- On August 15, 2017 the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition joined over 40 organizations in requesting a meeting with the co-founders of the Fed is Best (FIB) Foundation to discuss their position on current infant feeding recommendations and associated health care practices.
- As advocates for the health and well-being of infants and their families, we are committed to working with all interested stakeholders to ensure that families have access to the timely and skilled care they need and that mothers have the information and support needed to make the best feeding decisions for themselves and their babies.
- We are sharing this information with you because we want you to be aware of the approach we are taking to foster a dialogue with a group you may have come across.
- We hope FIB responds positively to this request for a meeting given our shared goal of ensuring that every baby gets the strongest start to life.
- The complete letter is available below:
August 15, 2017
Dear Dr. Castillo-Hegyi and Ms. Segrave-Daly:
We write to you as fellow advocates for the health and well-being of infants and their families. We believe that we share a common goal—to ensure that every baby gets the strongest start to life. It is in that spirit that we extend an invitation to you to discuss the concerns that you and your organization, the Fed Is Best Foundation, have raised with respect to our nation’s infant feeding recommendations and associated health care practices.
We believe the ground we have in common is far greater than the areas where we may have disagreement. For the sake of all children, mothers and families, we therefore seek ways to unite in a shared vision rather than engaging in divisive messaging. For example, we all agree that the health of the baby is the ultimate goal, that infant feeding is a highly personal decision, that the mother should be fully informed of her options in making this decision, that nobody has the right to impose their beliefs or values on another, and that no infant, mother, or family should suffer as a result of ineffective support or care practices. We also agree that many physicians and other health care providers need improved training and education to ensure the competency to properly diagnose and address infant feeding issues, and that improved continuity of care is needed to enable new mothers to access timely, integrated, and continuous care throughout the prenatal and postpartum periods.
That’s a lot of common ground to build on.
Where we seem to disagree is on the root cause behind the tragic stories that Fed Is Best has recently highlighted. That is where we would hope to engage in some honest and constructive dialogue to find shared messaging focused on providing the accurate and unbiased information families need to make their personal infant feeding decisions, along with the appropriate care and support they need to implement those decisions.
We believe that we can be most effective in serving moms and babies when we attack the root causes of problems, rather than each other. For this reason, we invite you to meet with us to talk about your concerns and discuss ways we can work together to ensure that no family has to endure the pain and heartbreak of a baby who doesn’t get the nutrition they need to thrive. We hope that you will take us up on our offer and look forward to receiving your response.
Christie del Castillo-Hegyi
Ms. B. Jody Segrave-Daly
Fed Is Best Foundation
PO Box 241736
Little Rock, AR 72223
Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
Alabama Breastfeeding Committee
American Association of Birth Centers
American Breastfeeding Institute
American Samoa Breast Feeding Coalition
Arkansas Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc.
Baby Cafe USA
Baby-Friendly USA, Inc.
Best for Babes Foundation
Breastfeeding Task Force of Nevada
California Breastfeeding Coalition
California WIC Association
Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association Eastern Kentucky Breastfeeding Coalition
Georgia Breastfeeding Coalition
Healthy Children Project, Inc.
Indiana Breastfeeding Coalition
International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners International Childbirth Education Association
Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc.
La Leche League USA
Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition
Macomb County Breastfeeding Coalition Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition
Michigan Breastfeeding Network
The Milk Mob
Mothers’ Milk Bank
Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast
National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy
National WIC Association
Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition
New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force
New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force
New York Statewide Breastfeeding Coalition, Inc. NYC Breastfeeding Leadership Council, Inc.
Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance
Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere, Inc.
Rhode Island Breastfeeding Coalition
Texas Breastfeeding Coalition
Vermont Breastfeeding Network