Navigating the Formula Crisis
Melissa Portunato MPH, IBCLC
Though most women have the initial desire to breastfeed, the CDC reports only 25% of babies meet the recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. As the baby formula shortages continue in the US, many parents are now faced with the unprecedented stress of keeping their babies fed. If you are concerned about your baby’s well-being, contact your pediatrician immediately for supplementation guidance and continued support.
Read on for important information and resources every family needs to know about the current formula crisis.
Many families rely on specialty formulas to feed their babies and have been feeling the effects of the shortages even more. However, if you can not find the brand or specialty formula for your baby, often brand alternatives are available. For a formula compatibility chart, click here.
Experts warn against making formula at home or diluting formula. This can be dangerous and harmful to your baby. To find or exchange formula in your community, visit this free online tool – https://freeformula.exchange.
Relactation is reestablishing your milk supply after your body has stopped lactating after several weeks or months. To start relactating, if you have a baby that will latch to the breast, take it back to the basics. Practice lots of time skin to skin and bring baby to the breast often. If your goal is to pump exclusively, start pumping every 2-3 hours for 20-30 min each pumping session. In order for relactation to be successful, experts recommend using a hospital strength pump like those available at Spectra baby USA. At first, you may only see drops of milk, but with commitment and support, milk supply will start to increase over time. Work with a skilled International Board Certified Lactation Consultant that can help you meet your breastfeeding goals. Find a local IBCLC here.
Practice Safe Breastmilk Sharing
For safe breastmilk sharing, ask your donor about their lifestyle, medical history, and medications. Ensure they are safely handling breastmilk and consider home pasteurization. To learn more about milk sharing, visit https://www.eatsonfeet.org/safeMilkSharing.
Become a Breastmilk Donor
Breastmilk donors are in high demand. Consider becoming a donor if you are currently breastfeeding. For more information on how to become a breastmilk donor, visit these resources:
At Spectra baby USA, we believe breastmilk is the perfect composition for your baby and every mother should have access to support. If you are expecting a new arrival and would like more information on getting off to the best start with breastfeeding, schedule a complimentary consultation with a Spectra IBCLC today!