International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Certification Exam
The International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) certification exam was designed by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) for individuals seeking to meet the criteria to become International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC). An IBCLC is a specialized healthcare professional who helps clinically manage breastfeeding. As such, an IBCLC works in a wide range of settings and undertakes numerous tasks, including advocacy, leadership, research, and professional development in the lactation field.
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What are the eligibility requirements to take the IBCLC certification exam?
To sit for the IBCLC exam, you must meet several criteria via one of three pathways. All pathways ensure applicants possess the necessary health sciences background, including a minimum of 90 hours of education related specifically to lactation, and ample relevant clinical experience. All candidates must also attest to their adherence to the IBCLC Code of Professional Conduct. The eligibility pathways are as follows:
- Pathway 1: Health professionals and breastfeeding support counselorsIn order to use this pathway, you must demonstrate education in a clinical healthcare profession recognized by IBLCE, government recognition of your profession, or education completed in an approved health science subject. Additionally, you must demonstrate 90 hours of lactation-specific education (completed within five years of application), and 1,000 hours of supervised lactation-specific clinical experience (within five years of application).
- Pathway 2: Accredited lactation educational programs: In order to use this pathway, you must demonstrate education in a clinical healthcare profession recognized by IBLCE, government recognition of your profession, or education completed in an approved health science subject. Additionally, you must demonstrate that within the five years prior to application, you completed a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited academic program in lactation and breastfeeding, including 90 hours of lactation-specific education and 300 hours of supervised lactation-specific clinical experience.
- Pathway 3: IBCLC mentorship: In order to use this pathway, you must demonstrate education in a clinical healthcare profession recognized by IBLCE, government recognition of your profession, or education completed in an approved health science subject. You must also demonstrate 90 hours of lactation-specific education completed within five years of application, including 500 hours of supervised lactation-specific clinical experience completed within the five years prior to application.
How much does the IBCLC exam cost?
Fees associated with the IBCLC certification exam are determined by tiers and may change yearly. Check the IBCLC website to see where your country falls in terms of tier and related exam fees.
How many questions are on the IBCLC exam?
The IBCLC exam is computer-based and consists of 175 multiple-choice items delivered in two parts. You will be given a total of 4 hours to complete the exam. If the exam is offered in a language that is not your native language, you will be given an additional 30 minutes to complete the exam.
IBLCE Exam Overview
What does the IBCLC exam cover?
Because the IBCLC exam was written as an international exam designed in Britain, you will see British English throughout the exam. Likewise, you will see metric units of weight and measurement, with US equivalents in parentheses. In terms of content, the IBCLC exam consists of seven content areas. The areas, content per areas, and number of questions per area are as follows:
Development and Nutrition (26 items)
- Includes: infant and maternal questions related to feeding behaviors, milk banking, birth weight, breast growth, maternal nutrition, etc.
Endocrinology and physiology (24 items)
- Includes: infertility issues, diabetes, maternal metabolism and hormones, autoimmune disorders, infant hypoglycemia, etc.
Pathology (31 items)
- Includes: infant and maternal questions related to allergies, cleft lips and palates, ankyloglossia, congenital issues, maternal abscesses, mastitis, post-partum issues, etc.
Pharmacology and Toxicology (13 items)
- Includes: alcohol, tobacco, drugs, medication, herbs, etc.
Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology (21 items)
- Includes: parenthood transition, birthing practices, nutrition, lifestyles, support systems, maternal resources, etc.
Techniques (25 items)
- Includes: milk transfer, latching, milk expression, refusal, positioning, etc.
Clinical Skills (35 items)
- Includes: equipment, technology, education, communication, ethical/legal, research, and advocacy questions related to feeding devices, pumps, scales, maternal and familial education, group support, public breastfeeding, etc.
IBCLC Study Guide
Now that you understand the eligibility requirements and content of the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant certification exam, it’s time to begin preparing. The most effective way to ensure you perform well on the IBCLC exam is to prepare using the most comprehensive test preparation materials you can find. Mometrix Test Preparation has everything you need in the IBLCE Exam Secrets study guide. In the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Study Guide, you get actual IBCLC exam content, along with Mometrix’s expert tips designed to help you reduce stress, recall information, and perform well on the IBCLC exam.
In addition to the IBLCE Exam Secrets study guide, Mometrix Test Preparation has developed a comprehensive set of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Flashcards. Read the IBLCE Exam Secrets study guide, assess your knowledge using the IBLCE Exam Flashcards, and take the next step toward earning your IBCLC certification.
IBCLC Study Guide Customer Success StoriesOur customers love the tutorial videos from Mometrix Academy that we have incorporated into our IBLCE study guide. The IBLCE study guide reviews below are examples of customer experiences.
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The material was informing and the study questions really gives you a idea of what the exam might be like. Some questions were tricky and I'm sure the real test exam is the same.IBCLC Study Guide – Anton
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I have been a board certified lactation consultant for 20 years and need to recertify by exam. This is perfect for me. It’s a great way to study.IBCLC Study Guide – Deanne