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Lactation Education: Consider the Value of Your Course

Women using her hands to consider the value of courses.

People often think that buying easy, convenient, and interesting courses will allow them to be eligible for the IBCLC® exam. I agree, that’s true! And if eligibility is the only thing they’re willing to pay for, they’re set. But I hope you’re different, and you’re thinking about the value of your course.

How are you looking at your expenditure?

Maybe you’re looking at the price of my 95-hour course, and you’re saying, “Wow, Marie are you kidding me? I can’t spend that kind of money!”

Slow down a minute. Consider what you’re giving, and what you’re getting. Consider the value of your course, as opposed to simply looking at the cost.

Warren Buffet famously quoted,

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.

What is an “expensive” course?

People think they’ll spend less money when they buy smaller courses until all of their hours add up to 95. They’re presuming that this hodge-podge approach, as I like to call it — doing 2 hours here, 3 hours there, and 5 hours in the next place — is cheaper.

I have never seen any proof for that. I’d urge those folks to get out their calculator before coming to that conclusion. 

They also might run the risk of having IBLCE reject the courses they’ve submitted for approval. IBLCE is clear in saying the courses that award CERPs are automatically recognized for exam eligibility.

Others? Maybe. Maybe not.

What do you have to lose?

Let’s say you use your calculator. And the costs of those many little courses add up to less than or equal to one comprehensive course. I doubt that’s true, but let’s go with that assumption for a minute.

Does that tell the whole story about expenses?

When you think about the value of your course, ask yourself how much money you paid for the IBCLC exam. (In the U. S., I’m guessing it’s inching up towards $700 these days.)

If you don’t pass what have you got?

You’ve got a whole lot of money tied up in the exam itself — and nothing to show for your time, efforts, and expenses other than a piece of paper mailed to you that says “Failed” at the top.

Plus a lot of frustration, humiliation, and disappointment of the exam.

I’d say you have a lot more than money to lose.

When you think about the value of your course, factor in your time, your risk, and your mental anguish.

Here’s my bottom line: Buying and completing the easy, convenient, and interesting courses sounds nice. And if the exam was easy, convenient or interesting, you’d be all set.

But it isn’t.

After having taken it 5 times, I’d characterize the IBCLC exam as hard, nerve-wracking, and intimidating.

So before you buy, ask yourself if you’re looking at the price tag, or the value of your course.

If you’re looking for value, buy my 95-hour lactation education course today.   

As the old adage goes:

“The Bitterness of Poor Quality Remains Long After the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten”

Do you consider the value of your course as opposed to the cost? What factors do you look at? Share your thoughts below!

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  1. Kim Cook

    When I went to apply for the Exam, I was very glad that I had one course to put down for all my education hours. I had already taken at least 45 hours and maybe even 90 in the last 5 years in just working on educating myself in lactation. But making sure all of those would have counted and just even compiling those together would have been a nightmare. And that doesn’t even count the new IBLCE requirements about educational programs complying with their guidelines. I was very prepared for the exam and would recommend your program highly. An IBCLC friend recommended it to me and I’m so glad she did.

    • Marie Biancuzzo

      Kim, thank you for such high praise for my course and for bringing out a point I hadn’t considered. I’ve never had to sit and compile dozens of little certificates and add them all up, but yes, that could be a real issue. I do remember, though, one woman who emailed on the weekend, half panicked because she needed to submit her hours on Monday. She had done dozens of little courses, and had her documentation, but realized she had added up her hours incorrectly and hence found herself a few short! Luckily, someone in our office was checking email over the weekend (we don’t promise that, but we almost always do it) and luckily, we could offer her a few small programs in fill in her gap. She quickly completed those few hours! But your observation reminded me that making sure that all of that stuff is legit could be a giant headache. Always good to hear from you, Kim. Thanks!

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