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Dec 8 2014

My Baby is a Socialist & I Wish Yours Was, Too

By at 4:00 pm

tin of baby formula

My foster daughter is the cutest socialist you will ever meet. I know that there are people in this country who are afraid of socialism, or think that it’s not their responsibility to take care of anyone else, but Dafna is here to show you why socialism can be awesome.

Let’s be real: On the whole, being a kid in the foster system is terrible. You enter the system because of abuse and neglect. Children often get shuffled through many different placements, may or may not get to see and bond with their biological parents, and are the pawns of a bureaucratic system that is undoubtedly broken. But alongside the bureaucracy there are some amazing perks. These perks are different state to state, but here’s an example of some of the awesome socialism we use every day.

1. Free Childcare Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 25 2013

For My Family, Formula is a Blessing

By at 5:12 pm

baby formulaTamara Reese’s recent post “You Can’t Shame a Woman into Breastfeeding” left me feeling ashamed.

My husband and I have a sweet, healthy 1-year-old son, Ezra. During Ezra’s first year, he got most of his nutrition from formula. For the first seven months, I supplemented that formula with a few ounces a day of breastmilk–the most my body was able to muster, through insane efforts. I’m part of the 5% of women who deal with primary lactation failure, probably due in my case to my underactive thyroid and my hypo-plastic breasts (aka insufficient glandular tissue). Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 6 2012

I’m Terrified of Breastfeeding Again

By at 11:56 am

baby breastfeedingAs we near the end of World Breastfeeding Week, Kveller blogger Tamara Reese shares her thoughts, hopes, and fears about nursing for the second time around:

This is not a post about breast being best or better or a judgment upon mothers who can, can’t, will or won’t nurse their babies. Readers and people who know me, know that I am a huge proponent of breastfeeding both from a personal and public health perspective. But I know what it feels like to be scrutinized for your parenting decisions and above all else I believe that each family has to do what works best for their unique child. I have participated in dozens of La Leche League meetings and often after hearing a mother’s story for a number of reasons thought to myself, “maybe breastfeeding isn’t what’s best for her and her baby.” I’ve supported friends who have nursed for three days and three years, and I believe that giving even one drop of breastmilk makes you a breastfeeding mother. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 16 2011

Breastfeeding Sucks

By at 11:05 am

One thing that parents are best at — and yes, readers, I’m talking about you, and I’m talking about myself as well — is trying to tell other people what to do.

Maybe it’s natural. Maybe it comes from being parents. You’re forced to order your kid around. So, why shouldn’t the rest of the world do what you say, too?

Kveller recently ran a story on a shortage of baby formula in the Hasidic community (the Wall Street Journal followed it). As can be expected, it was summarily attacked, on here and on my way-too-sharey Facebook page. Mostly, it was that knee-jerk “a-ha!”ness of parents who see a mention of bottlefeeding and leap to point out the wrongness inherent in a parenting style not their own.

Breastfeeding has become a badge of honor. A few months ago, when a brand of formula started advertising itself as “the healthiest choice,” tons of parent bloggers (myself included) pounced on it. In parent-heavy environs like Park Slope, there’s a type of bottle that actually advertises that the milk inside is breast milk — which is so self-righteously snotty, conceited, and straight-up ill-willed that it’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking breast milk when I heard about it, or I would’ve spit it across the room in shock.

My wife is an ardent supporter of breastfeeding. And our baby drinks formula.

Both of our babies started out on a boobs-only diet. In both cases, however, we had at one point to face the reality that she just didn’t have enough milk.

My wife was the first to admit it. The fact that I’m saying this is a testament to her openness and honesty. Not to get all sexually-bifurcated on you, but if this happened to men, we would never talk about it. I mean, the male gender invented the term “pissing contest.” If someone were to tell us that a part of our bodies were insufficient? A check-outtable, oversexualized part? Forget it, we’d never step outside again.

But my wife, she knows how to face reality. Her mother is one of the top lactation consultants in Australia and a mother of seven, and she had to supplement feeds for all but one of her children. There are a million things that can cause a situation like this — stress, exhaustion, genetics, or simple dehydration. Or it could be something more sinister. For us, it was one of each.

When our daughter was 6 weeks old, my wife got a virus. It led to her becoming dehydrated, which caused her milk supply to crash. She was in bed for days. I had to get all Michael Keaton on her, playing at being a single father, jumping rooms from the baby to her and back again. I can’t imagine how my mother-in-law (or anyone else) dealt with newborn twins. (Actually: Maybe by getting stressed out and losing some of her milk. Duh.) It was hard. She recovered, but her milk supply took months of hard work to build up again. For our second child, the reason was less dramatic, but we had to face facts. There simply wasn’t enough.

We were hard workers. We were vigilantes. We only wanted what was best for our babies. We had homebirths, only fed our kids organic food (my wife made most of it herself), and I read the bejeezis out of every parenting book I could get my hands on. That was the hardest part of this recent formula shortage, and the frustrating lack of answers from the FDA — we’d decided to only give our baby cholov yisroel formula, since we believe it’s especially important on a spiritual level.

So yes, breastfeeders and overachievers, I’m with you all the way. I’m on your side. I hear what you’re saying.

But sometimes, you need to just shut the hell up.

Mar 15 2011

Infant Formula Update

By at 3:26 pm

Yesterday, we reported on a shortage of infant formula among Hasidic Jews. Last night, Materna, the makers of the formula, posted this on their website:

Please note: Materna formula is temporarily not available to ship. Orders will begin to ship  again once the formula is available.

As the exclusive distributor of Materna to the USA we are working around the clock to resolve this. As the sellers of baby formula we understand the importance of our formula being available at all time, unfortunately we ran into some issues that are beyond our control.

Kveller just spoke to a representative of the Food and Drug Administration, who told us that

[T]he FDA issued an import alert to our field inspectors on Materna infant formula, which means that they may detain infant formula from Materna Laboratories that was produced in both Post Maabarot, Israel and New Delhi, India.

Further, they said that

The product can be detained without further testing or inspection.

It’s still not clear whether the formula isn’t being allowed in because of specific unsanitary conditions that developed or because no dairy products from Israel or India are permitted. Sit tight; we’re asking the questions.

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