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Will You Become a Certified Clinical Lactationist?™

For many mothers, breastfeeding is a life-changing event. Many want to share their passion with others. But how?

If you’ve ever explored getting a lactation credential — or even if you already have a credential — have you ever noticed a gap between what you’d like to do, and what feels possible or meaningful to do?

Commonly-Encountered Gaps

Over the years, I’ve heard many stories. Passionate breastfeeding advocates are frustrated by issues related to credentials.

One woman told me she had been a La Leche League leader 17 years ago. When I asked her why she had waited so long to pursue her IBCLC credential, she said, “I was home raising kids!” She couldn’t see herself parenting five little kids and getting her clinical hours.

Another woman said she had been a peer counselor for almost a decade. She cheerfully did the six continuing education healthcare science courses, but taking the eight college-level healthcare sciences courses (biology, anatomy, physiology, etc.) posed a big barrier — she didn’t want to invest the time and money, and she didn’t see the value of taking the courses.

More recently, I’ve talked with several IBCLCs who want to retire. They’d like to have a credential to work per diem or part-time — even on a volunteer basis — but they don’t want to take the IBLCE exam again! (We can all identify with that!)

These women and others I’ve met fall into a gap created by the distance between “no credential” and “IBCLC credential.” How can passionate breastfeeding advocates pursue a passion for breastfeeding support, gain recognition for their expertise, and earn a meaningful credential in a way that works for them?

Closing the gap with the Certified Clinical Lactationist™

Maybe you recognize that lactation expertise involves more than helping mothers with positioning and latch. Maybe you’ve already completed 40-45 hours of lactation-focused education, but want more. Maybe you’re a nurse who wants recognition for your expertise in lactation — just like your certification for fetal monitoring or some other subspecialty.

Or perhaps you question why you are preparing for an exam that tests your knowledge of international issues when you plan to practice stateside for the rest of your life — and you scarcely know the national recommendations or guidelines. I’ve heard your stories, too, and I know you’re frustrated.

It was as a result of hearing these — and many other — frustrations that I created the Certified Clinical Lactationist™ credential.

How can you become a Certified Clinical Lactationist™

If you have completed either of my 90-hour courses (online or in-person), you are eligible for recognition as a Certified Clinical Lactationist! Meet the criteria, take the course, pass the exam and you’ll have the CCL credential (as well as bling — we’ll send you a beautiful cloisonné pin indicating your expertise).

Even if you are planning to finish out your IBCLC credential in the future, taking the exam is a good idea so you have a credential that indicates your readiness to provide lactation support now. We’ll send your exam results fast!

Have questions about the Certified Clinical Lactationist? Look here for details or contact our office.

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  1. Emily

    There is definitely a credentialing gap with lactation!

    Tell me more: What does CCL qualify one to do? What is the scope of practice? What settings wpuld they be employed in? Who recognizes it? No retesting, but what about continuing education to maintain the certification?

    Are you aware of The Academy of Lactation Policy & Practice (ALPP) and the certifications (Certified Lactation Counselor , Advanced Lactation Consultant, & Advanced Nurse Lactation Consultant) that they have been offering for several years to help bridge this credentialing gap? How does your CCL differ? Why create another when they have already been working on establishing recognition for CLCs & ALCs? Won’t adding another only lead to less recognition of anything outside of IBCLC?

    • Marie

      Thank you for your interest in the Certified Clinical Lactationist credential. We appreciate your feedback about our exciting new program.

      We hear your concerns. Please be assured that Breastfeeding Outlook’s program is thoughtfully developed to provide robust training for those who wish to help breastfeeding mothers and their babies. While many of us have grown used to equating “lactation support” with “IBCLC credential,” there have for decades been alternative credentials available for those at a different part of their professional journey, or those with different goals. While we continue to offer education and training that is directly applicable to (getting your IBCLC), and to encourage that credential, we believe the Certified Clinical Lactationist™ credential fills a need for many passionate breastfeeding supporters, and we look forward to offering this program in the years ahead.

      Based on decades of experience teaching aspiring and experienced lactation consultants, I developed the Certified Clinical Lactationist™ credential to fill the gaps that exist. My vision is different from that other breastfeeding certification programs; and, believing that people should have alternatives, I created this credential. But I believe that the Certified Clinical Lactationist™ program helps to provide lactation education in a way that meets the needs of many women who wish to provide breastfeeding support for breastfeeding mothers, their babies, and their families—and to be able to begin working in a supportive capacity sooner, rather than later. What’s more, those who wish to pursue an IBCLC certificate after completing the Lactationist credential will be well-positioned to do so.

      As a field, lactation support is not unique in offering multiple certification options. (Think of childbirth educators, for example, who can choose from Lamaze, Bradley, ICEA, and probably more than I know.) Having another credential available to teach skills for supporting breastfeeding only serves to help us reach more women, and their babies with evidence-based, quality support.

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