Lactation education

Lactation specialist offers support during formula shortage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Amid the nationwide shortage of infant formula, local breastfeeding specialists say more and more people are now calling with questions about breastfeeding.

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

“I walked 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’ sudden weight drop, Stewart called lactation consultant Jackie Randolph for help. Randolph has been helping women in central Tennessee and beyond breastfeed for over 25 years.

“Sometimes it’s easy,” Randolph said. “Sometimes it’s not. It’s time-consuming and selfless. I think that’s a difficult concept these days.

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

“I had questions about re-lactation, which is people who started breastfeeding and stopped,” Randolph said. “Now they want to relactate maybe because of the formula shortage.”

Stewart got scared of formula herself when she had to switch to formula while temporarily having breastfeeding issues.

“I was extremely stressed about it,” Stewart said. “That’s the last thing you want to hear is that you’ll have to feed your baby formula during a national shortage.”

Randolph said that since mothers are so concerned about it, she expects them to be more open about breastfeeding.

“I think people are anxious and eager to do more research and try to prepare to give themselves the best chance,” Stewart said. “There’s a lot of anxiety and stress around successful breastfeeding due to the shortage of formula.”

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