A Lactation Consultant is a registered nurse whose primary position is to help mothers breast-feed their newborns. The primary job responsibility for a lactation consultant is to assist with difficulties in nursing infants. You may work in a hospital, or as an independent contractor. Many times your work will take form in consultations over the phone with new mothers. He will advise patients as to breast pumping, positioning of the infants during feeding, educating on the importance of breast-feeding, as well as support for new mothers with postpartum depression.
How to Become a Lactation Consultant
To become a lactation consultant, you’ll need to first obtain a nursing diploma on either an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) level. Taking elective courses in neonatal nursing is a good idea if you plan to work as a lactation consultant. Once you have completed your schooling program, you’ll need to pass your national Council licensure examination (NCLEX-RN).
To become a certified lactation specialist, you can obtain a certification through the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). To be eligible for the IBLCE certification, you’ll need education in 14 health science subjects including biology, human anatomy, human physiology, infant and child growth and development, infant and child growth and development, nutrition, into to clinical research, psychology or counseling or communication, and sociology or cultural anthropology. This lactation board certification demonstrates your knowledge and abilities within the field and greatly increases your opportunities for obtaining nursing jobs.
Lactation Consultant Training
The Certified Lactation Specialist Course (CLSC) is a 5-day training course that focuses on all areas included on IBLCE exam. This is an excellent way to prepare yourself for the test. It’s also a good idea to complete the courses necessary for the IBLCE during your nursing program. Elective nursing classes will be offered during your ASN or BSN program that will allow you to focus on lactation.
Education for Lactation Consultants
Online nursing programs are an excellent option for individuals hoping to achieve a nursing degree while continuing to work. And in this day and age, even the best nursing schools offer online study programs. Some of the best online nursing programs are offered through Samford University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Regis University, University of Cincinnati, Delta State University, and Duke University.
Lactation Consultant Salary
The national average for a lactation consultant salary is around $80,000 per year. But you can earn up to hundred thousand dollars per year working as a lactation consultant.