This baby died because of lactivist “fake news”

Rolled newspaper with fake news headline for bad media journalism

The Fed Is Best Foundation recently published the tragic story of a baby who died because of the lactivist lie that insufficient breastmilk is rare. Bereaved mother Jillian Johnson generously shared the story of her son Landon in order to prevent anyone suffering the heartbreak that she has suffered.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The claim that insufficient breastmilk is rare is fake news.[/pullquote]

In his second day of life, while still in the hospital, Landon became frantically hungry:

Landon cried. And cried. All the time. He cried unless he was on the breast and I began to nurse him continuously. The nurses would come in and swaddle him in warm blankets to help get him to sleep. And when I asked them why he was always on my breast, I was told it was because he was “cluster feeding.” I recalled learning all about that in the classes I had taken, and being a first time mom, I trusted my doctors and nurses to help me through this – even more so since I was pretty heavily medicated from my emergency c-section and this was my first baby…

So we took him home….not knowing that after less than 12 hours home with us, he would have gone into cardiac arrest caused by dehydration…

How could the many people who cared for Landon let him suffer and ultimately die? It’s because they believed the lactivist lie that insufficient breastmilk production is rare … when in fact it is quite common. The claim that it is rare is “fake news.”

In the wake of the recent election, we have come face to face with the concept of fake news. Fake news is complete falsehoods passed off as facts by hyperpartisans in order encourage solidarity.

Many purveyors of fake news don’t even realize that it’s fake. They belong to an alternate world of internal legitimacy that has it’s own news outlets, conferences and experts. They believe that they are sole possessors of the “truth,” that forcing their “truth” on everyone is beneficial and that those who oppose them are persecuting them. Indeed, a sense of persecution is endemic to purveyors of fake news.

Tragically, many lactivists and professional lactivist organizations are purveyors of fake news. Many lactivists don’t even realize that it’s fake. They belong to an alternative world of internal legitimacy where they communicate only with each other. They believe that they are sole possessors of the “truth,” that forcing their “truth” on everyone is beneficial and that those who oppose them are persecuting them. Indeed, a sense of persecution is endemic to contemporary lactivism.

The lactivist lie that insufficient breastmilk is rare is no different than the Trump lie that his inaugural had the largest audience ever. It’s not based on fact; it’s based on ideology and wishful thinking.

For reasons that I cannot fathom, lactivists desperately insists that breastfeeding — unlike any other bodily function — is always perfect. Regardless of the age, size and temperament of the baby, lactivists claim that his mothers breasts ALWAYS make enough milk to fully nourish him and that ANY supplementation of breastmilk with formula destroys the breastfeeding relationship. Why? Because women were “designed” to breastfeed.

It’s the equivalent of insisting that there is no such thing as infertility because women were “designed” to get pregnant.

As it happens, about 20% of couples may experience difficulty getting pregnant. But imagine if we lied to women and told them that infertility was rare and any effort to treat it would destroy their ability to get pregnant. It’s not hard to fathom the anguish that lie would cause: millions of infertile women would suffer believeing they were alone, would blame themselves and would not seek treatment in fear of destroying their fertility altogether.

The incidence of insufficient breastmilk, though not as high as the incidence of infertility, is high nonetheless. As many as 15% of women will have difficulty producing enough breastmilk to fully nourish a child. No less an authority than Alison Stuebe, MD of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has acknowledged that as many as 1 in 7 first time mothers suffers delayed onset of breastmilk production leaving their newborns in need of supplementation with formula in order to survive the first few days without suffering severe hunger, possible dehydration and even death.

When I posted Landon’s story on my Facebook feed, some lactivists responded by insisting that his story was untrue. One commentor wrote:

I need more information. The story reads sensationalized. Red Flag.

Another demonstrating the lactivist penchant to view themselves as persecuted:

You’ve crossed the line into bullying and shaming breastfeeders. I’m out.

A nurse, wrote:

I’ve just re-read that post to make sure I have fully understood it. It is chock full of cherry picked and unsupported claims. However, this is what we are meant to take away from it. A baby is deemed well enough to go home, but within 24 hours he has lost enough fluid to send him into cardiac arrest. This simply does not add up. It simply is not true that a well functioning baby will “starve” in this fashion. There are millions of early struggles with feeding and early thriving that will involve the baby not getting enough down in the first week. For it to arrest I would be asking about a hundred other variables here.

But as an anesthesiologist responded:

A newborn’s blood volume is about 85 cc/kg, so this baby at about 3.5 kg (round numbers) had a blood volume of 300 cc. If he lost 10% of his total body weight from dehydration, I would think that would be more than enough to cause hypovolemic arrest. The neonatal heart and sympathetic nervous system can do an awful lot of compensation to keep vital organs perfused…until it fails…

Why don’t lactivists, lactation consultants and nurses know this? Because they have been bombarded with fake news about breastfeeding, the lie that insufficient breastmilk is rare when it is actually common, the lie that the newborn stomach is 80% smaller than it really is, the lie that supplementing destroys the breastfeeding relationship, among other lies.

I don’t understand why lactivist organizations feel the need to resort to fake news. Breastfeeding is an excellent form of infant nutrition for those babies whose mothers wish to breastfeed and can do so. But it is not perfect, formula is not harmful for term babies and supplementing does NOT destroy the breastfeeding relationship.

The anguish of Landon’s mother is palpable:

If I had given him just one bottle, he would still be alive.

Sadly, she’s right.

And as long as we continue to allow lactivist organizations to promote fake news about breastfeeding there will be more Landons, babies who die because lactivists lie.

150 Responses to “This baby died because of lactivist “fake news””

  1. Lee Aldrich
    June 4, 2020 at 4:32 pm #

    “Breast is best” is BS.
    My child was born in 1981. I had decided I wanted to breastfeed- a decision that was, back then, actively DIScouraged.
    Even though I had C-section, I had no problems with milk supply, and my son had no latch issues. He drank a lot – gained weight.
    The problem? He was constantly sick- bloated stomach, distended abdomen, diarrhea, gas. In an adult, it would be called colitis. As he was a baby, it was called colitis.
    Nothing helped the poor little thing. Until, after about 6 weeks, I switched him over to formula. SOY formula.
    Brand new, HAPPY and HEALTHY baby.
    The problem? I had been drinking a lot of milk while breastfeeding- and I do not normally drink milk, it makes me bloated and sick to my stomach.
    Sound familiar? Turns out my child is also “milk intolerant”.
    So, my son would have lived, thank God, even if I’d had “lactivists” back then pushing me to continue breastfeeding, and I’d gone along with it.
    But, he, I and his dad would all have been miserable.
    There’s life, but there is also QUALITY of life. Happy baby, happy family.
    Do “lactivists” even take into account these days that the mom may be ingesting something, normally healthy and good for the baby, that a particular baby just cannot tolerate? Food intolerances and allergies are not all that “rare”. And, could explain some of the difficulties with a baby not wanting the breast, or being constantly miserable and “sickly”.
    Again, QUALITY of life is major. And, if bottle feeding makes for a happy baby, mom and dad – and siblings- BOTTLE FEED. Never feel guilty about it, never apologize for it, and never feel you have to explain it.

  2. Katie Terry
    March 2, 2017 at 8:17 am #

    My eldest child of my three I made enough milk for him for 18 months however my 2nd and 3rd was not the case. I had barely any supply at all and they cried most of the time. I think they were getting little amounts but not enough to satisfy them as they had wet nappies. After a month I put my daughter on the bottle and she stopped crying instantly and became the most placid baby. For this to happen to baby Landon within a few days is so so unlucky. I agree with the post who mentioned weighing needed to be done regulary througout the hospital stay. Im going to train to be a midwife then progress onto health visitor in a few years and having been through 3 diffrent scenarios with regards to feeding each time (my youngest had a milk allergy and relux thats a different story alltogether as had to take him to A&E to get his prescrition milk as I dried up and he was allergic to formula) its has taught me that for each and every mother can have completely different outcomes regarding how they can feed their child. I will use my experiences to be open minded about this when helping other mums. My heart goes out to the poor mother

  3. Елена Акылбекова
    March 1, 2017 at 11:39 pm #

    ” As many as 15% of women will have difficulty producing enough breastmilk to fully nourish a child.”
    could you please provide us with the source of this information? statistic? scientific research?

  4. Lurkerette
    February 28, 2017 at 10:27 pm #

    My god, Jillian. Your poor, lovely, little baby. I weep for him. I am so sorry for your loss, and so impressed by your strength and courage in sharing Landon’s story. You are likely saving lives, and I hope, in some small way, you can take comfort in that.

  5. Nicole Nikole
    February 28, 2017 at 12:58 am #

    I am so lucky. I was brainwashed by the Dr. Sears breast is best bull hockey. My husband has an overabundance of common sense and pragmatism. When my milk wasn’t satisfying our child the first week he fed her formula. God bless him. At 15 months we are still breastfeeding. Not because it’s magic, but because we enjoy it. Motherhood fully augmented my transformation into a skeptic.

  6. GiddyUpGo123
    February 27, 2017 at 9:56 pm #

    I am late to this conversation, but I want to say that anyone claiming this story isn’t true is despicable, in the same way that Sandy Hook deniers are despicable.

  7. Lisa Peters
    February 27, 2017 at 9:21 pm #

    This is horrifying! Poor mother and poor baby. Why did the let the baby get home? I don’t understand this. The baby was obviously not satisfied. Don’t they weigh babies before they go home? I was at a BFH and thankfully we had no issues and all my nurses were lovely. They were not going to let me go home because my baby hadn’t peed yet. Later that day she did and it was a flood and we got to go home. I don’t know exactly what BF actually means but this is just so sad.

  8. Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
    February 27, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

    Thank you – just knowing we are helping others at this point is what matters. I would do anything to bring him back.

  9. Jessica
    February 27, 2017 at 3:50 pm #

    Landon’s story brings back vivid memories of the birth of my first son, also born in 2012. Our breastfeeding difficulties were different – he was not latching well, at all. Because of that, the nurses wanted to keep him in the hospital longer, as if the single overworked LC on staff would have been able to help us. I’ve shared it before, but when I told one nurse that I had a breast pump at home, help from my own mother who had breastfed, and if necessary, we’d get formula, her comment was “Oh, we don’t like to see that.” I thought my husband’s head would explode. The pediatrician supported our discharge with a bottle of donor milk and an SNS, saying only that they wanted to know that parents wouldn’t be so focused on breastfeeding that they would miss signs that the baby was not actually eating.

    I shudder to think what might have happened without the donor milk, but by the following Monday at 72 hours of life, he had lost about 9% of his weight and my milk was not fully in. We got a sample of formula, and then tried to feed it to him in a bottle. I don’t know how long it took, but at some point I realized he was not getting the formula out of the bottle. My husband finally enlarged the nipple hole, and that baby DRANK. He finally fell asleep with a blissed out look on his face. The guilt was immense. By that night my milk was in, and we were able to shortly transition 100% to breastmilk, but it took FOUR WEEKS until he could transfer enough milk at the breast to not need supplementation (and I had an oversupply).

    Almost five years later, it’s still so damn infuriating.

    • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
      February 27, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

      And it always will be! We would do anything for our children and just want what’s best for them.

  10. Dr Kitty
    February 26, 2017 at 5:16 pm #

    George Takei has linked to Mandy’s story on Facebook.
    Which means it is likely to get a lot more coverage.

    • Spamamander, pro fun ruiner
      February 26, 2017 at 5:48 pm #

      I do love Uncle George. With his number of followers it’s going to get a lot of attention.

      • BeatriceC
        February 27, 2017 at 12:37 am #

        I do fear the flip side, that the vicious lactivists are going to come out even stronger and more cruel because of the sheer number of people he reaches.

        • Roadstergal
          February 28, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

          I’m sure they will. But they’re thinking and acting nastily in secret, now; perhaps seeing some of the ugliness in the daylight will help those on the fence…

  11. Gene
    February 26, 2017 at 11:50 am #

    I’ve lost count of how many “almost Landons” I’ve seen in my baby friendly hospital’s ED. Crying mothers who feel they’ve somehow failed. Fathers feeling powerless to help. And crazy FB “friends” demanding we use donor milk in the ED (??????) and screeching to the parents to refuse formula.

    A fed baby is better than a dead baby.

    • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
      February 27, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

      You know, that has been one of the hardest parts on a regular basis – seeing my husband beat himself up over and over because of the guilt. Thank you for pointing that out. It’s the parents as a whole that have to be educated. <3 Thank you so much!

      • Gene
        February 27, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

        One of the many egregious crimes of the lactivist/attachment/NCB movement is the minimilization of dad (or any non bio parent, honestly). Dad is very much an afterthought.

        I’m very sorry for your loss. We just had a new baby who was maybe an hour from death but got to us in time. Kiddo is fine now, but it was close. It happens more frequently than most people know.

  12. Amazed
    February 26, 2017 at 8:24 am #

    Lactivists have no shame. In the face of such a story, they still want to play the offended party AND lecture people on breastfeeding and its immense benefits. At least the offended, pearl-clutching one deleted her comments which means that even her thick, egotistical brain grasped that they weren’t showing her in her best light. But I really want to slap the Clare Yoshida asshole on Dr Amy’s page. She’s divorced from compassion and basic decency. She only sees boobs and milk. Even there, under this heartbreaking post, she proselytizes on the benefits of breastfeeding, adopting a teacher’s role. She can’t stop herself, the blind cow. (Not an insult. Since she lacks tact, empathy, and self-control, I call her by the one thing she does right at that page. Squirting milk in her kid’s mouth. I’m starting to think BREAST is minimal. It’s a fluid. Food. God knows that mothers like Clare don’t seem able to teach their kids anything human,)

    They’re disgusting.

    • AnnaPDE
      February 26, 2017 at 10:57 pm #


      “Here’s a first-hand account of how a mum lost her baby due to insufficient milk intake, when she did exactly as told by the BFHI.”
      Lactivists: “Made up! Show us evidence!”

      “Here’s a speculative idea about baby backwash in nipple crevices without any empirical support, it implies that breastfeeding is even more magical!”
      Lactivists: “Hooray, we’ll shout it from the rooftops while calling it science!”

      “Here’s a bunch of scientific evidence showing that claims about tiny newborn stomach size are off by a factor 3-5.”
      Lactivists: “La la la I can’t hear you” with one hand stuck in an ear, while the other is furtively moving the goalposts.

    • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
      February 27, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

      Sadly, it’s going to take one of these mamas to go through a hard situation to change, and who knows, that may not even do it. But I don’t wish it on them. I just want other families to know the reality of an underfed baby. Thank you for your support!

      • Amazed
        February 28, 2017 at 4:42 am #

        You are doing a great job. Sadly, I do agree that even if one of them goes through what you went through, it won’t change their minds. If she speaks up, they’ll villanize her. If she keeps processing loyalty to lactivism,. she’ll be loved and pities… but iit won’t change their minds. We’ve seen it regularly with homebirths that ended in death. Still, you are doing a great job with those who are on the fences or just want to know more about the whole breast thing.

  13. LuckyOne
    February 26, 2017 at 4:56 am #

    Stories like these are heart breaking, but Im so proud of the people who share them. If it wasn’t for the things like this that I’ve read about, I would have listened to my LC when she just suggested power pumping when on day 4 of baby’s life my milk hadn’t come in yet and he had lost 12% of his body weight. Because I looked at more than just the breast is best echo chamber, I knew my baby was starving and promptly gave him formula. But who knows the damage that waiting the extra hours would have done trying to pump my milk in… I still feel so bad about the 4 days of hunger my little guywent through for no good reason other than boob worship.

    • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
      February 27, 2017 at 5:13 pm #

      Thank You! <3

  14. Rebecca
    February 26, 2017 at 1:05 am #

    To those who think this is made up, why don’t they try fasting for three days, and work all day (which is what nursing all day is like)? Don’t feel too good? Think a newborn baby with huge caloric needs would feel better than that?

    And to Landon’s mother, my condolences. You were failed by those who should have known better, and were supposed to by trustworthy teachers. Thank you for having the courage to share, even with the potential for ugly comments. Know that people who don’t have the wool covering their eyes believe you and sympathize with you, and that some who do have the wool covering their eyes may just be able to see past it and learn from your story.

  15. Fullmoonfolly
    February 25, 2017 at 11:20 pm #

    I am certainly very sorry for the loss of this baby. People need to be able to trust the advice given by experts and professionals. It might be helpful for mothers to know that a mother undergoing a cesarean is at risk of not having enough oxytocin and prolactin to establish sufficient milk flow. It also seems rather inflammatory to blame “lactivists” for the neglectful care this mother and babe received. “Rare” is a rather subjective word- at which percentage point is something “rare”?

    • LaMont
      February 25, 2017 at 11:24 pm #

      If a medical professional tells you “this is very rare” in the sense of “now you no longer need to worry about it,” that is the takeaway. Not a precise statistical threshold, but a holistic “I probably shouldn’t think that this is the problem right now and should look for more reasonable causes.” When in fact, insufficient supply is not an unreasonable cause for infant behavior of the sort seen. And blaming c-sections, when there is no established link between c-sections and breastfeeding/bonding/etc/what-have-you is… not great?

    • Lilly de Lure
      February 26, 2017 at 11:54 am #

      If this is true then why on earth do midwives, lactation consultants and others not counsel C-section mothers to expect low/delayed supply issues, let them know what symptoms to watch out for in their babies and to let these mother’s know that supplementation is a valid and frequently necessary option under those circumstances (you know, give them accurate information from which they can then make their own decisions the same way that every other class of patient is given) rather than fannying about waiting for milk that may or may not come in before the baby suffers harm?

      • Amazed
        February 26, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

        Because this narrative absolves the lactivist medical professionals from their duty to provide adequate care, instead putting the onus on the mother. Victim blaming at its finest. Oh, she’s careful not to blame THIS particular mother but the next one should have been prepared!

        Mind you, I am all for being prepared. But a lay person’s preparation should never be better than the education of those who work in medical care. Helpful tips to mothers followed by absolving the lactivists whose blind negligence killed this baby make me see red.

        It’s all for absolving the lactivists. In this case – the medical lactivists.

        *I* might know that something is rare but when I’m paid to know in which case the rare thing is unfolding right now, the onus is on me, not on the client (in this case, patient). Why didn’t these medical professionals know? Because they’re lactivists!

        • Lilly de Lure
          February 26, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

          Yeah, that’s the way I read it too – it’s not the fault of the medical lactivists for blinding themselves to the preventable disaster unfolding in front of their eyes but of the ignorant mothers for having c-sections that mess up their precious supplies.

          • Amazed
            February 26, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

            Actually, I got the impression that she blames the medical professionals (justly) for providing appalling care but separates them from “lactivists”. IOW, they failed as medical professionals but not because they were lactivists/they might have been lactivists but the lactivists spreading the “rare” spiel aren’t to blame. In either case, lactivism is innocent but evil c-sections are terrible for supply.

          • Lilly de Lure
            February 27, 2017 at 4:17 am #

            Re-reading I concur – mea culpa!

          • D/
            February 27, 2017 at 8:35 am #

            See, in my experience, that’s the thing. (Real) lactation consultants always abide by the first rule of “Feed the baby.” We all know that incessant crying after feeding is not normal. We all know there are some babies who will be content to starve. We all know that low/ no milk production is real. We all know that babies with inadequate intake should be fed more– either more or better feedings at breast if possible, or more breastmilk by other means if available, or formula if necessary. BFHI guidelines clearly state that the focus must not be on withholding formula as the first and only step to influence exclusive breastmilk feeding rates. No one would lead parents to believe that formula is a bad thing.

            Source: Almost every behind the scene LC forum conversation about each most recent Fed is Best or other “fear-mongering” story

            Except, here’s the other thing. Some parents do believe that feeding their baby formula, even when it is beyond obviously necessary, is a terrible thing. US hospitals are expected to increase their exclusive breastmilk feeding rates as a quality metric for continued JCAHO certification regardless of BFHI designation. The “easiest” way to influence exclusive breastmilk feeding rates is to withhold formula, and most babies can manage being underfed for those early days without something disastrous happening. Our ability to reassure parents’ concerns with tiny belly-tiny feedings talk and prescribing the normalcy of almost all mothers making enough milk as a go-to feeding plan works enough of the time that it is tempting to fall back on, again and again. After all, exclusivity is important– whatever the reasons– sometimes for everyone.

            Source: Encounters in my personal work practice, if not daily, then certainly every week

            I don’t believe for one minute that mothers (and medical professionals) are spontaneously developing some new innate unwillingness to feed babies. Breastfeeding advocates have just done their job well, too well. The virgin gut is common knowledge or a simple google search away. Now we’re not saying that formula is bad or that *your* baby doesn’t need formula. We’re just saying that anything else but breastmilk in a baby’s gut, and well there goes his virginity for chrissakes! … And we’re not saying *your* baby doesn’t need formula or that *you* using formula would be a bad thing. We’re just saying that breasts won’t make more milk unless more milk is moved out of them, and feeding formula moves less out, not more … And we’re not saying *you* will definitely make enough milk for *your* baby to grow and thrive or that *you* will not need to use formula. We’re just saying mothers who feel they aren’t making enough milk are wrong often enough that they should always question themselves …

            Unfortunately as long as our introspections into how our breastfeeding advocacy contributes to tragic stories like Landon’s ends with claiming “we all know this” and “none of us would do that” and as long as we are focusing on breastmilk exclusivity as the measurable quality metric of breastfeeding support, I’m afraid there is every reason to expect such tragedies to be repeated. As much as I hate to say it, I am not very optimistic about change coming soon or easily in either respect.

      • Cody
        February 26, 2017 at 8:44 pm #

        Many of them do counsel women to expect delays with milk coming in when they’ve had a c-section. At least where I am, they do.

        • Lilly de Lure
          February 27, 2017 at 4:15 am #

          Good to know – I just wish this was universal (together with practical support, including information on supplementation and bottle feeding generally). Certainly I was told nothing about it (although to be fair I was provided with ready made milk – but no information about how to actually prepare a feed from a formula tube at home) in the UK, although it could be that my baby was so small and the maternity team had already messed my case up so badly by that point that they were just going with what seemed most likely to get me and baby out of their hair as quickly as possible and with the minimum of formal complaints.

          • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya
            February 27, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

            I had a planned c section in Canada and nobody said boo about it. I only knew to supplement from reading here – it was 5 days before my milk came in, it hadn’t come in by the time I left the hospital and not one professional expressed an iota of concern about it.

        • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya
          February 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

          Mine didn’t say a word.

          • Cody
            February 28, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

            And that’s a huge problem. As a doula, the biggest complaint that I get from women after the baby is born is that everyone says something different. In other words, every expert or so called expert, has a different opinion on what will fix a problem. It’s a frustrating time and doctors, nurses, LCs etc. all have different opinions. There doesn’t seem to be any consensus.

          • Charybdis
            March 1, 2017 at 11:31 am #

            Okay, here’s a question for you. Why, why, why do lactivists and others in the lactation industry repeatedly tell women to IGNORE the recommendations of actual pediatricians/OBs/GPs/medical doctors? I mean, if you are going in to have your baby weighed on a daily/every other day/weekly basis because they are either losing weight and falling right off the growth curve, a problem is already occurring. The doc says “you need to start supplementing with some formula after every breastfeeding session to ensure that the baby is getting the necessary nutrition/calories to thrive”, you are already having concerns (hence the frequent weigh-ins), then why, for the love of Pete, do the lactivists tell women to ignore the medical advice? Seriously. I’m not being facetious.
            All the lactivist parachuters claim that a baby who is not thriving needs to be fed so they can thrive. So why do things like death, brain damage, etc occur? The mothers go see the doctors because they are worried about their baby. The doctors say that they need to supplement with formula after nursing to ensure the baby gets proper nutrition. Note that they didn’t say to stop breastfeeding, just to supplement to assure adequate caloric intake. Why ignore the medical recommendations?

          • Poogles
            March 1, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

            “Why, why, why do lactivists and others in the lactation industry repeatedly tell women to IGNORE the recommendations of actual pediatricians/OBs/GPs/medical doctors?”

            AFAIK, it *started* because many doctors did not know a whole lot about breastfeeding and/or supplementing during breastfeeding and would frequently give erroneous information (e.g. rigid feeding schedules that had feedings too far apart) – at that point it wasn’t necessarily bad advice to point out that doctors may not give you correct information. However, that was during a time when formula was the norm (which was, presumably, why the docs didn’t have much experience dealing with lactating mothers), which is no longer the case. These days, it is inexcusable to counsel a mother to ignore her or her baby’s doctors advice. Especially since those in the lactation industry are now the ones who are usually spouting potentially harmful misinformation (e.g. it’s totally normal for a newborn to constantly suckle at the breast and to scream and cry whenever not on the breast, even if they just finished a “feed”).

          • kilda
            March 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

            death is just a variation of thriving.

          • Cody
            March 1, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

            Define lactavist? Who are you specifically referring to? The doctors in my area all give different advice and so do the lactation consultants, and nurses (also some nurses are IBCLCs) Many of the lactation consultants are staffed by the hospitals. Most hospitals in the region are baby friendly. every professional contradicts the next so nobody is ever clear on what’s happening. Who’s a “lactavist” and who is a trust worthy professional? One of my clients received the following advice from three different DOCTORS in regards to infant feeding. This woman was supplementing with formula and was tube feeding.

            Doc #1: “continue tube feeding and pumping every three hours (baby was three months old) while you slowly decrease the amount of formula.” – Doctor at regional clinic paid for by provincial insurance.

            Doc #2: “I don’t get it. It sounds like you’re making this way more complicated than it needs to be. Just breastfeed the baby and stop giving formula. My wife had no problem with this, she just fed the baby.
            – PAEDIATRICIAN

            Doc #3: “If you want to exclusively breastfeed you’ll need a prescription to increase milk supply and then you need to decrease formula after your supply has caught up with demand, if it ever does at all”
            -Prominent breastfeeding doctor that Dr. Amy has written about

            I can’t really answer you because all of my experience comes from interactions with clients who are going through official medical channels for advice. They aren’t taking advice from Mommy Bloggers who are contradicting medical advice.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
        February 27, 2017 at 2:40 pm #

        Supplementation OR just switching to formula.It’s a valid choice and I sometimes resent that currently it’s always ” if you’ve tried EVEERYTHING ELSE then maybe supplement just a BIT and pump until your milk comes in.” With formula mom doesn’t have to pump and someone else (the other parent, who is not necessarily Dad, friend, Grandparents, aunts and uncles) can take some of the feeding while the mom gets some sleep. Sure try combo feeding or supplementing if you ACTUALLY want to but sometimes it seems too many people tell health care providers they are going to try breastfeeding because they feel obligated. “If you are a REAL, GOOD mother you would AT LEAST TRY TO !!!!”

        Meanwhile I guess adoptive and foster parents, the non-birth giving parent or partner, etc will never be quite good enough,or their kids won’t, because they did not get the MAGIC, PERFECT breast milk. They will be fatter, sicker and dumber. THAT is what the unstated message of BREAST IS BEST!!! eleventy!! sends

        • Lilly de Lure
          February 27, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

          Sure – I get that and should have phrased it better, particularly being an FF mum myself!

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
            February 27, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

            I didn’t mean to jump on you. It’s just that everyone sees to always have to qualify when they mention formula feeding. I actually fibbed about it for years because just saying ” I didn’t want to breast feed, I formula fed and was very happy with my choice, and my daughter is healthy and happy and well adjusted(Ok as well adjusted as a freaking out college senior on the verge of having to get good final grades and find a job can be!) But even having had her in 1994 I still felt guilty. Possibly the Lamaze instructor at the hospital making us all raise our hands to indicate which we intended to do and NEVER mentioning anything about how to prepare or keep bottles or how long your need to sterilize everything had something to do with that? How about just talking about the mechanics of both and what to watch out for?

          • Empress of the Iguana People
            February 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm #

            Although it is sort of fun see the looks on peoples faces when you say “My ob and my shrink recommended sanity and formula over breastmilk and suicide ideation”

    • Dr Kitty
      February 26, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

      “Rare” is not subjective term.
      It has a medical definition, usually meaning an incidence of 0.01% to 0.1%.

      Insufficent supply is actually somewhere between “very common” (>10%) and “common” (1%-10%),depending whether or not you include delayed lactogenesis.

      • BeatriceC
        February 26, 2017 at 1:58 pm #

        And in practice, even “rare” isn’t necessarily rare. My sons’ bone disease is classified as rare, by the medical definition, but at a rate of 1 in 50,000 it’s really not all that rare. I’d call it more “uncommon”. Lactation problems don’t come anywhere close to rare, either by definition or by practice.

        • Dr Kitty
          February 26, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

          “Rare” means nothing.
          I have personally, and by complete chance, treated two *unrelated* patients who happen to be amongst only 600 or so people in the entire world diagnosed with a rare genetic condition.

          Statistically incredibly unlikely, and yet, it happened.

          • fiftyfifty1
            February 26, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

            Exactly. Rare has a medically defined meaning, but that matters not at all to the person who has it. Is it any consolation that the rate is 0.1% in the population when you yourself have the condition 100%?

          • Emilie Bishop
            February 26, 2017 at 9:39 pm #

            Also, when it’s you or your child, “rare” doesn’t matter. “Is happening to us” is all you need.

          • Merrie
            February 27, 2017 at 8:23 pm #

            I think the “it’s rare” is synonymous with “practically nobody ever gets this, so you probably don’t have it even though you think you do”. Which may be helpful sometimes, like when you are dealing with someone who is freaking out over something comparatively minor that will probably resolve itself and is paranoid that it’s some ridiculously rare fatal condition (i.e. my eyes itch, it must be cancer! no, really, it’s probably not), but is really not helpful other times, like when dealing with an ongoing problem like a lactation issue.

          • Azuran
            February 27, 2017 at 10:13 pm #

            The thing is, they have to look at the whole clinical picture.
            Something might be rare, but if your physical examination and history shows clinical signs compatible with the problem/disease, then it should be looked into. Not outright dismissed as ‘it’s rare’ so you don’t have it.
            If you go to the doctor for eye pain, then he should make a full examination of your eye, not just hand you eye drop and say ‘it’s probably not cancer, don’t worry about it’
            It shouldn’t matter how rare milk delay or insufficient milk is (and really, it is actually pretty common) If the baby is loosing weight, looks hungry or if the mom is worried about her supply than they should look into it and rule it out.

    • Empress of the Iguana People
      February 26, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

      Lactivists are the extreme end of advocacy. They’re the ones who’ve been ruling the roost lately, unfortunately. There is *no* reason why so many of our babies have gone hungry in their first days when we have access to formula and clean water. I’m a damned milchcow but it takes nearly a week for my milk to come in. Maybe their kids didn’t need more than a teaspoonful at a time for several days but mine were large and hungry!

  16. Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
    February 25, 2017 at 7:55 pm #

    As the mother of Landon, let anyone dare tell me this is fake. I will provide any medical records showing how clearly it was documented his weight loss. You want to see the autopsy? Reach out to me. There are no lies or holes in my “story” because it’s just what happened. Our world has been turned upside down, and how dare any person make such an accusation against quite possibly one of the worst things a parent could experience. As if it’s not enough living with myself day in and day out knowing it was 100% PREVENTABLE! But these people want to say a baby starving to death is impossible? I don’t ever wish what we have and continue to go through on anyone – because it’s a nightmare you never wake up from. All we can do is hope that other new parents will learn from our experience, and be their child’s biggest advocates. Im very probreastfeeding, too. But even with my two daughters after him, I didn’t get much. With my now 18 month old, I got a total of 5ml over 2 weeks. I kept trying because I wanted to give her as much as I could. But when I finally had that little bit to give her, she spit it up. At that point I was done. She’d been on formula and was doing just fine. All that mattered to me was my babies ate. To each his own, I don’t judge your choices – just remember that a newborn can’t fend for itself. That’s your job as a parent. I’m so proud that on his fifth birthday, Landons story is making more people aware. Happy birthday my sweet angel.

    • J.B.
      February 25, 2017 at 8:03 pm #

      I am so sorry. I hope that his story helps other families.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 25, 2017 at 8:29 pm #

        Thank you!!

    • Christina Maxwell
      February 25, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

      Jillian, please believe that the vast majority of us absolutely believe you and require no proof whatsoever. Your heartbreaking and powerful story needed to be told and I am in awe of your bravery in doing so. My deepest condolences on the tragic loss of Landon. I think that the story of his death and your courage in telling it will save lives.

    • Krista
      February 25, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

      I shared your story with my mom group. So many other women came forward with stories about low supply or other reasons they couldn’t or didn’t want to bf, LCs that just made them feel worse about low supply, or family members that worship at the altar of natural parenting. Several others thanked me for sharing it, as they were struggling with fears about feeding their soon-to-be-born babies.

      I can’t believe the gall of some people to accuse you of fabricating this story. Thank you for being brave enough to share.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

        Thank you so much! We appreciate the support.

    • kilda
      February 25, 2017 at 9:41 pm #

      I’m so sorry for your loss, and so angry at the professionals who let this happen to you and your son.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

        Thank you so much!

    • Gæst
      February 25, 2017 at 11:27 pm #

      I believe you, no evidence necessary. I’m so sorry.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

        Thank you so much.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      February 26, 2017 at 12:06 am #

      Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing Landon’s story! I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby boy.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:34 pm #

        Thank you, Dr. for sharing his story. We appreciate the support and just want other families to be aware! Thank you again for helping us get the information out there!

    • myrewyn
      February 26, 2017 at 1:57 am #

      I believe you and I’m so, so sorry.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

        Thank you!

    • Sarah
      February 26, 2017 at 3:58 am #

      Thank you for sharing your story. His death won’t be in vain. Happy birthday Landon and RIP.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

        Thank you! <3

    • Amanda Litjens
      February 26, 2017 at 4:15 am #

      Thank you for sharing. I am truly sorry for your loss.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

        Thank you <3

    • Amazed
      February 26, 2017 at 8:21 am #

      Here, you’ll hardly find someone to tell you your tragedy is fake, Jillian. We know the dangerous heights that the push for natural can reach. Somehow, I couldn’t believe that in 21 century, in a first world country, in a hospital a newborn could starve to death – but it isn’t true disbelief, you know. More like rage. It’s unacceptable. It never should have happened. Medical care providers should care for their patients and not their – the medical care providers’ breastfeeding goals.

      I am so sorry for yor loss. Happy birthday and RIP, Landon.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

        Thank you so very much!

    • SporkParade
      February 26, 2017 at 8:46 am #

      I have no problem believing you. Every time I hear a breastfeeding tragedy, I think about how easily that could have been my baby. I was actually insulted by the hospital staff when I mentioned supplementing and told that the clear signs of my baby’s dehydration were totally normal.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

        I was just putting it out there for anyone. 🙂 It’s nice to have such a large support group, and to know that other parents have needed to tell their stories as well. I truly hope this opens bigger discussions about all of it. I am so probreastfeeding – I mean, come on – who doesn’t want to give their own milk to their child?? But it doesn’t work for all of us, and that baby eating is more important than any of the rest of it!

    • Empress of the Iguana People
      February 26, 2017 at 9:07 am #

      Thank you for sharing Landon’s story. We’ll remember him with you. and we’re glad his sisters are doing well.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

        Thank you so much!

    • Jules B
      February 26, 2017 at 9:35 am #

      My heartfelt condolences. The people who question you are in the grip of some kind of crazy conspiracy/cult mindset, like those who harass the parents who lost their children in the Sandy Hook massacre. Not saying that to excuse their behaviour, they have truly lost touch with their own humanity. You are very brave for speaking out – Landon would be very proud, because you are making a huge difference by telling your story.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

        Thank you 🙂 I’m so honored I was chosen to be his mom and help other families out sharing about his short but beautiful life.

    • Daleth
      February 26, 2017 at 10:03 am #

      I’m so so so so sorry. Thank you for sharing this. You are saving other babies’ lives.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

        Thank you! <3 That is our goal!

    • Michelle Webb Reckner
      February 26, 2017 at 10:15 am #

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I also have PCOS. I didn’t produce enough milk. My story could have ended the same way yours did. This could have happened to anyone, especially when you are told that what is going on, is normal.

      I knew something was wrong, in the hospital, with my son. No colostrum, no milk, no nothing. I was told it was normal. When I look at pictures of the first month of my son’s life, I can tell he was hungry. He looks thin. Again, told by the online breastfeeding “support” community, and LCs at the hospital, that this was “normal.” Looking back, it was not normal.

      If it hadn’t been for my son’s pediatrician talking some sense into me, I honestly think he might have starved. I thought only bad moms gave their babies formula. I thought only lazy moms gave their babies formula. I thought only parents who didn’t care about their babies’ immune systems, and IQs, and blah blah blah, gave them formula, formula is poison, etc. Oddly enough, once I started giving him that “awful” formula, he turned into a different baby. He gained weight, he slept for more than an hour at a time, he wasn’t screaming for food 24/7, etc.

      I can tell you with complete sincerity that Landon’s death was not your fault. Even though you will probably blame yourself for the rest of your life, it was not your fault. Anyone who tells you any differently is sub-human, and heartless.

      Thank you for telling Landon’s story. I can’t tell you how incredibly strong and brave I think you are. Big hugs from one mom to another.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

        Thank you so much, Michelle. I am so glad there are some amazing pediatricians out there. Our current one has been so wonderful with our girls and the paranoia I still carry because of our loss. <3

    • StephanieJR
      February 26, 2017 at 10:27 am #

      I’m so very sorry for your loss.

    • Lilly de Lure
      February 26, 2017 at 11:59 am #

      I am so sorry for your tragic loss – and for the disrespect with which it is being treated by those for whom the facts surrounding it are inconvenient.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

        It’s ok. I have learned that some people just can’t handle the truth and I do not wish what I have gone through on them. I pray they find peace with whatever has driven them to feel the need to question the situation. It’s my life, my truth and they aren’t part of it. I just want other parents to be informed on the possibilities.

    • Chant de la Mer
      February 26, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

      I’m so sorry for your loss, and for how your providers utterly failed your son.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

        Thank you so much!

    • N
      February 26, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

      I like to see myself as some kind of lactivist. I can only say this to you: I am deeply sorry for your loss. For what happened to you and your little baby son. It should never have happened. I can not even imagine – and I don’t even want to try to imagine – living with that burden. May little Landon teach us to open our eyes and prevent other babies and families the same fate and burden.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

        Thank you so much. <3

    • Dr Kitty
      February 26, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

      I’m so deeply sorry for your loss.
      Thank you for sharing your story.
      Landon was important and his short life has important lesson for those willing to hear it.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

        Thank you! I appreciate it so much.

    • Spamamander, pro fun ruiner
      February 26, 2017 at 5:51 pm #

      You are such an amazingly brave woman for sharing when this kind of backlash could happen on top of your pain. Thank you for standing up for other infants and parents that this need not happen to anyone else.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

        Thank you so very much!

    • Box of Salt
      February 26, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

      I am sorry for you loss.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

        Thank you!

    • AnnaPDE
      February 26, 2017 at 7:54 pm #

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for speaking out, this is very brave and will help mums and babies! My son wasn’t getting enough breast milk either and I heard the same “explanations” – that crying and wanting to eat 24/7 are normal, that not being able to wake up until evening once baby falls asleep at noon is normal, and that warm blankets are the solution, not formula. We were lucky that he pulled through until we started feeding him formula, but this gaslighting must stop!

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

        Agreed and thank you!

    • RMY
      February 26, 2017 at 8:50 pm #

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

        Thank you

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      February 26, 2017 at 11:28 pm #

      I am so very, very sorry for your loss.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

        Thank you!

    • Mishimoo
      February 27, 2017 at 3:16 am #

      I am also so very sorry for your loss.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

        Thank you so much!

    • evidencebasedbreastfeeding
      February 27, 2017 at 6:19 am #

      I’m very sorry for your loss Jillian and hope that breastfeeding support communities are able to learn from your story in a constructive way so as to provide improved and safer care for mothers and babies in the future.

      • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
        February 27, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

        Yes! Thank you! 🙂

    • MaineJen
      February 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

      I’m so, so sorry you were failed so badly by people who were supposed to know better. You are incredibly brave to share Landon’s story, and we will remember him always.

  17. Jules B
    February 25, 2017 at 6:05 pm #

    I have no words. I think back to my own daughter’s incessant, near 24/7 crying that everyone blamed on everything except possible low supply. People were telling me to stop eating X or Y because it might be bothering the baby, that I wasn’t burping her correctly, that the reflux was to blame – and finally I was just told, condescendingly, “babies cry.”

    Even when I expressed concerns to an LC about how little I was able pump, she told me that how much a woman pumps is not a reliable indicator of supply?? (Note: Dr. Amy should write about that particular lactivist lie too!) So I doubted even the evidence of my eyes.

    I remember it was a hot summer’s day when my girl was around 8-9 weeks old, and she had been at my breast nearly continually the whole day, screaming bloody murder if I dared try to take her off the breast for even a moment. We were both exhausted and sweaty and at one point I looked at her, scream-crying with rage and desperation, and I was like “She is HUNGRY. I don’t care what any of them say – this is hunger. I am not making enough. This has to stop.”

    Fortunately I had some formula on-hand that a friend had given me while I pregnant – that I had shoved into the back of the pantry because I was sure I would not need it because I was Committed to Breastfeeding – otherwise I might have started doubting myself again in the time it took to go to the store. I made up a bottle (which I also had, because I had already been topping her up with breast milk after she had lost 11 percent of her weight in the first 48 hours), crying the whole time because part of my brain truly bought the lie that formula was poison.

    My daughter drank 4 ounces in a blink of an eye and looked for more. Finally, she stopped crying. And she lived, too. Not all babies are so lucky, clearly. These lies must stop!

    • Young CC Prof
      February 25, 2017 at 6:33 pm #

      Babies cry, 8-week-olds sometimes cry a LOT, but regularly crying during or immediately after feeding is not normal. It’s likely to be a sign that either baby is still hungry, or eating is causing pain, and either way it deserves prompt attention.

    • Empress of the Iguana People
      February 25, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

      Yeah, I’ve heard that some people don’t respond well to the pump, but that was not my experience. I once pumped 10 ounces off one side and routinely did 5-6 while nursing the munchkin on the other side. And I pretty much never bothered emptying the pool.
      (Why yes, I did have oversupply. Often brushed off as a “good problem,” like that matters when you’re in pain and your kid has trouble getting more than colostrum)

      • Merrie
        February 25, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

        I had oversupply too. With my first, after being discharged from the hospital after 48 hours, my milk came in the next day and I was getting progressively fuller and fuller despite her nursing. I had no clue what to do and kind of hit crisis point that night… but thankfully, as it turned out, that night we went to the pediatric ER for the baby’s hip issue, and our nurse was a mom who had nursed 6 kids and figured out right away what I needed to do–pump out the excess and then feed! If not for her I really don’t know what we would have ended up doing. I had the same issue with my second baby, but at least I knew what to do about it.

        I never had an issue responding to the pump, but I have talked to moms who breastfed successfully but couldn’t pump much. I think it does happen, but in the presence of other signs of low supply it shouldn’t be brushed off.

      • Gæst
        February 25, 2017 at 11:34 pm #

        The hospital LC I had insisted I had to pump until I got “nothing more out.” She didn’t listen to me when I said that point never arrived with me. There was a point at which things slowed down, but it never stopped. And yes, it’s the problem you would definitely rather have (although I was terrified of mastitis), but you’d think a breastfeeding “expert” would have experience with all different kinds of breastfeeding experiences.

        • Empress of the Iguana People
          February 26, 2017 at 8:35 am #

          if you have to have a problem. but hey, at least my prenatal suicidal depression didn’t include anxiety!

      • Heidi_storage
        February 26, 2017 at 8:32 am #

        Yeah; I pumped 100 oz per day when exclusively pumping, and got mastitis roughly every month. (Or WAS it mastitis? I ran 103-degree fevers and felt achy and sick, but I never got antibiotics and the fever/pain stopped as soon as the block cleared. Should I have gone to the doctor?) Anyway–women lactate differently, and professionals should know that!

    • Fullmoonfolly
      February 25, 2017 at 11:27 pm #

      I am sorry for your experiences, but they are not a reliable reflection of other peoples’ or statistical “facts”. Labeling opinions that don’t reflect your observations as “lies” is polarizing and disrespectful to other peoples’ observations. I can believe the information that how much a woman is able to pump is not a reliable indicator of how much she is producing. I had 2 babies, and nursed both exclusively for 6 months. I had more than enough milk but never was able to pump very much.

      • Gæst
        February 25, 2017 at 11:30 pm #

        The lie is assuring women that anytime someone isn’t able to pump much, it must be because they don’t respond well to the pump. Yes, some women can breastfeed just fine, but not get much from a pump. But women who aren’t producing enough (or any) milk will also not get much from a pump. Getting little or no breastmilk from a pumping session is a red flag and should never be dismissed just because *sometimes* everything is fine.

      • Amazed
        February 26, 2017 at 8:30 am #

        Great. Did you read what Jules wrote? She starved her baby! She starved her baby because in her case, pump was very reliable and showed her that her child was suffering – and you’re choosing to focus on the fact that in other cases, the indicator is reliable? It’s clear what she meant. Did you really need to adopt a mentor’s tone, instead of simply saying, yes, pumping was reliable for you but not me and things should be looked separately for every individual mother and baby? A little compassion might have taken you far down the road.

        You didn’t even acknowledge her child’s suffering – your tiny disclaimer aimed to show that you did doesn’t count.

        Do you even realize how you sound? You sound like you consider starving babies kind of scientific experiment. Other people’s starving babies, I mean.

      • Jules B
        February 26, 2017 at 9:13 am #

        Yes, I am totally the disrespectful one here. Mea culpa!

        • Amazed
          February 26, 2017 at 9:18 am #

          But she’s so respectful believing that the pumped amount of breastmilk is not a reliable indicator! I mean, it isn’t as if babies, your daughter included, suffered from it and you TOLD us you starved the baby precisely because in your case, the indicator was spot on.

          • Jules B
            February 26, 2017 at 9:44 am #

            Yes, I must have imagined my daughter’s incessant crying (and initial weight loss) because what REALLY matters here is that for other people, pumping output is meaningless. Next time I will be sure to focus on the real issue, which is…that some babies are fine….?

          • Amazed
            February 26, 2017 at 9:47 am #

            It must be so hard to feel disrespected! I mean, it’s much worse than being a disrespected mother with a starving baby. And because you disrespected her so monstrously by not adding that SOMETIMES pumping is a reliable indicator, she lectured you on respect by not adding that SOMETIMES it isn’t.

        • Empress of the Iguana People
          February 26, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

          I suspect your sarcasm will go right over her head

          • Jules B
            February 26, 2017 at 11:44 pm #

            Sigh, likely true.

      • Lilly de Lure
        February 26, 2017 at 11:40 am #

        Thank you Fullmoonfolly for showcasing a classic example of lactivist confirmation bias bingo. You read a post detailing multiple red flags for low supply and you, instead of acknowledging that yes this does sound like a case where the evil formula may be helpful, instead immediately harp on about how one of the indicators may not be reliable (thus implying that ignoring it would be the right course of action for other mothers in a similar situation). Yes, inability to pump may well not indicate low supply, when accompanied by a reasonably contented baby who is putting on weight well, but when accompanied by a fractious one who never seems satisfied by feeds? Are you seriously suggesting that advising a woman in the latter situation to at least try a formula feed to see if it helps would not be in the best interests of the mother and child?

      • Box of Salt
        February 26, 2017 at 7:38 pm #

        Obviously, Fullmoonfolly’s anecdote is better than Jules B’s anecdote because . . . sorry, I’ve got nothing there.

      • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild
        February 28, 2017 at 12:55 am #

        So your opinions are better than hers or other people’s? Hmm. Bye felicia.

    • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
      February 27, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

      I am so glad that you listened to those mama instincts. <3

  18. myrewyn
    February 25, 2017 at 5:28 pm #

    I can’t fathom how people feel justified in questioning the story as a fake. I sincerely hope the mother isn’t reading those. And did the nurse who commented really just refer to Landon as “it”??

    • Young CC Prof
      February 25, 2017 at 6:39 pm #

      If it really happened (it did, it’s documented) then their entire worldview shatters. I’m not surprised that they react with violent rage. Disappointed and disgusted, but not surprised.

  19. Empress of the Iguana People
    February 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

    That poor, poor baby and his poor family.
    I had to skip large sections and I won’t read the article. Just so damned heartbreaking to know even the bare bones

    • Empress of the Iguana People
      February 25, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

      the depression is already difficult today, and I overheard downstairs having a bit of an argument where she was telling him about needing to be understanding about people with mental health problems and social anxiety. I don’t know who she was referring to but that irrational part of my brain is gibbering pretty badly right now.

      • FormerPhysicist
        February 26, 2017 at 8:47 am #

        Nothing to say, except {{hugs}}. And even knowing only this online part of you in this forum, I find you incredibly valuable.

        • Empress of the Iguana People
          February 26, 2017 at 12:56 pm #

          thank you

      • KeeperOfTheBooks
        February 26, 2017 at 11:33 pm #

        I’m sorry. Depression really, really, REALLY sucks.

      • Mishimoo
        February 27, 2017 at 3:24 am #

        I always appreciate your comments; you matter to me (and to many others). I hope your depression quiets down a bit soon. *hugs*

    • Stunned
      February 25, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

      I just want to say on reading


      What other group in society would it be permissible to not clearly feed for days? For medical professionals to ignore all the signs?

      I cannot believe that this is in anyway ethical by any ones reckoning.

      It is beyond words

      After many years of lurking and baffling at how we control women in so many ways in abstract I had to de-lurk to post to just say…
      I don’t know. Is it group think? What changes in the discourse.. even at an official level… get us all to this tragedy?

      I shudder to think too many of my peers have recently come close to this with their babies.

      Good, well trained scientists and medical professionals most of them but they got sucked in which is really worrying.

      But I am a social scientist and… oh I don’t know have a wider sense of the historical misuse of data to justify ends and more sense of disbelief?

      Something has to change because watching my peer group.. even those who should know better… it is becoming more fixed in mindset. Breast is best against so many other signs.

      This story makes me sick and I just have to say, I am oh so sorry. Sometimes I just want to snatch back time for someone. To give a second chance for the family.

      But no one can.

      I am so sorry because I really wish there was anything we could do to let this little boy and his family have another chance.

      You didn’t do anything wrong and I could shake those who hurt you

  20. MichelleJo
    February 25, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

    This impossible to digest tragedy triggers a “if not for the grace of G-d” reaction in me. My firstborn cried and fed relentlessly for the first three and a half weeks of life. And I was urged to continue, and reassured that the baby was fine. Perhaps he survived because I had marginally more milk than this mother. Or because the government were urging people to drink due to a month long searing heatwave, so I gave him water ‘in between ‘ feeds which he drank with such desperate sucking and force that he looked ready to drink the nipple too. Whatever the case, the night before his circumcision, I decided that my tortured son was not being put through any more. Instinctively, I reached for the formula. He gulped down 8 oz and then slept for 10 hours. The rest is history. He is now an 18 year old student who tops six foot and 100 kg. He remembers nothing of it, and suffered no long term effects. I know I’ve retold this on this board before, but Jill, if you’re reading this, I want you to know that I still cannot recount this story without tears streaming from my eyes. His piteous cries still resound in my ears. He’s my son and at the time he was starving and suffering terribly. The guilt is still with me, however illogical that may be. I didn’t have to cope with the devastating loss of my son as a result, but I know could well have. As mothers, we will always feel guilty if our children suffer, however illogical. The outcome for your son was so devastating,and in the not so distant past. Just don’t feel guilty about your guilt! And don’t interpret guilt to mean you were guilty! And know that it does lessen with time but as yet I don’t know if it ever goes away. As for your aching loss and bereavement, I am unqualified to comment, but can only imagine what it must be like. The fact that you are using it as a spring board to prevent this happening to other mothers and babies is proof of your selflessness. You say that you were reluctant to tell your story earlier for fear of people judging you. Screw them. There are far, far more people who are in awe of you. Treasure your memories of your son, and enjoy your life with your precious daughter. Hugs.

    • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
      February 27, 2017 at 12:46 pm #

      Wow – this hurts my heart. I know it’s so much more common than people acknowledge, but knowing that even today when I hear a newborn cry, even when my own girls cried, it just hurts…..I am so glad he is fine, cause there is NOTHING wrong with formula. Both of my girls are so stinking smart beyond their age, it scares me LOL So I don’t care how much people say breastfed babies are smarter – I disagree! A FED BABY is what matters! <3 Thank you for your kind words.

  21. Tigger_the_Wing
    February 25, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

    This is the tragic outcome of ‘Breast is Best’ being taken as an absolute instead of a guideline. How on Earth so many professionals could miss that a baby is starving and still send them home is a mystery on a par with my own experience with being sent home with pph.

    Both cases probably depend on far too many people believing in the ‘guidelines’ over and above the evidence before them.

    I survived, against the odds, but poor Landon didn’t. This is heartbreaking.

    • Lilly de Lure
      February 25, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

      That and confirmation bias I suspect. One of the problems with the
      ideology-driven way that Maternity Services are run is that
      providers will convince themselves that the evidence staring them in the
      face does not indicate what it appears to if that evidence suggests that a procedure they do not care for may be warranted. I remember the most terrifying moment of
      my entire pregnancy was watching the junior OB who’d been asked to check
      my foetal monitor trace slowly talk herself round to believing that the
      dips into distress it clearly showed weren’t “really real” distress and
      that the fact that they were coinciding with my contractions and
      getting more pronounced as the latter got stronger was probably just a
      coincidence. I was
      later told by the surgeon who did my caesarean that if I had not ignored her and insisted on the operation
      my baby would probably have died or been brain injured at the very
      least so I also read this horrible story with a “there but for the grace
      of God” shudder.

      Poor Landon – dead because the medical professionals
      who should have had his best interests as their first priority,
      ultimately had him coming a poor second to the cult of the sacred

      • Cody
        February 26, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

        0_o that’s pretty basic stuff. Was no one monitoring the junior OB?

        • Lilly de Lure
          February 27, 2017 at 3:29 am #

          At 3:30am in a busy labour ward in an NHS hospital – in practice no (in theory yes, but if you wanted to see the senior OB you’re looking at several hours wait simply because they have so many patients to see and the junior OB isn’t classing you as an emergency so you’re at the bottom of the waiting list – and the whole issue was that it turned out we didn’t have several hours).

  22. Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild
    February 25, 2017 at 11:23 am #

    Jesus christ. That’s all I’ve got. I hope that mother sues the pants off that effing “baby friendly” hospital for killing her kid.

    • Jarrod N Jillian Johnson
      February 25, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

      We tried – we lost. We barely found an attorney to take the case because they don’t want to go up against the insurance companies…but we sure tried.

      • Sarah
        February 26, 2017 at 4:03 am #

        I’m in the UK and don’t know how it works in the US, but could you make complaints to the regulatory bodies of the clinical staff concerned? Apologies if this isn’t relevant or it is and you’ve already tried.

      • Heidi_storage
        February 26, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

        Really? Disgusting. So it’s apparently not negligence to send home a severely dehydrated baby? With all of the frivolous lawsuits won, it’s ridiculous that yours failed.

      • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild
        February 26, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

        I’m so sorry this happened to your child & your family. I’m sorry the law protects corporations & insurance companies and not people.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks
        February 26, 2017 at 11:34 pm #

        That is utterly indefensible.
        I am so sorry. This was gross and grotesque negligence.

      • Sean Jungian
        February 27, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

        I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. This is inexcusable.

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