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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My 6th Lactation Consultant Saved Me When She Focused On My Needs First

 

When I finally got pregnant via IVF with my son Ike, I decided that I wanted to breastfeed him. Why?  Immunological benefits, possible lower obesity and diabetes risk, possibly smarter… As a scientist, I didn’t quite buy the higher IQ selling points of breastfeeding, but the immunological benefits seemed plausible to me. My two siblings, who seemed to have far fewer instances of illness and health issues, were breastfed while I was exclusively formula fed, so anecdotally, it seemed that breastfeeding made a positive impact on health. I delivered my son at a hospital that was touted to have one of the best birth centers in the Bay Area.  One of the key takeaways from the birth center tour was that breastfeeding was specifically embraced and emphasized, so I put on my birth plan that I planned to breastfeed.   

Labor and delivery was difficult. After 27 hours of labor, nearly 4 hours of pushing, and a failed vacuum extraction, Baby Ike was delivered via C-section. When the nurse handed Ike to me to breastfeed him, he would not latch, but would push me away and scream like I was trying to murder him–and this would happen each time I tried to breastfeed him.  Despite this, the nurses had me adhere to a breastfeeding schedule every 2 hours (because, they reminded me, my birth plan stated that I wanted to breastfeed). Each time the nurse or my husband handed Ike to me to breastfeed, I was filled with dread. I fought the urge to break down into tears as Ike pushed me away and arched his back while screaming as I tried to coax him into latching onto my breast.

 “I think our baby hates me,” I said to my husband after the umpteenth failed breastfeeding attempt.

My milk did not come in while I was in the hospital recovering, and did not come in until 9 days post-partum. Since my baby wasn’t latching, a breast pump was delivered to my room to help stimulate milk production.  I was not given instructions on how to use the pump and I used the wrong size flange and made the mistake of turning the suction power all the way to the highest level.  I also was pumping dry breasts for over 45 minutes which led to sore, cracked nipples and not a drop of milk!   So I hand expressed as much colostrum into a 1 cc syringe and fed my newborn whatever I could squeeze out of my breasts.  

Postpartum depression and anxiety crept up on me while I was in the hospital recovering from the C-section, although I didn’t realize what was happening at the time.  Being confined to a hospital bed after the C-section, with a catheter inserted, an attached BP cuff intermittently squeezing my arm, and sequential compression devices squeezing my legs exacerbated my claustrophobia, and I found myself frequently fighting off panic attacks.  I resisted sleeping and would lie awake gripped in fear and anxiety about my baby.  The two hour feeding intervals had me constantly watching the clock with apprehension.   

During my recovery at the hospital, I had 4 brief visits by 4 different lactation consultants (IBCLCs).  They were all very lovely and nice ladies, but some of their suggestions and advice conflicted with each other.  Little to no progress was made with breastfeeding after their visits.  

“Use a nipple shield to help with latching.”

“Don’t use a nipple shield! It will negatively impact your supply.  It may lead to nipple confusion and you’ll have a hard time weaning the baby off of the nipple shield later.”

Try the football hold.  It is the best hold for C-section moms.”

“Try ‘biological nursing!’ Let gravity assist the baby in the latching.’”

Try SNS so that the baby will stimulate your body to produce milk.”

Coping with pain from a major abdominal surgery, sleep deprivation, excruciating nipple pain, postpartum depression, and severe anxiety regarding breastfeeding made it difficult to absorb the information given to me by the IBCLCs.  

 

At 48 hours postpartum, my son had lost 11% of his body weight and had a touch of jaundice.  I was struck with guilt that I allowed my child to go without nutrients/fluids for two days.  A LC reassured me that babies were built withstand no fluids for that long–even longer!  So instead of simply giving my son formula in a bottle, it was suggested that we try SNS along with a nipple shield, which was an arduous 2 person job to set up each time.  After the usual bout of screaming and fighting, my son would finally latch onto the nipple shield and only take about 5-10 cc of formula through the SNS at each feeding and continued to lose weight.  At day 3, the pediatrician ordered formula  to get baby’s weight back up.  I felt both relief and tremendous guilt–relief that Ike was finally fed, and guilt for failing my son. 

Ike starved for 2 days and I let it happen. My failure to breastfeed my child compounded my postpartum depression.

We were released from the hospital with a small supply of formula, a couple of nipple shields, the SNS, but still with no clue on how to breastfeed.  I’m not sure why, but I still wanted to try breastfeeding Ike despite all of the anxiety associated with breastfeeding.  So we continued to seek out assistance from additional LCs.  The 5th LC that we consulted put me on a breastfeeding-followed-by-pumping every 2 hours regimen, no formula supplementation allowed.  This was the only way to establish breastfeeding and increase my supply, and formula supplementation would derail the establishment of my milk supply, she explained.  She suggested a follow-up appointment 3 days later to weigh the baby and to make sure I was following the regimen.  She also recommended that the baby see an osteopath, since the birth was “traumatic” and likely “tweaked his body out of alignment.”

 An osteopath was supposed to put Ike’s body back into alignment, which would facilitate better latching.  Looking back, I don’t know why I agreed to such a thing, especially being a scientist, but I was desperate to try anything.  The osteopath put her hands on Ike, closed her eyes, and breathed deeply…  Oh, and she used this strange looking vibrating device that looked like something you’d use to wax and buff a car on Ike’s body.  For that, we were charged $240 (private pay) per session.  We did two sessions before I decided that it was too ridiculous and expensive to continue.  

Things finally started to turn around when we consulted a 6th LC, Sheridan Ross.  We still weren’t able to get baby to latch without a nipple shield during the first consult (more screaming and back arching), but she left me with a wonderful multi-page care/action plan full of great information and resources (how to align the baby with the breast, how to assist latching with the “breast sandwich,” how to properly use a pump, baby sleeping patterns and growth spurts).  In her care/action plan, Sheridan suggested that I attempt getting Ike to latch twice a day as a starting point and work from there, and only attempt latching when Ike and I were both feeling calm.  She didn’t want breastfeeding to be associated with a traumatic event for either of us. I think Sheridan was the only LC that really recognized my PPD, while the other LCs really only focused on Ike and my milk production.  Sheridan saw that I was at a tipping point with the depression, anxiety, post-C-section pain, and lack of sleep.

The most important part of her approach in helping me was that she didn’t take an “all-or-nothing” attitude to breastfeeding: She didn’t tell me that I should avoid formula at all costs.  She didn’t tell me that using a nipple shield would doom my breastfeeding relationship.  She didn’t push a strict 2 hour feeding-pumping regimen that could have broken me as a mother with PPD. 

At 3 weeks postpartum, I was finally able to successfully establish a breastfeeding relationship with Ike (sans nipple shield!).  Because of Sheridan’s balanced and gentle approach to breastfeeding, I finally came to see my breastfeeding relationship with Ike as a positive one, and I breastfed Ike to 33 months.  In those 33 months,  I had to supplement with formula every now and then, but I no longer saw formula supplementation as a failure.

 

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We’ve created a feeding plan template to assist you in setting goals for your little one, by understanding your baby’s needs based on their birth statistics and what options you have (but may not know to ask).

Some of the information needed will be available to you by asking your healthcare provider directly, or requesting that they fill out your newborn’s data at birth.

Using this guide, you will be able to judge how best to hit your feeding targets, and be able to clearly inform your medical team what you would like to do if problems arise during the course of feeding. Downloadable and Free Infant Feeding Plan

Do you need support, have a story you want to share or want to volunteer with our Foundation team?  Please contact us: Contact us

Are you a health care professional who wants to connect with other practicing providers and nurses?  We have a private group of health care professionals that are working together and welcome you to join.  Please contact us: Contact us

Can you help support our grass roots movement by donating to our Foundation? Donate

 

 

 

How Even Two Moms Couldn’t Make Enough Milk For Their Baby And Were Forced to Sneak Pumped Breast Milk Into The Hospital

We’ve had two sad experiences with the ‘Baby Friendly’ aspiring hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital. Both issues involved two things: the fact that I had breast reduction surgery and unknown/limited milk supply and the fact that my wife induced lactation.

With our first baby, my wife breastfed her immediately after the birth while I recovered for a minute (fast, unmedicated, and awesome labor). She then refused to latch on to my breasts and the hospital encouraged (kind of forced) my wife to put the baby to her breast. She was in med school and had wanted to pump and never wanted to be the primary nurser.  She started to cry, because we were offered no information or choice in the matter. I was encouraged to continue putting a crying, non-latching baby to my breast over and over. It was horrid. We left the hospital with the advice to “Keep switching her back and forth,” which resulted in her becoming malnourished.

This experience greatly impacted our experience of early parenthood. We felt that we had no choices and that the hospital was myopically focused on breastfeeding and not on baby feeding. They kept saying, “You never know! You might have a full breast milk supply!” But after surgery my chances of full milk supply were very, very slim. I was pumping and getting a dime size (flat) drop of colostrum. They kept saying that it’s normal to have very little colostrum. But normal is an ounce or two (right?) not 1/16 tsp. The hospital absolutely refused to face reality. This makes me really sad to write about. But it’s important.

#2 Why Fed is Best- Underfeeding standarfOfCare

During our second baby’s birth (same moms, same roles) we brought my wife’s pumped milk and she actually left the hospital to take care of the older kiddo. The nurse really really didn’t want me to give the new baby our pumped milk. I ended up sneaking it to her from a little cup. I had to sneak around to feed my baby. Once again the hospital nurses (all lactation consultants) kept having me nurse and kept telling me it was okay if the baby didn’t get any milk in the first 24 hours.

The thing is, I didn’t want to deprive her of milk. I wanted to start her off strong, with milk from both moms and I did.  To deny a newborn baby food and fluids is cruel and is child abuse.  

FactsNotFear1

I thank the Fed Is Best Foundation from the bottom of my heart for being a beacon for women like me. For the record, both girls got mostly breast milk and some formula. My first baby never really nursed with me. Baby 2 nursed to 10 months. They are both brilliant and funny and fiery and healthy and sassy and all the best things.

WRITING YOUR HOSPITAL ABOUT YOUR BABY’S FEEDING COMPLICATIONS

Every year, thousands of infants in every country are hospitalized for complications due to underfeeding from exclusive breastfeeding including dehydration, hypoglycemia and excessive jaundice. Many families leave these experiences traumatized and some babies are irreversibly injured. The only way hospitals will know to make their infant feeding policies safer is through patients raising awareness. If your child experienced a feeding complication, please consider writing your hospital’s CEO and your health insurance company. Here is a letter template to help you get the process started. The more detail you are able to provide the better.  For more information on how to gather information about your child’s hospital course and the possibility of injury, please write christie@fedisbest.org.

Write to your hospital

 

 

Fear NOT Facts Contained in Baby-Friendly Formula Feeding Waiver Forms

By Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, M.D., Co-Founder of the Fed is Best Foundation

The primary reason why newborns experience starvation-related complications every single day as a result of the Baby-Friendly protocol is because the complications associated with the protocol are hidden from mothers who seek to breastfeed.  The primary objective of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is high exclusive breastfeeding at discharge.  Unfortunately, because the rates of insufficient breast milk and delayed lactogenesis II are high among mothers, the necessary consequences of hospital policies that seek high EBF at discharge rates are higher starvation-related complications like hyperbilirubinemia, hypernatremia, dehydration and hypoglycemia, all of which can cause newborn brain injury and permanent disability.  Below is an example of the way mothers are made to fear formula supplementation while the risks of NOT supplementing are hidden.  This is a waiver form published on the California Department of Public Health Website to provide an example of a model formula waiver form for hospitals.

Here are examples of FEAR not FACTS contained in formula feeding waiver forms that Baby-Friendly hospitals require moms to sign before they allow a newborn to be formula-fed.

1. FEAR: Supplementation CAUSES delayed milk production.

FACT: The known risk factors for delayed milk production include being a first-time mom, cesarean delivery, flat or inverted nipples, higher BMI > 27, prolonged stage II of delivery (when a mom pushes to deliver), having a large baby, excessive blood loss, being an older mom > 30, PCOS, diabetes, hypothyroidism, insufficient glandular tissue, retained placenta to name a few. While supplementation may be ASSOCIATED with delayed milk production, supplementation is in fact a REFLECTION of the need to supplement a baby who is being underfed due to delayed copious milk production.  (Pediatrics 2003, 112 (3 Pt 1): 607-19)

2. FEAR: Not exclusively breastfeeding puts my child at risk of jaundice.

FACT: Exclusive breastfeeding is among the highest risk factors for excessive jaundice requiring phototherapy admissions according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and 10-18% of exclusively breastfed newborns experience starvation jaundice from insufficient milk intake according to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. Exclusively breastfed newborns are at higher risk of jaundice than supplemented and formula-fed newborns due to the smaller volumes of milk they receive as milk helps the baby pass bilirubin into the stool. In fact one of the ways jaundice is treated and prevented is through supplemental milk feeding.
Pediatrics, July 2004, VOLUME 114 / ISSUE 1, BREASTFEEDING MEDICINE, Volume 5, Number 2, 2010

3. FEAR: Not exclusively breastfeeding will cause my baby to be underfed

FACTS: In the largest studies of supplemented/formula-fed vs. exclusively breastfed healthy, term newborns from a large Baby-Friendly Hospital system, the exclusively breastfed babies lost almost twice as much as the supplemented/formula-fed babies. 10% of vaginally-delivered and 25% of cesarean-delivered EBF newborns lost excessive weight of >10% while NONE of the formula-fed newborns experienced this complication. In fact, exclusive breastfeeding at discharge is associated with an 11-fold higher risk of rehospitalization for dehydration and underfeeding.

Early Weight Loss Nomogram of Formula-Fed Newborns. Hospital Pediatrics May 2015, VOLUME 5 / ISSUE 5

Early Weight Loss Nomogram of Exclusively Breastfed Newborns.  Pediatrics January 2015, VOLUME 135 / ISSUE 1

Rehospitalization for Newborn Dehydration. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002;156:155-161

4: FEAR: Supplementing will CAUSE low blood sugar and colostrum protects my baby from it.

FACT: In a study of newborns fed antenatally expressed colostrum along with direct latch feeding of colostrum when compared to those who did not receive expressed colostrum, the babies fed expressed colostrum in fact had higher rates of hypoglycemia requiring admission.  Lancet 2017, 389: 2204-2213

So NO, colostrum does not protect against hypoglycemia. In fact in the most recent study of EBF newborns, 10% had blood glucose levels low enough to increase risk of lower long-term academic achievement. An even older study on low blood sugar in EBF newborns, 53 out of 200 or 26.5% developed low blood sugar within the first 6 hours of life. What protects against hypoglycemia is providing a child their full caloric requirement, which is 100-120 Cal/kg/day to prevent them from running out of caloric reserve.

Study of Asymptomatic Hypoglycemia in Full Term Exclusively Breastfed Neonates in First 48 Hours of Life Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. 2015 Sep, Vol-9(9): SC07-SC10
Association Between Transient Newborn Hypoglycemia and Fourth-Grade Achievement Test Proficiency: A Population-Based Study JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(10):913-921.
Nutritional management of newborn infants: Practical Guidelines. World J Gastroenterol 2008 October 28; 14(40): 6133-6139      

5. FEAR: Introduction of cow’s milk will lead to cow milk protein allergy.

FACT: In a study of over 13,000 children, earlier introduction within the first 2 weeks of life of cow’s milk REDUCED their risk of cow milk protein allergy by 19-fold.

Early exposure to cow’s milk protein is protective against IgE-mediated cow’s milk protein allergy.  J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Jul;126(1):77-82.e1.

6. FEAR: Exclusive breastfeeding is the ideal way of feeding every baby and there are no risks associated it, only risks of NOT doing it.

FACT: The most significant risks to a newborn’s life and brain come from the fasting conditions imposed by exclusive breastfeeding before full milk production and these risks are hidden from mothers to gain compliance with exclusive breastfeeding.

A review of 116 cases of breastfeeding-associated hypernatremia in rural area of central Turkey. J Trop Pediatr. 2007 Oct;53(5):347-50. Epub 2007 May 12.

Hypernatremic Dehydration in Breastfed Term Infants: Retrospective Evaluation of 159 Cases. Breastfeed Med. 2017 Jan/Feb;12:5-11.

Long-Term Neurodevelopmental Outcome of Neonates with Hypernatremic Dehydration. Breastfeed Med. 2017 Apr;12:163-168

Of Goldilocks and Neonatal Hypernatremia. Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Blog.

7. FEAR: Just one bottle will ruin my child’s future health.

FACT: Just one bottle can save a child’s life and save them from a lifetime of disability.

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

Letter to doctors and parents about the dangers of insufficient exclusive breastfeeding

#FactsnotFear #FedisBest #BFHIShowMeYourFacts


The Fed is Best Foundation is dedicated to the prevention of newborn and infant starvation from insufficient exclusive breastfeeding. We do so by studying breastfeeding stories sent by mothers and the scientific literature on breastfeeding complications that lead to infant brain injury and death. Since the beginning of our campaign almost two years ago, we have received tens of thousands of newborn and infant starvation stories leading to the complications of hyperbilirubinemia, dehydration, hypernatremia,  hypoglycemia and failure to thrive. These complications occur because the current breastfeeding guidelines have not been studied for safety, operates with little awareness of the caloric and fluid requirements of newborns nor the amount transferred to babies until complications have already occurred. “Just one bottle” can save a child from these tragedies as it is often a mother’s first clue that a child is in fact starving from exclusive breastfeeding.

If your baby is experiencing distress and signs and symptoms of starvation, we encourage you to advocate for your child. We encourage mothers to notify hospital administrators if you are being pressured to avoid supplementation to alleviate your child’s hunger. You have the right to feed your child and your child has the right to be fed. No one but your baby knows how close they are to empty. The only way they can communicate distress is by crying. Listen to your baby and listen to your instincts.

Our message is simple. Feed your baby. Feed them as much as they need to stay safe and satisfied. Only they know what they need.

#FedisBest
Click on the infographic below to print for your reference.

For more information on how to protect your baby from feeding complications due to early exclusive breastfeeding, please read and download the Fed is Best Feeding Plan, a way to communicate your feeding choices to your health care providers.

In addition, please read and download the Fed is Best Weighing Protocol to prevent newborn dehydration and failure to thrive.

Lastly, for more detailed information, please watch our educational videos on Preventing Feeding Complications.

Our full list of parent resources can be found on our Resource Page.

If you wish to help parents learn how to protect their newborns from accidental starvation, please share this story and sign our petition to demand that the CDC, the AAP, the U.S. Surgeon General and the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative warn parents about the dangers of newborn and infant starvation from insufficient exclusive breastfeeding. Go to https://fedisbest.org/sign-our-petition/.

 

 

 

I Stopped Pumping and People Were Mad, Spewed Hate, Judgement and Called Me Selfish.

When I was pregnant I had already decided to formula feed my baby.  My family (even some cousins) thought it was strange and tried to talk me out of it, and I had family delete me on social media because we disagreed on this topic. My midwife was amazing and encouraged me to consider breastfeeding, but if I didn’t want to, that was perfectly okay. By the time I was 30 weeks pregnant, I changed my mind and wanted to try to see if breastfeeding would work for us.

 

I delivered after 2 days of labor, 2 hours of pushing followed by 5 hours of waiting then some more pushes, a vacuum, and then some panicked doctors who rushed me to an emergency C-section at 41 weeks plus 2 days. My daughter was immediately sent to the NICU from the stressful delivery.   I saw my baby following the surgery about 6 hours later and she was being tube fed. The next evening, they let me begin to try to feed her which went wonderfully! She latched, it didn’t hurt, but she was still hungry. My colostrum came in quickly, followed by my milk within 3 days in full.

But something was off. I ended up getting ill every time I breastfed her. I would get a fever, chills, and extremely tired every time I nursed her. I would have to sleep about 6 hours to feel normal again. The NICU asked if during the times I was sleeping they could supplement with formula. I said of course! If she needs fed, we feed her!  Putting essential vitamins and nutrients in her tummy is what needed to happen.  Over the course of her five day NICU stay, she breastfed, got breast milk from a bottle, and was supplemented when there wasn’t enough breast milk. I believe that supplementing her was what made her healthy and strong enough to recover and come home with us.

I was “encouraged” to keep pumping, so she could have “liquid gold” and that led to having no time to do anything. I was eating once a day and drinking very little.  I became so ill, my husband spent multiple nights feeding her because I was shaking and couldn’t move due to weakness. I was not healthy at all. I couldn’t be a mother to her; I hated being a mother to her at that time; I regretted her. It was awful. Finally, at 3 weeks I decided I had enough and my health and sanity was crucial for my daughter to have the mother she deserves. I stopped pumping and switched her to formula completely and never touched that pump again.

This was the Best. Decision. Ever. She continued to thrive, continued to eat just the same, and my body and mind healed. I loved feeding time with her and that magical bonding of looking at her, each time, was so very special to me. But people were mad! People argued that I wasn’t doing what was best for her, only for me. People continued to judge and spew hate about making a deeply personal choice that worked best for me.  This is when I found the Fed Is Best Foundation. In their support group, which is private to keep it safe, I found the Foundation encouraged breastfeeding, pumping, supplementing, tube feeding, and formula feeding! They encouraged putting baby’s and mother’s health above an obsession to breastfeed. I fell in love with the information and the people surrounding this movement. I would come to find mothers in similar predicaments were being “encouraged,” but really, they needed a solution – not encouragement to continue something that wasn’t working for them. I brought many struggling mothers to our private support group.  I continue to advocate for #fedisbest because until every mother can achieve the goal of a thriving, healthy baby in the health care system by whatever form of feeding suits their own family and babies the best, we have to work to make changes!

TiffanyFIB1

Tiffany22Meet Tiffany, a new mama to her sweet baby girl and both are thriving and celebrating her first birthday!

Do you need genuine help and support for yourself and your baby?  Please send us a message on our Facebook page.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Print out our letter to obstetric providers and mail them to your local obstetricians, midwives, family practitioners who provide obstetric care and hospitals
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

I Didn’t Make Enough Milk Like So Many Other Moms: Supplementing Saved My Breastfeeding and My Son

A Message from Jessica Hickey, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist, Mom and Fed is Best Advocate and Volunteer

Hello, I just want to say thank you for making this information free and available on the internet. I was made aware of your website by my husband’s aunt, who is a pediatric nurse practitioner, about 6 weeks after I gave birth to my first child in December of 2016. Prior to giving birth my husband and I attended a birthing class that had a breastfeeding component. In hindsight the class was completely inadequate and a waste of time. My labor was long as my son had flipped posterior at some point during the labor process, but I was able to have a vaginal birth with an epidural. I had decided to breastfeed exclusively and things went alright while in the hospital. The pediatrician who saw us while still in the hospital sent us home with some formula, just in case. I continued to breastfeed once we arrived home and my milk came in on day 4.

I had no idea that supplementing was even something that I could do to prevent jaundice and weight loss during those first few days. Around day six I noticed that I was nursing him on both breasts, but he was crying and inconsolable after eating. Both my husband and I tried walking him around, putting him back on the breast, anything to calm him down. My parents were staying with us to help with the baby and my mother suggested that my son was probably still hungry. At that moment I felt like a failure, but I warmed up a half ounce of the formula and offered it to my son. He drank it down and was content and went to sleep. At every feeding after that I continued to nurse and then offer formula at the end of the feeding, in case he was still hungry. If it hadn’t been for that doctor sending home formula and my mother being there to tell me my baby was hungry I don’t know if I would have supplemented.

I didn’t have the proper information to make that kind of decision. I looked at the pregnancy books that I had bought and been given, I read back through the pamphlet about breastfeeding that I was given at the hospital, I checked websites. Every single resource told me that all women have enough milk to feed their babies and that insufficient milk supply is rare. I beat myself up for the first month and felt terrible every time I made him a bottle. I had no idea how toxic the “breast is best” message that was seared into my mind had become.

The light at the end of the tunnel was being referred to your website by my husband’s aunt. With tears streaming down my face I sat and watched one of your presentations on infant feeding on YouTube and finally found the information I had been seeking. There was nothing wrong with me, I just didn’t have enough milk for my baby like the 20-40% of other first time mothers. I was completely normal! I cried again when I read about what could have happened to my son had I chosen not to supplement so early on, or if I had waited, blindly believing all the incorrect information that I had read that all mothers have enough milk for their babies.

I have continued to nurse and always offer a bottle of expressed breast milk or formula after nursing. Supplementing definitely saved my breastfeeding relationship. My son is now 6 months old and is thriving on combination feeding of breast milk and formula. I wanted to share my story with you as well as partner with you if possible. I am a board registered and licensed Occupational Therapist and I work with adults and the geriatric population. The most enjoyable part of my job is patient education. Since having my son and going through what I did with my difficulties with producing enough milk, I want as many women as possible to know how to safely feed their new babies. I feel like this information should be shouted from the rooftops and that every woman should have easy access to the information disseminated by your foundation.

I don’t know if you have any representatives of your foundation who lead classes or a one-time class to share safe feeding practices with soon to be and seasoned parents in a group setting? I would love to find out more about possibly offering a recurring class in my area or help with starting the process of the foundation offering classes. The internet is great, but meeting with moms and dads face to face is also a powerful way to educate on this vital information concerning infant feeding.

Thank you for your kind consideration,

Jessica Hickey, Lexington, KY

Dear Jessica,

We hope to get a large network of Fed is Best Advocates and Educators to provide support in the community. We hope to build this from licensed professionals with medical training including nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians and therapists like yourself.  In order to provide the safest level of care, we will need to build the training program in order to make the advice standardized and safe. As with any non-physician feeding advice, we always recommend that parents check with their pediatricians or family practitioners regarding any concerns about the health and safety of their child. If there are any doubts about a child not getting fed enough, we recommend supplementing until the child gets evaluated after nursing sessions to prevent complications.  For now, we are hoping to raise enough money to start up an online infant feeding class to provide live Fed is Best support with to goal of developing a large network of live Fed is Best feeding classes and support groups. Anyone who wants to be part of the change, please contact us at contact@fedisbest.org. 

The Fed is Best Foundation’s Progress and Our One-Year Anniversary

From Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, M.D., Co-Founder of the Fed is Best Foundation

The Fed is Best Foundation is reaching its one-year anniversary July 11, 2017. One year ago, we became incorporated as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and have made tremendous strides in educating mothers and health professionals on safe infant feeding practices, particularly in the first days of life.  We want to celebrate by sharing with you the progress we have made in our first year.

Our Facebook Following

In one year, we increased our Facebook audience by over 258,000 and we are growing by 2000 to 10,000 followers every week.

The FedisBest.org Website

The FedisBest.org has been viewed over 4 million times over the past year since its creation.

 

The Fed is Best Foundation Advocates, Volunteers, health Professionals and Patient Advocates Grows

We have grown as an organization and currently have Fed is Best advocates, volunteers, nurses, physicians, other health professionals and attorneys that make up the core of the Fed is Best Foundation advocacy efforts.  Fed is Best Foundation Advisors and Volunteers keep the foundation running with on-going advocacy, parent support, literature review, outreach to health organizations and production of educational material for parents and health professionals. Meet the Founders of the Fed is Best Foundation and our core advisors!


The Fed is Best Parent Support Groups on Facebook

We have expanded our parent support network by opening up the Fed is Best Foundation Parent Support Group on Facebook and have added sister Fed is Best groups including Fed is Best U.K. and Fed is Best Canada with more groups on the way.

Raising Awareness on Failure to thrive in Breastfed Babies

We raised awareness of the dangers of failure to thrive and reached an international audience with the following post from one of our advisors and advocates. “Accidentally starving my baby broke my heart, but made me want to help other moms.” 

Fed is Best Gains International Media Attention

The Fed is Best Foundation and the #FedisBest movement has been covered by 86 different news articles across the globe including Forbes.com, the Washington Post, the BBC, CBS News, Slate Magazine, People.com, CNN, CBC News in Canada, Marie Claire, Grounded Parents, Romper, the New York Post and Huffington Post. We have been covered by Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Bosnian, Dutch, Indonesian and Polish news outlets. All these articles have been posted on the Fed is Best In the Media page.

The Fed is Best Message Reaches Moms All over the World

We have published our key campaign letters and stories in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Our campaign has reached millions, particularly in the Spanish speaking world.

Fed is Best and the Johnson Family Raise Awareness on the Dangers of Accidental Infant STarvation and REach millions Across the Globe

We reached millions of mothers and health professionals by making them aware of the dangers of the accidental starvation of newborns by sharing a blog written by Jillian Johnson, about the accidental death of her son Landon who was born in a Baby-Friendly hospital.

Jillian Johnson and Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi are Interviewed on the Doctors Show

Jillian Johnson and Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi were invited to an interview on the Doctors Show where we were able to tell our personal stories and send out a message to millions of viewers about the importance of knowing the signs of infant starvation and of timely supplementation to prevent newborn injury and death.

Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi Presents Her REsearch on Accidental Infant Starvation at the First Coast Neonatal Symposium in Jacksonville, Florida on April 24, 2017

Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi was invited to speak at the First Coast Neonatal Symposium for the University of Florida in Jacksonville where she spoke about the “Danger of Insufficient Breastfeeding” to a conference on neonatal health professionals .

Speaking at the First Coast Neonatal Symposium for the University of Florida, Jacksonville, April 24, 2017

The Fed is Best Parent Resource Page

We have expanded our Parent Resource Page by leaps and bounds making it a comprehensive parent and clinician guide for honest, evidence-based safe infant feeding education and support. It includes the Fed is Best Feeding Plan, a guide to preventing feeding complications in breastfed newborns, the Fed is Best weighing protocol, links to instructional videos on achieving a good breastfeeding latch, manual expression of breast milk, guides to knowing when a breastfed infant needs immediate evaluation, guides to supplementing breastfed newborns, formula feeding, power pumping and many more. If you have not visited it lately, please come and check out all the new resources we have added.

Fed is Best Continues to Share Stories from Mothers

We have received thousands of accidental starvation stories and continue to post these stories on our FedisBest.org blog.

The Fed is Best Obstetric health Provider Writing Campaign

We have launched a letter writing campaign to reach all obstetric-gynecologists, family practitioners, midwives and other obstetric care providers to ask them to counsel their mothers on the importance prioritizing the health and safety of their newborn babies over exclusivity in breastfeeding.

Advocating for National Policy Changes in Infant feeding

We gained the amazing addition of Julie Tibbets, Attorney and Partner at Alston & Bird in Washington, DC who is helping us reach out to prominent health organizations to change the infant feeding guidelines and make them safe for every newborn and infant. Together, we will make national change in infant feeding so that no child should ever be injured by accidental starvation and that no mother be uninformed of the risks of insufficient feeding to her child.

Informing Hospitals of the Risks of Accidental Infant Starvation and the Dangers of Strict Breastfeeding Policies

We have launched our effort to reach hospital CEOs and health organizations to make them aware of safe-infant feeding and the dangers of accidental infant starvation from strict breastfeeding-only protocols.

Jody Segrave-Daly’s Daily Support of Mothers and Babies

I want to take this opportunity to highlight the tireless commitment of my Co-Founder, Jody Segrave-Daly, who lives the mission of the Fed is Best Foundation in her daily work as an Infant Feeding Specialist and Lactation Consultant. She uses her 30+ years of experience as a newborn nursery/NICU nurse and IBCLC and cares for moms and babies, especially those who have experienced feeding complications and accidental starvation on a weekly basis. Not only does she witness the suffering of the mothers and babies who experience these breastfeeding tragedies in her clinical work, but she also supports mothers through social media, email and our parent support group. I could not do this without her.

 

Finally, Our Biggest accomplishment are the babies Our Outreach has saved from Feeding Complications

While we can’t estimate the number of babies whom we have saved from feeding complications  by teaching their mothers the signs of hunger/feeding complications and by supporting their mothers to proudly and confidently supplement to protect their life and brain, we have gotten many messages from appreciative mothers who have thanked us for helping them keep their babies safely-fed, happy and thriving. We have received messages of gratitude for saving their babies’ lives and for saving them from needless suffering and hospitalization. Here are some of a few…

Alison’s baby was supplemented when she began to cry and show signs of hunger in the first days of life. She is currently exclusively breastfed.

 

“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.” — From a Fed is Best Mom and Supporter

 

From Bethany: The Fed is Best Foundation Support Group saved my sanity and more importantly my daughter. I felt the pressure to breastfeed from the beginning and it did start out nicely and she was over her birth weight by the first week! But that was where it stopped. I had to go to the hospital with my little one and was so distraught over the idea of needing formula because it wasn’t “best!” The foundation support group helped me realize that what is best for each baby is what works for each child individually! In just over a month you can clearly see a difference 🙂

 

From Liz: I’m really grateful that Fed is Best supported my decision to formula feed my baby because that was what was best for us. I’m also glad for all the resources because I was able to help my friend, who had her baby 8 weeks after mine was born, to feel confident in her decision to combo-feed. Parenting is hard enough, it just makes sense to support parents rather than judge them.

From Jessica Hickey, MS, OTR/L: The light at the end of the tunnel was being referred to your website by my husband’s aunt. With tears streaming down my face I sat and watched one of your presentations on infant feeding on YouTube and finally found the information I had been seeking. There was nothing wrong with me, I just didn’t have enough milk for my baby like the 20-40% of other first time mothers. I was completely normal! I cried again when I read about what could have happened to my son had I chosen not to supplement so early on, or if I had waited, blindly believing all the incorrect information that I had read that all mothers have enough milk for their babies.

 

“Thanks to the Fed is Best Foundation, I had the support to pump for my preemie twins the moment they were born, for seven weeks, which was one week longer than my goal. They are now exclusively formula fed and thriving.” — A Fed is Best Mom

 

From Mandy Dukovan (I may be crying): It’s incredibly hard to put into words all the things this foundation has done for me over the last 10 months. When I happened to stumble upon FIB, I was a first time mom, who was struggling with so many different feelings and wasn’t sure who or where to turn. My son was 2 months at the time, and was just beginning to thrive, thanks to supplementing with formula. While I was so happy to see my baby finally gaining weight and thriving, I had so many other emotions I was struggling to sort out. I had immense feelings of guilt that I didn’t see the signs that my baby was hungry, constantly. I was embarrassed that I could look at his 1 month picture and now see that he was obviously malnourished, but how on earth did I miss this at the time? I was angry that I didn’t follow my instincts that something was wrong with him and why did I buy into all the terrible things I was told would happen if I gave him formula. I had this image in my head of all the horrible things that would happen to him, such as him being obese, if I gave him formula, at the same time missing the fact that he was underweight and not getting the nourishment and nutrients that he so desperately needed. And I worried that we would not have the kind of bond that babies who were EBF experienced with their mothers. I now know that our bond is so much stronger because we bottle fed him and no longer experienced the immense stress that came each time I tried to breast feed my baby. I got to a point where I dreaded even trying to breast feed him, but I was told that was the best thing I could do for my baby, so I kept going, at the expense of my baby’s health and my well-being. This foundation provided a place I could go and not feel alone and feel accepted. I honestly believed I was the only mother who had experienced what we went through because I only heard the stories about how amazing breast feeding was.

 

We Want to Thank you…

We want to thank you, our supporters, for all the messages, the stories, the love and encouragement you have given us. We promise to give you safe, honest, evidence-based infant feeding support that prioritizes the health and safety of your child. We want to change the standards of infant feeding so that they truly protect the future potential of every single child.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Print out our letter to obstetric providers and mail them to your local obstetricians, midwives, family practitioners who provide obstetric care and hospitals.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!

Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, M.D.

Jody Segrave-Daly, RN, IBCLC

 

 

The Lancet: Nonexistent Magic Breasts Could Save 800,000 Lives Per Year

Written by Brooke Orosz, PhD

In 2016, an article in The Lancet  claimed that increasing breastfeeding rates worldwide could save 800,000 children per year.  The first problem with this study is that the authors are somewhat overly optimistic in interpreting the evidence for breastfeeding.  The second is that, although the vast majority of those hypothetical lost lives are in poor countries, this study has been used as a club to shame women into breastfeeding in wealthy countries.

The biggest problem, however, is that the article assumes “near-universal” exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months, with complementary foods until at least 12 months. They provide no evidence that this goal is realistic or even possible, and all available evidence suggests it is not possible.

There are no societies, today or in the past, that have near-universal exclusive breastfeeding for six months. While it works for some individual babies, no one has ever made it work across an entire society, not without allowing a lot of babies to starve, anyway.

In fact, it’s not at all clear that six months is even the best age to introduce complementary foods.  Many babies outgrow their iron stores or their mother’s milk supply earlier, and they benefit from other foods at 4 to 5 months old. Earlier introduction of solids may even reduce the risk of food allergy.

Mothers in low and middle income countries do not fail to breastfeed because they are too stupid to know it’s important, they fail because breastfeeding doesn’t always work. Because women die in childbirth, or suffer complications so serious they are unable to care for the baby. With limited medical care, this is sadly commonplace. Because women are undernourished, which impairs their ability to produce milk. Because an unknown number of women across the population have insufficient glandular tissue and will not make enough milk under any circumstances. And because babies are born premature, sick, or otherwise unable to nurse effectively.

So, many women cannot breastfeed, even more cannot breastfeed exclusively, and even when breastfeeding is going well, there’s no reason to withhold solids until 6 months.

Sure, in a world in which mother and baby are always doing well after birth, and breastfeeding nearly always works out, then we can talk about “near-universal”. But it makes no sense to write public health goals based on completely unrealistic assumptions.

 

BROOKE OROSZ, PH.D., PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS

19396698_917437061753694_1008365497486792066_nBrooke Orosz, PhD is a professor of mathematics and the mother of a child who had to be hospitalized for dehydration due to insufficient breast milk intake. After her son’s crisis, she was stunned to learn that readmissions for nursing problems are commonplace, and that they are not tracked or penalized by health authorities. Since then, she has used her knowledge of statistics to study the problem and to advocate for evidence-based feeding protocols that put the baby’s safety and comfort first. Brooke will be delivering her second baby very soon, in a BFHI hospital again but she will be advocating and using our infant feeding plan to prevent accidental starvation–

Fed Is Best Infant Feeding Plan

Brooke’s story:

MY SON WAS EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFED AND WAS ADMITTED WITH HYPERNATREMIA AND JAUNDICE THE NEXT DAY AFTER DISCHARGE

The hospital where he was born was Clara Maas. I cannot name one single staff member who was clearly negligent, I think it was more a case of him slipping through the cracks. The on-staff LC never checked on us after the first day, and I still don’t know exactly who knew what, when or who made which decision. Nevertheless, they allowed an at-risk newborn (37 weeks and Small-for-Gestational-Age) to go home without double-checking that he was safe or providing any special instructions for his care. Personally, I would not deliver another baby there.

Details of the incident have been reported to Clara Maas hospital in a formal complaint, and to the Joint Commission.

Do you need to know how to file a formal complaint to your hospital?  We can help you: Writing Your Hospital

 

Resources:

The Religious and Cultural Bases for Breastfeeding Practices Among the Hindus

When Lactivism Kills

The influence of breast surgery, breast appearance, and pregnancy-induced breast changes on lactation sufficiency as measured by infant weight gain.

Some mothers can’t breast-feed There are physical reasons, and yet women get little help from most doctors, researchers

Markers of Lactation Insufficiency: A Study of 34 Mothers

Bust a Myth: Breastfeeding Advocates Need to Stop Using this Statistic!

Biological underpinnings of breastfeeding challenges: the role of genetics, diet, and environment on lactation physiology.

Early exposure to cow’s milk protein is protective against IgE-mediated cow’s milk protein allergy.

Introducing Highly Allergenic Solid Foods

Iron Supplementation in Pregnancy or Infancy and Motor Development: A Randomized Controlled Trial

The limits of intensive feeding: maternal foodwork at the intersections of race, class, and gender.

 

給醫生和家長們的一封信 ——關於母乳餵養不足的危害(TRADITIONAL CHINESE TRANSLATION)

親愛的醫生同僚以及家長們:

我叫Christie del Castillo-Hegyi,是一名美國急救醫師,之前是NIH研究院的科學家,在布朗大學時我曾做過關於新生兒腦損傷的研究。我也是患有神經功能疾病6歲孩子的母親。我寫這封信是因為我的孩子在剛出生不久就因為母乳餵養不足而成為新生兒黃疸、低血糖和嚴重脫水的受害者。作為一名準備的新媽媽,我學習了所有關於母乳餵養的指導知識去迎接我的第一個孩子。不幸的是,遵循了這些指導以及兒科醫師的意見,卻導致我的孩子經受了為期4天無奶水攝取而進入加護病房。隨後,他被診斷為多重神經發育障礙。作為一名醫師和科學家,我找到了一些同行評議期刊來解釋為何會出現這樣的情況。我發現有充分的證據可以顯示新生兒黃疸、脫水、低血糖和發育障礙之間的聯繫。我希望解釋這個聯繫怎麼可能對我的兒子和你們所照顧的許多其他孩子有重大的影響。

經過健康懷孕和正常陰道分娩,我的兒子以8磅11盎司的重量出生。然後就被直接放在我的胸口立即哺乳, 每3個小時需要哺乳20-30分鐘。我們在醫院待着的每一天都會接受兒科醫師和哺乳顧問的檢查。哺乳顧問誇兒子哺乳的嘴姿勢很好,孩子所用的尿布數量也在預期範圍內。孩子出生的第二天,就被查出患有黃疸病,經皮膽紅素值為8.9。我們出院48小時后做了定期複查,發現孩子的體重減少了5%。出院前,哺乳顧問告訴我們孩子飢餓時只需要對他僅進行母乳餵養。到家后,孩子開始變得煩躁,我給他餵奶的時間就越來越長,一直到深夜。 孩子甚至在喂完奶后還是啼哭,沒有睡覺。第二天早上,他停止了哭鬧,也安靜了下來。 孩子出生大約68個小時之後(第3天結束)再探訪兒科醫師。寶寶雖然尿濕的尿布數量在預期範圍內,但他的體重卻少了1磅5盎司,大約是他出生時體重的15%。那時,我們並沒有意識到也未被告知體重減少的百分比。我們也由於整晚努力去哺乳一個飢餓的嬰兒,已經精疲力盡,沒弄明白這樣的體重減少過度不正常。孩子得了黃疸病,兒科醫師卻沒測膽紅素。兒科醫師告訴我們可以選擇立即用配方奶餵養或者讓孩子撐到第4天或第5天有母奶通進。 因為太想用母乳餵養了,我們又經過了一天不成功的母乳餵養。第二天我們去看了哺乳顧問,她稱了一下乳量發現孩子連一滴奶也沒得喝。當我用機器與及手按來抽奶時,我才意識到我的乳房根本沒有奶水。我覺悟到我按照母乳專家的指導使孩子受了4天挨餓的折磨,也原來他2天不停餵奶是奶水不足的跡象。隨後,我們就用了配方奶,孩子終於睡著了。三個小時之後,我們發現他反應有點遲鈍。我就強行往他嘴裡餵奶,這讓他更加警覺了,但隨後他就開始亂抓。我們趕快把他送到了急診室。經過檢查,他的葡萄糖值不正常(50 mg/dL),嚴重脫水,也叫高鈉血症(157 mEq/L),重度黃疸(膽紅素24 mg/dL)。我們再次被告知孩子並無大礙,但是由於我一直在做新生兒腦損傷研究,知道腦細胞會因為低血糖和嚴重脫水而在極短的時間內死亡。我當時非常希望孩子沒事兒,但卻不敢完全相信醫院關於孩子一切正常的檢查結論。

健康的新生兒直接放在胸口肌膚接觸,立即哺乳

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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