With Honest Feeding Stories, you’ll hear from parents like you about one of the most intimate and important experiences of family life. Happiness and heartbreak, serenity and struggle, joy and tears — it’s all here in their own words. Presented with our support and without judgment, these stories remind us that the choices we make to nourish our children are truly unique. 

In 2007, my wife and I were expecting our first baby. Like most expectant parents, we couldn’t wait to share the wonder and joy of every moment to come. As the CEO of the non-profit Healthy Child Healthy World, author and speaker on environmental health, and consumer advocate working with brands in the marketplace, I had dedicated my life to making a healthier, non-toxic world for children and families. Now, it was our turn to create our own safe haven and share this world we were working so hard to realize. My wife, Jessica, and I were looking forward to every moment and, as is my nature, I had done all of the research I could to be an informed parent. Of course, everything changes the instant your child arrives; all of our preparation still couldn’t have readied us for the emotion and exhaustion of our first challenge as a family.

Honest Feeding Stories: Christopher

As much as Jessica wanted to breastfeed, she physically just couldn’t produce enough milk. We tried everything — every piece of advice, psychological exercise, natural remedy, tincture, and multiple board-certified IBCLC lactation consultants. We were devastated to hear our trusted pediatrician explain that our newborn son, Luke, still wasn’t getting enough nutrition and experiencing “failure to thrive.” (How guilty that phrase makes a parent feel!) As a concerned father and loving husband, I had to take action. It’s just what I do.

So it became a personal quest: All the expertise, all the passion I had for children’s health and environmental science went into finding the best newborn nutrition available to nourish our son. I pored over scientific reports, read infant development journals, consulted medical thought leaders and doctors, and researched the ingredients in every domestic and international infant formula. It all matters — especially the  integrity of ingredients and nutrition values when it comes to vulnerable, developing infants — as food lays the foundational groundwork for the healthy growth and development to come. Still, I couldn’t find what we were looking for, something that had the quality and purity that my child — and every child — deserved.

Honest Feeding Stories: Christopher

That day, I resolved to take action and “do it better.” I called this effort that consumed my nights and weekends ‘Project Good Milk.’  I became a fanatic learning all I could about early-stage feeding, doing in-depth research on the history of infant formula and standards, as well as taking as many possible meetings with doctors, pediatricians, midwives, doulas, and lactation consultations to understand the latest in infant and nutritional sciences. I was determined to create something with integrity, transparency, and purity.

Ultimately, Jessica and I relied on a combination of breastmilk and organic formula to get us through the first year of our son Luke’s life and we did the same to nourish Evie and Poppy, our next two children. Through it all, I continued my pursuit of an infant formula that families could trust through and through, working diligently on this passion project whenever I could. When I co-founded The Honest Company in 2012, it presented a powerful platform to bring empowerment, education, and safe, healthy options to more families than ever before. With every product we’ve created, we’re seeing the kind of progress to protect children and families we’ve been looking for — and not finding — in our government and in the marketplace.

For me, Honest Feeding has been over 7 years in the making and I couldn’t be more proud of our initial product line. We support ALL types of feeding without judgment — breastfeeding, formula feeding, and combination feeding — because every family has unique needs.  That’s the foundation of Honest Feeding: creating a platform of all-embracing acceptance and starting a new kind of conversation (or a “new chapter,” as my father used to say) for all families. We honestly believe every baby deserves their best start.

-Christopher, Co-Founder, The Honest Company

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Pin on Pinterest

9 thoughts on “Honest Feeding Stories: Christopher Gavigan

  1. What a great parents you are! Thanks for everything you do to ensure every product you launch meets the most extreme standards. You are considering absolutely everything with your new formula and we should all honestly appreciate your care for humankind.

  2. I cannot thank you enough for this in perfect and devine timing. I wasnt able to breastfeed due to multiple reasons. My son and I almost died due to preeclampsia and hellp. My son was born at 30 weeks. I had my son via emergancy c-section after 8 long days of trying to fight and keep him inside me and 9 rounds of magnesium sulfate. My kidneys and liver were failing and my body was giving out. My son wasnt handling the contractions and his heart rate was dipping. On April 24 at 9:07pm I gave birth to my miracle son Uriah. I was still very out of it but asked as soon as I got out of my c-section for a breast pump. I pumped from about 1 hour post-op every two hours. My son was in the Nicu unit for 2 months. I thought of him and pumped everyday by his bedside, at 2am, 4am 6am in the morning. I tried everything you could imagine to produce and I did about 1 ounce every 2-3 days. My husband made me lactation cookies. I took enough fenugreek to smell like a maple syrup factory. I went through every lactation consultant in the hospital. I even hired 2 consultants outside the hospital. Nothing increased my supply. I was crushed because I never considered formula. Of course I signed off on him having donor milk in the NICU I wanted him to get that so badly that liquid gold I tried so hard to fully supply for him. I was heartbroken and guilt came over me like no other 1st I couldnt carry my son full term 2nd I couldnt produce breast milk. I felt like I failed and my heart was devestated. We spent 2 months in the NICU unit and 2 weeks after we had him home on the formula they discharged us with my son aspirated and stopped breathing. We were back in the hospital again he had acid reflux and the nipple from the bottle was flowing too fast for him. We had to get specialized preemie nipples to slow the flow. Seeing your son turn blue in the hospital is one thing but at home its another story no nurses or doctors. It scared me and scared the milk right out of me. There I was by his side in the hospital pumping again but I wasnt even getting drops. The medical assistant said I look awful she said I am curious can I take your blood pressure… I said yes I was 196/110. Maybe thats another reason why I lost all milk production? After his discharge they put him on another formula. It was more tolerated. I then begged all the milk banks to help me and they did what they could because there was other very sick babies to attend too. I then came across a co-op who donated breastmilk for us until last week. I am spacing out this liquid gold as much as I can. As much research I did about formulas I felt like I was dammed if I do dammed if I dont…which is the lesser evil? It broke my heart. Now with your new product I feel so much better knowing that I will now be giving my son organic and non-gmo formula. Tears are flowing. I must say how much bullying I have got for not being able to breast feed. Everyone is so judgemental until they have been in your shoes. I am more than thankful to be alive and even more than that I am so thankful that my son is a fighter and I am so blessed to watch him grow. In the end you have to come to term because some things you just cant help or stop. Yes my waterbirth and breastfeeding would have been the perfect birth story but I wouldnt change my story for the world. Many thanks to the Honest Company for giving the moms that couldnt produce for whatever reason a chance to give them another best choice

  3. Well done… Without judgement… Because we are all trying our best. Let’s hope all of us keep trying and keep learning. Good for you both. It isn’t easy.

  4. Thank you, thank you! I can’t tell you how similar my story is to Stephanie’s! Daughter delivered via C-section due to pre-eclampsia HELLP syndrome. Totally unexpected. I produce about 3 oz of milk a day- pump 8x per day, tried lactation cookies, Fenugreek, Reglan, and nothing has helped. I’m glad to have a formula produced from a company I trust, since after my daughter is released from the NICU I will have to use formula to supplement my little supply.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story and your wife’s struggle with breastfeeding. I had my own challenges this time last year in being able to continue breastfeeding our son. I felt so guilty months afterward, feeling like I was not the “best” mom with failing to push myself to continue to breastfeed (when I just could not). I researched organic baby formulas and finally picked the one I thought was best at the time, for our son. I’m so happy that you guys now have your own organic formula. I also love the fact that you make a point to “support ALL types of feeding without judgment.” It truly makes me love this company even more. I believe all moms try their best for their children and support for one another in such an exciting but also challenging time is very important.

  6. What’s the difference between The Formula Feeding Organic Premium Infant Formula and the Combination Feeding Organic Premium Infant Formula?
    My daughter has a 6 month old and she has been breastfeeding since her daughter was born. Now she isn’t making as much milk as she was and is very nervous about introducing formula to her daughter. Your product sounds like exactly what she needs, but I don’t quite understand the difference in the 2 that I mentioned above. Would you please explain?
    Lisa H

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *