I power pumped. I took fenugreek. I baked lactation cookies. I cried, and cried some more. I baby wore. Skin to skin. Nursed on demand non-stop. I never slept. Never bathed, and cried some more. I was told over and over I was producing enough milk, that my body knows how much to produce to meet my baby needs.
I posted these pictures to a well known exclusive breastfeeding Facebook group. I was praised for how great I was doing and to keep it up. I was told my body made enough for my baby and this amount (1.5 ml) was enough. That he was “cluster-feeding”.
My baby cried and cried. No weight gain. Never slept.
Then I found the Fed Is Best Foundation and woke the heck up! I asked myself what am I doing and why am I doing this? What am I trying to prove? I actually got kicked out of two popular breastfeeding groups just because I asked about supplementing–with formula! That made me feel like even more of a failure and I cried again and just sobbed.
By this time I started taking Zoloft for PPD (postpartum depression), which in my opinion should really be called EBFIPPD (exclusive breastfeeding induced postpartum depression)
So there I sat in my shower, holding my latched-on baby who was frantically nursing. He was not the happy baby you see nursing sweetly; my baby didn’t pass out “milk drunk” he passed out from non-stop crying exhaustion. I finally couldn’t bare seeing him suffer anymore. I texted my husband, “Can you pick up some formula?” He immediately called me back and asked if I was okay and if I was 100 percent sure. Even he was brainwashed by the “Breast is Best” at all costs movement. I hung up because I was crying again, and I texted him to get formula for supplementation only. That was my plan, to supplement. When he got home I grabbed the ready to feed bottle and popped it in my baby’s mouth.
My baby came alive! This boy was IN heaven. He is now 11 weeks old, and it seems like an eternity since breastfeeding him the first 2 weeks of his life. Those days were long days and nights of sobbing and constant internet searches about why breastfeeding wasn’t working for me this time. His tears turned into my tears and my frustration turned into postpartum depression. My son’s story could have easily ended up just as tragic as Baby Landon’s. If I had not found the Fed Is Best Foundation’s information and private support group, I may not be holding my sweet baby today.
I am and always will be pro-breastfeeding, but only when the baby is thriving. Not thriving at month 2 or 3, but thriving at day 1, 2 and 3 and every day there after. I formula-fed my first baby, exclusively breastfed my second baby and attempted to exclusively breastfeed my third baby. I learned my body is fallible, despite reading it is rare to not produce enough breast milk. I refuse to have my bond as a mother, my ability to nurture, or my love for my child to be measured in milliliters and ounces. I feed therefore I bond. I care therefore I nurture. I put his needs above my desire to breastfeed because I LOVE my baby.
My baby didn’t pass out “milk drunk”. He passed out from constant crying and exhaustion.
Please refrain from seeking medical advice from any breastfeeding mommy groups. They are responsible for needless suffering and potential harm. Please see your pediatrician for immediate medical help if you baby is constantly crying. Learn from my mistake. #FedIsBest
For more information on #SafeBreastfeeding and our feeding plan: https://fedisbest.org/resources-for-parents/feeding-plan/
If you are suffering in silence, please contact us! We have a private support group that has licensed medical and mental health professionals who can help you. Please email us at email@example.com.
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 the Fed is Best Volunteer group to help us reach Obstetric Health Providers to advocate for counseling of new mothers on the importance of safe infant feeding.
- 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.
- 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 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 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 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 every thing 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.
Thank you so much from the Founders of the Fed is Best Foundation!