Breasts, Bottles, and Formula: Feeding Information Hospitals Often Withhold from New Parents

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When I read this recent article from the BBC, Bottle Feeding is a Woman’s Right, Midwives Told, it hit home with my experiences of our first child this year. I was glad to see it, but wished medical practitioners here in the U.S. were given the same instruction.

Once we knew we were expecting our little one, we took all the baby classes our hospital had to offer. My Saturday mornings were booked for a month. We bought the books. We asked our questions. But I couldn’t get many answers about pumping and feeding, much less about formula. So when we had to supplement our baby’s first week and later when we switched to formula, we were left to our own devices. The BBC article discusses guilt mothers feel over “failing” to breastfeed. I didn’t feel guilt nearly as much as anger and frustration that we had to sift through online forums and blogs to find trusted medical advice. Advice I believed the doctors, nurses, and lactation consultants we worked with for the past nine months should have provided.

Below are topics every new parent should research before delivery along with a few cited sources for each. Topics many hospitals, including ours, choose not to educate patients about in favor of a breast is best only model.

Formula Feeding

“Amount and Schedule of Formula Feedings.”, 2 Nov. 2009,

“Formula Feeding Your Baby.” what to expect, 28 Jun. 2018,

Exclusively Pumping

Bonyata, Kelly. “Establishing and Maintaining Milk Supply When Baby is Not Breastfeeding.” KellyMom, 15 Jan. 2018,

Y., Paula. “Exclusive Pumping (Aka: Everything You Wanted to Know About Exclusive Pumping but Didn’t Know Who to Ask!).” KellyMom, 1 Jan. 2018,

Returning to Breastfeeding After Supplementing

Bonyata, Kelly.  “Relactation and Adoptive Breastfeeding: The Basics.” KellyMom, 13 Jan. 2018,

“Want to Start Breastfeeding After Stopping? Our Guide to Relactation.” Motherlove, 6 Dec. 2011,

Specialty Products

Bonyata, Kelly. “Nipple Shields.” KellyMom, 13 Jan. 2018,

Hayes, Chad. “Clearing Up the Nipple Confusion.” demystifying pediatrics, 12 Aug. 2015,

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Pacifiers: Are They Good for Your Baby?.” Mayo Clinic, 22 Jul. 2017,

Murray, Donna. “How and When to Breastfeed With a Nipple Shield.” verywell family, 14 Feb. 2018,

“Tools for Feeding: Bottles & More.” KellyMom, 28 Feb. 2018,

Biases in Breast Is Best Research

Caldwell, Emily. “Breast-feeding Benefits Appear to be Overstated, According to Study of Siblings.” Ohio State News, 25 Feb. 2014,

Oster, Emily. “Everybody Calm Down About Breastfeeding.” FiveThirtyEight, 6 Mar. 2016,

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