<strong>The Fed Is Best Book</strong>
From the Cofounders of the Fed Is Best Foundation

The Fed Is Best Book The Fed Is Best Book

A science-backed guide that empowers parents to find the best way to feed their babies–with breast milk, formula, or both–and celebrates every path to a thriving child, parent, and family.
A woman holding two children and kissing her breast.

About Fed Is Best

From the founders of the Fed Is Best Foundation, this comprehensive and compassionate guide offers a revolutionary look at what defines “best” infant feeding for every family.

For babies, like for all living things, fed is best. But the current stringent emphasis on exclusive breastfeeding is putting some babies at risk by depriving parents of a full understanding of how to tell when breastfeeding alone is not enough—and what to do about it.

Written by healthcare professionals, this guide details the science behind why making sure a baby is fully fed with breast milk, formula, or both is the most important goal of any infant feeding regimen. It provides inclusive, judgment-free practical advice that will help any new parent make informed choices and feel empowered, not shamed, about how they feed their baby. This groundbreaking book debunks widely taught myths about breastfeeding and formula feeding and destigmatizes supplementation, a practice that has been employed throughout human history to protect infants when breastfeeding was not enough.

In addition to the valuable resources offered within the book, there are QR codes throughout that lead to an online universe of infant feeding resources that will be released when the book is launched.

Let Fed Is Best help you find the feeding method that’s right for you and your baby—whether that’s exclusive breastfeeding, exclusive formula feeding, or anything in between.

To learn more about the Fed Is Best Foundation, click on the “Fed Is Best” button below. To preview the Fed Is Best Online Resource Page, click on the “Resources” button below.

Praise for Fed Is Best

Marianne Neifert, MD
Marianne Neifert, MD
Pediatrician, Cofounder of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
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Fed Is Best is a masterfully written book and a profound contribution to making medical complications from insufficient feeding of breastfed babies a ‘never-ever event.’ It is a must-read for every lactation care provider, pediatrician, and expectant parent. The prevalence of insufficient milk not only undermines breastfeeding, but it also contributes to unacceptable breastfeeding-related morbidities, including hospitalizations for excessive infant weight loss, dehydration, jaundice, and low blood sugar. Despite this alarming reality, new breastfeeding parents routinely receive misguided warnings about the “risks of feeding formula” to their underfed babies. Fed Is Best adeptly make the compelling case that providing adequate nutrition to your baby is far superior to underfeeding an infant solely with human milk. It outlines everything expectant and new parents need to know about ensuring that their newborn . . .receives adequate nutrients to optimize each baby’s development and keep them healthy and thriving.”
Enrique Gomez, MD
Enrique Gomez, MD
Pediatrician and Neonatologist
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"Nobody denies that human milk is the gold standard food for infants but we have failed to also endorse that well-fed infants should be the gold standard. This well-balanced book is intended to support our mothers, fathers, and all the people involved in the journey of newborn feedings by bringing up the realities of different feeding methods so that parents can make an informed choice. This book will encourage parents and providers to understand that each couple is different and needs to be fully supported to achieve a successful feeding journey.”
Courtney Jung, PhD
Courtney Jung, PhD
Professor, University of Toronto, Author of "Lactivism"
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"Fed is best. That’s the simple premise of this important book that explains how ‘breast is best’ has led mothers and health professionals to prioritize breastfeeding over making sure a baby is eating, with results that have endangered babies’ health and even lives. Their practical advice teaches new parents how to recognize the danger signs of underfeeding and what to do about it. No matter where you end up on your feeding journey, this book will help parents protect their babies.”
Joan Wolf, PhD
Joan Wolf, PhD
Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at Texas A&M University
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"Choices, no matter how clear, have to be made in a crowded arena of other choices, any one of which necessarily renders others less significant. The question the authors force is whether breastfeeding is so important that some babies must be harmed to ensure it. Fed Is Best bravely tells the truth: babies thrive on breast milk, formula, or a combination of the two. May everyone who cares about families, science, or public health shout it from the rooftops.”
Deedi Brown
Deedi Brown
Book Reviewer, Expectant Mom
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"If you are expecting a baby, this book is required reading. Full stop. Fed Is Best is an incredibly thorough, helpful, carefully researched book that presents the most current data on breastfeeding, formula feeding, and combination feeding in a way that respects every person’s autonomy and informed choice. Its thesis is the most dangerous thing you can do is underfeed an infant. The authors give you all the information you need to know about feeding, including techniques for boosting or reducing milk production, pumping techniques and cadence, formula preparation, and more. Plus, there are QR codes throughout the book that lead to even MORE information on the Fed Is Best website."
Adrienne Ackerman
Adrienne Ackerman
Mother
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"This is the book I wish I had before my first child was born almost 16 years ago. As a woman who has tuberous breast deformity (aka insufficient glandular tissue), there is no way I can ever make a full breast milk supply. Nobody ever tells you that sometimes breastfeeding just doesn't work; that sometimes supplementation is necessary. This book takes the judgment out of infant feeding and provides sound evidence based advice on all types of feeding. It also teaches the life-saving skill of recognizing when a baby isn't getting enough to eat. If I had had this information sooner, it would have saved me from accidentally starving my second born in my attempt to give him what was "best" (exclusive breastfeeding). From exclusive breastfeeding, combofeeding, formula feeding, pumping, and everything in between, this book covers it all. As a mom of 4 now, I would recommend this book as a must read for all new parents."
Jessica Pratezina, PhD
Jessica Pratezina, PhD
University Professor of Child and Youth Care
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"As a researcher, infant development consultant, and a mom who made the choice to feed my baby formula from birth, this is the book I've been waiting for. This book is one of the few I’ve come across that even tries to be inclusive when talking about infant feeding. Unlike many other resources, which are aimed solely at cis-gendered moms in heterosexual partnerships, this book acknowledges and supports families of all backgrounds and compositions. It acknowledges the challenges many people face with breastfeeding and encourages readers to consider what works best for their whole family. Ultimately, "Fed is Best" is about offering parents the best information and resources to make informed decisions about infant feeding. It's a comprehensive guide that covers ALL your options and supports you in problem-solving along the way to help you feed your baby in a way that makes sense for YOU. It is now my go-to gift for new parents!"
Steph Montgomery
Steph Montgomery
Writer, Mother
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"Fed is Best is the infant feeding book that all perspective and new parents need and deserve. Part history and analysis of culture, policy, and myths around infant feeding, part unbiased review of what the research on infant feeding actually shows, and part common sense, inclusive guide for how to safely feed your baby. I wish I had had a copy of this book in the early weeks of parenthood. Unlike most parenting books, Fed is Best assumes the reader is competent, intelligent and able to make informed decisions about how to feed their babies, and to identify risk factors and warning signs if their baby needs help. It makes research and health information accessible, . . . honors the individual experiences of new parents and presents comprehensive information about feeding your baby - whether it’s by breast, bottle, tube, or a combination. And perhaps most importantly, it helps new parents feel confident about feeding their babies in whatever way works best for their families. Buy this book for your pregnant friends!"
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Why should you read Fed Is Best?

What You'll Find

  • Reviews the history of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding and how supplementation has long been used to protect babies when breast milk was not enough
  • Breaks down the dangers of insufficient feeding in infants—and how to recognize and prevent them
  • Reveals myths around breastfeeding and formula feeding, and the expectation that nearly all mothers will produce all the milk their baby needs as long as they follow current guidelines
  • Discusses the global rise in newborn hospitalizations for insufficient feeding complications as a result of the push to promote exclusive breastfeeding for nearly all families
  • Provides detailed guidance on how to ensure your baby is getting enough to eat, particularly in those crucial first few days after birth
  • Destigmatizes supplementation, a practice employed throughout human history to protect infants when their mother’s milk wasn’t enough—and shares strategies that encourage continued breastfeeding
  • Details what parents need to know about breastfeeding, combination feeding, and pumped milk feeding with sample schedules to help maintain milk supply and help parents get more sleep
  • Provides inclusive, evidence-based guidance on formula and bottle feeding that has been shown to improve infant health outcomes
  • Emphasizes the importance of mental health as a key consideration when finding your best infant feeding method
A woman holding her baby in a restaurant.
A woman with her arms crossed in front of a blue background.

From Pediatrician and Cofounder of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

The term breastfeeding morbidity should be an oxymoron! Yet far too many newborns continue to unnecessarily suffer medical complications due to our zealous societal promotion of exclusive breastfeeding from birth. The fact is that a substantial percentage of nursing mothers do not produce sufficient milk in the first postpartum days to fully nourish their newborns. Furthermore, a large subset of newborns is not yet able to nurse effectively in the first weeks of life. The result has been an ongoing, unacceptable rise in hospital readmissions of newborns suffering complications of underfeeding, sometimes with irreversible medical consequences. Other new parents are unable to eventually establish or maintain an adequate milk supply over time.

The prevalence of insufficient milk not only undermines exclusive and extended breastfeeding, but it also contributes to unacceptable breastfeeding-related morbidities, including neonatal hospitalizations for excessive infant weight loss, dehydration, jaundice, and low blood sugar, as well as triggering profound maternal grief and self-blame. Despite this alarming reality, new breastfeeding parents routinely receive misguided warnings about the “risks of feeding formula” to their underfed babies. In Fed Is Best, Dr. Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, Jody Segrave-Daly, and Lynnette Hafken adeptly make the compelling case that providing adequate nutrition to your baby is far superior to underfeeding an infant solely with human milk.

Fed Is Best outlines everything expectant and new parents need to know about ensuring that their newborn continues to receive adequate nutrients after birth to optimize each baby’s development, satisfy their hunger, and keep them healthy and thriving. Whether you plan to nurse your baby, feed formula, or do both, Fed is Best provides all the judgment-free guidance you need to ensure that being “adequately fed is best” for your baby’s ultimate welfare and for your peace of mind!

— Marianne Neifert, MD, FAAP

About Us

Meet the Authors

Christie del Castillo-Hegyi, MD is a board-certified emergency physician and one of the Cofounders of the Fed Is Best Foundation. Her own breastfeeding experience led her to discover the fundamental flaws of how breastfeeding was being taught to parents and how it was causing them to not recognize serious complications of underfeeding, like jaundice, dehydration, and hypoglycemia. She has published on and spoken in medical conferences about their long-term consequences and how to change parent education and hospital guidelines to ensure safe and sufficient feeding for all infants. The Fed Is Best Foundation’s work has gained global media attention and it’s message has resonated with hundreds of thousands of families as well as health professionals across the globe.

A woman with long black hair smiles for the camera.
A woman with blonde hair and blue shirt smiling.

Jody Segrave-Daly, RN and IBCLC-Retired is one of the Cofounders and Executive Director of the Fed Is Best Foundation. She recognized during her over 30-year career as a newborn ICU nurse and lactation consultant how parents were being led to underfeed their breastfed infants to the point of needing hospitalization; and that it could have been prevented with supplementation when their infants showed signs of persistent hunger. She saw how promoting breastfeeding by vilifying formula was leading to infant harm and maternal mental health problems. She has sought to change the standard of infant feeding support to prioritize the health and well-being of the birthing parent and baby, and to be more inclusive of the vast diversity of biological, psychological, and social circumstances that make “best” infant feeding different for every family.

Lynnette Hafken, MA, IBCLC is Director of Support Services of the Fed Is Best Foundation. As a former La Leche League leader and hospital and private practice lactation consultant, she has spent her over 20-year career helping families to breastfeed in a safe, enjoyable, and sustainable way; in some cases, supporting parents who need or choose to formula feed to ensure their baby and family thrive. She saw how low milk supply and insufficient feeding problems were causing unnecessary physical and emotional suffering in babies and their mothers, which led her to adopt the “fed is best” philosophy. Through her clinical and foundation work, she has sought to advance the core values of Fed Is Best by listening to parents, honoring their choices, and protecting their babies with empathy and scientific integrity.

 

A woman in black jacket and white shirt.

Release Date June 25, 2024

Order the Book

The Fed Is Best book is available for pre-order at every major book retailer. Reserve your copy now!
A group of people sitting on chairs in the sand.
Fed Is Best Photo, 2018. Abbie Fox Photography.

Book Preview

Free

Christie’s Story and the Birth of Fed Is Best

The story that launched a global movement advocating for safe and sufficient feeding for all infants and judgment-free support for all families.

 

Printed Book

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Fed Is Best is available for pre-order now at all major book retailers! Click the button below for the links. To be released June 25, 2024.

Audio Book

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.37

Fed Is Best audio book is available for preorder now at all major book retailers! Click the button below for the links. To be released June 25, 2024.

E-book

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Fed Is Best e-book is available for pre-order now at all major book retailers! To be released June 25, 2024.

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