Why Was No One Listening To Me Or My Baby At Our Baby-Friendly Hospital? The Signs Were There.

I was so excited to breastfeed my second child last April. I had my first eight years ago, and thought that perhaps back then I just had not tried hard enough. I also thought maybe the first time I did something wrong, and thought that this time would work out perfect. My first baby was sent to the NICU for jaundice on day three, and then was given an IV for dehydration, which was followed by formula. I did my research and was told that you should not supplement because if you did supplement you could lose your supply of breast milk.

#1- Why Fed is Best for Newborn Jaundice.pptx (3)

I started to fret at the hospital when my new baby was struggling to latch. I became frustrated when I could not hand express anything other than the smallest beads of milk. However, I was told that number of diapers was fine and his weight loss was within the acceptable range. I was told to go home and keep bringing him to breast, and to not supplement. So that is what I did. My baby cried endlessly and his throat always sounded dry. His latch was very weak. The milk still had not come in and I never felt engorged. I thought something was wrong and my husband wanted to give him some formula, but I begged him to wait for my milk to come in just liked I was taught.

Fed Is Best HUNGRY

On day five of my baby’s life we took him to his first appointment. He weighed in with a 17% total weight loss, and ran a slight fever when they took his temperature. His doctor told us that we needed to rush him to the hospital because she feared he may have a bacterial infection and that he could only have hours to live. The doctor also told us to immediately start supplementing. We gave him formula in the office and rushed him to the children’s hospital. While we were in the emergency room his temperature dropped to a normal temperature. I felt relieved. We stayed there for a while and they came to check on him a little later. They found that his temperature had dropped below a regular reading and that he was developing symptoms of hypothermia. They told us this was serious and he needed to go through testing to run cultures. I had never been so scared in my life. Continue reading

If I Had Given Him Just One Bottle, He Would Still Be Alive.

by Jillian Johnson with commentary from Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi

Landon would be five today if he were still alive. It’s a very hard birthday–five. It’s a milestone birthday. Most kiddos would be starting kindergarten at this age. But not my little guy. I wanted to share for a long time about what happened to Landon, but I always feared what others would say and how I’d be judged. But I want people to know how much deeper the pain gets.

I share his story in hopes that no other family ever experiences the loss that we have.

Jarrod and I wanted what was best for Landon as every parent does for their child. We took all of the classes. Bought and read all of the books. We were ready! Or so we thought….every class and book was geared toward breastfeeding and how it’s so important if you want a healthy child. Landon was born in a “Baby-Friendly” hospital. (What this means is everything is geared toward breastfeeding. Unless you’d had a breast augmentation or cancer or some serious medical reason as to why you couldn’t breastfeed, your baby would not be given formula unless a prescription was written by the pediatrician.)

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Just One Bottle of Formula Would Have Prevented Her 30 day NICU Stay.

We started our journey at 5lbs 12oz; already small enough to curl up and fit into one hand.  My baby was diagnosed with IUGR despite being born at 40 weeks gestation. I will never forget my hospital experience and how horrible some of the nurses were. She was born at 5:30 am and the nurses pushed and pushed us to breastfeed her. While I kept trying, my baby would weakly latch and suckle a few times then become exhausted.  We continued  to offer her the breast every hour for 24 hours  and nothing was working and no one was concerned she wasn’t eating anything at all.  I trusted everything was going to be ok.

 

KarinaBottle On day two a nurse comes in and tells me my baby is hungry and I’m not making milk…but by then it was too late. She lost almost a pound over night and she was too weak to take formula orally. We were rushed by ambulance to a NICU unit one hour away from where I delivered her.

After she was stabilized for severe dehydration and starvation with IV fluids and dextrose, she was fed with a tube. We basically had to teach her how to suck. Squishing her little cheeks together. We were syringe feeding her when she tolerated it. It was 14 days before she finally “latched” and sucked her first bottle down!

We spent 28 days in the NICU before she was able to bottle feed with an NG feeding tube. If my baby was supplemented immediately she never would have endured a horrific admission to the NICU.  She could have easily been taken care of at our local hospital but because she was not supplemented and breastfeeding was pushed at all costs, we are left with the financial and emotional burden of breastfeeding no matter what!  Please don’t let your baby go without feeding, even if your hospital nurses and lactation consultants say your baby will be fine.  This is not true.

 

 

Karina3                                    Today, she is 3 months old and thriving.  #FedIsBest

For more information on how to protect your baby from feeding complications due to early exclusive breastfeeding, please read and download the Fed is Best Feeding Plan, a way to communicate your feeding choices to your health care providers.

In addition, please read and download the Fed is Best Weighing Protocol to prevent newborn dehydration and failure to thrive.

Lastly, for more detailed information, please watch our educational videos on Preventing Feeding Complications.

Our full list of parent resources can be found on our Resource Page.

 

From a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, “You Are Not Alone.”

Among the most vulnerable moms are those who are most educated in exclusive breastfeeding. Because we are trained to fully believe in the guidelines recommended by health organizations and because mothers are not educated about the complications of underfeeding, we can miss serious signs of newborn starvation. Rachel is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She would like to share her story so that other mothers and babies do not have to suffer.

As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mom. Fresh out of nursing school, I started out as a neonatal nurse in the ICU. I watched the tiniest of babies get fed through tubes. We carefully monitored their weight every day, eventually most would go home, happy and healthy. A few years later, I became a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and saw babies in an outpatient setting as a primary care provider. I would monitor babies’ weights and help moms through their struggles with breastfeeding and feeding in general.

When it was finally my turn to become a new mom last October. I figured “I got this!” I took all the breastfeeding classes I could, received a ton of breastfeeding supplies and even bought a really expensive nursing chair. I was blessed with a very healthy pregnancy and “normal delivery,” my son even came on his due date of all days. When he came out, we did skin-to-skin for about 20 minutes before they took him and weighed him, 8 lbs 15 oz! They brought him back to me, but my son, Hunter, didn’t “latch on” right away as they told me he would in the classes.  He didn’t even “look for my breast.” By time we got into our recovery room, I ate (I went 24 hours without eating, I was starved after labor!), it was about 4 hours after delivery before Hunter finally latched on. The night nurse came into my room to help me breastfeed my son for the first time and I remember her pulling at my nipple “to get it to flowing.” The pain from the tugging and pulling was nothing like I have ever experienced before. It hurt and very badly too! All of this, only to get out a tiny drop of “liquid gold” as they so often call it. I remember him crying and getting frustrated because nothing was coming out. I could barely hold him because I still had an IV in my left wrist and it was painful to get him into the best position. “It’s ok,” the nurse said, “he can go a while without eating, his tummy is so small.”

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Baby-Friendly Health Professionals Blinded Me to My Own Baby’s Starvation

 

Oliver1MonthMy beautiful boy was born on July 13, 2016 at 8:33 p.m. in a Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) certified hospital in Florida. I had every intention of breastfeeding my child, heck, I even wanted to continue beyond age one. I took classes for breastfeeding, read everything I could get my hands on, and I felt completely ready and excited to start this journey with my little one.
From the start we were plagued with latch issues due to a tongue tie and pretty severe lip tie. In the hospital he had his tongue tie clipped and we had three board-certified lactation consultants come into our room to help us achieve a perfect latch. Looking back now, I should have known something wasn’t right. I should have recognized the infrequent urination, the constant nursing (some days as many as 21 times in 24 hours), and the fact his skin hung from his once round body.
Oliver was born at 8 pounds 10 ounces and by 4 weeks old he only weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces; simply maintaining his weight was a constant battle for me.

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Denmark’s Restrictive Breastfeeding Policies Forced me to Sneak in Sugar Water to Feed my Starving Baby

DenmarkBaby

I am currently in Denmark, one of the Scandinavian countries which boasts some of the world’s highest breastfeeding rates. It is illegal for baby formulas to be advertised or promoted. No ‘samples’ are ever given from a hospital. As a result, some 98% of mothers leaving maternity wards are breastfeeding their babies. Moving to Denmark while 6 months pregnant, this was one of the many policies that I was looking forward to, having no idea that there could be anything negative about it.

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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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My Baby Was Starving But I Was Blinded By Pressure To Breastfeed

When I was pregnant, I was determined to breastfeed. It was going to be easy, it was going to be natural. Formula was for lazy people, formula was for selfish women. Formula was poison for my baby. The breastfeeding groups I joined on  Facebook only reinforced these mantras even further. Whenever people asked if I was going to breast or bottle feed my baby, I proudly told them that I was going to breastfeed. Nothing was going to stop me.

I had no idea how ignorant I truly was. Continue reading

Accidentally Starving My Baby Broke My Heart, But Made Me Want To Help Other Moms

Para leer en español, por favor vaya aquí.

When our son was born, he weighed 6 pounds 5 oz., and we had issues with him latching from the start. Part of the problem was me having flat nipples, so the nurse gave us a shield and showed me how to use it, and he seemed to do much better. He seemed to be a very content and alert baby.  During our hospital stay he lost almost 10 percent of his birth weight and we were discharged to see our pediatrician for follow up.  Continue reading

Starvation- and Jaundice-related Brain Injury, Autism and What Science Does and Doesn’t Say

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

Professionals in the medical community and parents have asked questions regarding whether or not newborn starvation from insufficient exclusive breastfeeding is linked to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children and what research has been done regarding a possible connection.

The short answer is no. There is no definitive linkage, and we don’t have clear answers when we’re queried about this fact – because in fact, the science is not entirely clear on this point.

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