Jan’s thoughts in IBCLC Exam week
My heart-felt best wishes go to everyone who will be sitting the examination in order to hope to qualify as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in the coming week.
I am an IBCLC or Lactation Consultant in my 21st year and how time has flown by.
So, what does the qualification mean and why does it matter? There are criteria necessary to achieve to be considered to qualify to sit the exam in the first place. This can present barriers to some people who have great breastfeeding support skills and knowledge but who aren't from a medico-nursing/midwifery background. Even if they are, many hours in the field of breastfeeding must be proven. It takes energy and dedication to the subject to be ready to take the exam.
So why does it matter anyway? Being a Lactation Consultant demands that we keep up our studies; only ever working with mums and their families using the evidence and being aware of latest developments in research, keeping abreast (couldn't resist that!) with news items that mums may be affected by and always having respect for cultural backgrounds and the ethical framework that governs every IBCLC.
This qualification is not lifelong. Recertification is necessary every 5 years to maintain it, and the exam must be taken every 10 years. Lactation Consultants believe in the breastfeeding process; in the science and the art, in addition to respecting individuals' views. What a privileged position this is. Will I be taking the exam again in another 9 years? Now that’s a question……