What is IBLCE?

IBLCE®, or the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners®, is an international credentialing body whose mission is to serve the global public interest by advancing professional practice in lactation consultation and support through credentialing.

IBLCE established the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) certification programme in 1985. As of 2022, there are nearly 36,000 IBCLCs in 131 countries.

What is an IBCLC?

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants function and contribute as members of the maternal-child health team. They provide care in a variety of settings, while making appropriate referrals to other health professionals and community support resources. Working together with families, policymakers, and society, IBCLCs provide expert breastfeeding and lactation care, promote changes that support breastfeeding and help reduce the risks of not breastfeeding.

IBLCE’s Vision
IBLCE is valued worldwide for advancing global public health and is the most trusted source for credentialing practitioners in lactation and breastfeeding care.

IBLCE’s Mission
Serving the global public interest by advancing professional practice in lactation consultation and support through credentialing.

IBLCE’s Values

Excellence: We strive for excellence
Diversity: We value and respect different cultures, languages, and backgrounds.
Respect: Our interactions are guided by respect for others.
Integrity: We are honest and ethical.
Communication: We believe open and timely communication is important.
Collaboration: We work together to achieve the best results.

Strategic Initiatives

Credentialing Advancement & Growth: Ensure long-term sustainability of the global mission by monitoring the IBCLC uptake and primarily focusing our efforts and resources in language groups/areas where utilisation of the credential can best sustain the foundation of the mission, and secondarily (when resources are available) identify potential new/revitalised opportunities that promote further accessibility for the benefit of credentialing growth.

Credentialing Products & Services (Content & Quality): Ensure we continue to support the provision of high-quality, relevant, standards-driven, and accessible credentialing programmes that align with, and sustain, our mission.

People & Operational Excellence: Provide policies, structures, and processes, leveraging innovative best practices, which contribute to highly motivated and engaged Board, volunteers, and staff.

Fiscal Health & Sustainability: Continue to grow and maintain IBLCE’s financial health and sustainability, enabling advancement of our mission and goals.


The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) was founded in March 1985 using a $40,000 loan from La Leche League International as start-up funding. IBLCE’s founding was in response to the need for standards in the emerging profession of lactation consulting. This new profession had arisen during the 1970’s and 80’s in response to the need and request from mothers for specialized breastfeeding care. During this same time period, there was an increasing body of published information about the benefits of breastfeeding and mother support organisations, such as La Leche League International and the Nursing Mothers Association of Australia (now the Australian Breastfeeding Association), had developed and were utilizing an extensive repertoire of breastfeeding management skills.

These factors of consumer demand, scientific evidence and practical clinical skills converged to create an ideal climate for the new profession and for standards that demonstrate the practitioner’s knowledge and skill to practice in the field of lactation consulting.

IBLCE used the highly regarded NCCA accreditation standards, overseen by what is now known as the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, in developing the IBCLC certification programme.  The IBCLC programme is one of only a very few certification programmes holding this valued and widely recognised accreditation continuously since the late 1980s.  This objective, third-party accreditation is a sign of excellence regarding the IBCLC certification programme.