Are you a mama that’s searching for the right formula? Maybe you’re breastfeeding and curious about supplementing? Or maybe you just wanna be more educated on the topic of formula and help denounce the narrative that formula is poison!
Whatever the case may be, I’m so excited to have you join me for this week’s episode of the Mommy Labor Nurse podcast. Today we’ve got Mallory, Certified Infant Feeding Technician, formula expert, and the face behind the SUPER helpful Instagram account and website The Formula Mom.
Mallory came on the podcast back in episode 22 to share her birth story and struggles with postpartum depression. Today I invited her back to dive into the topic of formula, all the amazing stuff she’s doing over there @theformulamom, and to help debunk some of the anti-formula narratives out there.
We’re so glad you’ve decided to tune in! Here’s a peek at some of the things we discuss in this episode:
- How many moms will eventually use formula for their babies? (13:40)
- Debunking the narrative that formula is poison (16:27)
- If I’m thinking of switching the formula, what are some of the first things that I should even do? (19:46)
- Finding the right formula: Is it a trial and error process? (22:07)
- Denouncing the guilt moms feel when they first switch to formula (25:10)
- Wanting to stop breastfeeding is enough reason to stop (31:07)
- About The Formula Mom (36:30)
- About Mallory
How many moms will eventually use formula for their babies? (13:40)
To kick off the episode, I wanted Mallory to paint a picture of what the breastfeeding vs. formula feeding situation looks like here in the US. She shares that,
“The CDC reports that by six months, 75% of infants have had formula of some kind, whether that’s exclusively formula feeding or supplementing whatever else.
And it’s interesting because that’s essentially flipped from what happens at the beginning when they’re in the hospital. So, over 80% of babies are originally given breast milk in the hospital, and then by six months, 75% are on some sort of formula.”
She goes on to talk about how there is some sort of disconnect, “what I think a lot of people don’t realize that the great majority of parents end up using formula by six months, we can assume that the number is even higher by the time you get to a year. But because people don’t talk about it, I think a lot of people don’t realize that the number is actually that high,”
If you tune in, you’ll hear her elaborate on this transition, and also talk about the reality that so many mamas are actually doing a combination of both. How the facts are always presented in this black and white manner, but in reality, formula and breastmilk are both in play for so many families.
Debunking the narrative that formula is poison (16:27)
This right here is a big part of what Mallory’s mission is all about. She shares, “I am because that narrative hurts families, it hurts women. Yeah, I am really passionate about it. So, I will say upfront that I wholeheartedly believe that if it’s possible, if it works for you, if it’s a priority for you, that breast milk is the ideal first food for infants, it’s created specifically for them…so I like to say that upfront, you will never hear me say formula is better than breast milk,”
“However, I think sometimes we go way too far in that direction. And we get to this formula is poison narrative, which is just not true. And there are a couple of reasons why that’s not true. So number one is that formula is the single most strictly regulated food product that you can buy. So there is nothing else that you can buy, that has been through more safety testing, more nutrient testing, more packaging, testing, than baby formula,”
“And that’s because, you know, it’s, it’s regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. And so formula is essentially treated like a medical product versus just, you know, like an apple at the store. So that’s one reason. The second reason is that it is the most nutrient-dense item that you can buy.”
As you can see Mallory has A TON Of info about exactly why formula is not poison from a very concrete standpoint, but you’ll also hear her talk more about why that narrative is so harmful to mothers everywhere.
If I’m thinking of switching the formula, what are some of the first things that I should even do? (19:46)
In this part of the episode Mallory gives some specific, actionable advice about how to choose the right formula! I love this! She doesn’t just recommend top brands, she gets you to really break down your needs. Here’s a brief overview of what we talk about:
- First, mamas should identify their feeding goals and WHY they are choosing to supplement
- Then she says to think about what baby’s needs are. Do they have an allergy or reflux?
- Next, look at YOUR needs! Is on the go formula a must, is organic important to you?
From there, she elaborates more on this and gives specific advice and examples so tune in! (20:40)
Finding the right formula: Is it a trial and error process? (22:07)
Mallory talks about the fact that there isn’t one best formula for every baby. There’s a reason so many options exist, and really it’s about finding what’s right for YOUR baby.
She does confirm that it’s normal to have some amount of trial and error, but that there are things that you can pay attention to before you just randomly pick one that can help limit the number of trials that you may have to do.
To find out where to start if you’re in the selection step, her Instagram page has tons of great info, and on her site, she offers personalized formula recs!
Denouncing the guilt moms feel when they first switch to formula (25:10)
In this part of the episode, Mallory addresses this topic in detail and gives actionable advice for any mamas that are dealing with this.
The bottom line? Formula is NOT something to feel guilty about. And it’s really NOBODY’S business except your own.
Wanting to stop breastfeeding is enough reason to stop (31:07)
In the episode, I reference the picture above, and we dive into this topic, because it’s such an important one! Mallory shares that she gets this question a lot. Moms feel like they can’t stop breastfeeding if it’s “working” to feed baby.
However, wanting to stop breastfeeding because it’s not serving YOU is a perfectly acceptable reason to stop! And she wants to spread the message and give mamas that okay to quit breastfeeding for any reason, including that they just don’t want to do it anymore.
About The Formula Mom (36:30)
Rounding out this episode, I gave Mallory the opportunity to talk a little bit more about her mission and all the awesome stuff she’s doing over there at The Formula Mom.
Similar to Mommy Labor Nurse, she provides well-researched and excellent content on her Instagram that can benefit every mama. From those that exclusively formula feed, to supplementers, to the ones that are thinking about making the switch!
She also talks about services and supports she offers as an extension of her IG page, such as:
- The Formula 101 Handbook, which is a downloadable PDF that has just basic, easy to read comprehensive instructions for formula feeding successfully. It covers everything from how to choose a formula and how you prepare formula, safety and storage, and, and all sorts of that stuff
- Individualized, one-on-one counseling with parents on formula recommendations from an UNBIASED point of view. Which is so hard to come by these days!
- Personalized formula recommendations based on your unique situation
- Free guide to general formula recommendations based on different categories, sensitivities, age, etc.
You can find all of this over on her website!
Mallory is a certified infant feeding technician with experience doing content writing and campaigns for commercial formula companies.
She’s on a mission to provide high-quality information and resources to mothers around the formula, a gap in the information she noticed when trying to figure out formula feeding with her own daughter.
Mallory is closing the gap on information and support for formula feeding moms with her amazing content over on Instagram and on her site.