WHAT IS AN IBCLC?
An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) is a healthcare professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. An IBCLC is certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®), independently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). An IBCLC works in a wide variety of settings, providing leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research in the lactation field.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF THE IBCLC ON GLOBAL HEALTH?
IBCLCs improve breastfeeding outcomes. IBCLCs have a unique body of knowledge and skill to provide breastfeeding and lactation care in routine and high-risk situations. The availability of IBCLCs increases breastfeeding rates, which, in turn, improves the health outcomes of the community, nation, and the world.
IBCLCs lower health costs. Formula feeding increases adverse health outcomes, difficult hospital re-admissions, hospital lengths of stay, and lost days at work by parents due to sick children. The increased number of infants that are breastfed because of the availability of IBCLCs lowers these formula-related healthcare costs.
IBCLCs improve consumer satisfaction. By helping breastfeeding families to achieve their lactation goals, IBCLCs improve the care of parents and infants. Consequently, consumer satisfaction with the healthcare team increases.
IBCLCs improve an institution’s image. Improvement of consumer satisfaction enhances any institution’s competitive image. The availability of an IBCLC improves an institution’s image as a breastfeeding-friendly entity. This can increase the institution’s consumer base and can be particularly helpful in meeting accreditation and quality measurement standards.
IBCLCs improve consumer trust. IBCLCs are knowledgeable and ethical professionals who are bound by a code of professional conduct, scope of practice, and standards of practice. The certification is a privilege and revocable for cause. Thus, families and communities trust IBCLCs.
IBCLCs improve breastfeeding programs and policies. The clinical practice experience and empirical knowledge of IBCLCs give insight into lactation program development. IBCLCs are instrumental in policy and program development discussions on any issues that affect breastfeeding families and communities.
To read more about how IBCLCs impact communities, read our Position Paper on the Role and Impact of the IBCLC. This resource is also available in Spanish, Croatian, Japanese, Russian, and Arabic.
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