Human Lactation Consultant Certification
This program is offered in person and as a hybrid program. In-person clinical experience is needed to complete the program. Most clinical placements are in the Greater Philadelphia area, but potential arrangements for distance sites can be discussed with program director.
- Certificate level: undergraduate
- Admission requirements: high school diploma and prerequisite health sciences courses
- Certificate type: certificate
- Number of credits to completion: 16.0
- Instructional delivery: in person/hybrid
- Calendar type: semester
- Time allowed for completion: 9 months to 3 years
About the Human Lactation Consultant Certification Program
Drexel University's Human Lactation Consultant Certification program is designed to provide an opportunity for individuals to prepare to become internationally board-certified lactation consultants (IBCLC). The program, offered in an online and in-person hybrid format at Drexel’s Health Sciences Building on the University City Campus, provides the required 90 hours of didactic coursework and 300 hours of supervised practice in lactation that are part of Pathway 2 (see accreditation requirements).
The Human Lactation Consultant Certification program offers four 2-credit didactic courses in lactation (Introduction to Lactation, Clinical Issues in Human Lactation I, Clinical Issues in Human Lactation II and Public Policy of Breastfeeding) along with two 4-credit supervised practice experiences (Lactation Supervised Practice) to be completed in the Philadelphia area, but potential arrangements for distance sites can be discussed with program director.
What You'll Learn
The program combines classroom and experiential learning to provide a comprehensive education for future lactation consultants. The four didactic courses provide a foundation in the physiology of lactation, common issues encountered for the breastfeeding mom and baby, and public policy of breastfeeding. The Lactation Supervised Practice provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in clinical settings, counseling breastfeeding mothers and their babies, under the guidance of a Drexel IBCLC.
What Makes the Program Unique?
According to the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners website, there are only four university-based lactation consultant programs in the entire nation and none are in the Philadelphia area. Students who complete all 18 credits of the Human Lactation Consultant Certification program will be eligible to sit for the exam to become an IBCLC. By combining this credential with their existing curriculum, students in other degree programs (including nursing, nutrition, health sciences and public health) can prepare for unique career opportunities.
Meet Our Students/Alumni
"With Drexel being a part of Philadelphia, which has rich history with breastfeeding, I felt that I had access to an amazing network of IBCLCs who were excited and willing to teach the students about the profession. The wealth of wisdom, experience and knowledge in the faculty here was astounding to me."
"After 2 years (90 hours of classroom time, over 300 hours of clinicals, 3 different hospitals, a lot of little babies seen) on July 1, 2022 I officially received news that I passed my exam to become an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)."
"I knew when entering nursing school I wanted to do something with women's health/reproductive health. My goal was to become a midwife, and so when the Human Lactation program became available my junior year, I jumped at the chance."
What Is a Lactation Consultant?
There is currently a strong global emphasis on increasing breastfeeding to promote health at the population level, prevent acute and chronic illness and decrease societal health care costs. The United States Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy People 2030, the Institutes of Medicine, the Joint Commission, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign and many professional associations include breastfeeding as a key health strategy. In August of 2012, the Affordable Care Act enacted a provision for breastfeeding counseling and support. Many insurers, employers, and organizations consider IBCLCs to be those health care professionals most qualified to provide these services. This new provision created an increased need for lactation professionals, with very few programs available to meet the need.
Internationally board-certified lactation consultants (IBCLC) work in public health with women, infants and children, in hospitals, physician practices and clinics, and in private practice. They also work for employers, developing and maintaining breastfeeding-friendly workplaces. To date, there are only a handful of university-based lactation consultant programs. Drexel is positioned to be on the cutting edge to meet the new demand for well-prepared lactation professionals.
The program was awarded initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) on September 16, 2016, for a period of five years. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs can be reached at:
25400 US Hwy 19 N, Suite 158
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