How To Become A Certified Lactation Educator™ And Why It Might Be Right For You

Lactation Educator

CAPPA Certified Lactation Educator™, CLE®

If you feel inspired to support people through lactation and breastfeeding/chestfeeding, you might have considered becoming a Certified Lactation Educator™. A CAPPA Certified Lactation Educator™, CLE® works with parents to offer unbiased, evidence based support.

In order to determine if this profession might be right for you, you might wonder how to become a CLE. You might also want to consider why others became Certified Lactation Educators. A CLE® is an expert in lactation education, but they aren’t clinicians. While many doulas choose to also become a CLE, some people choose to focus all their attention on lactation education.

How To Become a Certified Lactation Educator™

Lactation Educator

CAPPA offers five programs including the CAPPA Certified Lactation Educator™, CLE® training class. To become a CAPPA CLE, you must be at least 18-years-old and a member of CAPPA. You will need to attend a CAPPA Lactation Educator training and read specifically selected media from the CAPPA Lactation Educator Required Reading List. While at training, you will be given a CAPPA Lactation Educator Training Manual. You will need to read and review it, because you will need enroll in the Lactation Educator Traditional Course in CAPPA Academy and pass the Scope of Practice Pretest. You will have two years following your original training class to finish up the next objectives.

“Training lactation educators is amazing because breastfeeding is something that I’m so passionate about and to be able to educate professionals in depth in all aspects of lactation allows them to educate the community and take more comprehensive care of their clients.” -Jodi Congdon

CAPPA provides you with a foundational Understanding Breastfeeding booklet assignment you will need to complete. After that, you will attend two La Leche League, Nursing Mother’s Council or breastfeeding support meetings. You’ll provide documentation of this attendance. These meetings will really help you understand what challenges lactating people face. You’ll also have to review three current research studies in this field and review them or write a compare-contrast paper examining the new research. This will keep your skills for research honed. After that, you will either student teach or submit either one 30-minute lesson or two 15-minute lessons and hand in detailed curriculum and an outline for these presentations. This will ensure you are prepared to teach classes to the public prior to completing your certification.

All CAPPA certifications require the learner to create a Resource List. This will be utilized regularly in your new career. CAPPA Academy will guide you through creating your local resource list. You’ll also need to acquire two letters of recommendation from professionals in the field.

“Each new group of Lactation Educators brings a special focus and brings together… Each training is so rich, because of the history of the people who come to the training and the way they learn to support parents non-judgmentally as well as the enthusiasm they take away to support their communities.” -Kimberly Bepler

When you have completed these steps, you will need you to agree to and sign a Code of Conduct, Social Media Policy, Grievance Policy, CAPPA Mission, CAPPA Approach, CAPPA Vision, and Scope of Practice. After that, you will need to pass a multiple-choice exam and an essay exam.

Why Others Choose To Become Certified Lactation Educator™

Lactation Educator

Some CAPPA Certified Lactation Educators choose this professions because they know they have the skills and ability to help others while some choose this path because they wish they had someone to help them during their own journeys.

“I decided to become a lactation educator and postpartum doula after my own postpartum struggles caused me to research maternal health statistics in the United States. I discovered that there was a significant need for postpartum education and support and opted to do my part by training with CAPPA.” -Abby Pitts

Should You Become a Certified Lactation Educator™?

Certified Childbirth Educators generally share several characteristics that are needed to thrive as a lactation educator. Successful CAPPA Certified Lactation Educators are patient, observant, resourceful, organized, nurturing people. They are willing to take on this responsibility but also realize they are not clinicians and will not be offering medical advice.

“It is such an honor and a privilege to help individuals reach their professional goals. I get such amazing feedback from Lactation Educators who feel like they have found their calling. They love being able to offer support and referrals so families can meet their feeding goals.” -Christy Jo Hendricks

CAPPA Certified Lactation Educators are able to respect boundaries, anticipate need, and offer non-judgmental advice and support. Often, CLEs are also IBCLCs, doulas, nurses, CNAs, pediatricians, speech pathologists, and nannies. Grandmothers and mothers who are passionate about breastfeeding/chestfeeding and helping others thrive also make great CLEs.

CAPPA is respected for its commitment to excellence in birth education. CAPPA offers unsurpassed student and member support. Once you make the decision to become a CLE, CAPPA will offer you the education, resources, and organization that you will need to build your own business, work within a healthcare setting or find a position in a private practice after your certification is complete.

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