Am I a Sanctimommy?

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Last week I posted this image:

house casket

It got picked up by Sanctimommy on Facebook who asked:

What do you think, does the fear mongering go both ways?

In this case it does because I created the image as a riff off of a similar image created by a lactivist organization featuring a bottle of formula in a coffin and declaring that “formula fed babies are 26.5% more likely to die in the first year of life.”

I contemplated responding to the bottle in the casket image with facts: a 26.5% increase is trivial; the increased infant mortality rate reflects the difference between babies who are formula fed (race, economic status, health care) from those that are breastfed, not the difference between formula and breastfeeding. I ultimately decided that a punch in the gut image like the bottle in the coffin would be countered most effectively by a punch in the gut image of the house in the coffin, which has the added virtue of causation, not merely correlation.

In other words, I created the image specifically to “go the other way” on fear mongering.

But the Sanctimommy had this to say:

I think Dr Amy and the Alpha Parent are on equal ends of the shock and awe parenting campaign. I don’t understand how you can love one and hate the other. The argument is different but the end result is the same.

I beg to differ. There are real differences that mean that Alison Dixley, The Alpha Parent, is a sanctimommy and I am not.

Do I judge? You bet I do. I judge mothers who can’t tell the difference between the internet and a medical textbook. I judge self-proclaimed midwives who couldn’t care less if babies die at homebirth as long as they get their birth junkie high and some money to go with it. I judge women whose babies died at homebirth and refuse to take responsibility for their own decisions.

Yes, judging is the sine qua non of being a sanctimommy. It’s necessary, but it’s not sufficient.

First, for a sanctimommy, there is only one right way: her way. My primary message about parenting is that there are MANY right ways to parent children and what works for one mother and her family may not work for another.

Second, being a sanctimommy is about denigrating other mothers in order to boost your own fragile self-esteem. But I don’t write about my children and my parenting decisions. I write about the central empirical claims of natural childbirth advocacy, lactivism and attachment parenting. Specifically, I write about the fact that they aren’t based on scientific evidence, but rather made up to suit the needs of activists.

Third, and most importantly, a sanctimommy wants the majority of women to feel bad about themselves and to feel guilty. My goal is the opposite. I try to reassure the majority of women that they shouldn’t feel guilty because they aren’t doing anything wrong.

Superficially it may seem that The Alpha Parent and I have a lot in common. We are both very aggressive. But she is aggressive in promoting her view that SHE is a better mother than you. I am aggressive in promoting the view that YOU are a great parent if your decisions are made with love and concern for your child, regardless of whether I might have made the same decisions. I have no skin in the game of mommy one-upsmanship, because my children are all young adults and the decisions that obsess sanctimommies are all in my rearview mirror.

Moreover, sanctimommy bloggers are writing as themselves. I am writing as an on line persona, chosen deliberately because it seems to work the best in combating the pseudoscience rampant in homebirth advocacy, lactivism and attachment parenting. As you might imagine, I’m not shy and retiring in real life, but I’m not this persona, either.

Do I judge? You bet I judge. I judge women who put their desire for bragging rights ahead of whether their baby lives or dies. I judge individuals and organizations that profit from spreading misinformation about childbirth and breastfeeding. I judge women who can only feel good about their mothering by tearing other mothers down.

But judging is not wrong. I also judge racists, homophobes and misogynists. I judge murders, abusers and child pornographers. I judge political parties that use hate to win votes and I judge countries that use violence against their citizens.

Judging alone does not make one a sanctimommy. Who you judge and why you judge matters, too.

I’m loud, I’m aggressive and I don’t hesitate to tell unpleasant truths, but that doesn’t make me a sanctimommy.

It makes me The Skeptical OB.

  • Jennifer Anne Carmichael

    I agree that we should be glad we live in a time where there is modern medicine that babies that never would’ve made it in the old days don’t have to die..sure if everything goes perfect and you have high pain threshold etc go for it re home birth do what you want but after my second kid and people putting pressure on me NOT to get an epidural, do it natural, etc…im sorry but what floats your boat ie the natural high you get from that ..well it doesn’t float mine..get the baby out alive any way u have to is more my thinking and its MY BABY and MY BODY so mind your bizness…what kind of a medal do people think they deserve for doing it natural? the only people that CARE how they do their birth is THEM and their partner if they have one, nobody else gives a shit I sure as hell aint proud of them people are concerned with their own lives and don’t go around congratulating these women, do they? No one else cares except other sanctimommies that is..the alpha parent is a ridiculous self righteous joke asshole of a person

  • Amanda Lee-Pearl Moore

    if you continually have to defend your statements with “But it’s safer!” “but that’s the facts!” and other such phrases it’s still being a sanctimommy. No matter how factual the information is.
    fact: Drop side cribs have killed only a fraction of what circumcision kills annually. But I’m still a sanctimommy if I use that information to condemn another mother’s choice. Promote what you love. Change minds through positivity.

  • Allynne7

    A lot of butt hurt in these comments. S’okay! I have some extra butt cream you can use 😉

  • Ellen

    Short answer? Yes, you are. You appear to have a very difficult time dealing with an opposite viewpoint to your own without resorting to insult. For instance, other than raw milk and vaccination, I can find very little to agree with you about. But I haven’t assumed this is because either of us are deficient in intelligence or education, we both of us have advanced degrees and are conversant with current peer-reviewed research. I would presume that both of us merely have different viewpoints formed by our divergent experiences and observations. We interpret the available evidence differently. You tip over into sanctimony when you label your opponent “wrong” using provocative language, without considering your own potential fallibility or alternative interpretations, both of which place you at risk of an open mind!

    • Trixie

      So, you don’t think CPMs should have to be held to the same educational standards and licensing as CNMs, and carry insurance? You don’t agree that home birth raises the risk of death, and that women should have access to those statistics so they can make an informed decision?

  • Colloquialism

    Seems like a long post just to say “NUH UH, AM NOT!”

  • You judge for a lot more than choosing homebirth, and anyone who takes the time to read this website knows it. You judge people who do elimination communication as ‘having a relationship based on excrement’ and you say its ‘treating children like dogs’ when its just a different way to deal with potty training. What does that have to do with safety? I’ve also seen a lot of judgment of other peoples parenting (when you didn’t personally like the parents). Lots of harsh stuff about attachment parenting specifically. Other things that are essentially harmless and silly also get judged very harshly, like placenta encapsulation. Own what you do-or change it to reflect the values in this post, I don’t care which one. I just don’t appreciate the BS.

    • Kalacirya

      Placenta encapsulation is not harmless. Taking the pill on its own may not be causing harm, but it’s about what they are not taking. There are many women out there suffering from postpartum depression and other real problems, that require the real assistance of professionals and maybe also pharmaceuticals, and those women are not seeking help because they have the illegitimate belief that placenta pills are medicine enough.

  • I just read a post where you told women who want a home birth that they are either narcissists, stupid or selfish, or some combination thereof. This wasn’t based on any sort of empirical evidence or study of the mental disorders of women who home birth. This was based on your personal anger toward women who home birth, and the post was written entirely to denigrate and shame other mothers in order to convince them that you, and only you, are correct about home birth.

    I agree with you completely on the facts that hospital birth is a safer alternative than home birth, and that the radicalness of the home birth community promotes some incredibly dangerous ideas and situations. However, your methods of promoting hospital birth are self-righteous, self-serving and callous. I don’t know how you could list out the things that make a person sanctimonious and utterly fail to see how some of your posts here pretty squarely land you in the same category.

    You’re not helping!

    • Anj Fabian

      So…who else is speaking about the real dangers of home birth and reaching enough of an audience to have an effect?

      If there are others (that we don’t know about already), we’d love to know!

      • Judith Rooks is the first person I can think of off the top of my head. She is a CNM in Oregon who is concerned about the lack of credentials of CPMs, and she approaches the subject in a sensitive and data-driven way. I’ve encountered many other licensed physicians and nurse midwives over the years who have similarly advocated against home birth, advocated for stricter standards of training for lay midwives, and/or promoted legislation and hospital policies to mitigate the risks of home birth. They may not have the reputation that Dr. Amy has, but I think that’s a good thing.

        Reaching an audience of people who already agree with you, while alienating those who are most likely to have a home birth and therefore in the greatest need of your help, is not effective advocacy.

        • Poogles

          “Reaching an audience of people who already agree with you, while alienating those who are most likely to have a home birth and therefore in the greatest need of your help, is not effective advocacy.”

          From what I’ve seen from reading Dr. Amy for 5-6 years now, she reaches MANY people who are planning HB, people who have had HB, and people who have tried HB. Many of those she has reached have gone on to change their minds regarding the safety of HB (as I did). From what I can tell, Dr. Amy is actually quite effective.

  • MonaLisa

    http://news.msn.com/science-technology/inducing-labor-may-be-tied-to-autism#tscptmf

    Any thoughts on this article? I haven’t gotten a chance to read the JAMA article yet. The NCBs are prettttttty excited about it on Facebook (of course).

    • Lizzie Dee

      Articles like this really irritate me. Autism “may” be caused by induction – except that 65% don’t result in autism. It “may” be caused by wearing pink pajamas, but why not wair until that “may” is a little clearer?

      Why were these women induced? At what gestations? (the full report might answer these questions, but how many will read it?) How was the autism diagnosed? Have these children had MRIs?

      A (very uninformed) bee in my bonnet is that some aspects of autism do go along with the kind of brain damage that comes from a bad birth. Maybe I am wrong but to me a diagnosis of autism ought to be one of exclusion. I am quite muddled on this, but feel that woolly diagnosis and a very wide spectrum doesn’t help anyone very much.

      And, of course, this will help to demonise necessary inductions, and cause a lot of equally unnecessary anxiety.

      When my dughter’s pre-e got bad, she was induced. I believed a CS made more sense, but was told it was better for her. Her labour was short, and happily no ill effects on the baby – who is now 8 and not even slightly on the spectrum. The research into causes is vital – but reporting it in this way – who does that help?

      • MonaLisa

        Completely agree. There are so many confounders in this kind of study. Unless it was comparing purely elective inductions in uncomplicated pregnancies with spontaneous labor in uncomplicated pregnancies at the same gestational ages, I don’t see how it’s useful at all.

    • Wren

      Interesting anecdote around this. Neither of my children are on the spectrum and neither was induced. My nephew is on the spectrum and was induced. Extra information I think is interesting: my children both had relatively small head circumferences while my nephew’s head was huge. That may have contributed to his induction and my sister has been told the large head may be connected to being on the spectrum too. That finding has been called into question, but is an interesting one.

    • LibrarianSarah

      I think articles like this is why many in the autism community take issue with the “causes and cures” approach to autism. People spend so much time focusing on who and what to blame and how to “fix” it that programs that actually help autistic people and their family and end up getting “table scraps” when it comes to funding.

      And what has this approach gotten us, a list of possible issue on what is to blame one more unlikely to the next and most of which are based almost solely on correlation. So far I have heard, living near high traffic areas, inductions, ultrasounds, vaccines, flame retardant pajamas/bedding, air pollution, and various genes.

      Meanwhile, even though their is plenty of money to fund this wild goose chase, programs that actually help people with autism and their families such as job training programs, behavioral treatments, access to assisted communications devices, etc go under funded. The problem is that our culture does not want to accommodate for disabilities but wants to “fix” them. This outlook makes the lives of the disabled harder than it needs to be because most disabilities cannot be fixed but if given proper accommodation most disabled people can live productive lives.

      If we took half of the money that we spend trying to find something to blame and used it to find autistic people jobs or live in care providers than we might actually make the lives of autistic people better and society better as a whole.

      My mother “naturally” went in to labor a week before her scheduled c-section I was not induced or anything but am still autistic. Maybe it was the c-section that did it maybe not. At this point, it doesn’t matter. Even if it was the c-section, what was my mom supposed to do try labor even with the very real chance that I wouldn’t survive it? Stop having kids after my bother when it became clear she wouldn’t be able to naturally? If she did any of those things the results would have been far more tragic for her than my autism. If she did any of those things she would have missed out on knowing me.

      Wow talk about TLDR but this is the kind of thing that really grinds my gear.

      • Amy H

        My thought was, it may carry a 35% higher risk of autism, but it carries a much higher risk of a live baby.

        • LibrarianSarah

          Exactly, I fear that this is going to be another thing that is going to cost innocent lives and fail to bear any real fruit( you know like the whole vaccine argument) because in our culture we would rather risk death than disability. The fact a lot of parents seem to rather have a dead child than a disabled one is horrific to me.

        • Squillo

          My thought was, c-section at term is the way to go if you’re worried about it. My autistic, dyspraxic son was induced at 41 5/7. Maybe it was the induction (combined with our genes–we have several autistic family members), or maybe it was the 4.5 hours of pushing followed by x minutes of oxygen deprivation when he got stuck. Or maybe it was even the 12 extra days of cooking time in utero. Who knows? But hey, I got my vaginal birth. And a son who would almost certainly have been better off being born via unnecessarean, regardless of his autism.

    • Sue

      From one author:

      ”One of the things we need to look at is why they were being induced in the first place.”

  • Squillo

    OT — but the strange, sad case of Robert Biter, MD, has gotten stranger and sadder.

    Biter has filed a suit against Scripps, and a whole mess of Scripps docs, an attorney, and the CEO, as well as 50(!) John Does.

    The gist of the complaint alleges that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to ruin his practice and reputation. It includes some astounding allegations, including that the named defendants “coerc[ed] and/or influenc[ed] subordinate staff to alter medical documentation” and that they “made false and misleading statements to the governing bodies of other San Diego area hospitals, charging Plaintiff with egregious acts of medical malpractice.”

    Also:

    “Defendants’ malicious campaign against Plaintiff consisted of innumerable false statements, made to the MEC, as well as to the governing bodies of local area hospitals and the public at large, and was an attempt to cast serious doubt as to Plaintiff’s ability to competently practice medicine.”

    He’s also requesting a trial by jury.

    The firm of his attorney of record, Jeremy J. Alberts, appears to specialize representing defendants in civil and legal cases, which strikes me as an odd choice, but I’m not an attorney.

    I’ve uploaded the complaint to Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/doc/159628367/Biter-v-Scripps-et-al

    Meanwhile, other things don’t seem to be going well for Biter. There have been an additional two med-mal suits filed against him in 2013: on 4/12/13 (OB/GYN Douglas Fenton (who is one of the defendants in Biter’s suit) is the primary respondent, Biter is a co-respondent, along with Carlsbad Surgery Center, Seaside Women’s Health, and La Shel Montgomery, CNM); and on 4/9/13, with Biter and Seaside Women’s Health as primary respondents, Heather Lemaster, CPM as co-respondent.

    Biter’s Seaside Women’s Health practice appears to be closed. There has not yet been a hearing on the petition to revoke his license, which has been suspended with a “no-practice” order as of December 2012. His license is set to expire next month, and I’m wondering what happens if he doesn’t try to renew. Does that mean there will never be a hearing?

    • An Actual Attorney

      Nothing that weird about the firm’s practice area. Everyone’s got to have a niche. Weird complaint tho.

      • Squillo

        What struck me as odd is that he retained counsel whose niche is defense.

        • An Actual Attorney

          I assume it’s all part of his overall defense strategy, whatever that may be.

          • Squillo

            Best defense is a good offense, I guess. The attorney could be the one who’s advising him on the MBOC proceedings.

  • amazonmom

    Totally off topic but I had to run over to Skeptical OB and get an emergency dose of sense infused into my brain. My online pregnancy club is all up in arms because a doctor turned her client’s mother into CPS. The mom was refusing to feed the baby anything other than goat’s milk mixed with celery juice. What the hell is so wrong with infant formula that you would feed your baby some whackjob recipe instead? I want to say what I feel about it but I know I will get banned for it.

    • amazonmom

      Oh and the mom complaining about the story the most is planning an HBAC with a bicornuate uterus. Oh god help me. I can’t believe her nurse midwife told her “I’ve never seen a rupture it’s fine”. It blows my mind that it’s legal to attend HBAC in WA state.

      • LibrarianSarah

        Whenever a medical professional says something like like “I never seen a rupture” my brain adds on “so you might be my first!”

        • Dr Kitty

          I was recently talking to a family member who works as a medical malpractice lawyer.
          She was telling me about how working on a Cerebral Palsy/HIE case where the rupture occurred on the third push was one of the reasons why she didn’t buy a cot or decorate a nursery until her son was born.

          HBAC with an abnormal uterus would be well outside. CNM’s scope of practice, with a higher likelihood of rupture than 0.5%.

          • amazonmom

            The person in question won’t tell anyone her midwife’s name. I bet because if the Board of Nursing caught wind of what she is doing there would be major problems.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          The statement “I have never seen…” or “To the best of my knowledge…” only beg the question of the extent of your experience or your knowledge.

          • Sue

            I’m also skeptical about the pronouncement supported by ”in MY experience” by a twenty-something….So, call me age-ist.

      • Squillo

        Hubris on the part of the midwife, plain and simple.

        If I were considering being a homebirth midwife, I’d want as much hands-on experience with sudden complications as I could possibly get before hanging out my shingle.

        • amazonmom

          The homebirth midwife MO is if you don’t know how or can’t fix a problem the problem doesn’t exist. Then you proceed to kill and injure clients and babies. I know a few homebirth midwives who do rule out high risk cases and transfer appropriately but they are few and far between. They are very frank with their clients that being across the street from the hospital may not be good enough if a serious complication arises.

      • Bombshellrisa

        I don’t know how legal it is, but there are CPMs who attend HBACs in WA state too. Not “officially” of course, you won’t find anything on their website about it and they won’t attend them in the birth center but its all over MDC that HBACs are done by them.

        • amazonmom

          I’ve had to deal with the results of the doulas and CPM that do HBAC out here. We usually end up with crisis counselors being available to the unit staff after those.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife

            I feel bad upvoting this.

          • auntbea

            Interesting. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that hospitals have staff counselors, but it didn’t. What percentage of cases require counseling for the staff?

          • amazonmom

            I am not sure about the percentage, but I know this case was bad because the patients condition didn’t match the “midwife” info we were given. The blood puddles soaked through the flooring in the failed attempt to save the baby.

      • Kalacirya

        “Oh and the mom complaining about the story the most is planning an HBAC with a bicornuate uterus.”

        Now that’s a poor idea if I’ve ever heard one.

      • M.

        I never heard of this case til now and I’m pissed off too! Please read the link that Poogles provided for me (thinking I’d be like “oh now I see. the mom is indeed wrong”.

        NOT!

        http://weeklypacket.com/news/2013/aug/15/feeding-goat-milk-to-infant-lands-brooklin-woman-i/#.Ug_bh3-XOuK

        • Poogles

          “the link that Poogles provided for me (thinking I’d be like “oh now I see. the mom is indeed wrong”.”

          Not really, actually. Just provided the link as a source for my assertion that there were more red flags for CPS than “just” feeding the baby a homemade formula that very well could have been lacking in essential nutrition.

    • Certified Hamster Midwife

      I posted a news story about this in the comments of another post.

      • amazonmom

        Which post? I would love the read the actual news story versus the OMG ISNT THAT DR MEEEEEN stuff I’m seeing

        • Certified Hamster Midwife

          Oh, never mind, it was another thread on this post. http://www.skepticalob.com/2013/08/am-i-a-sanctimommy.html#comment-994685540

        • M.

          Not mean. She crossed boundaries where she had no business…

          “He’s a really good baby. He’s always happy. He likes to eat,” she said.

          But what baby Carson eats has caused a lot of trouble for this 17-year-old mother.

          When the baby didn’t take to breastfeeding, Gellerson started feeding him homemade goat milk formula.

          “Oh, he loved it,” Gellerson said. “We put celery juice in it, and he
          just loves that, and it worked really well with his body, and he grew
          like a weed.”

          But when her doctor reported this to the Department of Health and Human Services, things got messy.

          “She came in and threatened to take him away and put him in foster care until I complied to go to the doctor and get him seen.”

          Gellerson, who receives state benefits, says she has complied with
          all of the mandates from DHHS, including numerous doctor visits, an
          overnight hospital stay, and even switched over to store-bought formula
          to please them.

          But she says THE STATE STILL IS NOT DROPPING IT. ”

          __________________________________

          That ^^^ is DISGUSTING. And why isn’t it illegal?

          …continuing on…

          “It’s so frustrating. My daughter is a great mother. The baby has a
          great dad, too, and they love this baby very much, and they would never
          do anything to hurt him. And if we thought the formula was harming him,
          we would not do that,” said Tania Allen, Gellerson’s mother.

          DHHS said they had no one available to speak,

          [ Of course not! ]

          Instead directing
          reporters to websites for procedures they follow, like one from the
          USDA, which says goat milk is not recommended for infants because of
          inadequate quantities of certain vitamins.

          “I am aware that there is some push back from a lot of community
          organizations toward parents who take that approach,” Jack Forbush, The
          Osteopathic Center for Family Medicine in Hampden, said. “I don’t know
          what’s really driving it other than perhaps some different cultural
          belief system. I’ve got plenty of kids in my practice that have been
          given goat’s milk, for example, and they’re growing and developing
          fine.”

          – ^^^ JUST FINE, folks. Just fine.

          “I hope this all goes away. It’s been so terrible and hard on us.
          We’re just trying to live our lives and they keep bothering us. I just
          want it to be all over,” Gellerson said.

          _______________________

          – I hope the government goes away from prying into the lives of healthy families and breaking them up too.

          Story after story has shown that once CPS gets in claws into a family, it never gets them out.

          Funding dictates that they need more and more kids every year in the Foster Care System.

          This is the problem with relying on the government for one’s maintenance.

          As a young teen mom Gellerson is on “welfare” which means she’s a ward of the State herself.

          Of course the State is going to make her comply to this and that if she is to receive DHHS benefits.

          It would be better for her if she get off that system ASAP.

          I know this American culture is not very family oriented, but my god, does our government really have to help along the complete breakdown of it all?

          We seem to be doing fine breaking up families without their help.

          • Poogles

            “Story after story has shown that once CPS gets in claws into a family, it never gets them out. ”

            Or not. This really varies, as far as I can tell, by the funds available to CPS in any particular area. For instance, CPS was involved with my family multiple times during my childhood (for very legitimate reasons), and they never “broke up” our family (even though there was abuse occuring). From various stories I’ve seen related on the web, it seems that in places where CPS is relatively well-funded even “minor” issues can cause CPS to become very involved and sometimes it seems they go much too far. In places where CPS is not well-funded and/or they’re overwhelmed with cases (where there is poverty, there is more child abuse and usually less funds for the agencies that are meant to help), outright abuse doesn’t neccesarily result in removal of the child and even when they are removed, they can be placed back with their parents before the underlying issues are even resolved. My cousin has had her children removed from her care multiple times for abuse, yet they usually end up back with her, only to be taken again when the abuse crops back up.

            It’s not black and white. CPS is a needed agency (unfortunately), but they don’t always succeed in doing their job well – and that’s not always their fault.

          • M.

            Not *always* their fault, but often times.

            Please read my new comments to you above.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            CPS leaves more children in the home than they should not the opposite. Although their directive is to keep families together if possible because removing a child even from an abusive situation only adds to their trauma. So, even in areas where CPS is well funded they will try to repair the family if possible.

          • M.

            “CPS leaves more children in the home than they should not the opposite.”

            The reason why is because they are wasting their time and resources harrassing families that are doing nothing wrong, such as in this example. Time and resources that could, and should, be going to children who are actually at risk.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            No, it is because it is their directive … did you miss that part? The family in this story should have been looked into because the baby was obviously at risk from the parents stupidity.

          • Poogles

            According to this article, it wasn’t JUST the homemade formula – the mother was also refusing vaccinations, wasn’t taking her baby in for regular check-ups, and was ignoring her ped’s phone calls. That is more than enough reason for CPS to get involved.
            http://weeklypacket.com/news/2013/aug/15/feeding-goat-milk-to-infant-lands-brooklin-woman-i/

          • M.

            Poogles, ” it wasn’t JUST the homemade formula – the
            mother was also refusing vaccinations, wasn’t taking her baby in for
            regular check-ups, and was ignoring her ped’s phone calls.”

            Like I said, Gellerson needs to get OFF gubmint welfare. Because she’s on Uncle Sam’s dime he’s going to be watching her 24/7 and forcing he to comply to vaccines yet threaten her livelihood.

            I’ve had NO issue with the gubmint over not vaccinating my kids, and not taking them in for “regular check-ups”. We don’t have a “family doctor”. If my kids ever get sick, I’ll find a pediatrician AT THAT TIME.

            I’ve never heard a single peep from the gubmint about my kids, and I won’t either.

            But I’m not on medicaid.

            There’s the catch!

          • auntbea

            Just FYI, IF there is ever a time when CPS is called on you — which may happen just as a precaution if you ever have to bring an injured child to the ER — not having regular check-ups or a family doctor is going to be a BIG reg flag for them. Abusers often fail to take their children to the doctor because they don’t want the doctor to notice anything incriminating. It is in your best interest to have a regular pediatrician who knows you and can vouch that he has never seen evidence of abuse or neglect.

            Note: I do not receive assistance from the government. I also do not abuse my daughter. But CPS has investigated me after an injury.

          • Kerlyssa

            I can’t recall the last time I saw ‘gubmint’ being used unironically. I mean, it’s quite likely he/she/it is just trolling for fun, and therefore it doesn’t count, but really. I feel like I should mark this post for posterity.

          • auntbea

            Ssshhh. That’s what the gubmint wants you to do.

          • M.

            Kerylyssa, you should definitely mark that post!

          • M.

            Thanks for that link Poogles. After reading it was made crystal clear that the mother is in the right and DHHS in the wrong. Now I’m even MORE skeptical of their motives in this particular case.

            Have you yourself actually read it? Here’s some key points;

            So Gellerson told the WIC staff she was
            feeding Carson goat milk supplemented with liquid infant multivitamins,
            probiotic powder and other natural ingredients from a recipe Allen had
            researched online.

            Soon after—and after Gellerson didn’t return phone calls from her MaineCare doctor, Tasha Hoffman—DHHS worker Christie Leighton showed up at Gellerson’s door.

            “She didn’t say where she was from, and asked to come in,” said Gellerson.

            After Leighton identified herself, Gellerson said she “started being
            very rude and demanded that I go to the hospital with her, and that if I
            didn’t, she would take Carson herself.”

            Gellerson hadn’t returned Dr. Hoffman’s phone calls because Hoffman
            was pressuring vaccinations for Carson, which Gellerson was against, and
            wanted Gellerson to bring him in for frequent checkups.

            “We don’t do that in our family,” said Allen. “We only believe in
            taking babies, people [to the doctor] when you have concerns, are
            injured or sick.”

            Allen said that Hoffman had been “nicely” told that Gellerson would bring Carson in if there were a problem.

            Gellerson had started Carson on the goat milk formula after her
            mother, Tania Allen, had found that store-bought formulas all, including
            organic ones, contained some form of genetically engineered material,
            including the synthetic nutritional oils DHA and ARA that have resulted in reports of infant illness.

            ….

            Gellerson said Carson’s father, Dustin Powers, supported the goat milk formula.

            After the DHHS visit, Gellerson and Allen took Carson to their family doctor, Dr. Brandt Rice of Coastal Family Medicine in Blue Hill.

            “We thought [he] would be a good [medical] opinion,” said Allen. “He saw nothing wrong with the baby in a physical examination.”

          • Tim

            Give me a break. What medical authority says goat milk is an acceptable food for an infant? The osteopath they quoted who advertises on his website that he has training in cranio sacral therapy? Yes the government expects you to take proper care of your kids. Hopefully some day they will come after all you non vaxing psychos who put the rest of us in danger.

          • M.

            Many babies are allergic to soy and lactose in cows milk. They thrive on goats milk. Of course, if you read it thoroughly then you know that goats milk was not the only thing they were giving him. The baby is healthy but Big Pharma and Big Gov wants our infants to consume pesticide and hormone laden genetically modified soy. The estrogens in gmo soy are not healthy. This family has a farm. My great-grandparents remember a time before Big Pharma when many Americans kept their own animals, grew their own food, and fed their babies with these same healthy, organic farm foods. We don’t need “medical authorities” until and unless we experience health problems. Even then, we had better interview and vet them hard for not only a sufficient knowledge of nutrient dense foods (which many don’t have), but as well as their own family values.

          • M.

            ” Hopefully some day they will come after all you non vaxing psychos who put the rest of us in danger.”

            Your vaccinations immunize you against danger, remember?

          • Kerlyssa

            If you don’t understand how allergies work, I suppose it’s not to be expected you’d have even a basic understanding of how vaccinations work, either.

          • Tim

            They don’t protect immunocompromised people unless just about everyone gets them. Irresponsible scum like you put kids with autoimmune disorders, organ transplants, heart problems, AIDS, etc in massive danger just to feed your own selfish stupid narcissism about how “informed” and “educated” you are on issues that don’t even exist. So, in all sincerity, GFY. I have zero use for you, and I think that people like you are quite literally the worst, most selfish human beings alive because you knowingly risk the lives of people who have already been dealt a shit hand of it, for completely made up nonsense reasons. Drug dealers have more credibility than you do – at least they are just trying to make a living.

          • M.

            “They don’t protect immunocompromised people unless just about everyone gets them.”

            Well no worries then. You’re protected because “just about everyone” does in fact get them.

            Sleep soundly!

          • KarenJJ

            So do mine (my grandparents were farming before electricity was connected to their farm). Those farm products weren’t organic though. DDT hadn’t been banned yet, for example. And babies died or were disabled for lack of vaccinations and medical care. Listening to their stories is fascinating. One of my relatives survived the potato famine in Ireland, the month long boat trip to Australia only to have all his immediate family members pass away from tuberculosis.

          • Guesteleh

            My great-grandparents remember a time before Big Pharma when many Americans kept their own animals, grew their own food, and fed their babies with these same healthy, organic farm foods.

            Just for shits and giggles, why don’t you tell me what the infant mortality rate and average life expectancy were when your great-grandparents were growing up?

          • Kerlyssa

            Goat’s milk does contain lactose. So does human milk, for that matter. Lactose intolerance is not an allergy. A trained authority in children’s medicine would know this. Your ‘family values’ are not an adequate substitute for actual medical knowledge.

          • Tim

            Do your great grandparents also remember how everyone used to have 20 children because only 10 of them would live to be teenagers? Don’t act like things were all peachy when everyone had to “live off the land” and didn’t have nice things like formula so their babies wouldn’t die.

          • auntbea

            Oooh, oooh. I know a lot of Ugandans who keep animals, grow all their own organic foods (because they can’t afford pesticide) and feed it to their babies too (because what else is there?) They definitely don’t have access to Big Pharma.

            Ah yes, When I think of good health and vital children, I think of rural East Africa.

          • M.

            You know “of” a lot of Ugandans, or you’ve actually been to Uganda? I’ve been all over the world and unlike the propaganda Americans who don’t travel beyond Canada fall for, THERE ARE HEALTHY PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.

            We aren’t the only healthy and “civilized” people on the planet.

          • Jocelyn

            Does someone need to know all the Ugandans personally to know and understand the statistics about health in their country? Seriously?

            Furthermore, there will always be healthy people in any country. I’m sure every country in the world has some healthy people. But LOTS of countries have TONS more unhealthy people than others. Many countries have much higher rates of disease, starvation, early death, etc. Just because some people in the country are healthy does not mean that the country is a shining example of health. That’s such a logical fallacy I don’t even know why I’m trying to respond.

          • M.

            “But LOTS of countries have TONS more unhealthy people than others.”

            Yeah. Like the obesity epidemic right here in the US. Parents are eating themselves to death, and now they are feeding their kids to death here.

            When is “CPS” going to do something about that abuse?

          • KarenJJ

            “THERE ARE HEALTHY PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.”

            Well of course there are healthy people in Uganda. There are healthy people in the US too. Even healthy gay people, single parents, vaccinated kids, formula fed kids, people that enjoy soy products, babies that are born at home and people that enjoy BASE jumping. Healthy people all over the place. wow. mind blown.

          • M.

            My great-grandparents had several siblings and they all lived long, very healthy lives.

            Of course they weren’t eating estrogen laden, genetically modified soy. Nor were they subjected to all manner of their parents’ “boyfriends” and “girlfriends” like today’s kids of “single parents” are.

            So they all led physically healthy and psychologically well-adjusted lives.

          • Jocelyn

            I’m not sure why you’re suddenly targeting single parent’s dating lives…was this a topic? Was anyone talking about this?

          • Kalacirya

            This person is a real nutbag. A health food fetishist on the very conservative Christian side, the latter explaining the weird veiled sex comments. I’m not even sure why I responded, someone like this can’t be helped, you can’t fix years of unbridled ignorance likely validated by those around them.

          • M.

            Why would you assume I believe in the ridiculous Jesus myth? What have I said here that even remotely suggests that?

          • Kalacirya

            Because you have a obsession with morals and how you think they play into health.

          • M.

            So you think “conservative christians” are the only ones with morality obsessions? WTF?

          • Kalacirya

            In the USA, if you are obsessed with the morality of sex, more likely than not you are a conservative Christian.

          • M.

            Oh puh-lese. Enough with the stereotypes.

          • Kalacirya

            Keep on keeping on M. OMG GMO SOY!!!!!!!

          • Siri Dennis

            That’s it, Guest! You’ve hit the nail on the head. GMO is an anagram of OMG. It’s a conspiracy. I applaud you! 🙂

          • Clarissa Darling

            Yeah Kalacirya, enough with the steryotypes! Hindus are just as capable of having an idiotic obsession with morality as Christians doncha know? It’s just an insult
            to Hindus everywhere that you fail to recognize that they can be complete morons too……

          • Kalacirya

            Yes, we’re facing a veritable tsunami of Hindu fundamentalists in the United States. Muslims as well, it’s really what’s altering morality in the here and now. LOL

          • Clarissa Darling

            What is the world coming to? My Great Grand Pappy never had to meet let alone be “sensitive” to an American fundamentalist who wasn’t a Christian. Those were the days I tell ya……..

          • Kalacirya

            Life expectancy was so high back then, it sat around 65, that’s what good ol’ soy avoidance will get you.

          • Clarissa Darling

            Studies show avoidance of soy will only get you to around age 55. In order to reach the ripe old age of 65 you must also avoid sexual debauchery, don’t forget. The government knows all they have to do to deal with the problem of underfunding social security is get people to eat soy and have immoral sex. Do you think it’s a coincidence that soy is a major ingredient in govenment subsidized school lunches and that DOMA was recently struck down?

          • M.

            I said any doctor I take my kids to will be evaluated by me based on their family values. Another poster wanted clarification of that. How a parent eats, what they feed their kids and how they conduct their lifestyle, are all part of “family values”. Good news! Big Gov and Big Pharma has backed down in this case so we can all stop talking about it, for now: https://www.facebook.com/EverydayMiraclesFarm

          • PJ

            Given your earlier comments, it’s not very surprising that you judge doctors’ competence on their moral choices rather than the depth of their medical knowledge!

          • Anj Fabian

            Quick! When you are losing on one topic, switch to another!

            Th1Th2 could do that all. day. long. at Respectful Insolence.

          • auntbea

            Exposure to one’s parents’ significant others is known in the literature to cause premature death.

          • M.

            Don’t know where you live but in the USA statistics have shown that the person most likely to neglect, abuse or sexually molest a child has been the mothers so called “boyfriend”. Moreover, the time one spends “getting laid”, and all that it entails such as looking for a partner on or offline and investing money, energy, emotion and time in that is money, energy, emotion and time not invested in one’s own child. Moreover still, children get often get attached to their parents “significant others” and then when the pair breaks up, the child is often more emotionally devastated than the adults. A series of experiences like this cause the child to shut down emotionally, not trust, and become jaded. We see this over and over and over again in American culture.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            “We see this over and over again on Fox News.”

            There, I fixed it for you.

          • auntbea

            Ooh, ooh! I know this one! The base rate fallacy, right? And also, argument from assertion, but that’s kind of a given.

            This is fun! Give me another!

          • PJ

            About 80% of child abuse offenders are parents (compared with about 5% for unmarried partners). So clearly it’s immoral to let parents near their children too.

          • Kalacirya

            My father’s grandparents died very young. They were conservative Muslims, so there wasn’t a whole lot of single parenthood. And they didn’t eat any soy at all, likely not a single drop of soy. Life’s weird like that, not being completely deterministic and based on one’s soy and pre-marital sex consumption.

          • M.

            “They were conservative Muslims”

            So they believed in silly myths and that’s why you’ve accused me of the same? I’m neither a Jesus or Mohammed freak, honey.

          • Kalacirya

            Do you think that your great grandparents were not religious? Do you think there were a whole lot of open atheists walking around back then? I’m an athiest, but I’m not so f-ing ignorant, like yourself, to think myself so superior to everyone else.

          • M.

            Jesus flippin Fatima and Ali, lady, what IS your problem? Are you desi or something? You’re the one who out of the blue accused ME of being a “conservative christian”.
            Chill out.

          • M.

            And its interesting how you pose the only two alternatives my grandparents could be are either;
            1. Christians or
            2. Atheists

            I know its hard for people from a middle eastern desert cult background to grok, but there are a whole helluva lot more options out there than just Judaism, Christianity, or Islam on one side and atheism on the other.

            Sheesh.

          • Clarissa Darling

            Really? now, you’re going to use race as an insult?

            If my kids were ever put into someone else’s care, I would much rather it be soy eating, Monsanto food scientist who is a religious conservative and/or is single and dating than anyone as “healthy” as yourself. Give me a break. You are pathetic.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            Yet you put your faith in a natural fallacy. That is just as bad.

          • M.

            Jesus flippin Fatima, Sullivan, HAVE YOU EVEN READ THE LINKS?!

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            So you’re a Hindu, according to other comments you’ve made on Disqus.. Big deal. That’s doesn’t mean you can’t also be profoundly ignorant as you have repeatedly demonstrated with your inane comments. If you care to present some scientific papers that you have read supporting your inane claims, I’d be happy to read them. Your opinion, however, is worse than worthless.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            What do the links have to do with you and your natural fallacy?

          • Kalacirya

            “We don’t need “medical authorities” until and unless we experience health problems.”

            You clearly fail to understand how health works. The key to getting an individual the best health they can have, is through in large part preventative care. That means screenings, vaccinations regular physicals, regular dental work, etc. Because your doctor or the person examining your samples can detect issues before you have a single symptom.

            Reasoning like yours is why there are so many ignorant people out there that aren’t poor or disadvantaged, who walk around with undiagnosed diabetes and die of preventable and/or treatable disease.

          • auntbea

            Apparently, the “family values” she looks for include “let your kid get really, really sick and miserable before you do something to help him”

          • M.

            Actually Auntbea, my idea of family values is not abusing one’s childrens’ bodies in the same way the parents abuse their own. Read above for details. As well as not dating if they are single parents. That’s another way Americans abuse their kids – subjecting them to their so called “boyfriends” and “girlfriends”.

            If someone doesn’t care for their own children in the above way, how could I trust them with my own?

          • M.

            “You clearly fail to understand how health works. The key to getting
            an individual the best health they can have, is through in large part
            preventative care.”

            Exactly. Healthy eating. Non-genetically modified, non-processed foods. NO SOY!

            Sun, exercise, all the rest.

            That’s why my kids are HEALTHY and have NEVER needed a doctor.

            “Reasoning like yours is why there are so many ignorant people out
            there that aren’t poor or disadvantaged, who walk around with
            undiagnosed diabetes and die of preventable and/or treatable disease.”

            Diabetes? Eat right. Cut out the processed frankenfood like genetically modified soy based “formula”, genetically modified high fructose corn syrup and basically everything else MORBIDLY OBESE Americans feed their kids on the SAD diet (Standard American Diet).

            Americans are not satisfied abusing their own bodies and blowing up past 200 pounds like the Badyear Blimp, they want to abuse their kids in the same way.

            Sick culture. Literally, SICK.

          • Jocelyn

            So, all people who eat healthy (according to your definitions of healthy) food, and get sun and exercise will never need a doctor?

          • Kalacirya

            Maybe if you eat enough quinoa, it’ll cancel out the melanoma later.

          • M.

            Good News! The baby kidnappers have backed down in the face of being exposed:

            ttps://www.facebook.com/EverydayMiraclesFarm

          • M.

            Did I say that? NO. I said that so far we haven’t needed one. . If we ever do, I’ll go to my sister. She’s a doc. But good news: they’ve all backed down now that they’re getting media and public attention:

            https://www.facebook.com/EverydayMiraclesFarm

          • Kalacirya

            Ok, you’re a certifiable ignoramus. You think because you’re literate enough to read bullshit sources and then string some words together that you have any idea of what you’re talking about. We laugh at you, and pity your children, that’s about it.

            Healthy eating wasn’t going to prevent or stop the pre-cancerous lesions on my mother’s cervix. And those appeared before transgenic crops were ever on the market, and she was breastfed! Go figure. The only thing that caught that before it turned cancerous was a preventative screen pap smear.

            Many people that eat “right” (not your version of right, which is likely a load of bullshit, but what someone actually educated in nutrition might recommend), are not overweight, and still get diabetes and other chronic illness when they age. The probability of that goes up for heavier people, but it is not inevitable that fat people will get chronic illness nor is it unlikely for thin people with healthy lifestyles to come down with those same illnesses.

            Keep on thinking that your body is a simple machine, and that as long as you put in high quality inputs that your health is going to be amazing. You’re in for a rude awakening.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            Nothing like trying something that we already know will fail over something we know will work.

          • PJ

            Those soy-eating Japanese must be really screwed healthwise, then. Oh … wait ….

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            If they are allergic to lactose then they cannot have goats milk because it contains lactose. Are you trying to be facetious?

          • M.

            ” Yes the government expects you to take proper care of your kids.”

            Wrong. The “government” does not even know my kids nor does it love them. Nobody is more invested in my kids care and well being than I am!

            How did we get to this place, as Americans, where the government can just come in our home and take our children just like that?

            While that one pediatrician had the right (free speech and all that) to SUGGEST hormone dripped, genetically modified, toxic soy formula to that mother, the mother also has the right to NOT feed her child that crap and feed him healthy food items.

            My god.

          • Jocelyn

            It’s going to be hard to be taken seriously when you refer to very carefully balanced, properly made formula as “toxic” and a combination of goats milk and celery juice as a healthy substitute for an infant.

          • M.

            Celery juice? Have you followed any of the links here? So estrogen laced, genetically modified soy is “healthy?” You really think so? Why? Because your controllers made it? And good news!

            They are now cowering with their tails between their legs and have cancelled an appointment with the State appointed doctor (the family has another, separate doctor that has all along been checking the baby and saying he is FINE, but he was ignored) now that this case is getting the attention it deserves! See the history on Facebook here;
            https://www.facebook.com/EverydayMiraclesFarm

          • M.

            DHA/ARA-Enhanced Baby Formula Shown to be Toxic, Still on the Market

            Elizabeth Renter

            July 5, 2012

            The best interests of humanity were long ago abandoned by corporate
            giants in favor of the almighty dollar. But would companies really make
            false promises and put babies on the line to boost their bottom line?
            Well, yes, they would. Baby formula manufacturers first started putting
            synthetic fatty acids called DHA and ARA in formula about a decade ago.
            Despite complaints over the years and questionable marketing practices
            by the companies, these DHA/ARA-enhanced formulas remain on the market today.

            DHA/ARA-Enhanced Baby Formula

            DHA and ARA are long-chain fatty acids that are naturally present in
            human breast milk. However, the DHA and ARA in baby formula is synthetic
            – not natural. Instead, they are produced by a company
            called Martek Biosciences Corp. They are made in a lab with algae and
            fungus, and then extracted with hexane, a neurotoxin.

            Since the DHA/ARA formulas began showing up on shelves, the FDA has
            been flooded with complaints from consumers. Letter after letter found
            parents dealing with sick and unhappy babies – babies who did a complete
            180-degree turnaround when taken off the formula.

            Initially, according to this AlterNet report,
            the FDA alerted Martek that they would be convening a group of
            scientists to look into concerns about the synthetic DHA and ARA. But
            Martek responded, telling the FDA that such research would “not be
            productive.” For whatever reason, the FDA agreed and didn’t look any
            further at the formula additive.

            Many formulas have used these synthetic substances and have been
            called out for calling their products “The Breast Milk Formula,” and
            suggesting theirs was even better than the breast.

            Prior to the additives being placed in bottles, Martek marketed them to companies saying:

            Even if [the DHA/ARA blend] has no benefit, we think it
            would be widely incorporated into formulas as a marketing tool and to
            allow companies to promote their formula as “closest to human milk.”

            And there it is– the recognition that a substance may or may not be
            useful, the seeming disregard of any potential risks, all for the
            admitted marketing tool and the money that it would bring in.

            This detailed report
            from Cornucopia.org shows that upset tummies and fussy attitudes might
            not be the only negative mark of DHA/ARA infused formula. They reveal
            that in Martek’s own studies, lab rats showed a “significant increase in
            relative liver weights.” And this is from the manufacturer’s studies.
            Imagine what an impartial study might find.

          • PJ

            Do you know what scientific evidence is? Serious question.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            Your view is warped. Formula is the healthy food to feed him and goats milk is not.

          • M.

            No. Just no.

          • M.

            Here’s your “healthy” formula ingredients, Poop (appropriate moniker for you by the way):

            DHA/ARA-Enhanced Baby Formula Shown to be Toxic, Still on the Market

            Elizabeth Renter

            July 5, 2012

            The best interests of humanity were long ago abandoned by corporate
            giants in favor of the almighty dollar. But would companies really make
            false promises and put babies on the line to boost their bottom line?
            Well, yes, they would. Baby formula manufacturers first started putting
            synthetic fatty acids called DHA and ARA in formula about a decade ago.
            Despite complaints over the years and questionable marketing practices
            by the companies, these DHA/ARA-enhanced formulas remain on the market today.

            DHA/ARA-Enhanced Baby Formula

            DHA and ARA are long-chain fatty acids that are naturally present in
            human breast milk. However, the DHA and ARA in baby formula is synthetic
            – not natural. Instead, they are produced by a company
            called Martek Biosciences Corp. They are made in a lab with algae and
            fungus, and then extracted with hexane, a neurotoxin.

            Since the DHA/ARA formulas began showing up on shelves, the FDA has
            been flooded with complaints from consumers. Letter after letter found
            parents dealing with sick and unhappy babies – babies who did a complete
            180-degree turnaround when taken off the formula.

            Initially, according to this AlterNet report,
            the FDA alerted Martek that they would be convening a group of
            scientists to look into concerns about the synthetic DHA and ARA. But
            Martek responded, telling the FDA that such research would “not be
            productive.” For whatever reason, the FDA agreed and didn’t look any
            further at the formula additive.

            Many formulas have used these synthetic substances and have been
            called out for calling their products “The Breast Milk Formula,” and
            suggesting theirs was even better than the breast.

            Prior to the additives being placed in bottles, Martek marketed them to companies saying:

            Even if [the DHA/ARA blend] has no benefit, we think it
            would be widely incorporated into formulas as a marketing tool and to
            allow companies to promote their formula as “closest to human milk.”

            And there it is– the recognition that a substance may or may not be
            useful, the seeming disregard of any potential risks, all for the
            admitted marketing tool and the money that it would bring in.

            This detailed report
            from Cornucopia.org shows that upset tummies and fussy attitudes might
            not be the only negative mark of DHA/ARA infused formula. They reveal
            that in Martek’s own studies, lab rats showed a “significant increase in
            relative liver weights.” And this is from the manufacturer’s studies.
            Imagine what an impartial study might find.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            I’m waiting for you to post scientific papers. This is obviously going to come as a tremendous shock to you, but websites and publications for lay people are not scientific evidence.

          • PJ

            Why get information from actual scientists when you can get it from a “writer/editor, mama, music lover, justice-fiend, positive, cool, laid-back Empress”?

          • Susan

            I am not sure exactly why, but reading that Formula diatribe made me immediately look up this case. It’s just such an example of how believing in the “woo” can end up killing a baby.

            http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/11/08/child.starved/

          • Box of Salt

            Actually, M, what Poogle’s link shows is that these children (because, let’s face it, that’s what these parents are) are not well informed and not really ready for parenthood. That is understandable, given their young age.

            I don’t understand why you think they are making good decisions. The state where they live doesn’t, either, which is why the state got involved.

      • Guest
    • M.

      What’s wrong with feeding an infant goats milk mixed with celery juice? I don’t see how that is a case for CPS.

      • Poogles

        “What’s wrong with feeding an infant goats milk mixed with celery juice?”

        From this website: http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/goatsmilkforbaby.htm

        “Goat’s milk is not indicated for use in infancy. Here is some rationale:

        1) Goat’s milk is deficient in folic acid and vitamin B6.

        2) Goat’s milk is higher in protein than human milk (1.0 gm pro/100 ml) and infant formula (1.4 gm/100 ml). It actually has 3.6 gm pro/100 ml, which puts an infant at risk for dehydration and a higher renal solute load.

        3) The reason many of the “recipes” for goat’s milk for infants call for dilution (usually the recommendations are to dilute it to 2/3 strength, but in this case, it appears to be for half strength) is to decrease the renal (kidney) solute load. When it is diluted, however, nutrients including energy, are diluted. With this comes the risk of hyponatremia or water intoxication, which can result in seizures. Dilution of goat’s milk to half-strength supplies about 10 calories per ounce.

        This means to meet the energy needs (98 kcal x 8.25 kg, which is the 50th percentile for a 7 month old boy), 80 ounces per day of goat’s milk would be required.

        4) Goat’s Milk Acidosis has been reported in the literature most likely secondary to the high protein level.”

  • notahomebirthlactivist

    Personally I used to think Dr A was a sanctimommy. I thought she hated women who didnt want a ‘medicated’ hospital birth, who didnt want to use formula or who didnt conform. I now think what she has a problem with is women who push their ideals and choices on others. I think it’s about more than hospital birth or feeding methods or parenting. However, I think from time to time we can all be guilty of being sanctimonious without realising, on both ends. I have seen it in the comments here and witnessed it in real life, there are people on their high horse for sure.

  • stacey

    Thanks for all the traffic from haters! I hope they all stop and read some of the factual posts. Maybe they will learn something.

  • Kathy

    “Third, and most importantly, a sanctimommy wants the majority of women to feel bad about themselves and to feel guilty.”

    Yes, that IS you, Dr. Amy.

    ” But she is aggressive in promoting her view that SHE is a better mother than you. I am aggressive in promoting the view that YOU are a great parent if your decisions are made with love and concern for your child, regardless of whether I might have made the same decisions.”

    You ARE the Alpha Parent. You are desperate to prove that your choices, i.e.: formula feeding, birth with medication, and circumcising your boys are all good decisions (not that they are bad, you just obsess about everyone accepting them because they were your choices). You are desperate to prove to yourself and everyone else that mothers who choose differently than you are narcissists. You are so obsessed with everyone mirroring your own choices, that you still write about birth and parenting even though your children are grown. You’ve made it your goal in life to stigmatize and marginalize all women who don’t make mainstream choices. This is your vendetta because you are angry that they don’t agree with the choices you have made. You are on one of the spectrum ant TAP is on the other. Everyone else can see this but you, apparently.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      You are so obsessed with everyone mirroring your own choices

      Really?

      Little quiz: what were Dr Amy’s choices regarding

      1) formula feeding?

      2) Birth with medication?

      You are desperate to prove that your choices, i.e.: formula feeding,
      birth with medication, and circumcising your boys are all good decisions

      Ooops, you already answered. 1/3, at best (I have no idea if Dr Amy even has boys, and if so, whether they are circumcized, but I don’t care). She had natural, unmedicated births and she breastfed her babies.

      So now that you have been shown that you base your opinion on incorrect facts, I’m sure you will recognize that your conclusion is wrong.

      • Kathy

        Yes, she breastfed, she also formula fed. She actually fed her babies more formula than breastmilk. Ask her.

        She has had natural birth, but not by choice. She has also had medicated birth, by choice. Ask her.

        All of her sons are circumcised. Again, ask her.

        She is a typical mainstream mom. She mostly formula fed, Her natural births were not by choice and she would choose pain relief a million times over. Not only are her sons circumcised, but she has performed hundreds of circumcisions herself.

        She is so desperate, insecure and terrified of anyone pointing out her faults as a mother or making her feel like her choices weren’t right that she has chosen to attack a very large group of women from countries all around the world who make different choices from herself.

        She thinks that anyone who choose differently is personally attacking her as a mother. That screams of low self-esteem. She has assumed that anyone who is pro-breastfeeding, pro natural birth or anti-circumcision is somehow denigrating her choices and she can’t have that.

        She is obsessed with proving that her choices are valid choices. She often writes about narcissism. The truth is, it’s all about her. She is the epitome of NPD.

        • MLE

          The point is that her sons might be circumcised (who cares), but she has stated that she is not in favor of RIC and simply points out that since there is no clear-cut (sorry) winner in that debate as far as the research goes, it should be up to parents to decide. That’s the opposite of insecure.

          • KarenJJ

            Considering that if she has boys, then they are probably grown men by this stage, the last thing they’d want is their mum discussing the state of their penis on a public, and well read, blog. It is a point that parenting bloggers should probably consider when they write stories about their kids on the internet that doesn’t always delete.

          • Dr Kitty

            I’m pretty sure Dr Amy’s sons were circumcised when they were 8 days old, at home, while they were held by someone who loved them.

            Personally, I’m not in favour of RIC as practised in the USA, but have no objection to infant circumcision for religious reasons if practised by someone appropriately trained, parents advised of the risks, and baby given appropriate pain relief.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Do you make up stuff about everybody or just me?

          • attitude devant

            Amy’s ‘natural births were not by choice.” What? I am dying here! Where does this woman get off?

        • MLE

          And it’s you who has this strange criteria of what makes a good mother. Amy didn’t choose NCB by choice so therefore her experience is invalid? Sure ok.

          • Antigonos CNM

            Does a nonobservant Jew on an El Al flight get brownie points in Heaven because he gets a kosher meal whether he wants one or not?

            I breastfed one child, bottlefed one child, and fed my last child with combined feeding. So what? Was I a bad mother to my older daughter but a good one to my son, as a result? But wait, since I am Jewish and my son was of course circumcised according to the commandments, that must mean I was a bad mother to him, no? And to clinch the argument, since I gave birth to all three by C/S instead of dying in labor with #1, which would have happened had I insisted on vaginal delivery, I must REALLY be a horrible mother! Amazing, I did all these terrible things [and I didn’t wear any of them] and today they are happy, healthy, prosperous adults!

            This is completely absurd. What Kathy, or Guest, or Dr. Amy does or does not do is irrelevant to everyone and anyone apart from the person actually giving birth or raising her child.

          • Dr Kitty

            I’m not observant, and I get kosher meals when I fly long distance because that way you get served first (and kosher aeroplane food is nicer than the alternative, IMO).
            I very much doubt that gives me any “brownie points”.

            I’m not entirely sure the same logic applies for “natural childbirth”.

            If you went through labour drug free it shouldn’t matter if it was because labour was precipitous, the anaesthetist was unavailable or it was your birth plan…
            No drugs = no drugs.

            Me, I chose the planned prelabour CS, which was fabulous. I don’t care whether you want all the narcotics known to man during labour, or just whale song and visualisation, as long as you don’t expect everyone to make the same choice you did.

          • auntbea

            You have to WANT to suffer. It’s for your children, after all.

        • Esther

          Oh, no! Not a typical mainstream mom! (clutches pearls)

        • Monica

          The point is, who cares? Those were her choices to make. I too have 4 children and had used formula more than breastfeeding, but I exclusively breastfed my youngest until she was 10 months old and then continued until she stopped at 14 months. Never had a drop of formula while all of her other siblings did. So what. I also delivered my two oldest naturally. One by choice the other because it just happened that way. Had a c-section and a vbac with a little pain meds. Those were my choices to make based on the circumstances I was in. I don’t think every woman should deliver babies without pain medication because that’s what I did. As a matter of fact I always would tell people if I had longer labors I would have gotten drugs. What’s wrong with that? Nothing. Dr. Amy doesn’t talk about her choices as a parent unless someone brings it up. But that’s the whole point, what matters as that you are doing best by your child with the proper information. The fact of the matter is my child who didn’t have a drop of formula couldn’t be differentiated then or now based on how she was fed from her sister who didn’t have a drop of breastmilk. And the pain meds that I had with my vbac does not appear to have had any long term effects on her just as having my oldest two naturally had no long term effects on them. We make choices based on circumstances at the time and my circumstances at the time made me make different choices, not because I thought I did wrong by my older children, but because I was in a different place in life.

        • Antigonos CNM

          And what, pray tell, is wrong with being a “mainstream parent”? I think it’s a compliment. All I ever wanted was to raise mainstream kids. I disparage extremism in all its forms.

        • LibrarianSarah

          I’m sorry but do you know Dr. Amy in real life? Because the only way, you speak definitively on these matters would be if you were closely antiquated to her in what the internet calls “meat-space.” And your comment is written in the tone of “I definitively know Dr. Amy’s personal parenting decisions.”

          Amy has been very good at keeping her blog about the issue and not her own family and personal choices. She mentions her childbirth and feeding choices only because natural childbirth advocates like to throw “you must have only had c-sections and formula fed and feel guilty about that” in her face on a regular basis. However, I don’t know her kids names or genders or personalities. Only that she has 4 and they are all grown up. And in the age of mommy-blogger where mother but all their kids personal business online I respect that she values her children’s privacy.

          So if this is some personal beef you have with Dr. Amy keep it in meat-space where it belongs.

        • amazonmom

          Hahaha. Let’s see your license where you are qualified to diagnose personality disorders. She is against people making up crap to further their agenda.

        • Certified Hamster Midwife

          > All of her sons are circumcised. Again, ask her.

          The Tuteurs are Jewish, if memory serves. There’s a whole other set of cultural and religious issues regarding circumcision for Jewish parents that puts them outside of the mainstream American argument on this issue.

          • Kalacirya

            I grew up in a community with a lot of Jewish people and I myself come from a Muslim family, I really think that those that choose circumcision for religious belief are the last people seeking to validate their decision through these supposed means.

        • Dr Kitty

          You know that in order to have a PD you actually have to have severe impairment in function?

          “A personality disorder is a severe disturbance in the characterological constitution and behavioural tendencies of the individual, usually involving several areas of the personality, and nearly always associated with considerable personal and social disruption”
          From ICD-10.

          Don’t throw out psychiatric diagnoses if you neither understand what they mean nor have evidence they apply.

          Otherwise it is simply unpleasant name calling.

          • Kalacirya

            Apparently it’s now en vogue to say that someone that you think is an ahole actually has a personality disorder, I feel like I see it a lot more now than I did a few years ago. It’s an interesting way to attempt to dismiss and invalidate someone and their opinions.

            In general though, I think it’s a shame how people play the victim in internet dialogue. There’s so much real bullying and trolling going on, causing lasting harm on people. But then you get someone like Dr. Amy, who isn’t nice to her detractors and doesn’t hedge her criticism with compliments. And that’s taken by the socially or intellectually frail as psychotic behavior, sociopathic behavior, extreme bullying, trolling, yada yada. Every time a scumbag like TFB calls Dr. Amy or anyone else insane I blow a blood vessel somewhere, my mother is exceedingly mentally ill and it isn’t a joke, nor a barb to throw at someone you don’t like.

        • Still can’t remember my Login

          Funny that. I am not a mainstream parent… in fact I have made some choices Dr Amy would disagree with quite strongly… yet I have never felt attacked by her. If anything, she has made me feel better about doing what works for me and my kids, rather than desperately trying to stick to a certain style of parenting just because some people say it’s the only way to go.

          I don’t think she has anything to prove, personally.

          The only insecure people in this argument are the extremists who are slowly but surely starting to lose their grip.

    • Guestll

      You are so obsessed with everyone mirroring your own choices, that you still write about birth and parenting even though your children are grown. — So is every writer who writes about birth and parenting, even though their children are still grown, obsessed with everyone mirroring their own choices?
      You’ve made it your goal in life to stigmatize and marginalize all women who don’t make mainstream choices — Breastfeeding IS mainstream. In most of the developed world, so is not circumcising.
      Everyone else can see this but you, apparently…

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I have to say, I really haven’t heard Dr Amy give much in terms of parenting advice. In the X years I’ve been here, the only real parenting advice I’ve seen her give is “1) Don’t sweat the small stuff, and 2) Most if it is small stuff”

        Things like the homebirth issue are NOT about parenting. Parenting is not about where or how you give birth.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Got a great reminder last night about the realities of parenting, and what that means.

          Backstory: My older guy started daycare when he was 14 mos old. After being home with just us for the first year, he was pretty shy and timid around the other kids at daycare, and they took advantage of his kindness (iow, they took a lot of toys from him). When he got into the 2 yo room, he met a new friend named Kaito, who was Japanese. Being new to the US, Kaito was also very timid and shy, and he and my guy hit it off very, very well. Those two became the absolute best friends, and while the other kids were growing rambunctious, they stuck together, playing quietly with each other. That was almost three years ago, and they have been absolutely the best of friends. Moreover, they have been good for each other, learning from each other’s ways.

          Well, Kaito is a little older than my guy, and turned 5 last spring. Therefore, he is planning to start kindergarten this fall. My guy knew that, and has been very sad knowing that his buddy will not be at daycare with him anymore, but we have tried to help him by telling him that we will invite Kaito to our house so they can play together on weekends and holidays. In order to facilitate this, we contacted Kaito’s parents to get information so that we can still be in contact after Kaito leaves daycare. Make know mistake, they feel the same way about the boys as we do, and they know how great they are together. Their stories of what Kaito has to say are exactly the same as what we hear from our guy.

          We did all this because tomorrow is Kaito’s last day at daycare, and since our guys don’t go on Tuesday, we knew that today was going to be the last day they would be there together. So we have been in communication with his parents. Unfortunately, getting together right now is difficult because we live an hour away, but we are moving to town later this fall, and when we do, it would be really easy for the guys to get together regularly.

          Well, last night, after the kids are in bed, we get a bombshell. Kaito’s parents have decided that he and his mom will move back to Japan, so he can go to school there. They will be leaving in October probably.

          We are devastated for our son. Here it is bad enough that his best friend will be leaving daycare, and he won’t be able to play with him every other day, but he’s going away pretty much for good. I keep thinking about how my guy went to bed last night not knowing that today was the last time he was ever going to see his best friend (we didn’t know it when he went to bed, either). It is absolutely killing us, and I can barely type it because it hurts so bad.

          You take all your trivial crap and shove it. THIS is what parenting is about. It’s about our kids and their lives. It’s about crying all night knowing what tomorrow is going to bring while your kids sleep safely and soundly in their beds, and trying to figure out how you can make it better for them while it is killing you.

          Our first response was to make sure they get together before we go, but we aren’t sure. All that will do is lead to questions of when we can do it again. Our decision is to get them to start writing letters to each other, even while they are still here. That way, nothing will change when they move to Japan, and we can keep writing letters. We could also think about skype, and are checking into that. I just hope we do the right thing.

          This is terrible for us. I realize that kids grow up and friends come and go, but Kaito is so special for us. Our guy’s first real friend, and still his very best. The idea that they will never play together again is just too much for me.

          • KarenJJ

            That’s such a lovely story of friendship. We had something similar with my eldest but she was younger when we moved away from her friend. She still remembers her friend and he remembers her. We’re about to post something over to them as we recently caught up with his Dad on a work trip.

            Our eldest is a little awkward with other kids and at 3yo she couldn’t be guaranteed to get along well with other kids her age. We visited some friends of ours who have a little boy six months older. They also said that their boy was a bit quiet and shy around others and took a while to warm up.

            And then the magic happened and they took to each other like ducks to water! All four of us parents were thoroughly shocked and completely delighted to see how well our two kids got along.

            Since the move I’ve tried introducing her to other kids, at daycare, kindy, playgroups, but there still hasn’t been that real ‘click’ like she had with her old friend. I know she can do it though and I hope she finds another friend like that in the future. One of the hard things about the move was leaving her friend behind.

    • MLE

      As Bofa said, I have seen numerous comments from Amy about how she breastfed four children, had unmedicated childbirth because there wasn’t time, AND that she does not support RIC but thinks parents should be able to decide. So to anyone who is paying the slightest bit of attention, you look kinda silly.

    • Captain Obvious

      Dr Amy just wants women to feed their baby however they want without being guilted by lactivists or women who insist on formula (formulist?). She isn’t trying to convince women to do what she does? She breastfed. She doesn’t want new mommy’s to feel guilty from people telling her what’s best. She also doesn’t want babies dying preventable deaths at Homebirth stunt because of misinformation. Quite different is shaming mothers to do what you do (sanctimommy), than criticizing certain small groups of women (not the majority, the majority actually have the common decency towards other women) the wrongs and misinformation they are preaching on the Internet into shaming women into doing what they think is best. If you cannot understand that now, then you are one of these minority of women Dr Amy is talking about. Stick around and maybe you can learn something.

    • Something From Nothing

      Oh, Kathy. How could you have missed the point so completely? This honestly baffles me. If you spent any time at all reading this blog, you would know that you are really, really wrong. Dr. Amy, as far as I can tell, has no interest in whether or not, for example, a woman chooses to breast feed. She cares that a woman has accurate information upon which to base that decision. As an obstetrician, I am often shocked at what midwives call “informed consent”. Midwifery care seems to me to be largely ideologically based prenatal care and education. It misleads women in a very misogynistic way, and sets women up to ultimately view themselves as failures, should vaginal birth or breastfeeding fail to come to fruition. It reduces women to their reproductive parts. If you value feminism, and womens right to live a full, healthy and meaningful life, this ideology should disgust you. Dr. Amy is very brave to be such a loud voice against the tsunami of pseudoscience, misinformation and woo thinking that threatens safe maternity care. I admire her greatly.

    • S

      My son is coming up on 2 years old, i still breastfeed him, and i
      cannot fathom how any of these posts would make a breastfeeding woman
      feel her choice is being attacked. Can you please explain? Direct quotes would be helpful.

      I got an epidural and would do so again so can’t speak to that from personal experience, but
      if you don’t want one and didn’t get one, then posts about the safety of
      epidurals really don’t have anything to do with you, do they?

      You are seeing criticism where none exists.

    • Wren

      Like S, I’m having a hard time feeling like Dr Amy has attacked the choices I made.

      My first was an emergency C-section but my second was an unmedicated VBAC. Of course, I was willing to go for an epidural but by that point I was at 10 cm so I didn’t. Maybe if my whole identity was wrapped up in a “natural” birth I would feel attacked?

      I breastfed for a total of 44 months between my two kids. My daughter stopped at 35 months and never had a drop of formula and refused bottles altogether. I’m neither proud nor ashamed of that. It’s just what worked for us. I have never felt attacked for that either. I might have done if it were somehow part of my identity as a mother rather than just one choice.

      I even “wore” my daughter more often than not, because it worked for us. Again, I’ve somehow missed the attacks. I chose to use cloth diapers, I made my own baby food and I didn’t drive so my babies were rarely in car seats. I fit a lot of the NCB crunchy stereotypes, but have yet to be attacked here for any of that.

      I did vaccinate the day my kids were old enough and I chose hospital births for my kids because I wanted the safest option. I guess that’s why I haven’t felt attacked here. Safety and health are big issues here. Other parenting choices are just choices, with no moral value being placed on any option that leads to healthy children and healthy mothers. We like healthy fathers here too.

    • MonaLisa

      “You are so obsessed with everyone mirroring your own choices, that you still write about birth and parenting even though your children are grown.”

      ….oh, silly me, I thought she wrote about birth because she’s an OB/Gyn and has extensive education and experience with the topic.

  • Re the bottle graphic…

    Isn’t it much harder to establish breastfeeding with preterm infants? I would think that difference alone could account for a large rise in mortality…

    • rh1985

      it’s better, if possible for preemies to get breast milk by tube because it protects against NEC which can be fatal. That’s why screened donor milk really needs to be reserved for sick babies and preemies whose mothers can’t produce any breastmilk or who must take a medication that would hurt the baby.

    • Ainsley Nicholson

      It is difficult to establish breastfeeding even with an infant that is only slightly pre-term (ie, 36 weeks, 38 weeks), and the ease of feeding becomes noticably better right around what would have been 40 weeks gestational age.

    • Esther

      Yes,and infants with chronic diseases. That’s pretty much the thrust of Melissa Bartick’s study about the costs of ‘suboptimal breastfeeding’. Of course, being the sanctimommy she is, she ignored that particular angle.

  • Clarissa Darling

    OT: http://www.mommyish.com/2013/07/19/the-10-most-wtf-baby-shower-cakes/
    See entries 6-8 (if you dare) and I thought Yoni cupcakes were bad!

    • wookie130

      Well, those were completely vile.

      • KarenJJ

        Has cake decorating gone crazy lately? You can’t go to a kids party these days without an over-the-top decorated structure.

        • LibrarianSarah

          I know right. Whatever happened to whipping out the old Betty Crocker mix and serving that up? Seems like everyone is trying to be the Cake Boss these days. I still love that show I have no idea why.

          • Wren

            I usually have amazing cakes at my kids’ parties, but I don’t make them. A friend I made at a mums and toddlers group does, and doing so allows her to stay home with her kids which is what she wants to do. I am happy to support a friend and have really amazing cakes. She’s making a mermaid one for my daughter for Saturday.

          • Dr Kitty

            My mother made awesome birthday cakes, from scratch, for us.
            But that was in the days when bakeries didn’t make exciting cakes to order ( not that she would have paid for one anyway), and she enjoys staying up all night and playing with icing.

            I had a zoo, a book and a parrot in a cage among others. My sisters had a pink fairytale castle and a bright blue fire engine.

            By all means, make nice cakes for your kids if you want to and are good at it, but they will neither notice, nor care until about age 6.

            I make a gingerbread house for the holidays, and buy supermarket birthday cakes. The child seems perfectly happy.

          • amazonmom

            I bought a Betty Crocker mix and cut the cake up to make a large 1 out of the pieces. I felt guilty not buying a fancy cake but now I realize my 1 year old probably didn’t care!

          • Kalacirya

            I know people in their 20s that are still excited if mom makes them a box cake for their birthday, so I think you’re going to be fine for a long time. I remember being super excited for confetti cake mix cupcakes myself.

        • Jennifer2

          I know. I teased the heck out of one of my friends when I saw the receipt for the *deposit* on her son’s 1st birthday cake. It was a good cake but not that good. I thought I was going overboard because for my son’s 1st birthday I bought a monkey shaped cake pan and some food coloring and frosting tips and made a monkey shaped Betty Crocker cake.

    • yentavegan

      thanks for the laugh

  • Meerkat

    Nicely said!

  • …you fail to meet the characteristics of a “sanctimommy” therefor you must be something else….maybe a Psuedo-sanctimommy or false sanctimommy? You may look like a sanctimommy to those who are unable to discern the critical differences, but you are not a .

  • Satire is not serious

    Dr Amy, do you think you will ever plan on actually practicing medicine? Why not make your changes from inside the medical community? The internet thinks you are insane so how about diving in and and working with the women you want to help rather than playing on blogs and satire pages?

    • Captain Obvious

      Dr Amy has been asked to be a speaker at the District ACOG meeting in Maui this September. Or did you miss that.

    • Anj Fabian

      Why don’t you?

      If you really cared, you’d bust ass to get the education and training and jump through all the hoops to get licensed and certified and….

      I tire of the tactic. People can sincerely care without martyring themselves, just as people can parent effectively and lovingly without martyring themselves.

    • Guestll

      IOW, why not be a good girl, shut up and quit rattling cages, Dr. Amy? Just play nice, or I’ll say you’re nuts.

    • Meerkat

      She helped me. I found this blog when I was pregnant and really anxious from watching ” Business of being born” and reading NCB books. I was prepared to fight my OB all the way to get that ” natural birth.” Instead I read this blog, threw out my birth plan and put my trust in the professionals. In the end I had a great C Section without any side effects, my son is perfect and I am healthy. If I trusted birth and fought my doctor my son wouldn’t be here.

      • rh1985

        I wish I could have her as my OB for what it’s worth!

    • Kerlyssa

      Ah, yes, the Voice of the Internet. Tell me, how many years of education do you need before you can interview for the spokes position? I was thinking, it’d be nice to speak for such a large segment of the world, and I figured I’d need to start on my qualifications now.

    • Monica

      What makes you think she’s not reaching the women who are choosing or considering homebirth? Do you think someone who’s completely against doctors will go to her as a doctor to be told she shouldn’t have a homebirth? You do realize she does more than just blog, right?

  • kumquatwriter

    Even if it was satire, making a serious reply to a satirical post is not uncommon.

    Also, as a former LOTR fan, I think we should refer to Dr. Amy as “Her Cuntliness”

  • erin

    Sadly, you clearly don’t understand the satire of the Sanctimommy page. It’s kind of embarrassing.

    • Guestll

      Nah, she gets it just fine. Although Sanctimommy’s page is largely satirical, the question she asked with respect to the meme wasn’t.
      I like Sanctimommy. She’s funny, and if you’re funny, I will excuse a lot of things. Like, being wrong on this one. 😉

      • realityycheque

        She’s made a few posts recently which have deviated from the usual tongue-in-cheek tone.

        I agree that the question she posed didn’t really appear to be satire, more generating discussion on the topic. “What do you think, does the fear mongering go both ways?” doesn’t sound satirical to me.

    • Kerlyssa

      Both sad for us, AND embarrassed. A twofer!

  • wookie130

    Perfect post…if THAT doesn’t provide enough differentiation, I don’t know what does.

  • Ducky

    Good post… personally I think you’ve got logic on your side here. But unfortunately it’s not about that for people.. though they would like it to be.

  • Atrain

    Love this. Every bit of it. As a fan of Sanctimommy, and someone who peruses The Alpha Parent strictly out of morbid curiosity, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. This is exactly how I feel: “I judge mothers who can’t tell the difference between the internet and a medical textbook.” Bravo, Dr!

  • Amy M

    I think a whole lot of the judging thing comes down to “out loud.” I mean, everyone judges, we all have opinions, but whether or not we voice them determines our “judgey” status. Probably most of the time, most people could keep their opinions to themselves and avoid conflict, since often the issue is unsolicited “advice.”

    In reality, it doesn’t matter about where the baby sleeps or how the baby is transported or what kinds of diapers it wears. I see blog posts and articles all over the place about how we have to “STOP THE MOMMY WARS!” and “Let’s just support everyone!” and “We’re all in this together!”.When it comes to the trivial stuff, maybe if everyone just kept their opinions to themselves (and I blame the internet here), this wouldn’t be such a big thing. I’m not saying it wouldn’t exist, or didn’t exist pre-internet, but I suspect it wasn’t what it is now, where everyone can trumpet every thought that passes through their minds all day all over the place. The internet is a wonderful thing, but we’ve voluntarily given up a lot of privacy.

    It’s a little different when lives are on the line, in the cases of homebirth and vaccinations. In those cases, speaking up saves lives, even though it offends people. Since avoiding offending people is less important than saving lives, its a risk that people like Dr. Amy are willing to take and good for her.

    Going back to the Mommy Wars, I know it has been discussed here under a variety of subjects—that the bullies are insecure and looking for validation. I’m sure that at least some of them are…so how do we prevent that? How did our culture get this way, that so many women feel like that, or feel like they need to compete in this way? What could we do to change things so women could stop this—it is harmful not only because it is hurtful to the victims but also because it gives women as a group a bad name. Kind of brings us back to the dark ages, and could cause men to think that women are just a bunch of squabbling, cat-fighting ninnies, too busy arguing about infant feeding to do anything important like vote or something. I don’t really have an answer here.

  • R T

    Kind of off topic, have you seen this story about the hospital in Kentucky with a high death rate for babies who undergo heart surgery there? The hospital is refusing to realize the death rate and even going to court to try to keep the rate hidden from the public! WTF?! It’s like MANA! http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/09/health/kentucky-hearts-hospital/index.html?c=us&page=1

    • tim

      That’s pretty sad, especially considering there is probably a lot of parents who don’t have the ability or means to just pack up and choose to have it done in a “better” place a la boston, philly, palo alto, houston, etc. Once again I feel incredibly lucky to be here.

    • PollyPocket

      We had a similar pediatric cardio thoracic surgeon where I used to work. He was chief to cardiothoracic surgery until he suddenly left due to “insufficient nurse-patient ratios.” Yeah, whatever.

    • Awesomemom

      My son had that same surgery. We didn’t get a chance to do research really since he was not diagnosed in utero with his heart defect. I am so thankful that we ended up in a great hospital with a competent surgeon and a cardiologist that would not have helped hush things up. I feel for those parents.

  • Amy Tuteur, MD
    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      A sample of the commentary.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Wow. It’s always nice to see grown women who want to be considered “educated” and having “done their research” sound like my friends and I in middle school when we didn’t like what the teacher was saying.

      • Christine Martin

        hahahaha woot thanks for screenshotting me! fucking troll.

        • Guestll

          Amy must have forgotten that the internet is your own private Hello Kitty diary you can hide under your bed. Damn you, Amy Tuteur!

          • Christine Martin

            I actually think its hilarious that she shared this, 5 comments out of a thread 300 comments long lol

          • Life Tip

            “lol” should not be used in place of punctuation.

        • LG

          Christine, dude……you have issues.

          • Christine Martin

            cool story

        • violinwidow

          Who’s trolling now? And really, your language is embarrassing and atrocious. You sound like trash.

          • Christine Martin

            I really don’t care 😀

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Sure. That’s why you keep posting.

          • Christine Martin

            yepppp replying to people who address me 🙂 At least I’m not hiding in a private group watching what others are saying about me.

          • Guestll

            She doesn’t hide. Fed Up With Natural Childbirth is an open group. You are free to comment here as well. You won’t be censored for being a dissenting voice. Being a troll may get you banned, but you’d need to work harder.

          • Christine Martin

            I actually don’t care about how people birth. I’ve done 2 drugged up inductions and 1 non-drug hospital births. I actually really don’t care about anything aside from Intactivism. The Sanctimommy group is all a satire and a joke, I do however believe, based on Dr. Amy’s posts that she is a Sanctimommy and no better than TAP, I find it quite amusing. I suck at trolling because I’m not even trying to lol

          • Amazed

            You are really terrible at it. Good to know you realize it.

            Really, cussing and lol-ing like an idiot in every sungle post you somehow manage to scrawl? That’s the best you can think about? Pitiful.

            Please tell me you don’t homeschool. Your children’s vocabulary… well, I’m scared for them.

          • Guestll

            “I actually really don’t care about anything aside from Intactivism.”
            Jesus wept.

          • Antigonos CNM

            He was circumcised. The Feast of the Circumcision is celebrated by Catholics on Jan.1st, which is quite right, as it’s 8 days after birth, according to Jewish custom.

            As for Ms. Martin, to get my attention you are going to have to avoid the misuse of the word “birth” as a transitive verb. It’s a defect of my character, I suppose, but I have a thing about the correct use of language.

          • me

            He was also Jewish. He was bound to Mosaic Law which includes (among many other things) Abraham’s Covenant. It is very clear in the New Testament that gentiles are NOT bound by Mosaic Law (this is why we can eat shellfish and pork). However, it is also very clear that should you choose to participate in Abraham’s Covenant (by circumcising your son(s)) that you shall be bound by the entire covenant – no picking and choosing. For the true-believing Christian this means that if your kid is cut you better not feed him pork or shellfish, or violate Mosaic Law in any way, or you’re all going to hell.

            Another reason religion is stupid, but it’s all there in black and white. I do laugh at those “Christians” who circ, but don’t follow the rest of Mosaic Law…. don’t they know they are pissing God off something fierce?

          • Antigonos CNM

            I doubt there are any Christians who circumcise for religious reasons [correct me if I’m wrong] these days but the procedure became very popular in the second half of the 19th century as a hygienic measure. All the British male royals since Queen Victoria’s sons have been circumcised because Prince Albert thought it “modern”. Recent studies in Africa show that transmission rates of HIV are reduced by up to 65% by circumcision, a big consideration since the spread of HIV today is primarily via heterosexual contact and several African countries have instituted programs to circumcise adult males as a result.

            Incidentally, Muslim men are also circumcised; it isn’t just a Jewish practice.

          • me

            I’ve met lots of “Christians” who seem to think that circ is required of them. I put Christians in quotes because to call yourself a Christian, when you obviously haven’t bothered to read the Bible is breathtakingly stupid. But it’s very clear (it was quite a point of contention back then apparently – gentiles were reluctant to convert because they didn’t want to be circ’d/circ their sons; I guess “relaxing” Mosaic Law and telling everyone that only the Semites were bound to it (God’s chosen people) meant a LOT more converts) that not only is it not required of gentiles, but engaging in circ without following the rest of Mosaic Law is really, really wrong (apparently).

            As for Islam, I’m not sure where Mosaic Law comes into play in that religion. I know Islam “requires” circumcision, not sure if that has to do with the Old Testament, or if that’s something independent of Abraham’s covenant. Since Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all seem to be based on the same malarkey (it’s all based on the Old testament), I wouldn’t be surprised on little bit if Islamic folks cherry picked what portions of Mosaic Law they want to follow, just as many Christians do, and ignored what they didn’t like.

          • Meerkat

            What’s “intactivism”?

          • Anj Fabian

            Anti-circumcision zealotry.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Haha mysogyistic slurs sure are funny!

        • BeatlesFan

          You came to HER page to start drama and post insults… How is SHE the troll? If you don’t want your words screenshot, don’t put them on the Internet.

          • Christine Martin

            no I came to her page cause I was told she screenshotted and shared a post from our closed group. I really don’t care though, I think its funny.

          • Anj Fabian

            You don’t care, yet you are here…

            Why not be honest? You are here because you do care.

          • quadrophenic

            Sharing a post from a closed group if append all the time on Sanctimommy. You didn’t expect the closed group to be confidential, did you?

        • Captain Obvious

          Forever immortalized on the Internet. Your children must be proud. Try disciplining them for being an **** when they show you that you are the ****.

        • LibrarianSarah

          Oh my the c-word! And you were trying to convince me that you were not a misogynist in the last thread. I guess we can see your true colors now. I guess those girls of yours really are screwed. But only if they ever disagree with you of course

        • Box of Salt

          I see someone wasn’t so proud of her own words after all. Unfortunately, deleting doesn’t remove the comment – only your name.

      • wookie130

        I just tried clicking on the link above, and the page was mysteriously “unavailable.” One of the oldest tricks in the book there, I’m thinking.

        • Anj Fabian

          It’s a private group, but they let anyone in. Anybody.

          • FormerPhysicist

            Right. In this case, private only means your comments won’t show in your news feed (or your friends’ tickers).

          • Older Mom

            Private also means that it won’t show up anywhere else on the internet. Which is why I think it’s unfair to post a screen shot with names and photos here.

            Unlike a blog, people *do* expect a private group to be private and not have their photos and names broadcast on public sites.

          • FormerPhysicist

            Actually, sanctimommy posts screenshots all the time, and some from private groups. Though she usually blacks out the names.
            If you think a private group on FB means it won’t show up anywhere else, you’re very mistaken. Maybe it means it shouldn’t, but it certainly doesn’t mean it won’t. Especially not with a large, unscreened ‘private’ group.

            IOW, I’m half agreeing with you. I think Dr. Amy should have blacked out the names, but I think anyone posting under the belief it would stay hidden is delusional.

          • wookie130

            Ah, I see!

      • Lynn Dyer

        I’m always happy to share my opinion with you directly. All you have to do is ask. 🙂

      • erin

        That’s likely the private uncensored group you are looking at. Again, this is very very sad. You are a doctor, you say? And you can’t figure out this is a place to vent and be snarky? Because it’s funny?

        • Kerlyssa

          Whoops, thought the ‘being so sad’ for us was meta satire, but it’s just sanctimony.

        • moto_librarian

          I abhor the “c word.” That isn’t being snarky, IMO. That is using misogynistic language to defame someone you don’t like.

          • KarenJJ

            I’ve heard it used as a term of endearment but I think it might be an Australian thing.

      • Lynn Dyer
      • Older Mom

        It seems to me that if this really is a *private* Facebook group, it’s a violation of privacy to take a screen-shot and post it somewhere public. Especially with names attached.

        I don’t agree with what these women are saying–let alone *how* they say it–but when people post on a *private* Facebook page, they do so thinking that their words will only be there, not copied and pasted with their names and pictures on a public forum.

        Can I suggest at least covering up the names and the photos?

        • Kalacirya

          Is it any different than if I am part of a group of people having a discussion in actual life, and someone then says something offensive. I leave that conversation and share with others about how offensive I find Person A. What is the difference here? Why is the private Facebook page a sacred space but just about no where in actual life?

          I think that unless you have a group where privacy is a stated principle of the group, like Alcoholics Anonymous, that no one is due any particular amount of privacy in a group discussion.

          Maybe people are so repulsed by screenshots from Facebook because it’s no longer hearsay, it’s not “I heard of Person A saying this” it’s, “Here’s evidence of Person A saying this”.

      • MichelleJo

        I don’t care what nutrition these mothers are feeding their children, but the *language* they’re feeding them does. It matters not how much skin-to-skin contact they gave them, their kids are going to be the next generation of yobs.

  • Certified Hamster Midwife

    Isn’t Sanctimommy supposed to be a satirical page?

    • Christine Martin

      yes but Dr. Amy is too much of a cunt to know that lol

      • Certified Hamster Midwife

        Impeccable logic.

        • MLE

          It’s comments like these that really make me appreciate the level of discourse around here.

          • Guestll

            I’m gonna say it — some of these women need to get lives outside of being cool on Facebook.

          • Box of Salt

            They should also figure out that being foulmouthed is only cool if you are a teenaged boy, or if you are really, really funny.

            I’ll say this again: gratuitous profanity says more about the speaker than the subject.

          • Guestll

            The profanity doesn’t bother me. The brainlessness, on the other hand…

          • Christine Martin

            omg its the interwebs, get a grip

          • Guestll

            Your attention-seeking is duly noted, Christine.

          • Christine Martin

            ermmmm I wouldn’t even be here commenting if she didn’t screenshot me lol

          • Anj Fabian

            Now that you are here why not make good use of your time?

          • Sue

            She has made good use of her time – showing us exactly what her mentality is. Very revealing.

          • Captain Obvious

            You didn’t have to be here just because she screen shot you. If you were proud of your comments they stand for themselves. If you’re embarrassed of them because they make you appear like an Internet cunt, then you come here to defend yourself.

          • T.

            It is wonderful to come in this place for a childfree woman like me. You can really see the difference between true parents (like the majority of commenters here) and what we call breeders. See all the parachuting, illitterated people all butthurt because they have been screenshooted? Breeders.

        • Christine Martin

          oh boo hoo I said a bad word call whine one one

          • Dr Kitty

            Nobody gives a shit about your language Christine, (see, I can swear too). It’s just the lack of substance, grammar, wit, charm, logical argument and valuable content we dislike.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Actually, you might be surprised about the etymology of the word “cunt”. When used as it was intended, it was not an insult. It became an insult directly because of the patriarchy.

  • Box of Salt

    “I don’t understand how you can love one and hate the other. The argument is different but the end result is the same.”

    I don’t understand why Sanctimommy doesn’t understand this. It’s easy, if you evaluate the message instead of its delivery.

    (We can see which message I chose: I obviously do post comments here, but I don’t particularly care for Alpha Parent’s “snobby side of parenting.” And, no, I couldn’t come up with a single short phrase that describes Dr Amy’s message adequately.)

    • Anj Fabian

      Dead babies bad, healthy, live babies good.
      Dead mothers bad, healthy, live mothers good.
      Misinformation bad, facts and evidence good.

  • auntbea

    “My primary message about parenting is that there are MANY right ways to
    parent children and what works for one mother and her family may not
    work for another.”…well, unless that way includes homebirthing and not vaxxing.

    • it’s not the homebirth she objects to, it’s all the dead babies.

      • Anj Fabian

        The dead babies AND the unaccountable midwives.

        Nowhere else is it so easy to walk away from a preventable death than a home birth.

    • tim

      Not vaccinating is not a right way. If these people were doing nothing but putting themselves and their kids at risk, I would still be upset about it because their kids don’t deserve to suffer their stupidity. But they are putting immune compromised people (such as organ transplant recipients) at risk too. If you don’t vaccinate your kid because of woo, and they end up causing the death of a classmate who had a heart or liver or whatever transplant, you should be charged with manslaughter.
      Period.

      • auntbea

        Oh for heaven’s sake. I’m a regular here. I am fully on board with the pro-vax spiel. I am also okay with jugdging people who don’t vaccinate (assuming they don’t have a medical issue that precludes it.) However, I would argue that the *primary* message of this blog is not that many choices are valid, but that one choice in particular is a very, very bad one.

        • tim

          Sorry, I didn’t mean “you” as in you specifically. I just mean “you don’t vaccinate, you are responsible for the damage caused to others” – It’s the most selfish new agey parenting choice I can think of, far above all the others, because of the devestating potential to everyone. I just hate it. Hate it hate it hate it. I hated it before it mattered to me personally, and I hate it viciously now.
          I see your point about the primary message being delivered though – you’re saying she’s first and foremost saying “this, this and this are SERIOUSLY wrong”, then then less so saying “these are all right and it doesn’t matter which you choose”

          • rh1985

            I hate it too. I hate that I will have to worry about my new baby until s(he) is old enough to be vaccinated. My family is fully vaccinated but I can’t hide in my house with the baby for several months.

          • Clarissa Darling

            I know how you feel. Unfortunately, not everyone in my family has been vaccinated since my sister choose not to vaccinate her kids. It makes me so mad; I’d like to organize a book burning for anything written Dr. Sears Junior and Senior! I haven’t wanted to confront her about the issue because of everything she’s going through but, I hope that me or one of my parents can eventually get through to her…… I’m considering what to do b/c my baby is due right before the holidays and won’t be old enough to have the pertussis vaccine by then. Do I ask my sister’s family not to come and ask my parents to split up their time? Or, do I get over my anxieties in order to keep the peace. I’m sure it’s a small risk that my child would be exposed to anything and, like you said, I can’t stay locked up in the house and eliminate all risk of exposure even if I don’t invite my sister but, I’m still worried 🙁

          • rh1985

            My baby is due Feb 27 so hopefully cold/flu season will be almost over. I was fully immune to everything still in my bloodwork but I am going to get the pertussis booster in hopes the baby gets something from it. Pertussis is one I feel particularly strongly about so I would probably not allow anyone unvaccinated be super close to my newborn. I feel like the risk with relatives especially children would be higher because they would be close to and possibly touching/holding the baby, if I’m out at the supermarket with a cover on the seat someone is less likely to come over and breathe directly in the baby’s face. My aunt had pertussis as a very young baby and was extremely sick and hospitalized, my mother was the oldest and remembered how sick she was. I can’t understand how anyone can not vaccinate against that disease.

          • Clarissa Darling

            Yes, pertussis sounds very scary. My husband had measles growing up. His parents warned me to make sure to vaccinate. I was never considering not to but, you know grandparents are always giving advice 🙂 I don’t want this to come out sounding the wrong way but, I kind of wish more people in the US did remember what these diseases were like– if there were some magical way to make people understand that without actually getting the disease. At the very least, people should listen to more those that have experienced those diseases and less to Jenny Mcarthy and celebridocs like the doctors Sears.

          • rh1985

            My mother still remembers the horrible sound of her baby sister coughing over 50 years ago. I have also wondered, like you, if some of the trend is because the current generation of parents hasn’t personally witnessed their relatives or others in their community suffering from those diseases. I sometimes wish people could be forced to watch videos of what it was like. I am going to ask a pediatrician when I get one if my parents should get a booster as well. I know they will be around the baby frequently.

          • amazonmom

            Neonates with pertussis are so ill, often needing ECMO to survive. I won’t forget watching a baby whoop so hard he came up off the warmer, ripping out his endotracheal tube. We had to use paralysis drugs and sedation meds so the coughs wouldn’t rip out any more things. He survived. The family proceeded to take all 5 other kids to the ped to get caught up on vaccines. The family was scared out of the antivax scene for good.

          • tim

            That right there says it all. Do people even understand how serious something has to be in order to require ECMO, which is massively risky in and of itself?
            That’s the kind of fire that people need to realize they are playing with. This stuff is not a joke.

          • Antigonos CNM

            I am convinced the current anti-vax fad is precisely because we have not seen these diseases “in action”. Right now, in Israel, a polio revaccination campaign is underway for children because traces of the wild virus have been detected — no cases reported. If anything, mothers are leading the demand, because there was a polio outbreak in the Fifties, and some of the victims are still alive, so we can see the effects of a disease that a lot of Americans think of only in relation to FDR. It is so easy to think that “Childrens’ diseases” are not serious when 70, 80 or more years have gone by since they were virtually eradicated.

          • Playing Possum

            Personally I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask you sister to keep her family away from your child. She is the one bucking social norms, you are the one who has no control over your child’s vaccination status at that point in time. And yes, you might be exposed to unvaxed people in the real world, but it’s a ‘might’, not a ‘will’ as with your sisters family. Or suggest that they at least get measles and pertussis vax – these are the ones that will have the greatest impact on a child that is too young for vaccination.

          • Ainsley Nicholson

            I agree with Possum- it is completely reasonable to chose not to expose your newborn to a known risk of deadly contagious disease, even if the risk is small. If you present it as a blanket policy (“we are asking everyone that comes into contact with the baby to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccines”) rather than a request aimed at her personally, then hopefully it would go over better.

          • An Actual Attorney

            Your baby depends on you for everything. Your sister is old enough to live with the consequences of her actions. Your parents are grown ups and understand your job is to protect your baby, just like their job was to protect you.

            It’s a long story which I can’t really get into on line because I respect the privacy of all involved, but I have a family member who wasn’t allowed to old Actual Son when he was a newborn. I felt horrible, especially knowing the rifts it would cause, but I felt more strongly that all the adults had to live with the consequences of their actions. My newborn son just needed to be protected.

          • MichelleJo

            In my GP’s words “I wish Dr Wakefield had never been born.”

          • Amy H

            I guess I’m on the other side. I got it (the vaccination) myself, but I figured the certain damage to our strong family ties was worth the very, very small probability that my baby would catch something from his unvaxed cousin. She knew how I felt about it, but I know she really believes what she believes and I can’t change it, so I bite my tongue and was ever-vigilant for any sign of a cough.

      • Jen

        As the mom of a 5-year-old liver transplant recipient who is about to start pre-kindergarten, thank you.

        • tim

          <3 You're welcome. I have a 1 year old with cardiomyopathy who could possibly have a heart transplant in the future. It means a lot to me that people vaccinate

          • tim

            It also means a lot that people make a decision about organ donation, so I’m getting on my soapbox. again.
            It’s super awful to have a conversation with your spouse/partner/other parent about the hypothetical situation of outliving your child (Trust me, I know) – but the time to have that conversation is not after the clock starts ticking and you are beyond grief stricken.
            Time is of the essence in organ donation – please have that conversation now, for the sake of all the kids and parents who are sitting around waiting for their pager to go off, hoping that someone does the right thing for them. Please – talk about it. It’s important.

          • Jen

            Tim, I’m wishing all the best things for your baby, you, and your family.

          • Tim

            Thank you Jen – I hope your little one enjoys school and you manage to relax enough to enjoy it right alongside them 🙂

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Homebirth is a reasonable choice as long as you recognize the increased risk. Anti vax is never the right choice because it is based on lies spread by people who know nothing about immunology.

      • tim

        Not to mention that it’s a choice that’s detrimental to society as a whole, instead of just to your own family.

      • auntbea

        But…how does one reconcile “Homebirth is a reasonable choice as long as you recognize the increased risk” with judging people who put their the birth experience over their baby’s safety? Are there situations in which people choose to homebirth for some other reason? Are their cases in which the extra risk to the baby is balanced out by some real, tangible benefit to the mother? Isn’t it *worse* if they realize they are passing risk onto their babies and do it anyway? Under what conditions would you not consider homebirth to be an obviously poor decision?

        This is an actual question, not a gotcha.

        • Ainsley Nicholson

          This is a really interesting question, and I look forward to hearing Dr Amy’s response to it.
          Certainly Dr. Amy has written harsh blog posts about women who chose to prioritize their own birth experience ahead of their baby’s safety. The most egregious examples she finds are of women who are either self-deluded or dishonest enough to claim that they are doing it for the baby’s benefit. I think the point of her posts is not really to to criticize the choices that are made, it is more to help other people see thru the pretty lies that these women tell.
          Some women who chose home birth do so genuinely believing that it is as safe or safer than hospital birth. They tend to not be as big a presence on the internet.
          The only example I could think of where home birth would be a reasonable choice when made with a accurate understanding of the risks involved would be a situation where a woman has a history of precipitous labor and lives a very long way away from the nearest hospital- that could be a situation where the risks of a homebirth are determined to be not as grave as the risks of a birth occuring on the side of the road.

          • Antigonos CNM

            If a woman genuinely believes a homebirth is safer or as safe as hospital birth, then she is deluded or ignorant. That is the bottom line. And frankly, if only her own life was at stake, I might even say she is entitled to risk suicide in such a manner. But there is another life, one who cannot consent or even offer an opinion, involved. No one has the right to play Russian roulette with someone else’s life. Indeed, a mother, IMO, has an OBLIGATION to her infant to provide the best and safest care, precisely because that infant is so vulnerable at the time of birth.

          • Ainsley Nicholson

            The women I’ve encountered that genuinely believed this were more deluded than ignorant. In fact, they had been “educated” very well.

          • Lizzie Dee

            It is surely possible to be deluded and ignorant – and my vote would go for ignorant – because I honestly don’t see how you can be anything else. Because the large majority of births are normal, how can anyone be fully informed about the weird and unpredictable ways things can go wrong? I have read more than one informed mother saying “I didn’t know things like that could happen…”, and I have sometimes been left with the impression that doctors aren’t always that certain of outcomes either – hence all those unnecessary CS. Lunatic, kami=kaze births turn out well, or seemingly well, and healthy young women still sometimes, rarely, end up dead or grieving.

          • PrecipMom

            Not educated. Catechized. This is faith formation, not education.

          • Ainsley Nicholson

            “Educated” = indoctrinated

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          It’s the difference between hiring a CNM, making sure you are completely low risk, having all relevant prenatal testing, adhering to the guidelines for fetal monitoring and being ready to transfer at the least indication that there might be a problem, and hiring a CPM, reveling in the fact that you are high risk (breech, twins, VBAC), refusing testing, ignoring the guidelines for monitoring and “trusting birth.”

          It’s also the difference between regretting a bad outcome and saying “some babies are meant to die.”

          • Captain Obvious

            This quote should be on the side bar!

          • auntbea

            So assuming you do everything you are supposed to, the added risk of being at home rather than hospital is small enough to justify the mom going with her personal preference of where to birth, rather that what is *absolutely* best for the baby (a la breastfeeding vs formula feeding)?

          • DiomedesV

            Having a homebirth in the manner that Dr. Amy has described does come with increased risk to the baby. Increased relative risk, but low absolute risk. It also comes with a benefit to the mother: a lower likelihood of a C-section. One may think, as Antigonos CNM does, that a mother has an obligation to provide an infant with the best and safest care, but one must also acknowledge that such care can come at an increased risk of morbidity to her.

            Personally, I think that the single most important factor driving mothers to give birth at home in the US is the desire to avoid a C-section. For good or bad, whether their information or reasoning is faulty or not, that is the tradeoff they are making. I would argue that they are making that tradeoff even if they don’t rationalize it that way to themselves and others.

            Personally, I do not believe that mothers have a duty to provide the best and safest care to an infant–where best and safest is much safer relatively, but barely safer in an absolute sense–at any risk to themselves. I just want women to be honest with themselves and others. One of the problems with the homebirth movement is it comes draped in multiple layers of sanctimony that conveniently distract from what is actually an uncomfortable tradeoff between infant and maternal health.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            We’ve been through this before. The absolute risk of childbirth is not in the least low, by comparison to almost anything we do in life, and is far, far higher than things that we would never think of doing. The 2-fold difference between the safety of homebirth vs hospital is 100 times greater than the absolute risk of drunk driving.

            If childbirth is safe in an absolute safe, and what does that say about drunk driving, which is 50 times safer in terms of MATERNAL mortality, much less baby?

          • auntbea

            This is what I am trying to figure out. If we believe it is never reasonable to put mom’s preferences above (real) risks to baby’s safety, and homebirth always poses an absolutely high risk, then how is it ever reasonable to choose a homebirth? So *either* planned homebirth is something we judge in all circumstances or it is not that dangerous if done correctly. Can’t be both.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            If indeed homebirth increases the risk of safety, then absolutely it’s not something to do. The only argument I can see is that, under the exact right circumstances, you can do hb without increasing the risk.

            This “low absolute” risk thing is really bothersome to me. As has been noted, and no one has ever refuted, being born is the riskiest thing that every person faces. I don’t know if the corollary, that giving birth is the second riskiest thing that is done, is necessarily true, but it’s not far from it. There are things that are more dangerous, like having a heart attack, but that is not something anyone chooses. And there are also very, very risky things, like climbing Mount Everest, which are more dangerous than giving birth, but it’s not a great endorsement of safety to say that it’s safer than climbing Mount Everest.

          • Wren

            I think there is a vast difference between “this is not the safest option possible but I am recognising the risk and making it as safe as it can be” and “home birth is as safe or safer than hospital birth because untrue NCB reasons”. The first isn’t a whole lot different to choosing a car that isn’t #1 for safety or allowing your child to participate in sports or play on a playground for that matter. Acknowledging and accepting a small risk for yourself and your child, while making it as safe as you can, is not the same as denying a risk altogether and encouraging others to do the same.

          • auntbea

            Of course there is a difference between those two. But the attitude of the person toward the safety of homebirth has nothing to do with how safe or not it actually is. The question is under what conditions it is reasonable to pass that risk on to one’s child, and when doing so “putting the experience over the safety of the baby”?

          • Amy H

            Thing is, where are you going to find a good CNM doing homebirth in the US? From what I understand, they’re few and far between. So it’s almost a moot point for me.

          • Dr Kitty

            Exactly.
            That is the point.

            If your house has faulty wiring and your choices are “hire a certified electrician at great expense, and get it repaired while you stay in a motel” or “give next door neighbour Joe, who has no formal training as an electrican, but describes himself as a “natural handyman” £100 and a case of beer to do it while you stay home” only a fool chooses option B.

            Sure, the chances of being electrocuted or burning in your beds is small, but really, why would you risk it?

            If your choice is CPM at home, or hospital, the only sane, safe choice is hospital. End of story.

          • Box of Salt

            auntbea, it’s not that simple as “it’s never reasonable to put mom’s preferences above (real) risks to baby’s safety.” The discussions we had with he-who-shall-not-be-named* put this into perspective for me. There always has to be a risk vs benefit analysis, and every person is going to do their analysis a different way. What we view as an absolutely unacceptable risk may seem counterbalanced by benefits to others. He* made me realize that other folks might have more on the “benefit of homebirth” side than I do.

            If someone truly understands the risks – and can actually conceptualize the idea that the risk is going through 9 mos of pregnancy and finding yourself at the end without a wanted baby – they have the right to balance that against what they perceive as the benefits of giving birth at home.

            The problem comes from the fact that very few people are capable of internalizing the risk part of the equation, and the benefit side is puffed up by those who profit from it.

          • auntbea

            If there are indeed benefits to homebirthing that can outweigh or equal the risks to the child, then all these posts about how homebirthers prioritize the experience or bragging rights over their baby’s safety are indeed sanctimonious. Just like saying formula feeding moms are prioritizing convenience over their baby’s needs.

            If there are NOT benefits to homebirth that outweigh the harms, such that the decision to homebirth fully justifies righteous indignation, then homebirth is never a reasonable option. It can’t be both.

            So, is homebirth done right something that has a low enough risk profile that benefits to the mother can reasonably be the deciding factor of home v, hospital? No one seems to have evidence about the risk profile of homebirth done this way or whether this is an absolutely high or low risk.

          • Wren

            The benefits are likely to vary from person to person. For some, not having to go anywhere might be a benefit that outweighs some reasonable risk. For most of us, it clearly isn’t.
            I really don’t think the issue of risks vs benefits is the issue in most cases though, because the risks are downplayed or denied. A homebirther who flat out states she knows the risks and accepts them is far less common that the one who denies the risks. How often have we read that home birth is as safe or safer than hospital birth?

          • Siri

            When I gave birth at home, I had two senior midwives and two of my friends (fellow student midwives) with me throughout my labour. Labour Ward was aware of my situation and progress, and at the first hint of a problem, my midwives would have called for an ambulance ‘nil delay’. They had Entonox and Pethidine for me, and could cannulate me, put up fluids, resuscitate a baby etc at a moment’s notice. Their transfer rate was high-ish, mostly for maternal exhaustion/desire for greater pain relief.

            In hospital, I would have had only one midwife, possibly younger than me and newly qualified, although as a student midwife at the same hospital they’d have done their best to accommodate my wishes.

            I felt utterly safe throughout the labour and birth, and I’m sure my daughter knew she was in her own home; instead of sleeping, she made me carry her all over the house, showing her every room. Very different to my four hospital-born babies, who were content to lie, wrapped in towels, in their perspex cots. I believe my home birth was as safe as it possible could be. My fifth birth, which started as another home confinement, ended up in hospital after I lost my nerve and asked for a transfer.

  • Certified Hamster Midwife

    OT: Doctor reports mom to health department for feeding baby goat’s milk and celery juice instead of formula. http://www.wave3.com/story/23089938/babys-mother-in-trouble-with-state-over-goats-milk-formula

    • Tim

      I want to know where the hell the logic on this goats milk stuff comes from.

      Lactivist argument against formula: “It’s made from COWS milk. Baby COWS and Baby HUMANS have different nutritional needs”

      Is there then some logical step I’m missing that forms the connection of “Baby GOATS and Baby HUMANS have the same nutritional needs” ?

      I’m failing to see how you get from thought a to thought b

      • tim

        And it also makes me wonder – how long until chimpanzee milk is all the rage?

        • Amy M

          Good luck milking the chimp. 🙂 I bet it is about as productive as milking a cat.

          • fiftyfifty1

            There is nothing more wholesome than cat yogurt!

          • MLE

            That is one of the most disgusting things I have ever read! Haha!

          • Dr Kitty

            I buy low-lactose milk for my cat (I know, we’ll never truly have a bond now) and the pet shop has a sign that says “Cat Milk is made from Cows Milk, it is not milk from cats.”
            Obviously some people have complained about the cruelty of milking cats.

      • AmyP

        They’re both kids.

        It totally makes sense.

      • Box of Salt

        Anecdata: Goat milk was used a more tolerated substitute in the early half of the twentieth century, before there was commercially made formula (including by members of my family; I’m not sure if it was a substitute for cow’s milk or breastmilk however).

        • theadequatemother

          I read somewhere, wish remembered where, that goats milk is no better tolerated than cow’s milk. I would bet that the real reason goat milk was used had more to do with goats bring cheaper to acquire and care for than cows and that they can eat almost anything and survive harsher conditions compared to cows.

          • Box of Salt

            theadequatemother – you are probably right. The story that was handed down, no longer verifiable since the major players are deceased, was that goat milk was given because the baby did not tolerate cow.

          • tim

            Chimpanzee milk, next big thing. Just wait until the news stories about moms getting their faces eaten off while trying to milk a chimp roll in.

          • maryann

            No, no, no. You see, that wouldn’t be good enough because the milk would have to be offered in a bottle. I predict chimp wet nurses.

          • theadequatemother

            Plenty of my ancestors got homemade farm formula too. I have some handed down recipes – milk of some sort and corn syrup and sometimes molasses (for the iron I bet). I forget all of the ingredients right now. Of course there was also a corner of the field where the babies that didn’t make it were laid to rest.

        • tim

          Maybe more suitable than straight up cows milk. But when millions of dollars are spent on research to make commercial formulas as close to human milk as is scientifically possible, how can it be justified that goats milk is superior to that?

          Especially when one argues that milk suitable for one mammal is not suitable for another?

          You basically have to be starting from a point where are you are just rejecting all forms of science no matter what to accept that it seems.

          • Dr Kitty

            Do people not realise that cow milk has been so messed with to turn it into formula that you can CHOSE the proportion of casein:whey that you feed, because different formulas have different proportions?

          • Kalacirya

            I don’t get why anyone would equate processed milk ingredients, to actual whole milk. And these same people will complain about all the corn or soy products in foods.

          • Box of Salt

            “how can it be justified that goats milk is superior to that?”

            I’m not saying it is – I was just pointing out there’s a little bit of recent-history-based mythology behind it.

          • tim

            Sorry, rhetorical question. Didn’t mean to imply you thought it was, just that there are people who do and I can’t wrap my brain around it

      • squid

        well baby goats are called kids…

      • fiftyfifty1

        The link is that deep down the lactivists don’t really object to Cow’s milk because of the Cow-Calf/Human-Baby reason. They object to Cow’s milk because it is the primary ingredient in commercial formula, and to reject commercial formula is to be A Free-Thinker and A Courageous Rebel. With Goat’s milk you can still be a rebel you see….

        • tim

          I also suspect that is the case, but why be dishonest. Either way sounds asinine, so it’s not like they are making themselves sound better with that argument. People should be honest about their idiocy.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “People should be honest about their idiocy.”
            I have a hard time even imagining a world where people are honest about their idiocy.

        • Certified Hamster Midwife

          Especially if it’s not pasteurized.

          • Tim

            Homebirth quintuples your neutrophil count, no pasteurization needed here.

  • kater

    I haven’t commented much since my son was born, but I’ve been keeping up with posts. I’ve been so happy to see you tackling lactivists. But this post tops them all. Brava!

  • MLE

    Bravo!

  • OBNurse
    • tim

      fantastic!

  • Jenna

    This post made me tear up a bit. I think it was the part where Dr. Amy shows her softer side by saying, “I am aggressive in promoting the view that YOU are a great parent if your decisions are made with love and concern for your child, regardless of whether I might have made the same decisions.”. I’ll admit that I wasn’t a fan here originally. But I quickly came to admire the fierce insistance to facts, evidence and the well being of women and babies. Thank you, Dr. Amy.

  • Christina Maxwell

    That was one of your best posts ever. It moved me. As I said elsewhere, you have truth on your side. Thank you for doing what you do and thank you for your kindness to those of us who need advice. For me the difference in your online names says it all: You are a person who is skeptical of unfounded claims and qualified to say so pure and simple. The Alpha Parent, on the other hand, by her very name is putting herself forward as ‘better’ than the rest of us and obviously has no understanding that most of us are just bumbling along, loving our offspring and doing the best we can. Parenting is NOT a flaming competition!

  • T.

    This is the same of people who equal anti-theist activists like Hitchens or Dawkins to religious terrorists. You may find Dawkins or Hitchens bullies and annoying, but guess what, they have never killed anybody.

    And it is SO refreshing to see people who admit to judge. There is nothing wrong in judgment, damnit. Not all choices are equal, some are STUPID.

  • kumquatwriter

    I LOVE YOU DR. AMY.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Thank you!!

  • stacey

    I love Sanctimommy, but she is WRONG about this one. Maybe she ought to read some more of this page first.

  • violinwidow

    I do have to say that I didn’t care for this meme at all. I argued most vehemently with the admins at mama drama for the creation of their hideous bottle in a coffin version. I don’t think we should recycle their secondrate attempts, but come up with new and fantastic ideas of our own. I don’t want to see your, and our, efforts associated with a foolish and ridiculous page like mama drama.

    • Anj Fabian

      I’d rather see a bottle in a coffin instead of a baby in a coffin.

  • I sing to Andy

    I agree. I come here as a respite from people who judge me for trusting the medical community with my son’s life and mine. I’m not sorry I had a C-section. I do regret that I’m medically unable to breastfeed, for my son’s sake, but I also know he’s doing very well on Similac, oatmeal, and homemade fruits and veggies.

  • LG

    AMEN! Absolutely 1000000 percent right! Keep it up Dr. Tuteur!

  • GuestB

    Can I have an AMEN!!!