Mommy guilt, we all have it. It plagues us in the middle of the night. We obsess about our decisions and research them ad nauseam before settling on an answer. We judge ourselves as housekeepers, cooks, mothers, and wives. It is even evident in how we feed our babies. I cannot count how many times in my early training that it was stressed we cannot make moms feel guilty for feeding formula. Then there was a shift and it was thought that maybe we should make them feel a little guilty. Perhaps then they would make the right decision.
Are you kidding me! Guilt does nothing but make mamas feel bad. I for one think every woman should be able to make decisions based on facts and her own current situation. Do what you can with what you have at the time you have it. Do not dwell on would haves, should haves, or could haves. Move on and do the best you can within your means. Knowledge informs us and transforms us. Embrace how awesome you are in this very moment.
There is plenty of information available about the risks of feeding babies artificial infant formulas. But what do you do if your infant needs more than what you can give them at the moment? There are many different reasons why this can happen to mom and baby. Some of these are expected or unexpected illness in baby, mom’s milk is not abundant yet, or mom did not get the right guidance in the beginning to establish and maintain an adequate supply for her baby. Whatever the reason may be, the parents are now in need of additional nutrition for their infant. What should they do?
The best nutrition for a baby is mom’s own milk. This is even more important to babies that are born premature or are sick. If mom cannot or does not have enough for her baby here in the United States she has two choices. She can either use Human Donor Milk or an artificial infant formula. We already know artificial infant formula has risks, but what about Human Donor Milk? The hospitals receive their donor milk from a milk bank. These are kind of like blood banks and have very similar processes. Most Human Donor Milk Banks in America are run under the guidance of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. You can read more about them here. Moms do not get money for their milk, they donate it. These moms are taught proper collection procedures, have a blood test screen done, and then the milk is pooled pasteurized and batch tested for any contaminants. Yes this milk is safe for babies and even has many benefits over artificial formulas.
This is a much different product than what you can buy off the internet. There has been lots of media about how breastmilk can be unsafe for babies. This is the result of poorly done research. The milk in these batches that had contaminants in them were not from a milk bank and there was no regulations on how the sample was collected, stored, or transported. Human milk obtained this way is not safe and not endorsed by any healthcare professional. Artificial formula would definitely be a safer choice for supplementation than obtaining breastmilk from an unknown source.
An IBCLC or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a healthcare professional that has extensive training in the clinical management of breastfeeding. After many hours of clinical experience and by passing a written exam they are certified through the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.
An IBCLC can have a basic education in many different backgrounds. Most commonly they are MDs, RNs, or RDs. These individuals have a passion for breastfeeding and seek additional education and training in order to provide mothers and babies additional support and guidance. They provide care in many different settings such as hospitals, clinics, doctor offices, and private practices.
As with any healthcare provider an IBCLC may have extensive knowledge about some issues and a more generalized knowledge in others. The purpose of an IBCLC is to assist mothers in achieving their breastfeeding goals.
Milk by Mom has had a new birth. When the idea of creating a blog was fresh in my head years ago I had no idea what kind of blog I wanted to write. Part of me wanted to create a new fresh web site with all the latest and greatest breastfeeding information. It seemed like a great idea to create the next go to web page that everyone would want to search when they had breastfeeding questions. Once I sat down and started typing, I quickly realized that all that information can already be found on the web in just a few clicks and from resources that I trust and go to myself for answers. Creating a link to all this wonderful information is much easier than trying to rewrite it in my own words to make it my own. As I find these great things I will link them here, but for now I am going to write about the things on my mind and see how things develop. Hopefully it will become a place for facts, friends and fun.