Why "Fed is Best" is not best.

"I tried breastfeeding and it didn't go well. My doctor said that I didn't have enough milk and I knew I would be going back to work eventually. She took a bottle right away. I'm angry, sad and disappointed I couldn't breastfeed, but after all, 'fed is best'."

The “Fed is Best” movement whitewashes barriers that make breastfeeding too difficult to continue and places the blame on the slogan, "Breast is Best."

Each sensational story of breastfeeding failure features a mom’s drive to feed her baby, as she faces setbacks and barriers without adequate medical, social or personal support. In each story, she loses hope, resigns to formula feeding and blames herself, not the system.

In order to feel better about her fate, she is reminded to repeat "fed is best" over and over.

Saying 'Fed is Best' creates all the same feelings that 'Breast is Best' does.

Guilt, shame and selfishness.

“Fed is Best” is not balm for a broken heart of a woman who wanted to breastfeed. It is brainwashing to silence her feelings after a painful failure. Failure complete with insinuations of infant death, autism and retardation. A catastrophe narrowly averted with "just one bottle of formula."

In the US, it is a painful, un-preventable failure, unless you are lucky, remarkable, rich, probably white, and/or surrounded by nursing mothers.

“Fed is Best” is in the same family as “The important thing is you got a healthy baby.” It guilts and shames us into the silent, serving, selflessness that good mothers are supposed to embody. A mother who sacrifices her health and dreams to nurture the next generation. 

It implies that if you feel angry, sad or ashamed when breastfeeding ‘doesn’t work out’, you are selfish. If you are angry, you are a mom who would willingly starve your child, just so you could say you breastfed.

Complete System Failure

When the system is slanted so doctors says “Yes, breastfeeding is best, but we better not take a chance” and leads a mom into the very practice that we know is likely to cause weaning, then the system is flawed.

When doctors are so ignorant of breastfeeding that they would discharge a new mom from the hospital without breast, or other feeding, going well, the system is flawed.

We know the system is failing because 87% of US babies are fed some or all formula by 6 months of age, despite of the goals and aims of our medical associations.

When your doctor doesn't know best

When a mom is talked into a cascading series of unfortunate interventions and her breastfeeding goes awry because her care providers lack knowledge and fear malpractice, that mom has a right to grieve and be angry.

Breastfed is more than “fed.” It’s physical, mental and emotional nourishment for mother and baby. It is soul food. Not being able to breastfeed is a loss and should be grieved, not shut down with a harmful platitude.

Facing a lose-lose-lose situation

When a mom is deprived of breastfeeding, especially when situations could have been handled better, everyone loses. He