Case Study 1:
Jane says “I have been involved in breastfeeding support for about 11 years, initially as a volunteer in a breastfeeding support group and then more recently as a paid peer supporter in a hospital running a post-natal telephone support service.
I first became inspired to become an IBCLC by my manager at the hospital who was already a lactation consultant. I also wanted to gain a qualification in my new career, as I originally trained as a librarian.
I was able to complete all my 1000 clinical hours from my work at the hospital and completed a face to face breastfeeding specialist course to fulfil the 90 hours breastfeeding education prerequisite.
I had a module from my degree which covered Biology from the health sciences requirements, but had to complete the other 7 ‘for credit’ courses and the 6 ‘ongoing education’ courses. I found it most convenient to use distance learning and online courses, to fit in around my work and family.
I joined LCGB as an associate member in 2015 when I was well on the way to fulfilling the prerequisites, and was delighted to be awarded a sponsored place at the 2015 LCGB conference.
I finally applied for the exam in April 2016 after working towards it for about 6 years and took the exam in October 2016. I was overjoyed to pass!
Since then I have continued my part time work at the hospital, but have also started my own business as a private lactation consultant visiting women at home.”
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Case Study 2:
Kathryn says: “I had such great breastfeeding support locally here in Harrow when my twins were born, that when given the opportunity to train a breastfeeding peer supporter I jumped at the chance to give something back. I volunteered at local groups for 11 years and headed up the multiple birth breastfeeding project consisting of antenatal education and follow up postnatal support. I trained as a breastfeeding counsellor 4 years ago as I wanted to extend my knowledge. I now volunteer on the National Breastfeeding Helpline. I have also set up a very successful Facebook group especially for twin and triplet mums who are seeking education and support with breastfeeding their babies. I am a musician and woodwind teacher by trade and since having the children I have combined my work with volunteering in breastfeeding support. Teaching a practical skill is actually very transferable into breastfeeding support!
I wanted to become an IBCLC to further my knowledge and now the children are growing up, I would really love to go into private practice so I can afford to offer my services to a wider range of mothers for a greater part of the week. I will continue to volunteer on the National Breastfeeding Helpline and possibly locally too.
I fulfilled my clinical hours by doing face to face breastfeeding support as a breastfeeding counsellor with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers. I could have also used my National Breastfeeding Helpline hours. I completed my 90 hours of breastfeeding education by taking an online course with Lactation Education Resources. The health sciences were much more complicated, but I found online courses from Sophia, Stonebridge College, EDX and Lactation Education Resources.
I have now sat the exam and I am awaiting the results. If I pass I would really love to set up in private practice. I have a love for antenatal teaching especially so will offer a package of antenatal education with follow-up postnatal support. And I will offer general support too. I would also love to train peer supporters.”