What is a Certified Lactation Counselor?

What is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)?  How can one help you or someone you know?

The Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) certification is the premier national certification in lactation management for the United States.  The CLC certification means that a person has received training and competency verification in breastfeeding and human lactation support including:

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  • Helping a baby latch on.
  • Counseling mothers.
  • Knowledge of milk production.
  • Practical feeding.
  • Special circumstances.
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Prevention & management of sore nipples.
  • Breastfeeding & returning to work or school.
  • And more!


Qualifications

The credentialed Certified Lactation Counselor has demonstrated the knowledge and skill to:

  • Help mothers and babies have an uncomplicated breastfeeding experience through counseling, education, and support.
  • Assess for, monitor, and evaluate physical conditions that predispose mothers and babies to a complex breastfeeding experience.
  • Identify and advocate for aspects of breastfeeding management programs that facilitate optimal health outcomes.
  • Assess breastfeeding using a multi-faceted approach.
  • Use counseling skills and techniques that are supportive to breastfeeding mothers and babies.
  • Identify and advocate for public health strategies that serve to protect breastfeeding.
  • Coordinate care consistent with standards of professional ethics and behavior.

In Colorado?  Sign up for a Bradley Method Class or Breastfeeding Class!


Your CLC is here to help!  |  Expert Knowledge, Compassionate Care

Certified Lactation Counselors understands that breastfeeding decisions are made by the mother, who have their own unique values and goals. A counseling approach is used to elicit information, and provide appropriate support tailored to the mother and her family.

The CLC is a member of the health care team who can provide knowledge and counseling about optimal and sub-optimal breastfeeding. The CLC works to help solve problems in conjunction with other professionals, and strive to assure appropriate referrals and recommendations.

The ways in which a CLC helps the community, mothers, and babies are numerous and varied. A CLC works to increase breastfeeding rates in their communities, advocates for societal change in attitudes and behavior regarding breastfeeding, teaches breastfeeding classes, and assists mothers in successfully breastfeeding exclusively and for longer durations.

A nationally certified CLCs can work in many settings, including:

  • Maternity units in hospitals, birth centers, and clinics.
  • Neonatal intensive care units (NICU) and special care nurseries.
  • Outpatient lactation clinics.
  • Visiting nurse programs.
  • Physician, midwife, and pediatric offices
  • Maternal and child health services.
  • Parenting and community centers.
  • Educational settings.
  • Private Practice.


What are mothers saying about their Certified Lactation Counselor?

In the hospital I had a lot of problems helping the baby latch on. My CLC helped me see how to assist the baby better. We have been breastfeeding successfully for 18 months!

My CLC showed me that it would be easier to continue to breastfeed, plus its better for my baby! She helped me figure out how to go back to work and continue breastfeeding! I couldn’t have done it without her.

The first week home from the hospital, I was struggling to make breastfeeding work. My local CLC helped me see that the baby could communicate with me! Now I follow the baby’s lead and breastfeeding is a real joy!


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