Lactation Consultant….Formula Consultant?

Potamus has had formula¬†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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