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Lactation expert answers question, 'Why don't they just breastfeed?'

This Mom Tracked A Year Of Breastfeeding Costs, Proving It’s Not ‘free’
Posted at 6:55 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-15 07:31:08-04

MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Experts say the baby formula shortage isn't just affecting non-breastfeeding moms.

Women who supplement breastfeeding with formula are also struggling to keep their children fed.

"It's stressful. It is a really stressful time for families right now," said international board-certified lactation consultant Ashley Kester.

She consults with new moms virtually and in-person to increase their milk production.

"Our goal is to make sure that baby is fed, and while we would love to see them get as much milk as possible, we are never going to advocate for not feeding a baby."

Since it can take months for a woman new to breastfeeding to up her supply, some of Kester's feeding plans include breastfeeding and formula.

"There are still benefits to combination feeding, it does not have to be either-or."

According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, most babies are not exclusively breastfed during their first six months.

As the shelves continue to run bare in the formula aisle, Kester explained breastfeeding moms are also feeling the pressure to feed their children.

"Certain babies thrive better on certain formulas and not being able to provide that formula means you will have to provide something that is not optimal. "

For moms starting up their milk production right away, Kester says there are simple things you can do to get started like frequent skin-to-skin contact and scheduled pumping.

"You need to remove milk to make milk, and the more frequently you remove milk, the more the body knows to continue to make it. "

Kester also recommends donor milk for those wanting to exclusively breastfeed.

If you need to make an appointment with a lactation consultant, you can check with your insurance to see if they will cover the sessions.