Lactation Program Review:
February 6, 2015
What year did you enroll in the program? 2013
How long did it take you to complete the program? 5 days
Certification or Certificate Offered – Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)
Delivery of Program – In-person
Books & Materials Required – The Pocket Guide for Lactation Management by , 2nd edition (can be purchased on Amazon from about $25-$35).
Cost of Program (Including books, materials, application fees, etc.) – I paid $575 course + $37 book = $612 total
# of L-CERPs, Nursing Contact Hours, CEUs, CPEs, etc. offered – 45 Nursing contact hours, L-CERPs, CPEs; 4.5 CEUs for CNMs
Do this program’s hours meet partial or full requirements for the IBCLC exam’s lactation specific training requirement? Yes, partial (45 hours)
What did you like about the program?
- The program taught the hospital nurses in my training class how hospital policies impede basic lactation – particularly the separation of mother and baby.
What did you dislike about the program?
- I learned much more during my training as a La Leche League Leader.
- The instructors refused to teach Reverse Pressure Softening as a way to reduce engorgement.
- They also taught that babies can be sleep trained after 4 months, per the “notebook” we were given on the first day of class, despite the evidence of the damage that sleep training causes to babies’ neurological development and to breastfeeding.
- The handouts we were encouraged to purchase base supplementation and baby weight on formula-fed babies, used outdated studies from the 1980s. The lack of up-to-date information was extremely frustrating, especially since the training workbook said 2013-2014.
- The worst part is, if I hadn’t kept speaking up in class, this would have meant a whole class full of new CLCs was giving outdated information and recommendations as “evidence-based” support to new families.
How rigorous/time consuming did you find the program?
It’s a training class given from 8:15am to 4:30pm for 4 days and ends after the exam on the 5th day. Someone working full-time or with a young child at home would have difficulty unless they used vacation days and hired babysitters. I took the class because my son started nursery school and was able to stay till 5pm that week.
Would you recommend this program to others?
- Not really – it doesn’t provide enough accurate information.
- The workbook used in class discussed supplementing breast milk based on calculations for formula.
- The instructors tried to minimize the tremendous difference between CLC and IBCLC, which requires twice the lactation hours, hundreds of hours of clinical and practical experience and 14 health science subjects before the applicant can even apply to sit for the IBCLC the exam. See here for Preparing for the IBCLC Certification.
Knowing what you know now, would you take this program again?
No. It was incredibly frustrating. I’m astonished that the IBLCE grants 45 CERPs for taking it.
Do you feel the course and/or certification helped you obtain your goals?
- If the only goal is to have some letters after your name that lets you buy insurance and work, then yes.
- If the goal is to learn current evidence-based information, then no. I would recommend investing in GOLD Lactation, iLactation, La Leche League (LLL) and local Breastfeeding Coalition Conferences (which are available all across the nation), which is how I earned more than 45 CERPs towards the 90 hour lactation requirement for the IBCLC certification I’m working toward.
Does your program/credential require you to recertify? If so, how long does the credential last and what is required to recertify? My CLC credential lasts is good for 3 years. Recertification takes 18 hours of continuing education.
**Disclaimer – The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Galactablog. It’s also important to note that these views are not the only source of information about this particular lactation training program. See here for similar Lactation Training Programs. If you’re interested in Lactation Training Programs that offer a clinical practice component, see here.