Lactation Consultant….Formula Consultant?


Potamus has had formulaย 1 time, in the pediatrician’s office when he was less than 2 weeks old. The doctor was concerned that he wasn’t quite up to birth weight yet and was showing us how to do a supplemental feeding tube system just in case we needed it. He proceeded to feed my child formula in about 12.5 seconds without even asking our permission. I was more in shock than anything in the moment, and it all happened so quickly I couldn’t even find words to say, ‘um, please don’t do that.” He’s a father of 4 and all of them were breastfed, and as he was giving my baby formula he stated, “formula can be really helpful, it’s not poison like so many think.”

I don’t think formula is poison. But, I would like to choose whether I give my baby formula. When I was struggling early on, and seeing a lactation consultant, I contemplated just making the switch for both physical and emotional reasons. But I persevered and 9 months later we’re still exclusively breastfeeding. Though that might change in 1 week when I am away from him for 10 hours a day for 4 days a week… we will see. I’m not morally opposed to the whole idea, but if I DO use formula, I would like to be as informed as possible.

So I was intrigued when I came across this article on Huffington Post about the idea of Formula Consultants. While in many ways I agree that hospitals shouldn’t peddle formula, the idea of a consultant, like a nutritionist, that could explain what all the different types of formula are, would be SO HELPFUL! I know that I got aproximately 765 samples of formula before Potamus was born. When I was thinking about switching, I initially grabbed the orange can of Similac because it stated it was for sensitive tummies. I was HORRIFIED when I saw that the FIRST ingredient was CORN SYRUP. Jesus Christ, was the formula actually “better” for baby’s tummies, or was it that the sugar simply numbed the pain much like sugar water did for Potamus’s circumcision? I couldn’t believe it. While I knew that sugar was in formula, it being the first ingredient was horrifying, shocking, revolting.

But how many exhausted mamas grab something labeled sensitive thinking that it is the best choice for them, without knowing all the facts? Sure you can call up Gerber or Similac and get info on formula, but it’s not unbiased…so maybe the idea of a formula consultant is a good one…for those who can’t breastfeed or for those who choose to.

What do you think?

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9 Comments

  1. First of all, that is NUTS that the doctor fed your child anything without your permission! They did the same thing to my daughter (she was my first baby) at the hospital when they said her blood sugar level was a bit lower than what they’d like to see. What the heck?! I was adament that I was breastfeeding, but it didn’t matter. That’s the only time any of my three children have had formula. As far as the Corn Syrup in formula-GOOD GRIEF!! I obviously didn’t know that since I’ve never bought formula, and I am really surprised! Yes, I would think that something marketed for sensitive tummies (don’t they ALL have that, btw?) wouldn’t contain CS. I’m sorry your doctor did that. :/ You’re doing great to still be BF’ing at 9 months-way to go! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Haha, yeah, now my challenge is to get the kid to take something OTHER than the boob. When he grows up I’m gonna have to tease his future girlfriends about whether he’s still a boob man… ๐Ÿ˜› Seriously, though, he refuses anything but maybe 2 tiny spoonfuls of oatmeal, and he will suck on lemons/limes and lick of chile sauche and tikka masala sauce on flatbread. Kid’s gonna have to take some pumped milk in T-minus 10 days or I’m gonna be up all night nursing ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      • We have tried a gazillion bottles AND sippy cups AND regular cups AND using a syringe from his infant tylenol. He is a stubborn little bugger. Though, I will say, it is probably affected most by my lack of consistent work schedule. I think he’s smart enough that his thought process is “well, mom’s coming back sometime soon, so I’ll just wait.” Fortunately, while working full-time (a lot from home), I have been able to feed him on-demand every 3 hours (6 at most)…but that’s gonna change next week, as I start teaching at a college and will be gone legit 10 hours a day for 4 days a week. I think, though, that type of consistency will help him.

      • Oh dear, he is stubborn! Haha Now, one other suggestion….have you always been the one to offer him the EBM? My husband was the only one who could give our older daughter a bottle because the only time she took one was while I was at work. She wouldn’t take one from my mom when we tried to leave her to babysit because bottle=dad and breast=mom. Kwim? My point is that MAYBE he’ll take it from someone else and NOT you. maybe… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I definitely think there should be a resource for the medically necessary slim population that cannot breastfeed. I am so obsessed with making sure that people make *informed* choices about the proper way of feeding formula. One time, I saw my cousin make her daughter’s bottle in a Magic Bullet. I’m pretty sure that’s not how the can recommends to prepare it.

    On the one can we got “for emergencies” thanks to my mom, it had such a detailed instructional that I thought, “Wow, people do this so wrong.” But yes! The choice shouldn’t be taken away but it should at least be educated!

    • OMG, a magic bullet? Woo, that’s a new one! I’m guessing more people don’t do it how it recommends, with all the distilled water and boiled everything…so glad that I don’t have to boil my boobs before Potamus gets a snack ๐Ÿ™‚

      I definitely agree to that the choice shoudl be educated…and not sponsored education from a company that has a stake in getting their product bought!

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