'Urgency to try to keep breastfeeding': Moms rethink feed plans as baby formula shortage worsens

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58)-- The worsening baby formula shortage is striking several families, and breastfeeding parents are no exception.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) latest report shows more than 80 percent of Wisconsin moms start off by breastfeeding.

Wanda Rott, a lactation specialist at Froedtert, teaches new moms how to breastfeed their babies.

"It's the healthiest option for, I think, the newborn and families," Rott said.

Rott said she's seen an incline in the number of moms wanting to breastfeed, but doesn't think is has anything to do with the growing formula shortage.

A pediatrician with Advocate Aurora Health Care told CBS 58 she's seen moms who are more hesitant to stop breastfeeding.

"I think there's some urgency to try to keep breastfeeding, despite a climate right now that's not very conducive to extending breastfeeding past the newborn period," Dr. Jenny Thomas said.

Thomas said a lot of moms stop breastfeeding and switch to formula when they go back to work, because it's too hard to manage pumping in the workplace.

"A formula shortage or these supply chain issues highlight the importance of supporting new moms in the workplace, so that they can continue to give human milk to their kids," Thomas said.

Thomas told CBS 58 she sees moms who are doing everything they can to not make the switch just yet.

"The moms that are in my practice are very inspiring, and will try to do things to overcome a drop in supply that usually accompanies going back to work," Thomas said.

If breastfeeding isn't an option, doctors can prescribe human milk for a baby.

"There are places around that will dispense donor milk for families that want it. It's expensive, but it's available," Thomas said.

When it comes to making a baby's feed plan, doctors want you to consider all of your options.

"Each mom should kind of evaluate their own wants and desires and maybe take the time to do their own kind of research when they're pregnant to figure out maybe what they might be comfortable with," Amanda Richter, a lactation consultant at Froedtert, said.

Doctors said it's also possible for moms who recently stopped breastfeeding to get their milk supply back. They recommend reaching out to your own doctor for help.

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