My Baby is Healthy (and so am I) and That’s All That Matters: A Pediatrician’s Perspective

I didn’t have the easiest pregnancy; for one thing, I was considered a geriatric pregnancy, given that medicine was my second career, and I waited until after residency to get pregnant. 

I also have a history of depression and anxiety; thankfully, my depression was under control during pregnancy, but my anxiety certainly wasn’t – it worsened when I learned I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (likely due mainly to my advanced maternal age). 

In my mental preparations to have my baby, there was one thing I was always sure of: I would certainly attempt to breastfeed my child, but if it didn’t work out, that would be okay because, in my clinical experience, formula-fed babies did just fine. Furthermore, from the years of my struggles with my mental health, I learned the importance of choosing my battles, and it simply wasn’t worth it to me to agonize over breastfeeding if it didn’t come easily.   Continue reading

How Breastfeeding Coercion Stripped this Psychiatrist of Her Confidence and Mental Health

 

By Michelle M., Psychiatrist, MD, and First-Time Mother

It’s taken me a long time to really have the strength to talk about this, but I think it’s time.

I’m a 40-year-old, first time mom to an amazing 9-month-old son. Throughout my pregnancy I was repeatedly asked if I would breastfeed and received endless lectures on the benefits.  I was honestly skeptical about the claimed breastfeeding benefits… (liquid gold? seriously?), but continued to answer “yes”, as it felt like saying “no” would be the wrong answer.

I figured I would try, and if it worked, great!  If it didn’t, then formula was “Plan B”.  I really didn’t think much of it, and figured the baby would get fed one way or another.

Fast forward to my 37th week of pregnancy.  My water broke with no warning, and I had an awful labor due to a failed epidural and uterine tachysystole.  Then to top it all off, I had an emergency c-section when my baby’s heart rate disappeared from the monitors. Labor and delivery didn’t go exactly as planned, but I was elated when it was over, and I had my beautiful baby. 

Continue reading

Listen to Fed is Best Co-Founder Talk About Her Son’s Breastfeeding Complications

Come tune in and listen to a podcast where Fed is Best Co-Founder, Christie del Castillo-Hegyi talks with Hayley Zimak of “Growing Up: Baby” about her breastfeeding story, the birth of the #FedisBest movement, and what needs to change in parent-infant feeding education to ensure the safety of every child.

Listen to the Co-Founder's story and why Fed is Best

Dr. Nicole King Warns About Dangers of Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative at USDA Dietary Guidelines Meeting

On August 11, 2020, Dr. Nicole King, Anesthesiologist, Critical Care Intensivist, Patient Safety Expert and Senior Advisor to the Fed is Best Foundation spoke at the USDA Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee meeting warning of the dangers and patient rights violations of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Watch her address below.

Good afternoon, my name is Nicole King and I am a mother and a physician.  As an anesthesiologist and intensive care physician, I am faced with life and death circumstances every day.  In no way did I ever consider breastfeeding my child would be as stressful as supporting a COVID patient through their critical illness.  Five years ago, I realized how wrong I was.

Continue reading

Two Physicians Describe How Their Baby-Friendly Hospital Put Their Newborn in Danger

John and Kristen are both surgical residents who recently had their first child. This is their story.

By John and Kristen Waters

Let me start by saying we are one of the lucky ones. Our first-born was born at term on July 25th, 2019 at 9:43 p.m., a healthy 7 lb, and 10oz. My wife – a general surgery resident – was planning on beginning to breastfeed right after birth. My wife had undergone a bilateral breast reduction about 15 years ago, so issues with breastfeeding were on our radar. Immediately after birth, we were taken from the delivery room to the postpartum unit, where at 2 a.m. my wife and I were given a pile of paperwork and instructions on breastfeeding practices. All the while both of us were seeing double from the long day and night of laboring and delivery.

Over the course of the next 12-24 hours, our baby attempted to latch and breastfeed, continuing to have issues with falling asleep while on the breast. We spoke with a lactation consultant and multiple nurses who stated that things were going fine and that everything was normal. Over this time the rate of wet diapers continued to decrease and our baby did not have a bowel movement.

As we got into our second night of life, our child began to cry hysterically.

Continue reading