Breastfeeding, Formula-Feeding, Combination Feeding, Tube-Feeding

Our Mission: Safe Breastfeeding and Bottle-feeding Support

 

The Fed is Best Foundation works to identify critical gaps in current breastfeeding and formula feeding protocols, guidelines, and education programs. We provide families and health professionals with the most up-to-date scientific research, education, and resources to practice safe infant feeding with breast milk, formula, or a combination of both. To be fully informed, parents must be taught the risks of insufficient breast milk intake when supporting exclusive breastfeeding to prevent hospitalizations for insufficient feeding complications. Finally, we strive to eliminate infant feeding shaming while prioritizing perinatal mental health.

Click the buttons below to read why Fed is Best.

Fed is Best Campaign Letter

Information for Hospitals

Listen to the Co-Founder's story and why Fed is Best

Fed is Best Photograph 2018, Abbie Fox of Fox Photography

Fed is Best Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a strict policy of not accepting funds from any company, organization or entity that obtains revenue through infant feeding products and services, including breast- and formula-feeding companies. All resources on FedisBest.org are free because we believe that safe infant feeding is a human right.

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New York Times Parenting: How to Breastfeed the First 2 Weeks of LIfe

How to Breastfeed During the First 2 Weeks of Life

We are honored to have been invited to write a safe, evidence-based guide, “How to Breastfeed the First 2 Weeks of Life” for the new New York Times Parenting page. Our very own Jody Segrave-Daly, RN, IBCLC, Co-Founder of the Fed is Best Foundation was invited to write this very important guide to help mothers who want to breastfeed meet their goals while ensuring their babies are safely fed and receiving all they need to thrive. 


New York Times Parenting: How to Deal with Low Breast Milk Supply

Fed is Best Foundation was given the honor of contributing to the New York Times Parenting article, “How to Deal with Low Milk Supply,” written by Susan Reslewic Keatley. This article provides mothers with low breast milk supply safe, evidence-based ways to maintain their breastfeeding relationship while ensuring her child safely receive all the nutrition she needs.

“Estimates of the prevalence of low breastmilk supply vary. While a handful of studies suggest low supply affects 10 to 15 percent of mothers, the lactation consultants I spoke to said it is one of the top reasons they receive calls for help.”


Fed is Best featured in the New York Times

Do ‘Baby-Friendly’ Hospitals Work for All Moms?

“A small but vocal group of pediatricians and nurses, led by the nonprofit Fed Is Best, has begun to criticize some of the strategies that Baby-Friendly hospitals use,” writes Carrie Arnold for NYT Parenting.

Read more at the New York Times Parenting Page


From FORBES MAGAZINE

Fed Is Best Foundation Says WHO Breastfeeding Guidelines Fail To Meet Human Rights Standards

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One key recommendation left unchanged since 1989—“give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated”—is one of the WHO Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which guides the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). A global program of the WHO, based on widely misinterpreted data suggesting that “breast is best,” there are currently 461 Baby-Friendly certified hospitals and birthing centers in the U.S., with thousands more worldwide. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a baby who still seems hungry after most feedings may not be getting enough milk and should be evaluated immediately. 

Senior members of the Fed Is Best Foundation (FIBF), a non-profit organization of health professionals and moms who educate on the safest, most brain-protective methods for breastfeeding, mixed-feeding, and formula-feeding, say these guidelines put newborns at risk of starvation. Complications include dehydration, hyperbilirubinemia (jaundice) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)—all of which are established causes of infant brain injury and permanent disability. 

On September 22nd, FIBF leaders and guests, including a neonatologist who wished to remain anonymous, and pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Paul Thornton, M.D., lead author of the Pediatric Endocrine Society’s newborn hypoglycemia guidelines, met via teleconference with top officials of the WHO Breastfeeding Program. During the conference, FIBF experts expressed concerns about complications from the BFHI, and to discuss whether WHO has plans for monitoring, research, or public outreach regarding the risks of accidental starvation.

FIBF co-founder Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, M.D., an emergency physician who researches newborn brain injury and breastfeeding, presented data on the high incidence of complications from BFHI practices and severe neurological consequences. “Publicly acknowledging the common problem of insufficient breast milk and the importance of supplementation to protect the brain can prevent millions of complications, hospitalizations and newborn injuries,” she implored on the call. “Being fully fed is a basic human right that is not currently met by the standard of care.”

When asked whether WHO plans to inform mothers of the risks of brain injury from insufficient breast milk, and that temporary supplementation can prevent complications, Dr. Rollins responded that this recommendation was not identified as a “top priority.” Del Castillo-Hegyi was appalled. “I cannot describe it to you in words,” she says. “Millions of babies and families in the developed and developing world have been harmed by the BFHI.”

Read more.


Fed is Best Guide to Safe and Optimal Infant Feeding

Updated September 10, 2020

We are proud to present the latest edition of the Fed is Best Guide to Safe Infant Feeding. The new step-by-step guide has information on how to safely and optimally feed infants regardless of how you plan to feed them, whether exclusive breastfeeding, supplemented breastfeeding, or exclusive formula-feeding. This free printable guide, similar to a birth plan, can help you:

  • make informed decisions about your infant feeding goals
  • learn more about when it might be necessary to supplement based on the most current evidence on infant brain development
  • prepare for unexpected events so that you can get the extra support that you or your baby needs to ensure adequate and optimal feeding during the newborn period.

You can bring it to  your health professionals so that they can help you feed your baby a way that best meets their nutritional needs and honors your autonomy,  your choice, as well as your physical and mental health.

Fed is Best Guide to Safe Infant Feeding


Fed is Best Foundation News, Parent Stories and Articles

We have received stories from thousands of families about their infant feeding experiences—both successes and challenges. We have studied these stories as well as the entire scientific/medical literature on infant feeding to provide resources and guidelines to prevent infant feeding complications and help families and their health professionals feed all babies in a way that helps them and their families thrive. Click on the picture above to read more of these stories as well as news about the Fed is Best Foundation’s work to advocate for safe, evidence-based, and inclusive infant feeding policies.


Fed is Best Publishes article on an Infant who Dies of Breastfeeding-related Dehydration and Offers Hospital Guidelines for Prevention

Abstract

Hypernatremic dehydration in term newborns has steadily increased in incidence with increasing efforts to promote exclusive breastfeeding before hospital discharge, a key metric of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. The following report details a case of a term newborn infant who had evidence of poor intake while exclusively breastfeeding during his hospital stay that may not have been recognized by health care providers. The infant was discharged home and was subsequently found by the parents in cardiac arrest 12 h after discharge and was found to have hypernatremic dehydration. Although return of spontaneous circulation was achieved after fluid resuscitation, the infant sustained extensive hypoxic-ischemic brain injury due to cardiovascular collapse. Due to the infant’s extremely poor prognosis, life support was withdrawn at 19 days of age and the infant expired. This sentinel case demonstrates multiple pitfalls of current perceptions of normal vs. abnormal newborn feeding behavior, weight loss percentages, elimination patterns, and acceptable clinical thresholds believed to be safe for neonates. Newer data have shown that hypernatremia occurs commonly in healthy, term breastfed newborns at weight loss percentages previously deemed normal by most health professionals and hospital protocols. In-hospital strategies to prevent excessive weight loss and screening for hypernatremia in response to signs of inadequate feeding have the potential to prevent tens of thousands of readmissions for feeding complications a year, as well as hundreds of millions in health care costs.


Dr. del Castillo-Hegyi and Jillian Johnson Raise Awareness at the USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee Meeting in Washington, DC

Washington, DC — On July 11, 2019, Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, Co-Founder of the Fed is Best Foundation and Jillian Johnson, Fed is Best Advocate and mother to Landon Johnson, who died from hypernatremic dehydration while exclusively breastfeeding, traveled to Washington, DC to provide testimonies to the 2020 USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. This is the first year that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) have included pregnancy and birth to 24 months.

Dr. del Castillo-Hegyi provided the Committee data on the rates of insufficient feeding complications, namely jaundice, hypernatremic dehydration and hypoglycemia among exclusively breastfed newborns and the risk of brain injury and developmental disabilities caused by those conditions. She discussed the failures in patient education and patient management that come from Baby-Friendly policies and how they result in thousands of newborn admissions a year.

Jillian Johnson spoke about her son Landon, who she attempted to exclusively breastfeed under the guidance of her Baby-Friendly hospital. He developed cardiac arrest from dehydration and underfeeding 12 hours after discharge despite 2 days of constant crying and nursing in the hospital, which her health professionals deemed normal. He died after 2 weeks on life support. She asked the Committee, “How is a mother to know if her child is in danger if everyone tells her the constant crying and nursing are normal?” She asked the Committee to put in place standard practices and patient education guidelines to prevent these complications from happening to other infants.


Information For Hospitals: Ensuring Safety for BreastFed Newborns

Among the leading causes of newborn extended and repeat hospitalizations are complications of insufficient feeding in exclusively or near-exclusively breastfed newborns. The most common reasons for insufficient feeding are insufficient colostrum/breast milk production and delayed onset of copious milk production. These can lead to the complications of dehydration, excessive jaundice, hypernatremia, and hypoglycemia, which not only lead to preventable hospitalizations but can also result in impaired infant brain development. These not only put newborn patients at serious risk but also put health providers and hospitals at risk. The Fed is Best Foundation has created a page dedicated to providing information to health care providers and hospitals on how to ensure patient safety related to infant feeding, particularly for exclusively breastfed newborns. Click the photo below to learn more.

We are proud to introduce the Rush Family-Friendly Initiative!

A new alternative to hospital newborn infant feeding support 

  • Respectful, judgment-free support of exclusive breastfeeding, supplemented breastfeeding and exclusive bottle-feeding before and after birth
  • Prenatal education and lactation support
  • Support of safe skin-to-skin care, rooming-in with nurseries available on demand
  • Complete patient education on all infant feeding choices and respect of parent choices

Learn More about Family-Friendly

 


Fed Is Best Safe Breastfeeding Tips

 

FedisBest.org is available in any language using the Google Translate button at the bottom of the page.

 

Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, Co-Founder

Jody Segrave-Daly, Co-Founder