Lactation Program Review:
By Laura Wauford, MSN, APRN, CLC
November 4, 2015
What year did you enroll in the program? 2014
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.) – About $650 total with class and book.
# 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?
- After this course, I had a much better understanding of the process of milk production and a pretty good handle on how to get breastfeeding off to a good start.
What did you dislike about the program?
- The class focused a LOT on what the latch *looks* like, but of course it matters much more what it feels like than what it looks like.
- They do not teach reverse pressure softening technique.
- They are not clear on what a CLC’s scope of practice should be.
- The didactic portion of the course includes a ton of info on breastfeeding immediately after birth and in the first days/hours, but then the role-playing practice portion tackles problems that occur later in the nursing relationship that they have not exactly trained their students to handle.
What would you change about the program?
- Make it much clearer what a CLC’s Scope of Practice (SOP).
- Update some things, make sure everything is up-to-date and evidence-based.
How rigorous/time consuming did you find the program?
If you can take a week off work, you can do this course.
Would you recommend this program to others?
Yes and no. I believe this program is a fantastic place to start for RN/LPNs who work in labor/delivery/postpartum/newborn nursery as well as outpatient nurses from OBGYN and pediatric offices. Nurses in those settings really need this info. For people wanting to provide solo support to breastfeeding mothers via a private practice or other route, this is not the right education for you.
Knowing what you know now, would you take this program again?
I’m not sure, honestly. Probably not. I would probably have been more inclined to do the Breastfeeding Specialist credential (the full 90 hours online) from Lactation Education Resources (LER) or the 90 hour Comprehensive Lactation Course from Breastfeeding Outlook.
Do you feel the course and/or certification helped you obtain your goals?
Yes. I learned a lot and really did enjoy it. It also was the push my employer needed to allow me to spend more time with breastfeeding dyads, which I need for my clinical hours toward IBCLC.
My biggest concern with this course is that I don’t think they are clear with students about what their limitations are after receiving this education. I see so many women finish the CLC course and then immediately start a private practice when they do not yet have the tools in their toolbox that they’ll need to truly support moms and babies. The majority of what is taught is identifying whether something is within expected limits or not, but not much is taught about managing things when they are not within expected limits, and someone who is going to take on a private practice needs to know how to manage a wide variety of problems.
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.