Health Care

With baby formula still in short supply, VT Dept. of Health observes World Breastfeeding Week

VT Dept. of Health photo
Infant formula shelves at a Washington County CVS Pharmacy this morning were virtually empty. Only six containers were “available at the front checkout.” Page photo

By Guy Page

As Vermont observes World Breastfeeding Week August 1-7 with informational programs in Brattleboro, Springfield and White River Junction, infant baby formula is still in short supply at local pharmacies due to the global supply chain crisis. 

A Wednesday morning stop at a Washington County CVS showed just one container of baby infant formula for sale on the display floor – a generic “store brand.” Display advertising urged consumers to ask for supplies kept behind the front desk. There, only six containers were available. The store clerk stated the obvious: restocking of baby formula has yet to restore both quantity and selection to pre-pandemic levels. 

An alternative to baby formula – although one not accessible or even possible for all parents – is breastfeeding. 

Vermont is a leader in breastfeeding initiation, with 91.5% of babies in the state receiving human milk shortly after birth, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. However, by the age of 6 months, the rate of babies who are exclusively breastfed drops to 36.8%. This coincides with the time many parents return to the workforce – which Vermont Dept. of Health public health nurse Deb Kitzmiller said shows just how important employer support for breastfeeding friendly policies in the workplace is to people being able to make this healthy choice for their babies.

“World Breastfeeding Week is a perfect time for us to show people how and why breastfeeding and chestfeeding can be the easy and healthy choice,” said Deb Kitzmiller, a public health nurse with the department’s Brattleboro Local Health Office. “As part of this year’s focus, we also wanted to spotlight the important role Vermont employers have in supporting their lactating employees.”

“Supportive work policies allow people the time and space to continue pumping and providing human milk to their babies,” said Kitzmiller. “In addition to the significant health aspects, becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly Employer provides tangible benefits for businesses as well.”

The Vermont Department of Health supports and encourages breastfeeding because of its important health benefits for both the person who is lactating and the baby. For adults, breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancers and postpartum depression. In addition to the important nutrition and growth benefits, babies who breastfeed have improved cognitive development and a reduced risk for chronic diseases. Breastfed babies also have a reduced risk of severe lower respiratory disease, ear infections and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death syndrome (SUID). Breastfeeding also offers important bonding opportunities for both. 

Data shows policies that support new parents in the workplace can benefit employers through decreased turnover, greater productivity, reduced absenteeism, higher morale and staff loyalty, as well as through lower health care costs (average annual savings is $400/breastfed baby).

The VT Dept. of Health will hold three “The Big Let Down” events (formerly called “The Big Latch On”). Participants will automatically be entered to win prizes. Bring your questions, as lactation experts will be available: 

  • A virtual event on Friday, Aug. 5 from 1 – 2 p.m.
  • In-person event at Lyman Point Park in White River Junction on Saturday Aug. 6 from 10 – 11:00 a.m.
  • In person event at Winston Prouty in Brattleboro on Sunday, Aug. 7 from 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Click here for more information and to register, or visit the Health Department Brattleboro, Springfield or White River Junction Facebook sites. People can also call Jackie Lindamood at 802-289-0600 for more information. 

This news story includes content from a Vermont Department of Health news release.

Categories: Health Care

2 replies »

  1. “Lactation Experts” & prizes! Yippeee! Perhaps somebody, even maybe from Vt. DOH could address these “Biden Shortages” for those who can’t breastfeed? But, thanks to the insanity from the UN , World Economic Forum, and a plethora of other “NGO’s”, we all better brace ourselves for (planned) shortages of food & staples as their “Climate Agenda” forces farms & ranches to “comply” with insane fertilizer cutbacks. Just look at Sri Lanka & the Netherlands for what’s coming & see the recent articles in The Epoch Times about “The Great Reset” in farming, Canadian formers are next to be forced by mandate for cutbacks. Should we stop runoff & the resultant algae blooms & dead zones in the Gulf? Of course! Farmers are now using GPS to be more efficient stewards, but blanket mandates WILL result in lower yields, shortages, & insanely higher prices. The formula “shortage” is the result of FDA overreach & bureaucratic bungling tripping up the free market by political appointees who never ran a lemonade stand with no business experience whatsoever. We CAN stop this by voting out Uni-Party RINO’s & Dem’s who have driven the USA into a ditch in 18 short months through their Climate Fear & “Incredible Transition” for US while China, India, etc. pollute at will.

  2. I read about some concern for babies ingesting the mother’s milk if the mother has been injected with mRNA experimental shots. Seems the spike proteins can be passed to the infant thus affecting the baby’s immune system. Another article on a newborn baby had an arm amputated because of blood clouts from the mother’s experimental vaccine passed to the infant in the whom. Safe and effective was the talking point. Safe, no effective yes at destroying the immune system. A biomedical company is offering a procedure to filter a person’s blood to remove toxins and the spike proteins from the shots. This is similar to a transfusion except the blood is fed through some type of filter then back into the body. The procedure is $2,500.00 and is booked up way into the future. We haven’t heard the last of these dangerous injections.

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