ICEA wants you to know that we are part of a coalition of 40 organizations that sent an open letter to the co-founders of the Fed Is Best Foundation on August 15. You will find the letter below.
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. Sincerely, 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 MomsRising 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