"I plan to try nursing when my baby is born, but I know there's a good chance I won't have enough milk. What is the best formula to have on hand?"
I hear something like this this ALL THE TIME. There is a super common belief out there that many or most mamas just can't breastfeed. More often than not, the pregnant mothers I work with begin our consultation with a phrase like, "If I make enough milk," or "If I am able to nurse."
Our culture is failing us here! We are entering motherhood expecting to not be enough for our babies. Mothers have sustained the lives of their children since the beginning of time. Most mamas actually produce enough milk to feed twins! Legitimate low milk supply in the beginning is very rare.
Now, there are plenty of common reasons for a healthy milk supply to suffer, many of which fall under the umbrella of poor breastfeeding management. Scheduling or timing feeds instead of nursing on demand, swaddle and pacifier use, and shallow latch can all contribute to a dip in supply. But the truth is, almost all mamas CAN breastfeed!
But, even though nursing is the most natural thing in the world, that does not mean it just happens naturally for every mama/baby duo. In the midst of so much misinformation out there, adequate support during pregnancy and postpartum is incredibly helpful. My first daughter and I suffered from majorly low supply due to ties causing a shallow latch. To make milk, milk needs to be removed efficiently (and often--newborns nurse ALL THE TIME and that is NORMAL!), and she was unable to remove enough to sustain a healthy supply. But, thanks to the support of other nursing mamas and a knowledgeable dentist who revises ties, the issue was completely fixable and we went on to have a happy nursing relationship, and I have also successfully exclusively breastfed her younger sister.
Early on in navigating my issues with nursing my first, a lactation consultant told me I must just have low supply and to ask my doctor for a heavy dose prescription. If I had stopped there, I know she would have continued not getting enough milk because of her latch, and I would not have had the confidence or knowledge to attempt breastfeeding her baby sister years later.
For more reading on low milk supply, I recommend:
Increasing Low Milk Supply
Perceived Insufficient Milk