How Do I Become a Lactation Consultant?

Have you been dreaming of becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)? It's time to make that dream a reality. Get started on your IBCLC journey today!

1. Gain Clarity About Your Journey

2. Choose your Pathway

  • Read the IBLCE's Candidate Information Guide to determine which Pathway will work best for you. You may also click the links below to read about each Pathway.
  • Determine the requirements for your Pathway

Pathway 1

Pathway 2

Pathway 3

3. Clinical Experience Requirements

  • The number of clinical hours you need and how you get them will be determined by your Pathway.
  • The IBLCE's Candidate Information Guide has more detailed information on accruing and counting lactation-specific clinical hours or you can click the link above for your Pathway.
  • If you are using Pathway 3, you cannot begin accruing clinical hours until your Pathway 3 Plan has been approved by the IBLCE.
  • Confused? Read Marie's Blog on Clinical Hours

4. Health Sciences Education

5. Lactation-Specific Education

6. Sign Up for the Exam

  • Applications are due at least 5 months prior to the exam.
  • All requirements must be completed before you can apply.
  • See the IBCLC Exam Dates & Deadlines
  • Be prepared for the cost
    • Exam application fee
    • College courses if necessary
    • Pathway 3 expenses including a mentor, insurance, etc.
    • Lactation education (check for scholarships, like ours!)
  • Be prepared for an audit of your applcation
  • Provide back-up documentation if requested

Breastfeeding Outlook offers a scholarship for our 90-hour programs each year. Click here to get more information or apply. We also have gift certificates. Just ask for them for your birthday or the holidays.

Here at Breastfeeding Outlook, we strive to help all of our clients reach their dream. We are here to support you from the initial stages of gathering information all the way to passing the exam and beyond. Your Success is our Goal!

For specifics, always refer to the IBLCE Candidate Guide and other documents on their website,

Need Help? Call us at 703-787-9894 or e-mail us at