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A lactation consultant is a health professional who specialises in helping women to breastfeed their babies. Some health professionals such as midwives, neonatal nurses and maternal and child health nurses may also train to provide lactation consultant services.

Services provided

  • Positioning and attachment advice
  • Management of sore nipples
  • Assessment and management of milk supply
  • Management of medications and breastfeeding
  • Support and advice for mothers with:
    • babies with cleft lip or cleft palate
    • babies with tongue tie
    • multiple babies (twins or more)
    • mastitis
    • breast and nipple thrush
    • any other breastfeeding concerns


Appointments may be made directly without a doctor's referral.
Your doctor or other health professional may also refer you to a breastfeeding clinic.

How to access

To find a lactation consultant:

  • talk to your doctor
  • talk to your Maternal and Child Health nurse – your Maternal and Child Health service may offer a local drop-in or appointment-based clinic
  • contact the breastfeeding service offered by the hospital at which you gave birth
  • use the Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand (LCANZ) ‘find a lactation consultant’ service at
  • use the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) ‘find a lactation consultant’ service at
  • call the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s breastfeeding helpline on 1800 mum2mum (1800 686 268).


Lactation consultant fees are not covered by Medicare unless your lactation consultant is also a registered midwife.

Lactation consultant fees are covered by some private health funds, but the amount will depend on your insurance policy. Contact your insurer for more information.



Conventional healthcare




Lactation consultants are not required to be registered with a government medical authority.

Minimum qualifications

Not all lactation consultants have qualifications.An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) has completed the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBCLE) certification exam, and has met minimum requirements set by the IBCLE in the areas of health science education, human lactation and breastfeeding education, and clinical experience in caring for breastfeeding women.