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 the International 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.
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.
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.
Image-based question are a key part of the exam, so experience in viewing images and recognising a diagnosis or milestone is important. The Breastfeeding Atlas is ideal for revising for this aspect of the exam and contains hundreds of images plus clinical discussion of them. It is regularly revised (most recently in January 2017).
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 (which was originally Riordan and Auerbach but is now by Spencer and Wambach), is now in its 6th edition (October 2019), 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 – now published as Core Curriculum for Interdisciplinary Lactation Care (latest edition July 2018) was been written in conjunction with ILCA (the 2018 edition was revised in conjunction with LEAARC). It is based on the IBLCE exam blueprint so it has chapters on all areas of knowledge expected of lactation consultants. 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 2019 edition, released June 2018.
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.
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, you can see more here.
Please contact us if we can help at all.