Skip to main content

Interested in becoming a Lactation Consultant?

The Australian Breastfeeding Association does not train Lactation Consultants, but the following information may assist you in finding out what you need to know.

Becoming a lactation consultant

Please click here to access the free online module that provides comprehensive information in becoming a Lactaction Consultant.

Requirements for becoming a Lactation Consultant

The following information is for those who are interested in becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and who may be looking to volunteer with ABA as a means of obtaining hours of lactation specific clinical practice as specified in Pathway 1.

Please consult the website for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE website) for definitive information.

Lactation specific education

 The 10960NAT Diploma of Breastfeeding Management is accepted for the 90 hours of lactation specific education requirement and also covers the new additional requirement of 5 hours of education in communication skills.

The 10998NAT Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education is accepted for the new additional requirement of 5 hours of education in communication skills.

Lactation specific clinial experience - Pathway 1 

ABA is an IBLCE Recognised Breastfeeding Support Counsellor Organisation. This means that an ABA breastfeeding counsellor can count the hours they provide counselling towards the 1000 hours of clinical support. These hours must be accrued during the 5 years before sitting the exam.

 From 2022 these hours are counted on an hour per hour basis through the following counselling situations:

  • in-person counselling as an ABA volunteer
  • counselling on the National Breastfeeding Helpline
  • online support on ABA’s LiveChat service
  • leading ABA local group meetings and providing counselling afterwards

Volunteering as an ABA breastfeeding counsellor 

Applicants must first complete the 10998NAT Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education, a part time course which takes around 12 months. This course is offered only as a volunteer traineeship with ABA. There are specific requirements for enrolment, completion and appointment as a breastfeeding counsellor which include: 

  • having breastfed a baby
  • a minimum 150 volunteer hours as part of the traineeship
  • a minimum of 2 years volunteering with ABA as a breastfeeding counsellor once qualified. The 1000 clinical hours are counted from the time of appointment as a breastfeeding counsellor. 

Further information about being an ABA volunteer and the Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education is available in the presentation Becoming an ABA volunteer.