Tag: FIB

Update: Open Invitation For Constructive Dialogue On Infant Feeding Recommendations Still Stands

In the interest of being transparent, 1,000 Days is posting publicly the message our Executive Director, Lucy Sullivan, sent today to the co-founder of the Fed Is Best Foundation. 1,000 Days has joined nearly 100 organizations to request a meeting with the co-founders of the Fed Is Best Foundation. Our hope is to engage in a constructive dialogue to discuss the concerns they have raised with respect to our nation’s infant feeding recommendations and associated health care practices.

Dear Dr. del Castillo-Hegyi,

As you know, almost 100 organizations have requested to meet with Fed is Best in hopes of engaging in a constructive conversation on infant feeding recommendations and associated health care practices. Many of these groups work directly with breastfeeding mothers and have seen first-hand the problems caused by infant feeding complications. They help support parents, work with under-served families and communities, advocate for sick and vulnerable newborns, and are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of mothers and babies.

I will share your “open letter”, as you have asked, with these organizations despite the fact that your letter is unfortunately riddled with inaccuracies and distortions. For example, never once did we indicate that we wanted a closed-door meeting. We are committed to transparency as well and would have gladly made public the proceedings of our meeting with Fed is Best.

Given that your letter indicates that you “have not had the time or interest” and it is a “lower priority” to meet with the 95 organizations that have requested a meeting, it seems that Fed is Best is not interested in trying to find ways to work together for the benefit of mothers and their babies. Moreover, based on the approach you outlined in your open letter, it appears that Fed is Best has no intent in constructively engaging with the many organizations that can be your allies in tackling infant feeding issues. Rather, it would seem that you have chosen to criticize and attempt to discredit groups—including the World Health Organization (WHO)—that have reached out to Fed is Best in good faith.

I personally do not understand how attacking organizations like WHO and other groups helps serve the interests of mothers and babies or advance what you say is your top priority: saving babies’ lives. Nevertheless, our invitation to meet with you remains open, assuming you can approach the meeting with a spirit of honest collaboration and with the intent of trying to find common ground in order to help families get the support they need to give their babies the strongest start to life. In the meantime, I wish you luck with your endeavors.

Sincerely yours,

Lucy M. Sullivan

40+ Organizations Call For A Constructive Dialogue On Infant Feeding Recommendations

Today, over 40 organizations signed-on to a joint letter to request a meeting with the co-founders of the Fed Is Best Foundation. Our hope is to engage in a constructive dialogue to discuss the concerns they have raised with respect to our nation’s infant feeding recommendations and associated health care practices.

You can read the full letter and see the list of organizations signed-on 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.


1,000 Days
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
Mom2Mom Global
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
United States Lactation Consultant Association
Vermont Breastfeeding Network