From Dr. Brian Symon: Words of Advice on Early Supplemented Breastfeeding Until Full Milk Production

Given new scientific data that exclusively breastfed newborns are in fact at significant risk for brain-threatening hypoglycemia, jaundice and dehydration, mothers are asking how they can supplement in the first days of life without compromising their long-term breastfeeding success. What they don’t realize is that supplemented breastfeeding in the first days of life transitioning into full breastfeeding or combination feeding was in fact the norm before the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly exclusive breastfeeding guidelines. In fact, the historical evidence shows that all native breastfeeding countries, before the Baby-Friendly guidelines, supplemented their newborns with the milk of wet nurses, sugar water, also called “pre-lacteal feeds,” almost universally until a mother’s milk came in. The reasons for supplementation were to prevent newborn hunger, starvation, jaundice, dehydration and hypoglycemia.  Despite widespread mother-led supplementation of newborns in places like Bangladesh, mothers successfully breastfed the vast majority of their babies up to one (98%) to two years (89%) of age.  We used common sense to feed our babies and that is how we protected them in the first days of life and beyond.  Sadly, since the publication of the exclusive breastfeeding guidelines, hospitalizations for jaundice and dehydration have steadily increased and are now the leading causes of newborn hospitalization worldwide.

Here is Dr. Brian Symon talking about supplemented breastfeeding in the early days and how to transition over to full or combination breastfeeding.

By Dr. Brian Symon, General (family) Practitioner, Adelaide, South Australia

My heart goes out to the mothers writing about their struggle to breast feed and in some cases, babies ‘failing to thrive‘.  Landon Johnson’s story is a tragedy.

As a Family Physician my work is largely focused on the care of pregnant women and newborn babies.

My stance is very simple.

1. The ONLY logical reason for having a child is ‘the joy of parenting’.

We don’t do it because it’s easy.

We don’t do it for the “life style”.

We don’t do it for the “money”.

We do it for the deep joy of raising a child and seeing that baby thrive and develop.

If it’s not being joyful for the mothers whom I care for I want to change things so that the pleasure and joy returns. Continue reading

New Moms: You Are Not Alone. Please Don’t Suffer In Silence

On Tuesday, Kim Chen, a grieving father and widower, shared his late wife Florence Leung’s struggles with postpartum depression and breastfeeding on a Facebook page dedicated to her memory. He encouraged new moms to get help and to not succumb to pressures to breastfeed.

Chen wrote,

“For all the new moms experiencing low mood or anxiety, please seek help and talk about your feelings. You are Not alone. You are Not a bad mother. Do not EVER feel bad or guilty about not being able to “exclusively breastfeed”, even though you may feel the pressure to do so based on posters in maternity wards, brochures in prenatal classes, and teachings at breastfeeding classes. Apparently the hospitals are designated “baby-friendly” only if they promote exclusive-breastfeeding.”

Our thoughts are with Mr. Chen, his family, and their son, who now has to grow up without his mother. We’ve reached out to him to offer our support and resources during this impossible time.

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Fed is Best Foundation Charm Fundraiser

We are the Fed Is Best Foundation and we thank you for visiting our page and supporting our work with your donation! Your donation of any size is greatly appreciated – and will help us meet our goals and work to ensure that all babies are fed and nourished with safe, evidence-based practices.

A special bonus for this fundraiser is that gifts of $20 or more get a special thank you! #FedIsBest Advocates donating $20 and up will receive a #FedIsBest charm (only available here!) just in time for the holiday season.

Proudly show your support for all parents and feeding methods and help us reach our goal to ensure all babies are fed and nourished in the ways that are best for them and their families.

You can donate by clicking here for our Indiegogo fundraiser tool:

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Introducing Dr. Brian Symon, Fed is Best Family Medicine Advisor

Dr. Brian Symon, Fed is Best Supporter and Advisor

We are proud to introduce Brian Symon, M.D. as a member of our advisory team here at the Fed Is Best Foundation!

He has been a general practitioner in Australia since 1978, and has spent the last 16 years as a procedural rural General Practitioner. He also spent 4 years in the academic arena at the University of Adelaide prior to returning to private general practice.

His major medical interest is the care of sleep, feeding, and behavioural problems in young children – parents come to his clinic to resolve sleep problems in their babies, as well as pregnant mothers who wish to to learn strategies to avoid future sleep disturbances. Continue reading

Recent Article Discusses WHO Recommendation to Avoid Supplementation in Newborns Involves Risks…and Does Not Improve Breastfeeding Rates

Written by Fed is Best Co-Founder, Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, M.D.

In the latest issue of The Journal of the American Medical Assocation (JAMA), pediatricians and public health investigators Dr. Valerie Flaherman, M.D., M.P.H. and Dr. Isabelle Von Kohorn, M.D., Ph.D. co-wrote an editorial on the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF)’s updated recommendations for primary care interventions that support breastfeeding. Continue reading

Fed Is Best Foundation Featured in Forbes

Our co-founder Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi was recently interviewed by Kavin Senapathy of about the Fed Is Best Foundation, The article is being met with an enormous amount of positive feedback, and talks about why our mission is so very important to us, and why we’re determined to spread the word.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Kavin, she’s a science and health writer, also known for her work with, which focuses on evidence-based medicine and health practices for parenting. We think she did a stellar job on this piece – a huge thank you to Kavin for her hard work and for helping us get the word out! Here is a short excerpt, and a link so that you can read the piece in full: Continue reading

Research Opportunity with MSU

Dear Readers,

As many of you have witnessed this past week, we have been inundated with (and deleted many) shaming messages to moms, from moms, and about moms on our blog and social media posts. Though some of the shaming has been intentional, much of it is unintentional, just passionate expressions of what is deeply ingrained in each of us as to what a “good” mother is and does.

We’ve heard your feedback about it, and appreciate the widespread support we’ve gotten from many of you as we’ve cleaned up our comments sections. On that note, we recently had a researcher from an outside organization reach out to us with a project on that topic that may be of interest to you all.

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