Is Breastfeeding Twelve or More Times a Day Normal? Not Always

A meme posted by an IBCLC states that breastfeeding 12 or MORE times a day is “normal” with no further education on when it can be a sign of newborn hunger, poor feeding, inadequate milk transfer, or failure to thrive. 

Overly simplistic memes like this are irresponsible and confusing and, in some cases, are the reason why parents miss red flags that require medical attention and lactation assessment to be sure the baby is receiving adequate nutrition and fluids when nursing. (Source of meme to the left, Facebook, Lucy Ruddle, IBCLC)

Here at the Fed Is Best Foundation, we receive messages frequently from families who tell us they were repeatedly assured by trusted health professionals that nursing 12 or more times a day is completely normal. 

But is it always normal?

No, it’s not.  Continue reading

Trouble Breastfeeding? It’s Not Your Fault  

by Heidi Bitsoli, Sunshine Behavioral Health 

If there’s one thing pregnant women get in spades, it’s advice. From your relatives to your neighbors to your coworkers to strangers in line at the grocery store, everyone has an opinion on how to best care for the child you’re about to birth.

And one of the most common pieces of advice you’re likely to hear is how important breastfeeding is, for both mother and baby. But what all those opinionated folks won’t tell you is how hard it is for some women.

The truth is, that your mental and physical health is just as important as your baby’s. If you have trouble breastfeeding, or simply decide it’s not for you, you are not alone. You also aren’t a failure as a parent if you have difficulties breastfeeding or decide against it.

How Common Are Breastfeeding Difficulties?

Breastfeeding difficulties are extremely common. One study conducted by Nutrients followed mothers who were breastfeeding when they were discharged from the hospital, within 72 hours of delivery. At the time of discharge, 95% of the mothers were breastfeeding exclusively.

After one week, 81% were still breastfeeding exclusively. The majority of these women continued with complementary breastfeeding. At one month, only 73% were exclusively breastfeeding. 19% still provided breast milk complementary feedings, and 7% had transitioned to exclusively formula feeding. Continue reading

Belgian Mother Shares How Her Babies Became Lethargic After Being Denied Supplemental Milk by Hospital Staff

A Letter from Karlyne C. from Belgium

I would like to share my experience in hopes that it can be useful. My name is Karlyne, I am the mother of 3 children and live in Belgium. 

My first daughter, Moïra, was born in 2018. I had not looked up any information about breastfeeding during my pregnancy, I thought that since it is a natural process, it would be easy and that there was nothing more to know than the fact that I should put the baby on breast when she showed signs of hunger. When she was born, that is what I did, I put her on my breast.

But she could not manage to latch on, she would systematically let go of the breast. I asked the midwives who worked in the maternity ward for help. They would crumple my nipples while firmly holding her head to try to shove them in her mouth despite her cries. Hours went by without her being able to feed, and I could tell she was getting weaker; all the while the midwives told me everything was normal. In response to my insistence, I was told to express colostrum in a small spoon and to give it to her if it could reassure me. I produced at most a few drops of colostrum, yet the midwives kept telling me that I had enormous quantities, and that a baby’s stomach is minuscule, that some five halves of those small spoons every 2 to 3 hours would be more than enough. Those few drops, Moïra refused because the spoon in her mouth made her nauseous, so she would not take it.  The midwives refused to bring me a clean spoon for me to try again, telling me that supplementing once was enough. 

Continue reading

My Son’s Life was Forever Changed Due to Insufficient Feeding While Exclusively Breastfeeding

By Pam Floyd

I am the mother of a 28-year-old who is neurologically and physically disabled. My son Chaz, fell victim to severe dehydration called hypernatremia due to insufficient milk intake from exclusive breastfeeding in the first days of life. I read breastfeeding books, watched breastfeeding videos, and studied every page of What to Expect. Unfortunately, following the advice of our lactation consultant and pediatrician’s advice resulted in Chaz going 6 days with absolutely no milk intake, requiring admission to the ICU and a drug-induced coma. Chaz was eventually diagnosed with seizures, developmental delay, and cerebral palsy.

Continue reading