By BETH VARGAS
For nearly three decades, breastfeeding has been promoted in the United States especially in “baby-friendly” hospitals. Breastfeeding became the norm because of the many health benefits associated with it, which include lower rates of diabetes, infections, diarrhea and Sudden Death Infant Syndrome.
Last year, one out of five of newborns in the US are breastfed. That is 81 percent from the mere 25 percent back in 1971. According to the Huffington Post, the UNICEF-lead worldwide campaign was initially intended to address high infant mortality rates in developing countries because they lack access to clean water and infant formulas.
While American parents, in general, have access to both, the “breast is best” mantra still continues. There are, however, extremely rare cases when mothers did not produce enough colostrum, a mother’s first breast milk, which can cause the newborn to be undernourished and become dehydrated. One such case is Jillian Johnson’s.
The non-profit Fed is Best Foundation published Johnson’s story, who said she felt pressured to breastfeed her firstborn, Landon. Landon was born five years ago. He became dehydrated and went into cardiac arrest because of accidental starvation, 12 hours after they were sent home.