There are multiple ways to receive education to become a lactation professional.
Certified Lactation Specialist (CLS) and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)
In order to obtain either credential you need to complete 40 hours of lactation education and pass a written exam. These courses are offered from private agencies that offer courses through the country and throughout the year! With both of these credentials you need to get continuing education credits, which you can achieve by going to seminars and conferences.
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
To become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, you have to pass the IBCLC exam. To be able to sit for the exam you need to achieve one of the above credentials, as well as complete 80 hours of lactation education and 1000 or more hours of practicing lactation support. The exam is offered once a year! Once you receive your certification to practice as an IBCLC you need to continue to receive education.
For more information about becoming an IBCLC, visit: