Australian Breastfeeding Association Breastfeeding Counsellors and Community Educators are not Lactation Consultants.
What is a Lactation Consultant?
There are important differences between breastfeeding counsellors and lactation consultants.
- are health professionals
- hold an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) qualification
- work in hospitals and child health services, or in private practice.
Finding a lactation consultant
To find a private lactation consultant
- Click to Find a consultant in Australia or NZ
Lactation consultants also work in the public health system in some maternity hospitals and child health services.
Interested in 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.
The 10243NAT Diploma of Breastfeeding Management is accepted for the 90 hours of lactation specific education requirement.
The 10280NAT Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education is accepted for the new additional requirement of 5 hours of education in communication skills.
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 the beginning of 2022*, these hours will be 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
Applicants must first complete the 10280NAT Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education (Counselling), a part time course which takes around 12 months. This course is offered only as a volunteer traineeship. 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 qualification.
Further information about being an ABA volunteer and the Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education is available in the presentation Becoming an ABA volunteer.
* Until the end of 2021, hours are counted at a flat rate of 250 hours per 12 months if providing mainly telephone or online care. To be eligible for this method of counting, candidates would need to have completed the Certificate IV course before the end of December 2020 and be volunteering with ABA for all of 2021.