A father has admitted he fed his underweight baby formula, without his wife’s knowledge, because she was convinced by the message that “breast was best”.
In Joey Lombardi’s confession on Baby Center, he says he literally snuck into his son’s day care to feed his baby.
Yesterday, a judge sentenced a Brisbane mother to 18-months jail (suspended) for child cruelty, when she too refused to feed her child formula as she didn’t want to look like a “bad mother”.
The Brisbane mother’s five-month-old was found malnourished, with bones protruding, as his mother dogmatically continued to breastfeed him despite a recommendation that the infant needed formula.
The anonymous mother and Lombardi’s wife, Allison, are casualties of the “breast is best” message.
The New Jersey father said that when his wife was pregnant she was adamant she was going to breastfeed, a decision he supported.
But after Allison gave birth to their healthy baby son the doctor at his first check-up gave them a “gentle statement” that they had to watch his weight as he wasn’t gaining enough.
“Those gentle nudges became less gentle as the weeks went on,” Lombardi says.
Although his wife was not a fan of formula, a lactation consultant recommended supplementing with it while breastfeeding “via a little container and a feeding tube that my wife taped to her nipple.”
“It worked. And she was okay with it because the bonding elements were still in place. My son was making weight and all was well in the world.
“Then my wife went back to work.”
“To make this long story shorter, the doctors figured out Ben needed an extra four ounces of food a day. I asked my wife if the day care could give him one formula bottle a day, she refused because she didn’t want Ben developing a preference to formula. At this point, it was more of an emotional decision because our son was consuming formula in small increments and he was getting a few meals in bottle form.”
Lombardi says he then was force to sneak into the day care once a day to feed his son a bottle – after the staff there refused to feed it without Allison’s permission.
“I had to pick a time when my wife wasn’t over there feeding him or he wasn’t napping and not close to those feeding times where he would still be hungry when my wife showed up. It got really complicated.”
He says that he did tell his wife about it in the end.