Landon Johnson should have celebrated his fifth birthday last week, but sadly, he never made it that far.
Had his mother fed him just one bottle of formula, Landon might still be with us today.
Landon died just a few days after birth from severe dehydration, even though his mother had been breastfeeding him practically nonstop.
Jillian, Landon’s devastated mother, had absolutely no idea that her baby was dehydrated, despite the fact that he was constantly crying.
Five years later, Jillian is speaking out about her story in hopes of informing other mothers about the warning signs of dehydration in newborns.
According to Kidspot, Jillian and her husband, Jarrod, from California, were so prepared for their baby boy that they even opted for a “baby-friendly” hospital.
In her blog, “Fed is Best,” Jillian explains that Landon cried constantly, unless he was feeding.
“Did you know newborns aren’t supposed to cry all the time? They’re supposed to eat and sleep and dirty their diapers. I had no idea that he was inconsolable because he was starving — literally,” she wrote.
Although Jillian quickly grew concerned about the constant feeding and crying, she was reportedly told by doctors that her baby was simply “cluster feeding”—where babies group their feedings close together.
While one lactation consultant told Jillian that she might have trouble producing milk because she was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), nobody suggested formula-feeding Landon.
Landon was only alive for a few days before he finally starved to death, and nobody even knew it was happening.
“We took him home … not knowing that after less than 12 hours home with us, he would have gone into cardiac arrest caused by dehydration,” Jillian wrote. “When a baby is only on the breast, how do we gauge how much they’re actually getting out? Sure, there should be wet and soiled diapers, and weight checks, right? And where is the limit as to weight loss and a minimum for the diapers changed?”
Although he was rushed to the hospital and placed on a ventilator immediately, Landon was taken off of life support 15 days later.
Five years later, Jillian is still wracked with guilt and furious that nobody realized her son was starving.
“It was then I realised that it wasn’t normal for a newborn to cry as much as Landon did. 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,” she wrote. “I realized in my grieving that there could be so many more parents that needed to hear it or talk about it but were never given the opportunity.”
“I had the opportunity to get the dialogue started and it needed to be done. I only wish I did it sooner. I’m so grateful knowing there’s a foundation (Fed is Best) dedicated to educating parents on the importance of feeding your newborn – whether supplementing or breastfeeding. I’m pro-feeding. Plain and simple,” Jillian continued. “We talk about Landon all the time. We have pictures of him up throughout the house. Our girls know who he is and we celebrate his birthday and acknowledge him on holidays.”