On May 9, 2020 the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners published Updated Interim Guidance on the Use of Technology to Meet Pathways 1, 2, and 3 Clinical Practise Requirements.

Pathway 1 Updates

Pathway 1 candidates can earn clinical hours through unsupervised telehealth visits, of the appropriate supervised setting allows for the use of telehealth or other technologies to provide breastfeeding and lactation care. 

  • Breastfeeding support counsellors can apply 250 hours per 12 months of training for providing mainly telephone and/or online services through January 1, 2022.

Pathway 2 and 3 Updates

  • Students in Pathway 2 programmes may earn 100% of their minimum of 300 hours of directly supervised lactation specific clinical practise through technology platforms.
  • Candidates in Pathway 3 mentorship programmes may earn 100% of their minimum of 500 hours of directly supervised lactation specific clinical practise through technology platforms.

The LactationQBank is a remote learning platform for learners in the healthcare space. Aspiring IBCLCs can enhance their clinical lactation skills through self-directed learning and on-demand standardized patient practice sessions. The course Lactation support in a telehealth setting includes three cases with unique challenges:

Case 1. Bloody nipple discharge in a lactating woman

Case 2. Breast engorgement in the setting of delayed onset of lactogenesis II

Case 3. Breast milk production and maternal mental health

IBCLCs everywhere are adapting by offering telehealth services, but some practices are not new to the world of virtual breastfeeding help. Best Fed Babies has been offering phone and video consultations since 2008 in order to give mothers “easy access to exceptional breastfeeding help” 24/7, 365 days a year. The United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA) recently hosted the webinar: COVID-19: Best Practices for Lactation Consultants & Perinatal Educators to discuss the best ways IBCLCs can support their patients at this time.