The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners examination, commonly known as the IBLCE exam, is a comprehensive and challenging examination for men and women hoping to enter this field of healthcare. The disciplines covered in the exam are anatomy; physiology and endocrinology; nutrition and biochemistry; immunology and infectious disease; pathology; pharmacology and toxicology; psychology, sociology, and anthropology; growth parameters and developmental milestones; interpretation of research; ethical and legal issues; breastfeeding equipment and technology; techniques; and public health.
Some of the topics included in the anatomy section are breast and nipple structure and development; infant oral anatomy and reflexes; and blood, lymph, innervations, and mammary tissue. In the physiology and endocrinology section, however, you are likely to encounter questions related to hormones; lactogenesis; endocrine/autocrine control of milk supply; induced lactation; fertility; infant hepatic, pancreatic, and renal function; effect of complementary feeds; and voiding and stooling patterns. The nutrition and biochemistry section of the IBLCE exam may include questions related to breastmilk synthesis and composition; milk components, function, and effects on a baby; comparison with other products/milks; feeding patterns; maternal diet variations; ritual and traditional foods; and the introduction of solids. In the immunology and infectious disease section, you are likely to see questions related to antibodies and other immune factors, cross-infection, bacteria and viruses in milk, allergies and food sensitivity, and long-term protective factors. The pathology section may include questions related to acute/chronic abnormalities and diseases, breast and nipple problems and pathology, endocrine pathology, congenital abnormalities, mother/child physical and neurological disabilities, failure to thrive, hyperbilirubinemia and hypoglycemia, and the impact of pathology on breastfeeding. The pharmacology and toxicology section of the IBLCE exam is likely to include questions related to environmental contaminants, use of medications and recreational drugs, galactagogues/suppressants, contraceptives, medications used in labor, and complementary therapies. The psychology, sociology, and anthropology sections are likely to include questions about counseling and adult education skills, postnatal depression and psychosis, maternal-infant relationship, maternal role adaptation, parenting skills, domestic violence, mothers with special needs, sleep patterns, and support systems. The growth parameters and developmental milestones section includes questions related to fetal and preterm growth, breastfed and artificially-fed growth patterns, breastfeeding behaviors to 12 months and beyond, and weaning. The IBLCE Exam was developed by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.