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Why “Fed is Best” is the Wrong Approach

admin June 12, 2017

This has frankly needed to be said for awhile now, but no one has really, rationally said it.  Everyone is too busy fighting over a militant “Breast is Best” vs. “Fed is Best” approach, and neither is fully right.  But Fed is Best is in my crosshairs at this moment, because some of the information the organization has been putting out lately is wrong, and bordering on dangerous.  It’s time to address it, head on.

Why “Fed is Best” is the Wrong Approach

Here’s the thing.  At its core, “fed is best” is simply the wrong message.  The bottom line for them is, not starving a baby is the most important thing.  Therefore, ‘fed’ is the ‘best.’

But fed isn’t “best.”  Fed is a minimum requirement for having a child.  No one, anywhere, is suggesting that a child not get fed if breastfeeding isn’t possible.  What they’re suggesting — what I’m suggesting — is that yes, it does matter what you feed your child.

At no other point in a child’s life do we take the stance the “fed is best.”  If we’re feeding a 2-year-old nothing but frozen chicken nuggets and root beer, that’s okay, right?  I mean…fed is best.

Except it isn’t.  Meeting a child’s basic caloric requirements doesn’t mean that the foods the child is given are nutritionally optimal.  No one would say it’s okay to feed your child a straight-up junk food diet, as long as you are feeding them.  Because it matters that your child’s needs for vitamins, minerals, and other factors are being met, too.

Granted, formula is a bit different because it tries to mimic breast milk and does provide more balanced nutrition than a chicken nugget and root beer diet would.  But still, it isn’t the same as breast milk.

Therein lies the major point: formula is not breast milk, it will never be breast milk, and it is not the biologically optimal diet.

To Clarify: Breastfeeding is the Biological Norm, But Not the Only Option

“Fed is Best” supporters are getting very mad at me right about now.  But hold up — don’t skip the rest of the post and go yell at me just yet.

Biologically speaking, breast milk is the optimal food for all newborns.  This does not mean it is always optimal for other reasons.  Some mothers are unable to breastfeed.  Some babies struggle to breastfeed or are unable.  And, some mothers can breastfeed, but do not produce enough.  Plus, some mothers are struggling with PPD or with a history of sexual abuse.

Obviously, all of these factors have to come into play when making the decision to breastfeed (or not).  Life isn’t simply about choosing what is most optimal in one aspect, and ignoring the rest.

It still matters, though, that we acknowledge that breast milk has benefits that formula doesn’t.

Why?  Because if we say that formula isn’t really different, we are saying that formula, as-is, is “good enough.”  We shouldn’t be doing that.  Mothers who cannot breastfeed, or do not want to breastfeed, deserve the best substitute available.  When we acknowledge that breast milk is still superior, we can help to develop even better formulas for the mothers and babies who need them.  We can also, hopefully, increase access to donor milk for the mothers and babies who need that.

Breast is best, but no — it isn’t always possible.  Mothers who cannot or do not breastfeed need the absolute (next) best options available to them.  Because it matters.

I’ve addressed some of the concerns of the foundation before in this post: Is Exclusive Breastfeeding Risky and Magical Thinking?

fed is best

Incorrect Info From the Fed is Best Foundation

Recently, the Fed is Best Foundation has been putting out some serious misinformation.  This is never acceptable, because giving mothers who want to breastfeed and are physically able to breastfeed wrong information that could sabotage their breastfeeding relationship is flat out wrong.

No mother who desires to and is able to breastfeed should ever fail because of incorrect information or a lack of support.

One statement that the Fed is Best Foundation has made is “Cluster feeding is not normal and this requires an evaluation.”

This is completely wrong.

Fed is Best is missing the difference between “cluster feeding” and “frequent, unsatisfied feeding.”  These are different!

Normal cluster feeding is like this:

  • Occurs during only part of the day, usually in the evening hours
  • Baby nurses very frequently (up to every 30 minutes), but seems satisfied in between feedings
  • Precedes a longer-than-typical sleep duration (3 – 5 hours instead of 1 – 2 hours)
  • Baby nurses less frequently and seems satisfied during the rest of the day

This behavior is completely normal and very common in young babies (see commentary from an IBCLC).

What Fed is Best is calling cluster feeding is this:

  • Constant hunger, throughout the day
  • Frequent, frantic nursing at all hours
  • Never seeming satisfied at the breast

This behavior is not cluster feeding, and is also not normal.  If baby is truly never satisfied, does not seem to be swallowing regularly during nursing, gets tired out easily during nursing, seems very frantic at the breast often, is not having enough wet diapers, is not gaining weight — yes, get that baby an evaluation!  Something is not right.  It could be poor latch, tongue or lip tie, insufficient supply, or a number of other issues.

Unfortunately, when Fed is Best mixes up true cluster feeding with unsatisfied behavior, a lot of mothers whose babies are truly behaving in a normal newborn fashion are going to think that there is something wrong, and they may supplement unnecessarily or give up on breastfeeding.  And again — women who can breastfeed and want to breastfeed should never fail because of wrong information!  Since many women give “perceived insufficient milk supply” as their reason for quitting breastfeeding early, this is VERY important!  (Source)

Fed is Best has also been quoted as saying that up to 2/3 of women are unable to exclusively breastfeed in the early weeks — implying that a woman is unable, initially, to produce enough milk to satisfy her baby.  No sources for this were cited.

…but I found the study they are referring to!  It was published in 2016, and is titled Breastmilk Production in the First 4 Weeks after Birth of Term Infants.

Not a lot of firm conclusions were drawn from this study, which is in opposition to the way that Fed is Best has made it seem.  They have stated that “most women do not produce enough in the early weeks” and that supplementation is nearly required.

What the study actually says is that about half of women weren’t producing quite enough, but were already supplementing when the study period started.  They also had given birth to slightly earlier babies, did not initiate breastfeeding as early, and did not breastfeed as frequently in the first few days.  All of these are known risk factors for lower milk supply.

It is not possible to conclude that these women simply “had” lower milk supply and that formula was the solution.  Rather, it’s likely that these women did not have the encouragement, information, and support that they needed to initiate breastfeeding in the right way.

So what do we do with this information?

Women and babies who are healthy, need to be encouraged to breastfeed as soon as possible (preferably within 1 hour of delivery) and frequently in the first couple of days, especially (greater than 7 times per day, but as often as baby wants).

When women or babies are not healthy (if baby needs to be in the NICU for any reason; if mom had a c-section and isn’t recovering well, etc.) then these mothers are at risk for lower milk supply and should be watched more closely.  They should be encouraged to pump and/or breastfeed as soon as possible to try to combat the risk factors they face.  And of course, if it is discovered that they are struggling to produce, baby should be offered supplements so that s/he receives adequate nutrition.  The best option is an SNS (Supplemental Nursing System) so that baby can get enough to eat while also stimulating mom’s breasts to produce more over time.

Shifting the Focus to Breastfeeding

Fed is Best is attempting to shift the focus away from healthy breastfeeding practices.  They are attempting to explain away why some women have difficulties by saying that it essentially doesn’t matter if women breastfeed or not, and that breastfeeding can even be ‘bad’ or ‘dangerous’ for some mothers and babies.

This is going to have the effect of convincing women who can and want to breastfeed, not to because it seems “too hard” or because they are worried about starving their babies.  They should not worry about this!

We need to be able to identify at-risk mothers and babies and provide correct lactation support (and supplements, if needed) so that babies can thrive.  That’s absolutely accurate.  But the goal should be to support and help mothers to keep breastfeeding, not to scare mothers away from it.

It is important to note that mothers who do not or cannot breastfeed should not be shamed.  There is nothing to be gained by insulting or shaming mothers who don’t breastfeed.  They have their own reasons for choosing to breastfeed or not, and typically we don’t know their stories.  We don’t know if they just didn’t want to, if they tried extremely hard and couldn’t, or what happened.  It’s not for us to judge.

While we are supporting — and not shaming — these mothers, we also need to continue to provide excellent breastfeeding education and support for the majority of mothers who do want to initiate (and hopefully succeed with) breastfeeding.  Formula is still perceived as “easier” and very much the cultural norm.  Long-term breastfeeding rates are still low, and short-term breastfeeding duration is still associated with long-term health deficits on a population level.

The Bottom Line

It’s time to be honest and accurate when we look at breastfeeding practices, and support women and provide accurate, scientific information about breastfeeding.  There is no room for dogma here.  There is no room for shouting that “breast is best and nearly all women can breastfeed and you just aren’t trying hard enough!”  There is also no room for shouting “breast is dangerous and many women cannot breastfeed and formula’s basically the same anyway!”

Both are extremist positions and neither are accurate.  Women deserve better.  They deserve honest, accurate information.  They deserve support.  It’s time to set aside all of the dogma and just provide information and be the community women need.

Check out 10 Ways to Really Increase Breastfeeding Rates.

How do you feel about Fed is Best?

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60 Comments

    • I received an entirely different message from “Fed is Best” than you. The message I received was breast milk is ideal, but don’t risk starving your newborn all for the goal of exclusive breastfeeding. Also that It’s ultimately up to each woman to make her own choice and the medical community should be forth coming about all options and not make women feel guilty. I find the organization and message important because so many in the medical community are so indoctrinated in “breast is best” that they are dismissive or shaming of women ask about formula.

      I had a terrible experience with breastfeeding after having my son. Everything I was told was “Breast was Best” so of course that was my plan. By the second day my son was so upset, constantly trying to feed, and my nipples were raw. I expressed a couple times that I felt like I wasn’t making enough milk but all the Lactation consultant said was I holding him wrong, or he was cluster feeding, or basically I wasn’t trying hard enough. That night he was inconsolable so I broke down and asked for formula but they made me feel so terrible for asking that I didn’t give him the bottle. Fortunately I went to my pediatrician on the 3rd day and when I expressed my concern to her, she weighed him and agreed. He had lost 10% of his weight. We gave him a bottle which he greedily drank. When I got home I pumped for 45 min and produced only drops. My son was starving for 2 days and because above all “breast is best” the medical professionals completely dismissed my legitimate concerns and just let it happen. I still feel so guilty when I think about the fact that I put him through that.

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    • My son was hospitalized for 4 days in the nicu because he became severly dehydrated and his jaudice level skyrocketed to a 24. I was attempting to exclusively breastfeed him but because I was in labor for 48 hours he was severely bruised on his head and he was very weak and sleepy. He could barely stay awake long enough to feed. We had only been home for 1 day when he was readmitted. While we were in the hospital the first time I had about 4 or 5 lactation consultants visit me. None of them were able to identify that my son was not getting any milk. As a first time mom I had no idea. He would nurse and fall asleep. He seemed content. Due to the high Jaundice level my son potentially has hearing loss in his left ear. Yes there maybe some factual evidence incorrect from the Fed is Best campaign but from my experience their message needs to be heard. The entire situation could have been avoided if there was some sort of protocol followed by hospitals such as weighing baby after nursing. My son may have a disabilty all because formula is nutritionally inferior to breast milk. To top it all off I lost my milk supply because it came in while he was in the nicu. I was unable to nurse him because he had an umbilical IV. Pumping was not enough to sustain my supply. I was unsucessful breast feeding. Besides the hearing issue my son is developing normally. I am not in anyway saying women should not breastfeed and I plan to try again with the next baby but I think it is irresponsible and ignorant to ignore this issue. We need to stop demonizing women for feeding their babies and yes openly stating that breastmilk is nutritionally better is demonizing and hurtful. I say that formula is just as good because my baby boy is so beautiful and perfect. I would not change him!!! You cannot know what it is like to have a sick baby until you experience it. Please think about this the next time you write an article about the nutritional value of formula because it can be life saving!

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  1. Kate – this was awesome. Well researched and written. Balanced representation. I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for writing this.

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    • Wonderful and informative article!! My baby was born at 33 weeks. Fortunately I got to hold him for quite awhile before he had to go to the incubator. I didn’t get to see him til the next morning, and tried breastfeeding the next day. Despite being so little, he did latch on and it got noticeablely stronger each day. I was encouraged and wholly supported by the nurses and pediatrician especially after expressing I wanted to. My supply was so low so the nurses showed me how to pump( it took days to get a decent amount) and we supplemented after each nursing session plus at night when I couldn’t be there. I did pump throughout the night to take it in the morning. It was hard because of my lower supply and he’d fall asleep right after latching on and we tried to wake him (sometimes trying to get him to eat for 45 min before finally giving him a bit of formula) but the nurses always were so supportive to keep at it! I’ll be forever thankful! Once he was home I exclusively bf. At 7 months we started solids but he still nurses!! I wish more mom who want to nurse got that support!! And those that don’t and especially can’t , wish they didn’t get so much criticism.

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  2. Can we stop with the mommy wars? It is nothing but I’m right your wrong. If you want to breast feed then do it. If you want to formula feed go for it. We all know that one day these tiny babies will be eating dirt and boogers. One day they will be fighting you on what they want to wear or where they want to go with their friends. This is a tiny blip on the parenting timeline. We all make choices at parents and hoping it’s the right one. Does it matter what someone else does?

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    • Why does sharing information bother you? How is information — and balanced info, at that — “the mommy wars?” How do you think women are going to learn and make an informed choice, if no one ever shares information or ideas?

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      • “Why does sharing information bother you?”
        This is a shut-down tactic. Why does someone sharing their opinion about your opinion bother you? See what I mean?

        This will sound crude, but the whole internet discussion (heated exchanges for years! YEARS!) is masturbation. It’s easy to feel passionate and righteous about something you do well. If someone could just get the support and resources to women who really need it–the women who aren’t even looking for it because the luxury of time to seek information about how to care for their newborn is an impossibility. Or try to encourage an exhausted single mom to continue breastfeeding when she is has to go back to shift work a few weeks after giving birth. The nitpicking of these points of “Fed is Best” is pointless except for patting oneself on the back for being well-off enough to be able to worry about it (myself included).

        Breastfeeding is rad. But if someone I don’t know tries to engage me about how I fed my two thriving girls, they will get a big fat “Nunya.”

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        • Sorry, but Fed is Best putting out INCORRECT INFORMATION that will deter new moms who want to breastfeed, from doing so, is absolutely WRONG. It’s not “nitpicking,” it’s correcting misinformation! If you don’t see the value in that, I can’t help you.

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          • Absolutely right – misinforming women and downplaying or attacking the benefits of breastfeeding is in no one’s best interests other than the formula makers.

    • Did you even read the while articlean. Your comment leads me to believe you didn’t.

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    • This “tiny blip on the parenting timeline” as you refer to it, will give a baby significant benefits or detriments to their health so it is best for parents to be informed so they can make appropriate choices for their families.

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      • The studies out there say she is right. No differences measured in breast vs formula fed babies.

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        • Actually, no. There are plenty of conflicting studies, but there is NO consensus that there is “no differences” between babies regardless of feeding method. And that doesn’t make sense anyway since breastfed is the biological norm and formula does not fully replicate it.

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    • Hi there, just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. I am so tired of the ” breastapo ” squad that shames mothers who cannot breastfeed or choose not to breastfeed or glorifies breastfeeding like it is the be-all and end-all of motherhood.. Yes breastmilk is biologically best for the child and it’s a beautiful experience to breastfeed. but a happy mother and child is equally important. Like what someone said earlier- parenthood is not all about breastfeeding and breastfeeding your child doesn’t automatically make you a better parent or your child a better human being. Motherhood is tough enough as it is and I think we should try to provide more support and encouragement to mums on all aspects of baby care instead of going on incessantly about breastmilk or nothing. It’s ironic how formula companies are made out to be so commercial, evil and mercenary. But on the breastfeeding camp, companies market expensive nursing wear, expensive nursing bras, breastfeeding supplements, breastfeeding pillows, nursing covers, top of the line breast pumps that cost several hundreds, breastpump / breastfeeding aids ( many of which I would argue don’t do their purported benefit) Yet these companies are not seen to be “evil” or gimmicky or opportunistic and their commercial intentions are never questioned just because it’s all in the name of breastfeeding!

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  3. Well written! Very important for everyone to read, not just mama’s.
    Thank you

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  4. How about best is the mothers choice for her and her baby. stop trying to bully women into doing what you feel is right. While breast feeding may be better not everyone can or wants to and that is ok. We need to stop trying to guilt women. They have enough going on with a newborn. What is best is respecting a woman’s choice

    Reply

    • But it’s not that simple.

      Women are constantly pushed AWAY from breastfeeding by hospital staff (“Wouldn’t it be easier just to give the baby a bottle?”), some friends and family members, formula advertisements and samples, etc. It’s not an honest choice if they are being swayed like that!

      So, we share information on breastfeeding and try to combat that imbalance. Why does that bother you so much?

      Reply

      • I don’t know what hospitals you have been in, but most hospitals I’m familiar with PUSH breastfeeding. I had lactation consultant after lactation consultant in my room showing me every way to breastfeed. In the end, it wasn’t in the cards for me. I developed major PPD and a lot of it was caused my articles like this saying stop with the fed is best. When you can’t produce more than 1/2 an ounce in 24 hours…formula is okay! FED IS BEST!

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        • Yes, formula is okay, and yes, moms who can’t produce clearly need formula for their babies.

          This still does not make “fed” biologically best. And by saying so, we are saying that formulas on the market are fine as-is. I think that moms who can’t breastfeed deserve better quality options — which won’t happen if we don’t push for improvements.

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    • I think that is what she was saying in the article. You got angry, but then basically restated her point for her.

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  5. The FIB campaign is truly malicious. You are spot on about the misrepresentation of cluster feeding. They misquote APA and ABM guidelines, omitting one word to completely change the meaning. They say ABM says it’s normal for a baby to breastfeed for hours, instead of several hours. They pretend to support all feeding types, but delete almost all pro-breastfeeding comments on their social media pages to make the discussion appear one-sided. The few times they actually post research to support their claims, it’s either irrelevant or misrepresented, as you have pointed out.
    Great article!

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    • Fed is Best is malicious? Since when is the idea of babies not starving malicious? Hyperbole anyone? There are lots of good reasons to exclusively breastfeed and lots of good reasons why formula supplementation or exclusive formula feeding may be necessary. It’s long past time to bring down the tone of the debate and the pressure on moms. I personally felt much more pressure from the breastfeeding camp as a young mom.

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      • Hi Priscilla,
        I believe you have misinterpreted Kay’s comment. She is in no way suggesting that not starving a baby is malicious. What she is suggesting and what she wrote, is that the what the FIB campaign writes may not be entirely accurate (and by the FIB campaign being “malicious” she meant that she thinks the inaccuracy is intended, not accidental.

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  6. I think it must depend on what area you are in because my experience was of feeling ashamed of you didn’t breastfeed, there was a reluctance among the professionals I came across to even mention bottle feeding. Finally a very senior paediatric consultant quite forcefully told me to stop, to give my son a bottle, I was at breaking point and she saved me. She told me she had two children, one of whom she bottle fed, she had just as strong an attachment to both, both were as healthy as each other. What women need is facts, support and health professionals who listen to women. We do not need opinions. If and when it is right for a baby to have a bottle, information should be given to help with keeping the experience as close to breastfeeding as possible, e.g. Feeding on demand, techniques for holding/feeding to get as much closeness as possible. I believe in trusting Mothers and Fathers to make the best decision for them and their baby.

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    • It does depend. Someone in my area was planning to breastfeed her third child (after formula feeding her first two) and the hospital staff repeatedly said to her, “You know, it would be easier to just give the baby a bottle.” If she hadn’t had a supportive community of friends — experienced in breastfeeding — she likely would have just given up and done formula a third time. That kind of thing shouldn’t be happening, especially not to moms and babies who are doing just fine with breastfeeding. That’s not the time to suggest formula, just because it’s perceived as ‘easier’ by some. Take note, I’m not talking about *struggling* moms or hungry babies; I’m talking about moms who are breastfeeding without issue and who want to continue to do so.

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      • I love the Fed is best campaign, it saved my sanity and my kid’s life. I delivered in a “baby friendly” hospital in Oregon, which among other things, means no bottles without perdiagnosed medical needs or a positive drug test. I didn’t know I had igt, and combining that with my severe ppd and ppa, I focused so hard on breastfeeding and doing what the hospital said, my kid was lethargic and severely dehydrated by 1 week, had stopped crying at all within 10 days, and everyone kept saying “just keep at it, and pump, your milk will come in!” My 5th lactation consultant finally sent us to the hospital and told me to buy a can of formula and start looking for donor milk. Fed is best is how I was able to live with myself not giving my baby “the best” till I was sane enough, and was sleeping again, to see what had been happening. You might not like the fed is best campaign, but it legit saved mine and my kid’s life. This is me respectfully disagreeing with you. <3

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        • Laura,

          Your story highlights the extreme importance of identifying mothers who are at risk of not producing enough (for whatever reason), or noticing when things are not going well and intervening. Someone should have taken a closer look at you and your baby and said “This isn’t right. This baby is not behaving normally and is not getting enough to eat,” and then recommended interventions to get your baby fed. It’s not okay that doctors and hospitals (and lactation consultants, and, and) are dismissing mothers who truly ARE having a problem and saying they just need to try harder. As your story illustrates, that is not always the case and there can be bad outcomes.

          I want to see people focusing on breastfeeding education and support, but that means ALSO recognizing warning signs in cases like yours. It has to be balanced. We can’t say “All mothers can breastfeed so just keep at it” (bad for mothers like you!), but we also can’t say “Well, do whatever, doesn’t matter either way.” And moms like you deserve the absolute best formulas available — so we need to keep researching to get them even closer to breastmilk, and increase access to donor milk too.

          I hope that’s Fed is Best’s goal, but I was still extremely concerned by some of the misinformation they have been putting out. In their quest to support moms who do not or cannot breastfeed, and help identify moms who may be at risk, they have undermined breastfeeding in mothers who are physically able, and that’s where my issue lies.

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  7. I had significant problems breastfeeding all 3 of our babies, but I’m really stubborn, thank the Lord and persevered. I successfully fed them for over 2 years each and I’m at 6 months right now with my 3rd. I did not get support from the professionals but I knew what I felt was best and had done my research. None of my babies ever had a drop of supplement! I’m thankful and proud of that, lol

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  8. Thank you, Kate!
    People need to understand: this is about mom’s who WANT and CAN breastfeed. It’s insane, no mom in her right mind would willingly starve her baby! Key is a good support system (not a industry founded group that pretends to educate).

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  9. I had a little bit of a low supply issue and it was hard to keep breastfeeding. Baby nursed almost every hour and milk was rationed when I was at work (paced feeding, small bottles, ect.) because he would drink crazy amounts if you let him. We did formula supplement but only while I was away and all of the milk was drank. There were times when his weight was concerning, but never anything truly scary (plenty of diapers). It was a shock when he started solid foods and went from the 40th percentile to the 90th, so maybe I should have given him more formula. However, if I had been given the information on cluster feeding that you were talking about we never would have made it. Now at 18 months it’s rare for him to go 3 hours without nursing and he still doesn’t quite sleep though the night, although he also drinks cows milk and eats a good variety of food. I’m sharing this to really show the range of what breast feeding looks like. I don’t feel like I fit into the box of what was expected, but we are very healthy and have no issues.

    I had really good breastfeeding support (WIC and baby friendly hospital and lactation consultant) but even then there was areas where I could have used more. How often baby should nurse and when how much to push it at the start. At the hospital they suggested I pump because baby was sleepy and not nursing as frequently but nobody asked if I had used a breast pump (I might have seen one once before) or discussed pros and cons (because I had done enough research I was equally scared of too much supply) of taking their advise. When I was pregnant I was really confused by how hard people said breastfeeding was and so I really couldn’t be fully prepared for the challenges I’d face.

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  10. Well said, thank you for sharing this! I’m so tired of hearing this new phrase “fed is best” to deter moms from breastfeeding or to make women who choose to formula feed feel better (not the ones who actually can’t) Our babies deserve the best!

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  11. Kudos to you for posting this! Finally let’s address this! Fed is Best comes out with these horrible scary stories of these babies starving to death all the time, like its protrayed as happening all the time! When actually it is a very rare occurrence and it’s pretty rare to have a naturally low milk supply as well. Plus, some of the stories, the babies died like after two weeks. Were wet and dirty diapers not being counted? Was weight gain not being monitored? Clear evident signs must of been missed I feel like. I do grieve for those parents, but we need more truthful education on breastfeeding! My mom told me she wasn’t able to breastfeed because she didn’t produce enough milk, so I was terrified that was going to happen to me. Truth has it, because she had my sister and I early, the doctors straight up told her she couldn’t breastfeed. Didn’t have her pump or anything. Then my sister failed at breastfeeding twice. She thought she didn’t make enough because her babies were hungry so much at night…..cluster feedings. I did so much research to help myself be successful at breastfeeding at I did it! We are at 13 months right now. We did have to supplement the first week and use a shield for a month because she was born early and couldn’t latch properly, but we got through it. I pumped so much that first week it was a nightmare. But it was so worth it.
    And there are women that can’t breastfeed due to health issues and certain medications that they have to be on, and I get that its the women’s choice to bf or not. But if you look into all of the amazing benefits for your baby and yourself, why would you not even want to try or at least use donor milk? I feel like women that are breastfeeding are the only ones who actually do so much research on Breastmilk and breastfeeding. Doctors don’t tell you anything! We need to inform women of these benefits! Cause if you do, it’s so obvious that breastmilk is the ideal choice.

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  12. I don’t know how a bottle would be easier. I wouldn’t want to get up in the middle of the night to make a bottle, that’s for sure. It’s so much easier to breast feed if you can. But, luckily there are other options for those that need to supplement.

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  13. Could be more informative…i.e what things help breastfeeding, what things can hinder it, what are the good things about formula… The article still breathes breast is best imo. Haven’t really learned anything new…

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    • This article was not intended to discuss breastfeeding support, per se, but rather to shed light on some unfortunate misinformation that has been spread lately. I will cover additional information about breastfeeding and identifying at-risk moms separately.

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  14. Yes!!!! I was forming a very similar blog post in my head whilst in the shower today!!! You’ve just pulled my thoughts out of my brain!! Agree 100% xxxxx

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  15. What most bothers me is the arrogance of FIB. Taking on BFHI, claiming expertise in a subject others have dedicated decades of their lives producing research and dismissing world renowned scientists. They seem just to have no idea how little they know and appear to have no respect for anyone who doesn’t share their views. Their claims about the volumes of milk required to keep babies safe in the first days of life, for example, are the sort of fearful thinking that very inexperienced student midwives tend to have. They state categorically that there is no evidence that 5-10mls is adequate. Yet here is a study that shows exactly that:
    http://fn.bmj.com/content/88/5/F380

    Thankfully their message has tempered even in the last few months as they are on a steep learning curve. But they are doing so much damage whilst they thrash about trying to understand their own mistakes and that personal histories of poor care aren’t broadly representative. It is a clear example of people who haven’t looked beyond their own experiences and don’t realise that much of the rest of the planet has better health care, much better maternity rights and social systems than America. Honestly, I feel embarrassed for them. When they realise they are (a) blaming entirely the wrong people (b) alienating everybody who knows anything about normal infant feeding and (c) attracting a bandwagon of really unsavory individuals, they will very likely have burned their bridges.

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  16. wonderful article! I struggle with misinformation all the time! I don’t breastfeed on both sides for each feeding and my own family makes fun of me because I choose to do what’s best for me. After 5 kids I only just read a book called Breastfeeding Made Simply by Nancy Mohrbacker. She is also about correcting misinformation about breastfeeding “rules.” Her book was so encouraging, I would recommend it for any mom who wants to breastfeed.

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  17. Hi Kate

    Thanks so much for this article. I recently had my first baby in May and I was in our local provincial hospital who only promote breastfeeding. However, I was badgered badly by t he staff into exclusively breastfeeding which I couldn’t since I had inverted nipples and my baby had no luck latching and I still struggle to this day a whole month later!
    We were not allowed bottles, rubber\silicone nipples or any form to help or assist in breastfeeding -it had to be breast or no going home!
    Fortunately, I was allowed to express milk using my pump and feed her using a small cup that looked like a shot glass.
    I personally feel the way I had been bullied into only being allowed to breastfeed made me resent wanting to breastfeed after leaving the hospital just to be rebellious!

    I am all for breastfeeding. And if you cannot or are unable to -use formula.

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  18. Fed is Best, in my opinion, is many to support all moms, especially those who suffer from guilt cast upon them by the “breast is best” campaign. As described by someone above my daughter was born in a “baby friendly” hospital in Alberta, Canada. On two separate occasions before and after her birth I was refused any information on formula feeding by public health nurses despite our situation.
    My daughter is adopted plus I had a tumour removed the month before she was born so I was on corticol steroid replacement therapy. Breastfeeding was not even an option. I’m thankful I never had to experience that damn guilt though. When my second daughter was born less than a year and I had supply issues plus latch issues I had no hesitation moving straight to formula. My daughters are the same as all of their friend whether breastfed or formula fed. Honestly no one other than mothers who want to feel superior care how a child was fed, and I feel they do they’re weird.

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  19. Although my mom always told me my breast milk is the best -if possible- to give my babies, even if I need to pump it to give it to them, she also told my that raw goats’ milk, then goats’ milk from the store are the next best to give my children as goats’ milk is the closest thing to mother’s milk that is available. I have been blessed that I was able to pump milk to get my supply up until my baby was able to finally latch and breastfeed, but I am comforted to know that there is an excellent alternative out there if I ever need it!

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  20. “Fed is Best” may not be a perfect campaign, but “Breast is Best” is no better. Self-agrandizing moms who are able to exclusively breastfeed actively shame mothers who formula-feed on social media and in public much more frequently than we are all willing to acknowledge. And the impetus behind the creation of the “Fed is Best” campaign gets no mention in your article. You focus on how formula needs to be improved and not deterring moms from the breast, but you don’t seem to want to acknowledge that very few lactation consultants can tell you the neurological effects of a malnourished newborn or that part of the La Leche League propaganda is that you shouldn’t even attempt supplementation because it will poison your baby against the breast and all their nonsense about “nipple confusion.” Don’t criticize one side without being willing to take a good look at the misinformation provided on your own side, as well. No one is harmed when a baby is given formula, but thousands of mothers are made to feel like absolute pieces of garbage when they can’t successfully breastfeed and I’ll support any campaign that tries to do something about that. Perhaps your criticism is more eloquent than others, but it is nonetheless critical and unhelpful to a mother in a vulnerable state.

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  21. Very good article! I had also been feeling that the FIB campaign is, at it’s heart, discouraging Mamas from breastfeeding by exaggerating some of the possible problems. Some of your detractors don’t seem to have read all of your article. This just seems like more of the “Give Everyone a trophy!” mentality. How dare anyone mention something that might encourage someone to do better (sarcasm!) It’s obvious that you had no intention of disparaging anyone, from the tone of your article. Thank you for your honesty and encouragement!

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  22. The problem I have with your article is this: baby feeding problems are much more common than you realize. I found the Fedisbest site when my newborn grandchild had to be readmitted for hypoglycemia and jaundice. Not fun to see little love with iv’s etc. It also brought back old memories of the shame i felt over 30 yrs ago when i could not breast feed my child (she would not latch). My second baby latched immediately and nursed with no problems…… Add to the problem of many women having to go back to work so soon after the baby is born with no place or time to pump…….I feel the information Fed is Best puts out is very accurate.

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    • Unfortunately, “feeling” it is accurate does not make it accurate. The science says otherwise. It may make you feel better because of your experiences, but that does not make it true.

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  23. If I may,a comparison: homemade food is best (for anyone – infant, toddler, child, teen and adult). But if my oven or stove or fridge breaks down, yes of course I’ll try to fix it. In the meantime I’m still getting my family hot meals from somewhere, even if it’s Panera.

    I tried breastfeeding my daughter, I really did. Within the first 5 days of life she had lost a full 16% of her body weight. I tried to pump for 6 weeks, and on a good day I could get a full 0.25ounces out. Why should my daughter starve for principle? Why should I martyr her to a cause? Thank Gd for formula. Interestingly enough she met milestones during her first year faster than our friends’ EBF babies, and didn’t get sick that year.

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  24. You cannot know what it is like to have a sick baby until it happens to you!! My son was hospitalized for 4 days in the nicu for severe dehydration and subsequently high jaundice levels. He potentially has hearing loss because of this. I was a new mom trying my best to do what was right for my baby and medical professionals let me down. Including the 5 lactation consultants who saw me in the hospital. There needs to be protocol for nursing moms that includes weighing baby after several feedings in the hospital.This is the only way we can know for sure baby is getting enough to eat. This is one of the suggestions of the fed is best campaign. I agree with it whole heartedly. I understand your concern about scaring new moms into not breastfeeding but it is more scary to know that your perfect beautiful new baby is suffering and in pain because they are starving. Jaundice is regulated by the bodies ability to remove bilirubin through urine and waste. If the body cannot remove bilirubin, it causes neurological problems. This is a fact. I was forced to sit and watch nurses poke my baby with needles 8 times because he was so dehydrated that they could not find a vein. It is also fact that the higher babies jaundice level gets the sleepier they are. My baby would feed and fall asleep. I had no ideas he was suffering. My own mother who breastfed 4 babies did not know he was severely dehydrated. Based on your response to other commenters I doubt that this reply will sway your opinion but this is a real life story that I feel needs to be heard. Knowing that your baby is sick and it could have easily been prevented is one of the most devastating feelings that a parent can have. In the future I plan to breastfeed my next child but I will request a scale to weigh my baby and if they don’t provide that for me I will nurse and then immediately supplement until my milk comes in. I would much rather give my baby a few milliliters of formula then watch them suffer unnecessarily.

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  25. I have just read the above article and the comments, and from the point of view of a father (and so removed from the emotion of this decades old argument), I think that there is some misunderstanding regarding the aims of this article, and the Fed Is Best (“FIB”) foundation.

    This article states (numerous times) that if the mother cannot, or does not wish to, breastfeed, then they should be provided with the support that they need to formula feed, and that formula should continue to be developed to get as close to breastmilk as possible. No problems there so far.

    It also attempts to clarify some misinformation surrounding breastfeeding that has been put forward by FIB. I won’t go into that here as I could spend all day doing research and writing an informed response that agrees or disagrees.

    Both our babies were formula fed, the first after two days of my wife being in agony and our daughter not able to get any milk, despite the constant “encouragement” and advice that “breast is best” and that she should keep trying. On the third day we gave our daughter a bottle of formula, and the sound of her taking it was music to our ears. The second was formula fed straight away, and she is absolutely fine.

    Perhaps it is different in the USA, but over here, the midwives at the hospital push VERY hard to make new mothers breastfeed (whether it is your first child or not, and whether the first child was breastfed or not). In fact, our second child was born at home so that my wife could avoid that pressure.

    The issue (in my eyes) is that although breastmilk is more nutritional, the way that message is delivered is, quite frankly, poor. The slogan “breast is best” (BIB), which is very broadly used, is demeaning and makes any mother who cannot (or does not want to) breastfeed feel like they are a failure, and pressures them to breastfeed (that is certainly how my wife was made to feel). Sadly, this is nothing new, my Mum was made to feel terrible by various midwives and healthcare professionals when she bottle fed my sister and I 30 years ago (fortunately the peadiatrician was very supportive).

    In the spirit of delivering the message that breastmilk is the best thing for your baby in the right way, it would be useful to know more about the long term health deficiencies suffered by formula fed babies – I am not aware of any particular health issues that my sister or I have, or that other of my peers who were also bottle fed may have (remembering that 30 years ago formula was not as advanced as it is now).

    Equally, the premise behind FIB is sound – it is much better that your baby is fed on formula, than you either feeling forced into breastfeeding, or letting your baby starve. But if the information they are providing is incorrect, then that is a serious problem, and they should be putting up corrective statements – again, it is the message that is being poorly delivered (this time by the use of misinformation – intentioanally or not).

    So what do we do? Waging war on each other is not the answer, and neither is judging mothers for choosing to breastfeed or for choosing to bottle feed. Ultimately, we need to stop the scare-mongering that both camps are guilty of, and instead of debating what’s right and what’s wrong, provide mothers the advice and support that they need and deserve, whether they are breastfeeding or bottle feeding. From my reading of Kate’s article, that is part of the message she is trying to convey, though perhaps that theme needs to be a little more prominent.

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  26. Speaking as a mother who almost lost her child due to the dogmatic approach of a “Baby Friendly” hospital, I can tell you that you are way out of line here. Our newborn slipped right through the cracks at our local hospital because they would not see past “breast is best.” She nearly starved to death in a freaking hospital. What a shame. We can preform incredible life saving surgeries in America etc., but babies are being readmitted to NICU’s every day because they are starving? Baby friendly hospital policies lack a balanced approach and do not have strong enough safeguards in place for high risk situations. One size never fits all. That is bad medicine. In our situation it was fed or dead. Out sweet little girl nearly died starving. So lady… for some people Fed IS BEST!!! Your chicken nugget example is poor at best. We have a serious problem in our country if this many babies are being readmitted for dehydration/starvation. No excuse for that! Read hospital readmit data based on poor feedings. Very common and incredibly unnecessary. Many of those behind the fed is best foundation had terrifying experiences with this and are working for a cause they believe in because it was a true terror for them. Had you walked in my shoes you’d be singing a different song entirely. Fed is best is trying to shed light on the unfortunate risks of BFH policies that many have experienced. One starving baby is one too many.

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  27. Not one single breast feeding supporter has ever said “if you can’t breastfeed your baby, let them starve.”

    There are many checks and balances to make sure that infants are kept safe. We carefully watch infant’s weights, feedings, voids and stools as well as blood glucose and bilirubin levels. Of the thousands of infants I have taken care of, I have never had an infant die of dehydration or starvation…or even come close to it. I see infants as inpatient and out patient as well as tracking readmission and ED visits so I know exactly the number of re-admissions there are in my hospital for whatever reason. I am also part of a perinatal coalition where we track infant morbidity and mortality. I have access to real numbers (county, state and country,) “We have a serious problem in our country if this many babies are being readmitted for dehydration/starvation” is a misstatement.

    We educate parents on signs and symptoms of dehydration (both breast and formula fed babies) so that when they are discharged they know when to be concerned and who to call for help or even when to present to the ED. Education is a big part of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. Every baby is routinely brought into the clinic 48 hours after discharge and if there is any question about weight, jaundice or other concerns they are brought in the next day.

    You are absolutely correct that one starving baby is too many. If your doctor and your hospital failed you, that is their failure to not follow the plan and intention of Baby Friendly. That is not the failure of the Baby friendly Hospital Initiative. That is not the failure of breast milk. That is not the failure of every person out here who supports breast feeding. I am sorry that happened to you.

    I develop feeding plans and do weight checks for families and their infants to include: exclusive direct breast feeding, exclusive pumping and bottle feeding, exclusive formula feeding at the breast, exclusive formula feeding from the bottle, families using donor milk and many, many combinations of the previous feeding methods. One of the very first things I say in my classes and to patients is “I am here to help you achieve your feeding goals, not to set them for you.”

    Formula fed babies are not excluded from the risk of starvation. I have worked with many infants that were exclusively formula fed that were malnourished because parents were mixing the formula with too much water to make it last longer because of the cost or because they simply did not know the proper why to mix it. Issues with excessive weight loss or poor weight gain because they put infant on a schedule or didn’t wake infant up to feed frequently enough or didn’t feed enough ounces(calories) in a day. Or excessive weight gain due to overfeeding.

    The bottom line is EDUCATION. Parents should be supported and educated no matter how they are feeding their infant.

    Supporting a mom who breastfeeds doesn’t mean you’re automatically vilifying a mom who uses formula, just like teaching the real benefits of breast-milk isn’t shaming a mother who chooses formula. There is nothing to be gained by insulting or shaming.

    The problem that most of us have with FIB is how they down play the health benefits (both immediate and long-term) of breast milk. Saying that formula is as good as breast milk is simple inaccurate. Human breast milk is best for human infants. Tiger’s breast milk is best for cubs, cow’s breast milk is best for calves, kangaroo breast milk is best for joeys etc. These are facts. But even in the rest of the mammal world there are times that artificial breast milk formula is necessary. Fed is necessary.

    One of my favorite statements from this article is “Mothers who cannot breastfeed, or do not want to breastfeed, deserve the best substitute available. When we acknowledge that breast milk is still superior, we can help to develop even better formulas for the mothers and babies who need them. We can also, hopefully, increase access to donor milk for the mothers and babies who need that.”

    I do not use Breast is Best in my practice because it promotes “us vs. them” (another reason I don’t like FIB.) It shouldn’t be Formula mothers supporting formula mothers and breastfeeding mothers supporting breastfeeding mothers. We should all be a WE. As in WE support each other. I am a registered nurse as well as a lactation consultant. I support mothers that choose to breastfeed, I support mothers that choose to formula feed, I support mothers who may not be feeding the way they originally chose.

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  28. I feel you should edit this article a bit. Your intentions seem good but I can see why it is setting people off. First I would remove your comparison to feeding a child chicken nuggets and root beer. That is not even close to an apples to apples comparison of formula. There are many advanced formulas that are actually recommended instead of breast milk for women who have babies allergic to their milk. Formula nowadays has many nutrients and healthy benefits. Also I think you need to specify which hospital is pushing formula on patients bc that has simply not been the case with anyone I have ever met across the entire USA. The exact opposite is typically the case. Your told by nurses and lactation consultants not to worry bc your milk will come. Just be patient they say. They never once explain you could have complications, that if your milk does not come in you could be potentially harming your child and not even know it. They make it seem like it is very rare for your milk not to completely come in. Then you go the pediatrician and they tell you your child has lost 10% and is dangerously close to dehydration. They (at least mine did) tell you to give them a supplement until your milk finally comes in. If you have a case like mine you are on a strict schedule of breastfeeding for 40 minutes, hand baby to husband to bottle feed, then pumping for 20 min. Then you have a small 30 min break and repeat. I did this for over 3 months and never got a full supply. Finally after listening to my own doctor, my child’s pediatrician, and my friends and family I stopped pumping bc I was going through hell doing this and my mental state was not a good one. I went on to breastfeed what little I could for 13 months bc I felt I had put so much into it I couldn’t stop and that became the only way to console my daughter. My supply was never very much. I started to talk to other women and found my sitautaion was actually VERY common. In fact about half the women I knew personally had the same supply problem. Another quarter of women I spoke to had a full supply but it was so painful they couldn’t do it. A small minority of the women I know had a positive experience with no issues with breastfeeding. I started to process and think about all the things you hear about breast feeding – your child will be healthier and smarter. They won’t struggle with obesity like formula fed kids. Etc etc etc. Then I thought “wait I was formula fed. My sisters were. My husband was. Most of my friends were. Heck most children of the 70s and 80s were.” How come none of us seem to have all these issues?? I see kids now who were breast fed and who were formula fed and you can not tell a single difference between them. Where is the proof that is always better? I have however experienced shame, pressure, and physical distress personally from buying into the breast is best message. My child almost had to be hospitalized. In my opinion there is only one instance where breast is best and that is when your supply comes in with no issue and you have no complications with breast feeding. In any other situation fed is absolutely best.

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  29. “No one, anywhere, is suggesting that a child not get fed if breastfeeding isn’t possible.”

    That simply isn’t true. Many friends and family I know got flack from family-members, “friends,” strangers and cashiers seeing them buy formula, nurses, and social media commentators, for supplementing breastmilk for formula or switching to formula completely, regardless of their explanations of getting breast infections, their babies were underweight, and other problems. Many, many “breast is best” supporters seem to be “only-breast” supporters.

    Also, it’s really not the same as feeding children chicken nuggets and root beer. It’s more like feeding them fresh fruits vs frozen fruits. It’s like a grade school student getting a 99% vs a 98%. And it’s certainly not something to go around judging other people about.

    People should be able to raise their kids however they want without judgement from other people. If anything, your article made me so excited to share the joys of chicken nuggets and root beer with my kids.

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  30. I’m a mom of 3 who may or may not have a fourth baby. I’m not sure why I’m even reading this, because my mind is made up that fed IS best….no one can change that. I successfully nursed two of mine for a year, but one I really struggled and ultimately gave up at 7 weeks because nursing her was extremely painful, she wasn’t gaining weight, I was beyond stressed, and it all killed my supply. Fortunately pumping brought most of it back but she wouldn’t take the breast again. I pumped until I was ready to throw the darn pump out the window, which was right around the 6.5-month mark. I did my best, I know that much. One of my fully breastfed children is autistic. Ironically the one who got formula has never had an antibiotic yet and she’s 3 and a half. She is extremely healthy, beautiful and smart. Who they are has little to do with my breasts or my milk. Formula is a wonderful substitute for breastmilk, homemade even more so (if you have a good recipe). I will always prefer nursing over formula. That won’t change either. What I take issue with is the constant drumbeat that formula is inferior. It’s messages like this that cause many women to panic if they have to supplement. The added stress and mental anguish that it all causes if a woman is having trouble inhibits the let-down reflex (I can vouch for this), and can kill your supply over time. There are SOME benefits to breast milk, but the benefits are overblown. STOP trying to “educate” women on the superiority of one feeding method over another and support them, lift them up, tell them they are doing a good job as long as their child is fully fed. I may get hate for this comment but three children in I no longer care. I’ve been around many breastfed children, some of whom are quite sickly and not in the best shape physically. It’s not magic. I rest my case.

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  31. I’m always looking for more very healthy formulas… So far, The best most nutritionally dense formula is Sammy’s milk. Can be found at Sammy’smilk. Com Whole goat milk,(vry easily digested) no high fructose corn syrup, or any unhealthy sweeteners, sweetened with molasses which naturally gives it iron as well! Check it out,after a very fussy baby, my breastmilj wasn’t easy to digest is what I concluded… It changed immediately when she received this goat milk formula, if u need clean healthy formulas, their r options, PTL!!!

    Reply

  32. Many (not all women) have a genuine desire to breastfeed due to all of the mentioned benefits. Unfortunately, many like myself are not able to. I tried my best, nursing continuously and through the night when I first brought my child home but, after 3 days we had to admit him to the PICU due to severe dehydration and jaundice. After we brought him back, I worked with a lactation consultant, tried supplements, teas, power pumping using a hospital grade pump. Posssibly my PPD had something to do with my low supply. I sought out donor milk in order for my son to have as much benefit from Breastmilk as possible. I’m very happy for those mothers who are able to breastfeed exclusively. Stating that “fed is best” is a “wrong” approach is demeaning and hurtful to so many women who already feel extreme guilt and sadness over not being able to breastfeed their children. As a mother of 5 kids, you of all people should understand and be a little bit more compassionate.

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  33. I’m sorry. With all due respect, you are not an IBCLC. I’ve successfully breastfed 4 babies for 2 years+ each. My tone used to be very much like yours – with an air of superiority and an opinion that if breastfeeding didn’t work out for you, it was because you didn’t try hard enough. I also believed in the superiority of breastmilk above anything else. But then I had our 5th baby…and was violently removed from my high and mighty pedestal. Our son had a strong tongue and lip tie – something that went undiagnosed by TWO pediatricians and THREE Lactation Consultants who, after I sat in each of their offices and ugly sobbed about our breastfeeding issues, each told me to power through his crying and resistance. The advice they gave me was to keep pushing breastfeeding even though my son was losing weight and I was being dragged down into PPD with each feeding. The only time he nursed peacefully was during dream feeds. So their advice was: Well then only feed him when he sleeps. This was their actual answer. I then began taking him to craniosacral therapists, chiropractors, healers, etc. desperate for help. I went through a rebirthing experience with him in the same bathtub I birthed him in. And, even though I was a very experienced breastfeeding mom, I reached out to breastfeeding communities online and in-person begging for help. The advice I received was very much in the tone of this blog post: breast is best. Don’t stop. Keep going. Push hard NO MATTER WHAT. The guilt I felt for what was a failing situation was immense…which easily lead to a feeling that I was dying inside. My thoughts grew dark, I stopped sleeping, I began having panic attacks, and my poor son was falling further and further behind in weight despite my massive overproduction of milk. It was then, by the grace of God, I met our angel IBCLC. Within 3 minutes of holding my son, she said he had a terrible tie. She said each feeding he had to make the choice to have a full tummy or be in pain eating. We immediately – as in the next day – had it released. Then began the month long process of teaching him to suck. I PUSHED SO HARD. I fought for every feeding. But he still was rejecting the breast. A month later I showed up at my IBCLC’s office sobbing telling her it wasn’t working. She watched me try to get him to latch. He struggled and fussed and it wasn’t working. It was then that she put a hand on my shoulder and said, “Mama, this isn’t you. This is him. He has such a negative association with breastfeeding because of his pain. But this baby needs to eat. FED IS BEST. Let’s get him on a bottle.” And after 4 months of intense struggle, I finally let loose an avalanche of tears. Here is this woman – whose full-time job it is to get women to breastfeed – telling me it was okay this wasn’t going to work. She told me that breastmilk is only marginally better than (some) formulas (we use an organic formula imported from Germany). AN IBCLC TOLD ME THIS. She also shared another story that supports FED IS BEST. She once worked with a mama who was so set on breastfeeding because she was consumed with guilt from the “breast is best” mantra others preached. But her daughter was not thriving. She was a resistant nursling and every feeding was a struggle. My IBCLC recognized it right away and encouraged the mom to supplement with a bottle so that her daughter would learn to associate eating with pleasure. That is what eating is supposed to be for humans – peaceful and pleasurable. But the mom refused and pushed through. She now has a 3 year old little girl who is failure to thrive. The girl eats very little. Meals are a battle. She is on so many nutritional supplements just to maintain her weight let alone gain…all because she never was given the chance to have a peaceful feeding from a bottle like she clearly needed. Her mother – in pursuit of breastfeeding perfection – denied her daughter this basic need and the repercussions have been severe. Again, in this case, FED IS BEST. My son is now 10 months. I still have a bit of pumped milk he gets, but he is thriving in every single way on his German formula. No illness in his entire life. He is surpassing milestones. And – best of all – he enjoys feeding now which is just about the best gift I can give him…far better than my breastmilk. I understand your point of view. I do. I shared your tone once upon a time. But I was taught a hard, HARD lesson about breastfeeding and see how foolishly arrogant I was. I invite you to step down off the podium and appreciate all moms’ intents and struggles. Fed actually really is best. Your post here does nothing to help move this issue in a positive direction for the millions of moms who are put in a terrible position of experiencing a negative breastfeeding experience with their lovely little babes.

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  34. 100% agree. Thanks for writing this and speaking out.

    Reply

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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