The “breast is best” ideology is so ubiquitous, so sneakily persuasive, that even those determined to remain open-minded to feeding options are overcome with guilt and panic when they press that first bottle of formula against their newborn’s lips. I’ve known many moms over the years whose prepartum insouciance was no match for the combination of vulnerability-inducing postpartum hormones and heavily biased lactation consultations offered by their hospitals. In fact, I was one such mom, and I felt like an absolute failure for having to give my son formula before my milk came in. That the alternative was his starving—dangerous for a newborn—did little to put me at ease.
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