INDIANAPOLIS — Libby Milch with Franciscan Health said for many mothers, the choice to breastfeed is not as easy as it sounds.
"There are plenty of valid reasons, both physically and emotionally, why people would choose not to breastfeed. In our society, the majority of women have some sort of sexual abuse history or something inappropriate, that can sometimes affect how they feel about breastfeeding," said Milch.
In addition to that, Milch said, the choice of choosing formula over breast milk can be for health or professional reasons.
"Usually something hormonal will impact the ability to produce a full milk supply. There are certain jobs that make it difficult to be able to pump every 3-4 hours at work," said Milch.
Milch has worked with breastfeeding mothers for 20 years and knows the struggles they face. She said the formula vs. breast milk debate can be a hurtful conversation for mothers who have no choice.
"Breastfeeding is a very personal experience. I have found in the past with moms who struggled and had challenges where they weren't happy with the outcome it can become a very sore subject," said Milch.
Because of the formula shortage, she has seen an increase of families visiting her office to pick up some breast milk they keep in-house from The Milk Bank. She hopes this conversation will remind people that, breast milk or formula, it doesn't matter what you chose as long as the baby is happy and healthy.
"It really is about the society. We have got to just be kind and be supportive because we are talking about the health of our future," said Milch.