To Breastfeed: To feed with milk from the breast.

Breast is best. Right? You have heard that, you know that.
It is everywhere, including the recent article published in The Lancet, Breastfeeding:achieving the new normalJanuary 28,2016 stating “breastfeeding could save 820,00 lives per year around the world”. 
Today I was in the midst of helping a friend answer some questions concerning a baby that seems to be in discomfort after nursing; after feeding, baby is crying and having gas.
I asked momma to send me a picture of her current formula as she is using a gentle brand (I will not name drop) to supplement. Ingredient numero uno: corn syrup. I think I could literally feel my blood pressure rise. Are you kidding me? Corn syrup, and the company is calling this “gentle”. That is strictly a calorie filler. Empty damn calories. I decide I am on a mission. I will find something better.
Take it back a few steps. This mom is working her ass off (probably literally) pumping, finger feeding, still nursing; providing baby with as much breast milk as her body allows.
I reached out to my go to mom/baby nutrition expert for advice (she also happens to be the genius behind BIRTHFIT Chicago), Dr. Gina Sirchio. We discuss the necessity of quality ingredients during supplementation. Sure, organic may be a little more expensive, but it is short-term and will most likely help with digestion. Especially if you add a bit of quality infant probiotics.
The short but powerful conversation that happened after “go organic” was moving.
Mom is doing all that she can for baby. She rocks. She is an all-star, kick ass mom, that is breastfeeding.  Let me show you Google’s definition of breastfeeding:


gerund or present participle: breastfeeding
  1. (of a woman) feed (a baby) with milk from the breast.
    “she breastfed her first child”
  2. (of a baby) feed from the breast.
    “the child began to breastfeed”


Do you read the words “ONLY” or “EXCLUSIVELY” anywhere? Me either. This momma’s version of breastfeeding includes feeding breast milk from her breast, feeding breast milk from a bottle, and supplementing formula from a bottle. Supplementing caloric need. Baby is still receiving immunity and health benefits from mom’s breast milk, even if mom only produces an ounce that day or that feeding. That is an ounce of immunity. It is mom experiencing the good hormone release with breastfeeding and both mom and baby enjoying the bond of breastfeeding when able. 
If your baby is consuming milk that comes from your breast, or the breast of another woman, you are, by definition, breastfeeding. The variations of normal that exist with this are as numerous as the health benefits in breast milk itself. Please remember that your version of “normal” does not need to meet or beat anyone else’s. Please remember that you are enough.
Erica Boland, DC
BIRTHFIT Wisconsin 

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