My body doesn’t like to make milk. It begrudgingly complies to my son’s demands sometimes, but we’ve been supplementing with formula since he was a couple weeks old. I know, I know, “supplementing decreases supply” and all that. But with several chronic illnesses and a good chunk of milk factory missing from the left breast (not to mention the stress of raising special needs kids), my supply wasn’t great to start with. Seriously, I was excited to actually get engorged for the first time ever this year – even if it only happened on one side!
So here’s the problem: my local WIC office won’t give me formula until the end of July, because I committed to breastfeeding as long as possible. We’ve been using leftovers from the last baby (who’s now two), and they’ve been working quite well. Until I looked at the bottom of a can today and found that it expired in April. I called the GoodStart hotline to ask if it mattered. You know, canned goods never go bad, so maybe I’d get lucky… Well, they “don’t advise using it beyond that date” but are not permitted (or educated) to explain the risks involved. And we’re broke.
Aack! What am I gonna do?! I have – somewhere, perhaps in the bottom of the trash can – a few coupons for Enfamil, and there’s a sample-size can of Similac that came in the mail. Should I switch brands until I can get help with GoodStart again? Should I raid local food banks? Should we forgo a few meals a week for a while so the baby can eat? Or should I follow the lactation consultant’s advice and feed him the little bit my body makes and just pray he doesn’t stop thriving?