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Top Questions About Our Step Up 45-Hour Lactation Course

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Over the years, we’ve had many people call our office with this story: I’ve already earned 45 hours of lactation specific education. I need 45 more hours. Should I take your 45-hour lactation course?

This question is usually followed by several other questions about requirements. People are often confused in general, but here, I’ll address just a few here.

Will your 45-hour course pick up where my last one left off?

It’s impossible to say. There are few, if any, guidelines for content selection of what goes into the “front half” of a 45-hour lactation course. I’ve had many people tell me what their “front half” course covered. Although they are all a little different, there are some themes.

With those themes and assumptions in mind, I built what I call the “back half” course. I’d say that most students would consider that course to cover the more difficult or complex topics.

However, I would cannot say with certainty that my 45-hour Step Up to Lactation Leadership course will pick up exactly where your first 45-hour course left off. I just think I can do a better job of picking out topics than you could through a hodge-podge approach.

I took a 45-hour course. Can I take the same one again?

I have no idea!

I was stunned the first time someone asked me this question. The caller took a 45-hour lactation course a few years ago and planned to repeat it now. In her view, that would constitute a total of 90 hours of lactation specific education.

As I’ve said so many times throughout this blog, I am not an official representative for IBLCE®. I have no idea if IBLCE would “count” these hours or not.

The question was, “can you”?  But the more important question is, why would you want to repeat a course?

How long will it take me to complete an online 45-hour lactation course?

Well, nominally, 45 hours!

However, some people work faster, some people work slower. From your past experience with academic courses, try to gauge how fast (or slow) you learn.

Is a 45-hour lactation course “comprehensive”?

I suppose that depends your definition of “comprehensive.” In my view, no.

To me, a comprehensive course covers all of the topics on the IBLCE Detailed Content Outline, and all of the 114 competencies. I say that because you’re preparing for a comprehensive exam.

Meaning, the IBCLC exam is a career-critical, comprehensive exam. You are not eligible to sit for the exam unless you complete 90 hours of lactation specific education and 5 hours of communication.

What about if I already have 30 hours?

Now that’s a little trickier. 

In one breath I want to say, oh, no problem. We sell a 15-hour CERP bundle. Buy that and be happy.

In the next breath I want to say, that 15-CERP bundle gives you the hours, but it won’t necessarily fill in your learning gap.

In the long haul, you are better prepared for the exam if you complete a 45-Hour lactation course such as my Step Up course.

So, what do you recommend?

I can’t make a one-size-fits all recommendation. Think about what your end game is. Your end game should not be about accumulating the 45 hours, or even the 95 hours.

Your end game should be about giving optimal clinical care and passing the IBCLC exam. In that order.

I honestly believe that to accomplish those goals, your best bet is to complete one 95-hour course. If you have successfully completed a 45-hour lactation course, and if you have substantial and varied clinical experience, take my all online Step Up to Lactation Leadership course.  

What is your plan for completing your 95 hours? Have you already taken a 45-hour lactation course, or do you plan to? Tell me in the comments below!

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