Frequently Asked Questions


To learn about becoming a Lactation Consultant in more detail, please watch a comprehensive presentation from our lead instructor, Gini Baker, by clicking here.

How many clinical hours do I need to take the exam?

Please see the pathway listings under the Lactation Consultant tab. Each pathway is based on individual academic background.

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The annual exam is in July, is there a one week/month course to complete and take the exam?

Not from UCSD. The lactation consultant is considered a “advanced practice” professional. Therefore, the academic and experiential training is intensive and comprehensive. La Leche League has a wonderful “leader” designation that is appropriate for those wanting to assist with minor breastfeeding concerns in their community.

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Why is personal liability insurance required for the lactation courses? How much is required? How or where do I purchase the insurance?

While UCSD has never had a lactation student need to utilize this insurance, it is a requirement of the individual facilities/hospitals for student clinical placement.

The amount required is $1million/$3million defined as:

• Up to $1,000,000 per claim professional liability coverage

Your coverage protects you for settlement of a claim or damages awarded of up to $1,000,000 per occurrence.

• Up to $3,000,000 aggregate professional liability coverage

Your coverage protects you with up to $3,000,000 aggregate liability protection. This is the maximum limit available to protect you against multiple claims within the policy year.

If you have any professional license such as RN you must insure as that professional even though you are a UCSD student in this class. If you are not a licensed health professional please choose the category of “Medical Technician”.

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I must have liability insurance and a CPR certification. Do you have an insurance company you could recommend to get the liability insurance?

INSURANCE: All Lactation consultant students must provide proof of Individual malpractice insurance in the amount of $1/3 million.

Individual Malpractice Insurance: Minimum (can be more) $1/3 million, available at:

CM&F Group Inc.
(RN’s are “RN”. All others are “Allied Health Professionals”)
On screen 2: CHECK BOX “Healthcare Student”
SPECIALTY choose: “Health Educator”

Nurses Service Organization ( RN’s only)

Healthcare Providers Service Organization (As a Medical Technician/Technologist)

Note: Some clinical facilities will not accept group malpractice insurance.

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Where do you get CPR?

You must get your CPR card through an AHA certified provider.  Lactation Consultant students need adult CPR.

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What is the difference between the different titles, Lactation Specialist, Lactation Counselor, Lactation Educator, Lactation Educator Counselor?

Lactation is currently a 3 part profession:

1. Lactation Specialists, 18-20 hour programs1.
Usually meets the educational requirements for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI); Usually 16-20 hours in length
General audience is health professionals such as nurses

2. Lactation Educator (CLE), Lactation Educator Counselor (CLEC), Lactation Counselor (CLC)
Usually about the same content from program to program, title to title and each individual sponsoring agency calls the program what they want to call it. UCSD only recognizes programs with minimum 45 hours of classroom time. General audience is individuals desiring to teach Lactation classes and/or continue to the clinical level of lactation consultant.

3. Lactation Consultant
Lactation Consultant Training Program is offered by UCSD.
It is the intent of the UCSD lactation consultant training program that all UCSD lactation consultant students use the IBLCE exam as the certification for lactation consultant.


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Where do I obtain an acceptable background check?

ALL CONSULTANT STUDENTS are required to have a current Background Check and approved Drug Screening to participate in clinical rotations. UC San Diego is encouraging the Sharp Healthcare Background Check and Drug Screening as the standard to meet the requirement for all facilities.

The Sharp Drug Screening Procedure step-by-step instructions are provided.

Purchase Package 1: Background Check & 10 Panel Drug Screen.

After you purchase the package, a “Chain of Custody” form will be mailed to your home, you will take this form with you to the drug testing facility. Once you take the drug screen, the results are typically returned within 24-48 hours via email. ALL hospitals access these national databases. Once cleared, please forward the results to UCSD. You will now be allowed to enter a facility.

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