Breastfeeding Counselor candidates complete a comprehensive education course designed to prepare candidates to deliver our mission of providing evidence-based breastfeeding information and support and promoting breastfeeding as the biological and cultural norm. The course was developed and is taught by experienced Breastfeeding Counselors, many of whom are also IBCLCs.
The course is offered online, using the Learn World teaching platform. It covers all areas of basic breastfeeding management, counseling skills, and an orientation to Breastfeeding USA. Candidates communicate regularly with course teachers and other candidates, yet they work at their own pace. One activity —counseling skills role-play—requires real-time voice communications.
Active candidates are expected to complete at least one lesson (typically one textbook chapter plus some brief online activities) per month. Candidates have the option to go on hold if they cannot make minimum progress; while on hold they must keep their membership current.
The average time to complete the comprehensive course is about 9 months, but motivated candidates who can devote regular time to study often complete it in 4 months or less.
The course uses the standard lactation textbook, Counseling the Nursing Mother: A Lactation Consultant’s Guide by Lauwers and Swisher. Candidates have access to a full-text online version of this textbook at no extra cost. Candidates may purchase their own hard copy of the textbook (6th edition, ISBN 978-1284052633 ISBN-10: 12 8405263X) if they desire.
One time cost for the course is $125.