Lactation specialist offers support during baby formula shortage

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 10:18 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Amid the nationwide baby formula shortage, local lactation specialists said more people are now calling to ask about breastfeeding.

Emily Stewart of Nashville is a mother of two. Stewart had no issues breastfeeding her first child. However, breastfeeding her 4-week-old son, Miles has been a challenge.

“I got home with him from the hospital and thought it was normal that he was tired,” Stewart said. “I went to the pediatrician, and he lost a lot of weight.”

After Miles’s sudden weight drop, Stewart called lactation consultant Jackie Randolph for help. Randolph has been helping women in Middle Tennessee and beyond with lactation for more than 25 years.

“Sometimes it is easy,” Randolph said. “Sometimes it is not. It is time-consuming and selfless. I think that is a hard concept in our day and time.”

Randolph said since the baby formula shortage; she has gotten more calls from people interested in breastfeeding.

“I have had inquiries about re-lactating, which is people who started to breastfeed and quit,” Randolph said. “Now, they want to re-lactate maybe because of the formula shortage.”

Stewart had a baby formula scare of her own when she had to switch to formula while having issues breastfeeding temporarily.

“I was extremely stressed about that,” Stewart said. “It is the last thing you want to hear is you will have to formula-feed your baby during a nationwide shortage.”

Randolph said since this has been such a concern for moms, she expects more to be open to breastfeeding.

“I think people are anxious and willing to research more and try to prepare to give themselves the best chance,” Stewart said. “There is a lot of anxiety and stress around making breastfeeding work due to the formula shortage.”

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