Breastfeeding Myth #3: If I Really Need to Supplement, Formula Is My Only Option


After my oldest daughter was born, she didn't gain weight for four plus months. She had severe undiagnosed tongue and lip ties (more on this in another myth post later), and the topic of supplementation arose often. After all of the research I did throughout my pregnancy, formula terrified me, but I thought it was the only option. Around the same time it started to become a real consideration, my La Leche League leader asked me if I had looked for donor milk. My response was, "What's that?"

I have to be totally honest--when she explained that it was another mama's breastmilk, I was pretty weirded out. But I had to step back and really think about what formula actually is, which is cow's milk (plus a bunch of other stuff, like corn syrup). And what is cow's milk? Breastmilk for baby cows! So how is it LESS weird than human breastmilk for a human baby? I saw how skewed my own perspective was just by growing up in our weird Western baby culture. 

If you really NEED to supplement, you have options. (But first I'd encourage you to really consider all of the facts before you feed your baby anything but your own milk. Here's a resource I like!) There are wonderful organizations full of mamas with extra milk to share. If you have a local La Leche League chapter, you could start there by asking your leaders for the best area sources of donor milk. If not, I will link a couple other places to look below. 

If supplementation is necessary for your breastfed baby, it is possible to keep her on breastmilk! Have you ever considered donor milk, or have you donated milk to another mama and baby in need? We really are all in this together <3

 Human Milk 4 Human Babies

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