Comment on Feed The Baby: When Supplementing Saves Breastfeeding by KerryR.
Thank you for the interesting article. I do find this a tricky subject to navigate. While there are of course some babies who really do need supplementing/ formula feeding, I don’t think it’s quite accurate to say simply that “a conservative amount of formula for a limited amount of time will be ok”. Yes, in terms of impacting milk supply, it possibly will be. And if you have tried everything else and decide it’s something you want to do (or you have to do), I’m not going to judge you in any way shape or form and will support you with every ounce of my being. But I do feel that too many mothers are still told that formula is the same as breastmilk and not informed of the risks, whether that be allergic response or whatever. I work in a London borough in the UK where most mothers I see in the first two weeks have been encouraged to supplement with formula, usually completely unnecessarily. They are told they “have to” and “a little won’t matter”. It is a daily battle trying to a) encourage health professionals to support breastfeeding and b) empower mothers to demand this support. We have had some babies (a handful) slow to regain birthweight, who have had intensive support with expressing and feeding breastmilk, improving feeding at the breast, and who have all been closely monitored and supported to eventually get on track. They aren’t all slow, sleepy feeders or reluctant to open their mouths; in none of these situations has their been a longer-term impact or any health issues. It is sadly too easy for someone to tell you to give formula; far, far harder to really support you if you want to avoid it. I do worry that the message that a bit of formula won’t do any harm will get taken by some as a blanket response to poor breastfeeding and take us backwards in the attempt to normalise and support breastfeeding, rather than taking us forward
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Mothers On My Mind
Summed up perfectly. Thank you x