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Lactation Consultant Exam Preparation Course

Total Credits: 42 Continuing Education Recognition Point (CERPs)

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Maternal Child Health
Linda J. Smith, MPH, IBCLC
Course Levels:
42 hours
Never expires.

Schedule at a glance


This comprehensive course is accredited for up to 95* hours which meets the Continuing Education prerequisite for the IBLCE exam for candidates in 2022 and beyond.

* Up to 36 hours of live/recorded content addressing topics specified on the IBLCE Detailed Content Outline.

* Up to 6 hours of Communication Skills

* Up to 53 hours of additional optional assignments with content addressing topics specified on the IBLCE Detailed Content Outline.


Course Components: This course is available as a combination offering of live (zoom) lectures, pre-recorded on-demand videos, practice exam and optional assignments.

(1)   LIVE Zoom Sessions: The 42 hours of live zoom sessions are dynamic, often interactive, and cover the information in substantial depth. Documenting attendance at all 7 zoom sessions (36 hours of lactation topics including a practice exam plus 6 hours of Communication Skills) will award 42 CERPs. The required Communication Skills are integrated into the core lectures.

A 50-question practice exam is provided as part of the course. Participants have unlimited attempts and each attempt is automatically scored by the system to provide immediate results.  A component of a Live Zoom session includes review of the exam content.

(2)   PRE-RECORDED VIDEOS: Many of the topics presented in the zoom sessions were professionally recorded during a live, in-person course in early 2019. If some of the zoom sessions are missed, the 18 hours of 2019 recordings provide coverage of some of those topics but not all.  CERP credits will be awarded for attending the live zoom sessions OR viewing a comparable 2019 recording if available, but not both.

A 50-question practice exam is available even if participants do not attend the live session zoom component covering the practice exam and exam preparation. Participants have unlimited attempts and each attempt is automatically scored by the system to provide immediate results. 

(3)   Optional Assignments (1.5 hours of credit each, up to 53 hours): To receive maximum credit and CERPs after participating in the live zoom sessions or viewing the 2019 recordings, participants can complete and document additional optional assignments. The Optional Assignments are intended to help the participant experience the full depth and breadth of breastfeeding in real life situations following the classroom sessions. Choose any exercise(s)s that are relatively new or unfamiliar and choose from a variety of categories. For credit, you will document the date, length of time spent on each, and a brief evaluation on the documentation form.

Objective #1 Explain the biological processes involved in breastfeeding and human lactation.
Objective #2 Describe psychological, sociological, and cultural issues affecting breastfeeding families.
Objective #3 Explain pharmacological principles affecting the breastfeeding dyad.
Objective #4 Interpret research findings that pertain to lactation and the mother-baby breastfeeding dyad.
Objective #5 Discuss Legal, ethical, and professional issues of lactation consultant practice.
Objective #6 Describe public health aspects and implications of breastfeeding.
Objective #7 Explain normal and abnormal variations and conditions pertinent to the course of lactation.
Objective #8 Demonstrate appropriate counseling skills that support breastfeeding women.
Objective #9 Demonstrate clinical assessment, management skills, & use of breastfeeding equipment.
Objective #10 Demonstrate test-taking strategies by completing a simulated examination.



Linda J. Smith, MPH, IBCLC's Profile

Linda J. Smith, MPH, IBCLC Related seminars and products


Bright Future Lactation Resource Center Ltd.

Education and Certification

· MPH (Global Health), Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, 2011.

· BSE in Education, State University of New York at Cortland, 1968.

· International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), 1985; recertified continuously 1991-present.

· Lamaze: Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE), 1981; Recertified continuously.

· La Leche League International Accredited Leader, 1974. Active status.

Honors and Awards

· Delta Omega Honorary Society, Wright State University 2010

· Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Wright State University 2010

· Fellow of the International Lactation Consultant Association (FILCA), 2009

· Fellow, American College of Childbirth Educators (FACCE), 1991

Professional Activities and Positions Held – Consulting / advising

· Expert Panel, Baby-FriendlyUSA, 2018-2021

· Board of Directors, La Leche League International 2016 –2019

· Expert Panel, World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative report for the USA, 2016 and 2017.

· Consultant to World Health Organization’s BFHI Program, 2006 – present.

· Invited Technical Expert, Informal Meeting of BFHI National Coordinators in Geneva, June 2-4, 2008 and 2010.

· La Leche League International Liaison to WHO/UNICEF BFHI program, 2018 – 2022.

· La Leche League International representative to Global Breastfeeding Collective, 2018-2022.

· Board of Directors, United States Breastfeeding Committee, 1998-2002 and 2004-2008

· International Lactation Consultant Association liaison to WHO/UNICEF BFHI program, 2006 – 2018.

· Director of Perinatal Policy, American Breastfeeding Institute, 2000-present

· Chair, ILCA International Code Committee, 2013-2019

· Lead Faculty/Course Director, INFACT Canada’s Lactation Education program, 2003 – present.


Professional Activities and Positions Held – Education

· Adjunct Instructor, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Department of Population and Public Health Sciences, Dayton OH; 2012-present.

· Affiliated Faculty, Union Institute and University, Cincinnati OH; 2017-present

· Owner and director, Bright Future Lactation Resource Centre, Dayton OH. 

· Breastfeeding Coordinator, Division of Maternal and Child Health, Ohio Department of Health, 1991-1992. Oversee breastfeeding promotion and clinical training programs for Bureau of Maternal-Child Health and Bureau of Women, Infants, Children (WIC).

· Health Education Supervisor, Peninsula Health District, Virginia Department of Health, 1988-89.

· Inservice Instructor, Baptist Memorial Hospital System Institute of Health Education, San Antonio TX 1986-87.


· Chapin, E. M., Chen, C.-H., Dumas, L., MacEnroe, T., Smith, L. J., Begin, F., & Grummer-Strawn, L. (2021). The Paradigm Shift in BFHI Step 2: From Training to Competency Verification. Journal of Human Lactation, 0890334421995098.

· Competency Verification Toolkit: Ensuring Competency of Direct Care Providers to Implement the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative. Geneva: World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2020. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2020. (Authors: Elise Chapin, Chao-Huei Chen, Louise Dumas, Trish MacEnroe, Linda J. Smith).

· Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Exam Review, 5th Edition. Sudbury MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2024.

· Chapter. 3: Impact of Birth Practices on Infant Suck. In Supporting Sucking Skills in Breastfeeding Infants, 4th Edition, Catherine Watson Genna, ed. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2024.

· Chapter 8: Postpartum Considerations. In Breastfeeding and Human Lactation 6th Edition, Karen Wambach, ed. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2019 (7th edition in press)

· Chapter 35: Breastfeeding and the Mother-Newborn Dyad. Varney’s Midwifery, 6th edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2019.

· Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family. La Leche League International, Weissinger, D., West, D., Smith, L. J., & Pittman, T. (2014). New York: Random House/Ballantine Books.

· Impact of Birthing Practices on Breastfeeding, Second Edition. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2010.

· Biochemistry of Human Milk and Immunology, Infectious Disease, and Allergy Prophylaxis in Core Curriculum for Lactation Consultant Practice, Second Edition and Third Edition.

Ed. Marsha Walker, Rebecca Mannel and Patricia Martens. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers 2007 and 2013.

· The Lactation Consultant in Private Practice: The ABC's of Getting Started. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003.

· Coach's Notebook: Games and Strategies for Lactation Education. Sudbury MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2002.

· Zakarija-Grkovic, I., Pavicic Bosnjak, A., Buljan, I., et al. (2019). The IBLCE exam: candidate experience, motivation, study strategies used and predictors of success. International Breastfeeding Journal, 14(1), 2.

· Okeke, J., Raymond, I., Paton, S. J., Smith, L. A. J., & Khalil, N. (2017). Association of Maternal Demographic Characteristics with Breastfeeding of Low Birth Weight Infants in Ohio in 2012. Clinical Lactation, 8(1), 22-27.

· Bartick, M., & Smith, L. J. (2014). Speaking Out on Safe Sleep: Evidence-Based Infant Sleep Recommendations. Breastfeed Med. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2014.0113

· Rogers, N. L., Abdi, J., Moore, D., Nd'iangui, S., Smith, L. J., Carlson, A. J., & Carlson, D. (2011). Colostrum avoidance, prelacteal feeding and late breast-feeding initiation in rural Northern Ethiopia. Public Health Nutr, 14(11), 2029-2036.

· Smith, L. J. (2007). Impact of birthing practices on the breastfeeding dyad. J Midwifery Womens Health, 52(6), 621-630.

· Morgan, K. H., Groer, M. W., & Smith, L. J. (2006). The Controversy About What Constitutes Safe and Nurturant Infant Sleep Environments. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 35(6), 684-691.

· Smith, L. J. (1995). A score sheet for evaluating breastfeeding educational materials. J Hum Lact, 11(4), 307-311.

· Smith, L. J. (2011). Gaps and Strengths in US Policies on Infant and Young Child Feeding: An Analysis based on the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. Master of Public Health, Wright State University, Dayton OH.

· Curriculum in Support of the Ten Steps: An 18-hour Interdisciplinary Breastfeeding Management Course for the United States. Co-authored with Karin Cadwell, Cynthia Turner-Maffei, and Lois Arnold. United States Dept of Health and Human Services (Order #98-0264P), January 1999.


Linda J. Smith is the sole author of Comprehensive Lactation Consultant Exam Review. The 5th edition contains 1120 practice exam questions with answers and rationales, more than 400 clinical photos, and 20 complex case studies with questions. The book is organized by knowledge areas consistent with the knowledge areas on the 2023 IBLCE Detailed Content Outline. An entirely new chapter is based on the 2018 WHO-UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative  Competency Verification Toolkit competencies and performance indicators. The author receives royalties for sales of this book. It may be purchased from the publisher at