EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 23, 2020) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will offer a new certificate in human lactation this fall through its College of Agriculture and Environmental Science.

Offered through the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS)m, the Human Lactation Pathway 2 Certificate prepares students to become Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). This accreditation enables individuals to work as entry-level consultants in hospitals, doctors’ offices and the community in ways that support and encourage breastfeeding, particularly in marginalized communities where it has not been the norm.

“Breastfeeding can be a complicated subject culturally for African American families and families with marginalized voices,” said Valerie Giddings, Ph.D., chair of the FCS department. “This program’s mission is to change the health narrative for these families by educating, supporting and helping them sustain breastfeeding, which has been shown by research to have numerous health benefits.”

This culturally important credential, one of only two lactation certificate programs housed at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States, will also help to boost the number of African Americans who are certified IBCLCs in the country. Graduates of this program will be uniquely positioned to help raise African American mothers’ comfort level with breastfeeding, which could lead to overall health gains.

FCS’ certificate is designed to stress communication and cultural diversity in health care, Giddings said

Media Contact Information: jmhowse@ncat.edu

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