Lactation Consultation Pathway 1

Pathway 1: Recognised Health Professionals and Recognised Mother Support Counsellors
Birthingway does not offer online courses.

You must have previous experience as a health care professional working in maternal-child health or as a breastfeeding support counselor as defined by IBLCE to qualify via this pathway. For qualifications for this pathway, see the IBCLC website.

Who would benefit?
  • Recognised licensed health care providers, including midwives, and
  • Recognised mother support counselors such as LLLI Leaders
Students in the Birthingway midwifery program would take Breastfeeding I, II, III and Skills and document their hours providing lactation counseling. People who are already LLLI leaders or Nursing Mother’s Council Peer Counselors could also utilize our coursework for this pathway.


Required Minimum Lactation Specific Clinical Hours
1000 hours, obtained through paid or volunteer employment within a supervised setting and accumulated within the 5 years immediately prior to exam application - self reported.Students choosing this pathway could accumulate hours while practicing midwifery or as peer counselors (peer counselors as approved by IBLCE)

Education in Human Lactation and Breastfeeding
90 hours minimum required based on the IBLCE Exam Blueprint and completed within the 5 years immediately prior to exam application.Birthingway’s LEAARC approved Lactation Education  Course (Breastfeeding I, II, III and Skills sequence) meets the 90 hour requirement. We also offer many additional lactation specific courses. Breastfeeding Education Course Work

General and Continuing Education Courses

If you intend to utilize Pathway 1 for your IBLCE exam eligibility, and are not a health professional as defined by IBLCE, you must complete higher education courses in each of 14 health sciences education (8 subjects in higher education and 6 continued education topics). When applying for the exam, candidates must demonstrate completion of these courses by submitting transcripts from accredited colleges or universities.

We offer courses in each of these disciplines; they do not have to be lactation specific. Below is a list of courses offered, prerequisites may apply. Please contact the Lactation Program Coordinator for details.


Higher Education Courses(8 subjects)
IBLCE Requirements
Birthingway Course
Biology Human Genetics
Human Anatomy Anatomy and Physiology
Human Physiology Anatomy and Physiology
Infant and Child Growth and Development Infancy
Nutrition Nutrition
Psychology or Counseling or Communication Skills Non-Violent Communication Series
Introduction to Research Understanding Statistics and Medical Literature
Sociology or Cultural Sensitivity or Cultural Anthropology Working Cross-culturally, Breastfeeding Politics and Policy

Continuing education in 6 subjects
IBLCE Requirements
Birthingway Course
Basic life support (e.g. CPR) Advanced Skills I
Medical documentation Medical Terminology Advanced Case Studies
Medical Terminology Medical Terminology
Occupational safety, including security, for health professionals Professional Standards
Professional ethics for health professionals Professional Standards
Universal precautions and infection control All Skills courses

For breastfeeding education coursework costs