My son was born on February 18, 2019. He was 6 lbs 10 oz and had a little trouble regulating his temperature at birth. But after 24 hours, he was okay. I was always told breast was the best way to go. I never breastfed my 9 year old so this was my first experience with it.
My son had latching issues at first and it caused major pain and bleeding. But after latch correction and using nipple shields, the pain dissipated. When we left the hospital, my son weighed 6 lbs (9.3 percent weight loss) and at his checkup the next day, he had gained half an ounce.
At home I was feeding straight from my breasts, every time. My son was content and seemed happy. He smiled and was great the entire time, so I thought. I didn’t pump to see how much milk I had because the hospital where I delivered told me pumping in the first 6 weeks could cause confusion for the baby with latching.
Now fast forward to when he was 21 days old. He had his three week checkup and he was extra sleepy that morning. When we got to the doctor, and not only did he lose weight, (down to 5.5 lbs), but he also had a temperature of 92 degrees. He was hypothermic! So they sent us urgently to the children’s hospital in Nashville.
They put my son through hell running all kinds of tests making sure he did not have an infection including a lumbar puncture.
Since we had been there for hours and I could not breastfeed, they brought me a pump to “relieve” my myself. I only got half an ounce total out of both breasts. We were then admitted for failure to thrive and my son was placed in the bed warmer for a full 24 hours. I started pumping at every feed and supplementing with formula for a full feeding so he could get the nutrients he needed.
His diagnosis after everything came back negative for infection, was starvation and malnutrition. I had no clue my breasts were not giving him what he needed and I feel awful about it.
I was never told it was possible for me to not produce enough milk!
We are now pumping at every feed, but I’m still not producing much and I am supplementing with formula. But I still feel awful like I should have known something was wrong. He never screamed his head off like he was hungry and he still had wet diapers .
I have had some people say negative things about supplementing my baby with formula. But I have accepted that breast is not always best and formula milk is what my son needs to get well.
We have been in the hospital for 4 days and he now weighs 6 lbs 3 oz and holding his temperature well. Hopefully we go home today and if not, I pray we do soon.
If you have read this far, I appreciate it. Any advice you have to move on from this would be great because I feel devastated!
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.
- Join our private Fed Is Best Infant Feeding Support Group if you need help preparing how to safely breastfeed, combo feed, formula feed, pump or tube feeding your baby.
- If you are a licensed healthcare provider, we have a private and active Facebook group where we discuss ways to promote safe infant feeding for every baby. Please contact us directly.
Thank you so much from the Founders of the Fed is Best Foundation!