As IBLCE’s 35th year draws to a close, we are reflecting on the incredible impact that IBCLCs have made during this time. In 1985, the year IBLCE was founded, the term “lactation consultant” was very new – and few outside of the field even recognised it. Since then, the field has grown dramatically, and there are now 33,492 IBCLCs in 125 countries and territories around the world!
We spoke to a few pioneer IBCLCs to learn more about the birth of the credential and its history. Here is a look back at how the IBCLC went from an idea to the gold standard in lactation care to breastfeeding families all over the world.
1985 – 2021
IBLCE Founding Meeting
“Way back in the 1980s, we started investigating just how professions form, what comes first, how are people regulated, and realised that we needed to do the examination first. We worked with experts all over the world, found a 60-person…
“In April of that year, just after the founding meeting, my husband got orders – he was in the military – to move from the DC area, where I lived and was working with JoAnne W. Scott, the founding executive…
“The IBCLC credential gave legitimacy to what we were doing in our work with families. We had sat through an extensive examination, we had to recertify, so it meant something far more than just hanging out a shingle.” – Jan…
The First Examination Administration Offered in Three Languages (English, German, Spanish)
The First 4-Continent Examination Administration
“My greatest personal pride was to be chosen to serve as a volunteer leader for six years. I learned more during those years about the science and the difficulty of writing fair, science-based questions for the next examination and the…
First Examination Administration with over 4,000 Candidates
“I think now most physicians, midwives and nurses are very aware what an IBCLC is and how much they can help new families. Also, many within the healthcare fields around the world have decided to obtain this certification. The profession…
First Year Offering Two Examination Administrations
There are now 33,492 IBCLCs in 125 countries and territories!
“I think IBCLCs have made a tremendous impact over the last 36 years to move breastfeeding into the norm. When I started, very few of my clients had mothers who had breastfed; by the time I stopped my private practise…
Happy IBCLC Day! Thank You for the Care You Provide to Breastfeeding Families.
“I was extremely proud to become an IBCLC in 1987—and I continue to feel that pride. I am proud of the dedication demonstrated by other IBCLCs, as well as the gratitude communicated by parents.” – Amy Spangler, MN, RN, IBCLC
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