IBCLC, CLC, CLE? Here’s the basics on some of the different types of infant feeding support that are out there.

As a birth and postpartum doula, part of my job is to refer my clients, and the families in my community I support, to the resources that are available to them. Every family I work with has questions about how to feed their infant, whether it is their first or 10th baby they have cared for. There are many ways to feed your baby and all work great if the baby and parents are thriving. Some parents choose to feed their child(ren) breastmilk, formula or a combination of both from a nipple, feeding system, bottle or supportive device. However you choose to feed your baby, a professional may be beneficial to ensure you have a positive, succesful feeding relationship. The lactation consultant/educator/counselor information can be quite confusing to someone that is new to the world of infant feeding support. There are many acronyms out there (IBCLC, CLC, LLL, CLE). The term lactation consultant is not trademarked, so there are big differences in the different titles level of training and experience.

Before you hire a professional to support you on your infant feeding journey I recommend learning about the types of support available to families caring for their infant(s). I included a list below of many of the acronyms and titles that you may see when searching for professional infant feeding services. You can click on the individual links to learn more about the type of support each type of lactation consultant/counselor/educator offers to see if they would be a good fit for you and your family, or your clients. In general, anyone on this list that isn’t a board certified IBCLC shoud not be creating careplans for you, doing inspections of an infants mouth or parents breast, use a scale to weigh supply, give devices to aid in feeding (example: nipple shields), offer any medications or other medical advice.

Lactation Consultant
Lactation Consultant Chart

IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant).They have a college degree, complete a accepted course, pass an extensive exam, and complete a thousand of hours of experience.The title IBCLC is the only breastfeeding certification recognized by the US Surgeon General, and the only one used as a quality metric by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Receive certification from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners ®.

CLC (Certified Lactation Consultant). Usually has completed a course, received a certificate, and proven they have experience helping breastfeeding mothers and babies. Receive certificate from  Healthy Children’s Center for Breastfeeding (ALPP).

CBC (Certified Breastfeeding Counselor)- Completed the two-day CBC course by Prepared Childbirth Educators, Inc., passed a final examination and a written assignment. They hold an active Registered Nursing License and have a minimum of one year experience working with pregnant or lactating women

ALC (Advanced Lactation Consultant)- Completed the Healthy Children Project’s Advanced Issues in Lactation Practice Certification Program and are certified by the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice (ALPP).

ANLC (Advanced Nurse Lactation Consultant) Completed the Healthy Children Project’s Advanced Issues in Lactation Practice Certification Program and are certified by the ALPP.

BC (Breastfeeding Counselors): WIC, LLL, Breastfeeding USA and other organizations have their own requirements for this title. It usually requires completing a course and having personal experience to offer peer support. 

CLS (Certified Lactation Specialist)- Training class to complete part of IBCLC requirements. Certificate of completion received from Lactation Education Consultants after completing a 5 day course.

LS (Lactation Specialist)- Course geared toward hospital staff to satisfy the educational requirements of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. It is not a certificate or certification program.

CBS (Certified Breastfeeding Specialist) -This is a stepping stone to becoming a IBCLC. The credential is awarded by Lactation Education Resources after completing a list of courses.

CBE (Certified Breastfeeding Educator) – Completed the training course from Lactation Consulting Services. 

IFS (Infant Feeding Specialist) -Completed a certificate course from ProDoula.

CLE (Certified Lactation Educator)- They educate, counsel and support families by providing information about lactation and breastfeeding. Completed a  certificate program through CAPPA.

CLEC (Certified Lactation Educator Counselor) – Completed course for people to work with pregnant women and their families in community perinatal health programs. Course from – UCSD extension, no certificate or test required.

LLLL (LLL Leader)- Peer support counselors that have completed the LLL leader course.

IBC (Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor)- Completed a training through CHEER.

Here are a few more links that will hopefully give you all the information you need on your journey finding a lactation consultant in the Asheville area. If you would like specific recommendations, contact me anytime or check out my Resources Page.

ACOG Finding Breastfeeding Professionals: https://www.acog.org/About-ACOG/ACOG-Departments/Breastfeeding/Find-Breastfeeding-Professionals?IsMobileSet=false

Find A IBCLC in your area: https://www.ilca.org/why-ibclc/falc

-There are currently 9 IBCLCs within 25 miles of Asheville, NC.

Find A CLC in your area: https://www.alpp.org/search

-There are currently 2 CLCs within 25 miles of Asheville.


Find A Postpartum Doula Trained in Perinatal Mental Health

Postpartum Support In Asheville and WNC for families from doulas with mental health training and experience.

I am a postpartum doula that supports pregnant people and growing families in Asheville and WNC. We need to continue to break the ice to provide mental health support to our communities new families whether it’s their first pregnancy, their 6th birthing experience or they are fostering/adopting/step-parenting. I completed PSI’s Certification in Perinatal Mental Health this fall to have the training needed to provide professional services. Postpartum doulas work on the front lines and are there to help prevent and detect Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) and offer support and resources. Our society has crazy expectations and parenting goals and it is part of the reason that 1 in 7 moms and 1 in 10 dads suffer from PMADs. Here is a list of providers in the area that have been trained in Perinatal Mental Health to get started on your search for support, https://psidirectory.com/k:asheville. Help is available 24 hours a day from Postpartum Support International. Call the PSI Helpline: 1-800-944-4773 (#1 En Espanol or #2 English) OR TEXT: 503-894-9453.

You can read more about the services I offer in Asheville on my Postpartum Doula Page.


I am a proud member to Asheville area’s network of independent birth professionals, Asheville Doula Collective! We are a group of independent business owners that have joined together as professionals to empower each other, support our clients and businesses 24/7 and connect with our local community.  We work as a collective by- providing back-up support, encouraging each others work, creating community in our profession and connecting with the local resources available to provide continuous support to the families we work with.  If you are looking for reliable, quality care from pre-conception-parenting we are here to support your unique family.   If you are a doula in Asheville, come join our village! All are welcome regardless of the collectives, cooperatives, agencies or other groups you are also a part of.


Flower Essence Remedies For Expecting People & Growing Families.

Are you curious what a flower essence is? Have you heard of rescue remedy? As a flower essence practitioner I am available to answer your questions and I am able to create personalized blends for your whole family. As a birth and postpartum doula in the Asheville area I support expecting people and their growing families. Flower essence remedies are a gentle and effective tool  to add to your birth bag and go along well with postpartum support. 

Give the gift of uninterrupted sleep!

Give yourself (or someone you know) the gift of uninterrupted sleep this holiday season. I offer overnight baby care, postpartum doula and labor/birth doula services in Asheville, NC and the surrounding mountain areas. I am a independent doula and also work with the amazing team at Doulas of Asheville to ensure you the professional and reliable service you are looking for.  Reserve your sleep today.

Elizabeth Bloomquist: Asheville Doula Services Local Holiday Gift Guide

  • Treat your loved ones from my list of: 

    Holiday Gift Ideas For An Asheville Mom


    Our amazing community in Asheville, NC has many options when it comes to giving gifts anytime of year. This year my list includes things that a mother of two young children would look forward to from my favorite Asheville businesses and outings.


    ♥At the top of my list is a monthly subscription to French Broad Chocolates. Chocolate in the mail, yes please. 


    ♥My family loves our Elderberry syrup and tea. You can grab a bottle of fresh Elderberry Syrup or Fire Cider handmade by Anna Morgan of Pisgah Folk or a Elderberry Elixir Kit  from Appalashen Apothecary to make-your-own at home or for gifts that will be traveling out of town. 



    ♥A #pourovercoffee cup made by the amazing Beth Flanagan Bond. You can Visit Her Etsy Shop Here.


    ♥A gift of health could include a gift certificate towards Chiropractic care at One Love Chiropractic or register for a Restorative Yoga + Hot Stones Class with Kim Drye of HereNowYoga.  


    ♥Enjoy giving a Gift Certificate to one of Asheville’s local food delivery businesses like Mother Earth Produce or Farm to Home Milk.


    ♥If you want to treat this mom try a day at the Grove Park Inn Spa, a craniosacral massage from Emily Rose Sullivan or a afternoon with girlfriends, wine and a hot tub rental in Hot Springs, NC.


    ♥You can shop for the garden lover at Sow True Seeds or get all of your alternative gardening supplies while enjoying a beverage at Fifth Season Gardening.


    ♥If there are little ones on your list, head to The Littlest Birds in West Asheville, they have a large selection of new and consignment items.


    ♥The gift of music is something to remember. Help one of our favorite local bands, Sirius B, by pre-ordering their next amazing CD that my whole family will enjoy  or buy a CD or record to support a band like Rising Appalachia that gives back all year long. 


    ♥Consider making tax-free donation to your nonprofit of choice before the end of the year. I choose to support the WNC Birth Center that is in its first year supporting families in Asheville.


    ♥Make your own gifts using Chestnut Herb School’s Free Herbal Holiday Guide. It is gorgeous and has recipes for herbal syrups, medicinal vinegars, and natural body care products to make for your loved ones right in your own kitchen.


    ♥Happy thoughts, prayers, well-wishes for health, happiness, peace, understanding and LOVE15192672_10154197415244010_6127445568518224950_n

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Professional Distance Doula Service Available

As a professional doula I am honored to be a part of a family’s support system throughout pregnancy, labor/birth and into their postpartum time at home. I enjoy the strength of the connections we form in a short period and am re-fueled to be there with woman during their moments of power and grace. I often wish I could be more places at once, especially when close friends and family are having babies in other cities, states or countries and I can’t hop in the car and offer my continuous in-person support. I found myself spending a lot of time over email, text, skype/facetime with friends and family all over the country and was able to offer similar support in many ways to my local clients. This birthed my “Distance Doula Package” that is available from anywhere you have a phone or internet service. This professional service is has been a nice addition to woman and their families that are looking to have a doula in their back pocket, but aren’t interested or in need of the hands-on support. You can Contact Me with any questions or Reserve Your Birth Month online today to have continuous, on-call doula support wherever you go.

My heart is open, my ears are listening and I am ready to continue stirring the pot.

I love my community, my village near and far. I am thankful that my home-base is Asheville, for my family, the healers, the gardens of food & herbs & beer & mead, the music, the mountains, my backyard crick, the community, the honesty, the love. They say it takes a village, yes it does. I am proud to be a part of my village here. I am fortunate to be surrounded by people daily that are working towards helping others, creating connections, supporting families and life and love. My heart is open, my ears are listening and I am ready to continue stirring the pot.

My latest personal Facebook post came the day after I supported the new WNC Birth Center through their fall fundraiser, a “Baby Shower” for the community to show their support for a new option in Western North Carolina. Neighbors, businesses and friends showed up to mingle over lemonade and cookies and tour the beautiful birth center facility. I left feeling honored to be able to support the birth center during their “postpartum period” and proud of everything their team has done to get to this point of having open doors and catching their first babies. Every time I walk out of a hospital or a home (or soon the WNC Birth Center) after I have supported a family through the pregnancy, labor and birth of their child I have a similar feeling. A thankfulness, an acknowledgment that I am blessed to be a part of that moment in a family’s lives, a memory that I can hold for them forever.

This next week I prepare to take in every moment at the SE Women’s Herbal Conference at Lake Eden this weekend. My heart is open, my ears are listening and I am ready to continue stirring the pot.

Make Your Own Sugar Scrubs

Pamper yourself and rejuvenate your skin with a sugar scrub. They are made by combining sugar, carrier oils and sometimes scented lightly with essential oils. They are simple to make at home and are great to use instead of soap and lotion in your daily routine. I keep a jar by my kitchen sink to scrub my hands after working in the garden or on a project with the kids. We keep another jar in the shower to exfoliate our face, neck and shoulders, belly and butt, and of course the legs and feet. My feet are always in need of a little extra attention and a foot massage with a sugar scrub is a great way to give yourself some self-care. If you are pregnant and can’t rub your own feet ;-), an exfoliating foot rub is a great way for your partner or friends to pamper you and remind you to put your feet up for a minute or two.

sugar scrubMoms want that soft baby feel to their skin too, but there isn’t always the time for a strict routine to take care of our ever-changing skin. With changing hormones, varying hydration and stretching skin it’s almost like being a teenager all over again for some women during their pregnancy. Even if you are “glowing” everyone can use a little moisturizing scrub. I found it helpful in relieving itchiness on my growing belly, especially in the last few months when I wondered how my skin could stretch any farther and when I was newly postpartum and feeling like I could use a little extra love.

Sugar Scrubs Are Easy To Make:

*1. Measure out the amount of sugar you want to use. (1 lb sugar-10-12 oz oil mix)
*2. Mix oil blend (I enjoy adding 25% solid or semi-solid oils like mango butter or coconut oil- warm oil before mixing)
*3. Add oil blend to the sugar
*4. Let sit awhile to make sure sugar soaks up all the oil (There should be some oil on top, don’t want a dry sugar scrub later)
*5. Add essential oils for smell if you want to. I recommend adding the drops one at a time. I don’t like it smelling very strong, especially if I am going to use it on my face or the thin skin of your pregnant belly. Essential oils are very concentrated and you should research them or consult an aromatherapist before using them, especially when you are pregnant or breastfeeding or using them with infants and children. Ask your doula for a recommendation for local resources.

You can make sugar scrubs easily at home and you can make a large batch with very little expenses. They are a fun to make for gifts or for your whole family to use. I like to store large batches in a mason jar until I am ready to use it. For a fun project at a Blessingway Ceremony or Baby Shower have fun with the recipe and add dried flower petals, special  carrier oils and scents or get special jars to store it in. I make sugar scrubs as a easy way to pamper all of my birth and postpartum doula clients.

Pregnant Belly

Sugar Scrubs Are Easy To Use:

*Wet your skin in the shower or sink.
*Spoon a generous glob of sugar scrub onto your hand, scrub intended area.
*Wash sugar scrub off with warm water. (Note: skin will feel almost too oily, this is good)
*Towel dry and enjoy your amazing new skin.

Joined the ICAN Leadership Team

ican logoI completed my training to join the ICAN leadership team as a Co-Leader of the ICAN of Western North Carolina Chapter. Thank you to our Chapter Leader Stefany Mills for your guidance and support and the rest of the ICAN team for the time you put into creating an amazing training program. I look forward to supporting women in our community through the chapters monthly support circle and hosting VBAC education events in out area. Follow the link to my interview: http://www.ican-online.org/blog/2016/06/introducing-elizabeth-bloomquist-our-newest-chapter-leader/