What is a lactation consultant?


The array of professionals and volunteers offering services to support breastfeeding can sometimes be confusing. Since the New York Lactation Consultant Association (NYLCA) is a professional organization for lactation consultants, the majority of our members have one or more credentials in lactation and healthcare. NYLCA only uses the term lactation consultant to refer to IBCLCs.

NYLCA also recognizes that a wide variety of professionals and can provide breastfeeding support. Nevertheless, NYLCA is not responsible for certifying or monitoring the practices of lactation consultants, educators, peer counselors, or any other professionals that provide breastfeeding support. Instead, NYLCA requires that service providers meet certain standards for listing their services on this website.

Parent Advisory: The term "lactation consultant" is not trade marked. Anyone can claim to be a lactation consultant. No one, however, can rightfully claim to be an International "Board Certified" Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) without meeting the rigorous standards of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE). The certification status of IBCLCs can be verified by their ID card or on the IBLCE website.

To help you make sense of the “alphabet soup” in the postpartum world, we’ve compiled this helpful list of the common abbreviations you might see.

Credentials that signify expertise in lactation

Lactation consultants

  • FILCA   -   Fellow of the International Lactation Consultant Association

  • IBCLC, RLC   -    International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Registered Lactation Consultant

Lactation counselors and educators

  • RLC   -    Registered Lactation Consultant (all IBCLCs are also RLCs)

  • CBC   -   Certified Breastfeeding Counselor

  • CLC   -    Certified Lactation Counselor

  • CLE   -    Certified Lactation Educator

  • CLS   -   Certified Lactation Specialist

  • LLL Peer Counselor   -   La Leche League Peer Counselor

  • LLLL   -   La Leche League Leader

  • WIC Peer Counselor   -   Women Infants and Children Peer Counselor

Credentials in other related fields of support

Perinatal support

  • CD (DONA)   -   Birth Doula Certified by DONA

  • PCD (DONA)   -   Postpartum Doula Certified by DONA

Perinatal and other educators

  • CCE   -   Certified Childbirth Educator

  • CES   -   Childbirth Education Specialist

  • CIMI   -   Certified Infant Massage Instructor

  • Dip CBEd   -   Certified Childbirth Educator

  • EdD   -   Doctor of Education

  • LCCE   -   Lamaze-Certified Childbirth Educator

  • MEd   -   Master of Education

Credentials in other related fields of healthcare

  • APRN   -   Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

  • BSN   -   Bachelor of Science in Nursing

  • CDN   -   Certified Dietician Nutritionist

  • CM   -   Certified Midwife

  • CNM   -   Certified Nurse Midwife

  • DDS   -   Doctor of Dental Surgery

  • DO   -   Doctor of Osteopathy

  • DPT   -   Doctor of Physical Therapy

  • FAAP   -   Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics

  • FACS   -   Fellow of the American College of Surgeons

  • FNP   -   Family Nurse Practitioner

  • LCSW   -   Licensed Clinical Social Worker

  • LMSW   -   Licensed Master of Social Work

  • LMT   -   Licensed Massage Therapist

  • LPN   -   Licensed Practical Nurse

  • MD   -   Doctor of Medicine

  • MHS   -   Master of Health Science

  • MPH   -   Master of Public Health

  • MSN   -   Master of Science in Nursing

  • MSPT   -   Master of Science in Physical Therapy

  • MSW   -   Master of Social Work

  • OT   -   Occupational Therapist

  • PT   -   Physical Therapist

  • RD   -   Registered Dietitian

  • RH-AHG   -   Registered Herbalist-American Herbalist Guild

  • RN   -   Registered Nurse

  • RNC   -   Registered Nurse Certified

  • RNC-OB   -   Registered Nurse Certified - Obstetrics

  • RPA-C   -   Registered Physician's Assistant

  • RYT   -   Registered Yoga Therapist

  • SLP   -   Speech-Language Pathologist

  • FICS   -   Fellow of the International College of Surgeons

Annie Frisbie

I have been an IBCLC in private practice since 2011. My background is in media, where I worked very closely with producers, content developers, and tech thought leaders on business strategy, content development, contracts, legal clearances, and more. I’ve also produced training for professional media software solutions as well as created and managed print and video content for media professionals.

In 2018 I was honored with the US Lactation Consultant Association's President's Award, "awarding those that demonstrate extraordinary service to the association and profession."

I'm a produced screenwriter and proud member of the Writers Guild of America, East. I have a BA from Franklin and Marshall College, and an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University. I live with my husband and our two children in Queens, New York.