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Lactation educator

Certified Lactation Educator

The purpose of the CAPPA lactation educator program is to provide childbirth professionals comprehensive training in breastfeeding education. When a candidate completes the certification program they will be qualified to teach, support, and educate the public on breastfeeding and related issues. When all requirements have been satisfactorily completed, candidates will be issued the CAPPA credential, Certified Lactation Educator. For more information on the trademark of the CAPPA CLE, please click here.

This program does not issue Lactation Consultant status, and does not qualify one to issue medical advice, diagnose medical conditions for mother or baby, or to prescribe treatment or medication. Please read the lactation educator position paper and the CLE CLE scope of practice

Currently CAPPA CLEs work in many fields providing support and advocacy for families across the United States and internationally. CAPPA CLEs can be found teaching breastfeeding classes in hospitals and private settings, as WIC peer counselors, as educators on hospital postpartum floors, working as breast pump rental technicians and in breastfeeding support stores, and facilitating breastfeeding and postpartum support groups - just to name a few. Many of our CAPPA CLEs also use this certification to round out their labor and postpartum doula services and knowledge to ensure they are providing the highest quality services for breastfeeding support.


In order for candidates to be eligible for CAPPA certification they must sign and agree to the CAPPA philosophy, code of conduct, scope of practice, and grievance policy. We reserve the right to withhold certification to those candidates that do not meet the requirements set forth. We also reserve the right to withhold certification based on all contact with candidates for certification, including, but not limited to phone calls, e-mails, and certification materials. An understanding of CAPPA standards of professionalism, our scope of practice, and code of conduct must be demonstrated by candidates at all times and in all communications. Failure to demonstrate an understanding of the aforementioned may result in CAPPA withholding certification. This is rare.

While 92% of candidates do obtain certification, CAPPA cannot guarantee certification will be obtained by entering our program. In the event a candidate fails to pass certification requirements, the candidate has up to one year to complete the failed portions of the certification requirements. There will be no further processing fees. The candidate who exceeds one year to complete the aforementioned portions of certification may be asked to re-enter the certification program and may incur additional fees.

Please allow approximately six to eight weeks for CAPPA to grade and process your certification materials* once we receive them. CAPPA receives a high volume of certification requests, and each certification request is given individual attention. Upon successful completion of any of the CAPPA certification programs, you will receive a CAPPA name tag and a certificate. CAPPA certified lactation educators may use the letters "CLE" after their names.

You must be at least 18 years old to certify with CAPPA.

* Please submit all materials together at one time. When submitting your certification materials, please do not send originals.


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