Serious complications associated with strict adherence to the Baby-Friendly Hospital Intiative and the WHO Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding have led to preventable hospitalizations for jaundice, dehydration and hypoglycemia, known causes of impaired brain development. Some hospitals have seen deaths and near-deaths due to suffocation from accidental bed sharing, called Sudden Unexpected Postnatal Collapse. These accidents are commonly caused by maternal exhaustion and falling asleep during skin-to-skin care or prolonged nursing, which is compounded by sleep deprivation caused by 24/7 rooming-in. These preventable accidents have prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to publish guidelines on Safe Sleep and Skin-to-Skin Care for the Newborn Period for Healthy Newborns.
Many cases of infant harm resulting from strict adherence to Baby-Friendly practices have resulted in multi-million dollar lawsuits. Many of these cases have been published in the media.
After reading about highly publicized cases of infants harmed, please read about the risk of brain injury from starvation-related jaundice presented by Baby-Friendly USA board member, Dr. Lawrence Gartner.
“Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi gave birth to her son in 2010 at the same Albuquerque, New Mexico, hospital where she worked as an emergency room doctor. The delivery was fairly textbook, and when del Castillo-Hegyi left the hospital a few days later, she had little cause for concern. Her baby was latching well, and so … Continue reading CNN: The ‘Breast is Best’ Policy Backlash
by REGAN FLETCHER STEPHENS The rigid, confounding, densely bureaucratic Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative has morphed into a system that diminishes a mother’s ability to make the best choices for her child. Fed Is Best has published hundreds of stories from mothers sharing everything from feelings of shame and guilt to dangerous complications and, in at least one … Continue reading Philadelphia Magazine: More Philly Hospitals Are Becoming “Baby-Friendly.” Maybe That’s Not a Good Thing
By Sarah Christopherson “Looking back now, it’s incomprehensible to me. Dehydration in newborns can lead to blood clots, strokes, brain swelling, permanent brain damage, and death. I should have fed my baby right away, and I knew it, and yet somehow I didn’t do it.”
“A small but vocal group of pediatricians and nurses, led by the nonprofit Fed Is Best, has begun to criticize some of the strategies that Baby-Friendly hospitals use,” writes Carrie Arnold for NYT Parenting
A sleeping mother suffocated her newborn in the maternity ward. Now she’s suing the hospital. Monica Thompson had given birth to her first child, a baby boy, and was almost ready to take him home from the hospital. It was nearly midnight one Sunday in the summer of 2012 when Thompson, who had undergone a … Continue reading Washington Post: Woman Who Accidentally Suffocated Newborn Sues Hospital
A Union County jury awarded a total of $46.5 million in damages Thursday in a lawsuit over permanent disability suffered by a child born in 2014 at the Ouachita County Medical Center in Camden. The lawsuit said Kara Smalls, child of Karl and Candice Smalls, was delivered by C-section June 4, 2014. It alleged that … Continue reading Jury awards $46.5 million in malpractice case in Camden
Dr. Del Castillo-Hegyi, an ER physician who had once done research on newborn brain injuries, was too exhausted to realize that her son had hypoglycemia. (The signs can include lethargy, blue coloring, and low body temperature.) She finally gave him a bottle—but three hours later, her baby was unresponsive, and she rushed him to the hospital. He … Continue reading What Our Obsession With Breastfeeding Is Really Doing to Moms and Their Babies
Formula in an infant’s diet has been looked down upon in recent years, but the truth is that breastfeeding isn’t necessarily the best choice for all mothers and infants. The New York Times published a piece earlier this month suggesting that the Trump administration has “[embraced] the interests of infant formula manufacturers” above the well-being … Continue reading The ‘Breast Is Best’ Breastfeeding Campaign Is Misguided
From Undark The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative aims to increase breastfeeding rates. But some say the evidence is lacking.
The doctors and nurses told Jarrod and Jillian Johnson that their newborn’s case was not that unusual. Landon Johnson had been trying to breast-feed almost continuously since his birth days earlier — and screaming each time his mother pulled him from her chest. Just stick with it, the first-time parents were told; it will take … Continue reading Washington Post: She Listened to Her Doctors and Her Baby Died
Mothers who have difficulty nursing report being denied formula by some lactation specialists, possibly putting their babies at risk. “Devin Garcia, a new mom from San Bernardino, California, had a more extreme situation than I did. When her son Nolan was born, despite help from lactation consultants, Garcia’s milk wasn’t coming in. “I kept asking … Continue reading The Atlantic: Breastfeeding At Any Cost?
A new paper in JAMA Pediatrics is the latest in a series of critiques of the so-called “baby friendly” hospital movement. Previously, the global pro-breastfeeding initiative has been questioned for its effectiveness and for its unfair treatment of new mothers. Now, doctors are questioning its safety.
My son leaves school tomorrow, but it doesn’t seem two minutes since he was a helpless infant. And I mean helpless. When he was 10 days old he collapsed in my arms as I ran across the hospital car park; his tiny, almost-lifeless body a sickly shade of yellow, jaundiced by severe dehydration. Here was … Continue reading Yorkshire Post: Breastfeeding Bullies in the NHS Put My Son’s Life at Risk
But data also show that in the real world, the pressure to breastfeed exclusively and offer no other food or drink in the first few months of life, and especially in the first few days of life, can cause real harm that’s “happening before our eyes,” Christie del Castillo-Hegyi said. Del Castillo-Hegyi is an emergency … Continue reading The ‘Breast is Best’ Breastfeeding Campaign is Misguided
By the time those first 48 hours had passed, my child was dehydrated — starving for sustenance — and at the hospital no one said a word to me about it. No doctor said: “if he doesn’t have a wet diaper he may not be getting enough liquid. Or, if you’d like, you could give … Continue reading A “Baby-Friendly” Hospital Put My Son’s Life at Risk
When the community midwife visited the family at home after the birth, Nilujan was pale and lethargic, having not been fed for more than 15 hours. His hypoglycemic state resulted in catastrophic brain injuries. Nilujan, now eight, has cerebral palsy with severely impaired physical and cognitive function. On Friday in London, Judge McKenna ruled that Barking, Havering … Continue reading Sri Lankan Wins Lawsuit Against NHS as Midwives Fail to Explain Why She Needed to Feed Her Son
The youngster was a victim of medical negligence which left him needing care for the rest of his life, the High Court in London heard. In a complex case, Judge Jonathan Simpkiss was told how problems arose from guidance given to the boy’s mum on how to breastfeed. His birth at Arrowe Park was “uneventful”, although … Continue reading Huge damages payout for boy who suffered life-changing brain injuries days after birth
But he has been left with complex neurological injuries, including epilepsy, visual and mobility problems, as well as learning and behavioural issues, after University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust delayed providing treatment to monitor his poor feeding and manage his low blood sugar levels shortly after his birth. Now, after an approval hearing held today in … Continue reading Boy gets £16.5million payout after hospital treatment left him with debilitating health conditions
A total of £235.4 million has been set aside by the NHS Litigation Authority for the cases, that are said to have resulted in infants suffering brain damage… In two of the cases the hypoglycaemia – or low sugar levels – was so serious that the babies died, according to documents relating to the cases. Figures showed … Continue reading Blunders that leave newborn babies brain-damaged cost NHS £235 million
A Wellington mum says she was made to feel like a complete failure after asking for formula for her “starving” newborn. The woman said the Ministry of Health ignored her biggest concerns in a complaint about her treatment at Wellington Hospital in August 2017. Her formal complaint about the lack of formula guidance in maternity wards and antenatal … Continue reading ‘Our baby was starving in hospital’: mum calls for change in baby-feeding policy
After 24 hours of bliss, we had a shocking second night. Our boy screamed until he became quiet in the morning. His rooting reflex was wild as he head butted my chest whenever I held him. He was unable to latch properly and still screamed after I tried to feed him. As new parents, we … Continue reading “My blind pursuit of exclusive breastfeeding perfection almost cost us our son’s life.”
By ELISSA STRAUSS Over the past decade, a growing number of hospitals have become certified as “baby friendly” as part of a global initiative to encourage breastfeeding. In order to receive this designation, labor and delivery units must agree to 10 rules, which include rooming-in (keeping babies in their mother’s rooms instead of in nurseries), banning pacifiers, and … Continue reading Slate: Baby-Friendly Hospitals May Not Be So Baby-Friendly After All
Problems, according to the suit, started when Fraune tried to breastfeed. The mother was producing little milk, and the child had trouble latching on from the beginning. A little more than 36 hours later, the baby weighed 5 pounds 14 ounces — a loss of more than 9 percent of his body weight. Breastfed newborns … Continue reading Burlington hospital sued over child’s brain damage
Recent data suggests that a third of new mothers report experiencing trauma during their hospital stay. Many of those mothers say that their treatment by birth professionals was one of the main sources of that trauma. Even if we collectively agree that exclusive breastfeeding is a worthy goal, we can’t promote it at the expense of mothers’ … Continue reading The Breastfeeding Zealots of the Neonatal Ward
Just hours later, Mrs McDowall discovered her son, who weighed six pounds, floppy and lifeless in his cot. Resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at 2.45am. An inquest into Jared’s death heard a root cause analysis investigation (RCA) found four failures in his care, including failures to recognise poor feeding and unusual … Continue reading Newborn baby died just hours after his mother’s concerns were dismissed as ‘paranoia’ by midwives
Lactation consultants and leading breastfeeding advocacy organizations tell new mothers that newborns who nurse frequently will get enough milk, and that a newborn doesn’t need much milk in the first few days of life. But it’s estimated that up to 15 percent of moms don’t produce enough milk, due to complex factors including genetics, and … Continue reading Are ‘Baby-Friendly’ Hospitals Worse for New Mothers?