Lactation and breastfeeding advice are everywhere these days. With so many sources and opinions — not all of which are reliable — families are understandably uncertain to whom they should turn to for competent advice about breastfeeding, lactation, or use of human milk.
As the public increasingly understands the importance of lactation support, some individuals without any formal education, training or expertise in lactation care are exploiting this recognized market.
Currently in Kentucky anyone can call themselves a lactation consultant, even with minimal training or without board certification. The public of Kentucky has no means of identifying a qualified lactation consultant and no protection from unqualified practitioners.
Unfortunately, patients and communities bear the physical, health and financial costs of navigating and receiving conflicting, confusing and often inaccurate lactation information. In too many instances, substandard practices and unqualified practitioners cause significant harm when recommending or providing incorrect lactation interventions that are not scientifically validated.
It important to share our breastfeeding stories that happen right here in Kentucky. The more we talk about and share our experiences, the more lawmakers will understand the importance of breastfeeding and the need to identify and set standards for lactation care providers and lactation support.