Not making enough milk for your baby even when you are “doing all the right things” can be very emotional. Here is a video from a mother that went through that sadness, came to peace with it, and wanted to help other mothers.
Going back to work while their babies are little is the reality for most mothers that I see. And while it is possible to feed a baby by cup or spoon or finger, most care providers really prefer to feed babies with bottles. So I’ve been trying to learn more about what kinds of bottles and bottle feeding methods best support breastfeeding. There isn’t a lot of good information out there. This new website, BreastandBottlefeeding.com, (and their book) is a start in the right direction. I found the book interesting and think it could be helpful to mothers that are trying to find the way to use bottles to maintain their breastfeeding relationship while they need to be away from their babies. I was disappointed at the lack of research-based information and references, though. It’s a thoughtful book but not heavily evidence-based — though that may not be the fault of the authors but just due to a lack of comprehensive research on this topic.
I’ve had a few questions recently from women that are thinking about milk sharing — using other mothers’ milk to supplement their babies. Donor milk from a milk bank is great and probably the safest option — unfortunately some families don’t have access to milk bank milk or can’t afford it. So I wanted to note a few resources that families can use as they decide what to do when their baby needs supplementing and they have to choose between formula and informally donated milk.
There are some serious diseases that can be transmitted through breastmilk. Here are guidelines from Milk Share (a resource for families milk sharing outside the milk banking system) and HMBANA (the Human Milk Banking Association of North America) for screening donors. Here is a link to a site where you can purchase a single-bottle human milk pasteuriser. There are health risks associated with formula feeding too. Be sure to check that any formula you use is mixed appropriately. Here’s a link to the FDA website where you can make sure that the formula you’re using hasn’t been recalled. This is a tough choice for parents — it’s one of those things where I wish there were easy answers.