Surviving, and Thriving, through the Formula Shortage

Families are struggling to find formula to feed their babies.  This puts a huge burden on families that are already stressed in so many ways.  Many babies that breastfeed also get some (or a lot) of formula, so the families that I see are included among those with this added stress. 

Here are some ways we can help:

Helping families meet their goals.  While I would love for all babies to exclusively breastfeed, there are so many reasons why that doesn’t happen.  It can be a baby struggling to latch, a mom with low supply, a poor or late start with lactation in the hospital, or a family’s choice not to breastfeed.  We work with where a family is when they get to us and help them meet their goals.  This can mean moving from no supply to a little supply, increasing supply, decreasing supply, moving to breast, moving off the breast.  We are here to help YOU meet YOUR goals, whatever they are.

Helping educate families on what is possible.  If you are currently formula feeding and want to start or increase your milk supply, we can help! Relactation or increasing lactation is a process and you will still need something to feed your baby while working through the process, but it is usually possible to do a number of things to increase milk.  (Low suppliers, we see you and your struggles.  We know how MUCH EFFORT you put forth and will help you with all the support you need for your unique journey.)

Helping families find milk.  

  • The Milk Bank provides screened, pasteurized human milk. 
  • Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has a protocol for community sourced milk sharing.
  • Eats on Feets connects babies with donor milk and has a great page on how to screen donors if you are looking at milk sharing.
  • Human milk 4 Human Babies has local resources on facebook for milk sharing.
  • For formula, please contact your pediatrician or WIC office for resources.  Please do not feed your baby watered down formula or goat milk or cows milk.  Alternate animal milk is not nutritionally complete for human babies.  Babies need the right balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and minerals to stay healthy.  Human milk or formula properly prepared is what babies need.

Helping provide early support for successful breastfeeding.  We LOVE to do prenatal visits to discuss how to get off to the best start possible with breastfeeding.  Then we love seeing babies early (squishy fresh newborns are my favorite!) and making sure the latch is good, baby is transferring, mom is comfortable, and everyone is off to a good start.  Of course we are available to help throughout the breastfeeding journey.  I saw a 7 month old baby this week- it was our first visit and mom needed some tips for how to navigate their current stage. 

Helping with encouragement.  We celebrate all victories!  Often in a visit, we will stop for a moment and remember how far along the journey a family has travelled.  Or sometimes mom needs a nap or a massage or a moment to relax.  We have space for that as well.  Check out our social media for weekly affirmations to help remind you that YOU are the PERFECT PARENT for YOUR BABY.  

Please don’t struggle though your feeding journey alone.  We are here to support you with breastfeeding help, lactation support, and encouragement on this journey.

-Elizabeth

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