Mary has her RN and Bachelors of Science in Nursing from UNC Greeley. She has worked in the maternal-child area since 1986, giving her a well rounded and deep understanding of antepartum, labor & delivery, post-partum, healthy and NICU nurseries, OB home care, and lactation practice. Her depth of nursing experience in each of these specialties means that she understands where you and your baby are coming from clinically and practically, and how that will impact your breastfeeding journey. She has been practicing exclusively in lactation as an IBCLC since 2009, coming out of the hospital in 2017 to start Pikes Peak Lactation. She is not only textbook equipped, but practice equipped in the art and science of nursing and clinician critical thinking.
The term IBCLC stands for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. The person with this credential has the gold standard; the highest training and accountability in the field of lactation care. It represents 90+ credit hours of academic study and 300-1000 hours of practical hands on training. Certifying requires passing a rigorous exam. Maintaining certification involves re-testing and getting many hours of continuing education every 5 years. She has re-certified twice by both re-testing and by accumulating 75+ hours of continuing education specific to the field of lactation. A lactation consultation by an IBCLC means that both mother and baby receive evidence based and practice-based guidance to initiate and sustain breastfeeding, and that your lactation consultant has demonstrated her competency to an objective agency.
There various lower levels of lactation care training which might be referred to as a “lactation consultant”. These providers have had much less education and practical instruction/supervision. Some certifications require only 24 hours of class work, all within one week, and to pass an open book test, without hands on experience. Other certifications require online classes and no testing or practical instruction or supervision. Lactation care givers with these lower levels of care can be helpful in their own scope of practice but will not be able to give the depth and breadth of care that an IBCLC can give. Be careful not to confuse a CLC, CLE, breastfeeding counselor, peer counselor or la leche league leader with an IBCLC.
Mary’s RN, BSN, IBCLC credential gives you the confidence that your lactation consultant is truly a specialist in the field of lactation and is well prepared to give you and your baby the gold standard of care.
You can find out more about IBCLC’s by following this link to the United States Lactation Consultant ( USLCA) website.