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

Ultrasound Therapy for Clogged Ducts

Ultrasound is a great modality to help relieve clogged ducts and mastitis. Jordan at Kort Physical Therapy has been trained in using ultrasound for this purpose.

Healing from childbirth and achieving your breastfeeding goals can be a tough but rewarding journey. Our IBCLC’s can guide you in pain relief measures, dietary recommendations, and supplementation options to help with supply, clogged ducts and mastitis as well. Pain isn’t something you have to live with, we can help!

Check out our Resource and Breastfeeding Help page for more recommended providers to build your support team. Schedule a visit or give us a call for more information or help.

Visit our Services page to schedule your lactation appointment online. New clients should schedule a 30 minute virtual intake appointment first.

For more information about clogged duct treatment or pelvic floor work or to schedule an appointment, call KORT at 800-645-KORT.

Why Richmond (Madison Co.), Kentucky?

Why am I adding a location to see clients in Richmond, KY? Madison County is my home and I see families struggle to reach their lactation goals. It’s such a blessing to be able to expand lactation services in the area I live in!

Fortunately, Lactation Care with Elizabeth cares about families, even those of our consultants and staff. Not only is it more convenient for myself and my family, but it helps bring expert lactation support to families in an area that has previously had next to nothing.

Access to lactation support, particularly to expert IBCLC care, is a big platform for me. An important first step is having a space available to reach those families outside Lexington, to make access to care easier and closer. Having someone in the community easily accessible will help facilitate meeting breastfeeding goals as well as ease some of their burdens.  

Getting help early is so crucial for overall supply, bonding, and goals.  Please don’t wait!  

I will have office hours available in Richmond and Lexington each week.  I can’t wait to help support your family.  

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram at Lactation Care with Elizabeth and Ashley Kester RN, MSN, IBCLC. 

Thanks,

Ashley Kester RN, MSN, IBCLC

Making Milk Memories

While each breastfeeding journey varies, most are full of hard work, commitment, snuggles, and sacrifices. Find below one mom’s experience and development through the journey, and the beauty that came out of it.

My name is Anna and I am a wife and stay-at-home mom to three wonderful kids! I have struggled in different ways with feeding my kids. With my first baby, I felt like I needed to breastfeed and was determined to do so! Ultimately, I just wasn’t able to produce enough to sustain her and ended up needing to do formula only. The thought of breastfeeding my second baby made me break out into tears because I was so afraid of “failing”… I fed her until she was two years old. My newest baby is 5 months old and had to be bottle fed for the first two weeks. Of course it was emotional and there were a lot of tears, but I was determined to not give up and he will be 6 months old this month, breastfed. I learned so much in my breastfeeding journey… you can’t allow yourself to feel like a failure but to be proud of what you’ve accomplished so far, because every day is an achievement.

To commemorate this journey, I so badly wanted a piece of breastmilk jewelry to hold onto. Unfortunately, they are so expensive that it wasn’t something I would be able to ever have…The fact that something so sentimental was out of reach for so many people infuriated me! So after a lot research I started making jewelry for family, friends, and myself. Once I realized how much it meant to everyone and even more so that it was affordable, I branched out. I am located in Nicholasville, KY but I have shipped all over the US, Canada, and UK. 

Each piece takes around 72 hours to create. I start with collecting and preserving the breastmilk. I heat the milk to kill off any bacteria inside, mix it with a special powder, and allow it to dry for 48 hours. Once the milk is dry, I crush it into a powder and mix it with resin and any other additives to make it 100% custom to how the mom would like the stone to look. I pour it into a mold and allow it to set completely. The process is long but worth it in the end and hearing the stories and seeing the reactions is why I donate so much time into the process! My rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets are sterling silver, rose gold plated silver, and gold plated silver. I also have wood plaques and desktop pyramids I can make. My jewelry starts from $50-$85 and each piece is unique and special in its own way. I’m not running a business; I’m just a mom of three wanting to use what I’ve learned to give back to other moms, because everyone deserves something so sentimental to hold onto.

Thanks to Anna for spreading the breastfeeding love! For more information about Anna’s beautiful pieces, check out the group on Facebook called TimelessTreasures, or via email at Annajlewis95@gmail.com