When receiving help from someone who holds a certification as a Lactation Educator (CLE) or Lactation Counselor (CLC or CLEC), it is helpful to understand that their requirements for educational hours vary between 20 to 45 hours or more of classroom instruction. Practitioners already working in the childbirth community and experienced in helping with breastfeeding are the most likely recipients of this type of certification, such as nurses, doulas or other providers. They are an invaluable source to mothers who need guidance and education on basic breastfeeding issues.
Not everyone gains accreditation to help women with breastfeeding through the health care industry. La Leche League International, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping breastfeeding mothers through mother-to-mother peer support, bases their accreditation process on personal experience with breastfeeding and educational criteria. La Leche League Leaders can help women with many aspects of breastfeeding and are trained to answer questions or concerns you may have about nursing your baby. They hold regularly scheduled meetings in Chattanooga and North Georgia and are always an excellent resource for mothers seeking breastfeeding support.
When it comes to the nitty gritty of breastfeeding advice, it is the Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with 90 hours of formal education and up to 1000 hours of clinical practice that you want to seek help from. If you are not receiving the guidance you need from other sources for any reason, contact an IBCLC.