Must Read: The Scary Risk Associated With Exclusive Breastfeeding Revealed!

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Mar 16, 2017 01:15 PM EDT

In a recent emotional essay published by the Fed is Best Foundation - a parent-led non-profit foundation created to push back against the social pressure to exclusively breastfeed, Jillian Johnson,  Jillian Johnson, who lost her son five years ago after he became so dehydrated that his heart stopped writes about how she feel about exclusive breastfeeding. He spent 15 days on life support before dying.

In the essay, Johnson wrote that despite several consultations with lactation experts and nurses, there was no issue on whether her son was hungry, or that she was not producing enough breast milk to keep him nourished. Johnson revealed that after her son, Landon was born, she and her partner were discharged from the hospital two and a half days later. But after less than 12 hours at home, Landon continued to cry, scream and attempting to feed, he went into cardiac arrest.

However, Johnson was amazed to find out that when she had her second child, Stella did not scream and cry as much as Landon did. Nurses said there was nothing wrong with her, and that Stella was sleeping, breastfeeding and eating normally.

"It was then that I realized that it wasn't normal for a newborn to cry as much as Landon did," she wrote. "He was just crying out from his hunger. But I didn't know. I should've known. I still struggle daily feeling as though I failed him." With this, it is believed that Breastfeeding is not right for everyone.

UNICEF campaign to support exclusive breastfeeding is popularly known worldwide and would be celebrating its 27th anniversary this year. Meanwhile, in the United State, this campaign has led to the growth and adoption of "baby-friendly" notion by hospitals, most of which now encourages breastfeeding as the norm. It also supports community breastfeeding support circles and awareness about the benefits associated with exclusive breastfeeding, which is said to include lower rates of diarrhea, diabetes, infections and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

UNICEF'S worldwide awareness campaign is partly motivated by the increasing number of infant deaths in developing countries due to formula mixed with dirty water or dilution of the expensive formula product.  It is reported that only 25 percent of American moms breastfed their infants in 1971, but up to 81 percent, or four of five American newborns, begin their life on the breast by 2016. According to Huffington post, 52 percent of these children were reported to still breastfeed at six months after birth.

On the contrary, for some few new parents who struggle to breastfeed at first, or those who never manage to succeed with the encouraged act, the campaign can be judgmental and unhelpful. In other rare, extreme cases, the campaign and pressure to exclusively breastfeed newborns are said to have resulted in the accidental starvation and dehydration of babies who could not get sufficient nutrition from exclusive breastfeeding, just like Johnson's case, according to Newsdump.

Jillian Johnson's essay is shocking, and it seems to be the last thing one would expect from exclusive breastfeeding effort, which is intended to do what's best for both mothers and babies. Although her case is rare, it is crucial to acknowledge that exclusive breastfeeding simply would not be successful for all mother-baby pairs,  a maternal-fetal medicine physician and medical director of lactation services at University of North Carolina Health Care, Dr. Alison Stuebe said.

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