by Jillian Johnson with commentary from Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi
Landon would be five today if he were still alive. It’s a very hard birthday–five. It’s a milestone birthday. Most kiddos would be starting kindergarten at this age. But not my little guy. I wanted to share for a long time about what happened to Landon, but I always feared what others would say and how I’d be judged. But I want people to know how much deeper the pain gets.
I share his story in hopes that no other family ever experiences the loss that we have.
Jarrod and I wanted what was best for Landon as every parent does for their child. We took all of the classes. Bought and read all of the books. We were ready! Or so we thought….every class and book was geared toward breastfeeding and how it’s so important if you want a healthy child. Landon was born in a “Baby-Friendly” hospital. (What this means is everything is geared toward breastfeeding. Unless you’d had a breast augmentation or cancer or some serious medical reason as to why you couldn’t breastfeed, your baby would not be given formula unless a prescription was written by the pediatrician.)
Landon was born full-term weighing 3360 g or 7 lbs. 7 oz, born by urgent cesarean due to fetal intolerance to labor after the water had broken. [Previous publication of this blog said he had an emergency c-section. He was delivered by low transverse incision over 12-14 minutes, which is considered an urgent, not a STAT section.] Apgars were 8 and 9 and he was stabilized. He was transferred 2.5 hours later to the Mother-Baby Unit and returned to his mother. He exclusively breastfed with excellent latch for 15 – 40 minutes every 1-2 hours.
Landon was on my breast –ALL OF THE TIME. The lactation consultants would come in and see that “he had a great latch and was doing fine” but there was one who mentioned I may have a problem producing milk. The reason she gave was that I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and it was just harder for women with hormone imbalances to produce milk. She recommended some herbs for me to take when I got out of the hospital.
While in the hospital, his mother’s risk factors for failed and delayed lactogenesis II (copious milk production) were identified by the IBCLC-lactation consultant. They were borderline diabetes, PCOS, issues with infertility, small, widely spaced breasts with minimal growth during pregnancy, being a first-time mom, and emergency c-section. Despite that, she was encouraged to exclusively breastfeed. She was closely monitored by a nurse, lactation consultant, and physician support. Her baby’s latch was rated as excellent.
By the first 24 hours, he had nursed a total of 9.3 hours, had zero wet diapers and four dirty diapers. By 27 hours, he had lost 4.76%. His nursing sessions became longer and longer until he was on the breast continuously by the second day of life. On the second day, he produced 3 wet diapers and 6 dirty diapers and nursed for almost 14 hours total. By 53 hours of life, he had lost 9.72%.
At this time, the scientific literature on wet and dirty diaper production has shown that the number of diapers produced have no correlation with adequacy of milk intake in the first 4 days of life. The only study on diaper counts has shown that even newborns who lose excessive weight can produce up to 6 wet and dirty diapers a day. In addition, at this time, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative has produced no data on the safety of newborn fasting and weight loss caused by exclusive colostrum feeding and what degree of weight loss protects a child from brain-threatening complications like hyperbilirubinemia, hypernatremic dehydration, and hypoglycemia. So far, the scientific literature shows that babies who lose greater than 7% of their birth weight are at the highest risk of developing excessive jaundice and hypernatremia to levels that can cause long-term developmental disability. It has also been found that 10% of healthy, term, exclusively breastfed babies undergoing the Baby-Friendly protocol experience hypoglycemia to levels that are associated with 50% declines in the ability to pass the literacy and math proficiency test at 10 years of age, even if aggressively corrected.
Constant, unsatisfied nursing and inconsolable crying are two of the signs of newborn starvation that lead to brain-threatening complications. If a child is receiving a fraction of their caloric requirement through early exclusive breastfeeding, they can experience severe hunger and thirst, which is why they will cry inconsolably and breastfeed continuously when it is the only source of calories and fluid they are offered. If a mother’s colostrum does not meet the child’s caloric requirement, they will breastfeed for hours a day in an attempt to relieve their hunger. A child who is “cluster-feeding” may actually burn more calories breastfeeding than they receive in return, which can result in fasting conditions and accelerated weight loss. The constant nursing and crying often found in newborns by the second day of life have been called“The Second Night Syndrome” in the breastfeeding industry. This is also whenmothers receive the most pressure to avoid supplementation in order to increase rates of exclusive breastfeeding at discharge. Babies who reach critically low levels of reserve fuel and fluids before their mother’s milk comes in can be found lethargic with compromised vital signs after hours of constant nursing and fussing, at which time they are often diagnosed with hypoglycemia, excessive weight loss, and/or hyperbilirubinemia, all markers of starvation.
Did you know that newborns aren’t supposed to cry all of the time? They’re supposed to eat and sleep and dirty their diapers. I had no idea that he was inconsolable because he was starving – literally. And when a baby is only on the breast, how do we gauge how much they’re actually getting out? Sure, there should be wet and soiled diapers, and weight checks, right? And where is the limit as to weight loss and a minimum for the diapers changed?
Landon was discharged at 64 hours (2.5 days) of life having lost 9.7% of his birth weight continuously and exclusively breastfeeding with a mother whose milk had not come in. These are routine and unremarkable findings in newborn babies discharged home to exclusively breastfeed. At this time, there are no studies using standardized developmental testing or serum markers of starvation that show that allowing babies to lose up to 10% of their birth weight protects them from brain- and life-threatening complications, despite wide-spread perception that it is normal for exclusively breastfed babies to lose. Therefore, Landon’s mother was given no instruction to supplement. He was discharged with next-day follow-up.
So we took him home….not knowing that after less than 12 hours home with us, he would have gone into cardiac arrest caused by dehydration, from unintended starvation because I was the mother who had no colostrum. for my baby. And the best advice I was given by one of his NICU doctors while he was on life support is sure breast is best, but follow with the bottle.
This way you know your baby has eaten enough….if only I could go back in time.
Landon continued to continuously breastfeed at home and was found unresponsive, pulseless, and blue after eventually falling asleep from cluster feeding. His parents called 911. Per EMS, he was asystolic (no heart rate) and he received CPR en route to the local ER. By the time they arrived at the ER, he was found to have pulseless electrical activity (heart rate with no blood pressure). There, he was intubated and received several rounds of epinephrine. He was hypothermic with a temperature of 93.1 F. After 30 minutes of CPR, no cardiac activity was found on ultrasound. With parental consent, CPR was stopped and he was left on the ventilator while continuing to receive IV saline. 20 minutes later, with IV fluids, he regained his pulse. He was transferred to a Level III NICU to get the head cooling protocol for babies that experience a brain injury. He was diagnosed with hypernatremic dehydration and cardiac arrest from hypovolemic shock.
I still have many, many days of guilt and questions – what if I would’ve just given him a bottle? And anger because how would I have known. I trusted my health care professionals to protect my baby from harm. I remember when Stella, my daughter was born, and she was always quiet. I kept asking the nurses what was wrong with her. They said nothing. She’s doing what she’s supposed to. Sleeping. Eating. And it was then that I realized that it wasn’t normal for a newborn to cry as much as Landon did. He was just crying out from his hunger. But I didn’t know. I should’ve known. I still struggle daily feeling as though I failed him.
Landon received a brain MRI in the hospital which confirmed brain injury consistent with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or brain injury from oxygen deprivation due to low blood pressure from dehydration and cardiac arrest. He was diagnosed with diffuse seizure activity on EEG, the consequence of severe, wide-spread brain injury. Given his poor prognosis, he was taken off life support 15 days later. The autopsy report deemed the causes of death were hypernatremic dehydration followed by cardiac arrest causing hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (diffuse brain injury).
That little boy gave me ten of the most incredible life-changing months. I’ve been humbled. Challenged. My relationships have fallen apart. Some have come back together. I’ve learned forgiveness. And the true meaning of “life is short.” I love hard – to a fault. But I couldn’t live with myself knowing his death was in vain. I’ve learned so many lessons. I’ve learned the true meaning of compassion and unconditional love. Thank you for taking the time to read this. And now I invite you to watch 200 beautiful moments in our ten months with Landon.
Happy 5th Birthday my sweet boy. I love you to the moon and back.
— Jillian Johnson
The Fed is Best Foundation is dedicated to the prevention of newborn and infant starvation from insufficient exclusive breastfeeding. We do so by studying breastfeeding stories sent by mothers and the scientific literature on breastfeeding complications that lead to infant brain injury and death. Since the beginning of our campaign almost two years ago, we have received tens of thousands of newborn and infant starvation stories leading to the complications of hyperbilirubinemia, dehydration, hypernatremia, hypoglycemia, and failure to thrive. These complications occur because the current breastfeeding guidelines have not been studied for safety, operates with little awareness of the caloric and fluid requirements of newborns nor the amount transferred to babies until complications have already occurred. “Just one bottle” can save a child from these tragedies as it is often a mother’s first clue that a child is, in fact, starving from exclusive breastfeeding.
If your baby is experiencing distress and signs and symptoms of starvation, we encourage you to advocate for your child. We encourage mothers to notify hospital administrators if they are being pressured to avoid supplementation to alleviate their child’s hunger. You have the right to feed your child and your child has the right to be fed. No one but your baby knows how close they are to empty. The only way they can communicate distress is by crying. Listen to your baby and listen to your instincts.
Our message is simple. Feed your baby. Feed them as much as they need to stay safe and satisfied.
How to supplement your baby until your milk comes in:
How To Prepare For Supplementing When Breastfeeding Your Baby In The Hospital
Jillian Johnson: My Message To Parents During World Breastfeeding Week-Just One Bottle
The Loss Of Our Son Has Devastated Our Family – This Time I Will Be Supplementing With Formula After Every Nursing session
My Baby Suffered And Almost Died–Why Are The Risks Of Exclusive Breastfeeding Not Taught To Mothers?
Just One Bottle Would Have Prevented My Baby’s Permanent Brain Damage from Hypoglycemia
Feeding Your Baby—When Supplementing Saves Breastfeeding and Saves Lives
U.S. Study Shows Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Does Not Work
NICU Nurse Discloses Newborn Admission Rates From Breastfeeding Complications in BFHI Unit
Nurses Are Speaking Out About The Dangers Of The Baby-Friendly Health Initiative
The Loss Of Our Son Has Devastated Our Family – This Time I Will Be Supplementing With Formula After Every Nursing session
Dr. Nicole King Warns About Dangers of Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative at USDA Dietary Guidelines Meeting
Hospital Drops Baby-Friendly Program After Doctor’s Baby Was Harmed
WHO 2017 Revised Guidelines Provide No Evidence to Justify Exclusive Breastfeeding Rule While Evidence Supports Supplemented Breastfeeding
Letter to Doctors and Parents About the Dangers of Insufficient Exclusive Breastfeeding
Two Physicians Describe How Their Baby-Friendly Hospital Put Their Newborn in Danger
Fed is Best Statement to the USDA Regarding the Harms of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative
Italian Doctor Talks About Her Daughter Starving In A Baby-Friendly Hospital And Clinic Under The Care Of IBCLCs
Nurses Quit Because Of Horrific Experiences Working In Baby-Friendly Hospitals
Nurses Are Speaking Out About The Dangers Of The Baby-Friendly Health Initiative
“Is Baby-Friendly Safe?”: BFHI Safety Issues Discussed at National Neonatology Conference
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN THE FED IS BEST FOUNDATION!
Our mission statement is:
The Fed Is Best Foundation works to identify critical gaps in the current breastfeeding protocols, guidelines, and education programs and provides 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.
Above all, we strive to eliminate infant feeding shaming and eliminate preventable hospitalizations for insufficient feeding complications while prioritizing perinatal mental health.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT FED IS BEST
There are many ways you can support the mission of the Fed is Best Foundation. Please consider contributing in the following ways:
- Join us in any of the Fed is Best volunteer and advocacy, groups. Click here to join our health care professionals group. We have: FIBF Advocacy Group, Research Group, Volunteer Group, Editing Group, Social Media Group, Legal Group, Marketing Group, Perinatal Mental Health Advocacy Group, Private Infant Feeding Support Group, Global Advocacy Group, and Fundraising Group. Please send an email to Jody@fedisbest.org if you are interested in joining any of our volunteer groups.
- If you need infant feeding support, we have a private support group– Join us here.
- If you or your baby were harmed from complications of insufficient breastfeeding please send a message to email@example.com
- Make a donation to the Fed is Best Foundation. We are using funds from donations to cover the cost of our website, our social media ads, our printing and mailing costs to reach health providers and hospitals. We do not accept donations from breast- or formula-feeding companies and 100% of your donations go toward these operational costs. All the work of the Foundation is achieved via the pro bono and volunteer work of its supporters.
- Sign our petition! Help us reach our policymakers, and drive change at a global level. Help us stand up for the lives of millions of infants who deserve a fighting chance. Sign the Fed is Best Petition at Change.org today, and share it with others.
- Share the stories and the message of the Fed is Best Foundation through word-of-mouth, by posting on your social media page and by sending our FREE infant feeding educational resources to expectant moms that you know. Share the Fed is Best campaign letter with everyone you know.
- Write a letter to your health providers and hospitals about the Fed is Best Foundation. Write to them about feeding complications your child may have experienced.
- Print out our letter to obstetric providers and mail them to your local obstetricians, midwives, family practitioners who provide obstetric care and hospitals.
- Write your local elected officials about what is happening to newborn babies in hospitals and ask for the legal protection of newborn babies from underfeeding and of mother’s rights to honest informed consent on the risks of insufficient feeding of breastfed babies.
- Send us your stories. Share with us your successes, your struggles and everything in between. Every story saves another child from experiencing the same and teaches another mom how to safely feed her baby. Every voice contributes to change.
- Send us messages of support. We work every single day to make infant feeding safe and supportive of every mother and child. Your messages of support keep us all going.
- Shop at Amazon Smile and Amazon donates to Fed Is Best Foundation.
Or simply send us a message to find out how you can help make a difference with new ideas!
For any urgent messages or questions about infant feeding, please do not leave a message on this page as it will not get to us immediately. Instead, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you!
For more information on how to protect your baby from feeding complications due to early exclusive breastfeeding, please read and download the Fed is Best Feeding Plan, a way to communicate your feeding choices to your health care providers.
In addition, please read and download the Fed is Best Weighing Protocol to prevent newborn dehydration and failure to thrive.
Lastly, for more detailed information, please watch our educational videos on Preventing Feeding Complications.
Our full list of parent resources can be found on our Resource Page.
If you wish to help parents learn how to protect their newborns from accidental starvation, please share this story and sign our petition to demand that the CDC, the AAP, the U.S. Surgeon General and the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative warn parents about the dangers of newborn and infant starvation from insufficient exclusive breastfeeding. Go to https://fedisbest.org/sign-our-petition/.
Please consider making a donation to the Fed is Best Foundation to support its mission of providing safe infant feeding education and support and raise awareness on the harms of insufficient infant feeding.
We believe all babies deserve to be protected from hunger and thirst every single day of their life and we believe that education on Safe Infant Feeding should be free. If you would like to make a donation to support the Fed is Best Foundation’s mission to teach every parent Safe Infant Feeding, please consider making a one-time or recurring donation to our organization.Donate to Fed is Best
Thank you so much from the Founders of the Fed is Best Foundation!
536 thoughts on “If I Had Given Him Just One Bottle, He Would Still Be Alive.”
Thank you so much for sharing. Thank you, thank you, thank you ❤❤❤
Jillian, I am so sorry for your loss! I know this is a loss from which you may never recover. Please don’t live with guilt! As new mothers, we only do as well by our precious babies as the advice we get, via books, drs, nurses, etc. when my first was born I certainly didn’t know everything I should! I pray that you won’t live with blaming yourself. You did the best you could for your sweet boy. God bless you and your family. ??????
Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry for your loss. I had trouble making enough milk for my son. The lactation consultant had my doctor give me a prescription for reglan, which boosted milk production, but only while I was on it. When the script ran out, my OB office hassled me and refused to refill it and my PCP kept referring me back to OB for script. I was only making about 6 oz of milk daily pumping. I ended up having to supplement or my son’s story would have been similar. I felt like such a failure. There definitely needs to be more discussion regarding this issue.
Wow. How sad. Seems like these medical professionals were a little ametur. My girl was weighed before and after feeding, to see how much she ate. I hope this story raises awareness to speak up when you feel something is wrong. Mom knows best.
I’m so blessed that you have shared this story, I could only imagine how hard it must be to do so. I’m currently 24 weeks pregnant with my first child.. a little girl. I’m beyond anxious, as well as my husband is. We couldn’t be more excited for our new journey, but we’re young.. this is our first and just like many people we have so much to learn. I was diagnosed with PCOS in high school, it’s been such a roller coaster ride of an experience with this syndrome, but God has blessed us with so much in life. I’m thankful you shared your story because I plan to breastfeed but I had no clue that I could have a problem producing, so again thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so very sorry about your loss, may God bless you and your family.
From: An anxious first time expecting mother.
Thank you for sharing your story. My heart breaks for you as Im reading this. ♡
Thank you for sharing, my daughter was the same at 2 days old as she had an undiagnosed tongue tie which meant she couldn’t feed. She cried loads when she was tiny. She lost about 12% of her birth weight. I got nipple shields which did help. But I gave in and did bottle feed.
I then got told “that’s a shame” by the midwife. I think you’re made to feel you’ve failed whatever you do if you don’t do it exactly how the book says.
Nothing wrong giving your baby a bottle if your milk haven’t come in yet!! When my baby was born the nurse told me the colostrum would be enough til my milk comes in and no need to give her a bottle as it will confuse her. That night we were discharge and she was crying every time I put her down n she was on my breast feeding constantly. Finally I chatted w my sister in law who just had a baby couple months before me and reminded me my baby is probably hungry cause my milk haven’t come in yet n to hurry and give her a bottle. So I quickly give her a bottle and sure enough she gobbled it all down n fell asleep!! Thank goodness I did that!! Now I always tell my friends who are pregnant to give their baby a bottle if their milk haven’t come in yet n not to worry about about confusing the baby between the breast and the bottle and to go w their instinct and not by what the doctor and nurses tells you because they are not always right!
Thank you for sharing! I’ve been a big breast feeding advocate. My first was a breeze after initial hurdles and I bf her to 16 mos. My second brought me back to reality. I could only make it 5 mos with her. She fought every time I tried to Latch her. She was eating, gaining weight. Just difficult. With her, I started to understand more about some of the struggles women gave with it. I still believed that women who bottle fed while in the hospital was because the mother didn’t even try and it saddened me. Thank you for opening my eyes. Dr’s and Nurses don’t get it right all the time and things like this can and do happen. I’m so work for your loss.
First of all my brave girl may I say how much I admire your courage in sharing your incredibly sad story. Your little boy is beautiful and you did everything for him that you thought was right at the time. The medical staff involved in the care of you and your new baby have a lot to answer for. You were not given the correct care and advice that we expect from the professionals when we put ourselves in their hands.Take care of yourself and your family my dear, and don’t ever feel that what happened was all your fault. ????
Wow Jillian my deepest condolences to you and your family. Baby Landon was absolutely beautiful and I pray you get the strength to move on. This is so hard for me and I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Thank you for sharing the experience. I’m soon to be a new mom and can’t be more grateful to have stumbled upon your experience. Thank you for the eye opener. God bless you always
I am so sorry for your loss and your story is beautiful. I am also very sorry that your hospital and nursing staff are clearly incompetent!
Thankyou for sharing this emotional roller coaster how sorry I feel that this should not have happened but the fact that you have the courage to share for the benefits of others is humbling.
All midwives community nurses and students need to have this awareness included in their training. So very sorry and we’ll done for raising awareness Margaret in Cheshire ?
Your story just breaks my heart.!I have been an OB /labor RN for 41 years . Do I support breast feeding? Of course I do! I breast fed both my kids for a year,and it IS the perfect food for babies hands down. But I think we have swung the pendulum a little too far sometimes…. in that those mother-babies who have difficulties at first,(there are MANY who do.. trust me on that).. are made to feel tremendous guilt and failure at the hands of some of the so called “experts” ( I call them breast feeding Nazis! …shhh!!) PLEASE this is YOUR baby.. trust your gut! If the baby nurses well and is still screaming/frantic…PLEASE insist on a small amount of formula supplementation. Contrary to what some may tell you or infer…it will NOT cause any permanent damage to your bonding or lactation to supplement a little formula at the beginning , before your child is in jeopardy. Again Jill, I am so sorry you had to endure such an awful,preventable loss .May God bless and comfort you.
You did not fail your beautiful baby boy. The nurses and doctors failed you. You trusted them, as we all would. It is not your fault for trusting the experts. xo
Thank you so much for sharing your story. May God bless and keep your family. I thought I was the only one who had a bad experience at a “baby friendly” hospital. I had my oldest and youngest boys at the same hospital, 6 years a part. Both experiences were completely different. The second time around I was told that the hospital had become baby friendly and I quickly learned that baby friendly is certainly not mom friendly. I was so upset by the way they treated me, including scolding me for wanting to use a pacifier and telling me I didn’t need formula when I asked for it. They said that if I loved and was committed to my baby and was just patient, I would produce enough milk to feed my son. My son “cluster fed” on day 2 all night and day. We were both miserable and beyond crying when we left the hospital. As soon as I got home, my mother made a bottle for my son using formula a friend had given me, after I passed out on the couch. My son and I both slept for the first time in days. And, when he woke up, he nursed just fine. I ended up lodging a formal complaint against the hospital because they made me feel like a failure for just trying to find the best way to feed my baby. Thank you for sharing your story. My prayer and hope is that sweet Landon and your family help to teach, reach and change things. You will continue to be in my prayers.
Wow, Kaymac..thank you for sharing your story as well. I have never heard of a “baby friendly” hospital. May I know what state, if not the name of the particular hospital it is? I am in Texas.
I am so sorry you had to go through the shock of change, my patients have this over and over. I was an avid breastfeeder and I am still a neonatal nurse. This has been forced on us. Please cry out for change. We are not a third world country and there must be balance! Why is the WHO allowed to do this? The nurses and pediatricians are being forced to do this. Fight the fight please
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am beyond saddened and I know it is easy for us others to say, but please don’t blame yourself. My heart goes out to you and your family and thanks again for sharing about your wonderful Landon.
I wish I could release you from any feelings of guilt. Thank you for sharing and your Landon was one handsome baby.
My brother and his wife were similarly confused with their newborn this past summer. By luck they got to the hospital in time and after reheydration, testing, monitoring a few days, my nephew was released and is thriving. I wish Landon and those who love him could have been as fortunate.
I will always believe FED is BEST…and we need to do a better job educating first-time parents, especially, about WHY it is.
I call Leleche League a cult. They pressured me to NOT give supplements with my first child so much that I was almost reported to Child Protective because my son was losing weight instead of gaining weight. I did not have Polyovarian but I was a first time nervous mom and regardless of the reason, a baby should not starve at the risk of of giving breast feeding a bad name.
I went on to have 3 more kids and I nursed them all but I did supplement the 1st three and have no regrets except I got caught up in a cult.
I agree. After a difficult labor and an emergency C-section during which I lost a lot of blood, I was still pressured to breastfeed. Being an older mom (39), I had already decided I did not really want to breastfeed because I needed help from my husband and other family members and did not mind starting with formula. My daughter also had trouble latching on and I just gave her formula from the start. The breast feeding specialist kept coming into my room for days and multiple times – too many times until it became intrusive – and I finally had to give her a piece of my mind. It is terrible and unethical to make a first time Mom feel guilty for not breastfeeding. Always trust your gut, my dear moms.
thank you for sharing sorry for your loss
i feel that the hospital and its staff could be held accountable they should have assisted fed him (bottle/formula)
I fully agree!
Such a sad and beautiful story! I am so sorry that Landon is no longer here with you. Prayers that you will have comfort and peace and find joy again through this.
Thank you so much for sharing!
You are NOT to blame. You did all that you could given the information you had at the time …that is a most difficult reality in life. Your pain and love for your son pours from these words and I am so deeply sorry for such loss. May your sharing of this story bring you some peace and purpose tht gives you strength to carry on … until onenday when Landon is your arms again.
So sorry for your loss. My son is 9 yrs old today but when I took him home I didn’t know that he wasn’t getting any milk from me. He was always sleeping and when he wasn’t he was eating, but not. I called the health nurse a couple of times out of concern and when she finally came she told me he needs a bottle right now. He was starving. I was a mess. My sister had to rush over with milk for him. It has taken years to be able to talk about without crying. I was so angry. The pressure that was put on me to breastfeed was probably the actual reason I didn’t produce any milk..stress… so bless you and your family.
I am so sorry your son and your family went through this. It really hit home with me as my daughter had lost over 10 percent of her weight in the hospital in the first day due to me not producing. Even her being my second child I wonder if I would have known or questioned if the hospital staff would have been like the staff at this hospital. My daughter could have easily been your son. I hope you sued this hospital until they had to close their doors. It is 100 percent their fault your baby is gone and it is deplorable. I hope they are never able to hurt anyone’s child again. Thank you for sharing and if anyone judges you for your story they are heartless because this could happen to anyone.
Go to nursing school and be a maternity nurse than say a hospital should be sued until they close its doors .
This horrible tragedy was due to many varriables –
Non of them were due to the mother
However , not solely the hospital , doctors or nursing staff .
Thank you for sharing. ❤
I am so sorry to read your story. It is such a heart wrenching experience and something that is preventable. This was almost our complete story. The second day relentless crying, cluster feeding etc I asked midwives constantly and was always answered in the same way (almost demeaning), that babies do this and keep trying. Thank god one midwife hours later finally took me seriously and did a glucose test, where nothing registered. My baby was rushed to special care, put on a glucose drip and thank god I insisted on formula being given. He survived. We have developmental delays as a result but my boy is alive! In the months that have followed, I too wish I could go back and whisper in my ear (first time mum unsure of everything) to push harder and just give him formula. I would also to go back and give myself strength to deal with the very rude and unempathetic nurses I encountered in special care who’s words still traumatize me to this day.
Thank you for sharing your story in hopes to save others. Hopefully others will read this and learn about what you went through so they can try and prevent it from happening. You are so strong and did what you thought was best and loved him. How would anyone know as a first time mom. It’s hard to know what’s wrong when they cry and you did your best. Your so very brave for sharing this. Thank you and so sorry for your loss.
Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. I am so sorry for your loss.
The pressure to exclusively breast feed is enormous and I too experienced this as a first time mum after the emergency Caesarean section birth of my daughter 14 years ago.
The private hospital was extremely pro exclusive breast feeding and the expectation and consequent despair I felt at not succeeding was simply awful.
I remember expressing milk from both breasts simultaneously using a pump and blood being mixed in with the little milk I managed to produce. At one point a nurse literally slipped me a breast guard on the quiet to try and alleviate my cracked and split nipples in an attempt to help me but to no avail. My baby simply couldn’t attach properly and get enough milk. I remember the pain and distress and tears I went through at not being able to feed her the way I was supposed to… and the overwhelming guilt. It took away from the joy of my baby.
I went from the hospital after discharge to a breast feeding clinic and tried all day to get it right, with little success.
It was later that night at 1pm, after my own mother handed me a warmed bottle that I finally gave in and feeling a failure, I bottle fed her. She hoed into it and fell asleep in my arms… we were both relieved and never looked back.
Reading your story reminded me of this distressing experience and the desperation I felt at the time and of how wrong I still feel the hospital was to send this message to mothers. I even later found out they had been “topping her up” in the nursery without my knowledge with… formula!
I applaud you for your bravery in standing up through what must be extremely difficult memories to help the plight of others. May God bless you and your family. xo
Its so sad I’m so sorry for you and your family and little Landon poor little lad had to go through that he at peace now in a nicer place now you precious mum you need to find peace too and rember you did everything you could have you were a new mum and medicated and you relied on the so called professionals my heart breaks for you and your family and if anyone says anything bad to you about this just remove them from your life because you have nothing to feel guilty about if taking care of Landon is you guilty then I guess every mother in the world is guilty just rember one thing Little Landon does not want to be looking down at his precious mum miserable and feeling guilty he wants to look down and see you happy and hopefully enjoying his little brother or sister you might have in the future that will make so I hope you heal good luck take care From Irish
Thanks for sharing! My son would’ve been 5 this year too. It is a big milestone we are missing. My son passed when we removed life support at 6 days old. A much different circumstance but similar. Yes. Life is so short. Im forever a different person. Hugs Mama.
Elizabeth, can we discuss with you your son’s case?
Thanks for sharing! So sorry for your loss! In loving memory, on his 5th birthday, I will watch your video.
Oh, my dear. I was so moved with compassion reading your honest article. Thank you for your transparency. He did not die in vain. You are not to blame.
Thank you for sharing your story. I never knew newborns weren’t meant to cry. I will share your story with every person I can. You are so brave.
Thank you for sharing. You are so brave Momma. My hearts for you and your loss. ?
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I promise you that you are not alone in this guilt. After 2 days of my daughter being home she constantly wanted to feed and cried as if she was starving. My breast pump had not come in and I had no idea my breast were clogged. She wasn’t getting any milk. At 1 am in the morning, I finally told my husband, I don’t think she is getting milk, she can’t be this hungry all the time. We happen to have Similac that was sent to us, so we tried it. Our baby girl tool that bottle quicker than I could finish my thoughts. After that I said, breastfeeding is great but bring fed is way more important. I am so sorry for your loss and there are not words to say to make you feel complete again. But know sharing your story has helped someone… I promise that. God bless you and your family. May God heal your heart and may you not feel shame for this. It is an honest mistake and more need to learn from your pain.
Thanks for sharing. I kept trying to breastfeed my son, not realizing he was unable to extract milk. I was encouraged by hospital lac consultants. I didn’t understand his cries and lethargy were from starving. I was resistant to formula, but luckily I was encouraged to pump & give bottles. I feel very fortunate that I did not have the outcome of the mom in this heartbreaking story.
My heart my soul my love with you . May you find peace and one day when your destiny will call you you will meet and you will get the biggest hug you needed souvh and the forgiveness you were looking on this earth . I love you and send you lots of hugs
ABSOLUTELY HEARTBREAKING. My baby had tons of trouble latching at the hospital. She lost %11 of her weight by the time we went home 3 days later. I was a nervous wreck!! I was so afraid she was going to die. I had so much anxiety. I was pumping all the time and would syringe the colostrum in her mouth. She did receive one bottle at delivery for low blood sugar. That one bottle may have saved her life. It wasn’t until the 4th day I got a better lactation consultant who would weigh her before a feeding and after. This is how we could tell how much she was getting. This finally made me relax that she was getting what she needed. So, the pedi had also said babies live off virtually nothing the first few days. I do remember her crying all the time and being so disturbed by her cry. I interpreted it as pain from hunger. This story actually confirms alot of my gut fears were solid and not just postpartum blues. I would wake at night trembling. This poor woman lost her baby right when I could have. I don’t understand why it went ok for me. Perhaps because my baby is a female and could survive differently, or perhaps it was the one bottle. I had so many different suggestions from so many lactation consultants etc that my head was spinning. I feel so bad for this woman because we have so much info out now that we have to filter and take in. I do believe that this woman didn’t have fear because God had sent her an angel to calm her. Her baby was not meant to live very long and she was spiritually being prepared with Gods peace. She didn’t know his crying was a dying cry. I am not sure anyone would know. No one else in the medical staff caught on either. This is unusual. I truly believe this as a comfort because it could have happened just like this to my baby. I hope she can find comfort that other babies have made it through that horrible struggle. Everyone of us is going to die. I am so glad she found a way to work through this and share the love she felt in a short time. Pediatritians do try to come up with protocols to catch babies in trouble. It truly breaks my heart this little guy’s sickness wasn’t caught. It’s standard to check glucose, bilirubin etc. They did on mine. I’m guessing it’s because she wasn’t latching well so more eyes were on her. Plus, I was gestational diabetic. So many red flags were in place for my baby and this poor woman and baby didn’t seem to have any. I know he had a low sodium level but what was his glucose? It’s so hard to figure out what practice can be put into place to prevent this. I could talk so much more but I want you to know this story made an impact on me and how I will help woman and babies in my job as a labor and delivery nurse. Thank you for sharing. God wanted you to get this story full of messages of his love out.
Oh my goodness! My jaw is still on the floor from reading this!
Honey, God bless you and your family and thank you for sharing this with others. I couldn’t imagine.
Pray and you don’t have to be strong at the moments you feel that you just can’t.
First off let me say with all due respect there were many, many warning signs and this completely discust me!! I am so sorry for your loss you shouldn’t even have had to endure this! Being a new mother it definitely was not your fault! On another note, I say this with all seriousnes, “Where is the lawsuit?”. I’m not trying to be funny this is clearly bad malpractice from all physicians and RN’s on that staff. I recommend you take legal advice and push it as far as you can if you haven’t already! Again, I am sorry for your loss this is tragic at best and I would hold them accountable. Every bit. These people do not need to be delivering children.!!!!!!!!!! Please do seek legal help I believe someone would help you. There shouldn’t be any reason for the ignorance of such kind. And I’d like to know your location!?
So sorry for your loss. I just can’t imagine….
I believe if it’s your true goal to breastfeed, all for it.. I did it for a year and a half on a metabolic special needs baby. I believe it’s a very very safe option to follow up a bottle of supplement after being on breast. Especially during the first few days of life, as milk comes in.. reasons.. this article, dehydration following into cardiac arrest. My own personal experience has to do with my daughters metabolic disease and hospital refused supplement formula after birth.I was grateful however when she was admitted at 3 days old for hypoglycemia with a sugar level of 40 the hospitals peds unit provided d10(sugar basically) and for that .. it ismy savior. It’s a tad different than this story but let me continue..While I was In the hospital I did this thing called triple feeds. I would put her on breast, follow up with formula with the help of someone feeding her, and then pump. I eventually went to pumped milk fed, breast, formula and pumped.. then the cycle over and over for 24hrs. It was exhausting but it maintained my milk while I supplemented and kept her alive. The details are different from this healthy born baby in article, and maybe my journey in the beginning was hardcore. But bottom line is that it saved her life. However even a healthy baby could die from similar situation such as dehydration. My story was due to baby sleeping too much, not eating and the disease causing her to go into hypoglycemia from no sugar intake. It’s called mcadd if your curious. Super rare. But we didn’t know till new born screening came back 3days after birth and that’s when we were hospitalized. The staffs intuitions were not there. And like this mom in the article. If I could have just given her one bottle I would have avoided the hospital and her shock/crisis. My baby survived but it has been a rough battle during the baby months exclusively breastfeeding a metabolic special needs baby. This baby however had no disease.. completely healthy.. but still passed away from lack of supplement being offered. I have so much pain for her losing her baby over something so simple. Breastfeeding is amazing but let’s break the mold of it being the best and the only option.. formula saves lives as well and some may not see the true benefits of it long term.. that’s their oppinion. But from a medical necessity.. it is great. It’s kinda like insurance for your tatas (supplement for first week). I don’t understand why it’s not even offered as a supplement in most hospitals.
Thank you for sharing your story.. I’m pregnant now with my 4th child but haven’t had a newborn in 14 yrs so it’s almost like starting new even though I did breastfeed my twins I am very concerned to do it now since I am older and may not produce as much milk. This has definitely made me aware of what can happen. Thank you and I’m so sorry for the loss of Landon.. he will always be with you ❤❤
I’m so sorry for your loss. After my C section, my daughter kept losing weight and crying uncontrollably as well. Nurse Gretchen from Loma Linda begged me to feed my newborn a bottle and I declined. Finally, before Gretchen’s shift was over she pleaded with me to bottle feed her with a tube taped to my finger. She insisted that she wouldn’t be able to sleep that night unless I tried (she knew my daughter was hungry) but I didn’t believe her. I finally gave in and my daughter drank up the whole 2 ounces. She stopped crying and slept for the next 4 hrs. If it wasn’t for a PUSHY nurse begging me to bottle feed, I probably would’ve lost my daughter. This was not your fault, the nurses should’ve kept him at the hospital until he gained weight. Thank you for sharing your story. ?
This story is so tragic. I seriously suspect that your baby may have had an underlying fatty acid oxidation disorder such as MCAD Deficiency. With too few carbohydrates in the body they run out of enough energy to sustain life as their bodies cannot use their fats as a source of energy, thus resulting in rapid deterioration and sudden death. Was your baby ever tested for anything like that in his autopsy? We have a child with MCAD and are so thankful she was diagnosed before something tragic happened. What you described about your baby in this blog are the clinical signs of what happens if a newborn with a disorder like MCAD Deficiency does not get enough calories frequently enough. Read about this particular disorder here:
I truly empathize and grieve your loss. I can’t imagine that pain.
My heart goes out to you. I would think a law suit is in order. This was NOT YOUR FAULT! Most medical people know what they are doing, so why would you do anything unless they told you? I didn’t nurse my babies. I was afraid with the first one, and the second, they wouldn’t allow me to, because I’d had a spot of blood come out of one a yr or so before. They both did fine with only the bottle. My older son is 6’4″ tall, 46 yrs old and very active playing sports with his children. None of his four were breast fed either. A mother should always have the choice to bottle or breast feed. That was wrong. GOD Bless you. You have my deepest sympathies for your loss.??
I am so sorry for your loss. You are a good mother and I pray you feel that and someday, you can feel better about what happened to your baby boy. He knows you loved him and he does not blame you! I had my baby in 2015 and didn’t know what to expect. C-section as well and when they brought her to me to start feeding, it was so weird!! I am large chested, so honestly, breastfeeding was never really enjoyable for me. I tried the best I could, had great help from my nurses, but while in hospital, she just wouldn’t gain much weight. I was asked about giving her a bit of formula, to tide her over and maybe help her (and us) sleep. Now, I am not an expert. I believe in naturopathy and Chinese medicine, I was terrified my milk wouldn’t come in and I really did not want to give my baby formula. But seeing her not eating and being around nurses, some of whom were also mothers, I agreed whole-heartedly to give her some formula. The nurses even had to be sneaky about it because the pediatrician would be mad! We gave her 3 maybe 4 small helpings of formula and she seemed better. When we met with the pediatrician for the “go home checkup” she made a snide comment about the formula and I was so ready to be out of there!!! We live an hour from doctors and stores, so we bought some formula on our way home in case my milk went away or our baby wasn’t eating enough. We prepared ourselves, despite what the “doctors” said. Our baby was only breastfed after that, and only until 11 months. We were going on a trip, baby-less, and I wanted to make sure she took a bottle well before we left. She took so well to milk (goat milk for her, I don’t have a good relationship with dairy and wasn’t about to pass it onto my baby!) and we went away not worrying if she was eating or not. I don’t share all this to brag or make you feel bad. I too was told NO formula, even with a baby who had lost “too much weight” after birth….I agree, breast is best, but what people who coined the phrase don’t realize it not all breasts cooperate with the need for the darn milk!!! I understand some mothers feel bad or not good enough if their milk doesn’t come in. I just wish it was understood more and people would mind their own damn business. Whem my husband was a baby, in the late 70s, his mother was not told ANYTHING about breastfeeding, his mom had no idea. When my friend had a baby 20 years ago, she wasnt told then, either. Again, you did everything you could, with all the love you had. Thank you for sharing this story, I cried and smiled, he was a cute baby and again, very loved. Never doubt yourself and please know that you did your best. You kept feeding him, you called 911 and he knows that he was well loved.
Your story has really touched me and I am so sorry for your loss… you werent to know what would happen to Landon and only wanted what was best for him.
I cannot imagine what you have been through.
It is easy to look back in hindsight but do not blame yourself.
Thinking of you and your family xxx
I read you’re story and the video is beautiful and so is Landon ❤ my eyes filled with tears my heart breaks for you and Landon’s daddy. new moms do need to be maid aware ! Fed is best !
I’m so very sorry for your loss, Jillian. Thank you for sharing your story, I know it was hard, but I know that you will likely help other moms avoid the grief you are feeling. Thank you for sharing these sweet memories of your darling Landon. He will never, ever be forgotten.
I am so sorry for your loss. What a heartbreaking story. I’m so glad you have the courage to share your story with others so that this doesn’t happen anyone. I think back to when I had my children and I would’ve never known either. Prayers and love for your family
This is so saddening . For a new mum to take in . And i think the hospital were at fault . They should of explained to mum n dad the dangers . I remember when i had my first baby . I was so naive i didnt know wot to du . But with help from my mum i got through it all . Hospitals should take proper care and make sure baby is taking food in b4 letting go home .
I am so glad I read this. I always think I did something wrong because my newborn was crying nonstop the night she was born and I knew I didn’t have any milk yet. The hospital told me that I didn’t need to supplement because my milk would eventually come in. I felt so bad for her tho because she just wasn’t getting anything at all. Finally the next day my husband said we wouldn’t let this go on any longer and that we needed to get some supplements. I’m so glad he did because she was so happy after that. My milk never fully came in so even after I nursed her I always had to supplement. Then around 6 weeks I had no milk really so she went on a bottle full time. Looking back, I’m glad I did what I did, but still wonder if things would be different had we not stood up to them and demanded supplements.
I was an OB nurse for 40 yrs and this is just a tragic example of
“the lactation police”. Not every mother wants to or can breast feed.This is her .baby and her choice. Women, this is your decision. Sometime it’s better to give a bottle instead of having a miserable guilty mother who sometimes thinks to herself “Why did I have this baby? It’s too bad that not one staff member advocated for that mom and baby.!~Sometimes I wonder if members of the medical profession lose all common sense when they start practicing (not just physicians but especially nurses One of the nurses’ most important jobs is to advocate for your patients. If you are afraid to confront a physician, go to your manager.
Thank you for your reply. I could have been this mother. My son had trouble latching properly because he was a little early. I didn’t even know about the polycystic ovary syndrome causing low milk production, but my milk never came in properly either. My son lost 14 ounces because I didn’t realize that he wasn’t nursing properly. Like the story above I was made to feel that if he was producing diapers he was fine. I finally had one nurse come into my room to check how he was sucking and she informed me that he was suckling properly. After that I pumped what I could and I supplimented with formula. I had a lactation specialist make me feel as if I was doing something wrong but my baby was not doing well. He was also starting to become jaundiced. Had it not been for the one nurse who cared enough to check my son may have had a more tragic fate.
I could have been this mother, too, and this story brings back such terror. Here’s our story (written on Facebook when I shared this story):
“…the best advice I was given by one of his NICU doctors while he was on life support is sure breast is best, but follow with the bottle.
This way you know your baby has eaten enough….if only I could go back in time.”
Reading this article was terrifying about what could have been.
Because this is very near our story.
G had a good first day, but by the second day he was crying and nursing constantly. I asked questions; I told the nurses he seemed hungry all the time; I even got a nurse late into the night because I was concerned he wasn’t getting anything. She had me pump and looked at the colostrum I produced and said it looked like enough; we bottle fed what I pumped so it wasn’t wasted. I was given the same answers this mother was: he was just cluster feeding. His diaper output and his weight loss all fit the norm.
We were sent home the third day. G cried all night that night. I noticed his lips were chapped and I asked my sister and sister-in-law, who is a nurse, if I should be concerned. They both thought it was probably just new baby skin adjusting to the world. By noon of the next day he hadn’t had any wet diapers; we called his pediatrician. She sent us right to the hospital and to a lactation consultant.
He had lost 14% of his birth weight and the lactation consultant said if we hadn’t brought him in when we did we would have had a lethargic baby very soon. The chapped lips were a sign of dehydration. She was extremely concerned.
Our baby was starving.
We immediately put him on formula. We did syringe feeding to aid later breastfeeding. But it took a full week for my milk to come in, and even then, it came in slowly. Without formula, G would be dead.
We continued to supplement with formula any time he finished nursing and still seemed hungry. We weren’t taking any chances.
We weren’t in a “baby friendly” hospital, meaning they weren’t opposed to bottle feeding if it were necessary or desired by the mother.
In fact, the morning following my hemorrhage, as I was surrounded by medical personnel trying to get my blood pressure up, the nurse asked if I wanted to try to nurse him while they were working or if we wanted to give him a bottle. My husband opted to give him a bottle. Admittedly, I was worried about it interfering with breastfeeding, as the books and the experts say will happen, but I wasn’t in a good position to object. I remember watching Philip feed him while nurses surrounded me. Now I wonder if we weren’t very, very lucky we opted for that bottle. It got some food in his belly. It was probably the reason his first day was good and he didn’t begin the continuous crying and feeding until day 2.
The worst part is that I KNEW. But, like the first-time mother in this story, I was told everything was normal and to be expected. I’ve dealt with some anger that the medical personnel didn’t put the pieces together: I had a c-section followed by a hemorrhage. I was a great risk for low milk production. It would have been nice to receive the advice given above and been told it was okay and it wasn’t going to hurt my baby. It is being told it can interfere with latch – that it can make the baby lazy and not want to nurse – that makes mothers afraid to give bottles.
I still see posts from people who are militant about exclusive breastfeeding and make statements that use judgmental language about those who don’t. I’m sure they think they are doing the right thing, but those statements don’t help.
If you think your baby isn’t getting enough to eat, give him a bottle. It’s better than starvation.
Thank you. As a childcare provider who works with new mom’s a lot, I see many of them struggle with what to do. I tell them if they can, and want to, by all means breastfeed. But…to remember the 2 main purposes of feeding your child. First, obviously, is to nourish the child. Second, is to bond with the child. Both of these objectives can be met with bottle feeding, as well as breastfeeding feeding. I was not physically able to breastfeed (I tried with the first, but at 6 weeks of age he had not regained his birth weight). He cried all the time. Thank goodness I had enough milk that he lived. He was a much more content child after I started bottle feeding. Today he is nearly 35 and extremely intelligent! His brother is almost 34, and he, too, turned out just fine!
Thank you for sharing this story. When my older 2 children were born I was encouraged to breastfeed and so I did. When my son was born in 08 he had complications latching so we struggled with that and the nurses have him formula. Fast forward to Aug 31, 2016 when my youngest was born. I wanted so bad to breastfeed. My son was having trouble latching due to upper lip and tongue ties which they wouldnt fix. My milk also wouldn’t come in. He cried all the time and stayed on the breast. When the nurses checked him they said he was fine. He had dirty diapers but no wet diapers. We were discharged the very next day with still no wet diaper. By friday, my LO was crying non-stop to no prevail of the breast and only 1 wet diaper. I took him to urgent care pediatrics and voiced my concern. His bilirubin levels were high, he had only wet yet 2 diapers since Wednesday, and he was still crying non-stop. The Dr said he was dehydrated and to give him supplements until I could pump and get my milk to come in. My colostrum still had to come and hadn’t. So I was ordered to pump every hour and in between pumping to put my son on one breast while pumping so my body could use his saliva to help with production. If I hadn’t gone to the dr he wouldn’t be here today.
I am so sorry for your loss. Fed is Best in any situation as long as your baby is receiving the nutrients it needs to grow.
I am so sorry that you had to go through all this.
I am so sorry for your loss. As a Certified Lactation Educator and Mother-Baby RN, I felt your pain as I read this. I thank you for sharing, and hope that in some way, you find peace knowing you are helping others. You are a great mom…Continue to love.
As a Nicu nurse do you how many times I have had to advocate for the baby against the moms who refuse to supplement even when we have given them all the knowledge about delayed breast milk or breasts that just don’t produce milk? All of the time. I understand some places are more strict than others. I had one mom wait until the 4th after the blood sugar was low, the percent weight loss was past 10%, and the baby was one day four of screaming. I used the SMS system to deliver formula to the baby. It isn’t just the hospital refusing to educate or refusing to allow the baby to supplement, it is also the other way around, more often than not
I understand that not all hospitals and nurses are like in the above story, but “as a NICU nurse, you’d think that you’d have enough compassion for the author somewhere in your rant to at least offer her condolences. Regardless of anecdotal stories, both hers and your own, the goal of this piece is obviously to promote Fed Is Best, not to providean exposé of hospital employees. Hope off your soap box and give some sympathy.
As an ex NICU nurse I agree with you there are a percentage of mum’s (usually the ‘highly educated’) who refuse to supplement. But I feel that is because:
a) they have read all the research (bumf!) about breast is best and feel that they should follow this.
b) If they bottle feed they are made to feel a failure by the midwives.
When breast is best first came in, I spoke out against it at a number of conferences (my manager joked about midwives throwing tomatoes at me because of it). But as a NICU nurse I felt strongly for the mothers (particularly with premature babies) who felt the guilt for their child being born to soon. Then, to have midwives making them feel more guilt if they even considered supplement/bottle feeding was beyond my comprehension of caring!!!
Despite what midwives and research say, breast feeding does NOT come naturally to everyone and as research has shown it is also not necessarily the best and only way forward. I am now retired, but I am so happy to see that finally women have the support systems to allow them to use their own judgement as a mother and say ‘I am going to feed my baby the way I want to and feel is best for them and for me’.
Would you be willing to join our team Glenise?
Well done for catching that, nurse. I am so glad you were able to work on your own initiative, and deal with the seriousness of the situation. God Bless you.
I know it’s difficult but never blame yourself. This could happen to any first time mum. Similar advice was given to me when my baby was crying nonstop. I was so tired I couldn’t think straight and went along with the advice they gave. Luckily, a different midwife a couple of days later picked up on it or it could’ve been the same ending. Good on you for sharing, people are not born with the knowledge, we have to trust the people doing this everyday but with your story in the back of their mind, people will question the experts more readily.
I am so sorry for your loss. How tragic that agendas and arrogance got in the way of advocating for the most vulnerable party in the equation, the newborn child. This wasn’t your fault. You gave your trust to those whose sacred duty it was to do no harm, to encourage and guide you at perhaps the most important time in a mother’s life, and they failed you. I can’t imagine how hard it must be, and I wish you peace and renewed joy with all my heart. And you are making a real difference. When I become a mother I will not hesitate to give formula to my baby if his health is otherwise in danger. Now I know some signs to look for, and that (sadly) agenda-pushing medical staff can’t always be trusted.
I am so very sorry to hear of this outcome. I have had experience with both the breast is best philosophy and the vbac/anti c-section camps that has me very wary of all the natural and anti intervention philosophies to be honest. Nothing with the tragic outcome this case had. But harmful effects from the utterly brainwashing attitudes of the “best for baby” brigades.
With VBAC I learned that is was the “system” and dodgy drs trying to force me to have another c-section, that my first emergency c-section for pelvic insufficiency was sure to be wrongly decided, and that it was best and safest and all around the ONLY right thing to do, to push for a c-section. I did, and ultimately I had to have another c-section. Instead of it being a routine if not happy occasion, I had panic attacks during the procedure, and pnd for failing my child and my body.
Then breastfeeding, I was told with my failed vbac child I had sufficient milk, even though it was incredibly minimal. BF was long, distressing, and my child was losing weight, but apparently latch was ok and milk was ok – neither seemed ok to me, nor did my child, she was losing weight for no reason well over and above expected loss in the first few days, and they kept us in 10 days (checking for maternal competence as a reason for my child doing so poorly, and doing tests to see if there was some illness making her so poorly)only to release us with her still not stablised with a referral to a lactation consultant. consultant said all ok. we fed and fed and fed. she struggled and seemed sick and barely responsive, i was sick from the constant feeding and worry because even with pumping my supply was pathetic and my baby was still not responding to us, was not maintaining weight and was having to be woken for feeds and re-woken for every suck (I know this is opposite to whats written in the piece but I think my baby did not have the energy from food to even wake to take food, she was getting enough to survive, with weight loss, but not enough to be awake). we were both exhausted when at 2 months i downed tools and put her on the bottle. within a day she was responsive to people and a much more normal baby.. The hospital and the lactation consultant all knew I’d had a breast reduction 10 years before I had the baby. They did NOT tell me this removes the tissue that produces the fats a baby uses for fuel. My breasts had grown back bigger in them years but you can not replace the specific fat producing tissues taken during a reduction. Breast feeding was being so pushed, the fact my baby wasn’t getting what she needed was secondary to the “importance of breast”. It was in part the staffs fault (inc a paediatrician, maternity nurses and the lactation consultant) and in part my own obsessive brainwashed belief in the natural anti intervention crap. She has developmental delays and I will never know what role that first 2 months played.
These days when I hear a woman saying she wants a home birth, or anything else that is from that philosophy, my heart races. I wanted a home birth with my first child and couldnt because a severe bleed from a poorly placed placenta made us high risk. Had I tried a home birth, my first child and probably myself, would have died. Between the pelvic insufficiency and the cord round her neck that was putting her in distress by the time of the c/s.. we were screwed had I stayed home.
I get it, we all want whats best for our babies. But instead of researching based on the advice of naturalist/anti interventists philosophies. Research based on the death rates of mothers and babies during labour and death or poor outcomes for babies in the first month after birth, and how those rates have changed over the last 200 years, since 1) Hospitals, 2) milk substitutes
Same goes for immunisations. Ignore the naysayers. Send them some tin foil for their heads. Use modern medicine.
And even as for maternity wards in hospitals… I have 3 children now. 1 born in 96, 1 born in 2004 and 1 born in 2006. 3 hospital stays to have 3 babies. In terms of bottle sanitation, in 1996 you essentially had to steep the bottles in bleach (milton) to be doing the right thing, in 2004 the staff were absolute, you had to steam clean them… and in 2006 the exact opposite was true, do not bleach or steam clean the bottles, was with tap waters only. They are equally as susceptible to trends. Each time, the maternity ward staff taught the art of bottle care as if that current version was 100% absolute. Goodness knows what their advice is now. Its very hard for new mums to figure out right from wrong. But I can say the anti vbac pro breast movement went too far for sure.
Thank you for sharing your story. I was unable to breastfeed due to many medical complications and medicine and I desperately wanted to breastfeed and to this day I am so angry with the problems I had and wish I had been able to breastfeed my son. But reading your story helped me realize that I might have had a similar issue and my son would not be here had I been able to breastfeed because the women in my family have had benign cysts in glands. It never occurred to me that I would or could have a problem with that until now. The nurses should have helped you more and been willing to try other options and find or help you find solutions. God bless you. My prayers are with you.
This story touched me deeply. I admire you so much for going through such an incredibly heart-wrenching time in your life and having the courage to share it with the world and make a positive impact. Without knowing you personally, I am so unbelievably proud of you for having the courage to let other moms or future moms know about the dangers and complications associated with breastfeeding insufficiency. I hope that you can live your life in peace because you deserve to, and thank you so much for sharing this. I wish you and your family all the best in your journey. -Harmony
Yes, breast milk is best, but sometimes it just won’t happen, and then the bottle is the best thing,nature sometimes makes mistakes, I was lucky to be able to breastfeed all three of my kids, and they are now all adults but my heart breaks for you, I’m so very sorry this happened to you and your beautiful baby boy Landon……
I’m confused… I’m so so sorry for your loss. Did he pass at 10 months old?? Did the pediatrician not pick up on his weight loss/dehydration?
He passed at almost 3 weeks old. The 10 months includes that time in the womb.
I am so sorry for your loss. I believe none of this was your fault! Doctor and nurse negligence.
I am an OB nurse but have worked in the NICU for 2 years and as a mother of a child who was failure to thrive because of poor milk transfer, I am so sorry for your loss. Although many hospitals do promote Baby Friendly, it is first and foremost important that baby gets the nutrition they need whether it be from breastmilk and/or formula. Most hospitals are aware and provide education on formula feeding. Majority of mothers that do have breastmilk but not a sufficient amount supplement with formula. It is very disappointing to hear hospitals deny a baby supplemention and miss the signs of starvation.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I imagine it may have been difficult to do but truly believe it will save lives of other little babes. I shared it with others because people really need to hear this message. So sorry for your loss of beautiful little Landon.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your story tho. I’m sure it will help some mothers realize that breastfeeding is not the only way to go. Bottle feeding is fine. I bottle fed both of mine and they are very healthy adults now.
In my opinion there’s way too much pressure put on mothers to breasfeed. God bless you!
My son, my one and only could not could not latch properly due to lip and tongue ties. I was still lost from epidural and never experiencing birth before, some nurses helped some made me feel like I was complaining too much about my son crying. The Lactation nurse didn’t pick up on the short tongue and neither the 3 different doctors who visited. I cried along with my son. I remember saying to myself , his tongue was short, but there was no one to hear me. He became jaundice and I was told I needed to feed him more . Thank God to the nurse on my discharge day who gave me formula, we were able to go home on time and breast and bottle feed until I hired a private Lactation nurse 2 weeks later who referred to a surgeon to cut those ties. I’ll always remember her. I was able to exclusively breastfeed thereafter. I’m so sorry for your loss, I can only imagine how you feel, but let me tell you it’s not your fault. As you can see from the comments, many moms go through things like this especially as first time moms. Some stuff we will never be fully prepared for, we learn and do better next time. God bless!
This is so unacceptable with all the medical advances we have today and the knowledge…..I hope you sued the crap out of this hospital cause what they did was neglectful. You and your poor boy. I’m so sorry you had to go thru this.
I too have had to supplement all of my babies cause my milk wasn’t enough. I felt guilt with each one cause of this stupid breast is best stigma being pushed on women. Alive is best. Luckily I can look at my baby girl who will be 5 soon and see that formula didn’t kill her when she only breastfed for 2 weeks. She’s a perfectly healthy child. And she’s alive. That’s what matters, right?
So sorry again you had to go thru this. Blessings and prayers.
God bless you and your husband. I am so sorry for your unfortunate experience. I am very glad you have another child. May God bless you all
First, I am sorry for loss. I too had trouble producing milk (seems to be a family history) and when baby #3 came, I still had lactation consultants coming in telling me I needed to breastfeed. Thank you for speaking out and telling your story.
I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful son Brandon. You are so right that we mothers have to be the advocate for our babies whether they are newborns or fully grown adults. My daughter died at age 29 yr old leaving twin boys who were only 6 yrs old at her death. She died from sepsis complications and I am a nurse and I didn’t advocate enough for her. I live every day with the sorrow and guilt of not pushing harder at the first hospital.
I am crying as I type and my heart breaks for you and all the mothers who have lost their children to preventable issues.
You a brave mama and no one can judge you more than you have already done for something you didn’t know about.
Thank you for sharing. I know God has his plans but I don’t understand and I know I will never until I get to heaven.
You will hold your little Landon again. Hugs to you .and love for your willingness to share your heartbreaking story.
This is heartbreaking. But being a parent to 4 children, 3 of which were breastfed, I am dumbfounded by the lack of awareness that your child was not getting enough milk. Dumbfounded by the doctors and nurses that did not see it. Dumbfounded by the excuses. This seems to be a senseless loss of life by a group of people that all couldn’t see one simple problem, especially after almost 3 full days.
Thank you so much for sharing this story. I was in a similar situation, but my son was quite chubby when he was born and a wise doctor caught it when he waa 4 days old. We spent a week in the hospital, but were able to take our son home. The guilt and shame I felt was horrible. I so appreciate you helping women in know and understand that truly Fed is Best. May God bless you and your family.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Landon was beautiful. Such an important post, thank you for sharing and educating xx
Gloat much??…You seriously think this is helpful to someone carrying all that guilt?? Jeesh….
While our circumstances were different, I also had to hold my baby while he took his last breath. Not something anyone should ever have to go through!hugs xoxo
As a newly qualified midwife about to enter my own practice I am VERY grateful for your story shared with such intelligence and deep love. I will take your words into my practice and always remember your little lad. Much love and thanks to you xxx
I’m so so sorry for your loss ☹️?
I am so sorry for your loss, but thank you so much for sharing. I do not yet have children, but I hope to. I will remember the story of you and little Landon, and will be sure to question anything that doesn’t seem right. You and Landon are making a difference for other moms, dads, and babies out there. Please know that, although your beautiful baby’s life was far, far too short, he will help save countless others. Thank you, again, for your courage in sharing your story. Love and healing for you and your family.
Its not your fault, being a first time mommy Everything is new to you. I’m so so sorry for your lose I can’t even imagine how you must feel expecially around birthday and holidays my heart goes out to you an your family
I’m so sorry mama. You wonderful mama trying to do everything right. It should not be so difficult. So guilt ridden. That said…take heed all you who ‘breast is beast formula be damned’ practicing people reading this. There is not ONE right way. There are many right ways. Stop guilting mothers into thinking there is one way, so they do not starve their babies. We love your baby no matter how he or she is fed. God bless you mom.
Thank you so much posting about your experience. I’m only about 10 weeks, this is my 3rd child and I haven’t been successful with breastfeeding with my first two(8 & 6 yrs old). This time I was determined to do breastfeeding only & that’s the reason I end up reading this article. & now I feel more knowledgeable to recognize the signs that breastfeeding may not be working & knowing the risks that can cause if the child does not receive enough milk supply. I feel that you are angel sent because your story will save many other babies. God bless you & may he continues to strength you!
I’m so sad, I’m at a loss for words. So sorry for your loss! God bless you all and may Landon rest in peace. <3
Being a mom to two preemies, both who had jaundice, one with autism, the other with mental health issues, I am so glad we chose bottle after all the stress my body went through, and still goes throu, 14 hpyears later. Netsuke and the Lactose free similar were amazing for my girls.
I was a NICU nurse for 35 years. Over the years I saw many babies come in with dehydration, jaundice, etc-all the signs of problems with feeding. I had many “discussions” with lactation specialists regarding the whole subject of “baby friendly”. I am not convinced that baby friendly units are baby friendly at all. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry for your loss of baby Landon. You are very brave. Landon was very lucky to have had you for his mommy
I’m so sorry for your loss. 🙁
I just had a little one 2/10. I wanted to breastfeed so bad since I didn’t try hard enough with my first. She was born healthy with 9/9 APGAR and needed no nicu. 24 hours after trying to breastfeed I noticed she was hardly sleeping between “feedings” and we were deprived of sleep. I voiced my concern of her not getting anything and worried since she was born 37 weeks that I haven’t produced milk yet. It took nearly 4 days with my first and he was born 39 weeks. They kept pushing me to keep trying and assured that she is getting something.
I was ready to be discharged 2 days later but then the pediatrician denied hers because she had not peed much and was slightly jaundice. She went from 7lbs to 6lbs 3 oz. Made me feel aweful as my husband and I were pushing to get supplements and they wouldn’t the day before. So we had to stay another night for them to monitor her after we finally were given formula. Thankfully she slept so much better and is so much happier. It’s sad when we look for guidance and our voices aren’t heard.
As a mother and a nurse with 20 years experience in maternal child field including L& D postpartum and nursery as well, my heart goes out to you and your family. I have seen this happen and have never fully agreed with the new formula policies at ” baby friendly ” units. Yes I do agree that beast is best most of the time but as with everything in this life, there are very few situations that go the way they are supposed to. Especially when it comes to a baby. I applaud you for bringing to light such a painful experience. Thank you for sharing and being so that others might avoid the same tragedy. When I taught expectant parents in preparatory classes before delivery this was always a discussion that everyone was interested in. When parents would say” But a bottle will interfere with breastfeeding.” My reply was always “Yes, it possibly can, but when your baby is hydrated you will have a healthy baby to continue to work on breastfeeding. I have always been an advocate of”fed is best”. I will keep you, Landon and you family in my prayers As I have for all the little angels that have touched my heart. God bless you.
I am so sorry. God Bless and thank you for informing others.
I have just had twins and a nurse told me because they were early there tummies wouldn’t cope with formula after we had planed formula as my milk wasn’t leaking yet so new after a plan section it wasn’t going to just appear! So panicking about what will they eat after the section the nicu nurse said you have max 1hour after birth to decide but she suggested formula for now as I had nothing I was so confused I thought they couldn’t have it. Good job she was there my milk didn’t come in until 3 weeks after my section and I kept them on formula because they were doing so well no point changing them now. So sorry for you loss it isn’t your fault if your given bad information ?
This is heartbreaking. When my first child John was born I was encouraged to ‘keep trying’ with the breast feeding even though I kept telling the nurses I knew hew wasn’t getting anything. I had never leaked whilst I was pregnant and even when a nurse tried to express my milk nothing came out. Thankfully I was given water and bottles to ‘top him up’. On the fourth day, after many tears, I decided to put him on the bottle. At least I knew he was now being fed but I believe all the messing about caused him to have colic and was crying/screaming every two hours day and night. This continued for 3 1/2 months. As a new mother I was terrified taking him home. I was so confused with all the different advice that it would have been easy to slip into depression. Fortunately I have a wonderful husband to support me. When I had my second son Paul a few years later he went straight on the bottle. They are both strapping 30+ year olds now. My heart goes out to you. Bless you and your little one. XXXX
Hi we waited almost three years before we had a baby BTW I’m a nurse and did not practice due to my personal reasons and I need to share about my experience on breastfeeding advocacy. My Son born last feb 15 2017 he weighed 3.45 lbs he was strong and lovely when I see him in NICU. after 6 hrs he was transferred to our room with my wife having a Cesarian Section it was a painful and my wife can’t move on the first day. The hospital is on breasfeeding so nurses and my wife gave him a breastfeed it was a good latch and they called it “good suck”. I trust them they were the professionals but I ask them how can you sure that my son have enough milk or he get milk to my wife? they pinch my wife nipple and it have a 1 drop of milk, they said she have a milk but I think is not enough. 2 days past plent of black poop and diapers used we notice red stain on his diaper. We consult this to our pedia and she request for CBC, Urine Analysis, ultrasound and culture and we found out that my son have a severe UTI at birth. That night he didn’t gave us any sleep and he cried all night, we watched his temperature fluctuating fron 37.5-38 which is not normal and having a hyperthermia for newborn. So I asked the nurse “did you have any intervention” they said that TSB or tepid sponge bath and I do it and keeps him clean, well clothed and in warm temperature. I saw his dry lips and pale skin, My wife started to cry and I almost cry seeing our son crying with a hoarse voice. I started to panic and go to the nurse station but they said that I need to wait for the doctor’s order and she is not giving any formula. Finally 6am in the morning he gave him 2 antibiotics IV for 7 days ampicillin and amikacin, his urine slightly red with a blood residue clot, his result urine are pus cell is 500 and bacteria is 250 the normal is 11. From 9pm that night until 3pm afternoon almost 18 hrs my son did’nt have any sleep and cry most of the time and I over reacted saying that my son is having dehydration and I feel it. I can’t imagine my round cute face son became dry and pale, so I go to doctor’s office eventhough I know that the doctor is not there requesting to give me a formula for my son because he is hungry and thirsty, we dont have any sleep my wife need to recover, she stand sit without hesitating that her suture may open just to care for our son. They called her again for almost 4 times, maybe she is pissed with me and gave me a formula called similac. Me and my mother who almost cry seeing her last grandson weak cry for almost 18 hrs buy the formula and gave it to our son 30ml in two feeding to avoid stomach complications. He suck like a man who did not eaten for a week, I saw my son he is suffering from hunger that is the time that I realize I did good for him. we completed the antibiotics and continue with bottlefeeding and mixing it with breastfeed if my wife have a pumped milk. he is 10 days now and strong baby, he cries loudly when need milk and he sleep a lot!
“BREASTMILK IS BEST FOR BABIES BUT THEY DID NOT SAY FORMULA OR BOTTLEFEED IS BAD FOR BABIES” breastfeeding advocacy is good because the baby gets the colostrum and antibodies from mother but if the mother dont have a milk and not enough because not all mother have milk after pregnancy so it’s better for us to think “NO TO DEHYDRATION FOR BABIES”. prevention is better than cure, maybe they should include bottle feed as a secondary for feeding to avoid dehydration.
God bless you and your little angel always.
I am so sad to read this tragic story. I had problems feeding my first child. He cried all the time too. I gave up on breastfeeding, to the disgust of everyone around me(I had ‘failed’). Tried again with the second. She slept 20 hours out of every 24. She ended up in hospital dehydrated and underfed too. The third child I had never had one single breastfeed! I simply refused! We all were being pressured into breastfed is best. I made sure other mum’s, especially first time mums, were aware that these problems exist. It wasn’t appreciated of course by the ‘experts’, but your tragedy shows I was right to tell them. I do hope you can get over the guilt you feel. You truly have none. Good luck ? with your future family.
Thank you for sharing. I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been. I have no doubt you gave London every thing you could have given the circumstances. How brave you are!
Thank you for telling your experience. Through your profound loss and incredible strength for making your experience known, you are helping to educate new families and medical professionals. I am an ER nurse. I might not have picked up on breast milk insufficiency. Yes, we learn a major amount covering each stage in life, but unless you are specialized in Mother/Baby or NICU one might not have thought of milk issues.
I, unlike my brothers, was not breastfed for very long. My maternal grandfather was gravely ill and passed away one month and one day after I was born. The stress hormones crossing into my mother’s breast milk were making me ill and my parents had to switch me to being bottlefed. I have never asked them for exact details of what happened, but now I will.
Again, thank you for sharing. Your strength through loss is astounding! Being able to share your experience WILL help other infants and families. And, will help to inform other healthcare professionals.
Thank you for the bravery to share your story. I’m so sorry this happened to you. Honestly, when my first child passed, “this sucks” was the only thing that brought comfort to me. Know that your voice is being heard. Know his life IS special. Know your experience was not in vain. Know you tried your best and trusted your mentors. Know the pain lessens but never goes away; thankfully we never forget our Angel babies. My heart is with you. Love from a mom of an angel baby approaching 10years.
Thank you for sharing your story, we do have to be advocates for our babies but in those early days we are not always emotionally strong enough and I would urge people to make sure that they have a strong partner/friend/ family member to support them. I breastfed all my 3 but I was lucky to have staff who encouraged me to supplement my 1st son’s feeds with cup feeding, he was a big hungry baby who drank more from his supplementary feeds than the other babies who were exclusively bottle fed. Every baby and mother is different and I feel that you were let down in the worst way possible.
This story is just so sad and heartbreaking first I am so sorry for your loss myself losing a child as well under different circumstances but I can relate to the heartache the guilt and the what ifs but secondly I am so sorry that your nurses and doctors failed you they should have had you supplement especially that he was crying so much and continuously losing weight I’m a pediatric nurse and the weight loss is always a concern and reason to supplement its just so sad you had to lose your precious baby boy over such negligence I hope you are able to find some peace and know this wasn’t your fault being a new mom
My son lost roughly 12% of his birth weight while in the hospital after my c-section, the max they allow them to lose after birth. The lactation consultant sent me home with orders to pump and bottle feed him whatever I pumped, even if it was just a small amount and to bring him back the next day for a weight check. That night I realized he hadn’t had a wet diaper in a while (over six hours I believe, maybe longer) and his lips were looking extremely dry. He wasn’t crying excessively but I was worried enough that I finally gave in and gave him 2 oz of formula from some formula samples I had received in the mail and kept just in case it was needed.
The next day at the weight check he had gained 1/2 oz which was encouraging but I ended up breaking down in the LC’s office because I was so worried about what had happened the night before, worried that he wasn’t getting enough to eat. The LC encouraged me to bring him back the next day for another weight check after seeing how upset and worried I was. Luckily for us my milk came in a few hours after that first weight check and he was up 6 oz the next day. After that I produced more than enough milk for my son (who was a big eater). After reading this I wonder if that one 2 oz bottle of formula was what prevented this story from being our story.
I still believe breast is best (and will encourage breastfeeding when possible) but only if enough milk is being produced and baby is thriving. If not, then supplemental bottle feeding should be encouraged.
I am so sorry for your loss. So heartbreaking. I am a post partum/mom baby nurse at a baby friendly hospital, however we do not have to have a doctors order for formula it is a parental choice. I encourage breastfeeding but also empower mothers that it is their choice and they have to follow their gut. I never ever shame mothers for choosing to supplement and I educate parents on what to look for if they think bay isn’t getting enough. We can check a CBG any time we feel signs are there and our docs firmly believe in supplementing when needs are there. And when we do that I encourage mommas to nurse first to keep up breastfeeding and follow with bottle. It I bottom line a mothers choice what she does or doesn’t want to do not the doctor or nurses or lactation. Just so you now baby friendly shouldn’t mean (and doesn’t at our hospital) that parents loose their right to choose. Thank you for sharing your heart break and putting your story out there. Wish I could change your experience.
Thank you for sharing your story Jillian. I can definitely relate to this story! My baby Kaitlin was hospitalized when she was only 4 days old for 4 days from dehydration after exclusively breastfeeding. I didn’t know I wasn’t producing milk and I kept asking the staffs why she always wanna be on my breast every half an hour and always wanna eat as if she hasn’t eaten. The staff kept telling me she’s using me as pacifier and she’s cluster feeding. Little did I know she was actually starving bec I didn’t produce milk for her. I’m glad she’s a strong baby and fought hard for her life so we can enjoy her presence =) Mothers should have a choice and not feel guilty if they chose other alternatives besides breastfeed exclusively. New mothers should be educated about other alternatives as well and not just pressure them into exclusive breastfeeding.
Thank you Jillian for sharing your story and I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish I could have read your story years ago. I’m a mother of 4 and with each baby I went through the hungry baby experience for the first few weeks of their lives. In my case, it was delayed lactation and my babies cried and nursed non-stop. I wish more education was available about this for new mothers. Blessings to you and your family.
I have a thyroid condition and no one told me it could affect my milk production when breastfeeding. I was pumping day and night. At the hospital we were informed our son was dehydrated and we asked that he be given foemula. The head nurse reprimanded us and told us our decision to feed him formula was sabotaging our efforts to breastfeed. We told her we didn’t care and our primary concern was feeding our son. The pressure to breastfeed was immense and rthey treated us like Satan for our decision. Jillian I am so sorry for your loss but please don’t blame yourself.
How very very sad to read that you trusted the information you were given and it was wrong AND BULLYING, to deny babies the opportunity to feed on formula is an absolute disgrace, My daughter had a nightmare time with her first born, trying to breastfeed, eventually in the middle of the night, when we were sure he was starving, we made a bottle up and fed him, he was so very grateful,
No one can bring your darling baby back but by making your story public, you have given us all the greatest gift of all, you have saved babies lives without a doubt,thankyou for being brave,God Bless,
So sorry to hear about your previous baby boy he in the arms of God I pray for your peace and strength to make though this hard time I pray that after your healing that you would have a beautiful baby somedayGod can do anything but fail????❤❤hugs??
This happened to my son in 1986. He was my first, and you just listen to the Dr’s and nurses. He was jaundiced at the hospital, and also lost 10% of his birth weight. I had trouble nursing, his latching, my low milk production… At that time , you weren’t even supposed to give babies water. My son survived, but has disabilities. I often wonder if some of his disabilities were caused by this. This is the first time I have actually read anyone else explain this. I wondered over the years, but if you asked physicians 25 years ago, they told you no, that couldn’t have caused these problems. I asked, and I beat myself up with guilt for years, and still wonder.
I’m heartbroken for you. Such a beautiful baby ❤❤
This sounds scarily familiar. I’m an adult nurse and it was only because I would never let an adult go for so long without weeing as my son did I ignored the midwives and gave a bottle. I was shouted at the next day for doing so but my son was happier. I still feel a bad mother for failing to feed especially when you hear the stories of those that battled through. Women should never be made to feel bad as long as there babies are fed. This should never happen and the poor mother has to live with it when it was the midwives and lactation consultants fault
Thank you for sharing!! Continued prayers for you guys!!!
I am so horribly sorry for what you went through!
I wanted everything to be natural with my first, but everything fell apart in l&d, resulting in an emergency C-section, which only fueled me to try harder to breastfeed her. I was in the hospital 6 days with her, and she had lost 12% of her birth weight by day 3, so they insisted I supplement. They gave me a little tube setup that I ran by my nipple so she would still latch, and I’d be stimulated, and she went crazy. I pumped after each feeding, but never got more than an ounce.
My milk simply didn’t come in.
I gave up trying and just bought some bottles by two weeks.
I talked to my doctor when I was pregnant with my second, so I was prepared, but the milk was barely better with him. He cluster fed, was put under the light for jaundice on day 2, and was being supplemented by our release on day 3. I pumped and nursed for two months, and supplemented as little as possible to increase my production, but got just under 2 ounces in my best release. I gave up around two months with him, as it dried up to partial ounces.
I never knew the correlation between my thyroid and pcos and milk production.
I am so grateful that there were awesome doctors, nurses, even lactation specialists there to help me with both of my babies. I felt like such a failure, but they assured me it happens for some women. No reasons why, it just does.
I so wish they had suggested supplemental feeding to you. That’s all it would have taken, just one person to see that fed is best, no matter where it comes from. I am so sorry for your loss. Please don’t feel guilty, you simply didn’t know, and honestly thought you were doing what was best for him.
Oh my goodness, your story has shaken me to the core. I am so so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your incredible bravery in sharing your experience. I am a doctor and will carry your story with me when I manage and advise my patients with a newborn. As a mother myself, my heart breaks for you. I wish you and your family peace and happiness.
You are very brave for sharing your story. My heart broke for you as I read what happened to you. There is no question in my mind that you have saved many lives by sharing your story.
I cried all the way through your story, how incredibly brave you are to speak out about this, I have never understood why Mothers aren’t allowed to make the decisions themselves, I don’t remember all this big fuss about breast feeding when I had my babies, if you did you did, if you didn’t, no big deal.
I am so desperately sorry for the loss of your beautiful little baby, there are no words to cover the vastness of the loss a Mum feels at a loss of this magnitude, I just know that you shouldn’t blame yourself in any way at all, you acted in what you thought was the best interests of your little one. I guess as I’ve found with bereavement you too will know, the pain never goes away, you just learn to live with it.
Bless you, your gorgeous son, and your poor broken heart. I wish you all the best life has to offer, and may you look to your future with no trace of guilt, but just a lovely memory of a special little boy, who left too soon. Xxxx
First my condolences to you! I do understand as a new mother you were not educated on breastfeeding properly but I would say to all Mothers, trust your instincts. You should see colostrum coming out of your nipple and the baby will swollow and you need to listen to hear if that’s happening. If baby isn’t swallowing there’s a problem. Milk should come in before you leave the hospital or very shortly after upon returning home but the thick colostrum should be enough until then. Is it coming out, is baby swollowing? I can’t believe the medical professionals did not pay attention to his significant weight loss. He should have never been dolischarged in that condition. Im sorry you were so misinformed it’s hard to believe in this day and age. Trust your instincts Moms! If something doesn’t seem right it probably isn’t!
I am so sorry for your loss. My son is almost 25 now, but this could have easily been him. There were no lactation specialist to my knowledge. after a week-10 days he cried non-stop. He began to loose weight. Luckily our pediatrician had e follow up with a bottle. He sucked it in. We then realized that my milk just didn’t have the nutrients in he to keep him full and growing. By the time he nursed on each side, then had a bottle it was time to start over. I gave in to the bottle from necessity, and felt like a failure. I had no idea just how dangerous this could have been. Hope your story will help others understand that they are not failures, and to listen to their instincts!
Thank you thank you thank you!!!
Please do not blame yourself! Society has put so much pressure on us to breastfeed. We are expected to do things that sometimes our bodies don’t allow!!!
6 years ago I had a beautiful baby boy. He brought us so much joy. During labour we lost his heartbeat. I remember screaming at the nurse to cut him out. I begged them to open me up to save him. They managed to get him turned around and insisted I have him vaginally. His heart beat came back up and I remember thinking why? Why will they put him through this. When he was born in got the “breast is best” talk. I had already had a baby and knew that they would try this. I breastfed. I shouldn’t have. He was jaundice and lost almost a pound by the time we were sent home. I produced milk but not near enough. We have nurses who come check on you after you get home and he maintained his weight of 6 lbs 2 Oz for 4 weeks. Finally the nurse said to me “There’s no harm in bottle feeding. I think maybe you should try it” 6 years later you’d never know there was anything wrong with him. But me? I fell into a deep dark depression from it. I felt like I failed at being a mom because my boobs wouldn’t do their job and feed him.
I’ve learned that things happen beyond our control. We will forever be changed from it. Please do not blame yourself.
Dearest Jillian, My heart broke for you and your husband and precious Landon when I read your story. I will pray for you. I imagine the pain and guilt must be unbearable at times, but in my opinion the hospital and “medical professionals” that were supposed to be caring for you and your son should have been held accountable for their negligence. You were a young mother trying to do what was best for your baby, and they were putting pressure on you to continue nursing even though they should have recognized that your baby was hungry and they should have known to supplement with formula until your milk came in. You are not to blame in any way for what happened to precious Landon, and I admire your courage for sharing your story. Maybe it will educate others and save lives. I am so sorry for your loss. I know your precious angel baby will be waiting for you someday in Heaven, and I pray that will bring you some comfort.
Jillian – how could you have been expected to know? NO mother should be judged for her decision on how she rhinks is best to feed her baby – especially a first time mother. I decided to go solely formula and was judged for that! Not fair…as s new mom you do what you think is best. RIP little Landon.
Thank you for sharing. This gives us moms new perspective on the importance we place on breastfeeding. It is especially hard when nurses and doctors tell you that it’s normal for your baby to loose weight and to just count wet diapers so you know they are hydrated. I am so sorry for your loss but please know that sharing your experience has made a difference.
I’m so sorry for your loss. When our son was born in 2010, I intended to ebf, as I had been brainwashed to do. On the second day, the pediatrician told me I was starving my baby. It was so painful and raw to hear at the time, but someone has to say it, and it wasn’t going to be the nurses or lactation consultants! My milk never came in.
So sorry that “the professionals” let you and your beautiful baby boy down.
I read your story and it took me back to 6th June 2002 when my precious daughter was born, we already had a daughter who was 15 and a son who was 11, just the year before on 5th May 2001 our beautiful son was born asleep so this made our daughter our miracle, she taught us to smile again, she cried constantly and only stopped when she was on the breast or snuggled up in my arms.
17th July 2002 she feed she had a dirty nappy she looked into my eyes and then closed her eyes and died in my arms at 5 weeks 6 days. She was in excellent health according to her Dr’s her post mortem showed complete heart block, she’d had a massive heart attack in my arms, she had an old heart (that’s what the coroner said);myocardial fibroelastosis to this day I don’t fully understand why.
God bless you hun I understand your pain anger ect but we are different our losses are our losses devastation for life . I’m with you in my mind and my heart xxxx
Thank you for sharing jillian. i am sorry for the lose of your son. I had my son 5 yrs ago yesterday. I tried so hard to breastfeed for 2 weeks. My son did not cry much though and slept alot. However, after they told me he lost 8% of is body weight I told them we should bottle feed him even though I was breastfeeding because i didnt think he was getting anything out. The nurse told me that would be fine but i felt like a bad mom because my milk never came in. it took us nine years of trying before one day I took a test and it said we were having a baby. However 2 weeks after my son was born i almost died. i was 38 and in good health when I deliver our son. I had a stroke and the drs had no clue why. when my body swelled up so bad my dr told me there was nothing he could do for me because i was breastfeeding. He could told me to stop breastfeeding and gave me a water pill. Instead 2 days later i was on a ventelator and in a coma and the dr then told my husband that he wasnt giving me much hope to live. Then 3 days later I woke up and the first thing i said was where is my baby. He was at home with my mom and my husband had stayed 3 days with me at the hospital. It took me 7 months but for the most part i am back to myself. My son at the age of 2 was dignosted with autisum and thats why he didnt cry much. I am thankful that we decided that we would bottle feed him before anything bad happened to our son. i thank God every day for saving me and givien me the chance to raise our son. My heart breaks for you and want you to know that you are in my prayers. I know breastfeeding is the best thing for your child but moms should not be made to feel bad if they cant. I was told that i cant have another child because i could have another stroke and next time might not make it. Thank you again for sharing your story and pics of you and your sweet baby boy. God bless.
I too had issues with breastfeeding. My son was born at 35 weeks at 4lbs 15oz with an emergency c-section. He couldn’t get the suck, swallow, breathe coordinated so we stayed in the hospital for 5 days. Everyday got better but he would only eat for 10 minutes on one side and fall asleep. He’d wake up an hour later ready to eat again. I had enough milk for 3 babies they told me so I had to pump both sides each time. It tuned into an almost constant circle of feed, pump, clean the pump to feeding him again. He was sleeping a hour between feeding and crying when he woke up. I lasted for 6 weeks before I called the doctor and asked them what formula to put him on. They told me I should really stick with the breastfeeding because it was best. I started crying and told them I couldn’t do it anymore. They put me on hold and then came back with what formula to try. Within 2 days he was a different baby. Sleeping longer, gaining weight, not crying as much. I felt so guilty for starving him. I wish I would have know this Fed is Best then. I wouldn’t have waited as long. He is now a normal healthy 13 year old and I praise God for that. Don’t let yourself feel guilty -you thought what you were doing was best. Even though you move on, the pain will still be there and never go away but it willl get easier with time. I believe God is using you to share your story so it doesn’t happen to others.
You did not fail your child…… don’t ever think that for a minute. If you ask me there were other ppl involved that failed your child but not you. You were doing what you were told by the professionals. I know by reading this article that you loved and still love that little boy SO much. You never wanted anything bad to happen ?
Hi Jillian, thanks for your courage in sharing your pain openly to us. As a new mother myself, I can’t help but feel terribly sorry for your loss of Landon. Your courage to share your story serves as an inspiration to many new mums. I hope you find the strength to reduce the guilt you have been carrying. You don’t deserve to go through all these, all you wanted was the best for your child, like all loving mothers do.
Sharing this may help save another child. I too breast fed my first child and she nursed what seemed like 24/7 for two days. Thankfully, my mother -in-law was staying with us and she was a nurse. My doctor was one who believed in natural childbirth and breast feeding. Finally we gave her a bottle and she drank 4 ounces and slept for six hours. They said my milk was not strong enough and I was starving her.
My son was born 40 years ago. He wasn’t quite six pounds when he was born and I wanted to breastfeed. I tried in the hospital and it seem to be working pretty good. I was able to come home about 10 days later with my baby. He had jaundice and we had to take him to the hospital everyday to have his blood checked. I to the first week I brought my son home was constantly breastfeeding. He had got down to almost four pounds so my doctor said that he needed to test my milk I had some that was coming in after he tested it he said it was not nourishing or thick enough for my baby to get good nourishing milk. It was watered down and I was told to supplement with a bottle of formula. It was not my fault and nothing I did. It just happens sometimes. He also cried a lot. So I breastfed and bottle fed. He began to gain weight again. I to felt guilty that my baby was not getting enough food and I was starving him. So this has been happening for yrs.
I told LaLeche league back then I would do it’ my way. They told me I should give it a little more time and some babies take a little longer.
I was blessed to have a great Catholic Christian Dr. And I really trusted him and he was a family friend. So I breastfed and bottle fed my baby 18 months then.
I am sorry for ur loss. I really did not read much when my baby came I was afraid I would be really confused. I was blessed to have cared for newborns since 12 yrs old and babysat since I was 12. So my GOD prepared me well.
God bless y both u r in my prayers and ur angel.
Thanks for ur courage in sharing and passing on the info for others to learn from you. U r a brave and strong angel. Thank you and may HE watch and guide u through ur journey of life.
Thank you. For your bravery and kindness in sharing your nightmare in the hopes to prevent other families from having to go through the same. I lost my daughter at 6 to cancer.. And I get the guilt that haunts you. But I will tell you .. you are wrong. We aren’t meant to.. we aren’t able to know it all. It takes a village Jillian. And the village failed. Not you.
I hope you have lots of support and other moms of loss to support you.. but if you don’t I am here.
I sobbed reading your story because this almost happened to us. My son would latch and the lactation consultants said it looked good. I had good nipples (not inverted) he had a wide open mouth and everything appears good. His diapers were hit or miss and his poops were not becoming yellow seedy but my husband wanted to leave the hospital and he kept telling them they’re smearing yellow. He was already slightly jaundice due to assisted evacuation with the suction on his head. Well when we got home he just kept crying and suckling and crying and suckling didn’t matter the position I fed him. My husband would rock a screaming child for 1.5 hours. I couldn’t see how anyone could enjoy being a new mother and after seeing his diaper get bigger and bigger and he turning more jaundiced we took him in. His birth weight was 7# 10oz down to 5# 13oz in 5 days. The doctor told us it was from him tongue thrusting and not swallowing and another day and he would have been hospitalized. I had plenty of milk basically drowning the kid so that’s how it trickled into him. His urine output was low and red tinged and poop still meconium. So she sent us home with some ready to feed bottle and I was so stressed that I wasn’t able to feed my child myself I had my husband do it and for the first time ever I could actually hear him suckle and swallow and see all the right mouth movements for nursing. I broke down and cried to hear such a sweet sound.
To read your story and think that could have happened to us. My mom said how would a new mom or young mom with no guidance catch that and she was so thankful we took him in because she probably wouldn’t have, just thinking he was a fussy or colicky baby. I warned all my soon to be mom friends that it’s just not that easy to breastfeed and there could be so many different issues and don’t be afraid of formula. My son will be 3 March 22nd. I am truly, deeply sorry for your loss. I know the pain and struggle to feed your child, but I don’t know loss like you and your family. I will continue to share your story and mine. May his precious memories always bring a smile to your face.
I’m am so sorry for your loss. You are a great mother. Please don’t ever blame yourself. I have an 11 and an 8 year old. I cannot believe I happened upon your story. When reading it, I was astounded by the similarities my baby boy and your baby boy had. (One difference to note later in the story is that my baby was born 4 1/2 weeks early and weighed 5 pounds 12 ounces). We took him the er when he was 5 days old when I checked on him right not long after I laid him in his bassinet. He did not feel the normal warmth. I took his temp and was shocked that it was 95.6. I took it again. I immediately took him to the Er. I was so scared. I didn’t know what was wrong. After hours in the er and even a spinal tap to check for meningitis they diagnosed that it was failure to thrive which caused the hypothermia and also he had very high jaundice levels. It was all due to him being early and not having enough suction to get enough milk and everytime I thought he was getting lots of milk, he was actually burning more calories than he was getting, like you said. I didn’t know what I could have done wrong with the breastfeeding. I did everything exactly how they said to do it. After the diagnosis , being on the warmer to increase his temperature, the intake of fluids, and pumping my milk, being on the bilirubin lamp and a 2 nights in the hospital, we went home. I was so paranoid if he was getting enough even though I switched over to bottle. I kept a notebook of his intake and dirty and wet diapers. I weighed him at home multiple times a day. It was so, so, so scary. I felt like I had to defend myself to everyone who knew he had to go back in the hospital and tell them about the breastfeeding experience. I cried so hard in the er not knowing what was happening. I remember feeling like what had I done wrong and why no one had told me that a month early baby might have eating deficiencies. People had always said, don’t worry, they are getting enough. They acted like he wasn’t as early as they thought bc of his weight (they thought it would have been less being delivered at that time) And I had fed him almost continuously. I am so sorry. I will pray for you daily. Your situation could have been mine. I had a lot of unanswered of questions as I know you do. I encouraged all my frieds who were having babies to be aware of this. It was a situation I replayed in my head over and over. I could not get it out of my head for a very long time. I am so glad that you are sharing this for mothers to be aware. I would love to talk to you more about it if you would like. Prayers and hugs
My heart breaks for your and your baby boy. I’m so sorry you’ve had to endure such pain and loss. I have a 5 year old myself and it hurts deep in my heart to even imagine your pain. Thank you for sharing your story.
Your story has really hit home and I’ve found myself preoccupied all day since reading it. I found myself in a similar situation when I brought my daughter home from the hospital. She attempted to nurse all night, cried all night and was dehydrated. I remember her mouth and lips being very dry. She had jaundice (so she really needed to eat to get it out of her system!) so we had a Dr. appt. the next morning. They immediately gave her a bottle and she finally became peaceful and fell asleep. I had no idea that was an option and, like you, was following what I’d been told about exclusively breastfeeding. Like you, I had never heard anything about possible supplementation or even that it was okay if needed. Or even that it is often needed! I say that because I know so many others who have had similar experiences as well and whose children were hospitalized. If I hadn’t had that Dr. appt. scheduled, I fear what could have happened to my daughter. There are no words huge enough to express condolences to you after the greatest loss one can experience. Your strength to come forward and share your story, and even to be able to go on after such an immeasurable loss is amazing. You and your angel Landon are helping so many others. You are amazing. ❤️
erm. and your point is? #humblebrag much. maybe you can put your “successful” breasts stories somewhere else please. yes, i’m putting it quite brutally coz mummies like you annoy me to no end. always replying to heartbreaking posts like these with “ohhh i breastfed all ten of my babies until each of them went to college”.
This is reprehensible!
I’m SO very sorry for your loss, Jillian!
I had two children, both bottle-fed and now one of them is entertaining which law school she should attend.
I’m NOT saying that formula produces the smartest kids, BUT, I was unable to BF and shudder to consider the consequences had I tried to.
Again, my deepest sympathies to you.
This mother did nothing wrong. She was being advised by “experts” who are so caught up on their ideals that they failed to recognize a baby starving to death. For all the people who say breast milk is the only way, you are wrong. Do you know what lowers infant morality rates in third world countries? Infant formula and clean water. Their babies were starving from poor milk production too. My heart breaks for any woman who loses a child to a preventable cause.
Your story is heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing and putting things into perspective. There is guilt with formula, an unnecessary guilt. Sending love up to Landon and and a hug to you xx
I’m really sorry for your loss ? and thank you for sharing your story. It happened almost the same with us. I had a C section as well and because of that I had no milk in the first few days. I was in hospital and my daughter was cring so bad because she was hungry. I was continuesly holding her to my Brest but you could see she’s not getting anything. I was begging the nurses to give me a bottle of milk so I can feed her but they refused, saying that if I bottle feed her, she won’t take the brest any more. My brest was bleeding because she was trying so hard to get some milk out. She was born on a Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock and she only had her first food on Tuesday morning. Fortunately for us, she’s a healthy, happy baby but I really find myself in everything that you write. It was a nightmare…. I’m really sorry for your loss and I know that now Landon is a little angel watching you and taking care of you!!! We send you our love ???
So so so sorry for your loss and you are brave… Happy 5th Birthday to you boy in heaven…?
this hurts my heart so much – i cry with you. but thank you so much for sharing this – i don’t know if this will ease the pain at all, but so much good will come out of what you have learned and shared. how else are new mamas suppose to know any of this especially when doctors and nurses are telling them to do the opposite? my baby girl had to be readmitted to the hospital for jaundice at 6 days old because i was essentially starving her as well – i didn’t know! i was told not to wake her and feed on demand . . . and so i didn’t wake her up to feed. and i didn’t realize her cries were cries of hunger because i figured she couldn’t be hungry so soon after i ‘fed’ her. so easily could my situation have ended in tragedy. and i can’t believe that in the 21st century, there is so little education on this. thank you for the work you all are doing!
I am so sorry for your loss. I know from experience how they make you feel when you give the newborn a bottle. My milk didn’t come in for 2 to 3 days after each csection. Thank you for sharing your story so others may learn from your tragedy. God’s peace to you and your husband.
Thank you for sharing. I wasn’t aware that something like this could actually happen (and that the medical providers did not take more precautions to prevent it). I am actually crying because it breaks my heart 🙁 I can’t imagine the emotions of grief, pain, anger, guilt etc. but I pray you can let go of the guilt. It wasn’t your fault, how could you know anything was wrong if those you trusted to be experts weren’t concerned? And also I thank you, for your courage in sharing and using your heartwrenching experience to bring awareness to other and hopefully prevent the same outcome as yours. Sending love to your family in memory of your sweet angel Landon.
When my son was born a month early, he had problems breast feeding. While still in the hospital, he lost several ounces while tried to breast feed. I knew it wasn’t working, even though the breast feeding community assured me he’d be fine. After a day and a half, I made the decision to give him a bottle. He started gaining weight and started improving. He is now 22, 6’1″ tall, strong and healthy. I’ve felt guilty (and been made to feel guilty) about my decision, but the proof is in my boy.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. My first daughter suffered through my breast milk having no fat content. I hadn’t left her, I didn’t know. At 6 wks, she still weighed her birth weight. We intervened & offered a bottle, she took it like she was starving. I didn’t know, until now, this is what was happening. She’s 25. Blessedly, she received enough that we didn’t face the tradgedy you did. Then, 3 years later I had identical twin daughters. Colostrum was fantastic. Early days I immediately pumped, they were too premied & weak to latch on. Milk was good! But then, my body stopped production gradually as we battled the diagnosis of one’s heart hole. She was fine, stable, but nurses beloved without latching on & the stress, my body shut down. I had also had a bed-ridden life threatened pregnancy. But as soon as the milk lessened, we began bottles. I’m so thankful I did. YOU and YOUR SHARING after 22 years have made me stop questioning that. My daughters are grown women. Perhaps they will bear children. I will SHARE SHARE SHARE this… Bless you, may you find peace, & PLEASE KNOW YOUR OPENNESS WILL SAVE LIVES. GOD BLESS YOU & GOD HOLDS LANDON SAFELY IN HIS HANDS.
I am very saddened to read this. My mother and mother in law breast fed their babies. Both were very pro breast feeding in a world that was just awakening to the importance of breast feeding at the time. The two of them were my support when I was pregnant with my first (42 years ago). At this time, I was reading about the benefits of it and made the commitment to breast feed. La Leche league was big and promoting all of the wonderful benefits to mom and baby, in the wake of a world that was so very pro bottle feeding. The birth was a little complicated; I also have a blood condition that causes anemia. When I brought my baby home, he was crying all the time and nursing constantly, as he had been in the hospital. They told me my milk had not come in but that the colostrum is healthy. My milk would come in within a couple of days. But I was not told not to give a bottle and the nurse actually gave him a bottle while I was sleeping.. My mother in law (who also happened to be a nurse mid wife) did not mince words. She said, GIVE THAT BABY A BOTTLE!! HE IS STARVING!! You don’t have enough milk.Now this was common sense!! She was 100% right, no medical degree was needed for this assumption. She got a bottle and fed him! I could see for myself that this satisfied my baby. So I started feeding him a bottle after nursing, and felt no stigma, no shame or worry about my mothering capabilities. But we lived in different times back then, and this was common sense within the medical community as well our society. I am completely astounded by this story, angry at where midwifery and nursing has gone with the breast feeding craze. But feel that this is another sorrowful example of how our society reacts to things. If something is deemed as good and the “educated” view point, we throw everything else out that was ever done in the past! Just as we had done in the 50s and 60s with bottle feeding over breast feeding!! You see this time and again and to me it is sad that a movement has to be formed in order to bring common sense back into our thinking. You see this not only in medicine and health issues but in our educational and political system as well. Common sense and gut feelings should not be over ruled to cow tow to what this trend or that dictates! No matter what the studies and research say! I am so very sorry for this sad, sad loss of this child’s life… there are no words to console this mother. Thanks for sharing. God bless.
Happy Birthday sweet Baby Landon! My heart just broke for you and your family. I’m so sorry the medical community failed you. Your story also hit very close to home for me as well. Like you, my first born, about to turn 6, was born on a Thursday and solely breastfed in the hospital. He nursed a lot and started crying a lot the second day, but they sent us home on Saturday afternoon. The first night home from the hospital, it was around midnight and he wouldn’t stop nursing and was just screaming when he wasn’t nursing. My husband went to CVS and got formula. We had a huge fight when he got back with me saying he had to just be breastfed (like what they drill into a new mom’s head) and my husband saying he had to eat – he was hungry. I reluctantly caved and we gave him the bottle and he drank nearly the whole 2 or 3 ounces and then fell fast asleep. We continued to supplement the whole next day (Sunday). His follow-up appointment was on Monday where they put him on a weight watch because he lost 10% of his body weight. I can’t imagine if we never supplemented what would have happened. My milk didn’t come in till Monday night while I was pumping. At the end, the supplementation didn’t affect our nursing relationship. He nursed til 15 months old.
Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. I never knew that this happened to baby’s whose mom’s milk didn’t come in. Please find comfort that your loss was not in vane and please continue to courageously share your story and spread awareness. RIP Landon.
Im sorry for your loss, thank you for being brave enough to share with us. When I had Elias 6 months ago. I was told that it is normal for a baby to nurse 24 hours a day, they said it was cluster feeding. When I questioned the doctors and Lactation Consultants about why Elias never slept why he cried all the time and why he was nursing so much I was told that not all babies sleep and that he was cluster feeding and as long as he had enough diapers it was okay. I even told the lactation consultants and the pediatrician that his diapers were so dry that I had to smell them to smell the urine and I was told that it was okay as long as there was pee on them. Even though he continued to lose weight. I did everything that they suggested I drank a 100 ounces of water a day, Gatorade, steel oats, power pumping, lactation cookies, Reglan, fenugreek, skin to skin and nothing helped he continued to lose weight. Not until the lady at WIC got me a hospital-grade pump did I see any increase in my milk supply and this was when Elias was almost 2 months old, at that point I could get about 2 ounces out of 3 hours worth of pumping from both breasts. When he was 2 months old and not at his birth weight and he had only gained 4 ounces in that month the pediatrician told me that I could not wait any longer or else they were going to admit him to Children’s Hospital for failure to thrive. This scared the crap out of me so I immediately went to the store and bought formula and bottles. The first time I gave him a bottle I watched him and bawled my eyes out because I could tell that he was literally starving. I did everything that I was supposed to do I listened to their advice and this could have very easily been me except I live an hour away from the closest hospital which would have made my situation even more dangerous. I have encountered many breastfeeding mothers who feel pious and holier-than-thou because they can breastfeed. Breastfeeding does not make you a good mother nor does does it make you better than another mother who chooses to use formula you do not know that woman story. I absolutely detest the saying Breast is Best! This article is my example as to why. I have had many women in the best feeding groups on Facebook tell me that giving Elias formula is poisoning him and that I should never under any circumstances give him formula. Giving Elias formula did not poison him he is growing and thriving he is alert and active and he is an amazing baby. Chosing to hold out on formula could have taken his life. It scares me that this woman’s story almost mirrors my fight to breastfeed and I am thankful that we live in a day and age were formula exist. Not till later did I find out from my OB that my years of diabetes, PCOS and hormone therapy that I received for my endometrial cancer caused hormone imbalances which led to my inability to produce milk. Sure Breastfeeding is ideal, but FED IS BEST!!
Thank you for sharing, I can’t even imagine the pain that is to loose a child. I 100% agree that a mother is the best judge when it comes to her child and should follow gut feeling muting all the noise of advises around us.
I am heartbroken with you for your loss. After reading your story, am I even more grateful to the NICU staff and pediatrician who encouraged me to breastfeed, but insisted that my twins, born 7 weeks prematurely, start with preemie formula supplemented with breastmilk, slowly moving to breastmilk supplemented with high-calorie formula. I am so sorry that Landon didn’t have a chance to grow up with a mother who clearly wanted the best for him.
How difficult it must have been for you to write this, but so necessary to share. I praise God that when I had a similar situation with my second child, I had the experience of the first to know things were not right. The more formula he got, the less he cried. And he is now the proud father of my two beautiful grandsons. Sometimes the only reason God allows such pain in our lives is so that we can help others through similar circumstances. If you have helped even one person, your life, and Landon’s, were worth every moment. God bless you and your family!
Bless your heart.
Thank you so much for sharing your story of love, and loss. I know first-hand how difficult that is after losing my son to a late second stage concealed abruption. He was still-born, and 13 years in heaven now. We don’t want anyone to have to go through what we did, and eventually we need/want to talk about it to help make others aware. Being a midwifery assistant, the information you’ve shared is invaluable to keep in mind with our moms and babies getting established nursing. Just wondering, did baby Landon receive any vaccinations at birth.? Constant crying, agitation can be a reaction to some ingredients in vaccines. And I wonder if there was possibly more going on with him than just the nursing issues. Please give yourself grace, there were so many unusual factors involved with the PCOS, and other symptoms that don’t always directly correlate to the result you had with Landon. Peace and love.
How difficult this must have been for you to share. My heart goes out to you on such a precious day.
Jillian, the pain you are experiencing jumps out of your words and I pray that your heart finds peace. First I would like to urge you, as difficult as it obviously is, to shed yourself of guilt. As humans, we are imperfect and move through life having very limited information in the grand scheme of things. You were trying to do the very best for sweet Landon. Things went wrong, but life rarely cooperates with our intentions. Second, I would like you to understand that telling your story will help other fearful mothers who may be preparing to make the same mistake and it will help save a child’s life. By sharing this, you are honoring sweet Landon and being a great mom. God bless.
I am so sorry for your loss and pain. I breastfed both of my daughters and yes I was encouraged to do so inclusively but with that said it is up to the baby to tell you if they are still hungry it is so ubsurb that they bully parents into doing this. It is a choice and whatever that choice is being breastfed or using formula just love and nurish your unique little person. Send out prayers for your peace of mind.
I will forever be thankful that our pediatrician recommended supplementing my older son with formula when he was readmitted on day 4 of life — I’d successfully breast fed my oldest child without issues, but my milk did not come in well when he was born. He very nearly died from dehydration, too. I was able to continue breast feeding him and my next two children, but that was a very scary week for us. I share my story, too, to help other moms and babies who are struggling, and hopefully prevent stories like yours and mine from continuing. Love and peace to you.
This was almost us. Thankfully, when our son stopped breathing and turned grey we were eating dinner; a few hours later when we were in bed, our stories would be the same. CPR, ambulance, a week in hospital rehydrating and recovering. The hospital pediatricians told us we’d be shocked by the number of babies brought in because of midwife errors; ours told us his weight loss, lack of a single wet nappy in 5 days, and my lack of breast milk were all normal and we foolishly trusted them.
Thankfully that was almost 7 years ago and our son is a happy, healthy boy. I’ll never, ever get over what happened to him, though, and I can’t forgive myself for not asking more questions and blindly trusting the midwives. I’m so, so sorry for what happened to your son. I hope you find peace by educating others.
Hello Lynne, I am so sorry that happened to your son. It is nothing short of malpractice how these complications are hidden from breastfeeding mothers. Would you like to share your story with us? Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, M.D.
I have no idea how u managed to write this….. Ah my heart…… My God bless u and keep u…. Know that your little boy is safe in Jesus’ arms now…. U are one incredibly brave woman!!!!
This is exactly what happened to my daughter almost seven years ago when I was a first time mom. Everyone doctors, nurses, lactation consultants assured me she was fine. She was jaundice and had to go to the hospital for treatment, there it was found she was severely dehydrated and needed an IV right away. I don’t know what would have happened if we hadn’t gone to the hospital that day, within two days she was back to being a healthy newborn. I did not make the same mistake with my second daughter. Thank you for sharing your story ?
I am so sorry for your loss. I am a Lactation Consultant. Just last month, I gave out 12 supplemental nursing systems to my patients , in my private practice. I am also a specialist with pcos. A baby who breastfeeds for long periods of time is losing and burning too many calories. I now know that what I do in my private practice and the way I guide new moms is correct. A mother needs to pick up on signs with her baby that something is not right. If you need to supplement while breastfeeding, this story should tell all of you to please do it. You can get your milk supply up however, sometimes you need to supplement while breastfeeding.Buy a scale that doesn’t cost a lot and do a before and after weight check on your baby when breastfeeding. If you can, hire a lactation consultant for proper guidance. I cannot understand how something like this happened. If you don’t want to bottle feed, you can finger feed. I remember finger feeding a twin and he can alive again. I have saved many babies from going to the emergency room by properly instructing moms how to feed their babies. I pray this never happens to anyone else. Rest in peace sweet Landon.
Ohn Jillian! My heart is breaking – for Landon and for you, and for all who know and love you. I’ve never experienced a loss as devastating as yours and if I had I know I’d feel immense grief too.
But as someone looking in from the outside I can say please be gentle with yourself. You educated yourself the best you could, you did the best you could for Landon and you loved him the best you could. Nothing more is asked of us as parents. YOU did enough.
The medical profession is made up of humans which means mistakes can be made, despite all their education. I’m just devastated their mistakes were so horrendous and had the worst possible outcome for you and your son.
I’m so glad you were brave enough and loving enough to have another child. I hope and pray you can find peace in Landon’s short life and find a way to hold on to all the love for and from him, when you think of him. I wish you all the best for the rest of your life, especially around his other missed milestones.
Be kind to yourself, and remember how wonderful you did. It’s ok to keep enjoying life.
I’m so sorry. I wanted to let you know that you wrote 10 months in a couple of places. I’m not being picky but it confused me. I finally figured it out when I watched your video with the date of his birth and the date he passed away, and realized it should be 10 days. I think this is important because you are sharing an important story.
Again I’m so sorry.
So incredibly sorry for your loss and how easily it could have been prevented. My first son was born in Ireland at the National Maternity Hospital and they placed a huge stress there on the benefits of breastfeeding, but they did also offer plenty of support. He was a little baby but a natural birth and we were discharged 8 hours later to the at-home team – they came and checked on him every day, weighed him and watched a feed and spoke to us about how we were doing. On day 4 they were worried that he had lost too much weight and sent us back to the hospital for him to have blood tests done – we were immediately admitted and the first thing the nurse on the ward did was give him a bottle of formula – he drank 70ml so was obviously starving. I was so upset, thinking I’d failed him, and they were so incredibly supportive – told me that breastfeeding is hard work and he was only small, he just wasn’t getting enough of what he needed. We were kept in for three days and I would breastfeed, then feed him expressed milk, then formula if he was still hungry, then pump for the next feed, and we were discharged only when he had regained his birth weight. Support at home continued and eventually we weaned off the formula, then the expressed milk, and just kept up the breastfeeding. He is nine now. When his brother was born later the same thing started happening (he was small, too), but this time I recognised the signs myself so we started topping up after feeds and he was fine. Yes, all things being equal and in an ideal world, breast milk is the best thing for your baby, but first and foremost they need food, and I will forever be grateful to the nurses who taught me that. So, so sorry that you didn’t get the same support and heartbreaking that we keep shaming mothers for formula-feeding their babies. Fed is surely always best.
Thank you so much for sharing.. my heart literally broke reading this. I relate so much to your story. I wanted nothing more than that bond that comes with breastfeeding. For some reason that 11 lactation consultants and 4 doctors couldn’t figure out, it was extremely painful. The pain never went away. It was so so painful. I noticed about 2 weeks in he was unable to even try to feed and would sleep so deeply that I’ve cubes on his skin and prices to his feet wouldn’t wake him. The pressure from every where was so strong. I was also neve told of the signs of a starving baby. Everyone said I was latching him properly. I even let them check for a tongue tie and put a camera down his nose to check his throat to see if there was an issue. Man, do I wish I had let it go sooner. Luckily the 12th lactation consultant came into our home and noticed right away he wasn’t right. She asked us right away if we had a fast flow nipple and bottle to get some formula into him asap. It took a bit for him to perk up and then he just chugged and chugged. It scares me to think what could’ve happened had she not been the one to come to our home that day. I still wish I could’ve exclusively breastfed but this actually makes me accept the situation more.
I so wish there were more consultants like her, that don’t pressure and realize fed is best. I think there needs to be a lot more education on what signs to look for AND that this is even a thing! I had never been told this could happen, and when you’re that exhausted it doesn’t even cross your mind. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.. I’m so so sorry for your loss..
Thank you so much for sharing your family’s story, I wasn’t expecting to be shedding tears this early in my day, but they were tears for you all and tears for myself. I had to switch my daughter to formula at 3mths due to her not gaining anymore weight and constant crying and fussiness….I thought I had failed, I felt judged and even though I knew fed was best, it still sucked. Reading your story has made me realise that it was in fact the best thing for her, after her first bottle feed there was a difference, the next day she was a new baby. I am now successfully breastfeeding my son, 6mths in, and starting solids soon.
Thank you, thank you, thank you…..your words have brought me back down to earth and reminded me that fed is best and please know that Landon’s story will help so many people.
Happy 5th Birthday little guy!!!!
I’m so so sorry for your loss. The kind of pressure put on new mom’s to exclusively breastfeed is wrong. I had 6 babies and not one was breastfed. I tried with my first, but he wasn’t thriving, and I had to go back to work. I tried to pump but it was just too much stress. When my second was born I tried again but had severe anxiety about her nutrition. At that point I decided that my mental health was top priority so we went to formula. It saved my life. So for 3,4 and 5 I didn’t even try and my postpartum was almost nonexistent. When I had my 6th baby the lactation specialist came to my room and asked me if I needed any help breastfeeding. I politely told her no. He was my 6th and it hadn’t worked yet. So I asked for the bottle feeding info for a refresher. She told me that information was locked in her supervisors office. Luckily I had “what to expect the first year” at home and I could use it as a reference. It was hard. I was told to just take brewers yeast and that would fix it. That does not fix postpartum. I had a mom stop talking to me when she found out I didn’t breastfeed. I felt like less of a mom, but I knew my limits and I new my babies needed a happy mom. It turned out that my 6th had severe reflux and by bottle feeding I could ensure that he was getting the nutrition he needed. They are all grown now and all heathly and happy. Fed is best.
I am so sorry for your loss. I could have very easily been in this position as well. I had an emergency c-section. I have PCOS. And my daughter was diagnosed with failure to thrive. This hit so close to home. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. He is beautiful and I wish I had some magic words to make things okay. But all I can say is I am so sorry.
This story is heartbreaking but I’m so glad it’s being shared so mothers know what to look out for.
My son was born at 37 weeks only weighed 5lb 13oz he latched on soon as he was born but by the morning he was struggling. I asked someone to help me as I didn’t feel like he was able to and the midwife came back with a bedpan with syringes and leaflet open at a page on hand expressing. She told me to give him a small amount (I won’t say the mls amount but it was not enough) whenever he wanted feeding of colostrum as his tummy was small and wouldn’t need much until my milk came in so I thought it was normal. I was discharged hours later without anyone helping me to latch him on. He would keep pulling off my breast and screaming so we would give him some from syringe. My milk came in on night 2 and by this time he wasn’t interested he wouldn’t wake up for feeds and wasn’t responding. Midwife called when he was 3 days old and asked if I wanted someone to do a home visit and I said yes because I was worried. She came out and said I could wait and see how he gets on or take him to hospital. I took him to hospital and found that he had lost 12% of his body weight and had hypoglycaemia sugar levels were 0.2. He was on special care and tube fed…. I was heartbroken.
When he was 7 months old he started having seizures and we took him into hospital and they did brain scans which showed he has infantile spasms epilepsy caused by brain scarring from hypoglycaemia from not feeding properly in his first days of life.
I blamed myself for a long time and I feel fear thinking about it and remembering how ill he was. My son will always be at risk of seizures and will always have to be on medication. He might need brain surgery in future if it starts to effect other parts of his brain.
I’m so angry with that midwife for what she told me. I needed guidance and support and help and she did nothing but give me a leaflet and syringes and send me on my way.
It’s awful I have so many regrets. I can’t imagine the pain you have gone through. Never blame yourself you were let down and it was not your fault.
Molly, would you be willing to share your full story with us? Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for sharing your story. After I gave birth to my baby girl she cried and we had a terrible time feeding. The hospital wouldn’t allow me a bottle and instead gave me a nipple shield which they also shunned. When we went in for our check up she had lost over 2 lbs. From that moment on I gave her bottles and felt a shame and guilt that I couldn’t feed my baby and that I was starving her. Shame on the hospitals. Fed is best.
I am crying. Thank you for sharing your heart breaking story. My heart aches for you. When my son was 7 months. We found out we were pregnant. He lost weight and wasn’t getting enough milk. I was very upset I was pregnant as I was not in a good emotional state and really struggled with breast feeding. He had a nursing strike at 3 months until 4.5 months. Everyday we struggled. I persevered, We persevered. And then this pregnancy was threatening me giving my son the “best” source of food. I panicked and with the not helpful pediatrician pushing formula from day one, I finally and reluctantly gave in. I kept kicking myself ever since. If i was in a better state of mind I would have pumped through it and supplemented along with breastfeeding. I was angry. I was an overproducer. And we struggled to get here. My son was amazing at breastfeeding only for this to show up.
Unfortunately, my pregnancy ended in a missed miscarriage at 9weeks and we lost it at 12wk officially.
Your story reminded me to be thankful and forgive myself for supplementing. I can’t imagine how much harder it is to not know and to lose a baby already born. (I’ve had 2 miscarriages but that does not compare to what you experienced).
Thank you for your story. Thank you for helping us all. Thank you for your wisdom
I was truly touched and saddened by your story and your youtube video!! My heart truly aches for your family on the loss of your beautiful baby boy!! I hope your story helps other families so that they do not have to deal with the heartbreak you have experienced! May God bless you and hold his arms tight around Landon!!!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this article! I’m sharing it far and wide! I’m so very sorry for your loss! I had IGT and was encouraged by several lactation consultants to keep going that everything looked fine when it was totally not fine. This was very nearly my story, but we got him a bottle just in time. My heart breaks for you! I know you know this, but this was not your fault and could happen so easily to many of us. That is why I’m so grateful for your courage and bravery in writing this article. There are more Moms out there like you I’m sure. Thank you!
Thank you sharing your story. You’re incredibly brave for sharing it.
As soon as I read it I was reminded of my first born and this could so easily have been me.
Again it was a relatively natural birth, healthy bub and no reason why I shouldn’t be producing milk. I thought I had the perfect bub, always sleeping. A rogue weight reading meant we all thought she was doing well. Day 11 we realised she had lost a significant amount of weight as I was barely producing 5ml each feed. A rigorous change of routine with pumping after every feed, supplement with a bottle and going onto a prescribed drug to increase lactation saw my baby finally start to grow. It took 4.5 months of hard determination for me to experience my first let down. Even after that I was still only producing 20 to 30ml each breast. It took my baby 8 months to finally have that ‘healthy’ pudgy look about her. 9 years on there are still some photos that bring back that wicked feeling of guilt.
It took me 4 babies before my body finally started producing enough milk. Breast is best is great for those who can, but I love your message of Fed is Best.
I hope your story is shared around the world to all first time Mums.
I’m in tears. I am so sorry for you and Landon and I feel so helpless that there is no way for me to help, for me to get to turn back time and have you get to see your little man grow up as he should’ve been able to. I can’t even begin to imagine the hurt in your heart. Your story is as powerful as it is tragic. Thank you for sharing. I believe you probably have or will save lives by doing so. Much love to you and your family! <3
I’m so glad you shared your story! I had just graduated for RN school when I had my first child and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner school when I had my 2nd. I worked with a lactation consultant every 2 hours for the first 10 days. I felt so much pressure from the hospital staff and had been told in both my nursing programs that “breast was best!” I was miserable. My first cried constantly and I cried every time I fed my 2nd. When her spit up was all blood from the ulcers created from her trying to latch on, I finally realized that breast feeding wasn’t working for me and my children. My 3rd baby got the bottle from birth and we were both perfectly happy! I’m so sorry about your precious Landon. I hope health care providers read this and realize that ,although breast feeding comes easily for some and works great for them, there are many Moms for whom it does not work and they should never feel pressured to conform to what worked for someone else! God bless you and your family.
Thank you so much for sharing this. I am 38 weeks along and this is so important to know – I’ll definitely be on the look out and won’t hesitate to supplement if needed. This must have been so difficult to share – I confess I could not watch the video because it would have made me bawl my eyes out, but looking at the photos Landon was a beautiful child. As many have said here, you can only do so much with the information you have, please don’t blame yourself, although I’m sure that’s harder than it sounds. Thinking of your little boy and you x.
Thank-you for sharing your story, Those are beautiful pictures of your son and you are a wonderful person.
This breaks my heart. I am so incredibly sorry Landon was taken from you in this way and that you have to endure this pain.
We weep with you.
Sweet lady I’m so sorry for your loss. Your story is heartbreaking. You are a good momma to get this information out to others! Many prayers your way from my family to yours. Jill Simpson
This could happen to anyone. As a soon to be first time mum I had no idea newborns weren’t supposed to cry much. I’ve heard so many stories of babies who cry that have separation anxiety.
Breast feeding is definitely a worry as you never know how much the baby has had. You weren’t to know.
On the other side of the coin many women perversely get criticized for over breast feeding.
It’s so hard being a woman and it’s not at all your fault. You’d only just given birth also! You must have been exhausted and yet you were constantly feeding him showing your love and caring for him.
Thank you so much for sharing to increase knowledge on this. I will definitely be looking out for this now X
I am so sorry. You are a very strong woman and mother who probably wishes she wouldn’t have to be. This is an agonizingly amazing story that none should have to endure. I wish you and your husband only happiness and love as you continue to heal from losing your son.
That must have been the hardest thing in the world to share. I couldn’t even read it all. You are a hero for reaching out and telling others. Such an important thing you are doing. You will save many children with your story. I’m so sorry you had to endure this heartbreaking loss.
This is so sad ?I feel your pain. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I pray his little soul rests in peace now n I pray that you have the strength and courage to move on and be positive for Stella. You are a good mom and thank you for sharing your story so the rest of us can be aware. I honestly had no idea this could happen. May God bless your heart to ease your pain. Happy Birthday in heaven baby Landon ❤️May the angels keep you safe and happy ?
Jillian, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the pain you endured and what you have been through. My prayers are with you. Thank you for your selflessness in sharing your story. ?
Im so sorry for your loss ?
I had similiar experience with my 1st baby who just turned 5.
She would also (cluster feed) and even now those 2 words infuriate me.
She would be attached non stop and scream everytime i took her off for a quick dip thru the shower, change of shirt, toilet break etc. This was day and night.
After living in hell along with my husband i called my mum in tears and obviously distressed. I explained what was happening and i said i think i need to go to A&E as i felt something wasnt right.
Thankfully for us we went straight to the hospital were it was confirmed to me that my dear lil baby Matilda was starving underweight, malnourished and jaundiced. Luckily for us my daughter was rushed straight to SCBU were we remained for the next 3 days to get her weight up her jaundice under control and her feeds via a BOTTLE on track.
I remained breast feeding but i express breastfeed for the next 5.5 months. By expressing i could see via the bottle exactly how much milk she was getting.
I too when i had the concerns was told about cluster feeding and according to the breast feeding nurse we had great attachement and Matilda was getting fed properly and was gaining weight. It still crushes me to think of the day i found out the truth. I remember so clearly screaming in A&E im starving my baby while falling to the floor. The guilt is so immence.
Your story really touched me and while incredibly sad im greatful to read as no Mum or parent should have to endure such an unpreventable loss. Its a sad truth that Breast is best is pushed so strongly on mums. Im also all for the motto Fed is best. I strongly believe if your baby is fed and happy whether that milk be by the breast or formula it should not matter.
May you get some solace knowing you did no wrong you were clearly led down the wrong path and wrongfully guided by people that you trusted and should have known better.
My son was born 7lbs 1oz, he lost more than 10% of his birth weight and they still released him from the hospital, I gave him a bath the next day by this point 4 days old, he didn’t wake up, took him right to another hospital where the admitted him and put him on an IV and under the lights, they had me pumping every hour producing a max of 5ml a time, finally they discovered I had insufficient milk glands, I was not allowed to have a bottle until I got home. I thank God every day for my son who is now 9. I am so sorry for your loss
I feel sorry for your lost. Landon was a very cute baby.
I have the same problem when I have my son. I’m a newby in mother world and I have no family around me, Only my husband. So no one suggest anything or so to me. 1st day my son seems drank good and he cried and cried. 2nd day doctor announce he got jaundice bcos he lost 4% from his weight lost. So he seems cant latch good and my breastmilk not so much. I was protest bcos he seems drink good for hours and sleep. Lucky in the hospital they offer me formula. So they gave me similac ready to use for my son. But since the bottle was sucks and it flow really fast so he choked. I was mad. So I feed him with spoon instead. Then I ask if I can borrow the breast pump so I can pump the milk instead and they said “yes we have and you can use it free”
Damn, why they didnt offer me the time they know I want exclusive BF but the milk doesnt go iut much? or when my son hv latching problem? Until they announce he got jaundice? I cried and feel bad about it. Glad they gave me the pump and I pump for him and combine with formula also.
Maybe first mom to be need to read about your story to learn from others experience. Since I have that experience, I always tell new-mom for what they should do. Feed the baby, get the pump, eat protein and lots n lots of soup so the breast will produce lots of milk.
This is so sad and exactly what happened with third baby. Inconsolable crying, wanting to be on my breast constantly, becoming increasingly agitated when not on me. I got told to swaddle her. She was worse. The birth center midwives gave her a bath to ‘settle her’. She screamed. It was horrendous. I rang my midwife and said she NEEDS to come. I needed help. Noone was listening. I knew this wasn’t right as she was my baby number three. She came an hour later, put a finger in her mouth – and it was bone dry. She was severely dehydrated and starving. My midwife immediately gave her sterilized water which she absolutely guzzled, then made a bottle (in secret because the birth Centre midwives would have frowned upon it!). She then slept contentedly for the next three hours! It still angers me that they pushed for breast feeding and made me wait as my milk came in when my baby was so distressed. This is such a heartbreaking story. Something new mums should be aware of though!
My heart goes out to both of you. No words can describe the loss of a child ❤️️
Thank you so much for sharing. Please know you’re helping so much. This would have been my baby too if a nurse didn’t “sneak” a bottle to us. I was furious when i found out they had them all along while my son screamed for hours and we all knew i had no milk.
This breaks my heart. My husband and I had a similar experience with our daughter, with a better outcome. My daughter was born healthy and happy and seemed fine for the first day. But that second night, she cried and cried and cried and we could not get her to stop. I fed what felt like continually and still she cried. I even said to a midwife at one point, is she actually getting anything from me, to which I was assured I was doing fine. The next day was her post birth weight check and she had lost more than 10% of her body weight. The nurses quickly realised that I had nothing to feed her with. They left the room and came back with a form to which I had to sign to say that I was ok with my child receiving formula. The nurse looked apologetic, as though the offer of formula was offensive to me. I signed the form immediately saying I would rather she was fed than anything else. The put me on a pump after that to try and stimulate my milk flow. I was attached to this machine for 20 mins, maybe more and they got 1ml of colostrum from me. We need to stop treating formula like it’s taboo, like we are some how a failure for using it. Too many women push themselves to depression just to fulfill societal pressure when all they really need to do is feed their baby. I’m so sorry for your loss.
I am so sorry for your loss. No one should have to go through the loss of a child. I have a five year old and Twins that are just about three. My twins are in such a better place. My five year old goes through all the firsts and I learn through all of them how to do it better for the other two. I also had trouble breastfeeding but everything said it was so much better so I felt horrible when I had to give a bottle. I could’ve been in the same scenario as you. I just want you to know you are not alone. We are all trying to figure out what is best for our children.
Jillian, I am so sorry for your loss. I am a mother who breastfed my firstborn, as well. My daughter cried a lot but I quickly developed mastitis and thank God for that. If I had not had that I would have never know she was being milk deprived. Once I started pumping to “keep the milk flowing through the treatment” I soon realized this saved my daughter. I was only producing about a half ounce of milk. I left my daughter on the formula and never looked back.
When I had my second child breastfeeding was not even an option. My advice to all breastfeeding mothers is to buy a breast pump and pump at least once a day while breastfeeding just to make sure you are sufficiently producing milk for your child. And let no one guilt you for supplementing with formula, if you need to!
I had a similar experience only I myself was in I.C.U. recovering from a traumatic birth, but thankfully I was in a hospital that EVENTUALLY said we should give some formula. I truly feel for you. My heart breaks reading your story and I hope your heart heals a little each day knowing that HE decided for you to be his mum, whatever the timeframe.. you were just as special for him as he was for you, and you always will be in his heart too xo
I am a diabetic and something similar happened to us. I was not producing nearly enough breast milk but I was a new mother. Luckily the hospital I chose saw what was happening when my daughter lost too much weight and strongly suggested formula. If someone would not have told me I would not have known either. My heart goes out to you!
Thank God this group is around. My first born too was delivered in a breastfeeding friendly hospital and lost weight after birth. Two problems, I couldn’t produce enough milk and the other she was lactose intolerant and didn’t keep anything down. She ended up Jaundiced (the hospital initially got the incorrect results over the phone from the lab and her treatment for Jaundice was delayed 8 hours). After treatment they lost her blood sample and had to do a second. I recall many hours spent being observed by the nurses latching on and feeding and then expressing and feeding breastmilk in the bottle. They sent me home with a three hour regime with expressing afterwards. This coupled with the washing and sterilising meant I was only getting one hour of sleep at a time which clearly affected my ability to produce milk. When I could produce something because of her lactose intolerance she would throw most of this up. Doctors thought she had reflux and prescribed medication which did nothing until she was getting to failure to thrive levels. She was on formula by this stage too! No one had ever asked me if I was lactose intolerant (which I am) or ever considered it. It was only one day when I happened to see Soy formula in the pharmacy that it clicked for me and I bought a tin and never looked back! She started to put on weight and started achieving her milestones, finally! I was so angry at the hospital for putting so much unnecessary pressure on me and for risking my child’s health simply because they had a few ticks on a plaque in the foyer. After that I always went by the adage, ‘mother knows best’. My second child was given formula with no guilt. Being a mum is hard enough without the pressure from ‘professionals’.
Happy 5th birthday to your angel baby, Landon, and thank you for your bravery by sharing your story. Being a first time mother/parent is very hard and we should not judge others until we have walked in their shoes. I gave birth to a 28 week old premmie and was very fortunate to have very caring and understanding lactation consultants while we were in hospital, even after I was discharged and my baby was still in hospital. We did dual feeds pretty much from the time she was born until she was about six months old where she then had to go to straight bottle feeds. You weren’t to know that your journey with Landon would be a short one but I hope that in time the guilt lessens and that your heart becomes lighter and soars with the love and memory of your precious boy.
I am so dreadfully sorry for your loss of your beautiful little boy. My second child was on the breast all the time as well and I understand the pressure that they put you under to breast feed and really make you feel inadequate if you don’t. I put him on a bottle and ignored their pressure because I knew he wasn’t getting anything from me. They should stop this pressure that they put on new mothers and let them make the choice. I only hope you can get past this and with this post bring the attention to a lot of mothers and possibly prevent another mother having to deal with the loss of a child. Sending you love and sympathy ❤
Thank you Jillian for sharing the heartbreaking account of your beautiful little baby boy’s all too short life. My story could so easily have ended in a similar tragedy. My twin boys had only been home 3 weeks when the smallest became less active and not as keen to feed. I raised my concerns with the maternal nurse but was reassured all was ok. That night Sam missed a feed and kept sleeping. He didn’t have a temperature which I thought was a good thing. He was cold to touch – I didn’t know that because premature babies have poor body temperature regulation they are just as likely to drop in temperature as to have an increased temperature. I rang a health advice line and they said to take him to Emergency. By the time I got there Sam was non-responsive. The doctors attempted to do a lumber puncture three times but were unsuccessful. Sam spent a week in hospital. I am positive I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – I just played over and over and over and over in my head that I was to blame, I shouldn’t have let the nanny take the boys out for a walk in the cold weather etc. I particularly felt guilty that part of me welcomed that Sam was extra sleepy as this gave me a break from the 1-2 hourly twin feeds. I had no idea why he was sleepy – just as you Jillian had no idea that your little baby was dehydrated – I also thought I should have known – yet you had a huge number of health professionals who failed, despite the multiple risk factors you had, to pick up on what was happening. Our little Sam has classical autism and is non-verbal – the undiagnosed virus that he had is most likely not connected in any way to his autism but there will forever be that little kernel of doubt thinking that there is. I don’t know how or why I eventually stopped blaming myself (counselling helped a little) – maybe it was just time that helped lesson the image of my little baby as the doctors attempted to insert the lumber puncture. My thoughts are will you Jillian on this saddest of days. Be kind to yourself – you did everything right and were let down by the medical staff – you could not be expected to know more than the medical professionals.
I am so sorry you had to go through this, it so easily could have been my story but for my husband and one young midwife. The midwives bullied, shamed and harassed me because I couldn’t breastfeed….i cried buckets over it, my husband almost punched the head midwife for the way she treated me but thankfully next day that young midwife took the time to comfort and reassure me and leave me a bottle. I found out afterwards that i was never going to provide milk due to inverted nipples which I found out where inherited from my mum and her mother. I bottle fed both my girls and they never looked back. I could have screamed when I visited my sister-in-law a few years later who had spent 3 days crying and trying to feed her son. I insisted she get some bottle feed, he is now 18 and over 6′ so did fine with bottle feeding! Breast may be best but isn’t always possible or enough…i hope lessons were learned from your experience and will continue to be learned by you sharing your painful journey xx
I am a mother baby nurse at a hospital and we are pressured by management to encourage exclusive breastfeeding. I have seen babies that constantly nurse and cry. I always offer supplement and tell mom’s I will support their decisions. This breaks my heart. I’m so sorry that you went through this tragedy and lost your son. Thank you for sharing your story.
I wasn’t producing milk enough to feed my daughter but I kept trying. She was born with mild jaundice but was able to go home with us. I religiously had her on the breast and did my best to keep at it. Her jaundice ended up getting worse and, on a hunch, I began to give her formula. Her jaundice began to fade away, her strength increased and she began to dirty diapers at a normal rate for newborns.
I’m saddened that you had to go through this. People need to stop judging on how babies are fed. As long as their tummies are full, the “breast is best” bullies should keep their outdated opinions to themselves.
Thank you Thank you Thank you for having the courage to share your story!!!! I’m so sorry for your loss, your beautiful boy!!! I’m a L&D nurse in an area where some parents are strictly breastfeeding, no supplements, no matter what. We need more stories out there to back up our side of the story, IF your baby has too much weight loss, to low blood sugar’s, obviously in distress from not eating, hyperbilirubinemia, supplementation is NOT the worst thing ever!!! Thoughts and prayers to you for comfort, please keep talking, your message NEEDS to be heard!! God bless.
Thank you so much sharing. My heart goes out to you. This is not your fault. I feel like the hospital
dropped the ball though.
I am so very very sorry for your loss. I too was made to feel inadequate as I produced so little milk. I had all of the risk factors that you had. I can’t imagine the pain you must feel and my heart goes out to you. Xx
This is just a question about a comment I sent in earlier, this really isn’t a comment to post on this thread. But I didn’t know how else to reach someone to ask… I made a comment a couple days ago and I haven’t seen it post. It was long and it was sending thoughts and prayers to these parents and telling my story as a similar situation happened to my son but he got to the hospital in enough time. He is 11 now, but I could easily be in your shoes. Love and hugs
I am just wondering did it even come through. There wasn’t anything in it that it would have stopped it from posting. I would really like to share my story on here by it will take me a really long time to retype it all.
OMG! You are not judged! What pain and guilt you must feel. It is unimaginable. The old expression, “hindsight is a wonderful thing”, is so true. We have no idea what is happening at the time and in hindsight we see everything clearly. And it’s crazy that the people who we are supposed to trust let us down. I was also so trusting of the midwives, but very quickly it all changed.
This takes me back to 6 years ago. Even in desperation I called our Australian National Breastfeeding Support 24 hour hotline and the woman was so rude, telling me to just keep him on the breast, as if it’s so simple, why was I calling her. And by chance I spoke to a friend online who said, “just do what you need to do”, and it was what I needed to hear. I sent another friend (who was with me) to the pharmacy and she got me some formula and with the first bottle (only 20 or 30mL) my son settled and went to sleep. I was so shocked after 3 days of virtually constant crying. The next day the home midwife was horrified and carried on as if the formula was rat poison.
My son has struggled with a lot of speech and language issues, which simply couldn’t be explained. For a long time we thought that he had autism, but I always felt that perhaps there was some kind of brain damage. It made me think that it was like he had been exposed to drugs or alcohol when I was pregnant (though he wasn’t). Now I wonder whether it could be related to those first few days being so unsettled and simple starving. Thankfully he is now really picking up and is more on track to being a normal child with some mild residual issues.
This could have happened to me as well. I kept expressing concern that I wasn’t producing milk and everybody said it was fine. I was a first time mother and nobody set me up to a pump to see if I was actually producing milk and so I kept breastfeeding and got the “he’s cluster feeding” explanation as well. I had a C-section and my milk didn’t come in until day 4! Luckily, my son had jaundice and they said formula will help push out the jaundice and since I was so uneasy about not knowing if I was producing, I told them to please give him formula. It was not until a very young lady who worked in the nursery set me up on the breast pump that I realized I had no milk. I was starving my baby too and when I found out, I cried my heart out and felt like the worst mother ever. I am so sorry this happened to you and I can’t even imagine the pain you have felt and continue to feel. Just know that it was not your fault. Thank you for sharing your story so that it may be prevented with others. You are a strong and incredible person and this is truly inspiring. Praying for God’s healing for you and your family.
I am so sorry for your loss.
My first born was hospitalized due to dehydration after we followed no formula advice.
I had a section PLUS a breast reduction and was still counselled by midwives not to offer formula. For three days she screamed. We finally dumped the midwife care, went to a paediatrician who sent us straight to ER, where a urinary catheter was inserted…. no urine. She had to be rehydrated by IV. Formula is not evil. Please, people, do not believe that it will take days for your milk to come in after a surgical birth. You require the hormonal cascade of childbirth to begin breastfeeding… in many instances. I am so sorry for your loss.
So very sorry for your loss
Jillian, I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I had difficulty feeding both of mine, one had weight loss and jaundice. I vowed if we have a third I was bringing my own formula, nipple shield and pump! I am lifting you up in prayer, Jillian!
Thank you for sharing- there is so much pressure on new mums to breast feed and as you say you are none the wiser. I was in a right pickle about not being able to breast feed. I am so sorry for your loss and he is a beautiful little boy who will live long in your heart. Thank you for sharing and I have shared your story to in the hope that new mums will read and take note. Love and hugs x x
Thank you so much for having the courage and ability to share your story. My heart breaks for you. This could have been my situation if I wouldn’t have said my husband and I want to start formula when my son wasn’t latching well and I wasn’t producing much from pumping.
You only did what you knew, and you were being the best mom you could be.
Much love and prayers to you ❤
Your story brought back many painful memories. My sister had the same issues breast feeding as you did. We were blessed that my niece survived and is now a sipirited 9 year old. The journey was tough, I was accused of belng complicit in harming her, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Child protective services got involved and we were fearful she would be placed in foster care. For the first year of her life I was her only baby sitter and had to report if anything appeared out off the ordinary. I’m a teacher and so they fdeemed me safe after jumping through hoops. My sister like you was a first time mom and I had no children we had no idea this was even possible. Thank you so much for sharing other families need to know.
Im so sorry for your lost your stories tauched my hart. I have 2 children and I can only think how you must feel I will never be as strong as you are. You are a very strong person. Never blame yourself for what happened the Lord will always be with you. And remember that gourges boy looks down to he’s mommie
My 9lb baby girl was constantly crying and feeding, not wetting or soiling her nappies. I started formula and had a different baby. 7 years later I still felt guilty…until I read this. Thank you, I know I did the right thing for her. And I’m so sorry you felt powerless as a new mum, I’m so sorry for your loss xo
Thank you so much for sharing this. I am sure it must have been difficult to share but in doing so you have helped many who have and will go through similar situations.
I am very sorry for your loss.
I experienced something similar:.I basically starved my baby for four days because the health-care providers failed to give me proper advice on feeding. In England they are so obsessed with promoting breastfeeding that the bottle is seen as the alien enemy.
I had preeclampsia and some minor complications that led me to have a rough birthi. As I had lost a considerable amount of blood during birth, I was quite dehydrated and my milk didn’t come in until the 5th day..
My baby slept mostly during the first two days as he was distressed by the birth. Whenever he showed signs of hunger I would latch him and the nurses who came to check on us claimed that he was feeding well. It is only later when he gained full consciousness did I realize that he grew tired from the sucking and went back to sleep. Even then the nurses claimed that the baby was feeding well.
I took him home on the third day and he was terribly restless then on. I felt confused because I didn’t experience any milk flowing, but being a new mother, I had no clue whatsoever and put all my trust on the midwife who came in to check on us. Four days passed and on the 4th night, from being constantly restless, the baby started to cry so loudly and I kept latching him and he would try to feed and start screaming again.
My mother who was with us that night grew so irritated and accused me of starving my child, and I thought that the midwife knew better than my mother. I rang the NHS breastfeeding hotline a few times and they kept assuring me that I shouldn’t lose courage and I shouldn’t give the baby the bottle. My angry mother told me that she will never ever speak to me again if something were to happen to my son.
The baby cried often from 5 am to 8 am and my husband rushed to the supermarket and rushed home again with formula milk. It is only after that feed did the baby stop crying and sleep peacefully. Thankfully my milk came in on the 5th day and I started breastfeeding him from then on until he was six-months-old.
What happened to Jill could have happened to me. It pains me to read this.
My first baby was also “tongue tied” but the pediatrician didn’t catch it. It wasn’t until the baby was 4 months old and I moved to another town and changed doctors, that I was told to wean him immediately, since he had lost a pound between the 3rd and 4th months. My sister-in-law, a nurse with 3 children, kept insisting he was tongue tied and unable to latch properly. The new pediatrician, fed up with my nagging, finally sent me to an oral surgeon who confirmed the diagnosis. By the time his tongue was snipped, it was too late to breast feed, but with my next 2 children I was careful to supplement with a bottle.
I am so sorry for the loss of your precious baby. My sister-in-law almost had this same problem with her first baby. I had had two babies myself and she wanted to breast feed more than anything, but her baby was not getting enough food. He cried all the time and ate every two hrs. I kept telling her he shouldn’t be crying like that and that he need something more. She refused to give him a bottle. I was persistent in telling her and she finally took him to his doctor. Thank goodness his dr. Put him on a bottle and some formular. He begin to get satisfied and cry less. Your story is heart wrenching bc no one advised you to do something different.
I am so sorry for your loss <3 I thank you for your courage and the strength t has taken to write and share your very intimate experience… and while life is priceless, I hope you went after that damn hospital for compensation over your heart ache and sons life. THEY should have known better!!! I am so so sorry. May God comfort you.
I’m so sorry for your loss. Please don’t blame yourself I full understand the pressure we as women are put under to breastfeed, I physically threw out a lactation consultant from my house, when she was lecturing me on feeding my 10 day old baby, my 19 month old tripped on the LC bag and split both lips, she wrote in her report that I was ‘unwilling to listen to advise that breast is best’ my 19 month old needed her mum and anybody could feed my son a bottle, which I did and supplemented BF, but my milk supply ended at 8 weeks PP, and I can’t say that I was dissapointed or upset.
Once again, I’m sorry this happened to you.
Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story. It has opened my eyes. I dread to think what would’ve happened to my baby had we stayed in hospital any longer. I had a similar experience reguarding medical staff care, after the birth of my eldest 20 years ago. I wanted to exclusively breast feed. My daughter was unsettled, fretting, crying, screaming, spent more time on the breast than off. Midwife told me same, reassured me everything was fine, inbetween times of bad latch positioning. I was engorged at times and by 3rd day very sore. She had lost over 10% of her birth weight. Many times, they had point blank refused to get baby formula and insisted, I persisted with breast. They wanted me to stay in threatening me about endangering my child. I told them they were the ones putting her in danger by refusing to get baby a bottle. My Mum will sort your mess out. At home I told my Mum and minutes later she left, came back with supplies and gave me a bottle, baby wolfed it down and she had her first 3 hour settled, sound asleep in nearly 96 hours. 4 months later, one of her heel prick tests came back positive. Unbeknown to us, at the time, no matter how well she took breast milk, there wasn’t enough fat concentrated in, for her to actually gain weight. 18 years ago Baby 2 was born really poorly, a medical mystery and spent first 12 weeks in hospital. With only a very poor latch. I expressed my milk for him to be fed by nasal gastric tube all 12 weeks. The only time he was given formula, he was violently sick and inhaled it into his lungs. One of many, scariest times in his short life that he nearly died. Every day, I am thankful for the chance to spend nearly 4 years with him. Baby 3 size caused traumatic birth for both of us. He was really sleepy and jaundiced. It took me about 4 hours of trying to get him to take his first proper feed, sucessfully breast fed after. Baby 4 born meconium and crying. First skin to skin cuddle I got covered. She was only soothed while I bathed her and inconsolable again when lifted out. I needed a quick wash down before I fed her. In my arms she shook her head towards me and lifted her head forward and latched straight on had first proper feed, successfully breast fed. Baby 5 born 3 weeks early due size. Experience similar to 1st baby. Unsettled, fretting, crying, screaming, spent more time on breast than off. Midwife advised same, no formula etc. Kept us in for poor feeding. Spoke to me like I was clueless. Blamed me for poor technique. Referred me to breast support. I got nothing better to do, so I spoke to bf support. I told her baby is like that saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. She told me I was doing a fantastic job, that good I was making feeding too easy for baby. I left it for her to tell know it all midwife lol. More useful advice followed. I expressed off, after feed, fed as normal then topped up with milk in sippy cup. Went home 2days old, no mention of noticeable mild jaundice. 3 days lost over 10% body weight and midwife agreed she needed to go back to hospital for treatment. Home 5 days old gave up sippy cup, put milk in bottle, wolfed it down. Turns out, baby gave up suckling before let down came through and wouldn’t latch back on when full. I run out of stored milk at 20 days and had to give formula. Expressed for another week only ever made enough of my milk for 3 feeds out of 10-12 daily. 2 years later. She is the only one of my kids, I still a struggle to get her to drink only 4oz cows milk in morning and at night.
I read this, as a I sit here feeding my 2 month old baby girl. I had a hard time producing milk, and of course I fed every 3 hours and supplemented with formula when I felt she wasn’t getting enough. That was only after her 2 week check up we found out she’d lost more then 10% of her birth weight, and had jaundice. It scared the crap out of me, so now all I do is bottle feed, because I’m a stress case and so I KNOW what she’s getting. Reading your story, made me grateful for doctors that were educated enough to advise me to supplement. My heart hurts for you, no mother should have to endure losing a child. My heart goes out to you and your sweet baby boy. God bless. Thank you for bringing awareness.
I am mom to a 9 year old boy. My first and only child. I had him at 36 years old. To this day I carry guilt that I “starved” my son for 2 weeks. He cried all of the time, fed all of the time. He latched on fine and gained just barely enough weight to sustain. Doc’s were telling me what to look for. After just under 2 weeks I called my family in tears that I can’t do this. That they either needed to take him or I needed to drive us off a bridge together. I could not live like that anymore. The constant crying. The constant feeding. No sleep!! I hadn’t showered and I was recovering from a C-section. My mom said bring him here. We’ll figure it out. I went to her house and had a rare moment of him sleeping a light bulb came on. My brother drove to my apartment and got the tiny formula bottles that the hospital gave me when I came home. When my kiddo woke up… Crying of course…He drank 2 of those bottles, burped and slept for 6 hours!!! I bought a pump and in 10 mins I got barely one ounce of milk. He was STARVING!! I was done with the breast that moment and bottle fed. He gained weight immediately and slept through the entire night at 3 weeks old. I still carry that guilt. It never leaves.I am so sad at your story. I’m so sad you had to go through that. You are not to blame. He is your Angel. God Bless You!
My daughter Kelsey passed away in 2007 she was “too weak to eat” and in the end I got no real true answer. Thank you for being so brave to tell your story. (((HUGS))) and Happy Birthday Landon. I always say it’s always always a day to be thankful for. The horror hadn’t began. Things like this make me wonder.
I am so very sad and sorry that this happened to you and Landon. I do understand the pressure. When I gave birth to my eldest 16 years ago I had the misfortune of doing it during ‘National Breastfeeding Week’ in the UK. They locked me in the hospital for 3 days to force me to establish breastfeeding. But she didn’t want to be breast fed … so my husband had to sneak bottles into the hospital and we had to sneakily feed her with bottles like criminals. I’ve had 5 children now and it’s always been the same way. The breast is fine for the first 2 or 3 weeks but after that the child is on literally all day long. They suck for hours. I can feel there’s very little there to begin with and then they are sucking away for ages, pointlessly on nothing … so eventually, after weeks of this performance I give in and give a bottle which they guzzle in 20 mins and then fall asleep all happy. I see so many people on the internet and in papers making out that breast feeding is natural and it’s some sort of form of abuse to bottle feed your baby … and there’s no excuse to bottle feed. I’ve felt like somewhat of a failure of a mother and female in general for never making it past a few weeks without a bottle … because it feels like feed the bottle or sit there all day while your baby sucks and starves. This article makes me feel like less of a failure of a mother, and quite frankly there ought to be a lot more awareness of what’s been mentioned in this story and a lot less sanctimonious preaching about ‘breast is best’. I agree, fed is best!
I am so sorry to read about your heartbreaking loss of Landon. We too have a similar story of the “breast-feeding Nazis”and a newborn, full-term, healthy weight baby who wasn’t feeding terribly well and became ‘sluggish’, sleepy and jittery. Not one of the midwives charged with our care considered these signs to be alarming – as they should have – and he ended up severely (unrecordable) hypoglycaemic which led to a massive brain bleed. I am forever grateful that we didn’t lose him but…We now have a 13 yr old son who cannot speak, cannot feed himself or use the toilet, is visually impaired and severely cognitively inpaired and has uncontrolled and life-threatening epileptic seizures. It is a life-sentence for both him and my husband and I – and his younger brother. I have often said that just one bottle of formula was all it would have taken to save our son from this tragedy. ‘Fed is Best’ sounds like a fantastic cause and I wish you all the very best xx
Hi Jude, being the mother of a similarly brain injured child, my heart goes out to you.
What country is this in? It’s a very sad story, I know that in NZ no baby would be allowed to go home with a 9% weight drop in 3days!
And even in Baby friendly initiative hospitals if the baby isn’t getting enough food, women would be offered formula top ups alongside feeding, then additional formula bottles if needed before allowing that kind of weight decrease.
Also, diapers do absolutely correlate to baby’s intake of food. A trained midwife would know this.
I feel for these people- breastmilk is best for babies but only if the baby can get enough and the mother can cope and is healthy. A fed baby should always be the goal!
Jillian I just wanted to say my heart goes out to you and your family your son is a beautiful baby boy I promise his soul will be reunited with yours one day. You cannot hate yourself for something you were completely unaware of. As a human being it is sewed into our DNA structure to make mistakes it’s just part of who we are you should not worry yourself about the thoughts of other and the judgment they may cast upon you. Only yourself and your children can make judgments about you I do not know what it is like to experience that type of heart wrenching pain. I have lost a child but my child was not born yet. I went to the emergency room had a vaginal ultrasound done heard my baby’s heart beat only to go back the following Monday to have another vaginal ultrasound done to see an empty yolk sack. I lost my child after being put under extensive mental emotional stress by people represented by our states and counties all because they are employed by the state and county departments, but when they hear miscarriage come out of my mouth especially on the same day they paid me a visit it’s literally like I never mentioned the word at all. The way I see it no my child was not born but it was still a living soul waiting to make it’s entrance into a world it will never get to meet. Again I am so sorry for your loss but as parents we can not dwell on the what ifs or the maybe if I had because so much anger builds inside us to the point that it over flows into the ones we still have to look out for the ones that are the closest to our hearts and the ones that we love with everything in us I’ve learned that the hard way im still working on productive ways to sort out my sorrow and anger because I’ve lost both of my children all because people who are supposed to help families and carry many different names people who claim to only want what’s in the best interest for the children and the parents is nothing but deceit and evil hiding behind beautiful mask protected by complete immunity laws. Again I am deeply sorry for your loss. I can understand how much your soul and your heart literally hurts everyday.
Wow you have touched so many people. Very sorry for the loss of Landon….beautiful child. Nothing can take away the hurt of the loss of a child. Your braveness may have saved many lives and it’s thanks to what Landon has experienced. My heart goes out to you xxxxxx
I’m so sorry. I understand, to a small degree. My daughter exhibited extreme discomfort from hunger and thirst on day two after birth. I eventually, 32 hours after her birth, gave her a supplement bottle and she settled. The latch had been established so there was no problem resuming nursing like the lactation consultant we had paid during pregnancy had said there would be. With our Stella we were prepared and had the latch established and the bottles ready within 12 hours after her birth. Both daughters successfully and exclusively breastfed for their first five months and continued to nurse well into their second years. While in hospital with Stella, I had had a conversation with an academic pediatrician whom I asked why, in his opinion, was milk production delayed beyond what seemed the hunger and thirst limit for the babies? He said that a wonderful harmony exists between the expanding stomach of the infant and the increasing milk supply of the mother. I suggested that many factors must contribute to an imbalance of this natural arrangement, such as c-section delivery (I didn’t have the host of factors that you list above at my command), but he didn’t seem concerned. However, the memory of my first-born’s screams had too vividly imprinted on my instincts and I, despite the pediatrician’s obvious knowledge and trust in nature, supplemented Stella during her first three days. Thank you for giving me the chance, in this small way, to also voice what I consider to be a huge risk factor in newborns. I wish you all the best, C.
My heart breaks for you. Please don’t blame yourself, you gave Landon every single piece of you, he knew how much he was loved. RIP beautiful boy xx
Bless you. I love you.
I have been an NICU nurse and now a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for a total of 37 years. I am also a mother of 2 adult children. I also was convinced that breastfeeding was best, however after struggling and failing to adequately breastfeed my children they were both bottle fed from about 1 week on. I’m so distraught to read this story because although I know the adage these days has been Breast is Best it isn’t always that simple! I feel that we portray infant formula as if it is poison and it is not!! Breastfeeding is great when it works but it is not for everyone, whether for personal or physiological reasons! There are advantags to bottle feeding with one on the most significant being the ability of the father to participate more fully in the infants care. What a baby needs most at birth is to be FED, cuddled, loved and secure (with a clean diaper of course). So let’s quite selling the Breast and start selling feeding our babies, no matter how it is done! YOUR LOSS IS MORE THAN ANY PERSON SHOULD HAVE TO BEAR! And I feel like we the medical community are responsible for this, since our patients look to us for advice and guidance. Formula will not kill our babies but quite evidently exclusive breastfeeding can!! You will be kept in my prayers and this will affect my practice in the future!
This may have been my daughter’s story if I hadn’t developed Reynaud’s in my breasts. Her constant “cluster” feeding in the first three days caused me so much pain that it was all I could do not to scream every time she latched. My husband insisted on giving her formula to give me a break. I tried to convince him that would be a horrible mistake. That I needed to keep breastfeeding to get my milk to come in (I also had been told that my colostrum was enough for her tiny stomach). He persisted and I let him make a tiny little bottle. I think we’d been told something about newborns only having room for half an ounce or something. He ended up making three bottles in a row – the last one he finally made a full 2 ounces because she was going through the others so quickly – and then finally she went to sleep and slept for 2 hours straight for the first time since she was born (I had 4 hours of sleep in the first 48 hours of her life because of her constant feeding). I started pumping and it took 6 days for my milk to come in and, even then, I was producing almost nothing.
Nobody warned me in the hospital that my pre-eclampsia and induction might interfere with milk production. Nobody asked me if my breasts had grown at all during pregnancy (they hadn’t). Nobody checked me for anemia after I experienced a retained placenta and lost more blood than is normal (it took a month before I finally realized there was something wrong with me and I wasn’t just some weak mom who couldn’t handle life with a newborn).
For three months I tried to pump and increase my supply. I felt like a horrible failure and grieved for months that I wasn’t able to produce enough to feed my child. Reading your story has broken my heart for you but also released me from the vestiges of guilt and regret that still remained in my mind. You did nothing wrong, mama. You were loving that baby the best you knew how. Perhaps your story will save many lives, prevent many traumas, and rescue thousands of women from depression, guilt, self-doubt, and grief. Thank you for sharing your story.
I wanted to share that my first child was actually a newborn that cried a lot. She didn’t just eat sleep and fill diapers. I did end up giving her bottles and breast— but she still spent a lot of time crying and fussing. The only point is that, having a second child who peacefully ate and slept and filled diapers showed me that each child is different. I write this in response to your “you should have known” part of your story. We each do our best with the knowledge we have and that’s all we can do. For all you knew your child could have been a crier like mine.
I am so heartbroken by your loss! There are no words that can be written to bring you comfort and for that I am sorry too. I pray that the Lord would be a balm to your soul and be a comfort for you.
I don’t know how the author found the courage to share this story, but so very grateful she did. Heartbreaking for her and her precious baby. This information will save lives.
Thanks for sharing. I am so sorry for your loss. My daughter is alive because she had jaundice and I was so out of it dealing with a botched epidural which resulted in them tapping my spinal fluid. They gave her formula in the nursery. I had her may 1st. We were released may 3rd. I had a baby shower on the 4th where wise mothers tried to help me breastfeed a screaming child. They encouraged me to pump or formula feed. I found out 2 weeks later she had tracheomalacia and couldn’t latch. I am lucky I was able to exclusively pump for 13 months.
I fully support fed is best. Hospitals especially lactation coaches need to pay more attention. I kept expressing concern that she wouldn’t hold her latch. They said to just keep her on the breast. I thank God for the women in my life and that I didn’t cancel a baby shower I was miserable at.
I am so sorry for your loss. I cried so hard reading this because I almost had the same thing happen to me. After coming home from the hospital with my daughter Madison, my first child, she was the same way. Always crying and constantly on my breast. My fiance saw how much of a toll it took on her and I (me because I hadn’t slept since she was born). He went out and got formula because I told him there is no way she should be constantly on me, I felt something was wrong. After giving her a bottle she slept for almost 4 hours and I finally got sleep after being awake almost 3 days. I didn’t go back to breastfeeding after that. It was apparent my daughter was starving. I wanted to do the natural thing and breastfeed but I wasn’t producing. Being a first time mom, I’m relieved to see I wasn’t the only one that’s had that problem. Again, I’m so sorry for your loss and I will pray for your family!
Thank you for sharing your story! I’m so sorry for your loss. I am a nurse, although this area is not my area of practice. When I had my son, after an emergency c-section, I felt very unsupported. Of course I wanted to breastfeed but I felt as though he was not getting enough milk because he was always crying. When I expressed my concerns, I didn’t get much response from the nurses, until one angel showed me SNS feeding, which allowed my to have my son at the breast but receive formula via a tube attached to my breast. In the end, breastfeeding didn’t work out for us. I carried a lot of guilt with me when I decided to stop. Now, my son is six, he’s healthy and active. Breastfeeding or formula feeding seems such a little decision in the big picture these days. I wish there was more support to allow mom to make decisions to breastfeed or formula feed. Obviously, the majority of mom’s aren’t going to intentionally do anything that isn’t in their child’s best interest.
Please share this with the La Leche League,
I had a family member go through this same thing. The discharge pediatrician for my nephew just blew off her concerns that he was not eating well. They went home and the issues continues. I called the La Leche League on the second day he was home to ask for advice and they said just to keep it up and he that it would be OK. The next day he was admitted to the hospital for dehydration. He recovered but it was very worrying that my cousin was dismissed by so many when she knew he was not getting enough to eat. No one mentioned supplemental feedings or the hospitals donated milk supply. I am glad in the end that he was OK but this shows that it could have turned out so much worse. Thank you for sharing you story with the world.
Your story breaks my heart. I’ve literally been bursting into tears for days just thinking about it, about how preventable it was, but how easily it could happen with poor advice and lack of appropriate monitoring by healthcare staff. I have also caught myself saying prayers to your sweet little Landon up in heaven (if you believe in it) and reassuring him that you loved him with all your heart and that you only did what you believed was best for him, although of course he already knows that. Although part of me wishes that I had never read your story (it’s just so sad!), I am so glad that you are starting to heal and that you are now able to share it. Sharing this knowledge is important to help prevent other parents and babies from suffering the same fate.
I am incredibly fortunate that our local hospital encourages breastfeeding while also monitoring for signs of hydration and suggesting formula top-ups if thought necessary. I also had formula on my baby essentials list (following Lucie’s List!) just in case for some reason I was unable to feed him or felt that I needed to top him up as the advice I was given was the last thing you want is a hungry baby with no way to feed them. I am so lucky that I received that advice, even if I never actually needed to use it (although my son did feed for 10 hours out of 24 for the first two or three months of life, he always gained weight and, while a slow eater, was fortunately getting enough). The small tub of formula is still unopened in the cupboard, still in date and ready for baby number two, and thanks to you and the good advice I received previously, I will not be afraid to use it, if needed. A small tub of formula should really be on everyone’s baby essentials list, even if they plan to exclusively breastfeed.
You didn’t fail your son, you did the very best that you knew how at the time. My son actually ended up back in hospital with an awful bladder infection that had spread to his blood at 21 days old and I still feel guilty about that and think about ways I maybe could have prevented it. (We were using cloth wipes and I didn’t know they needed to be boiled/sterilized and was just washing them on cold; maybe I didn’t change his diaper enough; the weather was really hot which promotes bacteria growth – maybe I should have used the air conditioner more…). His pediatrician said that type of infection could take a life that young in just 24 hours.
That experience certainly humbled me and I now have such a huge appreciation for just how fragile and vulnerable newborns are, but also how vulnerable and helpless we are as (particularly first time) mothers. I am happy to hear that you now have a healthy little girl and happy that this website and initiative exists. I wish you all the luck in the world getting the message out to healthcare staff and future moms. No one should ever be made to feel guilty for (let alone prevent from!) feeding their baby formula whether out of caution, necessity, or just to maintain sanity. RIP sweet little Landon.
Your post hit so close to home. When my son was born, I was also very militant about breastfeeding him. I thought he was nursing successfully, but he wasn’t. His latch on wasn’t good enough. The morning after we brought him home, my husband looked at our son and said “he looks like a pretzel. I think he’s dehydrated and needs some formula.” I was horrified, offended and defiant. I absolutely refused to give him formula. In my mind at the time it seemed like a poison to me (ludicrous, I know!). Fortunately my husband remained very calm and diplomatic. He offered a compromise -we’d bring him in for a check-up, and if the pediatrician said he was okay, then all was good. I agreed. When the pediatrician walked into the exam room, she took one look at my son from afar and ran out of the room, returning moments later with formula, saying “You have to fed him this NOW!” What a wake-up call. Thank goodness my husband could see what I could not at the time. After reading your story, I realize now how dire my son’s situation was, and how close he could have been to death. I’m so sorry for the loss of your son.
Bless you. I can only imagine how difficult it was for you to share this story with the world along with pictures of your sweet boy. Happy birthday, Buddy!
To the mother of this beautiful little boy: you did your best. The hospital never should have released – they saw the signs and should have known your body wasn’t producing the milk Landon needed. You did everything right. there was no way you could have known that Landon was starving except that your motherly instincts knew something was wrong. You had no way of actually knowing what because the doctors and nurses kept insisting every thing was fine. Landon will be in your heart forever more and he lives through you. Thank you for sch a heart breaking yet touching story. Let yourself heal – that’s what Landon wants for you.
I am so sorry to read this. I feel that this could so easily have happened to me too, had it not been for the fact that the community midwife had my daughter admitted to the Children’s Ward due to weight loss on Day 3. I had previously breast fed my son without any difficulties and still don’t really understand what the problem was with breastfeeding my daughter. I find it hard to look at photos of her in the first couple of days because she looks dehydrated and I remember her crying all the time because I now realise she was hungry. Once I realised what was going on, I switched to bottle feeding and we never looked back. I guess every baby and time is different. You are absolutely doing the right thing to raise awareness of this issue.
My first born son ended up in hospital for a week when he was 10 weeks old. He was literally starving. I had read so much literature on Breast is Best.
I am so sorry for your loss.
God Bless you Jill and your family. You’ve been through so much, I am praying for you. May your little Angel Landon always be looking over you. I hope in time your pain will ease knowing you did nothing wrong, trusted those who were professionals and they failed you and your beautiful boy. I admire your courage, thinking of others. Your story will now help so many, your little Landon will now save other babies whose mother’s are in the same situation. He is a hero in his own right. God Bless xox
As a a first time mother to be this story is needed. Thank you for sharing it and much love to you and your loss. I am constantly worried will my baby get enough milk, and just want to be as informed as possible, I have had a few friends go home form hospital in my opinion to early only to return as the baby isn’t receiving enough/or none at all of breast milk. I will be making sure I am not belittled or harassed if about what is best for my baby.
Thankyou for sharing Landon’s story. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to do that. You have so much courage!
I am a mother of three in Australia.
My son Liam is now 20, but I came so very close to having the same story to tell as you have shared.
Liam was born 10 days post-dates by vaginal birth in the USA. He was a healthy 3.8 kgs and well at birth. He breastfed soon after birth and continued to feed well and frequently. Excellent latch, good long feeds. We were discharged within 24 hours. He was my second baby and my first had breastfed for 2 years, so I wasn’t expecting any issues.
Liam fed frequently and when he wasn’t feeding he was crying. My eldest was 5 and I couldn’t recall her crying so much, but put it down to Liam just being a fractious baby. I had him on the breast all. the. time! My parents were visiting and they both remarked on his crying, but I felt he was latching well, so assumed he had some pain and fed him some more. He didn’t have many wet nappies, but was passing meconium regularly. I was a midwife and committed to exclusively breastfeeding. I really didn’t think there was a problem. I was sleep-deprived and just couldn’t see what was happening.
The hospital where Liam was born had just introduced a follow-up well baby check on day 5, so I duly went along to see the paediatrician with my baby. Thank God I did! Liam had lost 20% of his birth weight and just lay there on the examining bed, not crying now, just laying listlessly. It wasn’t until I saw him lying there that I realised how sick he was. It was like I had not been able to see the big picture before this moment.
Liam was immediately admitted to NICU and commenced on IV fluids. He was severely hypernatraemic and it took 4 days for his blood levels to return to normal. My poor little guy was dying of starvation and dehydration! And I had no idea.
I thank God every day that my hospital had initiated the 5 day checkup because if I had not taken Liam to the Dr that day I dread to imagine what story I would be telling today. I am still wracked with guilt that I, a midwife and a mother, could not see what was happening to my baby boy. At every stage in Liam’s development I have been overcome with shame and guilt if there was any hiccup in him meeting his milestones. Fortunately my beautiful baby boy has grown into an intelligent, caring young man, but I still feel very responsible for all he went through in his first days.
I was encouraged to continue breastfeeding Liam once he was discharged from the hospital, but I had no confidence in my ability and he thrived on formula.
I am still an advocate for breastfeeding. I breastfed my third child exclusively for 6 months and continued to feed her for 2 years. But I was vigilant in observing her behaviour and weight gain and output. I continue to work as a midwife and encourage and support women to breastfeed if that is what they wish to do. Breast is best, yes, but only if that is what is working for both Mum and baby. The most important thing, as this article states, is that FED is best and we need to ensure that babies are being nourished, not just breastfed.
Thankyou again for sharing your story. This is the first time I have been able to put into words the feelings I have had for the past 20 years. The guilt will always be there, but I have come to be a little more forgiving to myself.
Dear Jill, my heart goes out to you! I read your story a few days ago and cannot stop thinking about you and little Landon. I can’t imagine the pain you endured five years ago and the pain you have endured since then. I’m so sorry this happened to you! I know the pressure society puts on us, and we put on ourselves, to exclusively breastfeed. My daughter lost 11% of her bodyweight during her first few days of life because my milk had not come in. I too thought it was normal (although I was really freaking out inside). Luckily and thankfully for me, my husband, and my daughter, she is OK. I am now pregnant with our second child – a little boy – and I am so glad you posted this before I had him so that I can be more vigilant and careful with him. Thank you.
I am so sorry for your terrible loss. My heart broke for you as I read these words and I realised how easily this could have been my story. We thought we had a baby who was just a good sleeper (about 7 hours at a time) but he would scream every time I tried to feed him. This went on for about a month, under the supervision of a clinic sister, until a family member (also a paediatric nurse) was in tears as she watch me trying to feed my baby. After 4 weeks She rang one of the heads of department at the Children’s Hospital and after asking about 5 simple questions – he said “that kid is starving. Go and buy bottles and formula IMMEDIATELY”. That gave me the confidence to push back when my clinic nurse continued to advise me to breastfeed, almost to the point of telling me I was being negligent. No other time in my life have I felt so inadequate and bullied by other women as I did when I brought my first child into the world. My story has a very happy ending but it really distressed me reading your story as it highlighted just how close I came to a much different outcome. Again, I am so sorry for the loss of your gorgeous Landen but I thank you for sharing your story to help others find their voice when faced with the same advice.
So sad, losing a infant is so so sad. I’m sorry and know losing a child is painful having to think about could’ve would’ve shoulda for the rest of your life Is well you know I pray for you and anyone who has lost a child thanks for sharing
A note to Jillian (the mom)– It is hard to know what to say to you. I am sorry for your loss of your beautiful baby, over four years ago. I did not lose my baby, but I had trouble with feeding my first baby. When I was pregnant I did a lot of reading and studying so that I would know how to take care of a (my) baby, especially in the first days, weeks and months. I tried breastfeeding while in the hospital. I had a cesarean section to have my baby, so I did not feel good the first night. Early in the morning the nurse would check on me and tell me it’s time to feed my baby. For some reason I did not do it right away. I ended up asking them for a bottle of formula. They seemed to wonder why I did not ask for it sooner. But this was my first baby and I wondered why they were talking in a rude, or seemingly rude, tone of voice. After three days I took my baby home. I only breastfed my baby over the following weekend because I was believing that I should follow the doctors stern suggestion. I thought of calling the pediatrician but I didn’t because it was the weekend. My baby cried a lot when I tried to feed her. I thought that maybe she wasn’t latching on very well. I was frustrated and my baby was frustrated. I think it was after the weekend on Monday that I called the pediatrician. He told me to bring my baby in to see him. He told me to feed my baby with formula. But it did not work very well. So, some days later, when my baby was 13 or 14 days old, the doctor told me to take my baby to the Children’s Hospital. My daughter was in the hospital for four days. They gave her IV liquids and bottle fed her. She finally improved just enough to go home. It still took at least two weeks before she improved some more. And then, in a few weeks after that she was starting to drink too much. Or it seemed like it after what we had been through. I thought that she had gained a little too much weight at that point. While my daughter was in the hospital they were saying that her jaw was week. When I bottle-fed her they showed me how to support her lower jaw. That was the main problem, that her lower jaw was weak. I sure wished that I had solely bottle fed my baby from the beginning, or had at least done both with mostly relying on the bottle (formula). I have felt guilt ever since that time, every time I remember what happened. I was afraid that I was going to lose my baby. That was just over 17 years ago. My daughter is doing fine. I (we) have three wonderful daughters now. Jillian, may God give you peace and strength and provide for your needs.
I can not even imagine the heart ache you indure daily , nightly with out your baby boy.
I am so so very sorry for the loss of such a precious gift . Please , please know you did nothing wrong and have no guilt in his passing .
Please also accept my apology on behalf of the medical community . Please believe the staff would never have wanted this to happen to your family !
As a maternity nurse for 17 years and mother of 3 – we NEVER mean any malice in PROVIDING OUR nursing skills , education or in the care we try to give –
I can assure you !!! No Maternity Nurse or Doctor or provider of care would have ever wanted your son to die .
WE are told how we are to provide care and we are to follow protocols in giving that care –
I do belive that the ” breast is best ” movement has been shoved down the medical fields throats .
I am truly grateful that yours and landons story has been told , as it needs to be heard !!!
It is a story that should help educate the administration on tragic outcomes if we are too rigid in giving —-
” cookie cutter ” patient care –
Every mom and every baby are different .
The medical community should not force everyone to conform to the norm .
I have taken this telling of your darkest day and put it in my heart to help future mothers – I promise
Again , I am soooo sorry . Your angel with be with you always .
My love to your family , Jill R. Rn
You never could have known! What a brave woman you are, my heart breaks for you. Be strong for little Landon. Sending so much love
I am so sorry for your loss!
I am reading your story thinking is this my story being re told by someone else the only difference is on performing CPR we where lucky enough to bring back signs of life!
After arriving back at the hospital they gave my daughter her 1st bottle and it was at this moment I realised that a new born is not ment to cry and cry non stop! She was a completely different baby! I felt horrible because I’m her mum and I feel like I should have known but as a new mum you have no idea and trust what the nurses tell you!
God bless him and the parents. This is so unfair. Please receive all our LOVE ❤️ And I admire your courage to share the heartbreaking story, at least people can learn from your experience and maybe save another baby. Bless you!!!
I’m so very sorry about your son. Reading your story brought tears to my eyes this morning but also a great sense of validation. You see, my hospital was also one of those pro-breastfeeding ones that essentially receives a GRANT for convincing 100% of all moms to at least attempt breastfeeding. I remember in the tour, the guide told us that formula is not given to babies as everyone is encouraged to breastfeed. After having the experience of ONLY formula feeding my first child (she was adopted), I knew that given my daughter’s growth and development during her first year, formula feeding couldn’t be as bad as they made it sound like in the breastfeeding class I attended and in all of the literature I was given through the hospital. I even snuck formula into my diaper bag just in case, feeling very much like it was “contraband.” I tried breastfeeding for 3 weeks but also supplemented with formula, so my son didn’t even lose weight in the first week and gained steadily. But I knew it was because I was giving him formula rather than breastmilk only. Yet even my hubby wanted me to exclusively breastfeed, so I was trying to wean him onto only breastmilk. He grew more and more fussy and began to cluster feed for 6-8 hours a day and longer. I knew he must have been hungry because he wasn’t sleeping for very long — if at all. (My huge passion with my kids when they were babies was sleep training, which actually saved our lives, but that’s another whole story/issue). I knew if my son was constantly latched onto my breast for 8 hours at a time and not sleeping, it wasn’t healthy. One night I did an experiment and gave him only bottles while I pumped. I only got 2 ounces AFTER waiting about 3 hours from the last time I’d breastfeed him! The following morning, I got 4 oz. My son was already taking 3-4 oz per bottle. He was clearly not getting what he needed. That right there was the only proof I needed to know that it was time to switch to formula. Breastfeeding can be a very lovely and wonderful bonding experience, but any benefits that might exist from solely breastfeeding will not happen if a baby is not properly fed. Period. Once I transitioned him to mostly formula, my son began to sleep much better, eat much better, and became an overall happier boy. I’m sure there are many moms who don’t have these experiences, and for whom breastfeeding works well, but that wasn’t our case, and I wasn’t going to let all of the pro-breastfeeding propaganda guilt me into feeling like I was a bad mom because I gave him formula. My heart genuinely weeps for you and other moms and babies who attempt to exclusively breastfeed and it doesn’t work. I’ve seen babies diagnosed with Failure to Thrive in my mommy group, and it’s heartbreaking because they refuse over and over again to offer the babies formula. What’s more important? An agenda or a child’s life? 🙁 Hugs your way and so very very sorry that your son had to pay the ultimate price for this propaganda. 🙁 I’m so very thankful you are sharing your story, though, because it is exactly what I suspect could have happened very easily to my son!
Thank you for sharing your story. If it hadn’t been for a wonderful, caring nurse who was subbing from the gynecological ward, my story would have had the same exact ending. I was in the hospital almost seventeen years ago with my second child. The first child I could not breastfeed because of complications, so this was my first go of it. She constantly screamed and no matter how many times I put her to breast, she wasn’t satisfied. I begged the lactation consultant to please, PLEASE, just let me give her a bottle; she’s starving! And the horrible snot actually said to me, “You just don’t want to be bothered with producing a healthy child because the bottle is easy!” She flat-out REFUSED my requests! Finally, on the day we were to be checked out, a nurse from the gynecological ward was substituting for a regular nurse and she came into our room and found my daughter hoarse from screaming and me bawling. She asked me what was going on and I spilled my guts out to her, right down to the nasty lactation consultant. She exclaimed, “Bullsh*t! This baby is hungry! Hang on a minute.”, went down the hall and brought me a six-pack of formula bottles. She prepped one, handed it to me, and my daughter inhaled that bottle and part of another one! It was the first time she fell asleep and stayed asleep! The nurse told me “For the next 24 hours, if that baby gets hungry, feed it. If you decide to try breastfeeding when your milk comes in, do it. But keep these bottles on hand.” She brought me a week’s supply of bottles! I put in a formal complaint on that stupid lactation consultant, as did I suspect the subbing nurse. It was a nightmare that made me think twice about EVER breastfeeding, as I was afraid I’d run into another dictator consultant. My daughter is now sixteen and in her junior year of high school, thanks to a compassionate nurse. I only wish you had had the same experience. I’m really sorry for your loss.
As I read this blog, I reflect on my personal experience with my son’s birth. We just celebrated his 7th birthday yesterday. At the time of his birth, he was severely dehydrated. The nurses said nothing as they took him from my room and didn’t return. They closed the shades on the infant room and headed me off at the door. I was scared, but I knew my son needed me and I insisted to be there to comfort them. I watched in horror as he screamed while they poked him over and over again with the needle in attempts to find a vein for the IV. They had him under a warming lamp since he was stripped down to his diaper. I noticed he was extremely hot to the touch and beet red. They didn’t have the heat sensor on him to monitor the temperature, so not only was he dehydrated but he was roasting under the lights.
I told them, if he is dehydrated, give him a bottle first then try for the IV. They assumed because he was breastfed, that we would oppose the bottle so they didn’t even bother to offer it. Sure enough, poor baby was hungry. I had inadequate support at the hospital for breastfeeding and no-one thought to check if he was eating enough. I thank God everyday for speaking to me during this time, alerting me that my son was in trouble, and giving me the wisdom and courage to speak up to the nurses.
I am sorry for your little angel and what he went through. I am saddened by your loss and countless others who have experienced the same. Thank you for your bravery and sharing your story. I pray God’s comfort and blessings daily over your family.
Thank you for sharing your story. You did nothing wrong. I too was bullied by nurses, midwives, friends, books, media into breastfeeding exclusively after c-section. My child cried all the time I was exhausted and he was constantly on me. Conflicting confusing advice about bottle preference and latching problems and cup feeding confused me. At 4 weeks I walked out the house and my husband gave him a bottle and thank god we did. He had not returned to his birth weight and looked like a skinny unhappy rat. From that day I saw him smile and he slept his first 6 hours in his short life. Oh how different it could have been. My marriage suffered and my child has mild autism and ADHD which may or may not have been from this. God’s blessings and peace to your family I hope you can move on.
Wow. Thank you for sharing your story. I sobbed through most of your story -remembering my experience as a first time mother. My daughter is now 14. When she was born, she seemed to have a good latch. She cried all the time and I often wondered how much nourishment she was getting. I saw lactation consultants in the hospital and for many months to address feeding issues and concerns about breastfeeding. I spent long hours in the middle of the night with LA Leche league volunteers – supporting me or so I thought. I cried often and felt like a failure that even though I did all that was requested of me, it seemed that I could not satisfy my new baby. I pumped after each feeding (because they said I would produce enough milk if the demand was there). I barely got a tablespoon. They assured me that is was because our daughter was so good at nursing that she barely left any milk. At work, I would pump and only get 1/4-1/2 of an ounce each time after hours….Again they assured me that my milk must be high fat and that she was fine. Her suckle became weak. At that time, they had me use a SNS (supplemental nursing system) a small bottle filled with formula with a very small tube that I taped near my nipple to encourage her to suckle and nurse well. I continually questioned why I was not producing enough. They assured me that my milk may not be plentiful, but was high fat and she was just fine. I listened. I was desperate to breastfeed my daughter. She continued to lose weight. I was continually told that she was fine. I asked questions and the doctors did not seem concerned. Finally I asked to have my thyroid tested as I had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism many years before, but during pregnancy, my levels adjusted and I was told that I no longer needed medication. 4months post partum I was diagnosed with post partum hypothyroidosis. I was taking meds along with several other supplements to increase milk production – tea, fenugreek, brewers yeast reglan etc and nothing worked. I was told that the thyroid had nothing to do with milk production. We now know that the two are related and the medical community now mostly recognizes this. At the time I researched often and finally found a woman’s story that paralleled my own I sobbed feeling that I had finally found my answer. Shortly after this I confronted my doctor. They ran blood tests on my daughter and found abnormal liver results and the beginning of starvation. She was listed as failure to thrive. I was horrified, but as a new mother and not getting answers, I was unsure of all of the right questions to ask and how to proceed. After the failure to thrive diagnosis, we went to formula…. I am truly grateful that we were able to change things. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your story and bringing awareness to other moms!!! of note, my thyroid was monitored during my second child’s pregnancy and after and all was within normal limits. Had great milk production and was able to nurse successfully.
Surprised to see that nobody here mentions another breast-feeding problem that we experienced with our first-born. We also had to deal with a baby that would constantly cry and wanting to breastfeed, but was losing weight instaed of gaining. Luckily, my mother, who had raised 8 children, saw that the sucking motions were not what she remembered. The second day, the pediatrician took her worries seriously, examined my baby’s mouth and saw that the frenulum (thin piece of tissue below the tongue) was too large, limiting the tongue to such the milk out of my breasts. It took him 10min to cut the excess frenulum and everything went right after that.
So sorry that black and white thinking wins over mother instincts time and time again.
Thank you for your incredible bravery in sharing your story. When my first daughter was born I took her back to the local hospital after four days because she was not producing enough wet nappies and would not stop crying and feeding. I too was told she was just cluster-feeding and to keep breastfeeding. The next day I took her back to get her weighed for her five day check and they told me to drive her straight to the city hospital because she was dehydrated. She ended up in hospital for five days. Thankfully she completely recovered. I trusted the midwives but they couldn’t look beyond ‘Breast is Best’. I believe that reading this story will give many new mums the courage to trust their instincts and babies will be saved from harm. Thank you.
I am balling my eyes out reading your struggle. My heart is in my stomach, scanning each word as if I wrote it myself. I, too, struggled along this same path until my mother pushed me to begin supplementing after my son cried, and cried, and cried. Always on the breast. Lactaction consultants said, “great latch, good eater”. But he always cried. He kept screaming and “cluster feeding” all the time. My 88 y/o grandma told me he was hungry. I objected. I’d been to several lactation consultants, and they all said he was doing well. Society wouldn’t let me supplement. I would have been a failure at the most important job of my life. But he cried. And he cried. He was hungry. Starving. Deprived. But it’s so ingrained in us that breast is best, and if you don’t BF you’re a bad mom. Well my own mom said, “I give you permission to stop BFing. You’re done. Let’s give him formula.” The mommy-guilt was horrendous. But her essentially, one woman from another, giving “permission” gave me peace.
I am so sorry for your loss and so sorry for your pain. I wish so bad someone would have stepped in for you. Everything after child birth is so chaotic. Sleep deprivation makes it so much harder to have cognitive thoughts and rationalization. God bless you. Your story is so important. Thank you for sharing it. You are a such a strong person. Sending love from Colorado.
This story made a shiver go down my spine when I think how easily we could have had the same outcome for my son, Brendan. My hospital stay was 24 hours, starting from the time he was delivered. Like his sister and brother before him, I made the choice to breast feed. His latch was insufficient and I kept telling the nurses and the Dr. but they insisted he was wetting enough diapers, so home we went. Less than 24 hours after, we were back in the ER. He was dehydrated and weak. The Dr. set me up with a lactation consultant who came to my house a few times a week to help Brendan find his latch. That was 20 years ago. It’s time the “experts” listen to mom’s and their instincts. Thank you for sharing your ordeal; I am so sorry for your loss.
I was heartbroken to read your story. I’m so terribly sorry to read about Landon’s story – I can’t imagine the pain you’ve been through – and still go through. I felt I had to write to you to say thank you for your courage in telling your story. It’s doubly heartbreaking that you say you were scared to tell your story because you were worried you would be judged. I understand those feelings that you could/should have known what was going wrong (you couldn’t) must be so strong some days but please, please know that you were an excellent mother to your son. You followed the medical advice, you tirelessly fed him, you loved him with all your might. You did nothing, nothing wrong.
Your story resonated with me for two reasons. Firstly because you’ve made me see what a near miss I had with my daughter Ally, who is now six. Ally was sent home with me within a few hours of birth. She was my first child. My milk hadn’t come in and her latch wasn’t great. How did I know what a good latch felt like anyway? Everyone at the hospital seemed so delighted that I was breastfeeding, they weren’t too concerned that my milk hadn’t come in. I took her home. The 24 hours we spent at home together are a haze. She tried to feed. She slept a lot. I think there were some dirty nappies – not sure about wet ones… And then suddenly things weren’t right. Her left arm went purple while I was trying to feed her. She seemed a bit floppy. (The woman on the phone from the hospital asked “is she alert? Again how did I know how alert a two day old baby should be? I had nothing to compare her with.)
Anyway we rushed her to hospital and suddenly we were plummeted into the world of very worried doctors crowding round her, putting her on drips, taking needles to her and absolutely failing to tell us that everything would be ok. Her blood sugar was dropping fast. Thankfully I guess we got medical help just in time. They gave her sugars and she seemed to stabilise. Then followed five days of Ally and I stuck in a paediatric ward, trying to make breastfeeding work while the doctors and breastfeeding counsellors argued over whether I should or shouldn’t give her a bottle. I did give her a bottle (despite judgemental questions from a breastfeeding counsellor like “you do know what nipple confusion is, don’t you?”) and we persevered with an insane routine of breastfeeding, pumping and bottle feeding (no-one was there to help me to work, clean and sterilise the pump and my husband wasn’t allowed to stay; so I barely slept at all; no one on the paediatric ward knew much about breastfeeding – we weren’t allowed in the maternity ward because we’d been discharged before we were readmitted). At one point the most helpful breastfeeding support I got was from a hospital cleaner who had breastfed her own children.
Anyway, Ally and I eventually learned to breastfeed and on day five my milk came in. It could have been so different. I’m so incredibly sorry that for you it was. Thank you for showing me how lucky I was. I do hope that sharing your story will help to save lives. Landon looks like such a beautiful little boy. And it sounds like he was so brave and determined. I’m so sorry that the medical system around you let him down. But all he ever knew was your love and care. I don’t know if that brings you any comfort. But I hope you find comfort and strength somehow.
The second reason why your story resonates with me is that my darling nephew Axel, born a couple of years after Ally, died when he was a few weeks old. It was a different story – a seemingly insignificant viral infection that took hold quickly and doctors didn’t pick up on until he suddenly went into cardiac arrest – but I know (only as an outsider, with only a fraction of the intensity of heroic bereaved parents like you and my brother and sister-in-law, Axel’s wonderful parents) how devastatingly strong is the sense that we fail our babies if they die – that we could or should have known how to protect them.
I just wanted to write to you to say you did your best. You loved your son. You fed him night and day. I know that the guilt won’t go because of anything I say but I do hope you will stop feeling scared to talk about what happened. I have nothing but admiration for you. I do hope all is well with your little girl. My second daughter is called Stella too. Xxx
Thank you so much for sharing your ordeal. May God Bless your family always. I am so very sorry for your loss. Your words can educate new Moms and Dads about what can happen after childbirth.
My sons have autism and apparently this developmental disability can sometimes keeps the baby from latching on. This I was unable to breastfeed, so I tried U Tim I cried, and then pumped while Dad bottle fed. I was being bullied to “try harder” to breast feed which of course didn’t work. After some time, we just switched to formula.
I thank you for sharing your story but am so sorry you had to go through this experience. Please do not feel quilts any longer, as I am certain you’ve saved many other babies by education so many adults.
This story brings back sooooo many memories. I had the same beginnings. A healthy 7.6 pound baby girl down to 6.4 at her 4 day appointment, which was 2 days after leaving the hospital. The dr said it was normal and my milk would be coming in very soon. I was still concerned and went to the kactation department at kaiser. They weighed her before and after breast feeding. She latched and seemed to be eating great. They said she was t getting enough and to try to feed her with a tube atttached to my breast. An hour after we got home, I tried to wake up my baby to feed her and she was not moving. I screamed for my husband and we drove like crazy ppl (now I know to call 911). We were not thinking. I thought my baby was dead. We got to the hospital ER the nurse said she is fine, she’s pink. I said, I’m not a crazy first time mom. Something Is wrong. She’s not moving. My daughter was fiesty in uterine and in her first few days of life. The dr tested her blood sugar and it was 51. He said if it went below 50 she could have had brain damage or death. The NICU nurse was called and gave her a bottle. They kept her in the hospital for several days running tests. At one point gave her a test for meningitis because her body temperature went down one night. It was what I thought was my biggest nightmare. The lactation nurse that saw me after I gave birth also came in the NICU. I told her I never had any milk. She said yeah I didn’t think your breast had milk. I think she said she could tell by my breasts. I said why didn’t you tell me that. She said she didn’t want to discourage breast feeding. I said so you’d rather me have a dead baby???? My daughter was released and is now 7 1/2. I knew it was great luck that she survived and with no brain damage. From then on, I preach feed a bottle after breastfeeding. I try and share our story. I am crying with the memories and with the heartbreak for the families that lost their babies by trying to do the right thing and breastfeed like they told us. It is sickening that the lactation department didn’t tell me that my baby was starving to death. It’s criminal. Thank you for sharing this story.
Thank you for sharing. Would you be interested in having us publish your story?
Thank you Jillian. What you shared is so moving and I sobbed reading it. It is a powerful message to new mothers, even second time around as I will be soon – especially those with PCOS as I also have. My daughter cried inconsolably for the first couple of months of life and we tried everything with her, but the only thing that worked was when I started taking Domperidone to increase my milk supply. She lost more than 10% of her birth weight and took a month to gain it back. I’m thankful I had enough milk to keep her alive but for the next baby I will use the medication earlier and be much more watchful and informed this time – thanks to you. Landon is saving many other little babies with his experience and he is their guardian angel. Much love to you Jillian.
I am so so sorry for your loss and thank you so much for being so brave and sharing your story. Although the story has been shared with such a sad ending, it’s great for this information to actually be out there for people who need to be wary of what my husband and I call the “breastfeeding Nazis”. My son is 11 months and luckily very healthy – however he was purely formula fed from 5 months onward. Whilst in the hospital after giving birth, my boobs/nipples got so incredibly sore (bleeding, cracked etc) that I was in agony actually even trying to feed him. Plus, he lost over 10%, but not once was I offered formula to feed him in the meantime and I was watched by the nurses while in tears due to the pain. Once we went home, my husband rushed to the chemist to get some formula as I physically could not put him on my boob again that day without sobbing in pain. After those first few days at home, the guilt of “knowing” I should exclusively breastfeed him kicked in and I went back to just doing that by using nipple shields or expressing milk. For our first 2 weeks at home, we thought we were living in hell. He screamed and cried hysterically sometimes for up to 6-8 hours straight (without sleeping) and this would happen most days. We didn’t realise that babies should really just feed/sleep and not cry that much. After 3 weeks we booked into a Paediatrician as I was beside myself and had no idea what to do. Thankfully, our Paediatrician was amazing gave us some simple advice, most importantly that he wanted me to top up every feed with formula (as I told him I was often breastfeeding up to 1.5-2 hours per feed and he just wouldn’t stop feeding). Being told by a professional that I needed to use formula alleviated the ridiculous guilt I had about doing so. And from that day onward, the hysterical screaming and crying stopped, and our boy loves his bottle.
Unfortunately the push on women to solely breastfeed is so common, but makes me so mad. Of course we all know the phrase “breast is best” and I’m sure it may be, but i totally am with you that “fed is better” and midwives and lactation consultants need to give more rounded information to mums. Sure, give advice on latching issues and how to get more milk in, but never discourage formula. If anything, encourage it and explain that every mum is different and as long as our babies are fed and happy then that’s the most important thing.
My husband and his sister were formula fed and they have turned out fine (besides when he drives me insane 🙂 ) so let’s cut the shit and stop putting so much unwarranted and unneeded pressure on new mums who are already going through enough.
Thinking of you and your family and sending you big hugs from Australia. xx
I’m so sport for your loss!!! How painful!
This article has increase my awareness of how vital it is that babies get milk but also be supplemented when they show signs that they are starving… My baby (now 9 yrs old but struggles with math) cried the first 48 hours and I know she was starving but thank goodness the nurses told me to supplement her with a feeding tube and formula she had lost 1 pound and I was very nervous to think that she wasn’t getting enough milk since my colostrum hadn’t even come in after day three! I’m so thankful for the hospital stuff and I caring lactation nurse!!!
I am so sorry for your loss. Sharing your story must be so heart breaking, reliving this time, but hopefully your story can help others. My heart goes out to your family and your sweet Landon. Thank you for your strength and selflessness.
I am so sorry for your loss and truly admire you for coming forth with your story. My daughter had all of the same symptoms as your son, kept losing body weight. She cried non-stop and I finally broke down and gave her bottles. It turned out she had to have soy as her stomach couldn’t handle dairy. Then 10 months later I almost lost my daughter due to chronic ear infections and having her on a prolonged dosage of infant Tylenol. My daughter suffered from Tylenol poisoning and I had no idea what was happening to her. We almost lost her and the guilt I felt was awful but like you I wanted parents to know the dangers of something unforeseen and never discussed. By the way over 200,000 people a year overdose on TYLENOL, please parents take caution when giving to your children. God Bless you for being brave enough to warn others of what you experienced.
Hi, thanks for sharing your story. You are really brave. Lots of love n hugs to you. Your story left me teary eyed. When my first baby was born in 2010, I really had no idea about these things, though I had attended classes, read books n browsed through the internet like a maniac. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism during pregnancy.
My new born would constantly cry, she would not leave my Brest for a moment. She was losing her birth weight. Mine was an emergency c-section too, so I was fighting with my physical pain as well. To be honest sometimes I did feel she is hungry but Brest feeding is so glorified that I did not think of an alternative. I took her to peadtrics and they said shez fine.
Her activities went down, she slowly stopped responding, stopped crying, her lips turned red, got cracked and started bleeding. Her body started turning blue. I did offer her a bottle then , but she had passed the stage of accepting any feed. She was just breathing. No responses at all, even if I slapped or pinched her. My husband was away and I panicked.
I quickly rushed her to a hospital and IV was immediately started. After two days and hundreds of tests doctors had lost hope on her. By that time my husband was also back and we shifted her to the best hospital in a bigger city.
It was really difficult to see my little angel pricked at so many places. Her limbs were tied and she was constantly under surveillance. She was in NICU and fought bravely for 15 long days. Finally, on Christmas, she came in my arms shining like a star. That was the best Christmas ever. She still was fragile and needed a lot of care. From then on I just trusted my instincts and nothing else.
When my second child was born in 2014 , I realised she was keeping hungry too. This time I did not allow the fear of being judged win over my motherly instincts. I gave her a bottle right away. Thanks to the almighty that both my angels are doing good and are happy and healthy today.
Your story gives strength to all of us to share our own stories. Hope we don’t lose any more life’s to lack of feed. Prayers for Landon
Thank you so much for sharing. Would you like us to post your story on our foundation blog?
Sure. I didn’t say the whole story. But yes. Please feel free to share.
Oh My Dear Mummy, I am so devastated for your loss. What a beautiful boy. Love and Prayers go out to you and your family and thankyou for sharing your story I the hope that it will help other new mums. What a blessing you are giving to others and I am so sad that the healthcare system completely failed you and your boy Landon, he shouldn’t of left us so soon xxx
Hi, thank you for sharing your story and personally I know how important/helpful this to new moms. As a first time mom in 2012 I had an emergency c-section as well. I didn’t know anything about babies or feeding. Only things I knew were natural birth and breast feeding are the best things you can do to your new baby. I have believed this and went for a natural birth without epidural and ended up with a C-section as a result of nurses/midwives not listening to me when I say the baby is not moving like he used to.
I was lucky the dr I had next morning sent me to c-sec within minutes and they saved the baby.
However afterwards the communication between nurses and my family/me was not that much informative. I was in and out from morphing for the pain and after over 10 hours I got the chance to see my baby. He was hungry and tried to latch. He was crying and trying. That will be the first picture in my mind when I thought about him.
Lachting wasn’t working well and nurse went back with him. After maybe another hour or two she came back to ask whether it’s ok to give him a bottle, I was kind of surprised they didn’t asked me that before.
My baby was literally hungry and crying and waking up all other babies. So after feeding him they gave the baby to me, I was in the bed still, cannot move and my partner wasn’t allowed to stay with me after 10pm. So my poor baby crying non stop and I couldn’t latch him coz he and I both were struggling. I was crying and asked them to remove my tubes so I can hold him and feed him somehow.
It didn’t go well then next day Morning my mom insist me to give him a bottle. I listened to her however I was annoyed with her. She said ‘you don’t have enough milk that’s why the baby is crying’. That was really hurting because it felt like I am a bad mother. This is the picture the society painted on mothers. If you can’t breastfeed you are as a mother failed. It’s is good to encourage mothers to breastfeed as some mothers chose the bottle/formula for convenient reasons. However there are mothers like me who tried hard unfortunately for some reason that is beyond us. So it’s really important to educate new mothers about both side of the story with warning signs of the baby who is not properly fed.
Back to my story, so end of the 2nd day still struggling and he was crying. I requested a small bottle to stop him straving while still trying the breast. Without help from the partner I have decided to go home in the next morning. He lost 300gms so far and not gaining a bit. At home 3rd day his skin got dried and red patches were everywhere. My husband thought its because I was turning off the A/C so he felt hot. So he was trying A/c on. Now I know he was dehydrated at that time. His beautiful skin was cracked and peeling off with very angry red marks.
Luckily I was listing to my mom and started the bottle at home too. Still more the breastfeeding part than the bottle. After nurse’s 2nd home visit she mentioned about 0 weight gain. So the bottle kept him alive and as soon as I realised this I went crazy and brought a electric pump home.
I will never ever forget that 3months in my life. I was pumping and feeding. After every feed I will go to the sofa and start pumping, I was not ready to be a failure. That was my life until he got some fat on him. He was globbling them down like my milk was nothing. He was that much hungry.
I have some pictures of him in his first month and I feel so guilty every time I look at them. He is a beautiful boy, after my non-stop pumping and feeding he turned from a caterpillar to a butterfly. It’s true he was skinny and his skin was so dry before that. Then slowly I accepted the truth, he simply never was good at latching. He wasn’t strong enough in the beginning then later he was lazy. He loves breastfeeding as a comfy thing not as a foods. So I went full formula except his night feed. So he has enough to fill his tummy. I had much sleep and peace after that acceptance.
My daughter who born 20+month apart was a champion from the first day thanks to her brother. She was strong too, so she fully breastfed until she turned 1 year. She wasn’t crying like my son. while I was doing the right things with her I felt so guilty about what happened with my son.
I realised now how much I was closer to fully starving him. And to this day if he cry I feel panic. I don’t like him crying because that brings the memories back. I have to thanks my mom too, if she wasn’t the person who she was she would never tell me about the milk supply. And the other day I was reading -Ve result in formula fed babies and thought how many babies are alive thanks to formulas? Including my own son. There could be side effect on the way, I would take that risk than starving a baby, so educating new moms is very important. Not just one side of the story we need both sides of the story. Tell them not to feel bad about choosing that option if the nature is not so supportive at first.
How tragic, and something that could have so easily been prevented. You are not to blame, you were let down by medical professionals. I’m a NICU nurse and we too have difficulties and conflicts with ‘baby friendly’ practitioners, not because we don’t think breast is best, but because it’s not the only option and a baby’s overall health needs to be considered. if that means they need a few bottles of formula now and again so be it. I am so sorry you, Landon and family had to go through this. Poor baby, he was just hungry. YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME. X
Thank You so much for sharing, when I had my first baby I felt extremely pressured to breast feed, unfortunately I could not produce enough milk to sustain her. I remember spending 2 hours with a breast pump and producing less than a thimble size amount of milk. This was my first warning sign that all was not fine. Normally I lack common sense, but luckily on this occasion
I managed to heed the warning signs and started her on formula right away. We need to stop the guilt trips about breastfeeding sometimes breast is not always best ;-(
I am nearly 61 years old and your story is haunting to me. In Dec of 1979 I gave birth to a beautiful 9 lb 5 oz baby girl. It was also the time of the LaLeche (sp?) League which was a huge proponent of breast feeding. I was 23 years old. I had a C section also and in the 5 days I was in the hospital afterwards I attempted to nurse my baby. It wasn’t successful. The nurses said my daughter was a tongue thruster. they put preemie nipples on me to try to get Jennifer to latch on. I went home, I would sit up all night and try to nurse my baby. She never cried though. She barely squeaked. She had one wet diaper in a day. I went to the pediatrician. They said keep trying. I know now my mother in law was worried, she nver said a word I guess afraid she would upset me. Finally my mom was able to come and see her first grandchild and she took one look at my baby and said this is not a 9lb baby give her a bottle. We took my daughter back to the Doctor for the 4th time and she weighed 6.lb 4 oz.
I am so very sorry of your loss. A loss that many contributed to and none that was your fault. I did begin feeding wtih a bottle. It was then I was told that I never produced milk at all. I am reading the disclaimer below as well and I find that it is appalling. Young new mothers do not have the experiences and when you hear from those who do and are supposedly the experts they need to step up and say look you gave it a couple days and its apparent you aren’t producing. Supplement with formula. Just remember you are not alone in this story, some have better endings but the big thing is it is not your fault……..I am expecting my first grandchild in July and this brings my whole first experience back ten fold. I am so sorry for your loss.
I too had issues with milk production but after numerous consultations with breast health nurses and repeated concerning questions to the nurses at the hospital I was told to “just keep trying”. I could tell that my daughter was hungry and she was losing weight. But unfortunately all help available to me was pretty much telling me I was a failure if I didn’t choose to continue trying to breastfeed. It got to the point where my daughter was upset and crying all the time and I started to get severe issues with my breasts. I finally broke down and purchased formula after a few weeks of being chained to the house, pumping for 10-12 hours a day just to produce a few ounces. I felt terrible about having to buy formula, as the nurses had warned that this was a terrible choice for my baby. But you’ll never guess what happened – she greedily downed a bottle and was satiated. She never went hungry from that day on and she is now 6 years old, no allergies and the picture of health. I tell ANY expectant mom in my life to NOT LISTEN TO THE NURSES and just do what it right for them and their baby. Buy some formula ahead of time just in case. Hopefully you won’t need it but it’s there in case you do. And don’t feel like you’ve failed as a mom or a woman. Fed certainly IS best. More women need to hear the other side too. Not everyone has a flawless time with milk production/breastfeeding.
Jillian and everyone who posted, thank you so much for sharing your experiences. You are helping so many other parents and newborns. You were let down by the magical thinking of the so-called “baby friendly” hospital staff. Their thinking is clouded by the “natural fallacy” — a belief that natural is always better, and that human behavior is not natural. Nature alone provides ample causes of death, but it’s human nature to make and use technology to improve our chances of survival. Even “baby-friendly” hospitals are loaded with technology, so why do they draw the line at a simple baby bottle?
I thought this was an open forum for people to discuss and share ideas. I’ve worked in a nicu for over 20 years at a hospital that went “baby friendly.” The breast is best campaign was adopted by the hospital and policies were put into place that nurses were required to follow. Even though nicu was supposedly exempt, I saw many of the sickest, premature infants put to mom’s breast to promote bonding and milk supply. These were babies on oxygen, with central lines and feeding tubes, babies that could barely suck a pacifier were put to mom’s breast. Some of these babies were compromised as a result. The campaign had been adopted but there weren’t enough certified lactation consultants to safely implement it. The breast milk nazis have taken their agenda too far. I’m so sorry for this senseless, tragic and preventable loss.
I went through something similar. I also have pcos and my son was always hungry and keptlosing weight. I finally broke down and gave him a bottle. My mom couldnt breast feed either so luckily i knew there was a chance i might not be able to either. Noone told me pcos caused breast feeding issues and the lactation consultant was pushy AF and would guilt me for giving him a bottle. Yes breast IS best.. But a healthy LIVING child is BETTER
I’m really sorry to hear such a sad story.
I empathize with the parents. Their story brings memories from my own experience 17 years ago, however we were lucky enough that our OG came on time to save us from the so called “lactose consultant advice”.
Please join me (and spread to others) to prevent other families to have similar experience.
This story breaks my heart. I have a nearly 6 yr old daughter (my only child) and I wanted so badly to breastfeed her. I had a c-section after 25 hrs of labor when her heartbeat plummeted from and I wouldn’t even take medicine stronger than advil or tylenol for the pain because i was so set on breastfeeding her and didn’t want her exposed to the strong pain meds. I had very large breasts and she would not latch. The entire 48 hours we were in the hospital following her birth, she had nothing to eat. They wouldn’t let me give her a bottle because I wanted to breastfeed her and they said it would confuse her. They assured me she was fine not eating for that long. When I got her home, the first thing I did was give her a bottle. She was starving. I did try every suggestion, nipple shields, lactation consultations and it all failed. I pumped for 3 1/2 months and bottle fed her and supplemented with formula then finally switched to formula. This website is correct, fed is best. Period.
This is awful. I am a 40-year-old relatively late in life mom with a 5 year old, a 3 year old, and an 18-month old. All were breastfed, the first two much longer than the last. My first, who has a diagnosis of autism, was born at 37 weeks gestation. He could not latch at all at first, and the LCs at the hospital kept grabbing his poor little face and pushing it against my breast, as if that would “help” him. It did not. Finally I was given a shield, with the comment “it may decrease your supply, but try this.” Of course being a first time mom, this made me extremely paranoid. He was jaundiced and under the bili lights, and on oxygen because he was struggling to keep his oxygen sats up after a rough entry into the world. His glucose was closely monitored, and he never got dehydrated thanks to being on a glucose drip while I struggled to nurse. A week later, he was given a clean bill of health and we were discharged home. I was still using the shield (which I eventually ditched at 9 weeks), and was a wreck, checking his weight practically every week for the first month. He topped his birth weight at around 8 or 9 days of life and continued to gain slowly but steadily after that, but I always wondered at the time if he was truly getting enough to eat thanks to the LC’s comment. He was always happy, alert and vigorous, had good outputs, and no health professional commented negatively on his size. Doctors thought he looked fine. After some more hiccups including mastitis and plugged ducts, things got easy at 5 months, and he nursed for a year. I’m not sure why he is autistic, but looking back I don’t believe it was because of a lack of sufficient intake. I’ve also heard of complications following the Hepatitis B vaccine (vaccines have in some cases caused encephalopathy as well), but we did not consent to that and delayed vaccines overall, so it wasn’t that either. I’m not suggesting that this can’t happen…I’m sure they do, but I’m proof that sometimes a child ends up with developmental delays for reasons that are not clear-cut. My son may have been deprived of oxygen on his way out given that he had to have oxygen for awhile, and I’m sure the prophylactic antibiotics he got postpartum to treat a presumed pneumothorax messed with his gut flora, but other than that I can’t say what caused his issues. And he’s made strides in his overall functioning: Went from nonverbal and screaming at 2 to being potty trained at 3, learning to communicate better and coping well with different stimuli, and is going to a regular public school with a little support and doing relatively well, learning to read and write along with the other neurotypical kids.
Second baby, no issues. Started gaining right away and nursed for a year. It was actually a joy nursing him.
Third baby, latch was extremely painful. However, she climbed quickly towards her birth weight and was half a pound over it by her second week, so I assumed all was well. Then I got mastitis. I struggled to feed her and pump to empty myself (and getting practically nothing out) and in the meantime, she seemed more irritable. Then she got lethargic, which I took to mean at the time in my sleep deprived haze that she was content. I was dealing with two other kids, trying to pump around the clock with hardly any output and in pain (feeding was still painful) and was feeding her when she seemed hungry. One morning I woke up with a start after 9 hours without pumping or nursing to a baby furiously sucking her fists. She was not crying, just sucking away at her hands. I had been so exhausted. I realized with a start that I was no longer engorged. I tried to nurse her, she tried frantically to get something out, then eventually gave up and just laid there and cried in my arms, and I fixed a bottle. I phoned an LC and had her weighed. She was 5 weeks old and weighed 2 oz more than she had at two weeks. I was crushed, but I supplemented her. Two weeks later she was on a bottle full time. She had started refusing the breast and I could not cope with the triple feeds with two other kids and little support. I pumped and she received mostly breast milk for 6.5 months, but she went on 100% formula from then on. I had nothing to prove and knew she’d be fine. I had so wanted to nurse her and this experience broke my heart because I wanted that unique bond, but she is a healthy, bright, beautiful little girl today who loves to cuddle with her mommy.
If I had another child, I would definitely have a backup plan and monitor weight gain and output closely. These stories have served as a cautionary tale for me, and I am sick of the hype surrounding how we feed our babies and the outright hubris of some people who have not had these experiences. I’d like to return to an era where people just FED their babies and weren’t pressured into doing anything but doing just that. So, I fully agree with Fed is Best. Babies’ brains are very vulnerable and an agenda is not more important than making sure they are protected.
My condolences for your loss.
I am sorry as well .but if the baby was not peeing and pooping then the medical folks should have known something was not right
Thank you so much for sharing. My heart breaks for you. I will share your story with other new moms. I know the external and internal pressure to do the best for your child is so intense and this could have happened to any loving mom! Landon did not pass in vain. I believe your story and braveness in sharing it will help to save many!
My heart is with you. You DID do your best and clearly had his best intention in your heart. You did nothing wrong. You loved your child and followed the advice you were given. I will hold you in my heart and send love your way. He was lucky to have such a caring, loving, dedicated mother.
My heart goes out to you. I have a little boy who was born healthy but also kept crying all day and night after discharge from the hospital. Upon leaving the hospital I was severely dehydrated due to diarrhea and I was probably not making any milk, but I just didn’t know it… I was also brainwashed and insisted on breastfeeding him, even though my sister and husband wanted me to give him a bottle during the first night at home after discharge. I refused, and he finally fell asleep crying in my arms. We saw the doctor the next morning and the first thing she did after I unsuccessfully tried to breastfeed him, was to give him formula. He ate the formula like he had been starving for days… And he probably was, poor thing… We all laughed and joked that he must have been hungry, not knowing that we had just dodged a bullet… We could have been in the same situation. And I would have had no idea. I feel blessed that he is fine now and I pray for you and your little boy in heaven, I am so sorry you had to go through this and that he was taken away from you. It makes me angry, how we rely on people who should know these things because this is their job, and they let us down. Be strong. Thank you for sharing so other moms don’t have to go through this.
Jillian I am so very sorry for the unnecessary loss of your beautiful boy. As an RN who spent time working in OB, and as a mother of 3, I am outraged at the way exclusive breastfeeding is pushed upon moms. “Baby Friendly” is in fact not baby or mom friendly at all! While working in post partum at a large hospital, there was constant pressure to push breastfeeding on moms. There were posters and pamphlets galore on our unit outlining how babies should only receive colostrum in the first days of life and how formula impaired the digestive tract. We were taught to educate moms that constant nursing was “normal and healthy” and stimulated milk production. If a mom asked for formula or even a pacifier, we had to document that we informed the mom that an artificial nipple could cause nipple confusion and impair nursing, of course making them feel incredibly guilty. Babies were to remain with mom at all times so they could nurse on demand causing the mothers to be unbelievably exhausted. Many hours were spent battling hypoglycemia and supplementing was still strongly discouraged. There were no lactation consultants staffed on night shift, and sadly, as the nurse, oftentimes I was not able to spend nearly enough time helping moms breastfeed as I would’ve liked to due to the many other tasks the nurse is responsible for. As long as a baby had 10% or less weight loss and had a couple of wet and dirty diapers, they were discharged, often not instructed to follow up with the pediatrician for a couple of days, long enough for a baby to easily become severely dehydrated with low blood sugar without the parents necessarily recognizing what was happening. I am absolutely a supporter of breastfeeding, however, it is not the ONLY healthy way to feed a baby and I think it’s an absolute shame that this is the impression our society is giving mothers!! Why do we feel the need to put moms on such a guilt trip for “failing” when it comes to breastfeeding? Society and the “baby friendly” initiative is who is really failing these families!
I am so sorry for your loss.
We experienced a similar situation but were able to save our son’s life at the last minute. It was about day 10 of life that I, as the father, took him to the doctor and said “something isn’t working.” The nurses at the hospital zealously forced my wife to breast feed exclusively despite my son’s intense jaundice and my wife’s visible frailty in the days after giving birth. Even when the ob/gyn finally diagnosed my wife with toxemia no one suggested that it was possible for her not to produce enough for our son’s nutritional needs. We were told over and over to avoid nipple confusion and to keep trying. We went and got the pump the week after he was born. As the father, I thought it best to leave my wife to breast feed in peace and I know she tried so very hard. But my son would cry and cry each time. Her milk was toxic and he wouldn’t take it. We were fortunate that our pediatrician recognized severe dehydration when I took him in and we were rushed to Brenner Children’s Hospital. The staff there were very supportive, although the social services interview was very insulting. We’re college-educated people who loved our son and wanted the best for him. No one, especially the nurses and staff at the rural hospital where our son was born, warned us of the amount of milk required each day. If anyone had I would have easily recognized that she wasn’t producing anywhere near enough and would have firmly suggested we switch to formula. When parents experience their first born, there is so much going on in terms of emotional and physical health, not to mention fatigue, and when the nurses stand over your wife forcing the child’s face into her breast you just assume nature will take it’s course. No family, and no mother, should have to go through this in the 21st century. I remember feeling so ignorant at the pediatric ICU when I calculated the amount of liquid he was supposed to be getting. Luckily Dr. Jewett told me not to take it so hard and to do my bet moving forward. Our son’s almost 12 now and may have some small developmental challenges but is a healthy and loving son. I can’t imagine life if we had lost him. Everyone should take the time to understand the complexities of infant nutrition and take advantage of whichever method ensures the child and the mother are healthy.
I am so deeply sorry for your loss and admire your courage and strength to share your story. As many others have shared, my experience was also very similar- low milk supply, told it’s okay if she loses weight, she doesn’t need much etc. My daughter ended up having jaundice which required a hospital stay for several days. She became more lethargic which alarmed the doctors and the whole experience was extremely frightening. In hindsight the jaundice may have been just the warning sign we needed. I’m in my early 30s when so many friends are having children. It’s amazing to hear how many people struggle with breastfeeding (for a million different reasons!) and how women are made to feel bad about supplementing. Your mission is extremely admirable and your strength to speak of your experience is truly inspiring.
I just wanted to say Thank you for making people aware that this is a very real problem. Doctors and Nurses working in Maternity at hospitals I believe get to a point that could be considered abusive towards new mothers with their propaganda that breast feeding is the only way.
I was born with a caved in chest causing me to never fully develop and both pregnancies my breast did not grow as they are normally supposed to in preparation for birth.
When I had my first child in 2002, I was forced by the nurses at the hospital to breastfeed. They told me it would be fine despite my small breast size and they refused to give me formula. My baby daughter cried constantly and they said it was because She was just a colicky baby.
When I got home it continued and after 24 hours I couldn’t handle it, and I decided to go against what they had told me, going with my gut feeling, I gave her a formula bottle and never looked back. When I took her to her first doctor’s appointment, the doctor told me I had saved my baby’s life, that because of the issues with my chest, She was starving and had I gone any longer I would have lost her.
I was horrified when She told me this because of the way I had been treated post birth at the hospital.
When I had my second child 8 years later going into it I knew I would be exclusively formula due to my issues and education with my first.
After She was born I had to literally verbally fight with the nurses and lactation specialist when I told them I would not be breastfeeding and my reasons why. They were nasty in the things they said but the worst being that my little girl was going to be ruined because I was making a horrible decision as a mother and not taking the advice of the experts and doing what they knew was best.
This behavior in hospitals and birthing centers needs to change it isn’t fair to traumatize new parents in the way that has been established as common practice. Every woman and circumstance is different and its time the medical field started acting like it.
Once again thank you for sharing your story and creating awareness and making a case for change!!
Dear Jillian, I am so sorry for your loss. YOU DID NOTHING WRONG!!! The health care providers who failed to recognize that your baby was starving are at fault. The insurance corporations who push hospitals to send people home too soon are at fault. I know it can’t bring back your baby, but I hope you sued.
My son is 20 years-old now. He could have easily been Landon. From the day he was born the Pediatric insisted on breast feeding and we agreed to it. We went home from the hospital the next day he was born and hell broke loose. He could stop crying. My wife would give her breast but it could only make him quiet for at most one hour. He called the pediatrics several time and he said it was normal to keep insisting with the breast. On his eleventh day, in the morning, I was changing this dipper when I looked at him he looked like one of those kids in Africa starving to death as we, unfortunately, see in several pictures. We went to the pediatric at once. He saw he was mistaken and we could see he was very afraid something could happen to our kid. He lost 500g in the period, he was only 2750g when he was born, and he was icteric. We started with a bottle right away and he, fortunately, recovered. But we could see in the pediatric eyes that he was terrified something may happen to my son and destroy his career. We kept the pediatric until he made a second mistake when we went to a friend of mine since infancy that was now a pediatric, a great one.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I understand so much more now than ever, when my midwife (who also happened to be a lactation consultant) immediately recommended that we supplement with formula for both our boys when they began to lose more weight than normal in the first few days of life. Even though we wanted to exclusively breastfeed, we trusted her instincts and judgement (as most new parents naturally do). I’m so sorry for your loss, I can’t imagine what you have been through.
Thank you for sharing your precious little boy’s story.
You are so brave and I admire you. After my first 24hrs at home with my new born daughter and exclusively breast milk, the first time the midwife came to my house she said to give her a bottle. There are so many people who comment to me about breast and not bottle. Keep spreading the word. You are doing a good thing! My daughter is now 6.
I am so sorry. That beautiful baby. That could have been my baby. She was born at 36+3 and just slept and slept all the time. She fed for hours and fell asleep at the breast. We couldn’t wake her up to feed her. It was terrifying. I thought she would die in the night. I fed her drop by drop, pumped milk from a syringe, like a baby bird. She lost about 10% body weight and just wouldn’t gain. She slept almost all the time. When she was awake she’d feed for an hour straight. Finally our pediatrician stepped in and probably saved her life. She told me my baby was starving and I needed to give her a bottle. I so badly wanted to nurse her and felt horrible that I’d been inadvertently starving her. I thought if she nursed that long she must be getting enough but she was not. It took over a month to gain back to birth weight. She is currently chubby and happy on pumped milk with added formula, plus formula mixed to a higher calorie concentration. When I think how I could have lost her! Your Landon was so beautiful and I am so sorry. I can’t even imagine but cried when I read this and especially looked at the pictures.
Sorry for your loss.
Sound like your son passed away from SIDS.
Weight loss 9.7% should not cause hypovolemic shock and hypernatremia.
I think that metabolic disturbance happened after his last breathing stopped too long from unrecognized apnea (SIDS)
Hello Sai, 9.7% weight loss was the last weigh in at 8 am in the morning. He was losing 5% a day. So by the time he was found unresponsive at 2 am the next day, he was likely 13-14%. He did die of hypovolemic shock because he had 18 more hours of starvation after the last weigh in. My own son was found unresponsive at 15%.
It was NOT SIDS. If you read any of these stories, including mine, you would know it was from starvation. We never got milk and the breastfeeding nazzis did not support bottle feeding. It’s so sad and heartbreaking that babies lives are being lost or nearly lost because new moms are being told not to give a bottle.
I am so so sorry for your loss! Your story left me in shock, and sadness, I think the doctors should have done a better job to prevent this from happening!
I read your story on MSN today and felt compelled to write to you. Thank you so much for speaking out and warning others about this issue. Almost 6 years ago I gave birth for the first time. I also have PCOS and no one ever warned me about the potential lack of milk production or the dangers associated with it. Within 24 hours my daughter lost almost 10% of her birth weight, developed a fever from dehydration and had to be removed from my room for monitoring where they gave her supplemental formula. My daughter continued to scream constantly after being returned to me where I continued to try to breastfeed. At one point I put my pinky in her mouth to soothe her (pacifiers were not given out at the hospital) and realized her mouth was dry. I called the pediatrician we had hand-selected and was told it was impossible for her to be dehydrated so soon. Still, no one told me breast feeding might not be working for me. On day 3, several hours before I was going to be discharged, a lactation nurse took one look at my chest, asked a few questions and easily concluded that this would not work and loaded me up with formula. I feel incredibly guilty sharing this with you because I did not have the same outcome, but please know that your story will undoubtedly save lives. Your courage is humbling and I am heartbroken by your loss.
My heart is broken in sympathy for your terrible loss, but you and your little angel will save lives with your courage in sharing your story. I couldn’t breastfeed because of inverted nipples (one was okay, the other wasn’t), fortunately the lactation nurse didn’t push the issue, told me to keep trying with the good breast to see if I could get some colostrum into my son but that there was no problem with supplementing with formula or just using formula. I see now that I was very lucky in this regard. (It was 2004)
Reading all these stories of all these bullied mothers is heartbreaking. Why are the breastfeeding and medical professionals doing this? Is it worth causing so much pain to vulnerable mothers and babies? Isn’t that the opposite of what they should be accomplishing? It’s incomprehensible.
This just makes me so sad, My oldest is (8) he too named Landon had issues breast feeding the hospital I was in for him had no issues getting him set up on formula, My second son Liam (4) was born in another state is a pro breast hospital where I told them I had issues feeding my first son, I WANT TO BOTTLE FEED, that the nurse pushed and pushed breast for the first day, I was hysterical in tears, that when the pediatrician came in to check on Liam and see me upset she requested formula right away, my husband and mother even said something to the nurses, once we got bottles for Liam it was like we were the shunned the black sheep. It should never happen to any mother in the hospital and is truly amazing that the hospitals still do this and continue to push.
Thank you for starting this campaign! I’m a pediatrician who has been battling this ridiculous, self-righteous movement that has put the concept of exclusive breastfeeding ahead of the baby’s health, well-being, and indeed, the baby’s very life! I’ve had other pediatricians and nurses and department chairs of pediatrics at “baby friendly” hospitals act as if I had ordered cyanide when I ordered a supplementary bottle after breastfeeding for babies whose mom’s milk had not yet come in, or immediate formula for infants of diabetic mothers, who would very likely develop severe hypoglycemia if not fed. The latest fad is lactation specialists who are all diagnosing non-existent “posterior tongue tie” and sending every single infant who falls into their clutches for dangerous invasive laser surgery under the tongue to treat a problem that was never there. I’ve seen babies who haven’t regained their birth weight by TWO MONTHS OLD, due to the mother’s terror of using any of the evil formula. I’ve seen babies whose mothers hoarded pumped milk to stretch it out, saying that if they gave it to their starving infant, they wouldn’t have any left for later, and of course they wouldn’t give formula, God forbid! I’ve seen mothers of infants who looked worse than the pictures of infants from famine-ridden areas of the world, proudly proclaiming that bottle fed babies are disgustingly FAT, and thank God their exclusively breastfed, starved, profoundly underweight infant wasn’t FAT!
A breastfed baby who is getting all he can eat of breast milk actually gains weight FASTER and is HEAVIER than a formula fed infant – IF he’s actually getting enough milk, which at least 25% of the time, is NOT the case! Yet lactation specialists and the huge “breastfeeding support” industry point to breastfed infant growth charts to support their false notion that breastfed infants are naturally thinner than bottle fed infants – which of course is the case when a significant proportion of those breastfed infants aren’t getting enough to eat!
The greatest sin in the world is a hungry infant not being fed, especially when food is available. I am SO sorry for your completely unnecessary loss! I am sorry for all the starving infants, all victims of the self righteous exclusive breastfeeding movement, whose response to the significant percentage of unfed or underfed infants due to exclusive breastfeeding is, “If it’s not working, YOU must be doing something wrong!”
When you have medical professionals not only validating, but encouraging mothers to literally starve their infants, even to the point of death, it’s time for the pendulum to swing back the other way. Thank you for your campaign! Spread the word!
I am so sorry this happened to you and your husband, and I commend you for being brave enough to speak out about this unnecessary tragedy. So much shame is heaped upon new mothers these days. I got a lot of flack for supplementing breast milk with formula. Fortunately, my father is a retired obstetrician who acted as the voice of reason and support. However, I have watched friends suffer and punish themselves in the face of a constant refrain of “breast feed only” or “attachment parenting only”. There is no single “right” way to parent, and new moms should be told to do whatever works best for their baby – but also that they shouldn’t neglect their own needs or punish themselves. I’m glad that you have two beautiful daughters to love, and I hope you know that your little boy did not die in vain. Your courage in sharing your story will save lives.
This almost happened to my son 5 months ago. He’d lost 9% by 24 hrs and I asked if I should supplement, but they said “No, he’s not past 10% yet and he’s got a great latch. We’ll keep an eye on him”… but they didn’t weigh him again before we were discharged. 6 hrs later, he was no longer latching, screaming, and hot to the touch. I brought him back to the hospital and he had lost 15% of his weight and the fever was from dehydration. He was in the NICU for 48 hrs of round-the-clock supplementing, my milk came in and I continued to supplement for another week or so until he completely refused the bottles after breastfeeding. It turned out okay only because I realized he was too hot, but babies often feel hot and I wouldn’t fault any parent who didn’t catch it …AND during that time in the NICU, I got another visit from the lactation consultant who told me again his latch was great, and then suggested I not give him all of the formula the NICU nurses had set out for me!!!! She actually said, ‘I don’t think you need to give him all of that. You don’t want to overfeed him.’ We were in the NICU because he was STARVING!!! I could have punched her.
What a tragic story. I am grateful that I cam across Landon’s story and this site because it actually validated an experience that I had often questioned. Both of my babies were supplemented and I felt like a bad mother. I have heard countless people tell me that it wasn’t necessary. Militant responses that colostrum was all they needed and supplementation was a myth and damaging. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that my first child was born in a hospital in Brazil that while being designated “baby-friendly” did not hesitate to supplement when they saw it was necessary. I was adamant that I would exclusively breastfeed and very suspicious and unhappy about the intervention. My daughter latched and suckled and tore me up and I bled and nothing was coming out (not a drop). She cried non-stop. The nurse on the third day finally said we have to supplement her. And she did and I was miserable and felt like a failure. But my child was calm and we all got a little sleep.I ended up supplementing several other times over those really hard first weeks, but went went on to successfully, exclusively breastfeed till she weaned naturally. My second child was born in a “baby friendly” hospital in the United States. Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa, California. I was a wreck after 20 hours in labor and an emergency c-section. I was dehydrated from having gone more than12 hours with nothing but ice chips. I vomited and shook uncontrollably for an hour in a reaction to the anesthetic. For 30 hours my son cried almost non-stop, and I couldn’t hand express a drop of colostrum. The lactation consultant kept stopping by and correcting my position, showing me I was doing it “wrong” and saying not to worry. On day two my mom instinct said he was starving, and remembering my first child, I asked for supplementation. I needed it, he needed it. We were both miserable. But I had to ask three times and it had to be signed off on by the pediatrician before it was finally approved (I nearly sent my husband out to smuggle some in). It took more than an hour to get it. And I was treated with distain. Chastised by the lactation consultant, and lectured on the benefits of breastfeeding by the nurse. But I remembered my experience with my first child and I knew it didn’t have to be all or nothing. I even pointed out that I couldn’t get a drop out (they said his mouth was stronger than my ability to hand express). I prevailed and he supplemented a couple of times in the hospital and at home until my milk finally came in about five days later. (And boy did it come in — I over produced and ended up donating.) Again, my son and I went on to be successful and exclusively breast fed until he stopped on his own at about 18 months. Breast is best, but the reason must also prevail. Now that I have read Landon’s story I feel even more grateful for that first nurse with my first child. If I hadn’t been through it once, I might have made the same call as Jillian – especially with all the push back I got the second time. Heartbreaking and preventable tragedy.
I’m so glad i saw this post in the Washington post today. My kids babies were fine but I couldn’t produce that much milk either. Some but not much so I had to both breastfeed and give them supplement. Also in order to manually get milk out I had to use the pump machine’s from the hospital. ( I was working there at the time) as the store ones didn’t work for me. My oldest is 26 yrs and my youngest one 13 yrs. All this time I couldn’t explain to anyone what was happening. I was ashamed and all these years felt guilty. I tried to tell my step mom but she couldn’t give me any answer. Now after reading this article I feel relieved that’s its not my fault. Now there is a closure. Thank you for educating us.
I feel so so sorry for your loss, Jillian. My heart aches so much while I read this. My son was starved by me after he was born. At the time, as a first time mom, I was so brainwashed by the western doc, the lactation consultant and everybody around me that colostrum will come and just wait. But I guess they had never guessed it took me 10 days! We didn’t feed him water (I was told water is bad too) or any formula for days until I found his color seemed to be more yellow (I am a Chinese) than he should. We took him to the doc and he sent us to ICU right away (his jaundice is at the dangerously high level). We were so lucky he lived. Now I think of it, if it weren’t because of jaundice, we might have still kept on starving him. Oh, my gosh! Being brainwashed is so dangerous! Fed is Best! I hope no babies or parents will have to ever go through this!
Thank you for sharing your story. My heart aches for you and your loss. I too had a similar experience however in desperation among her wails at 3am I finally reached for a bottle. My daughter is now 12 and although I’m grateful she is healthy and well… to this day I still feel guilt and shame over not being able to provide her what she needed.
Moms need to not judge other moms and Heath care professionals need to be more open minded and supportive.