Nurse Takes Formula Away From Parents Who Were Trying to Feed Their Hungry Baby In The Hospital

My feeding journey was not at all what I envisioned for my little one and me. When I was pregnant with my firstborn, I heard stories from my mom that she never used a bottle with my brother and me. When I researched breastfeeding, parents were told how wonderful and natural it is. I believed breastfeeding would come naturally. 

The day my son was born was a whirlwind. I had to have a c-section due to complications, but we were so excited to meet him. The first few days, I tried to get him to latch on, and he would stay for a little while and then unlatch. I felt uneasy that he wasn’t getting enough colostrum, but the medical staff told me I was doing great. My husband and I were so focused on getting breastfeeding down that I forgot to get pictures of me and my little one. My focus was getting him fed the right way. Sometimes, nursing hurt so much that I would dread it when it was time for feeding. The on-site lactation consultant came the day after the c-section. She was with me for an hour and told me everything was wonderful! 

After she left, my baby would cry, and I knew something wasn’t right. My husband and I decided it was time to ask for formula. When we asked, the nurse kept asking us if we were sure. As first-time parents, we questioned if we were doing the right thing.

I was so exhausted and needed rest that my husband decided to feed my little one formula. Another nurse came in and said, “Dad! Don’t! Breastfeeding is the way! Don’t do that to your little one. Your wife is doing great.” She grabbed the formula from my husband’s hands and stashed it in a cabinet. My husband and I looked at each other in shock, and I tried to breastfeed again.

We were discharged on a Friday, and over the weekend, my son cried a lot, and I thought he might be a fussy baby. On Monday morning, we saw that my son had orange urine in his diaper. I lost it. I remember holding him and crying, blaming myself. We went to the doctor’s office and were told that he was dehydrated. He also lost a lot of weight, more than he should have, and my doctor suggested it was time to supplement my baby with formula. 

Then came the day that changed my mental health forever. 

After that, I cried for hours, and I could not get over the guilt. I kept thinking: “Why didn’t I know he was hungry or not getting enough? How could I have let my baby starve?” The guilt stayed with me for months and was the catalyst for my debilitating postpartum depression and anxiety diagnosis. 

After that, I became obsessed with feeding my son. I would write down how many ounces of formula or breastmilk he had and at what times. I no longer breastfed, but I pumped, so I knew exactly how many ounces he was consuming. Even when he was a few months older, I would still wake him up to feed him because I thought he would become dehydrated again. I hated when my little one would cry because it would be a reminder of the terrible weekend of his life, and I would break down, and I would cry.

My husband and I hope to have another little one, and I know what I would do differently. I feel guilty that my little one had a rough start on his feeding journey, but I try to remember that we were both learning and following the advice of medical professionals in the hospital. 

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Fed is Best  Foundation and their work. I honestly don’t know what would have happened to me without finding your support community. I got so emotional writing my story.  Thank you for being there for mothers and babies.



FREE infant feeding resources:

Knowing if Your Newborn is HUNGRY and Needs Urgent Evaluation / Supplementation – Fed Is Best

Safe Infant Feeding Resources (

Fed is Best Feeding Plan – Updated 2024 – Fed Is Best

Pre-order our new book being published June 25th, 2024 : Fed Is Best Book – Fed Is Best Book

The Process of Healing from Infant Feeding Trauma, Guilt, and Shame: When You Wanted to Breastfeed, but Couldn’t – Fed Is Best

How to Breastfeed During the First 2 Weeks of Life – The New York Times (

Dangers of Insufficient Exclusive Breastfeeding Presented at the First Coast Neonatal Symposium – Fed Is Best

Contact Information – The Fed is Best Foundation



Breastfeeding pressure is real, and research suggests it’s linked to mental health conditions in mothers

Families are under enormous pressure to exclusively breastfeed from major health organizations such as the WHO, Baby-Friendly USA, CDC, AAP, ACOG, WIC offices, and the majority of US  hospitals.  

The “Breast is Best” public health campaign has permeated US culture and influenced hospital policies; even though US families face impossible barriers to breastfeeding exclusively, the pressure remains, and it is up to families to meet the unattainable guidelines for the majority of families.

By the way, there is no evidence that Baby-Friendly policies are effective for increasing long-term breastfeeding rates.

It has been shown in ample research that exclusively breastfeeding can cause serious complications for infants experiencing insufficient milk intake, a concern we discuss daily. The same pressure to exclusively breastfeed has now been linked to mental health complications, according to a recent research paper published in Research Psychiatry.

Breastfeeding pressure even has a pseudonym, “BRESSURE,” but it’s not funny. 


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The Illusion of Choice: Baby Friendly USA Says Newborns “Should” Room In With Their Mothers

by Jody Segrave-Daly, Veteran NICU/Nursery nurse, IBCLC retired and Cofounder of the Fed Is Best Foundation 

The standard of care for most hospitals, especially those who are Baby-Friendly certified, is that mothers stay with their baby after birth in their room, 24 hours a day, which is known as rooming-in.

Baby Friendly’s recent blog says that mothers have choices about nursery care in their Baby-Friendly certified hospitals; but then they say babies SHOULD stay in the room, no matter how they are being fed. This statement gives parents mixed messages and implies they don’t really have a choice at all. In many hospitals, it is not just implied; nurseries have been eliminated outright. 

“Regardless of whether a mother is breastfeeding or formula feeding, they should room-in with their newborn.” 

 – Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, MPH 

According to the World Health Organization, rooming in began as a way to promote early breastfeeding and to encourage bonding. Step 7 of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding calls for hospitals to “enable mothers and their infants to remain together and to practice rooming-in 24 hours a day.” 

Despite the WHO’s 2017 expert panel’s finding that 24/7 rooming-in was ineffective at promoting sustained breastfeeding after discharge (but recommended it any way) and published tragedies of harmed infants while rooming-in, The World Health Organization and UNICEF continue to include rooming in for healthy newborns in the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding policy.

Since adopting the rooming-in policy, inexcusable consequences such newborn falls from parent beds and near deaths and deaths from accidental suffocation while breastfeeding or doing skin-to-skin care (known as Sudden Unexpected Postnatal Collapse or SUPC) have skyrocketed, highlighting the urgent need for families to have access to nursery care. 

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How Do Misogyny and Feminism Impact the Breast is Best Narrative?

Is Modern Day Breastfeeding Advocacy really feminist?

Breastfeeding advocacy is often characterized as feminist, and many people in the current breastfeeding advocacy community would describe themselves as feminists. Feminism, after all, is not just about demanding equality to men; it is about valuing women—our brains, bodies, and work—as much as we do men’s.[1] Breastfeeding and the provision of human milk is work, and many feminists—rightfully—expect that work to be valued.[2]

Modern breastfeeding advocacy started in the 1950s; La Leche League International (LLLI) began as a grassroots organization of women who wanted to breastfeed their babies and assist other interested mothers in doing so. Founders Marian Tompson and Mary White had experienced breastfeeding problems with their first children, leading to unwanted weaning; after successfully breastfeeding subsequent children and learning that many other mothers had been in the same position (bottle-feeding formula out of necessity rather than choice), they organized a group dedicated to helping others who wanted to breastfeed successfully. 

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The Ten Steps to Ethical, Successful, And Inclusive Infant Feeding

In most hospitals and prenatal educational materials, exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) is the recommendation for infant feeding. EBF is promoted as the only healthy way to feed a baby, with partial breastfeeding, temporary supplementation, and formula feeding falsely characterized as “suboptimal.” Other infant feeding options, such as exclusive pumping or formula supplementation, are discouraged, even when requested by parents. But does this narrow definition of healthy infant feeding support patient rights and ethical infant feeding principles? No, it does not

 Infant feeding support in postpartum units should consider ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, justice, and non-maleficence when considering the extent to which lactation should be promoted. 

What Are The Principles of Ethical Infant Feeding?

Autonomy: The parents choose how they intend to feed their baby at each feeding, and maternal bodily autonomy is affirmed and respected.

Beneficence: The benefits of infant feeding types are provided to the parent to help them make an informed decision. Healthcare providers must not decide what is best for the parent.

Justice: Do not assume a feeding method. Ask the parent how they want to feed their baby. Affirmative consent must be obtained before touching a patient’s body. 

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