Breastfeeding bombshell: Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative declared unsafe!


Four years ago this week I first wrote that the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative posed a deadly risk to babies.

I referred to a recently published paper about deaths and near deaths of babies who were smothered in their mothers’ hospital beds. Since that time, evidence of the dangers of breastfeeding have expanded to include tens of thousands of neonatal hospital readmissions per year at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, a mini-epidemic of severe neonatal dehydration and severe jaundice, as well as the brain injuries and deaths as a result.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The Baby Friendly Hospital initiative is deadly![/pullquote]

Concerns about the deadly impact of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative have spread throughout the medical community with the publication of papers in major journals detailing the deadly consequences. The Fed Is Best Foundation was formed for the express purpose of preventing the deadly side effects of the BFHI. Now comes word of a lecture given at a major neonatology conference, The Fetus and Newborn 2018, currently taking place in Las Vegas.

Yesterday, Tulane neonatology Prof. Jay Goldsmith presented “Is ‘Baby Friendly’ Baby Safe?” The answer, tragically, is “NO!”


Indeed, the BFHI is in urgent need of updating.


Why? Prof. Goldsmith concentrated on the dangers of smothering and falls.


Prof. Goldsmith notes that the BFHI leads to injury and death among babies and it fails to follow the scientific evidence on pacifiers. Moreover based on what we know about safe sleep, the BFHI’s insistence on prolonged unsupervised periods of skin-to-skin contact in unsafe sleep conditions (soft bed, with an adult who is exhausted and potentially using sedating medications) could have been predicted to be harmful.

And then there are the falls.


The talk concentrated on smothering and falls, but according to a conference attendee, in the question and answer session that followed Dr. Goldsmith also noted excessive weight loss and an increase in potentially deadly neonatal hypernatremic dehydration and severe jaundice.

It is important to note that Dr. Goldsmith did not question the benefits of breastfeeding or breastfeeding promotion. He sought to draw attention to the fact that the Baby Friendly Hospital is injuring and killing babies and must be changed.

Why has Baby Friendly USA refused to change?

According to the conference attendee, Dr. Goldsmith pointedly noted that the BFHI has been a financial bonanza for Baby Friendly USA, over $6 million dollars in certification fees alone. While hospitals have been forced to shoulder the burden of liability payments for injured and dead babies, Baby Friendly USA has thus far escaped unscathed.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, far from being baby friendly is actually baby deadly. What does Baby Friendly USA plan to do about it (besides enjoy the millions in certification fees)?


106 Responses to “Breastfeeding bombshell: Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative declared unsafe!”

  1. MainlyMom
    September 14, 2018 at 7:54 pm #

    Man, I’m glad i had my babies in the good old days of well baby nurseries! I was somewhat under the NCB spell with my first and told the nurse I’d like to have the baby room in with me the first night (after an emergency section under a mega epidural, so i couldn’t even walk yet, and a husband who had gone home for the night), and she gently encouraged me to rest. They promised to bring my baby whenever she fussed our every 3 hours to nurse, and they did. Monsters!

  2. Gæst
    September 10, 2018 at 9:06 pm #

    I am so glad my babies went to the NICU and we thereby avoided all the baby-friendly crap. Otherwise, they would have had me trying to feed two infants with no help right after major surgery. I could barely sit up to pump the first 24 hours, and I kept dropping all the pump parts on the floor (SO sanitary). No well-baby nursery and no overnight help allowed. But in the NICU, they used any breastmilk that was sent down for the babies, but all babies had RTF formula in their supply drawer. Pacifiers were given to every baby as far as I could tell. I was allowed to come and feed them any time (on their schedule) I wanted, but if I wasn’t there the nurses did it. In other words, I got the help I needed until I had recovered enough to learn how to care for fragile infants.

    • MaineJen
      September 11, 2018 at 8:41 am #

      The Twilight Zone: picture a world where mothers are *glad* their babies were sent to the NICU, because they were safer there. :0

      • Daleth
        September 11, 2018 at 9:29 am #

        I’m in that twilight zone too. I almost died three different ways having my twins and was hospitalized for 9 days. I had massive fluid retention from preeclampsia (in late pregnancy I gained 65% of my pre-pregnancy bodyweight in fluid alone, then after they were born I begged for diuretics, finally got them and lost 60 pounds in five days). It felt like a major accomplishment when I was finally able to get out of bed by myself and shuffle six feet across the room to go pee without assistance.

        And of course, I was on opiate painkillers for several days after my c-section.

        Does that sound like someone capable of providing 24/7 care to two slightly premature newborns? Didn’t think so. I can’t even imagine what it would’ve been like if I’d been stuck in a BFHI hospital.

        One of my twins was in the NICU for several days, the other spent plenty of time being cuddled and fed (formula) by nurses in the baby nursery a few yards from my room, their dad spent tons of time with both of them, and I was able to recover. My babies got plenty of formula so they had no jaundice, no drastic weight loss, and no brain damage from low glucose (one of them started out with low glucose, so they fed him formula frequently and checked his glucose to make sure it got back to normal and stayed there).

        Now THAT is baby friendly, and mama friendly. And BTW we’re all doing great now, and we’re so bonded that my kids have been asking me not to make them go to pre-K because when they’re at school, “we miss you.”

        • demodocus
          September 11, 2018 at 11:57 am #

          Meanwhile I had to yell at my roomed-in, ebf’d kid for running across the parking lot to get to his pre-k before I even got his sister unbuckled. Must not be well bonded 😉

          • sdsures
            September 12, 2018 at 11:56 am #

            I don’t think the people who make the BFHI policies actually hear themselves when they talk. If they did, they would realize how utterly insane it all is.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks
          September 15, 2018 at 10:55 pm #

          “And of course, I was on opiate painkillers for several days after my c-section.
          Does that sound like someone capable of providing 24/7 care to two slightly premature newborns? Didn’t think so. I can’t even imagine what it would’ve been like if I’d been stuck in a BFHI hospital.”
          At one point, I got angry enough at the BFHI folks that I said to my nurse, my doctor, and anyone else who’d listen “You’re mandated reporters. If I told you that I was leaving my newborn in the care of a person recovering from major abdominal surgery, unable to get out of bed, on opioids, and hallucinating from a medication combo, you’d be speed-dialing CPS, and well you should. However, you think this is an acceptable setup for me to take care of my baby rather than send him to a well-baby nursery, and refuse to help me with him. This is screwed up.”

          • Daleth
            September 17, 2018 at 11:23 am #

            What a beautiful smackdown! That’s so well said.

      • kilda
        September 11, 2018 at 9:32 am #

        we really are in a twilight zone, where “baby friendly” means
        “don’t feed that baby!” and “don’t under any circumstances help mom take care of the baby.”

        • sdsures
          September 12, 2018 at 11:55 am #

          I wonder if the attitude would be different if it was men who gave birth and were the primary caregivers of newborns in the hospital after birth.

          • E.C.
            September 12, 2018 at 1:05 pm #

            There have been some mentions here over the past few years of the mother not being well enough to sign the formula-shaming letter, and the hospital won’t let the father sign it. They let the baby starve until the person the letter will actually hurt is conscious enough to read and sign it.

          • swbarnes2
            September 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm #

            So a dad can consent to any number of medical procedures for their child, with whatever risks and side effects, but not feeding?

          • kilda
            September 12, 2018 at 3:31 pm #

            well, technically the person who it will hurt the most won’t be able to read it for about 5 years.

      • Jen
        September 11, 2018 at 11:21 am #

        It’s the same world where, in some countries, pregnant women are better off being high-risk (so their appointments are with an obstetrician) rather than low-risk (where they’re stuck with a midwife).

      • September 11, 2018 at 7:29 pm #

        I was in that group, honestly. Wouldn’t wish a micro-preemie on my worst enemy’s child – but I never had to worry that my son was starving.

      • BeatriceC
        September 11, 2018 at 8:07 pm #

        I’ve said the same thing about being glad my babies went to NICU so I could get some fucking rest. It was horrifying enough listening to the poor mothers and babies in neighboring rooms. Not all of them, of course, but enough.

        • Sarah
          September 15, 2018 at 3:55 am #

          I felt that with mine. I was relieved I didn’t look after her after an EMCS because I knew I couldn’t.

    • anh
      September 11, 2018 at 1:16 pm #

      Not even those babies are safe. I was threatened with a longer hospital stay so that they could observe more breastfeeds to make sure she was gaining weight. They threatened to reinsert her NG tube to avoid “nipple confusion”. Once I made it clear that, eff that no way, our home health visitor chided me as I was bottle feeding her pumped milk that I was damning her to a life of obesity (as I was fighting like hell to get her above birth weight five weeks later).

      • Gæst
        September 11, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

        That’s terrible, although I still believe at my hospital the NICU was safe from BFI.

      • PeggySue
        September 11, 2018 at 2:01 pm #

        How awful for you both.

      • BeatriceC
        September 12, 2018 at 11:16 pm #

        I have a hypothesis. I don’t think there’s any way to prove it, especially since any research that might start off with “breastfeeding may not be the greatest thing ever” stands almost no chance of being funded, but I would really like somebody to try.

        Based on my mother’s stories of what I was like as a newborn (eating in 2 hour cycles around the clock, for 90 minutes at a time, always crying, a “bad tempered” baby, etc.) and the weights recorded in my baby book (over 20% loss, over a month to regain, extremely slow gain after that until I was switched to formula when my mother got pregnant with my sister and her supply completely dried up), I was absolutely if not starved, extremely underfed. I don’t blame my mother for this. The women in her LLL group and her doctor were all reassuring her that this was normal and the growth charts were wrong because formula, and the extreme loss and subsequent slow growth was just me “correcting” my size because she obviously had undiagnosed diabetes (even though a baby under 10 pounds in my father’s family would be considered, small, my mother only weighed 89 pounds pre pregnancy, so of course I should have been tiny), and she trusted the doctors and the LLL ladies. But the result is the same. I wasn’t adequately fed as a baby.

        I have talked to many other adults who were also either accidentally or by neglect or by circumstances of economics, starved as newborns. We all report unhealthy relationships with food, psychologically based overeating problems, and most of the people I have talked to are overweight or obese, or have undergone one hell of a fight to not be. Granted the sample of “all the people I know with this in their history” is extremely unscientific, but I think I’ve heard the same thing from enough people that it warrants wondering if there are long term consequences such as a higher risk of obesity in adulthood of newborn and infant starvation. I don’t think that a preliminary study would be out of line, but I also don’t think that something like that would ever be studied, because the hard core lactivists aren’t even admitting that an ebf baby *can* be starved.

        • AnotherOor
          September 13, 2018 at 1:23 pm #

          I have to wonder too…I’d classify my mother as a lactivist. My parents have stories of me crying for hours and hours, for months. They say I had colic. When I had children I’ve had low milk supply for both. I’m constantly fighting to keep it up (nursing #2 now). My mother “never heard of” low milk supply. So clearly that was never a consideration when I was a baby. I wonder if my low milk supply is genetic, and I wouldn’t stop crying because I was hungry? My mother for some reason thought formula was like poison. She was surprised my formula fed niece was “so healthy” (I guess she expected a sickly child?). No matter how many facts I present her with, she’s really stuck in the “formula is poison/breastfeeding is magical” mindset.

          I too have an unhealthy relationship with food that I can’t really fathom the source of.

        • Stephanie
          September 14, 2018 at 12:00 am #

          I would wonder the same thing… I have an aunt, and all of her children were preterm due to significant IUGR. Now, they’re all obese with significant food issues.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks
        September 15, 2018 at 10:52 pm #

        I’d like to think I’d have threatened to insert that NG tube…somewhere…in the person suggesting it over a bottle of formula. *snort*

  3. Anna
    September 9, 2018 at 2:34 am #

    My hospital is baby friendly but I was not shown any of that crap last time. I just posted the other day about the garbage Im supposed to read and sign in my antenatal notes. No fucking way and Im going to tell anyone who’ll listen that BFHI needs to start coughing up the money for counselling and psych for women who end up feeling like they are terrible parents for not being able to or not willing to breastfeed at all cost.

    • Daleth
      September 10, 2018 at 10:57 am #

      Yes! And they also need to start coughing up money for babies who die because of these idiotic practices. Matter of fact the lawsuits have already begun, and by an amazing coincidence, right after that, hospitals started to realize there was a problem and start backpedaling on this BS.

      See, we lawyers do serve a purpose. Sadly that purpose is, “Punching people in the wallet until they finally start having an ounce of common sense.” I would much prefer that they just have common sense in the first place, so nobody had to suffer and die.

      • Cartman36
        September 10, 2018 at 11:38 am #

        Agreed! I know there are some truly frivolous lawsuits but lawsuits really do serve as a checks and balance system. I get peeved when people call the McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit frivolous. That poor lady deserved every penny she got for what McDonald’s did despite their own internal doctors warning the coffee was being kept at a temperature that would liquefy skin on contact. McDonald’s ignored the risks because they wanted the coffee hot enough that customers wouldn’t be able to drink it in time to use the free refills.

        • PeggySue
          September 10, 2018 at 5:08 pm #

          Whoa. That’s nasty all right.

    • Anna
      September 10, 2018 at 11:36 pm #

      I just saw a comment today elsewhere by a woman who honestly believes breastfeeding didn’t work out because she was seperated from her baby for 30mins while her 3rd degree tear was stitched. She is oblivious that the hospital saved her life. She was a homebirth transfer with a PPH. Where does a woman get the idea that a 30min seperation doomed her bfing relationship? From this Baby Friendly horseshit of course! The following comment on the thread was from another homebirther that had a 3rd degree tear and a PPH saying “you should hire a private midwife next time if you want to stay home! The hospital can’t tell you you have to do x, y, z just because you had a previous PPH, your body, your choice – I plan to stay home till the last minute then refuse synto unless I start bleeding”. Its like, I won’t bother with the seatbelt until I see the drunk driver careening towards me!

      • Daleth
        September 11, 2018 at 9:35 am #

        God that’s insane. It reminds me of the mothers of toddlers who genuinely believe that the reason they have lower back pain is because they had an epidural needle in their back during their labor or a spinal block during their c-section.

        Right–not because months of pregnant belly threw their back out and the injury was worsened by two years of shlepping a baby and then a toddler around. I’m sure it was just that needle that was there for half an hour or a few hours, two years ago.

        I’m in physical therapy right now and you should’ve seen the look on my PT’s face when I told her some mothers of young kids believe the epidural is why their backs hurt. Maybe I should go on a mom’s group and ask if people think my rotator cuff (shoulder) injuries are due to my spinal block, as opposed to the actual cause, carrying toddlers around. I’d be willing to bet several people would say yes.

        • demodocus
          September 11, 2018 at 12:04 pm #

          Wow. That’s pretty absurd. It’s pretty clear to me that toting 30 pound children around is going to be more of a literal pain than a needle stick months and years earlier.

          • kilda
            September 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm #

            nah, don’t be silly. It’s neither of those things, it’s a vaccine injury.

          • September 11, 2018 at 7:26 pm #

            I snorted loudly enough I startled my toddler when I read your reply; thank you! I needed a laugh!

          • kilda
            September 12, 2018 at 12:01 am #

            oops, sorry Spawn! 🙂

        • PeggySue
          September 11, 2018 at 2:04 pm #

          Well, you know, , it’s probably a nutritional problem. is proven to increase muscle strength.

          • sdsures
            September 12, 2018 at 11:58 am #

            *incoherent screams of frustration*

        • BeatriceC
          September 11, 2018 at 8:04 pm #

          Even more absurd is the doctor that told me the reason why my spinal tap a year and a half ago was difficult was because I had epidurals and spinals while giving birth. It wouldn’t have anything to do with degenerative damage to my spine from falling 30 feet off the side of a mountain. It had to be those evil pain relieving and life saving (in the case of the CS births) epidurals and spinals.

          • kilda
            September 12, 2018 at 3:29 pm #

            yeah, as a doctor who does spinal taps all the time – that’s bullcrap. Degenerative disease, arthritis, injuries, all can definitely make a tap difficult. Having had an epidural once upon a time? No, that’s ridiculous.

          • BeatriceC
            September 12, 2018 at 11:05 pm #

            I live in California. There are some really good things about living here. And there are some, um, not so good things. I’m overcome with the urge to deface the BFHI signs every time I step foot in a hospital here. So far I’ve been able to restrain myself, but I don’t know how much longer I can hold out.

        • sdsures
          September 12, 2018 at 11:57 am #

          The amount of stupid, it burns.

    • RudyTooty
      September 11, 2018 at 11:23 am #

      “Baby-friendly” policies are some of the most loathsome.

      I hope women continue to provide feedback about ‘baby-friendly’ policies and how terrible they are.

      Hospitals care about patient satisfaction scores – please don’t let off the gas on this one. It would help create some change.

      Public shaming is good – on google reviews, etc. But better would be those official feedback forms that come directly from the hospital. Reimbursement rates are tied to those ‘satisfaction’ scores.

      So if a hospital is particularly militant with their breastfeeding coercion, please slam them on those evaluations. Punch them in the pocketbook. Then they’ll maybe listen.

      • Cartman36
        September 12, 2018 at 9:03 am #

        I wrote a lengthy comment on mine and got a call about it from the hospital. I have said it before but they were “shocked” that I would think the well baby nursery was closed as a money saving measure. Note to hospital administrators, it doesn’t matter what your reason is, what matters is what your customers perceive your reason was.

      • sdsures
        September 12, 2018 at 11:57 am #

        The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

  4. Reenbee
    September 8, 2018 at 10:41 pm #

    I was admitted the night before induction into a shared room with a woman who snored all night and I got about 90min sleep… My baby was born at 7pm the next day and once I was finally able to rest my husband was sent home and I was alone with the baby who would not stay asleep unless being held. So I held her reclining/sleeping in bed. Thankfully I was found like this before anything went wrong… The hospitals are so understaffed yet they insist on leaving the baby with mothers who are unable to stay awake. Stop taking away our support person right after birth!!!

    • Mimc
      September 10, 2018 at 11:50 am #

      They made your husband leave? That’s crazy. He’s the baby’s parent too. Don’t parents have a right to be with their children in the hospital?

      • Anna
        September 10, 2018 at 11:29 pm #

        In the public hospitals here they try to give the c-section patients private rooms so their support person can stay but if you are in a shared room they have to leave.

        • Sarah
          September 11, 2018 at 4:49 am #

          Which is actually a pretty reasonable thing, other women on the ward shouldn’t have to share a sleeping area with men they don’t know. Of course, this does actually require adequate staffing as well in order not to be dangerous.

          • Anna
            September 11, 2018 at 9:55 pm #

            It is reasonable, but at the same time, if you can barely get up, or you feel faint when you do its very hard to manage alone. After my first vaginal I felt faint every time I stood, I had to hold the walls to get to the loo. My friend recently had her third and I was so happy for her she got a private room. She stayed 3 nights in the end after an uncomplicated vaginal because baby wasnt holding blood sugar. After her second she left after 6hours because the person she was sharing with had a room full of visitors all day, loudly talking, eating, leaving rubbish, dragging her curtain open while she was trying to get baby attached.

          • Sarah
            September 12, 2018 at 4:43 am #

            Yes. The first part of your post illustrates well why sufficient trained staff are important, the second why women who’ve just given birth should be able to rest and not have to deal with too many people around them.

          • sdsures
            September 12, 2018 at 11:50 am #

            But if we tried to make it OK for gay/lesbian couples to have their spouse stay with them after giving birth, then some numbskull would worry about “lesbians sexually predating” the other female patients, or the gay male partner predating the other male patients. :-/

            People CAN control themselves sexually.

          • Sarah
            September 13, 2018 at 3:28 pm #

            People can, they don’t always. Although afaik, a lesbian and a gay man would both be less likely to sexually assault a woman than a straight man would, so in that way they’re less of a risk than the average.

            But the presence of males at close quarter on a ward with women they don’t know isn’t just about sexual assault, it’s about uncomfortableness and embarrassment too. A woman partner or companion isn’t an issue in that respect, but in the UK at least, the wards are pretty packed anyway. I don’t know how it is elsewhere. There’s already not a lot of space, they’re very hot, and you automatically double demand for the loos, showers etc. I’m not against people staying over on principle, though I do worry that here it would be used as an excuse to make postnatal care even shitter. But it needs to happen in private rooms.

          • sdsures
            November 2, 2018 at 4:45 pm #

            “Although afaik, a lesbian and a gay man would both be less likely to sexually assault a woman than a straight man would, so in that way they’re less of a risk than the average.”

            No, that’s incorrect. Sexuality has zero to do with the likelihood of becoming a rapist. Rape and sexual assault are about power, not sex.

          • Sarah
            November 5, 2018 at 3:14 pm #

            I thought I had read that it was less likely in gay and lesbian people. That wouldn’t of course mean that sexuality was the reason for the lower risk, could be something else.

          • fiftyfifty1
            November 5, 2018 at 4:58 pm #

            You are totally correct. Men are much, much more likely to rape than women are. And rapists tend to rape in line with their sexual orientations, e.g. straight male rapists tend to rape women, gay male rapists tend to rape men. Those who assert that “rape is about power not sex” have only half of it right according to researchers who study it. Rape is about power AND sex. Specifically a paraphilia surrounding deriving sexual satisfaction from forcing sex on victims that don’t want it.

      • sdsures
        September 12, 2018 at 11:48 am #

        It makes things even more complicated (if you are in a heterosexual relationship and have just had a baby) in the UK, where wards are segregated by sex. :-/

    • Azuran
      September 10, 2018 at 8:13 pm #

      That’s really ridiculous.
      In the hospital where I give birth, it was actually REQUIRED that someone stays with me at all time, day and night, because I had a c-section. If no one could stay with me, then they had to take the baby to the nursery. Which makes total sense, since I was in no condition to take care of a baby alone.

      • Cartman36
        September 12, 2018 at 9:07 am #

        when I toured our BFHI, I asked what would happen if my husband couldn’t be there (military) and there is no well baby nursery (i had a RCS). First the tech said, we don’t take the babies period, then a nurse said the same thing after asking me if there was someone else that could stay with me (my parents were taking care of my other two kids), and finally, after I kept asking, the charge nurse said they would help me if i needed it.

        Its bad enough for those of us who have the resources to have someone stay with us at a BFHI hospital but it is truly frightening for women that don’t have someone who can stay with them.

        • kilda
          September 12, 2018 at 9:38 am #

          what an awful attitude to have to deal with. Like it’s so rude of you to not have a husband there to help you. Not everybody has an ideal support system. Your husband is in the military, someone else might not have one or he might have just announced he was leaving (happened to a friend of mine 2 weeks before the birth, what a guy). And not everybody has a friend/sister/mom/aunt to step in and take his place. Not everybody’s life is neat and tidy and set up to make the hospital staff’s life easier.

          • Cartman36
            September 12, 2018 at 11:39 am #

            That’s what gets me. BF was extraordinarily hard for me with my first and I have LITERALLY every advantage you can have. I was able to take 12 weeks unpaid, when I back to work I had a supportive employer and a private office, I could afford to buy a $200+ pump (pre-Obama care mandating them be covered by insurance), a supportive spouse, no issues with domestic violence, addiction, incarceration, etc. I could go on and on.

            I am extraordinarily blessed and many many women do not have the same level of advantages.

        • maidmarian555
          September 12, 2018 at 10:53 am #

          The BFHI hospital I gave birth in kick everyone out between 9pm and 9am. So not only is there no dedicated nursery, you aren’t even allowed to have anyone to stay and help you if you do have a partner or available family member/friend. My first night with my son was terrifying (even tho a nurse did end up taking him so I could get a 2hr nap after being awake for days- it was nowhere near the amount of rest I needed to be able to care for him safely).

        • Sarah
          September 14, 2018 at 8:29 am #

          This is one of the things that really worries me about partners staying over becoming more common in the UK. Like you’re doing something wrong if you don’t have anyone. I’ve got a loving and supportive spouse and oodles of local family childcare, I could have someone move into the hospital for weeks if needed and we’d absorb it as a family, and we actually do live the clichéd 5 minutes from the hospital. But so many don’t have that option. And you just know it’s not going to be used to free up staff for women who need them most. It’ll be used as a cuts excuse.

    • September 13, 2018 at 12:18 pm #

      Wasn’t half the argument about rooming in that “your partner” is supposed to be taking a turn and that’s why you don’t need the well baby nursery? I’m not pregnant yet, but planning to have my kids at the hospital where I work which is NOT BFI. I’ve got Idiopathic Hypersomnia. Unles I happen to magically go into labour early in the morning so the kid can be born at “a reasonable time of night” there’s ZERO chance I’m safe to be alone with the kid right after birth. I’ma pass the heck out, not likely but GUARANTEED.

  5. Ardent
    September 8, 2018 at 7:20 pm #

    It’s great to see awareness spreading. I am newly pregnant after IVF with what I hope will be #3, and very happy to see that my hospital still does not have baby friendly certification.

  6. Gretta
    September 8, 2018 at 1:09 pm #

    I knew it was all about money to begin with and nothing to do with babies. Change should be swift in my opinion.

  7. demodocus
    September 7, 2018 at 9:02 pm #

    Meanwhile, we’ve got people talking about keeping toddlers and preschoolers facing rearward until they reach the rear-facing maximum weight of their car seats. Never mind that the difference can be 10 or 20 pounds between seats! (Our’s max is 40 pounds, which my youngest seems likely to hit before she’s 2 1/2, but whatevs) But co-sleeping in a hospital bed when you’re exhausted is totally fine.

    • Merrie
      September 7, 2018 at 9:50 pm #

      I know, the cognitive dissonance is astounding. There was a part of me that wanted to go on MDC and post about toxins in car seat covers and watch people freak out, but I never did it because I was concerned someone would actually act on it and alter their car seat use in an inappropriate way and I didn’t want that on my conscience.

    • swbarnes2
      September 8, 2018 at 12:57 am #

      You go till they hit height or weight limits. Most kids hit the height limit first.

      • September 8, 2018 at 6:38 am #

        Or until your rear-facing kid cries from carsickness every time you go for a ride.

        • Justanrph
          September 8, 2018 at 9:20 am #

          I wonder how much less safe a rear facing, screaming, carsick baby is than a content, forward facing one due to how much more distracted the driver is with the screaming. Considering how many different sets of parents I’ve had the same discussion with, most actually flip before age two and feel safer driving due to less distraction. And apparently the poor, miserable toddler vomiting also disappears which is awesome from a cleanup time saving stand point plus toddler doesn’t feel sick.
          I certainly don’t judge anyone for that choice.

          • Box of Salt
            September 8, 2018 at 6:20 pm #

            How about just screaming their head off?

            I had my older kid when the recommendation for rear facing was still 1yo AND 20 lbs. Well, my kid was 12 mos at 19 lbs, and had to remain rear facing for an extra month.

            I swear this kid knew that 12 mo olds could go front facing. Kid screamed every time we got in the car until we turned the seat around upon reaching 20 lb.

            Every 10-min car ride to go to the store, meet friends at the park, etc, turned into a 15 to 20 min ordeal that included my pulling over at the side of the road until the screaming stopped.

            Our situation did not involve vomit, but it was still unbearable. I was lucky that all our car trips were voluntary – if I didn’t make to the store, my spouse covered for me. And it was only one month. I can’t even imagine how I would have managed enduring that for a full year.

            Oh, and in case you are wondering: once that seat was facing forward, the toddler/child *never* pitched a fit in the car ever again (kid is a teen now).

          • Who?
            September 9, 2018 at 2:49 am #

            Think how many adults hate travelling rear-facing, for example on trains.

      • demodocus
        September 8, 2018 at 9:27 am #

        Mine has probably hit the height limit too. She’s a big kid

      • MaineJen
        September 8, 2018 at 12:12 pm #

        My six year old was still in a five point harness until recently…she JUST hit 40 lbs and we moved her to a booster. She was rear facing until age 2, but only because she’s so tiny.

        • September 12, 2018 at 2:06 am #

          I didn’t hit 40 lbs until I was 8 years old. Obviously I wasn’t in any sort of carseat long before that. I remember being in a booster seat (vaguely) but even that ended when I was 6 or so, because I was not going to be in a booster seat in 2nd grade!

          I saw the 40 lb recommendation and almost laughed my head off. My family just runs small, but there is no way we will be using a car seat or booster seat for an 8-year-old in the possible future where I have kids and they take after me in size.

          • Azuran
            September 12, 2018 at 9:26 am #

            Where I live, starting in 2019, kids will need to be in a size appropriate car seat until they either reach 145cm or they turn 9.

          • demodocus
            September 12, 2018 at 3:26 pm #

            Even better, a lot of these car seats are 50 pounds max backwards. Which is a hellava big kid. My 85th percentile 4.5 yo still has 8 pounds to go.

          • atheist mommy/Oma
            September 14, 2018 at 5:14 pm #

            Meanwhile my youngest hit that at around 3 lol.

          • Bugsy
            September 15, 2018 at 8:57 pm #

            Kiddo #1 is about to turn 6 and a whopping 34 lbs. Last year, his kindergarten had field trips a few times per month but used parent drivers. I ended up having to drive _every_ single one because he’s one of the only kids nowhere near being able to fit in a portable booster. Ugh. So happy there are fewer field trips in 1st grade.

    • Jessica
      September 8, 2018 at 9:26 pm #

      I kept my older son rear-facing until his 3rd birthday, even though he hadn’t maxed out either limit on his seat. I intend to switch my younger son on his third birthday even though he will also be under the limits. The seat he’s using will be about to expire, so.

      But I think the science on how long kids should rear-face and how much safer it is than forward-facing is not terribly clear (the 532% safer statistic was not supported on further review), but that is not stopping the AAP and legislatures from adopting policy and/or law that encourages/requires rear facing to later and later ages.

    • guest
      September 9, 2018 at 12:03 pm #

      To be fair, there is a lot of evidence that rear-facing is much safer and leads to better outcomes in crashes. The rate of child fatalities in crashes with rear-facing car seats is 20% what it is in crashes with forward-facing seats.

      There is no evidence to support the idea that cosleeping benefits children, as far as I know.

      At least rear-facing car seats are an evidence-based practice backed up by rigorous testing.

      Cosleeping directly after labor is not backed by anything. Even cultures that practice cosleeping typically give moms a break in the first couple of days after labor. BFHI is the only example I know of that encourages cosleeping with newborns.

  8. evbasedbf
    September 7, 2018 at 2:12 pm #

    On this page about Baby Friendly in one part of the UK

    there is this document called
    “UNICEF Sample Policy – Babies sharing their mother’s bed while in hospital”

    This contains such statements as:

    *Bed-sharing encourages intimate contact between mother and baby which facilitates a close and loving bond.

    *The risk of accidents applies both in hospital and at home if parents are unaware of how to manage bed-sharing safely. (implies bedsharing in hospital can be done safely)

    *policy is offered… [to] allow mothers and babies to derive the benefits of bed-sharing in hospital (suggests bedsharing in hospital is BENEFICIAL – would any paediatricians accept this and allow bedsharing in the hospital after birth, when mother is exhausted and risk of accidents or sleep-related harm is high?)

    *Bed-sharing is associated with longer and more restful infant and maternal sleep1, It is also associated with successful breastfeeding3 (is this true? some studies have shown separate sleep – cot in same room – linked with better sleep)

    *There is evidence to suggest that breastfeeding mothers sleep facing their babies and adopt a protective sleeping position. (what evidence? What is meant by “protective”? the authors cite an article in MOTHERING magazine! Some research on how breastfeeding mothers cosleep, which is often cited as supporting the idea that such mothers adopt “protective” positions, actually has shown the majority of babies were placed to sleep on their SIDES after feeding, known to be a risk factor for SIDS and specifically stated in most guidelines as actually being unsafe –

    *Contraindications to cosleeping in hospital are discussed. (These imply that if those risk factors are not present, it is OK for a mother to sleep with her baby **in the hospital bed**, after birth) – eg

    *A breastfeeding mother with none of the contra-indications listed in A or
    B whose baby is healthy and term may find it helpful to bed-share in
    order to allow her to rest or sleep while the baby feeds. (this is pretty surprising – really, would any medical doctor actually support this – saying it is OK to support cosleeping in the hospital bed – which is high off the floor, has open rails typically, and cannot be made safe? And the mother is exhausted?)

    • fiftyfifty1
      September 7, 2018 at 2:17 pm #

      horrible policy!

    • Amazed
      September 9, 2018 at 4:55 am #

      Please tell me this is a joke. Pretty please?

      • evbasedbf
        September 11, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

        You can check the document for yourself… and see if I mistyped the quotes!!

        Seriously – I mean, personally I am quite laid-back about bedsharing in the home, because I did it myself and realise so many families do. But I’m not a HCP and I would never make any claims about the safety of it other than,
        you need to get proper advice from your Dr.

        And, bedsharing in the home is IMHO so different from bedsharing in the hospital. In the home, a double mattress could be put on the floor so that the risk of falls is less and the baby can be physically separated from mother by a distance, to try to prevent risk of overlaying. And the
        mother may be less exhausted once she is home. What mum isn’t shattered after birth? If the mother is awake, even then she may be less aware and less responsive.

        How can a single size hospital bed, high off a hard floor, with open rails, be made safe for bedsharing? I just have NO CLUE how this could be safely achieved. I have no idea if they consulted sleep safety experts (proper ones, like paediatricians and pathologists who have actually examined cause of death of babies, and SIDS epidemiologists), before writing this.

        The only thing personally I could imagine a hospital policy saying on bed sharing in the hospital bed, following birth, saying is: This is RISKY for all the following reasons and is not accepted in the hospital! I was stunned to see that a specific policy not only fails to say this but also seems to
        go in the other direction.

    • Cat
      September 9, 2018 at 2:13 pm #

      I just don’t “get” the whole cult of bed-sharing/ co-sleeping. I totally understand that some families find bed-sharing the least worst option if their baby is a poor sleeper, but the “extended bed-sharing is essential for your child’s emotional health” brigade just irritate the hell out of me. I’m probably just venting because I’ve been searching for ages for tips on how to reassure my two year-old regarding her fear of the dark, and I feel like I’ve read about 100,000 comments on Mumsnet and Netmums saying variants of “why don’t you just let her sleep in your bed? My eleven year-old still sleeps in my bed because she’s scared of the dark and it’s so good for our bond” and “why are you making her sleep alone? Human beings aren’t designed to sleep alone. I can’t bear to sleep by myself so why should a child have to?”.

      (I’m not a total meanie – if my daughter has a bad dream, she’s welcome to climb into my bed for a cuddle. But, in the long term, I think being able to sleep alone in your own bed is kind of a useful skill to have.)

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        September 9, 2018 at 10:28 pm #

        Our kids almost never sleep in our bed. If they have times when they need reassurance, we will either come sleep in their bed or go to the guest bedroom. They know that our bed, with both of us, is off limits. Consequently, they don’t even try.

        We’ve done this since they’ve gotten out of the toddler bed. When they were in the toddler bed, the only thing we did was to sleep on the futon in the same room.

        When my wife is out of town, I will let the kids sleep in our bed as a treat. Of course, they are 9 and 7 now. But that’s the only times it ever happens.

      • Mimc
        September 10, 2018 at 12:07 pm #

        Do what you have to do to maximize sleep and safety is my advice. If your two year old sleeps well in your bed and you also sleep well with her there I wouldn’t worry about long-term. She’ll outgrow wanting to sleep in your bed eventually. However if you can’t sleep with your kid in the bed then set that boundary. Your sleep is important too.

      • guest
        September 10, 2018 at 1:05 pm #

        Maybe she can sleep on the floor in your room?? Or just leave the light on in her room??

      • September 10, 2018 at 3:55 pm #

        My husband, my son and I are all in the “I can’t sleep if you are touching me” crowd. Spawn’s teething again – canines are mean! – and he was completely wiped out after lunch. He was sprawled across my lap with his head resting on my arm. Then he turned his head and dragged his fingers down his face – which is how he signs “sleep” in ASL. I kissed him and put him in his crib where he wiggled happily on his mattress and fell asleep.

        My husband and I can bedshare because we have a divided mattress and separate bedding. Adding Spawn to that would have been miserable (if he had been term, healthy and capable of cosleeping…so a completely different imaginary child, I suppose.)

      • September 10, 2018 at 3:59 pm #

        In Michigan, we have long summer days where sunset is at 8-9pm at night and gets fully dark an hour after that. Spawn got used to having a lot of light in his room during May-August and started fussing hard when we tried to put him down in a darker room.

        I found a flat, plug-in nightlight that came in sets of two online for $15.00. There is a white light setting that I expected to use or a rotating set of 8 colors that are a lot lower wattage of brightness. We set up both nightlights in two different areas of the room and set them to white light and realized it would way too bright. So I switched them to the rotating color option and that looked just right. Added bonus – Spawn pretty much chills out watching the lights (we can hear him laughing happily some nights) and falls asleep.

        Maybe a really fun nightlight?

    • Anna
      September 9, 2018 at 6:04 pm #

      I was so tired and out of it its possible I dont remember it but no-one gave me any warning about bed sharing in hospital. I felt like I was going to float off the bed. Obviously I wasnt going to because Tramadol cant make you fly but if you think you can you probaby shouldnt be bed sharing with a day old infant. Pretty obvious this stuff is written by committees heavily stacked with LCs, midwives and consumer advocates who are hardcore nacheral mamas. The sources must all be articles from crappy midwifery journals and surveys based on studies to get ideas like bed sharers get more sleep. Not surprising, the ACM is always advertising for people to write for journal. They’ll publish pretty much anything. Recently they published an article by this absolute loon that had a twin homebirth but her babies survived so she thinks its coa shes so special and hired the “best” midwives. She got all angry and snippy after because they used a photo of a baby in a perspex bassinette by her article and it wasnt “woman centred” enougn ie. A homebirth. Shes not clinically trained in anything.

      • PeggySue
        September 10, 2018 at 1:39 pm #

        That’s a woman who does not have enough to do. Surprising with twins.

      • evbasedbf
        September 11, 2018 at 12:55 pm #

        In the UK, there is no transparency on WHO actually “is” the Baby Friendly – they list no information on their website about who takes responsibility for what they produce, their training, guidelines etc etc. (It’s a different organisation than global BFHI and the UK baby friendly standards are different too). They also have lots of separate policies, standards and training as well but who takes responsibility for it? It’s completely unclear. they don’t anywhere list a medical advisory board, any MD (or equivalent), anything like that. It’s super weird.

    • swbarnes2
      September 10, 2018 at 4:59 pm #

      Is “being exhausted form going through a day long medical ordeal” really not a contraindication?

  9. Cartman36
    September 7, 2018 at 12:43 pm #

    Do you think Baby Friendly USA is going to attack Dr. Goldsmith they way that they have attached the Fed is Best Foundation and it’s two founders?

  10. September 7, 2018 at 12:31 pm #

    I’ve said this before, but my hospital experience was vastly improved with Baby 3, when they’d moved away from BFHI ideals. With Baby 2, I was made to sign a paper noting that I’d been warned that breast is best before I could get any formula for my son, who’d been screaming nearly nonstop and biting my nipples raw. With Baby 3, the nurses happily handed me lots of ready-to-feed bottles and agreed that early supplementing was a good idea.

    BFHI is terrible! And one of their tenets was founded upon an idea that has not been shown to be more than myth–ie, “nipple confusion.” The sooner this harmful set of protocols dies, the better.

  11. Madtowngirl
    September 7, 2018 at 12:28 pm #

    I noticed at my OB appointment this week, that the stacks of “breastfeed your baby or else” propaganda that used to sit at the scheduling desk were no longer there. Instead, there was a stack about best practices for keeping your child healthy (vaccines, etc). The cynical part of me thinks they just ran out, but the optimist in me really, really hopes that the tides are changing with this provider.

  12. Tbird
    September 7, 2018 at 12:07 pm #

    I cannot wait for the demise of the BFHI!! I had my first child at a “baby friendly” hospital via emergency c-section for failure to descend. Baby was in respiratory distress but with Apgar’s of 8 and 9. I was told baby needed to go to NICU for four hours of observation for respiratory distress per protocol, I agreed.

    Baby was not given formula in the NICU because I indicated on my admissions assessment that my plan was to breastfeed. They did not give my baby formula since they did not have my “consent”. My husband went with the baby to NICU while I wasn’t in the recovery room. My husband came to see me toward the end of my period in the recovery room and told me they had not fed her. I was livid. I told them of course I want her to have formula, I am not able to feed her since we are separated. She was given one small feed out of the nipple of a bottle while I was in recovery.

    When baby was finally brought to me in the post part in room after four hours, I struggled to get baby to latch. The RN was unable to assist me and there were no lactation consults as it was 1:00am.i was not offered formula. My baby did not get any breast milk and it was discovered by the nurse that baby’s blood sugar levels continued to decline and she was taken to NICU again where she stayed for nearly four days with a diagnosis of hypoglycemia and jaundice.

    As a result I had to use a pump around the clock to get my milk supply started and baby was hospitalized for the first few days of life in intensive care because of a completely preventable issue.

    Unfortunately, all the hospitals in my area are “baby friendly” so I don’t have a choice in that regard, but I am pregnant with number 2 and I plan to bring formula in my hospital bag this time. By the way, I successfully breastfed my first for 15 months, no thanks to the BFHI.

    And on top of this, I hospital I delivered at has a VBAC ban. They are so concerned with being “baby friendly” and the “breastfeeding relationship”, yet they’ve stripped away mothers’ right to choose her delivery method. Not very “mother friendly” at all.

    • Cartman36
      September 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm #

      Thank you for sharing your story! my BHFI offered all sorts of NCB options but the second that baby exited your body, forget about getting to choose what was right for you. You were going to do what was best for BF and bonding.

      The OB nurse supervisor called me upon receiving my completed survey was “shocked” that my perception was that the well-baby nursery was closed as a money saving tactic. She said its for bonding and I said that although that may be true, the perception as a customer, is that it is a cost savings measure. she also was “shocked” that NOT ONE nurse said anything to me when I kept my baby in the bed the first night because I was exhausted (post c-section).

      • Tbird
        September 7, 2018 at 1:10 pm #

        That’s outrageous! Yeah you’re right, they don’t care about your needs once the baby is here. You’re merely the vessel for delivering the baby in their eyes.

        I felt very much like I was being treated as a child. It was terrible. The lactation consultants yelled at me when I slept for 5 hours without pumping and told me I would “ruin” my supply. My baby was getting formula in the NICU and I was desperate to rest but apparently my needs don’t matter. It’s a very anti-woman policy in my eyes.

        I just can’t beleive they weren’t concerned about the baby in your bed! They would rather that than have a well baby nursery? Lunatics.

        • Cartman36
          September 7, 2018 at 2:17 pm #

          Yeah, thankfully this was my third baby so I was very upfront that I was going to be supplementing and I DGAF what they thought. The baby nurse tried to dissuade me but she was the only one.

    • guest
      September 7, 2018 at 1:15 pm #

      My kid gained weight while we were in a BFHI hospital, but stopped gaining when I took her home due to my meager milk supply.

      I suspect at least of the nurses was sneaking her bottles of formula while I slept, and I am 100% OK with that.

      • Mimc
        September 10, 2018 at 12:12 pm #

        I wish they didn’t have to sneak. But good for them for prioritizing their patients health of a flawed hospital policy.

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