An infant plays with a bottle of baby formula. (Robert A. Reeder/The Washington Post)

In her Sept. 1 Metro column, "Breast-feeding case is win for formula, fathers," Petula Dvorak demonized lactation consultants. Most lactation consultants, including me, meet the mother where she is. If the mother's goal is to exclusively breast-feed, then we will do everything in our power to help her. Exclusive breast-feeding has been more and more difficult with the medicalization of childbirth and working mothers not getting the breaks they need to pump.

Formula has saved babies' lives, and I am thankful we have it.

The World Health Organization recommends breast-feeding for the first six months and then introducing complementary foods, such as cereal, fruits and vegetables. But a baby must still receive the majority of his nutrition by consuming breast milk or formula for the first year. So, if a baby's pediatrician says he is allergic to formula, the baby will need breast milk for his first full year. If his father really wanted what's best for him, he would honor that.

Lack of breast-feeding is a public-health issue. Minority mothers experience lower rates of successful breast-feeding, leading to a higher risk of childhood illnesses such as asthma and Type 1 diabetes. Let's fight for the rights of mothers and their choice of infant feeding method, whatever that may be.

Marion "Lou" Lamb, Palmyra, Va.

The writer is a lactation consultant and nurse.