“Formula Feeding Saved Me as a Breastfeeding Mom”
What??? This kind of headline drives me crazy! What the mother is saying, I think, is that by using a bit of formula as a transitional tool, she was able to keep breastfeeding.
Do I like the idea of needing to use formula? No. But my first rule in lactation help is to FEED THE BABY. If you don’t have enough milk, you use formula in our culture. I would love to see more banked milk available but at this point it is not. I needed to use formula in the beginning with my firstborn. I wasn’t making enough milk. But after several weeks, I was. We went to nurse for many years. Did formula “save” my breastfeeding? I guess it did. It allowed me to stay in the game and keep my son healthy.
I also used lots of help from La Leche League and IBCLCs. They didn’t lead me down a rabbit hole. I did have one very aggressive IBCLC who shoved my baby and breast together. I felt manhandled. I wasn’t an IBCLC then. Now, I meet this women socially and smile politely. She doesn’t remember me, but boy, do I remember her! Le Leche League suggested I try and nurse more often and gradually cut back on the formula. It worked well! When I work my clients as an IBCLC today I am very aware of burning families out by too much work and chaos. Slow and steady usually wins the race!
With more knowledge, getting off to a great start, and having great support, my second child was a breeze. If you are struggling, find a good IBCLC, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant or contact La Leche League. See who others liked and recommend. Breastfeeding helpers are like any other group of people, some are good at what they do, some are bad, some are great!
Beware though. Anyone can call themselves a “lactation consultant”. That is why you need the credential, IBCLC, if you are paying for breastfeeding help. If your car doesn’t get fixed by someone, you don’t just throw it away. You find someone else to help.
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