I want to get my LC liscensure. Not sure what I need or where to start. Is there any nationally accredited program or anything?
Becoming an LC
LCs aren't licensed by the state or federal government. The formal credential most have (if they have a credential... the "LC" you see at some hospitals is simply a staff nurse who is designated to deal with lactation issues, and may have quite limited knowledge) is the IBCLC. Here's a link to the certification process for the Americas: http://www.iblce.org/certification
Another thing to consider won't get you licensed, but will get you educated to help women (and would count toward the clinical requirement for the IBLCE if you decided to pursue that later) is becoming a LLL leader.
Really? They JUST redid the pathways and there's a current one that requires passing 14 subjects (credit classes and continuing education classes)... maybe she meant some kind of college education? Because that one doesn't require you to be a health professional, just requires you to take specific classes (biology, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, sociology, cultural anthropology, CPR, etc.). Now there are specific pathways for those who are already health care professionals.
OP, here are the different pathways if you want to become an IBCLC:
If you aren't already in a position to easily acquire your clinical practice hours, you can do something as a PP said like become a LLL leader, a breastfeeding peer counselor, or land a job elsewhere working at a hospital, clinic, doctor's office, etc., somewhere that you are working directly with breastfeeding mothers and have someone overseeing you in order to get your hours.
Or you can do one of the above options and not go for your IBCLC, or go for the IBCLC later on. I've been working with moms for 5 years, though I've chosen not to charge during that time. (I can, but I don't, plus a lot of people don't want to pay someone unless they have magical letters behind their name lol it could be ABC and some people would be apt to pay me more based on those capital letters :-P) Now I'm going through Childbirth International to get my CBC (Certified Breastfeeding Counselor) so I can use that to land a job to get my clinical practice hours and I am also taking classes at a community college to get those requirements done as well. I'm looking at about 3 years before I get my IBCLC, but I'm on my way!
Just figure out what you want to do and your options for doing that and then go for it! It may be helpful to start helping moms now (jump in on a breastfeeding forum and start helping to answer questions) and that way you can get the feel of it and figure out if it's really something you want to put the time and effort into pursuing a career in. Good luck!!!