Moms around the country are slamming critics who say “just breastfeed” to circumvent the shortage of baby formula plaguing the US, while doctors say some conditions in infants or mothers require babies to be fed formula.
Moms who are struggling to feed their babies are tired of hearing critics telling them that all they need to do to solve the problem of a short supply of baby formula in the US is to “just breastfeed.”
As the shortage of baby formula drags on, some moms have had enough from critics, and even the World Health Organization (WHO) chiming in with the same “breast is best,”
Click on Detroit reported on Morgan Fabry, a 34-year-old mom, who has one simple thing to say to critics: “The bottom line is breastfed is best.”
Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is recommended and safe for most babies and is recommended by several health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the World Health Organization (WHO), Kids Health reports.
However, meeting those recommendations can be “very challenging,” says Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ breastfeeding group.
Despite critics hailing “just breastfeed” as the answer to the baby formula shortage in the United States, pediatricians, and health experts say that while breast milk is the best nutritional choice for infants, not all babies are able to consume mother’s milk.
Further, some conditions in the mother require that they avoid breastfeeding for the safety of the infant.
For those babies who require formula to survive, its availability – or lack thereof – is literally a life-and-death situation.
Before breastfeeding, women should always check with their doctor about the safety of any medications or supplements they are taking, including over-the-counter products.
Women who have had breast surgery, particularly a reduction, could have difficulty with milk supply, as milk ducts could have been severed.
Mothers receiving chemotherapy or have medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS and receiving certain medicines can make breastfeeding unsafe.
Further, stress releases a hormone that can make it difficult to produce breast milk.
Although most babies can breastfeed, not all can. About 1 in 30,000-60,000 newborns test positive for what’s called classic galactosemia. Two other types are less common, according to MedlinePlus.gov. Classic galactosemia affects how the body processes galactose, a simple sugar present in breast milk.
Babies with galactosemia need to be fed with formula, Dr. Feldman-Winter said.
While supply chain issues are causing shortages of numerous products in the United States, a plant shutdown is viewed as one of the main factors in the shortage of baby formula nationally.
One of the largest domestic manufacturing plants for baby formula, owned by Abbott Laboratories, was shut down by the FDA over serious safety concerns after four infants suffered a rare bacterial infection. Two of those died, The Hill reported. However, the FDA is working with Abbott over the safety concerns, and pending approval, the plant could be allowed to reopen within two weeks.