Free IBLCE Practice Exam

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners examination, commonly known as the IBLCE exam, is a comprehensive assessment for men and women looking to make their way into this burgeoning of healthcare.

In the section of the exam related to the interpretation of research, you are likely to encounter questions about appraisal and interpretation of research literature, lactation consultant educational material, and consumer literature; terminology used in research and basic statistics; tables and graphs; and surveys and data collection. In the ethical and legal issues section, on the other hand, you would be wise to study the IBLCE Code of Ethics, ILCA Standards of Practice, scope of practice, referrals and interdisciplinary relationships, confidentiality, medical-legal responsibilities, charting and report writing skills, informed consent, maternal/infant neglect and abuse, conflict of interest, and the ethics of equipment rental and sales. The section on breastfeeding equipment and technology are likely to include questions related to the identification of breastfeeding devices and protocols for handling and storing human milk, including human milk banking procedures. The IBLCE Exam also includes a section on techniques, namely breastfeeding techniques, including positioning and latch, assessing milk transfer, normal feeding patterns, milk expression, and breastfeeding management. Finally, the exam has a section on public health, which is likely to include questions on breastfeeding promotion and community education; working with groups with low breastfeeding rates; creating and implementing clinical protocols; international tools and documents; WHO Code; BFHI implementation; and the prevalence, survey, and data collection for research purposes.

The IBCLC Exam was developed by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.

Practice Questions

1. Mammary glands develop in the fetus, beginning with the mammary streak, which evolves into the mammary line or ridge. Where does the mammary line begin and end?

a. Mammary lines begin below the breast and extend into the axillae
b. Mammary lines begin in the groin and extend through the axillae into the inner upper arm
c. Mammary lines begin below the umbilicus and extend to the upper outer breast area
d. Mammary lines begin at the nipples and extend to the tail of Spence

2. What is a physical change associated with phase 1 of breast development, which occurs at puberty?

a. Elevation of the nipple
b. Visible glandular tissue in the subareolar region
c. Wider and more pigmented areola
d. Nipple and areola project distinctly from the breast

3. What are the two main arteries that supply blood to the breast?

a. Lateral thoracic
b. Internal mammary
c. Subclavian artery
d. A and B
e. B and C

4. The lymphatic system in the breast drains predominantly into the axillary lymph nodes. Which of the following nodes are additional receptacles for lymphatic drainage from the breast?

a. Parasternal and liver nodes
b. Intermammary, intra-abdominal, and subclavicular nodes
c. Cervical and inguinal nodes
d. A and B
e. B and C

5. What structures in the nipple and areola cause the nipple to become erect and help in the discharge of milk?

a. Circular bands of smooth muscle tissue
b. Increased innervation and blood flow to the nipple and areola
c. Cooper's ligaments
d. B and C
e. A and B

Answer Key

1. B: The mammary line or ridge begins in the groin area and extends through the axillae into the inner upper arm.

2. A: Elevation of the nipple is the physical change that occurs in phase 1 of breast development. Projection of the nipple and the breast begin in the second phase. Phase 3 includes enlargement and pigmentation of the areola with well-defined glandular tissue. In phase 4, the areola continues to increase in size and coloration, and the nipple and areola clearly project out from the remainder of the breast tissue. In phase 5, the shape of the breast becomes more even.

3. D: The main arteries that supply blood to the breast are the internal mammary artery, which supplies 60% of the blood to the breast, and the lateral thoracic artery. The axillary, intercostal, and subclavian arteries provide additional, but less significant, circulation to the breast.

4. D: The axillary nodes provide the principal drainage for the lymphatic system of the breasts. Additional drainage routes include the parasternal nodes located in the thoracic cavity, the intermammary nodes that lie between the breasts, intra-abdominal, subclavian, and liver nodes. The cervical and inguinal lymph nodes are not connected directly to the breast lymphatic system.

5. E: Rings of smooth muscle are located in the areola and nipple areas of the breast. When this muscle tissue constricts, the nipple becomes erect, and during lactation, this results in the discharge of milk. This region has an abundance of nerve endings, which are in close approximation to the arterioles that supply blood to the nipple and areola. Stimulation of the nipple by temperature change, touch, or sexual contact produces an increase in blood supply, which, in conjunction with the constriction of the smooth muscles, results in nipple erection. Cooper's ligaments provide support for the breast and aid in maintaining the breast's shape.


Last Updated: 07/14/2018

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