Lactation Program Review: Healthy Children’s Lactation Counselor Training Course & CLC Certification

Lactation Program Review: 

Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding’s  

Lactation Counselor Training Course & CLC Certification

By J.H.

Submitted November 24, 2015
Published December 24, 2017

Year Enrolled in Program – 2015

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 Karin Cadwell, 2nd edition (can be purchased on Amazon in various formats from about $30-40) or can be purchased in class for $55. A course guide with an outline of all instruction along with a resource appendix is free and included in course costs.

Cost of Program (Including books, materials, application fees, etc.) – $525-625 (discounts for early bird registration and groups of 4+). Additional costs include application and exam fees – $120 and 175 extra hours option (must be combined with full course and exam) – $350. See here for current pricing.

# of L-CERPs, Nursing Contact Hours, CEUs, CPEs, etc. offered – RNs: 45; RDs: 45; CLCs: 45 Contact Hours; IBCLCs: 45 L-CERPs; College Credits: 3, MCH 330

Do this program’s hours meet partial or full requirements for the IBCLC exam’s lactation specific training requirement?  Yes, partial (it fulfills 45 of the 90 hours required).

What did you like about the program?

  • Well-organized.
  • A lot of really interesting data was presented.
  • It gave me a real understanding of lactation physiology and how that relates to the things nursing parents can do to increase the chances of establishing a long, healthy breastfeeding relationship with their baby or babies.
  • It was fast-paced, but facilitators did a good job of answering questions.
  • The manual given to students was well-formatted and well-designed. It left space to take notes on the right side of every page.
  • The take-home review exercises were a fun way to consolidate the information learned each day.

What did you dislike about the program?

  • The start time (8:15 am was brutal for me).
  • Although data offered citations, it was generally the name of the researchers and publication information. It was often not clear what type of studies had been done, how large those studies were, and if results have been replicated…though the results were presented as facts.
  • Some of the competencies necessary to display during the course involved activities assigned before the actual topic had been taught and discussed.
  • Scope of practice of the CLC was not clearly defined.
  • There was refusal to discuss the differences between CLC and IBCLC. (They literally said they could not tell us.) I felt this really minimized the substantial difference and is something that new CLCs need to understand.
  • Part of the exam did not feel like a fair assessment of our knowledge. Everybody I have spoken with felt extremely unsure of how they did on that portion and passing it is required to pass the exam.
  • I don’t like that it takes 6-8 weeks to get exam results and that they don’t give you more details about your score.

What would you change about the program?

  • Increase and expand upon the focus on counseling skills.
  • Although we did learn some basics, I felt a little short-changed in this area, considering the way Healthy Children describe the course. Incorporate more information about the origin of data.
  • Define scope of practice more clearly.
  • Restructure part of the exam and provide students with details about their score (in a timely fashion).

How rigorous/time consuming did you find the program?

Extremely rigorous. “Lactation bootcamp” would not be an understatement. There is a lot of information to absorb and activities to complete during those 5 days. I would find it impossible to work a full time job while taking this course (unless given the whole 5 days off) and, personally, would have found family responsibilities to be rather overwhelming to juggle during that time. My brain felt completely full by the end of the course each day and I could not have made it through the week without having quiet time to decompress each evening. (I was fortunate enough to stay in a nearby motel, so I could focus exclusively on the class). It really was like learning the material of a 3 credit course, condensed into 5 days.

Would you recommend this program to others?

It depends what your goals are. It is a solid, informative program. It is not meant to prepare you to deal with significant breastfeeding problems, but does provides a strong knowledge base about lactation.

Knowing what you know now, would you take this program again? Yes, I would.

Do you feel the course and/or certification helped you obtain your goals?

Absolutely. I am a doula and my goal in taking this course was to gain a strong knowledge base to draw from in helping my clients initiate and be successful in breastfeeding. That is the area in which this course really shines. I walked out of there with a much clearer understanding of the anatomy of lactation and what factors contribute to setting breastfeeding parents up for success.

Does your program/credential require you to recertify? If so, how long does the credential last and what is required to recertify? Yes, the CLC credential is good for 3 years. Recertification takes 18 hours of continuing education.

Would you like to write a review of a Lactation Training Program that you’ve taken? If so, don’t be shy! You can access the review form directly from Galactablog. Or directly online via Google Forms here.

**Disclaimer – The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Galactablog. To the best of my knowledge, the information is accurate as of the date published, but it is up to the reader to do their due diligence and to confirm prices, required books, dates, number of CERPs offered, etc. It is also important to note that these views are not the only source of information about this particular lactation training program. See here for more program details on Healthy Children’s Lactation Counselor Training Course, along with comparison of similar Lactation Training Programs. If you’re interested in Lactation Training Programs that offer a clinical practice component, see here.

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