Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gimme an I! B! C! L! C! IBCLC!

I have held off getting too excited (OK, I've gotten plenty excited, I've just held off posting) about the possibility of taking a course next year to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Now it looks like it will happen and I am so excited!

I’m especially happy to post about it knowing many of you will “get” my excitement. It’s hard to convey to non-birth/breastfeeding people what a big deal this is – both the credential in general, and to me personally. If there’s one thing I love as much as attending births it’s working with breastfeeding dyads (although I haven’t gotten to do it in a long time). I’ve thought about going for the IBCLC before, but counted it out (at least for the time being) for a variety of reasons. The chance to get it as part of my MPH is stunning and amazing.

It will be a one-year course under Pathway 2 - one full day of training and clinical rounds each week at the hospital, plus weekly hours in other settings (La Leche meetings, WIC, etc.), plus readings and assignments. If all goes as planned I will finish my MPH in May and sit for the IBCLC exam in July. While I’m not really sure where I will go with it after graduation, it would be great if, combined with my MPH, it ups my chances of getting a job working with breastfeeding/perinatal issues. I also wouldn’t complain if I was “just” an LC somewhere for a while!

I have more posts coming, about my thoughts about lactation consulting as a profession, negotiating concerns around medicalization of breastfeeding, etc. But right now I'll just take a deep breath and look forward what promises to be a very busy school year.


Molly said...

That's FANTASTIC! I'm jealous.

Dou-la-la said...

That is AWESOME. An IBCLC saved our nursing life (as you know if you saw my recent post about me & Lily's nursing saga). There needs to be more of you guys!

Sounds like a rigorous course of study, as well it should be. You're going to be great!

publichealthdoula said...

Thank you :-) Dou-la-la, I am planning to reference your post in my lactation consultant thoughts post! It is such a huge responsibility to be a good IBCLC.