Requirements to Become an IBCLC

  1. 90 Hours of Lactation Education  

    In order to complete the 90 hours required, LEC also offers six home study courses of 15 hours each.  Completing three of these courses fulfills the second 45 hour requirement.  These cannot be taken in place of the CLS course, but are designed to be taken after completion of the CLS course.
  2. 1000 Hours Supervised Clinical Experience with Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies
  3. If you are in currently working in a hospital, WIC clinic, midwife, OB, family practice, or pediatrician’s office, you already have the opportunity to obtain your clinical experience (see Acquiring Clinical Hours). If you are not an Licensed Health Care Professional,  it is imperative for you to take the CLSC program prior to beginning your clinical work and obtaining your hours with mothers and babies.
  4. “Supervised” does not mean you have to have an IBCLC supervising you, it means that there must be someone knowledgeable about breastfeeding in a supervisory capacity who can oversee your hours and who will help you troubleshoot problems, along with verifying your hours.
  5. Both your lactation education and your 1000 hours of clinical experience must be completed within five years of taking the board exam.


IBLCE list of recognized  licensed health care professionals:





Occupational Therapist


Physical Therapist


Speech Pathologist/Therapist

College/University Courses and Continuing Education  Courses

If you are NOT one of the above mentioned licensed/registered health care professionals, you also need to complete eight college courses of at least one semester each.  You may have already taken some or all of these prior to working on becoming a lactation consultant.  If so, then make sure you have your transcripts to send to the IBLCE.  Regardless of how long ago you took those courses, they are still valid. 

Required College/University Courses
                  Human Anatomy
                  Human Physiology
                  Infant and Child Growth and Development
                  Psychology or Counseling or Communication Skills
                  Introduction to Research
                  Sociology or Cultural Sensitivity or Cultural Anthropology

Continuing Education
                  Basic life support (for example, CPR)
                  Medical documentation
                  Medical terminology
                  Occupational safety and security for health professionals
                  Professional ethics for health professionals  
                  Universal safety precautions and infection control

Learn More

* It is important that you double check all these requirements with the IBLCE website as changes do occur.  What we have listed here is meant as a guideline and not a exhaustive list.