
generally, the fundamental differences between a lactation counselor and a lactation consultant relate to their experience and the amount of health science education they have completed. you can work with a client to explore their options and support the client in making choices or developing a feeding plan. there is no legal reason why a hospital might not employ a lactation counselor who has not completed the ibclc requirements. both a lactation counselor and an ibclc could be part of the team within the hospital supporting breast/chest feeding parents as allied health professionals.
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