If I Had Given Him Just One Bottle, He Would Still Be Alive.

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.)

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Why I’m Angry With My Baby Friendly Hospital in Texas

As mothers, we always want the best for our babies and we worry what we do is never enough. 6 years ago, I had my first child when emergency C-section delivered her.  She was 8 pounds 12 ounces and healthy.  I was immediately told by my OB-Gyn to supplement her since she was such a large baby for 37 weeks.   The hospital had LCs and we requested to see her several times but she was a no show. We figured out fast we were on our own with breastfeeding, however we did take our OB-Gyn’s advice and started supplementing right at the start to maintain her glucose levels.  She never perfected her latch, so I exclusively pumped and she got everything she needed and we both liked our routine.

6 years later, I delivered my son early for pregnancy complications at 36 weeks but he was much smaller weighing 6 pounds 11 ounces. This time breastfeeding protocols were very different.  Formula was considered evil and no one could supplement their babies and exclusive breastfeeding was the only way to breastfeed my baby. However, after day one things gradually started going downhill.  My son latched very well and it was determined he was nursing perfectly. He nursed every one to two hours and we even had the second night “cluster” feedings we were informed about.

Little did I know, he was starving and not cluster-feeding and I had no idea!   But as you can see in this photo- he. was. starving.!

 

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The Newborn Stomach Size Myth: It is NOT 5-7 mL

Written by Jody Segrave-Daly, RN, IBCLC

As a veteran NICU, nursery nurse and IBCLC, I have taken care of and fed thousands of babies over the years.  When working in the special care nursery, babies were always fed according to their weight and cumulative losses, to determine their caloric requirements for intake amounts and optimal growth.

That is contrary to a lot of non-clinical discussion you’ll read out there on the internet about an infant’s intake needs, which suggest it’s mostly based on stomach size. So what’s fact and what’s fiction?

Calories and Feeding Amounts for Breast Milk, Formula, and Colostrum

What science tells us is that mature breast milk averages around 20 calories per ounce (~30ml) and formula contains approximately 20 calories per ounce as well. Thus their per-milliliter (mL) calorie count is on average the same. Colostrum, a key substance that imparts passive maternal immunity to a newborn in the first few days of life if a mother breastfeeds, is lower in fat and carbohydrates than those two, and comes in around 17 calories per ounce (~30ml) (Guthrie 1989).

#2 Why Fed is Best- CaloriesColostrum(1)

With that knowledge in mind, current hospital feeding protocols for formula-fed babies range from feeding 10-30 ml for newborns less than 6 pounds’ every 2-3 hours and feeding newborns over 6 pounds 10-30 ml every 3 hours on the first day of life. Continue reading

Just One Bottle Would Have Prevented My Baby’s Permanent Brain Damage From Hypoglycemia

Written by Holly Lake

I wish I had known about the Fed Is Best Foundation before my 1st son was born. I felt enormous pressure to exclusively breastfeed at my hospital. My son was born at 37 weeks, weighing 5 pounds,13 ounces and he struggled to latch-on and breastfeed at each feeding. When I told the midwife, she came back with a leaflet which described how to hand express. She told me to express 1 mL of colostrum into a syringe and feed that to my baby whenever he struggled to latch.  I asked her if 1 mL was enough and she said it was because his tummy was very small and this amount would be fine until my milk came in. Note: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml.

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StomachSize

I was discharged hours later not feeling confident my baby was getting enough colostrum.  A midwife came out to see me at home on day 3 because I said I was worried about his feeding. He became extremely yellow (jaundiced), not very responsive (lethargic) and would let out random high pitch screams and would sleep all of the time and never wanted to feed by this time.  He also would have random body spasms which doctors shrugged off as normal baby reflexes (later we found out different).  The midwife said I could wait and see how he did overnight or go to hospital.  I chose to take him to hospital. When arriving, we found that he had lost 12% of his body weight and his blood sugars levels dropped dangerously low to 0.2 mmol/L (4 mg/dL) and was he was jaundiced. Continue reading

Why Were My 35 Week Premature Twins Fed More on Their First Day of Life Than my Full Term Breastfed Baby

I have three beautiful children: one nearly three year old boy, and one set of boy/girl twins, who are just three weeks old. If I could go back and change my eldest son’s first feeding  experiences on this earth, I would. I would have been happier and my baby healthier if he had just been fed while attempting to exclusively breastfeed.

When I was pregnant with my eldest boy, I fully intended to breastfeed him. We were delivering in a Baby-Friendly Hospital. I had never heard the term “Baby-Friendly” before becoming pregnant, but when my husband and I attended the hospital tour, we were told that the Baby-Friendly label meant that the hospital had achieved what was considered the gold standard in breastfeeding support. We attended the available lactation, birth, and parenting courses at the hospital. Whenever I was asked if I was planning to breastfeed my son, I proudly said, yes, I would. I was 34 years old, and I had never really considered infant feeding practices before becoming pregnant. From the information presented, it was obvious that breastfeeding was optimal.

I was told that babies did not need very much food in the first days of life. I was told that I would always make enough to feed the baby. I believed that the information I was receiving in these courses was truly the gold standard.

My son was born naturally after an unmedicated labor. He was placed on my bare chest, latched and I was told that we were doing great. I would nurse him and then he started screaming after each nursing session. Later, I learned that newborns aren’t meant to continuously scream after attempting to feed. They are meant to be satisfied and then sleep. The crying and screaming means something is wrong. I did not realize that my colostrum might not be enough to keep him fully fed before my milk came in. If I was informed that different babies have different caloric requirements at birth, and that my colostrum might not be enough right away, I never would have consented to not feeding my newborn for any period of time.  Continue reading

My Daughter Starved Because of My Determination to Exclusively Breastfeed and Lack of Knowledge on How to Supplement

By Jamie Nguyen

As new parents, my husband and I relied on professionals: doctors, nurses, lactation consultants to guide us in providing the best care for our newborn. But what happens if most of these professional have bought into a dangerous lie? The lie that all moms, except in very rare cases, are able to produce enough milk for a newborn baby.

After a long unmedicated labor that lasted over 36 hours, my daughter Noemie was born on November 2nd 2016. She was perfectly healthy and weighed 7 lbs 3.5 ozs. My goal was to exclusively breastfeed and the staff at the Baby-Friendly hospital were very supportive. Noemie lost 4% of her weight in the first 24 hours and we were told that it wouldn’t be anything to worry about until it got to more than 7%. However, she had become very fussy and inconsolable, but as we were new parents we just assumed that this was normal baby behavior. Having taken a breastfeeding class, I simply trusted that my body would make enough milk for her. I had been told that not being able to make enough milk was very rare. I asked to see a lactation consultant as I had previously had breast surgery to remove a benign lump from my right breast. The lactation consultant told me that I should have no problem breastfeeding from just my left side. She reassured me that my milk would “come in” sometime over the weekend at day 4 – 5. We were told to get a weight check at the pediatrician’s office on day 4.

Born healthy at 7lbs 3.5 ozs.

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Open Letter to Obstetrician-Gynecologists and Family Practitioners on Counseling Expectant Mothers on the Importance of Safe Infant Feeding

Dear Obstetrician-Gynecologist and Family Practitioner,

I am writing to you as a mother and advocate for Fed is Best.

You may have seen the story of Landon Johnson, who was welcomed into the world by his parents in February 2012.  Like most new parents, Landon’s mom and dad were lead to believe that Jillian would produce enough breast milk to meet Landon’s caloric needs.  The hospital where they delivered was “Baby-Friendly” and would only provide formula with a doctor’s prescription.

While in the hospital, Landon cried whenever he was not latched onto his mom’s breast. Jillian described him as inconsolable.  She was told that this was normal.  At less than 3 days of life they were discharged from hospital after having the appropriate number of wet and dirty diapers.  However, less than 12 hours later, Landon was readmitted to hospital after suffering cardiac arrest due to severe dehydration.  He suffered brain injury and ultimately died in the arms of his parents when life support was terminated.  His is a story that you cannot read without tears in your eyes. Continue reading

In Hong Kong News: 奶水不足以為餵飽 B仔脫水監生餓死

「我餓死了我的孩子。」餵哺母乳普遍被視為最佳的育嬰方法,但美國加州新手媽媽約翰遜(Jillian Johnson)餵哺初生長子蘭登(Landon)時,渾然不知自己奶水不足,成為孩子的催命符,寶寶僅活了19天就逝世了。

約翰遜近日亮相電視台節目《The Doctor》,剖白這段令她悔恨又悲痛的育嬰經驗。2012年,她與丈夫滿心歡喜地迎接蘭登誕生,惟他出生後不久即病得非常嚴重,把他送院搶救後,約翰遜才赫然得悉自己根本沒有足夠人奶餵飽兒子,可惜為時已晚,蘭登在出世後第19天因脫水夭折。

約翰遜為此懊悔不已,「失去這個孩子後,原本的人生一去不復返,我內心被淘空一大片」,鑄成大錯全因她對「餵哺母乳是對孩子最好選擇」這個信念太過堅定不移,「他的死是100%可避免,他之所以離世,沒有別的原因,只因為我們失敗」,「只要我給他一瓶奶,他會活到今天」。

http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/international/art/20170514/20021086

Jillian Johnson and The Fed is Best Foundation Interview on the Doctors Show

By The Doctors Staff on 12:00 AM PT, May 9, 2017

I May Never Forgive The Hospital For Starving My Baby While Under Their Care!

On Easter morning, I gave birth to a perfect 7 lb 15 oz little girl named Coraline Quinn. Cora started life as the world’s happiest little baby. She almost never cried and just wanted to snuggle more than anything in the world.

However, our first visit with one of the lactation consultants immediately had me scratching my head. The lactation consultant reassured me that nobody would attempt to “sabotage my breastfeeding” in their facility, unlike others. Then they helped me get her to latch, said that we were doing great and that she was getting enough to eat. 24 hours later, she was a fussy mess that was inconsolable unless she was being held. We fed a ton, but she’d get frustrated and break the latch to cry every 3-4 swallows. Lactation was consulted again, and they reassured me that everything was fine and that these were standard findings for the second day and I continued feeding as instructed. Continue reading