Supporting the breastfeeding parent is integral to your career as a Newborn Care Specialist, and these training options for becoming a Breastfeeding Specialist are important to consider.
Training Options For Becoming a Breastfeeding Specialist
As a Newborn Care Specialist, it is your responsibility to provide your client’s baby with the best care possible. Caring for your client’s newborn baby also means supporting the parents as they adjust to their new role.
One of the most important decisions a new parent can make is whether or not to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is, with few exceptions, the recommended way to feed newborns. So chances are high that you will need to know a bit about it.
One recommended step is continuing your education, such as seeking certification as a Breastfeeding Specialist. Not only is this beneficial to your career, it benefits the clients you serve. This training makes you better equipped to advise and support young mothers. Proper support greatly increases their chances of successful breastfeeding.
Breast milk is uniquely designed to feed newborn babies. It protects them from illness and provides them with perfect nutrition. So helping parents successfully breastfeed truly is important work.
Certified Breastfeeding Specialist Training
To become a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, you must train with an accredited organization. There are several different program options for gaining certification. A typical program involves approximately 40 hours of training in order to gain certification.
(NOTE: – This training is not to be confused with becoming a Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), which requires much more extensive training.)
Three such options for certification are to become a Certified Lactation Specialist (CLS), a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), or a Certified Lactation Educator (CLE). Each of these options train you to work one on one with new parents. You’ll learn the best ways to support them as they establish a nursing relationship with their child. Which program you choose depends on your own needs and abilities. And it also depends on what you ultimately hope to achieve in your work as a Newborn Care Specialist.
Certified Lactation Specialist (CLS)
Lactation Education Consultants – Certified Lactation Specialist Course
The Certified Lactation Specialist Course is perfect for Newborn Care Specialists who want to improve their skill set and knowledge base concerning breastfeeding. It is also a great first step for NCSs who wish to pursue an education as an IBCLC.
One important aspect of this practical course is that students will sharpen their counseling skills. They will become more comfortable with teaching new moms and families and will become more efficient at helping others in a hands-on capacity.
The CLS Training is offered in person, as a five day course. There are classes offered regularly around the country, giving students the opportunity to find a course located close to them. The five day course provides students with half the hours they need to qualify for the CLS exam. The other half of the hours required can be earned through taking the Home Study Courses offered by LEC, or by participating in other qualifying conferences.
One really helpful aspect of the LEC training course is that they offer a practice workbook with 50 multiple choice questions. This workbook will help you make sure you are ready to take your CLS exam, so you don’t attempt it before you are ready.
Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)
Healthy Children’s Center For Breastfeeding – Certified Lactation Counselor Training
A Certified Lactation Counselor is able to provide needed support to nursing mothers and children. For Newborn Care Specialists looking for other opportunities, a CLC can also find opportunities to work with the community through programs like WIC, hospitals, and community health departments.
The accredited 45 hour CLC course will prepare students to pass the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice Exam for certification.
You can find IN-PERSON training courses at locations all around the country, making it easier to find one that is close to you. You can register for the course online at this link, and see all the locations that are available to you.
Certified Lactation Educator (CLE)
CAPPA – Certified Lactation Educator
The CAPPA program teaches you how to be a Certified Lactation Educator. Perfectly designed for Newborn Care Specialists, this course will qualify you to offer one to one support to breastfeeding parents and their newborns.
One distinctive advantage to the CAPPA Program is flexibility. There is a traditional in-person course option for those who are able to attend. Classes available are shown at this link, and you can register there, too.
But CAPPA also offers an online version of their course for those who are unable to attend the traditional in-person course, for a very similar price.
They also provide detailed information about all of the different requirements involved with getting your certification through their program. This is very helpful information to have when you are preparing for a course as extensive as this one.
Other Education Options
Each of these excellent organizations offer other educational opportunities for those who wish to extend their training even further. Even if you find that you want to pursue your Breastfeeding Specialist Certification with one group, you may find other classes of interest with another organization. There is no right or wrong. It is your Newborn Care Specialist Business and the areas you choose to specialize your education in is part of what makes your business unique to you.
What About Cost?
Pursuing certification for Breastfeeding Specialist will cost, on average, between $500 and $750. The cost depends not only on which organization you choose, but when you get your payment in. Most courses offer an “early bird” type discount for paying within a certain amount of time. Price is also dependent upon whether you take additional courses. And group discounts are available if you have the option of registering and attending with others
When you choose a career as a Newborn Care Specialist, continuing your education and seeking certification in other areas, such as becoming a Certified Breastfeeding specialist, is a matter of personal choice. But the more advanced and specialized your education, the more helpful you can be to new parents and their newborns. Increasing your marketability is always a good thing. These training options for becoming a breastfeeding specialist will help you do just that!