One of the most common questions I'm asked by moms is, "How do I hire the right Lactation Consultant for my baby and me?" This is a common concern among new and experienced moms alike because Lactation Consultants come in many different varieties!
I HIGHLY recommend reading the blog article featured below from Mama Natural.
A great quote from this article:
"The term lactation consultant isn’t trademarked, meaning that anyone can use it whether they are certified by IBCLE or not. However, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) is a registered trademark, so, only board certified lactation consultants will have the letters IBCLC following their name. And since IBCLE is an international organization, the standards and scope of practice for IBCLCs are the same worldwide. Alternately, someone whose name is followed by CLE or CLC likely took a course that was about a week long but doesn’t have the prior knowledge, experience, or clinical hours that an IBCLC has.
IBCLC’s are the gold standard for providing evidence-based lactation support for you and your baby and are especially important if you are having significant problems with milk supply or have a baby that is preterm or has medical challenges."
Here are 2 additional articles on how to hire a Lactation Consultant:
From the article by Second 9 Months:
"Just as one would choose a doctor rather than a medic for a thorough medical exam and treatment, so differentiates the IBCLC from other “certifications” that require only a 5 day course of instruction. To ensure your lactation consultant is indeed an IBCLC, you can check www.iblce.org. Although IBCLC is the gold standard for certification, just as in any profession, there are some practitioners who more skilled than others. Select your lactation consultant wisely.
Consider an IBCLC who works outside the purview of a hospital-based lactation center. While many hospital IBCLCs are wonderful, even the best are often constrained by hospital policies. Appointments are usually restricted to an hour or less so they cannot offer the degree of attention or give the same advice that independent IBCLCs may be able to provide."
This article also provides an excellent resource for parents who are unsure what to ask when interviewing a Lactation Consultant. Here is their guidance on what questions to ask:
General questions (you may be able to find the answers on the LC's website):
How long have you been certified as an IBCLC? Do you have any areas of specialty or expertise? How long are your consultations? (1.5 hours should be the minimum length for an initial postpartum consultation, and an hour for a prenatal.)
What is your opinion of / experience with: bottle feeding approaches that support breastfeeding? tongue tie and lip tie? body work / craniosacral therapy for newborns? nipple pain in the early weeks – how do you assess for causes? high-need babies? low milk supply and/or slow weight gain?
The right answer to all of these is something along the lines of, “These issues need to be remedied as soon as possible after the birth, and I am skilled at assessing, addressing and referring in order to do so.”
Level of experience with any particular area you are concerned with:
prematurity? twins or multiples? low milk supply and supplementation?
I hope these articles provide you some gentle guidance on how to hire the right Lactation Consultant for you and your baby. Hiring the right LC to meet your needs is an extremely important decision for any new mother. If I can be a resource to you or your loved ones and help you find the right Lactation Consultant for your family, please do not hesitate to contact me at LactationConsultants@gmail.com
Breastfeeding Rocks!..and you're a rock star.
Keep on rocking,