HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – A nationwide formula shortage has many mothers in a panic about having an adequate supply of milk to feed their babies or finding enough once their supplies get low.

Forrest General Hospital Certified Lactation Specialist, Michelle Roberts, RN, CLC, offers some tips for nursing mothers that might help alleviate fears of low milk supply.

  • Roberts suggests that nursing moms make sure they are nursing their baby on demand, they have a correct latch, and they offer both breasts at each feeding for added stimulation.
  • Mothers can do some breast massage and compression during feedings to help her infant take in more and help to empty her breasts better.
  • To increase milk supply, add more pumping sessions, in addition to nursing or to to incorporate power pumping in to her regular pumping routine
  •  Roberts suggests mothers to also increase the duration of how long she pumps (ex: if she pumps for 15 minutes each session, she needs to pump 20 to increase her supply)
  • For moms who have an excess of stored milk, donation to a milk bank is always an option

Forrest General Hospital serves as one of the state’s 12 drop-off centers for the Mother’s Milk Bank of Mississippi. Milk collected from these centers is distributed to primarily neonatal intensive care units in the state.

Donations from the milk banks/depots is thoroughly screened and treated for viruses or undetected, and the donors are required to meet specific health requirements. Roberts warns those who are buying breast milk from donors off social media sites, should use some caution.

“While it is a wonderful thing for those moms to help other moms by giving away (or even selling) their breast milk, milk sharing is not recommended as there are definitely risks associated with it, and there is no guarantee that the milk is 100 percent safe,” said Roberts.