Shortage of infant formula: why many mothers cannot breastfeed

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With the recent nationwide shortage of infant formulaBreastfeeding is often suggested to mothers as a natural alternative, but it’s not that simple, according to a recent New York Times report.

“TRY BREASTFEEDING. It’s free and available upon request,” singer e actress Bette Midler, 76, tweeted Thursday 12 May in response to the lack of national formula.

“Most mothers have the ability to breastfeed, so I feel it is difficult for them to understand what it means to a mother who cannot. As a new mom, we have been told that it is so important to breastfeed, even before the baby is born, they After working with five lactation consultants, I wasn’t made for that, “first mother Misty Mortezaie, 40, told Fox News.

The New York native, who has now raised a family in California, had no choice: she could only use formula milk to feed her daughter, who is now just over 1 year old.

Midler later qualified his Twitter comments: “No shame if you can’t breastfeed, but if you can and are somehow convinced that your milk isn’t as good as a” scientifically researched product “, it’s something else again.” .

THE LACK OF CHILDREN’S FORMULA IS A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

But about two in three babies aren’t exclusively breastfed for 6 months, and the rate hasn’t improved in over two decades. according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for approximately 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with the goal of breastfeeding for at least one year, for each release.

“Although most babies receive breast milk, most do not exclusively breastfeed or continue to breastfeed for as long as recommended,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In the 2019-2020 CDC National Immunization Survey, 56.7% of babies surveyed were breastfed at 6 months with the number dropping to 35% at one year, but only 25.8% of babies was exclusively breastfed for 6 months.

The agency noted many factors that affect how long a mother breastfeeds, including problems with breastfeeding and attachment, concerns about baby’s nutrition and weight, drug interactions, hostile work policies or leave. parental, lack of family support and cultural norms.

On May 11, 2022, in Washington, DC, the shelves of the grocery stores where formula milk is usually stored are locked and nearly empty.
(Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images)

But the nationwide shortage of formula is driving more mothers to breastfeed, with some trying to find ways to start after they’ve already stopped, but the breasts need constant feedback from the baby to produce milk, according to the Times. .

After a baby latches on to drinking milk, this initiates the “let-down” reflex where the nerves in the breast are stimulated, triggering the hormone prolactin to stimulate milk production and another hormone known as oxytocin to release, or ” lower, “milk, according to Healthline.

But the body’s feedback loops for breastfeeding “are not particularly resilient, as it is very difficult to rebuild once it is finished,” said Dr. Casey Rosen-Carole, director of the Lactation and Lactation Medicine Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

9 MONTHS TWINS KENTUCKY MOM THROUGH MORE WEEKLY BABY FORMULA CANS, AIMS TO HELP OTHERS ALSO

This can increase stress for mothers who are trying to breastfeed after they stop pushing their bodies almost to defy physiology, Rosen-Carole added.

Although breastfeeding is recommended as the healthiest option for babies, mothers are often ridiculed for practicing in public, while other mothers fear being judged for not following what is often considered the mother’s ideal. , according to the Times.

“I felt incredibly guilty and tried to hide it. You are already so emotional from changing hormones, so add not being able to deliver something that should be so natural and happen automatically, you feel like you have already failed. like mom, “added Mortezaie.

But while there are more breastfeeding rooms in some offices, airports, and now hundreds of “child-friendly” hospitals to promote breastfeeding, many mothers either do not breastfeed or simply cannot, according to the Times.

The shelves where infant formula is normally available are almost bare.

The shelves where infant formula is normally available are almost bare.
(Jason Rantz)

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Breastfeeding can also cause medical complications, including cracked and bleeding nipples, blocked ducts, and mastitis, where breast tissue becomes infected.

Expecting every woman to breastfeed “doesn’t depend on reality. Every person can’t produce all the insulin they need. That’s why there’s a disease called type 1 diabetes – and we don’t say, ‘Well, if you try just more, you wouldn’t need that medicine, ‘”said Dr. Alison Stuebe, a gynecologist and distinguished infant feeding scholar at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina.