The IBLCE Exam and Breastfeeding Books

title border 16th May 2017

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) was founded in 1985, after discussion on a global scale coordinated by JoAnne Scott from 1982. (Through my volunteer role as International Director with theInternational Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), I (Jan) was invited to join that group.) The panel of international experts then wrote the standards, from which the competencies and scope of practice for lactation consultants were developed, and the first exam was held in 1985. The International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) was also formed in 1985, so both are celebrating their 25th anniversaries in 2010. Since 1985, the number of candidates taking the exam has increased to more than 4000 for the first time in 2009. (In 2006, more than 3000 had sat for the first time, so the numbers have increased significantly in recent years.) Gradually the exam is being written in more languages.

CAPERS Seminars and Workshops

CAPERS Bookstore has been involved in supporting IBLCE exam candidates and providing education, (and until recently,  exam practice seminars) since the business was established in 1988.

CAPERS IBLCE Recommended Reading List

We stay up-to-date with knowledge of the relevant breastfeeding books and texts that could assist candidates. As we’re frequently asked questions about suggested reading, we’re including this information here as well as in our IBLCE Recommended Reading List (under Browse Categories).

For practice on multiple choice questions, the most popular book is Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Exam Review with its 800 questions and access to clinical pictures online. Many lactation consultants recertifying find that this book was the focus of their revision – practising questions, and then looking to the various texts to refresh information – and those taking the exam for the first time, will benefit from the experience of practising multiple choice questions. A new edition was released April 2016.

Since the 2010 exam, the number of image-based questions increased to 100 (there are 175 multiple choice questions), so experience in viewing images and discussing a diagnosis, or milestone, is important. Our most popular book of images is The Breastfeeding Atlas (400+ images plus clinical discussion) and a new edition has just been released (January 2017). Another option is Breastfeeding: An Illustrated Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment which has more than 200 images (and a CD of them) and each one is accompanied by diagnosis and appropriate treatment techniques.

There are two breastfeeding books that are core texts for the Exam and are the most comprehensive reference texts, so you will use them way beyond the Exam. These are Breastfeeding and Human Lactation by Riordan and Wambach, now in its 5th edition (Dec 2014 and then new version with additional online content released late 2015), and  Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession by Lawrence and Lawrence, now in its 8th edition (October 2015).

Core Curriculum for Lactation Consultant Practice (latest edition is late 2012) has been written in conjunction with ILCA, and is based on the IBLCE exam blueprint so it has chapters on all areas of knowledge. Many have found this user-friendly and good for revision, particularly for re-certification.

Medications and Mothers’ Milk is an essential reference for health professionals working with breastfeeding women, and purchasing this book prior to taking the exam will give you an excellent grounding in this area. The latest edition is the 2017 edition, published in October 2016.

From Birth to Five Years provides succinct information on developmental milestones which may be particularly useful to those taking the exam who have not worked in child health.

Counseling the Nursing Mother is a substantial text on management and counselling (its latest edition is July 2015).

Supporting Sucking Skills is another highly recommended resource and a new edition was released August 2016.

Breastfeeding Management for the Clinician (latest edition August 2016) is an evidence-based guide to key breastfeeding issues.

Pocket Guide for Lactation Management is a quick guide to key challenges with handy reference charts, algorithms and diagrams (latest edition August 2016).

We’ve only outlined some of the books from our Recommended Reading List.

Please contact us if we can help at all.

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