Formula shortage: why many moms can’t breastfeed


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With the recent national campaign formula milk shortageAccording to a recent report in The New York Times, breastfeeding is often recommended to mothers as a natural choice, but it’s not that simple.

“Try breastfeeding. It’s free and available on demand,” the singer said. Actress Betty Midler, 76, tweeted Thursday, May 12, in response to a national formula shortage.

“Most mothers are capable of breastfeeding, so I think they have a hard time understanding what it’s like to be a mother who can’t breastfeed. As new mothers, we are told that breastfeeding is very important, even before the baby is born, they After working with five lactation consultants, I wasn’t breastfeeding,” said Misty Mortezaie, 40, a first-time mom on Fox News.

Now that the New York native has started a family in California, she has no choice but to use formula to feed her one-year-old daughter.

Midler then embellished her comments on Twitter: “No shame if you can’t breastfeed, but if you can and you’re somehow convinced your breastmilk isn’t as good as it is. ‘Scientifically researched product’ is something else entirely. »

Baby formula shortage is a public health crisis

But about two-thirds of babies are not exclusively breastfed for six months — and that percentage hasn’t improved in more than 20 years, According to the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to one version, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding with the addition of complementary foods, with the goal of breastfeeding for at least one year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states: “While most infants receive breast milk, most infants are not exclusively breastfed or continue to breastfeed for the recommended duration.”

In the 2019-2020 CDC National Immunization Survey, 56.7% of infants surveyed were breastfed at 6 months, and that number dropped to 35% a year later, but only 25.8% were breastfed at 6 months. Exclusive breastfeeding for months.

The agency noted that many factors can influence how long a breastfeeding mother can breastfeed, including breastfeeding and breastfeeding issues, concerns about infant nutrition and weight, drug interactions, drug policies, hostile work or parental leave, lack of family support and cultural norms .

Grocery store shelves that normally store infant formula are locked and nearly empty in Washington, DC, on May 11, 2022.
(Photo by Stephanie Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

But a nationwide formula shortage is pushing more mothers to breastfeed, with some trying to find a way to start after stopping breastfeeding, but the breasts require constant baby feedback to produce milk, The Times reported.

According to Healthline, after the baby latches on to the milk, this initiates the “descent” reflex, which stimulates the nerves in the mammary glands, which trigger the hormone prolactin to stimulate milk production and the release or “lowering” of another hormone called oxytocin. “milk. .

But Dr. Kathy Rosen-Carroll, director of the university’s nursing and breastfeeding medicine program, said breastfeeding’s bodily feedback loops “are not particularly resilient because once it’s over, it’s very hard to rebuild them” at Rochester Medical Center. .

9-month-old mom of twins in Kentucky eats boxes of baby formula a week, also aims to help others

Rosen-Carole adds that this may increase the pressure on mothers to try breastfeeding after quitting smoking because their bodies can barely resist physiology.

Although breastfeeding is recommended as the healthiest option for babies, mothers are often ridiculed in public for the practice, while other mothers fear being judged for not following what is usually seen as a mother, according to The Times. ideal.

“I felt so guilty and tried to hide it. You’re already emotionally charged with hormonal changes, and combined with not being able to deliver what should have happened so naturally and automatically, you feel like you’ve failed because the mother added Mortezaie.

But according to The Times, many mothers don’t breastfeed or can’t breastfeed at all, despite an increase in breastfeeding rooms promoting breastfeeding in some offices, airports and now hundreds of “baby-friendly” hospitals.

The shelves where baby formula is usually available are nearly empty.

The shelves where baby formula is usually available are nearly empty.
(Jason Lanz)

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Breastfeeding can also lead to medical complications, including cracked and bleeding nipples, blocked ducts, and mastitis, an infection of breast tissue.

Expecting every woman to breastfeed’ is not realistic. Not everyone can produce all the insulin they need. That’s why there’s a disease called type 1 diabetes — we’re not saying, ‘Well, if You work harder and you don’t need the drug,’ said obstetrician Dr. Alison Stube, a gynecologist and distinguished infant nutrition researcher at the U.K. Gillings School of Global Public Health in North Carolina.

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