A lactation counselor is a specialist in infant feeding, providing support for breastfeeding, with knowledge of newborn behavior and infant care.
In eras past, a woman had no choice but to breastfeed, and she did so with the assistance of all her female family members and friends around her.
These days, so many women have chosen not to breastfeed, that there is little to no support for new mothers who wish to do so. This is why we need Lactation Counselors.
Most breastfeeding problems can be easily fixed, when spotted early by a professional.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort while breastfeeding, if you're concerned about whether your baby is eating enough, or if you just don't know where to begin, a CLC can help you work through these issues to achieve your breastfeeding goals.
For the most part, a lot of words.
IBCLCs are certified by an organization titled the International Board, and they are licensed to practice in any country. CLCs are licensed by the Healthy Children Project's Center for Breastfeeding, and only practice in the US, and certain specific other countries.
The primary difference between IBCLCs and CLCs is that IBCLCs certified in 2012 or later are required to take college level medical classes, as would be expected of personnel in the medical field. Many IBCLCs start as nurses. There is no such requirement for a CLC.
The titles of CLC and IBCLC follow the same scope of practice.