Red Flags When Hiring a Lactation Consultant!

Red Flag

If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, or if you just want to avoid trouble down the road, hiring a lactation consultant can be very helpful. But how do you know if a particular lactation consultant has the experience and skills to help you? You can start by asking your physician or midwife or even your friends for a referral.  Finally, when choosing a lactation consultant, ask about her experience and approach. Listen carefully when you talk to her about your particular concern. Be wary of guarantees and words like “never” or “always.”

Many of my clients come to me after a bad experience with another lactation consultant. I have compiled a list of statements that clients have actually heard. These are red flags! If a lactation consultant (or anyone else for that matter) says any of the following, run the other direction!

  • Your baby will never breastfeed.

  • Your baby is too old to learn to breastfeed.

  • You’ve missed your “window of opportunity” to breastfeed.

  • You can exclusively breastfeed, no matter what.

  • Your breasts/nipples are too__________ to breastfeed.

  • If you eat ________ it will make your baby sick.

  • Your milk may not be good enough for your baby.

  • Your baby is allergic to your milk.

  • You’re not successful breastfeeding because you’re not trying hard enough.

  • Your baby doesn’t like/want your breast.

  • If you take this herb/medication I promise you’ll make more milk.

  • If you’ve had any breast surgery, you will not make enough milk for your baby.

  • It’s normal to have nipple pain.

  • Your nipples need to toughen up.

  • Babies always have to eat on both sides each feeding.

  • Babies should always have just one breast per feeding.

  • Your baby should stay on the breast for _____ minutes.

  • Your baby is a lazy nurser.

Note: This article took over a week for me to write. Every day I’ve needed to add more false statements! So check back often—sadly, there will probably be  additions. And….feel free to write to me with other things you’ve heard!

Written by Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC. Renee is a lactation consultant in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is available for home/hospital visits and phone consultations. Renee can be reached at www.second9months.com

2 Comments to “Red Flags When Hiring a Lactation Consultant!”

  1. Great post, Renee! It is sad how often I hear moms tell me that other LCs have said such things to them. I am glad when moms come to me seeking a second opinion but my heart breaks for those moms who trusted in providers that spew out such fictitious statements. All moms and babies are unique and we never know what is possible until we try our darnedest and provide quality support the whole way through.

  2. Renee Beebe Renee Beebe says:

    Thanks, for taking the time to write, Melissa. I love hearing from other LC’s. I hope to post a story soon about a mom’s very long journey to exclusive pain-free breastfeeding. Keep checking back…

    Renee

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