July 17, 2019
Washington, DC — On July 11, 2019, Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, Co-Founder of the Fed is Best Foundation and Jillian Johnson, Fed is Best Advocate and mother to Landon Johnson, who died from hypernatremic dehydration while exclusively breastfeeding, traveled to Washington, DC to provide testimonies to the 2020 USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. This is the first year that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) have included pregnancy and birth to 24 months.
Dr. del Castillo-Hegyi provided the Committee data on the rates of insufficient feeding complications, namely jaundice, hypernatremic dehydration and hypoglycemia among exclusively breastfed newborns and the risk of brain injury and developmental disabilities caused by those conditions. She discussed the failures in patient education and patient management that come from Baby-Friendly policies and how they result in thousands of newborn admissions a year.
Jillian Johnson spoke about her son Landon, who she attempted to exclusively breastfeed under the guidance of her Baby-Friendly hospital. He developed cardiac arrest from dehydration and underfeeding 12 hours after discharge despite 2 days of constant crying and nursing in the hospital, which her health professionals deemed normal. He died after 2 weeks on life support. She asked the Committee, “How is a mother to know if her child is in danger if everyone tells her the constant crying and nursing are normal?” She asked the Committee to put in place standard practices and patient education guidelines to prevent these complications from happening to other infants.
To read the Fed is Best Foundation full written comment to the USDA Dietary Guidelines committee, including published data on the rates of insufficient feeding complications, admissions and resulting developmental disabilities, please click below:
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!