1) No captain of the ship
One study (Garner 2016) found that most health-care providers relied on other health-care providers to provide breastfeeding care. This study is titled in part: "There's No Captain of the Ship" and this nicely describes the problem with multiple health-care providers.
It can be helpful to choose one knowledgeable health-care provider instead of several and to ensure that any advice you take is effective, safe, and research-based.
2) Using opinions and experiences instead of research
Instead of using research-based evidence, people may give advice based on their cultural norms or their own experiences (Wright 2018).
This can cause problems, because they may give information that:
- Is no longer up-to-date because they had their own babies a long time ago.
- Is incorrect because their own breastfeeding challenges were not properly addressed.
- Is practiced in their culture but not evidence-based.
- Is based on infant-formula feeding as they did not breastfeed.
Indeed, daughters of mothers who did not breastfeed, are less likely to breastfeed (Wagner 2019).
3) Other reasons for differences of opinion
Other reasons for differences of opinion include:
- There is not enough research on the best way to fix breastfeeding problems.
- Some hospitals do not have appropriate breastfeeding policies for providers to refer to.
- Some health-care providers do not support breastfeeding.