The narcissism of lactivism


One of the themes of this blog is that natural childbirth advocacy, homebirth, lactivism and attachment parenting have little to do with birth, babies or children. They are about mothers and how they would like to see themselves, specifically how they would like to boost their fragile self-esteem by denigrating other mothers.

In my efforts to put this point across, I have no better allies than NCB advocates, lactivists and AP advocates who fall over one another in their narcissistic efforts at self-aggrandizement.

Consider this photo, which I call Narcissist with Exposed Breast at Baby Fair.

Narcissism of lactivism

According to Elicia,the mother in the photo, who has posted it on Facebook and shared it more than 2000 times:

At the baby fair today and was sad to see tons of formula stands but none for breastfeeding so Winnie and I did some advertising ourselves:)

Classic Sanctimommy!

Instead of worrying about her own baby and herself, she is ostentatiously sad about everyone else’s babies. Therefore, she felt the need to use her child in a planned publicity stunt to demonstrate her own superiority as a mother.

She packed up her baby, flowered wreaths, and photographer, and headed off to the baby fair to “advertise.” No fooling. (The flowered wreaths are a nice touch, graphically conveying the immaturity and magical thinking of Elicia and many of her fellow lactivists.)

And, as is typical for NCB advocates and lactivists, she used her baby as a prop. I suppose it is possibly that Winnie became hungry after seeing the Enfamil logo, but I suspect Elicia shoving her breast into Winnie’s mouth in front of the Enfamil logo had nothing to do with Winnie’s need for nourishment and everything to do with Elicia’s need for attention.

In classic Sanctimommy fashion, Elicia makes sure to declare that she is so not judging any other mothers.

Please remember that this is NO attempt to knock any non breastfeeding Mammas, it is to support breastfeeding as unfortunately it is breastfeeding – and nursing in public that needs our support and societies views changed. SHARE and support breast feeding!


This photo is a deliberate, elaborately staged effort to denigrate formula feeding women. That’s how Elicia feels better about herself; she denigrates other mothers. Indeed, she is so desperate for self-affirmation that she conceived, planned, carried out, photographed and distributed this tableau. This is not about breastfeeding, this is not about babies, this is not about formula. This is about attempting to fill the pathetic lack of self-esteem of Elicia and lactivists like her.

The one I really feel sorry for, though, is Winnie. Imagine being reduced to nothing more than a prop in her mother’s desperate search for affirmation and attention.

There is one good thing to come out of this photograph, though. Years from now Winnie will have no need to explain to her therapist the narcissism of her mother. She can simply show the photograph, which says it all.

1,112 Responses to “The narcissism of lactivism”

  1. Jeanette
    April 15, 2015 at 12:01 am #

    I think this article is rather hypocritical. In labeling acts of lactivism as narcissistic, you are shaming mothers. You claim to be against mothers putting each other down to uplift their own low self-esteem, but you are making a characterization of this woman that is based on an incomplete understanding of her motivations. You’ve also charachterized the entire movement as having magical thinking. You are doing exactly what you profess to be wrong. Breastfeeding in public is currently an act that deviates from societal norms. Lactivism is about commiting regular acts of deviance in order to alter the norm. Currently, the norm is that women’s breast must be covered unless they are being used in an act of sexuality (acts deemed private by society). That is why it seems voyeristic and immodest. Your title of “woman with her breast out” plays into the background assumption that breasts are sexual objects. I agree that it can feel like narcissism when women step outside of their acceptable rolls for the first time. It is important for someone to pave the way toward freedom from the constraints of breast-sexualization. The elevation of breast milk over alternatives (free, natural, even “magical”) is only necessary now while women face shaming from each other. Once breasts are as accepted as bottles, there will be no need to claim that breastfeeding is better, or that we should feel bad for the infants who’s mothers made that choice. If you want a world where formula feeding is not frowned upon by other groups, than you’ve got to accept public breast feeding as well. The two have to have equal acceptance as an appropriate activity to beundertaken publicly for there to be no attempts by one group to claim superiority over another. This woman is fighting for your very goal. Give her the right to nurse her child wherever she wants without ridicule, and your choices will gain acceptance, not loose it. Let’s all stop shaming each other. That’s not okay. That needs to stop, and we can all agree on that.

  2. Jennifer Summers
    November 14, 2014 at 4:19 am #

    I cannot possibly tell you how much I love this.

  3. Roberto
    November 6, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    honestly your blowing this out of proportion. She IS seeking attention but she’s doing it with a reason the only thing I see your doing is trying to slander her to make yourself look better in comparison.

    • Roberto
      November 6, 2013 at 9:54 am #

      (add) still she went a little overboard

  4. kelster
    October 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    I don’t think it’s a concern over other people’s babies but a concern over the fact that there is an abundance of advertising for formula but not breastfeeding, which is sad.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      October 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      What’s sad about it?

      • RakishLass
        January 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

        What a sad about it is that there is nothing wrong with advocating Breastfeeding as the healthiest alternative. No, not everyone can do it, and that’s okay, but to have a baby fair with no breqstfeeding info is basically telling new mums that artificial nutrition is the best thing. There is a difference between believing that breast is best and being militant about it. This photo is over the top, for sure, but her intentions were there.

        • Young CC Prof
          January 1, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

          Somehow I doubt that the breast pump, nursing pillow, nipple pad and nursing bra companies all skipped out on the fair! Although breastfeeding is free in theory, there are plenty of products sold to help.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          January 1, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

          The difference between breastfeeding and formula feeding is negligible. There’s no reason for any woman not to formula feed if that’s what works for her.

  5. roddy
    August 20, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    This article is so true I know her and ended up deleting her on fb because she trys to shove her iPhone down everyones throats. Her way or the highway. Knowing her and how she is I know this was staged.

    • roddy
      August 20, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

      Sorry should be opinion not sire how iPhone got there…..

  6. Lisa
    August 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    Apologies if someone else has posted this:

  7. Anonnymommy
    August 9, 2013 at 6:35 am #

    Elicia, if you’re still reading this page, I just want to tell you that I feel sorry for you. You’re only 21, you’re basically just a silly little girl who has been so misled by natural parenting/lactivist craziness that you’ve unwittingly made yourself into a laughable internet meme. I think when you get older and gain some maturity you’re going to look back on this whole episode with a lot of embarrassment. Certainly this will follow you as for the rest of your life, whenever someone (ie a potential employer) googles your name this will come up.

    You inadvertently hurt people, but you are too childish to admit you were wrong and apologize. Instead you are behaving like a stubborn toddler, stamping your feet and refusing to listen to anyone else’s perspective. You’re also too immature to realize that apologizing would be the best thing for you, too. I really do feel badly for you. You and your husband are so out of your league here trying to debate people much older, wiser, and better educated than you are. I hope that this stunning level of arrogance will diminish as you age, and that you’ll gain the ability to look at the world with empathy in order to understand how your actions impact others.

    But I also hope you won’t be judged too harshly in the future. Many of us make stupid, selfish, arrogant hurtful choices at 21. Fortunately very few of us have those mistakes go viral. This is something people your age are going to have to learn to be careful about.

    • Sheila Tone
      August 15, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      Saw her public Facebook, and this picture isn’t the least responsible of her choices — it’s just the most public. Elicia is not someone whom responsible members of the public would accept as an icon of motherhood. She is 21 and already has TWO children (her two-year-old son was elsewhere, apparently), and she’s separated from her husband, whose Facebook profile says he works at Sears. Doubt the poor guy is able to pay much support. Elicia has no degree, no apparent skills, and no work history except a job at Best Buy that ended two years ago, and she recently started “working” (I’m skeptical) at her daddy’s law office. She is supposedly going to some private college for midwifery.
      No wonder her self-esteem is so low she seeks public approval for her bodily functions.
      Elicia, how do you support those two children? Are you on welfare? WIC? Food stamps? Or maybe your daddy is hugely overpaying you for your limited skills — enough so you can support your active social life, your two children, and pay for day care for them while you answer phones and file part-time at daddy’s office. I suspect the job daddy gave you is intended to help you meet Minnesota’s welfare-to-work requirements.

      • pookietooth
        August 18, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

        Your post may score points with the ageist, sexist, elitist crowd, but the condescending way you insulted Elicia will not win you any favors with her supporters or her family. To say that she has been fooled and that when she grows up she will see things more your way is insulting to young women as well as older natural moms who have made some similar decisions.

        • Sheila Tone
          August 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

          Speaking of logical rebuttals, I see no answers to any of my questions, Elicia’s daddy or mommy (aka “pookietooth”).
          If Elicia’s going to hold herself up as an example of motherhood, it’s completely fair and logical to scrutinize her claim. My logical response: Elicia is, in fact, a *lousy* example of motherhood.
          As for the insults, one good turn deserves another. Elicia is, in effect, claiming she’s a superior mother to the likes of me because she breastfeeds. I say to the contrary, I’ve made many other, much more important, responsible choices, whereas she has made irresponsible and selfish choices. It probably would have been easier for me to breastfeed exclusively if I’d gotten pregnant at 18 (resulting in an unsuccessful shotgun marriage, thanks to the fact that her parents have means, unlike most young single mothers’ parents) as Elicia did, then had *another* baby right afterward without regard to the stability of my situation, and not worked, leaving it to the government or my parents to support my family. Instead, I waited to complete college, law school, and have a stable job and a solid marriage with a husband in the same position, with whom I discussed having children before I conceived them.
          I think the top commenter was much too kind to Elicia with the “you’re young and don’t know” argument. I doubt Elicia will get any better with age. She will just have more children with different men, and the poor grandparents will be left to clean up her messes and make excuses for her. I sure hope my sons are smart enough not to have sex with a predatory narcissist like Elicia.

          • Jeanette
            April 15, 2015 at 12:13 am #

            You are perpetuating the problem and offering no resolution. What you are doing is called “slut-shaming” and it is a highly affective and age-old tool for the repression of social agency. The only way for the status of women and mothers to rise is for us to rise together. Stop playing into the narratives that degrade our solidarity and drag us down.

      • kelster
        October 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

        I’m sorry, but what does being a young mother have to do with anything? Or foodstamps, or WIC? There are lots of people on those programs who have no intention of bettering their lives, but there also lots of people who are on those programs and do not intend to be on them for an eternity. Maybe she’s not a great mom, but degrading her because of her age makes you no different from her. I know plenty of young mothers who are great mothers.

  8. PrimaryCareDoc
    August 8, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    Don’t know if anyone posted this link yet, but it’s pretty funny.

    • Box of Salt
      August 8, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

      Interesting. There’s also an uncropped picture on that page. Interesting. Where’s that booth where her friend was hanging out?

      • Clarissa Darling
        August 9, 2013 at 12:05 am #

        Also, is that a chair I see in the background? I thought there weren’t any of those around.

    • An Actual Attorney
      August 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

      I love this! Love it. Want to marry it.

    • Pharmacist Sarah
      August 9, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      I love it. I’m laughing out loud in my office. People are going to think I’m crazy!

    • GuestB
      August 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      The one on the escalator was hilarious!!

    • Sue
      August 19, 2013 at 12:54 am #

      That made my day – thanks!

  9. Gedi
    August 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    I just called my baby Winnie! AAAARGGGGHHH!!!!!!!!! 🙁

  10. JoannaDW
    August 7, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    I guess what bugs me about pictures like these, and with most displays of public breastfeeding, is that they’re more than what meets the eye. Ideally, breastfeeding in public is a matter of personal choice and convenience. I’m doing it because I like BF, it’s an easy way to feed and my baby can be fed while I go about my life. As it is, there are women who breastfeed as openly as possible to make a statement, and it’s the exhibitionist, making-a-statement BF behavior that I can’t stand. A woman walking around with a sling, a shawl, or lifting up a shirt with a tank underneath? Meh, probably wouldn’t notice.

    Ideally, depictions of BF in the media and in art, were just that, depictions of an everyday activity. But more often than not, like in this picture, they have a purpose…to promote BF as natural and beautiful and send the implicit (or explicit) message that formula is gross, inferior, unloving, etc. Back in ‘the day,’ BF was common because it was the cheapest and likely the only option available to feed babies. There was no political or cultural statement being made about BF because it was, truly, a matter-of-fact issue of survival. Likewise, if I went to a poorer country or simply a country with different behavioral norms, I wouldn’t look twice at BFing. Today, though, and in Western cultures, the act of BFing is laden with all these connotations that lots of people, understandably, find offensive. Even in cultures where BF has always been traditional, BF is increasingly seen as a ‘protest’ against unnatural, foreign Western norms and once again, BF becomes a political statement. You also see BF, in our and in many traditional cultures, used as a statement against the evil Western, androgynizing feminism and in favor of restoring women’s natural place in the world. Personally, I think this is a big part of the negative reaction towards BFing in public. Some people feel a similar way when seeing a woman in a burka…harmless in itself, but has some troubling connotations.

    Personally, I have no problem with women breastfeeding around me or in my home. One asked if she could take her shirt off because it was more convenient to BF that way and I said yes, anytime.
    Because these women are friends/family, I know them well and we are in private. I find breastfeeding art beautiful, and the photo shown above would have been beautiful if it weren’t intended to be a statement against the perceived evils of formula feeding. If you breastfeed in public, and do so discretely and *cleanly,* you will not have any objection from me or from most people. Breastfeeding with no discretion and/or sloppy BFing, however, is utterly disgusting, just like someone chewing with their mouth open and dripping food and saliva anywhere would be disgusting. I was a sales associate in a children’s retail outlet for a while and we saw BFing mothers doing it right all the time. However, I will never forget this one time when a woman lifted her top, took off her bra, and started breastfeeding in a room packed full of strangers with no modesty whatsoever. The best part was that she was sitting on a table full of merchandise and allowing her breast milk to drip all over it. This is not only disgusting and unhygienic, but it’s rude. I’m sure lots of customers would have bought our merchandise if she wasn’t A) sitting on top of it and B) drenching it with her bodily fluids. But God forbid I say anything or she would have accused us of discrimination, ruined our sales and staged a massive, disruptive nurse-in or God knows what. (and being a national chain, it would have been a media nightmare). Again, not for BFing in public, which LOTS of women do in our store, but for doing it *wrong.*

    However, let’s say the thought of BFing made me uncomfortable in any context. Let’s say I don’t like any kind of exposure, I’m not the touchy-feely type with my loved ones, or whatever my personal hang-up is. So what? Maybe I’m irrational or immature or inconsistent in my dislike of breastfeeding. So what? We all have our pet peeves and our hang-ups, and lots of people might consider them stupid. But we’re allowed to have those all the same. As long as I respect your right to do what you want in public, I’m allowed to be afraid of it, to think it’s disgusting, or have whatever negative opinion I want on it. In the right time and place, I’m allowed to go public with that opinion. And guess what else? You have the right to not care what I think in return! BF is not some sacrosanct activity, but another mundane part of life that people can like, or dislike, as they please and that they don’t think much about. Isn’t that what we wanted to begin with? For BF to be mundane?

    • J
      April 15, 2015 at 12:25 am #

      Yes. I am all about ending this in-fighting amongst mothers. There is enough mother-shaming from both sides of this battle to keep women in their second-class status for good. Enough with the tit for tat!

  11. yentavegan
    August 7, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    The first time I saw this photo , I thought it was pro-enfamil, comparing enfamil to nursing. but now the photo makes me laugh AT you. You look foolish without your blouse on in a public setting. You look silly and childish.

    • S
      August 7, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      She’s wearing a dress, and she’s got her boob pulled out over the neckline. The other side is still clothed. I made the same mistake.

  12. Sarah, PharmD
    August 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    My father is disabled and in a wheelchair. It is already a pain in the ass for him to maneuver about in public without someone deliberately creating obstacles. Sitting down in the middle of the aisle at a conference or trade show or baby fair or ANYWHERE is rude and inconsiderate, whether you are protesting, trying to be funny, or just couldn’t find any other place to feed your baby (as if). Scoot over, get out of the way – the whole world isn’t about you.

  13. JoannaDW
    August 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Another thing I want to point out is that, upon doing some background research, is that the baby expo was sponsored by Enfamil’s parent company. So, um, of course they’re not going to promote breastfeeding. They’re not going to promote breastfeeding anymore than they’re going to promote Similac or Good Start or Parent’s Choice. They’re there to sell the brand Enfamil. If a parent came up to the booth for more detailed information about feeding and health claims, then they should of course discuss breastfeeding, allergen-free formula, or whatever other alternatives that apply as a matter of ethics. And if you’ve read a can of formula lately, or watched any new formula commercials, the first thing formula companies is say, “OMG don’t forget that breastest is bestest!” It’s common knowledge by now that breast is best and it doesn’t need to be constantly reinforced. The constant need for reinforcement at every turn that lactivists seem to have is revealing. They want equal or better time at every instance, even one that is intended to promote a business that sells formula, interfering not just with their legitimate and entirely moral business interests, but with the interests of their customers, many of whom *gasp* know that BF is not for them ahead of time or who even *double gasp* combo feed! See? BF and bottle feeding are not always competitors, but are often partners. Enough of the nonstop patronizing over women being powerless in the face of advertising.

    And you want to talk about predatory? How about lactation consultants, natural parenting authors, manufacturers of breastfeeding products, activists, etc that prey on the fears of new mothers at their most vulnerable? That harangue them into life-threatening PPD or their babies into malnutrition due to lack of supply? Two can play at this game.

    • Sarah, PharmD
      August 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      A-freaking-men. Thank you!

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      August 7, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

      We already have formula companies that include “breast is best” in THEIR own advertising, and it still isn’t good enough!

  14. Wren
    August 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    I didn’t want this to get lost in the disqus maze.

    jb says: “its the people who hurt people intentionally that are bad people. and that is what AMY has done. elicia is a good person and you can fix a mix up of meaning you cant fix the bad you say and feel in reality”

    Assuming Elicia is such a good person, why did she not apologise for her apparently unintentional hurting of many women upon first reading this? Instead, she and/or her husband have been posting here for hours and hours while somehow ignoring the fact that basically insisting women who choose formula are ignorant and choosing to feed their children a harmful product is not just judging formula feeders but actively claiming they are harming their children.

    Breastfeeding is great when it works, and I’m all for supporting those women who choose to breastfeed through actual policies that support breastfeeding and support their right to breastfeed in public. Neither of those requires judgement or put downs of those women who choose formula.

    • jb
      August 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Amy says one thing and attacks people for something and is narcissistic but claims others are. she is telling someone how to handle something in a GOOD way yet does not do it that way at all. she shoves her opinions down throats and hurts and upsets all but does not apologize when she is being openly rude not unintentionally but completely intentionally and elicia who has done it unintentionally is the one with the problem? she can reprimand a mix up of words but Amy cannot do the same for her views for she pushes them off in 100% truth and very descriptively.. yet elicia is the bad one? that makes complete sense. tell someone to do as i say but not as i do is a great way to live life it is as fake as it gets. this is as real as it gets right here. apologize for hurting people but i will not do the same. I would never teach my child how to do right by always telling him one thing and doing something else. that does not work and never will. you can not make your self out to be better than someone else that is doing exactly what you do.. elicia never meant hurt and does care and will show it and does speak it. Amy does not care if her beliefs slap you in the face.. just deal with it. you are what you call elicia.. AMY i hope you know that and accept it. you are mean and obnoxious you need to accept that as well and if you really want her to apologize.. lead by example. be the change you want to see in the world. you contradict yourself amy. shame. the worst part is you probably do not even care. I can at least attest for elicia actually caring about others while you show the other.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
        August 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

        It’s still all about you, isn’t it?

      • Wren
        August 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

        Ignore what Dr Amy has said or not said for a moment.
        Elicia has been informed that telling women they are choosing to feed their child poison and similar statements are, in fact, judging women and are, in fact, hurtful to some of those women. If this was unintentional, why no apology? If this is due to a mix up of words (I’m unclear on exactly what mix up that could have possibly been, but we’ll ignore that for now) then why not apologise immediately and say what was intended instead?

        • Elicia Binman
          August 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

          Wow, thanks Justin.

          Wren, I never said formula was poison. I did however tell someone what it was made of and that there were much healthier options available.
          I was genuinely upset that there were no stands in support of BF but more than a few for formula. Winnie got hungry, I could never force my child to nurse. My friend and I thought it was pretty ironic that I was BFing in front of the formula stand so we snapped a picture and it happened to go viral.
          If anything this picture was in protest of the FORMULA COMPANIES, not those who choose to formula feed. I hope any FF parents see this and know that I meant no offense to them. Formula, in some cases, IS needed and it can save lives! It’s the way the companies mail samples to an expecting woman’s house before she’s even had the baby as if to say, you’re milk isn’t good enough. Or when you leave the hospital, the nurses hand you a bag full of formula samples knowing full well that you intend to breastfeed but give it to you anyhow ‘just in case’.

          My son was formula fed because when we hit our first bump, we weren’t given help with breastfeeding, we were thrown a can of formula. I really hope other Mom’s see this and realize that just because formula companies have a sticker that says, “Breast is best!” on their product, doesn’t mean that they care or want what’s best for your baby. Breastfeeding doesn’t give them a paycheck.

          Formula does have it’s place, but the way it’s pushed at Mother’s who can and want to breastfeed is not where it should be.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

            ” It’s the way the companies mail samples to an expecting woman’s house before she’s even had the baby as if to say, you’re milk isn’t good enough”
            If someone is so fragile and needy that they get that message from a sample of formula, I shudder to think what they are going to do when much bigger and still routine parts of parenthood rear their heads (like reading a report card that has things marked “needs improvement”)

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

            Yes, when companies give out free samples, they’re basically always saying, “Check out our product and buy more.” It’s not a judgment on a woman’s ability to produce milk, or anything at all!

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

            Yeah, I don’t look at the samples of calcium chews I get in the mail and think “how DARE they assume my bones are crumbling!!!”

          • Box of Salt
            August 7, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

            And what was I supposed to think when a few years ago there free free bars of deodorant soap in with sunday paper? How dare they assume I stink!

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

            All we ever get is coupons for $50 off vent cleaning. I want free stuff!

          • Karen in SC
            August 7, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

            Just wait until you turn 50 and each month get a mailing from the AARP. Every month!!! Who wants that?? I don’t but I just toss them in the trash.

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

            Sincere question, because i have never been to a baby fair (or whatever it’s called). Isn’t it mostly products and organizations who set up exhibits at those things? Breast milk isn’t a product. If breast pump companies and La Leche League chose not to send representatives, what does that have to do with formula companies?

            Again, i don’t think you meant to offend anyone, and i don’t think you meant for your photo to be seen by anyone beyond your circle of friends (though surely you now realize what can happen when you don’t keep your facebook locked down!). But it also doesn’t sound like you’ve completely thought this through.

          • KarenJJ
            August 8, 2013 at 12:35 am #

            Baby expos near me are a bunch of product stands and some government advocacy stuff (like safety restraints, or childcare options). Can’t imagine why LLL couldn’t pay for a stand and give out information about memberships, support groups and services.

          • Box of Salt
            August 7, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

            thank you for coming back and speaking for yourself.

            Can I ask you a question? Can you explain why you
            felt the need to sit down on the floor in the middle of the aisle rather than take a moment or to find a place where you would not be in the way of others?

          • Elicia Binman
            August 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

            I wasn’t in the ‘walkway’, I don’t know why people keep saying that.
            My friend who I was there with, was talking with the people running the stand across from the formula stand so my daughter and I sat down on the floor to relax for a few minutes and she asked for boob. Had there been a situation where someone couldn’t get past me, of course I would have gotten up for them but at this point nearing the end of the fair, there weren’t many other people.

          • Wren
            August 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

            You were, by your own account, in the space between two stands. That is generally a part of a walkway. That’s why people keep saying that. Yes, you may not have actually blocked somebody getting past, but at the same time I know I would have been likely to walk another way to avoid someone sitting on the floor like that so you may well have been putting people off walking to the formula stand, which may explain some of the dirty looks you received.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

            Nonsense. You sat right in front of the display. It’s in your picture.

            Why would they put the display right there if people aren’t able to walk up to it? Were people supposed to walk in behind the enfamil display or something?

            We aren’t idiots. You say right in an area where people walk. You have a picture that shows that.

          • yentavegan
            August 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

            …my comment was meant for you, where was your blouse? How did that magically disappear?

          • Box of Salt
            August 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

            Elicia, “I wasn’t in the ‘walkway’, I don’t know why people keep saying that.”

            What else do you call the few feet in front of promotional booths? It’s the space people are supposed to use to walk up to the booths!

            If your friend was engaged at the opposite stand, why didn’t you sit closer to that?

            You justify having used that space because there were few people at the fair. Claiming you would have gotten out of someone’s way does not make your act less inconsiderate. Being considerate is not being in the way in the first place.

            Here’s the thing: If I assume you are not normally a cluelessly inconsiderate person, when I look at the photo I have to conclude you put yourself there in order to make a point. That’s fine – we should all have the opportunity to voice our points of view. But now that your statement wasn’t received as well as you anticipated you and jb seem to be trying to spin things a different way.

            Anyway, I hope you find more effective ways to voice your concerns in the future.

          • yentavegan
            August 7, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

            …and for goodness sake, where was your blouse?

          • Wren
            August 7, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

            Assuming breast milk from mom is out, there really are not ” much healthier options available”. Donor milk which has been effectively screened and pasteurised really should go to the premies for whom it makes a real difference rather than babies who will thrive perfectly well on formula. Without effective screening and pasteurisation, donor milk is potentially far more dangerous than just about any other option. Home made formula, raw goats milk and the other options I’ve heard of all have the potential to be far more harmful than formula in a country with a safe water supply.
            If your issue was a lack of breastfeeding stands, work towards ensuring that doesn’t happen again. Create your own stand or get involved with local breastfeeding groups to create one and make sure there is one at the next event.
            If lack of societal support for breastfeeding is your issue, then stop making nursing in public look so, well, crazy. Don’t plop down in the middle of a walkway, however busy it may or may not be, and block easy access to anyone’s stand, shop or wherever else they might be planning to go. That’s rude no matter what activity you are doing at the time. Many women manage to nurse in public often for years without blocking paths or inspiring dirty looks. I did, and I never nursed sitting on a public toilet or covered up my baby except when nursing a very young baby in a ring sling, so she was essentially covered unless you looked at her from my angle anyway.
            I have a very hard time believing you just happened to plop down in the middle of the walkway in front of a formula stand.
            You may dislike the formula companies sending out free samples, but many other women appreciate it. You are free to give away your samples to organisations that could really use them. Here in the UK, we don’t get samples but we do get coupons. I gave them to friends who wanted them. We also don’t get formula bags, but I got one from Huggies instead. Gasp! I planned to cloth diaper! How dare they undermine me with free samples and a bag! Oh wait, I still managed to use cloth most of the time (I don’t for the first week while dealing with meconium) and kind of enjoyed carrying cloth diapers in my Huggies bag. Advertising is just that, advertising. If you don’t want the product, don’t buy it. If you don’t want it at the hospital, say so. If you don’t want free samples sent to your home, contact the companies and tell them. Be an adult about it.
            What is best for a baby is to be fed and to have a happy family unit, whether that be a single parent or a huge extended family. The benefits of breastmilk do not outweigh those of a full stomach, which is not possible without supplementation or using formula full time in some cases, or those of a happy caregiver. A mother who is guilted or shamed into breastfeeding when she really does not want to, or who puts all of her effort into breastfeeding when it is not working well for her, is not a better mother for that baby than a happy formula feeding mother who can focus on the baby. I say this as a mother of two who breastfed for a total of 44 months plus another 3 of expressing for my first. At nearly 6 and 7 1/2 I defy you to walk into their classrooms and tell me which children were fed what as infants.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

            there were much healthier options available.

            Um, no there weren’t (options, plural).

            This is perhaps part of your problem. You are under the delusion that there are better alternatives than formula. There aren’t.

            Let me ask you a question (the answer is below, if you want to cheat): do you know why formula was invented?

            It’s the way the companies mail samples to an expecting woman’s house
            before she’s even had the baby as if to say, you’re milk isn’t good
            enough. Or when you leave the hospital, the nurses hand you a bag full
            of formula samples knowing full well that you intend to breastfeed but
            give it to you anyhow ‘just in case’.

            Yes, because you know what? Lots of women who fully intend to breastfeed end up finding out that it doesn’t work as well as they hoped.

            As an alternate spin, I could just as easily say how good it is that formula companies send samples to have them available to mothers who find breastfeeding unworkable, and gives them something readily available to use if they choose.

            Why is your rhetoric better than mine?

            From that perspective, formula companies are doing moms a favor. It’s only from the perspective that formula is evil that it is bad.

            So whether you say formula is evil or not, your words imply it.

          • Clarissa Darling
            August 7, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

            I’ll raise you one Bofa: lots of women, myself included, know before they give birth that they do not intended to EBF (gasp) and actually appreciate getting free formula samples in advance. Free samples are for the benefit of consumers who are at least open to trying your product. A savy marketer who wants to maximize profits is not going to waste their advertising budget throwing free samples at people who are set against the product. However, since they don’t know which consumers those are, they cover their bases by sending the product to everyone they think might be open to using it. I receive plenty of free samples, coupons and ads for product I don’t want and would never use. Instead of becoming indignant that some corporation thinks I’m not good enough without them and how dare they try and dupe me into falling for their malevolent marketing scheme, I usually just throw them away.

          • rh1985
            August 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

            I hope I get lots of the free formula samples – any money saved helps!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

            Talk to your friends, too. We got a ton of formula coupons from our friends who didn’t use them. See, instead whining about how the formula companies were being mean by sending them coupons and giving them free samples, they shared the wealth to help others.

          • rh1985
            August 7, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

            I already got a sample of a free bottle lol. but that doesn’t help too much.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 7, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

            Did you go to Motherhood Maternity? I bought something there and ended up with an Avent bottle and gift cards for a free carseat cover, nursing pillow and nursing cover. (No, I didn’t flip out and accuse the store of being prudes and shaming women into covering up by offering them free nursing covers)

          • tim
            August 8, 2013 at 10:10 am #

            Carseat covers. Now there’s a product that’s actually dangerous and should not be sold. Where’s the outrage? Putting anything between the straps and the baby that wasn’t tested by the manufacturer is not supposed to be done.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 8, 2013 at 10:53 am #

            Our carseat cover never interfered with either the straps or the base.

          • Tim
            August 8, 2013 at 11:01 am #

            There are ones that just go over the outer lip (a-ok) – but there are a lot still sold that you put -into- the carseat, and the straps go through it.

            Meaning it’s sitting between the baby and the seat (so not an outer shell, more like a shell the baby goes into, inside of the seat) – every carseat manufacturer warns against using products like this, because they are things going into the carseat between the baby and seat/straps, and it wasn’t crash tested with.

            Am i surprised they still sell them? No, considering every babies r us catalog I get still shows nursery sets with crib bumpers and blankets on newborns. But it does surprise me a little that there is so much fervor over formula advertising and so little over things like that.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 8, 2013 at 11:10 am #

            I’ve never seen those covers.

          • Tim
            August 8, 2013 at 11:42 am #

            Here’s an example of that kind:


            Someone bought us one of these (well meaning, but not understanding the danger) – not that I need more outrage in my life, but it just makes me laugh that FDA approved formula is something worthy of protest but nobody seems to give 2 about stuff like this or marketing of crib bumpers and blankets to parents of newborns.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 8, 2013 at 11:53 am #

            The ones that the gift car is for is a drape to put over the carseat with the handle up (a tent? who knows).

          • tim
            August 8, 2013 at 11:59 am #

            I guess we don’t need to call out the brigade on them for a boycott then 😉

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

            I guess not yet at least-although I am sure some crunchy is going to formulate an argument against them. Probably something about “why would you cover your child, aren’t you proud to be a parent” or some such nonsense. I would like to do my OWN boycott of the sling website they gave a free gift card for. Every one of those pics was of a woman wearing the baby. Not one pic of a dad wearing a baby!

          • Sue
            August 19, 2013 at 1:00 am #

            Car-seat covers are EVIL. All babies should be placed naked on leather seats – SKIN TO SKIN!

          • rh1985
            August 19, 2013 at 2:55 am #

            hmm, you reminded me of a question I’d love to ask someone unbiased about – not sure if anyone here would know the answer to it! A lot of hospitals seem to push the immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth regardless of feeding method. However I’ve also read that the skin-to-skin encourages breastmilk production to start. Is that true? While I doubt I’ll be so lucky as to completely avoid pain from it coming in and taking time to dry up (unless my daily medication that can hurt supply as a side effect somehow stops it) I REALLY don’t want to do anything that will encourage production. is it awful to delay the skin to skin contact until I get home from the hospital?

          • Kalacirya
            August 8, 2013 at 12:37 am #

            I sometimes get free samples of cat treats in the the industrial cat litter bins I buy. How dare those pet supply companies assume that I’m interested in feeding my darling kitties that processed dreck, just because I have felines. Next time I’m throwing them straight on the ground.


            And I hope the check-out person at the supermarket is ready for me, if I get one of those register print out coupons for a product I don’t support, I’m going to put it where the sun doesn’t shine.

          • August 7, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

            I was really glad to have the free formula. It was nice to know that if all else failed, we had SOMETHING in the house to feed my son.

            We gave him formula exactly once.

            May I mention again that I nursed for 17 freaking months? But obviously those samples undermined my breastfeeding success…

          • KarenJJ
            August 8, 2013 at 12:29 am #

            I live in a country where formula samples are banned. Our breastfeeding rates aren’t 100% and as a parent who couldn’t breastfeed it was annoying as all heck that I had to buy a whole freaking can of formula to work out whether my baby was happy with that formula or not. A few samples would have been so helpful to work out what was best for my baby.

            Formula samples are NOT your problem when it comes to breastfeeding. It’s easy to say no and it’s a pain in the arse once they are banned for other mothers that have no intention of breastfeeding.

          • pookietooth
            August 19, 2013 at 12:22 am #

            You’re wrong, there are healthier alternatives to formula: donor milk, for one, and homemade formula for another. Donor milk is more available than ever now, and there are countless recipes for healthier formula that do not contain synthetic vitamins (which are poorly absorbed) or GMOs.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            August 19, 2013 at 12:27 am #

            Healthier? Please present scientific evidence (papers published in peer review journals) that show that dononr or home made formula are healthier for term infants than commercially made formula.

            I’m not going to hold my breath because there is no scientific evidence.

          • rh1985
            August 19, 2013 at 2:46 am #

            Screened donor milk should be reserved for sick or premature babies whose mothers cannot provide their own breastmilk. And I would never risk using unscreened milk or homemade formula. Packaged formula is perfectly safe for healthy full term babies – and for my specific baby, probably a heck of a lot healthier than me trying to breastfeed. A happy healthy baby needs a happy healthy mom.

          • August 7, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

            I mean this sincerely, not as snark. If you really want to help increase breastfeeding rates, I think you should look a little more closely at the real reasons women aren’t breastfeeding.

          • Clarissa Darling
            August 8, 2013 at 12:32 am #

            You know, I’m a business person and I’m really sick of all this all big business is money hungry and unethical oversimplification nonsense. Do businesses sometimes do bad things, yes. People sometimes do bad things. Businesses are made up of people, a majority of whom are decent folks trying to make a living. Unfortunately, sometimes corporate structure makes it easier for people to act unethically because of group think, pressure from unethical leadership, corrupt corporate culture etc…. but it does not follow that therefore all corporations are corrupt. If I knew my old aunt Mabel was leaving me 10,000,0000 in her will, wouldn’t that be strong motivation for me to ensure she had an “accident”? Does that mean I would do it? Hell no. A profit motive is not in and of itself a reason to assume that a person or a company is acting immorally. Yes, formula companies make money when women use their product and not when they exclusively breastfeed. So what? It’s up to you to be an informed consumer and decide whether the formula company is offering a product you want to pay for. In my opinion they aren’t morally obligated to stop trying to sell you their product and go out of business (taking thousands of people’s jobs with them I might add). I suppose you never shop at a grocery store, never go to a gas station, don’t put your money in a bank, don’t wear clothing you haven’t sewn yourself made from cloth woven from a sheep you raised fed on grass you grew. Doesn’t it bother you that any of those businesses are making money? I’m guessing not because they are making money selling products you actually use and if you had a problem with that you’d be a hypocrite for buying from them wouldn’t you?

          • moto_librarian
            August 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

            So the can of formula made you do it, Elicia? Give me a break! Are you sure it wasn’t simply that breastfeeding is often difficult, particularly for first-time moms, and you decided that you wanted to FEED your baby rather than listen to him cry in hunger? How do you live in the real world? Seriously, if I was that susceptible and fragile, I don’t think I could leave my house.

            And to say that you’re not against formula feeding moms, just formula companies, is disingenuous at best. Why in the hell would I want to make my own formula at home (or worse, trust in unscreened donor milk) when I can purchase commercial formula that has met rigorous safety standards?

          • J
            April 15, 2015 at 12:33 am #

            There is one person in the FDA working on formula screening for every package of formula in the us. Formula is made from the cheapest possible lowest-quality oils. You can make it 1,000 times better, and it will taste good. You asked for reasons, I’m giving you some.

          • Nick Sanders
            April 15, 2015 at 12:55 am #

            Got anything to back up those claims?

      • Captain Obvious
        August 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

        So, someone (Elicia) does something unintentionally judgemental and insensitive. Many people on her own FB, this blog, and elsewhere criticize her. She denies any wrongdoing at all. It even sounds like Enfamil sponsored the conference, which would explain why formula booths were there. Did Elicia care? Now, Dr Amy calls a spade a spade and blogs about Elicia’s sanctimonious stunt however unintentional it was. And now her husband compares Elicia’s stunt that’s judges formula feeders with Dr Amy’s blogpost about how Elicia did that, and JB wants Dr Amy to apologize??????

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          August 7, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

          jb is Elicia (or her husband).

        • S
          August 8, 2013 at 1:06 am #

          Pretty much. I agree with you that they’ve showed some nerve, but it’s pretty common for people to get defensive when hit with unexpected criticism (even if it’s not the most mature response), and sometimes it takes awhile to move out of pissed-off mode into a more objective mindset. I hope they’ll take a breather and then really examine why a photo that seemed so innocuous to them sparked such outrage.

  15. yentavegan
    August 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Breastfeeding while naked from the waist up in public is not saying:
    1. Breastmilk is nourishing
    2. Breastmilk is easy to digest
    3. Breastmilk prevents diarrhea
    Breastfeeding while naked from the waist up in public is saying:
    1. I am an exhibitionist
    2. I do not care if I make you uncomfortable
    3. Modesty and discretion are for the unenlightened.

    • JoannaDW
      August 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

      I never understood the need for some lactivists to be as public as possible with breastfeeding and why they get SO offended when asked to cover up or be more discrete in any fashion. Or why they assume that all BFing moms who choose to be discrete are giving in to shame.

      Lots of women in African and Middle Eastern cultures value breastfeeding and see it as the norm. They certainly don’t see breasts as primarily sexual, they are not uneducated about the function of breasts, nor are they ashamed of breastfeeding. Yet they also insist on some level of modesty, especially in areas where Islam predominates. Women breastfeed in full niqab/burka in some countries, such that you would never know they had a baby the whole time you talked to them. Do I think BFing moms should have to wear a burka every time they go out in public? Of course not, and I would never suggest it. I am just saying that covering up isn’t de facto proof that you see breasts as sexual or that you’re ashamed of BFing.

      Also, I am proud of my religion, my politics, my sappy love poems in my diary, etc. That does not mean I want the whole world to know about those things.

      I accept my disability. I like to talk and joke about it. I still don’t need to make a big show of whipping out the drugs and administering them in public to raise awareness or to exercise my right to reasonable accommodation in the workplace.

      Not all things are appropriate for all eyes, all ears, all places. It is okay to have a private life and to keep some things to yourself.

      • LibrarianSarah
        August 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

        Also breasts ARE sexual. Women get sexual pleasure from them. Just because they are also used to feed babies doesn’t mean that they are not sexual. I use my vagina to pee that doesn’t mean it’s not a sexual organ.

        • JoannaDW
          August 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

          Agreed. Except that I would substitute ‘vagina’ for ‘vulva.:)

          Noses can be used to breathe and smell. Mouths are for breathing, talking, and eating. And don’t forget the many, many functions of human skin. You know, I secretly think that many lactivists have sexual issues of their own. They harp incessantly about the sexual issues of others, insisting that they must be immature pervs if they are turned on by breasts, how we need to be less anxious and more open about the human body, etc. But they are the ones that treat sex as something filthy and get offended when women discuss the sexual pleasure and even orgasm that sometimes happens while breastfeeding. They treat every request for modesty and turn it into a sexual issue. For me, it’s about keeping a low profile, not making statements, respecting cultural and/or religious norms, and it’s also about my comfort and my baby’s comfort. They are the ones who are always assuming that people look at them in a sexual way and that’s why we request modesty.

          Also, even if America is overly puritanical about the human body, don’t we, as a culture, have a right to have those cultural norms? Ancient Romans viewed exposed ankles as a sign of sexuality. Some Islamic cultures view hair as a sign of sexuality. Some view large bodies as a sign of fertility and abundance. Others view thin bodies as fit, sickly, or mystical (think fairies and vampires). Religions and cultures have a right to determine their own norms (as long as it’s balanced against the rights of individuals to express themselves and live as they please). Individuals also have a right to their personal preferences for modesty without having to justify or make exceptions. If you admire the openness in certain tribal cultures, then go there, already. Stop demanding that everyone around you, and whole cultures, adopt your norms and that you celebrate their purposefully flouting your norms. If I’m attending a mosque in Pakistan, I wear hijab. If I’m speaking to 80-year-olds in church, I don’t drop the F-bomb. Sometimes you just need to put yourself aside and respect those around you.

          • LibrarianSarah
            August 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

            Exactly, I think a lot of Americans think they are “too good” for American culture for some reason and while they would show a deferential amount of respect to other cultures they tend to bag on their own. I also think the puritans get kind of a bum rap. For religious extremists they weren’t to bad, modesty, and hard work are great values to pass down. And it’s not like they invented burning of “witches” (puritans didn’t burn “witches” anyway they hung them) Europeans were doing that shit for years.

        • auntbea
          August 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

          Well, technically, you pee with your urethra, which in women doesn’t usually have a sexual function. One can use one’s vagina non-sexually though, such as a passageway for a small human. Or a holder for smuggled cocaine.

          • An Actual Attorney
            August 7, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

            Totally off topic, but this very point caused me some pause the other day. Actual Son (who is just 3) asked me what I pee out of since I don’t have a penis (or pee-nis, as he says). I started to say my urethra, but then that seemed too complicated. I stuttered and went for vagina. My wife just laughed at me for not knowing what to say. I mean, what kind of lesbo am I? What should I say?

            Also, a vagina is a good place to put a blade if you have to go through a metal detector.

          • Amy M
            August 8, 2013 at 7:55 am #

            My sons, when they were around that age (they are now 4.5y) asked the same thing, since they were mystified. They thought I peed out of my butt. I said something about how they have a hole at the end of their penis, which is the end of a tube the pee comes out of, and explained I have the same tube with the same hole, but it is up in my body, and they can’t see the end of it. They didn’t really get it, but they did stop asking. They also know that girls have vaginas, but I’m pretty sure they have no idea what that really means or why.

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

            Dude! I was just about to post a similar thing! Urethra doesn’t seem quite right because he also has one.

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

            That was a response to Actual Attorney below. I forgot i started my post before she posted hers.

          • BeatlesFan
            August 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

            *sprays coffee all over keyboard from laughing*

        • prolifefeminist
          August 8, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

          Breasts are definitely sexual – both because they are a source of sexual pleasure, and also because the act of using one’s body to feed one’s young is a part of mammalian reproduction, and hence is sexual. Just because we’ve found a safe way to feed our young that doesn’t involve using the mother’s body does not mean breasts cease to be sexual.

  16. JoannaDW
    August 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    It’s a shame. That’s a gorgeous photo. I didn’t even realize what it really was until I saw the Enfamil logo. She could have just, you know, focused on the promotion of breastfeeding and giving emotional support to moms who are BFing, who struggle with, among other issues, body image. This photo would have been great for that, but staging an event in front of a stand promoting formula is obvious and it’s just too much. How stupid does she think we are? What if I showed up at an LLL conference, with its logo in the background, bottle-feeding on a throne of stacked Similac cans? People would be all over me as an insecure, guilty formula-feeder.

    • Kalacirya
      August 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

      “What if I showed up at an LLL conference, with its logo in the background, bottle-feeding on a throne of stacked Similac cans?”

      This I would pay good money to see.

      • JoannaDW
        August 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

        Would you really? The store I work at cut my hours and I could really use the cash, lol. I need to buy more Similac anyway.:)

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      August 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      What if I showed up at an LLL conference, with its logo in the background, bottle-feeding on a throne of stacked Similac cans? People would be all over me as an insecure, guilty formula-feeder.

      Sadly,based on experience here, I suspect they would call you a lot of misogynistic names…

    • Captain Obvious
      August 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      The photo, in a park, without all the anti formula rant on her Facebook after the picture would have been a nice photo. But alas, she staged it in front of a formula booth, boosted about it on her FB, and made other negative comments about formula on FB. It is what it is.

      • JoannaDW
        August 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

        I agree completely. That’s why I think it’s such a shame. I’m an artist and I hate to see good art go to waste.:)

        Anyway, she did what you described AND she tries to back out by saying, “I’m not about judging formula-feeding moms!” Well, then, what is it? What other purpose is there? How can you make a statement that amounts to “Your choice of feeding is totally inferior” and claim that it’s not a judgment of women’s fitness as mothers? After all, feeding is one of the most basic tasks a mother can perform for a child, so to criticize feeding is a deeply personal way of saying, “Wow, you really suck at this.”

  17. picklepicker
    August 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    This is why a lot of people think everyone who breastfeed’s is a weird attention seeking hippy!

    I must add I love breastfeeding I did it myself for nearly a year but there is absolutely nothing wrong with bottle feeding; whether is a personal choice or if its an only choice as it sometimes is! this girl bottle fed her first child but now feels the need to do this … her words advertising breastfeeding, my opinion making breastfeeding look like a massive joke! it’s clearly a publicity stunt.

    she preeche’s about the harm bottle feeding does to babies because of all the “chemicals” in it now that shes has “educated herself” and says to use home made formula instead? yeah, do it wrong and poison your babies yeah great idea! or use donor milk, yeah because that’s 100% safe isn’t it (of course premie babies who have the donor milk in the hospitals are fine because the milk is sterilised before hand) buying it off the internet yeah why not because everything you buy off the internet is legit isn’t it!

    what people feed their babies is non of her concern, the same as how she feeds her babies is anyone else’s, however she made it that way by sharing this photo which she didn’t just share on her facebook page she shared in multiple breastfeeding groups on facebook! the only thing is with everyone arguing for and against this photo (myself included) she has exactly what she set out to do, lots of attention! more fool us eh? should have just looked at the photo and went pfft what an ego she must have in order to full fill it by belittling mothers who formula feed and being one of the breastfeeding mothers to turn such a beautiful and natural thing into something negative! and in doing so has probably put more mothers off breastfeeding and onto bottle feeding by doing so in fears that they will come across like this… 🙁

    • Bambi Chapman
      August 7, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

      This is one of the reasons that I hate being a breastfeeding mom! Way to go on making us all look bad.

      • picklepicker
        August 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

        exactly! I dont want an audience when i eat? lol and I certainly didn’t want one when I fed my son! i never hid away when breat feeding but 98% of the time it went un-noticed whether I was covered or uncovered and anytime it was noticed I only received positive comments of how lovely it was to see someone breastfeeding. However I’m pretty sure if i sat in the middle of the formula isle in asda doing it, I wouldn’t have had such a positive response! Its such a shame because anywhere you see anything about breastfeeding its things like this which I’m sad to say really puts people off! it really does. it might be different over there but here in the uk formula companies only advertise formula for 6 months + before that it is available but not advertised and the advertisement say how great breastmilk is but when you decide to move on this is whats available. also like someone else said even breast milk when written in its chemical composition looks scary everything does but unless you have a chemistry degree and a biology degree I highly doubt anyone would understand chemical compositions and the effects on the body enough to decide whether they are dangerous or not, google is great but its not a teacher its an information booth a massive one that has some written gold but also a lot of shit!

  18. Christine Martin
    August 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    WOW you are one mean old lady! wow just wow. glad you are not my OB. Signed, a Mother who Formula Fed her 3 Children.

    • LibrarianSarah
      August 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      “Mean old lady” again can’t you guys criticize someone without resorting to agism or misogyny? Next person will talk about how many cats she may or may not have.

      • Kalacirya
        August 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

        I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of cats.

        • LibrarianSarah
          August 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

          I plan on getting one sometime soon. I’m hoping it would be a big furry one and I’d call it Purrington Bear.

          • Kalacirya
            August 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

            We have 5, kind of wishing it was only 3, but it is what it is.

          • Happy Sheep
            August 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

            I only have 2, but one is named Cat Stevens.

          • LibrarianSarah
            August 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

            Oh that’s a good one I a might have to steel that one. Though if I had more than one call I’d name them after 1930s gangsters like Killer, Bruiser, Greaser etc.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 8, 2013 at 7:34 am #

            Does he chase moon shadows?

          • Happy Sheep
            August 8, 2013 at 7:51 am #

            He does in fact. He likes to follow us on walks and we always say we’re being followed by a moon shadow in the wild world.

      • Old Harpy
        August 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

        G-d, I am sooo tired of the agism from these lactivist and NCB types. I have lived a long hard life—-you’d think that someone who wants to talk about age-old wisdoms would be interested in a real live old lady (me) and what her experience has taught her. But nooo! They’re always dismissing based on age.

      • Christine Martin
        August 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

        oh I get it, so because I said “mean old lady” it means I am misogynist. my poor daughters, they are doomed.

        • LibrarianSarah
          August 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

          Well…yes and an agist as well. Of all the things that you had to mention you decided to focus on her age and gender. It shows your own internalized misogyny and agism. Sorry that you can’t handle being called out on it.

    • PJ
      August 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

      Just wondering why misogynists seem to be so prevalent among the Dr Amy haters.

      • Christine Martin
        August 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

        are you kidding me??? where in what I said would lead you to believe I am a misogynists?

  19. Brandi Mac
    August 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    What an old bitch you are. Get over yourself you old saggy cow.

    • LibrarianSarah
      August 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

      Again nothing says “I am pro-women” than using misogynistic slurs. What great feminists you lactivists are!

      • Kalacirya
        August 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

        So many mixed messages lately. Elicia wanted no attention at all, but she also is an activist. Doesn’t being a saggy cow mean that you’ve completed at least some level of breasfeeding? Isn’t that almost lactivist praise?

        • LibrarianSarah
          August 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

          They thing is that their are so many ways to insult someone without using slurs. Asshat, fuckhead, piece of shit, etc all would have sufficed. The fact that these women go straight for misogyny shows their true colors. They go on and on about how they are feminists but once a woman commits the sin of disagreeing with them they go right for “old bitch”, “cow,” and “cunt”. I’m a disability rights activist, I don’t call people “retard” because I try to practice what I preach. Don’t call yourself a feminist if you can’t walk the talk.

          • Kalacirya
            August 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

            Yeah, ladies that don’t agree with you are either slurs based upon female animals, or slurs based upon genitalia.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

            For some reason (don’t ask me why, I’m not sure I know), I was just thinking this morning that ASSHOLE is a pretty gender inclusive insult.

          • LibrarianSarah
            August 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

            Exactly. The English language is a beautiful thing. Don’t rely on misogyny to insult us. Get creative!

          • Happy Sheep
            August 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

            Call me old fashioned, but I still like douche canoe, it’s completely non sensical while still being offensive.

          • Meerkat
            August 7, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

            I have a goof one- baby hatter!

          • Happy Sheep
            August 8, 2013 at 7:52 am #

            Or patter or chatter.

          • Meerkat
            August 8, 2013 at 10:13 am #


          • Bombshellrisa
            August 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

            I like douche waffle. It’s gender neutral.

          • prolifefeminist
            August 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

            There’s a hilarious flip book I found at Urban Outfitters that basically has a ton of slang and swear words on the left side and a ton of nonsensical random words on the other. Endless combinations of non-sensical insults. My favorite was schlong wrangler.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

            I have to get that for my husband!

          • Awesomemom
            August 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

            Everyone has one, just like opinions.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

            also: old.

            You can tell a lot about a person’s values by the nature of their insults.

          • Kalacirya
            August 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

            Well from a biological essentialist viewpoint, our only natural assets, our looks and our reproductive system wither away as we age. So of course those that are so painfully anti-women would throw old in there as an insult.

          • prolifefeminist
            August 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

            I’ve always pitied women who see their only or main value as their looks or their biological functions. It’s two sides of the same coin.

            It’s absolutely the most wonderful thing to be raising a daughter (mine is 9) to be a strong, capable, intelligent young woman. She has four brothers, and there is total gender equality in our home and I LOVE seeing her flourish in that environment.

            Kind of a tangent, but I read this great little article recently that encouraged people to ask, when talking to young girls, about what they’d read recently that was interesting, or something they discovered, instead of asking them superficial questions about hair, beauty, makeup, and shopping. What a strong message we’re sending to our young daughters about what’s important! The message that a girl’s worth is her looks/biological functions is so very pervasive.

          • prolifefeminst
            August 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

            ABSOLUTELY! I noticed that too – the go-too insults are all gender based. Very revealing…and sadly, not much of a surprise.

        • August 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

          I know I’m rather saggy after a year and a half of functioning as a cow.

    • August 7, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

      Well you’ve certainly swayed me to your point of view with this intelligent, productive dialogue.

    • Jocelyn
      August 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

      And get back to work in the kitchen!

    • prolifefeminist
      August 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

      This particular statement really is revolting. Go ahead and attack Dr. Amy’s message, her opinion, her style, or her conclusions – that I can respect, even if I disagree. But to call someone an old bitch and old saggy cow? Feminist principles of non-violence and equality certainly haven’t gotten in your way, have they!

      • Box of Salt
        August 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

        Well. this comment (and those others like it) says more about the commenter who made it than the subject. It’s not really worth much of a response.

      • Brandi Mac
        August 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

        Never have I said anywhere that I am a feminist, nor do I relate with feminists.

  20. jb
    August 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    This was not a attempt in anyway to get attention it just so happened to turn out that way. it was a funny picture down to coincidence. people choose to make it a big deal not her. you choose to make it a big deal and light the way for more discussion. The sad thing is taking a stab at making personal comments to hurt someone else by what they are wearing or plain out just making up your own assumptions based on nothing more than ignorance on the “STAGED” aspect of the photo. I could make a backstory for everyone of you based on what you say and scroll through your Facebook and still not know even 5% about you. You can say all you want and anything you want and you will but instead of assuming everything like most ignorant people do dig deeper and find out. people who do that promote the someone told me it was good so it must be good fallicy. we do what we are conditioned to do from media, are parents are peers, you need to make your own opinions your own beliefs and not grab close to everyone else’s because you are unable to much of anything but blindly follow.

    • fiftyfifty1
      August 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      “This was not a attempt in anyway to get attention”
      So why does she post it then?

      • jb
        August 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

        she posts it to her Facebook???? how many little things in your daily life to you put on Facebook? look at me I’m getting a diet coke!!!! i was just at the beach today!! its sharing with friends it was not meant to be brought out of the circle

        • jb
          August 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

          people decided to give it attention, it wasn’t made to get attention. she is not the kind of person who wants or needs attention or drama and does not go through life looking for the next big thing to “stage” to get some likes..

          • Kalacirya
            August 7, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

            Why would you breastfeed on the floor in a flower crown, if you weren’t seeking attention? Is that a normal place to breastfeed? On the floor in front of a formula advertising table? Does Elicia typically go about cosplaying as Mother Nature? Give us a break.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

            Also, which is it? Was she just minding her own business, wearing a wreath and nursing in front of the Enfamil stand while a photographer just happened to snap her photo, or is she bravely standing up to evil formula companies and promoting breastfeeding? Let’s pick a position here.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

            who really has to pick a position you are just taking the scraps and making it what you want.. regardless of what info you are presented with you will twist it.

          • theNormalDistribution
            August 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

            This reminds me of my 13 year old sister when I gave her a hard time about the horrendous amount of guinea pig poop on her bedroom floor. She insisted that it was only one day’s worth of mess and that she vacuums daily. I didn’t believe her and suggested that we test her claim by measuring the amount of poop that gets left on the carpet each day, and then comparing our results with the day in question. You know what she said to my suggestion? “No matter what I tell you, you’re just going to believe what you want.”

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

            very true. i like your point. 🙂 people will believe what they want. I cant change that. I thought I would just put some facts in. debating her idea is fine. but personally attacking her because of that claim is wrong. just because you disagree with someone does not mean you hurt them debate if you would like but to bully is not nice.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

            FYI- my belief on how people should treat others when they disagree..

          • theNormalDistribution
            August 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

            I’m afraid you missed my point completely.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

            The irony is that this discussion exists because many of the posters here perceived Elicia’s words and actions as harmful and bullying to parents who feed their babies formula.

          • LibrarianSarah
            August 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

            I’m sorry but scroll through this thread and count how many times Amy has been called a “bitch,” “cunt” “cow,” or another name by what I presume are either your wife’s friends or supporters. Meanwhile, you have yet to be referred to as a slur. How are WE the bullies here?

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

            This blog. what amy says is very offensive. think about it from the other point of view as I am thinking about it from yours.. the way people treat you commenters is not right I wouldn’t say I condone it. but If you where being written about in this way and read it and scrolled down would it be far off to say you would already be agitated? I dislike her but that is at a personal level. for what she has said what she has fabricated as well. but what she says or does should hold no judgment on you or anyone else, you cant control her neither her you.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

            I believe the question would be why is she wearing a flower crown? and does she normally feed the baby on the floor? the answer would be early that day she got professional pictures done and wanted to make the crowns because they are cute… and for being on the floor.. if no seats are available or whatever the reason if she is comfortable doing so then does it really matter? is she hurting anyone by doing so? no… and it wasn’t a chosen spot it just happened to be the place she was standing when little Winnie got hungry. and give you a break lol. you are the one making up the assumptions you so obviously have a problem with.. most likely a deeper problem with it

          • Box of Salt
            August 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

            jb ” it just happened to be the place she was standing when little Winnie got hungry”

            Nonsense. Even if little Winnie were only a few days old and really needed to be fed promptly (and the picture shows she is not), the appropriate thing to do when little Winnie got hungry is to step to the side somewhere out of the foot traffic – not plop yourself down in the aisle in front of a formula booth, where your friend can take pictures of the logo strategically showing in the background.

            Even without the further publicity, Elicia’s actions here were immature and selfish, and do nothing for increasing the acceptance of nursing in public.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

            it was put on Facebook.. for her friends.. the looking for hidden messages is a little ridiculus. and once agin just because you wouldn’t do it no one should? now the opinions come flooding back in. It comes down to “I wouldn’t do that” people do a lot of things I would never do that does not mean anything to me.. they have a different normal then I do.

          • Karen in SC
            August 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

            Are you kidding me? Your child gets hungry and you just plop down wherever and bare your breast? On the curb of a busy street, on an escalator? Give me a break! I also breastfed all over whenever wherever but I never sank to the floor immediately.

          • August 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

            This reminds me of the lady who wanted to stage a nurse-in at Target… When she was asked to move away from the floor in the middle of the jeans section.

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

            I find the floor comfortable, and i actually have sat on the floor in public and breastfed. In a quiet corner. Because my objective was to NOT be in the way or make a spectacle of myself.

            (I really can’t stand attention mongers who make normal breastfeeding mothers look bad. There’s breastfeeding, and then there’s being rude.)

          • Wren
            August 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

            No, the question is what the hell was she doing deciding to just sit on the floor in front of a table, presumably paid for by the company, at the baby fair?
            Unless she was involved in a medical emergency, there was no good reason to choose that spot except to protest the company. Why are you pretending anything different?

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

            Thank you!!

            I have passed out in public places several times, with several seconds’ warning each time, and always managed to get myself onto the floor over by the wall.

            If you stand beside your wife’s actions, JB, then why are you bullshitting?

          • August 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

            Her own words: “At the baby fair today and was sad to see tons of formula stands but none for breastfeeding so Winnie and I did some advertising ourselves:)”

            You can claim it was more spontaneous than staged, but she fully admits that the location was CHOSEN.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

            we did some advertising? shows it was staged? she went there with the sole intent to stage a picture? I forget sometimes that you people must have been there with all this insight you have.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

            we did some advertising? shows it was staged?

            Pretty much, yeah, Moreover, it definitely shows that it was about publicity (either that, or she is the stupidest advertiser in history).

          • Box of Salt
            August 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

            jb, Her reasons for going to the mall are irrelevant at this stage. She chose to have someone take the photo, and she chose to post it framed via her own words as a deliberate act.

          • August 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

            No… It shows it was chosen for impact rather than just where she “happened” to be when her child got hungry, which is what you were trying to claim in the comment I’m responding to.

          • Kalacirya
            August 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

            Stop changing your arguments. You got eviscerated by attempting to claim that “this was not a attempt in anyway to get attention”, when it absolutely was. So now you’re backing away from it to claim that it wasn’t staged, so we’re all wrong?

          • Kalacirya
            August 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

            You have no idea what you are talking about. She’s not sitting there because there were no chairs anywhere, she sat there to advertise breastfeeding in contrast to the formula advertising going on at the expo. She’s openly claimed that that’s why she actually did it.

            So you’re the one making assumptions, you’re really coming off as an idiot here.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

            nicely put. she did indeed sit there to feed Winnie and then yes had a friend take a picture of the event getting the stand in the picture. that still does not prove it was a publicity stunt. and where you there? did you hear? did you talk to her? and your thoughts on who is an idiot or comes off on one are irrelevant.

          • theNormalDistribution
            August 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

            Whether or not it was a publicity stunt is not contingent on her own personal intentions.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

            The only way it is not a publicity stunt is if she makes it a habit of sitting in the middle of the walkway while she breastfeeds. If she does, then whatever, but I don’t think you can hold it against us for not thinking she is a complete loon.

            For most people, sitting in the middle of the public venue mostly topless to breastfeed is not typical behaviour, and falls in the realm of stunt.

            The fact that it was to garner publicity is unquestionable.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

            you would not see it today if someone else didn’t decide to spread it.. her and her 300 friends or more isn’t going to make that big of an impact. it was posted to her “friends” not public but was made public by people who felt it needed to be shared. if it stayed between her and the friends that actually go on her Facebook no one would know about it and she would still be happily content.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

            Have you heard? There’s actually a way you can keep things you post to fb visible just to friends. That’s what people do when they don’t want to share them with the wide world.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

            The problem here is that she clearly wanted publicity and attention, just not *this* kind of attention. She thought she’d get lactivist cred and high-fives from her buddies and that would be the end of it. Oops.

            I actually think it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. I’m sure it stings to get criticized when you don’t expect it, but it’s spurred an interesting discussion and maybe she and others have rethought their positions a little bit. Maybe she can incorporate the feedback into some other form of action, maybe something less alienating and more effective…

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

            good point, honestly.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

            This is pretty much what I said above. Stop whining and own it. Say it, hell yeah, it was a publicity stunt!

            As you say, Allie, a publicity stunt doesn’t need to be a negative.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

            and her intentions no matter how stated will mean nothing in the grand scheme. even if i state them it will do nothing to help anyone here. you will still be upset or angry or whatever it is you feel. and argue and debate thats fine. but making fun of her calling her names just because someones view isn’t the same or its off putting is a little messed up. bringing the baby into it is the tip i would say.

          • theNormalDistribution
            August 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

            That’s right. They mean nothing. Because it doesn’t matter what she was trying to do, or what you think she was trying to do, or what you think she thinks she was trying to do. What we’re talking about is what she did. I don’t agree with your assessment of her intentions, but that’s irrelevant. Whether or not it was a publicity stunt has nothing to do with her personality or how she felt about the situation or what her intentions were or whether or not she planned it ahead of time. If you know some definition of “publicity stunt” for which what she did wouldn’t qualify, we’re all interested to hear it.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

            The thing i see is that she did it with the intent of making a publicity stunt. The picture was not planed. and was not meant for the community but for her friends. Is it very much public and out there now? yes but that does not mean it was a publicity stunt. and to make a publicity stunt you normally have to be trying to… i wouldn’t say anyone who ends up being seen in the publics eye no matter what grounds was trying a publicity stunt. this is the part you have to skew it to make it out to be a publicity stunt.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

            her intentions… which would be her thoughts base it on what she was trying to do and that would be the opinion for you. you don’t know what she was thinking.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

            But no one cares what she was thinking or what fine solid-gold motivations she might have had. This is 2013, the internet. You post a photo and controversial remarks and you have to expect that people will see it and possibly not agree with it. They might even say things that aren’t very nice! This isn’t your living room.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

            Everyone is still a person I think lots of people forget that. The human element is always taken away.

          • theNormalDistribution
            August 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

            I don’t think anyone has forgotten the human element to this story. Unlike everyone else, the only human you seem to be concerned about is your friend.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

            I have not forgotten it.. and honestly I try to take little bits of information from everyone I agree with comments on here to a degree as do i about Elicia. neither is 100% correct but both help provide me with a means of communicating how to do it more effectively if this is something she wants to pursue. and regardless with the light this has seen. It would be nice to formula feeding parents as well as just the people taking it in a bad way to have it clarified or at least revise the message.

          • Box of Salt
            August 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

            jb, you’re missing point. The publicity stunt part comes with publicizing the photo.

          • Kalacirya
            August 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

            Oh sweet science, you are a moron. I guess others can continue to argue with you.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm #


          • Box of Salt
            August 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

            jb, “it just happened to be the place she was standing when little Winnie got hungry,” again:

            If I take you at your word that this was a spontaneous act by Elicia, there’s still some issues with her behavior.

            From picture Winnie is not so little that her mother could not wait a moment or two to find a better place to nurse.

            Instead, she chose to sit on the floor where other patrons would have to walk around her. If she was expecting to nurse the baby for several minutes, her behavior is extremely rude. The only way it’s not rude is if she only planned to nurse her only for as long as needed take the picture – and that means the picture was staged.

            You cannot argue that the photo itself is not staged. Elicia has posed herself to ensure that the Enfamil logo is in the background, and that viewers have a great view of her breast, but not of her face. I can buy that the decision to take the photo was spur-of-the-moment, but not that it’s just a happy little snapshot taken by her friend. They put some thought into it before shooting (though not enough: I do wish they’d taken the time to remove the distracting green bag from within the scene).

          • BeatlesFan
            August 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

            She said herself “we decided to do a little advertising ourselves”. That means she either deliberately chose that spot in order to be noticed, or you’re correct and she “just happened to” feed there, and then lied about her intentions when she posted the picture. You can’t have it both ways.

          • Meerkat
            August 7, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

            I breastfed all over Manhattan. I did it in restaurants, at parties, picnics, museums, stores, parks, and even on street benches. I usually find a quiet place that is out of the way, and do it. Sometimes I use a cover up, sometimes I don’t. Nobody has ever said anything, and I usually go unnoticed. That is the example of normal behavior in a public place.
            Elicia’s behavior is all about attention. BTW, those of us who don’t want attention do one of two things- avoid Facebook altogether or make the account visible to friends only.
            Just sayin’

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

            I like the “normal” statement…. what you do must hold for all people of the world? the perception of normal everyday life and tendencies varies from person to person just because someone does not fit your “normal” doesn’t mean they are not normal just that they are not like you..

          • Meerkat
            August 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

            In this particular case I was referring to my behavior as normal within the society that I live in. It wouldn’t be normal in Pakistan, but we are not talking about Pakistan, are we? If you don’t like the wording you can substitute it with average, typical or common. Those are the reason nobody pays any attention to me when I breastfeed my son- my behavior is common, typical and boring. I don’t wear wreaths in my hair or sit in the center of Central Park walkway to breastfeed.

    • jb
      August 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

      Ignorance has to be the biggest problem in society today…. It is a majority of what I see and hear. Regardless of your educational background. being smart does not mean you are not ignorant..

      • Captain Obvious
        August 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

        Elicia’s ignorance about formula has now gone viral.

    • AllieFoyle
      August 7, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      I’m sure she’s a lovely person and a fine mother. However, she did open herself up to criticism by 1)staging the protest in the first place, and 2)posting about it on FB, along with inflammatory statements about formula feeding. I’m sure her intentions were good, but I doubt she thought through the implications of what she did or said. Many intelligent, thoughtful, loving, well-informed and educated parents feed their children formula for a variety of reasons. This kind of protest just serves to stigmatize and spread hostility. I think there are also many people who would actually be turned off of breastfeeding by this kind of thing.

      • jb
        August 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

        I have nothing against formula it has many good and bad just as breast feeding does aswell. and Jonesy the older child was raised on formula. but once again it was not staged lol. the statements she has are her beliefs she has a right to them yes the same as you do. but why such a big fuss over someone you don’t even know? why give someone that power over you? i see a lot of guessing but not much more of that.

        • PJ
          August 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

          It was staged. She said so herself: “At
          the baby fair today and was sad to see tons of formula stands but none
          for breastfeeding so Winnie and I did some advertising ourselves:)”

    • Captain Obvious
      August 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

      But she just had to sit on the ground in front of a formula booth and nurse her baby. And photo document it and post it on the Internet. Reasonable? Really? Any normal mother would feed their child in a comfortable position at least obtaining a chair with support and find a place of modesty. Should I just come in your restaurant and change my child’s diaper on the table your eating off of? Does a farmer come to a vegan restaurant and bring in a cooked steak and eat it in front of the patrons there? Why is it when someone does some publicity stunt that they think is great only to realize later it was probably insensitive to many other mothers, they just can’t own it and say they are sorry and apologize.

      • jb
        August 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

        why apologize? because someone doesn’t agree? and who says she isn’t comfortable? just because you wouldn’t do it no one else should? and a diaper on someones table is different then feeding a child? you bring a nasty feeling to feeding a child and try to relate it to the oddest things..

        • jb
          August 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

          why not live in a world that is made up of people that only do and say the things you say… and others made it widespread she was just simply posting to her own facebook full of her friends not the mass media.

          • PJ
            August 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

            She posted it to a global audience on the internet! If that’s not mass media, I don’t know what is.

          • BeatlesFan
            August 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

            Didn’t her caption of the photo also encourage people to share it, or am I not remembering that correctly?

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        August 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

        Or at least admit that it is a publicity stunt.

        That would really deflect a lot of criticism, if she just came out and said, Hell yeah it’s a publicity stunt! I want to get as much publicity as I can to the cause of breastfeeding and the evils of the formula companies. Now that I got your attention, let me tell you about the cause…

        People might respond with, “that’s really lame”, but you wouldn’t get all this whining about “aspersions on her character.”

        • jb
          August 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

          your opinions on what she did are not facts.. make up all you want on what she is did and does but remember it is out of ignorance..

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

            I am only going by what has been said. She plopped down in front of the enfamil display wearing her flower wreaths and breastfed the baby and had her picture taken, and then posted it on Facebook.

            That’s my opinion of what she did. Please correct me where I am wrong.

          • Captain Obvious
            August 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

            Fact: she is sitting on the floor in public purposefully in front of a formula company booth.

            Fact: she posted it on the Internet.

            No ignorance here. Are you looking at the same picture as me?

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

            I agree with you.. but what comes next is what I do not agree with and would say is all opinions.. why she is on the floor.. and why she posted it on the internet the intentions you think you know behind it are not facts..

          • Captain Obvious
            August 7, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

            Fact: her ignorant comments against formula on her Facebook is just as atrocious as her picture. Donor milk not from banks risk infectious or medicine contamination. Donor milk from banks can be more expensive than formula. Her vitriol against formula shows her ignorance.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

            you lace opinions behind some facts. what you do with your baby is your choice just be educated about what you do. making choices when you only have 2 of the 3 options isn’t the best way to do that. and why do you care what someone else thinks and bash them from behind? that is a little person move..

          • Captain Obvious
            August 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

            I treat patients with post partum depression, some of whom who either obsess over or are berated by others to try and breastfed when they struggle with it. Even hospital nurses in baby friendly hospitals belittle women when they chose formula. People like those nurses and Elicia are really the little people who push their beliefs onto others.

          • Captain Obvious
            August 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

            You directed this to me…”you lace opinions behind some facts. what you do with your baby is your choice just be educated about what you do. making choices when you only have 2 of the 3 options isn’t the best way to do that. and why do you care what someone else thinks and bash them from behind? that is a little person move..” JB, why don’t you post that on Elicia’s FB. That quote really fits to her publicity stunt berated other mother’s choices.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

            maybe it does fit over the picture. but not her ideas or thoughts completely on the issue. you make up so much. so tell me her views on what parents do for feeding a baby? what she wants them to know? and then tell me that the answer is a fact not an opinion..

          • Captain obvious
            August 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

            Breast is best, is her logo. Whether its moms milk or donor milk. Breast milk does pass immunity to the baby, and is easily digestible. some studies propose breast milk may prevent things like obesity, allergies, and raise IQ. Many interpretations of these studies show flaws or such small benefits that women can feel good about choosing formula without guilt. Guilt that your wife is perpetuating by her nursing stunt. Raising IQ points by maybe 2-4 points, when the range of error on IQ tests are +- 3. What does 2-4 more IQ points actually get you? Not much. Breast milk is void of vitamin D, so the baby needs supplement. Unscreened Donor milk may have infection or medicines in them. Banked donor milk is expensive. Some moms take medicines that don’t allow them to breast feed their own kids. Some extreme premise or even term deliveries don’t allow good milk production and formula helps keep those kids healthy. Many single moms need to go back to work and formula allows them to do just that. My kids were breast fed. Many moms cannot breast feed for any number of reasons. But your judgy wife leaped without looking and made an Internet viral statement berated and belittling mothers who use that poison she knows as formula. Even athletes and politicians openly apologize on live tv when they post something that was later to be found to have offended a significant group of people. You jb and Elicia so far have defended yourselves tooth and nail despite having offended people.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

            everyone has a different walk of life the fact you take it so personally is clear now but you still keep putting out opinions. you do not know her or what she is about. it is not right to take one event and use it to rule over them and there life and the move or thing they say personify them. 1 piece of the puzzle and you make it out to be complete…. that would be very prejudice of a thing to do..

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            August 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm #


            Please stop lying. It makes you look foolish and desperate.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

            how is it that i am lying? i would like to know what part you disagree with? just because my information doesn’t match up with your opinions of the situations? my facts from actually knowing her and talking to her from day one do not support your theory? saying i am lying with no facts of your own is not very good.

          • Captain Obvious
            August 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

            Oh, she doesn’t want attention…

            “Elicia Binman
            I just got a notification this was reported! Who did it! Troll!
            Aug 3 at 5:03pm
            Shannon Kae Reeder Dittrich
            Are you kidding? If it gets deleted we should all repost it. I see half naked girls all over my newsfeed. This us beautiful!”

            Jb, you must know her so well.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

            I do. and going through her Facebook brings you no closer to knowing her… sadly your assumption is skewed. she likes the picture as do I. I could care less about the drama over it or any of the “hidden meanings” people find or make up. I like it for the fact of Winnie and elicia. “assumptions” do you have anything that is not? how does caring about it getting reported show she wanted attention? you are making up your own theory.

    • LibrarianSarah
      August 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

      Capital letters are your friend jb. When you put them at the beginning of your sentences they make your comments a lot easier to read.

    • PJ
      August 7, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      jb, we are not stupid. I get that you are offended for your friend, but come on.

      • jb
        August 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

        This is my wife. I will leave it at that it was one of those.. Ah I gotta say something moments but the thing is she went about how she said it in a way that can be taken wrong. I know her feelings and ideas and also know she would never insult someone for formula feeding a child we did. she just wants people to be educated and know options before being forced down the old parents method. just because our parents did it does not mean it was the right way to do it. but honestly it all comes down to just doing the best we can do for ourself and our kids. with that nobody s opinion or anything really matters. I may have been a little upset I mean no disrepect. and if i have shown any.. I am sorry for it. I will take my leave now. 🙂

        • Box of Salt
          August 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

          jb “this is my wife”, if this is true I understand why you are defending her.

          “she went about how she said it in a way that can be taken wrong” And was.

          “she just wants people to be educated” In that spirit, I hope you will encourage her to read some more of the 600+ comments yesterday before you joined us. In particular, she should read the responses to Margaret C and especially the post by Clarissa Darling about PPD.

          • Tim
            August 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

            And please convince her that as distasteful as it may sound that honestly

            a) Professionally manufactured baby formula which is overseen and approved by the FDA is guaranteed to be safer for your child than something you whip up in the kitchen with a can of condensed milk

            b) There are real live human beings working at those companies, and many of them are very compassionate and human, even if it appears to be a faceless “evil” corporation from the outside. I can personally assure you of this.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

            I agree with some of the same points you are making and the debate part. obviously people making fun of her I will not tolerate. but as i calm.. lol I can think more clearly. she is entitled to her beliefs and i love to debate for debates sake and test her on all she believes. but the way this all came off does hurt people and there is better ways of getting the message across. i can 100% tell you i don’t want the publicity nor do i want her or my kids to have it and she never thought it would happen. I didn’t either I thought it was a funny picture. which is what she thought as well. i have gone through A LOT of the comments and have thus far not contested them because a lot of them make sense to me. the actual blog I dislike to the most.. but the people commenting if you scrape away the mean and hurtful things and the jabs. there is good information and I have taken some with me.

        • PJ
          August 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

          Thank you for your refreshingly classy reply. I do hope your wife can find it in her to take a sincere look at the evidence in the formula/breastfeeding debate, because a lot of what she believes appears to be based on misinformation. That’s easy to do because there is so much misinformation out there and it’s very hard for laypeople to sort out fact from fiction.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          August 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

          I know her feelings and ideas and also know she would never insult someone for formula

          Read the comments here. There are many who are insulted. So whether she intended to or not, she did.

          This is the problem we have. There are those who make passive/aggressive insults, and don’t even realize they are doing it. They do things like claim that they have nothing against those who choose to use formula, but complain how not enough people are breastfeeding. Can you not see the dichotomy of those statements? Think about the assumptions implicit in the latter part and you will.

          Oh, we realize that she is well-meaning and didn’t intend to insult anyone, but the same can be said about the guy who once announced that he didn’t want his son to wear pink because he didn’t want him to have gender confusion. Like your wife, he got all offended when I got pretty pissed off about, because he couldn’t see what the problem was. After I called him out for his homophobia and noted that MY son wore pink all the time, the response was, “Well, I wasn’t talking about him.” YES YOU WERE, whether you personalized it or not.

          Your wife needs to realize that complaining that there isn’t enough breastfeeding is absolutely an implicit judgment on those using formula, and make no mistake, those people hear it, whether she intends them to or not.

        • AllieFoyle
          August 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

          Hey, it’s really ok. I appreciate that you came and expressed your point of view. These things can get personal and heated and people’s feelings can get hurt–on both sides. I’m sure your wife had good intentions and I hope she isn’t too upset.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          August 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

          she just wants people to be educated

          I’m trying to figure out, is condescension an insult or not? What do you think?

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

            Do you really have to ask? I know her opinion on all of this as I talk to her daily.. and It never has come across the way this has. it does not whole heartedly show the true colors. but thats what I see not you. because I have the time to hear about it and talk about it. you had this blog and her Facebook.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

            Do you really have to ask?

            I want to be sure, because you claim she doesn’t mean to insult anyone, but then you make statements that imply that she thinks formula users are ignorant and need her to educate them.

            Your claim about how she “just wants to people to be educated” is ripping with condescension, you have to realize that, right?

            True, all we have to judge her is what she says and does. If we are getting the wrong impression of her, then perhaps she needs to think more about the message she is sending by what she says and does?

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

            i agree she needs to think about how her message is being displayed not just to the LLL whatever it is lol. but to everyone. she is talking from personal standpoints as well with our first child we did feel like formula was being forced down our throats and at the hospital when the baby was having a hard time latching the brought us a bottle and some formula. no information no anything it was as if being forced down a road. it is personal for her as it is for others as well but the message just comes off all sorts of wrong with this picture…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

            she is talking from personal standpoints as well with our first child we did feel like formula was being forced down our throats and at the hospital when the baby was having a hard time latching the brought us a bottle and some formula.

            WHAT? The hospital brought you a bottle of formula when you were having a hard time getting your baby to breastfeed?!!!!

            Those bastards!!!!!

            Wait. What exactly was wrong with that again?

            Yes, all else equal, breast is best. We are all on board with that. But when your baby is having trouble breastfeeding, all is not equal anymore.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

            If you are telling them that you really want to breastfeed and they push it on you i don’t find that comforting. it helped to be honest because who knows jonesy may not have gotten enough food idk to be honest. but every step of the way it felt pushed. she didn’t know how to get the baby to latch the didn’t get anyone to help her do that. i am not attacking or pushing. i don’t see the need for such defense. it comes off a bit more confrontational than it has to be.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

            i dont see if someone is having a hard time telling or showing them oh just give up to be very good.. in those circumstances you are not going to deny your baby food you will use the bottle. it is personal for me as well. we all have our stories and we all have our feelings.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

            Since when is having a little formula giving up on breastfeeding? Read the comments here, there are countless stories of those who have breastfeed after their babies had formula.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

            i never stated it to be horrible to have some before. it was just how they treated us and what they said. even till the end the didn’t help even once. I don’t understand am I upsetting you? I feel as if I am just honestly answering and being attacked for my experiences and feelings.. I think it is reasonable to be upset when someone is blatantly ignoring your concerns.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

            and to be honest if you are just asking to try and fish a response out. I won’t comply with that. you will not make me state anything different then I have already stated. If elicia put it in better terms or tried to make it non confrontational I believe that it is impossible not to anger someone with resentment towards the issue. and them trying to make you feel bad for your feelings is just as bad. but this blog what is said about her to a personal level is just wrong.. end of story. I have got to get going now. like i said I am not going to fight. I am sorry for poking or hurting or agitating anyone. and have a nice day 🙂

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

            Your baby was not eating, and you are pissed because the hospital tried to get you to let her have some formula? That’s right?

            I am trying to understand why you think it would have been so bad to use a little formula at the time? Gene (a poster here who is an emergency room pediatrician) has relayed many times how sometimes, formula can help facilitate breastfeeding even.

    • S
      August 7, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      To repeat what i said downthread:

      JB, if you stand behind your wife’s actions, then why do you need to bullshit us about her intentions?

      • jb
        August 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

        i stand behind her what she thinks. but I told you of her intentions. it was not supposed to be a publicity stunt. honestly why does that matter anymore. its the message that comes into the problem. not what she is doing. the same pic with a different caption could come off as not insulting to anyone if worded correctly.

      • S
        August 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

        Ooh, i should’ve read the comments first. I defer to Allie’s comment below. She was a lot nicer. I lack tact… Unless there is an actual reason for sitting in the middle of the floor in people’s way, you are still bullshitting. Maybe i’m wrong, and maybe there is a reason — there were no walls because the conference was in a park surrounded by traffic, and then they got held up somewhere and your wife couldn’t get to her pre-planned nursing place before the baby got hungry. Something like that?

        They look lovely, it’s a nice photo, and your wife probably didn’t mean to spread any hurtful message (though i admit to not having read through everything so feel free to slap my hand for that).

        • S
          August 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

          Wait you’re not the husband, PJ… my apologies.

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

            Dammit, the commenting system is making me look extra crazy! Please disregard. (It displays names incorrectly sometimes.)

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

            lol. i have seen the same thing

        • jb
          August 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

          I dont think we have ever tried to find or even look for a spot to nurse before she needs to… when she does she does it does not really matter where. maybe we are not normal in that regards but if it is sitting on the grass or against a wall on a couch or at a table or just walking it has never mattered to us. and honestly I don’t think it should.. as long as we are not in the way for other people. the floor may be in the way lol but as long as not many people are walking or nobody is cause they are all at the play place 2 feet behind the camera letting the kids play…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

            If you are at the park, do you sit in the middle of the sidewalk, or do you move out of the walkway?

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

            if no one is coming it does not matter to me, if someone comes i move… or if i don’t want to potentially have to sit down to move latter i move but regardless as long as i move if someone comes it wouldn’t matter to me.

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

            Hey, i’m happy to take your words at face value. Sitting in the middle of the sidewalk or a room is an odd thing for an adult to do. Being shirtless in public is unusual even for a nursing woman. I’m all for doing your own thing, but there’s such a thing as social convention. You must be aware that when you do something obviously unusual in public, people are going to notice and read intention into your actions.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

            she is not shirtless…. and in the events of how the convention was set up it was not directly in the middle of everyone.. more like the side of it all. I wouldnt sit in the middle of a room normally no. but if conditions are set forth maybe lol. but this picture does not show you what is ALL around her.

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

            You’re right, of course (now that i’ve taken a good look at your wife’s chest :p), and boob out the top is a standard way to do things! Sorry about that.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            August 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

            So jb is Elicia (now Elicia’s husband) trying to defend her actions.

            Sorry, but her actions are totally obnoxious and she needs to know that and to own it.

            How dare she claim that formula is poison? That is absolutely vicious.

            Obviously, this was a publicity stunt done for the kudos and “atta girls.” It has NOTHING to do with educating anyone about anything. It is narcissism pure and simple.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

            Because you feel it is obnoxious does not mean it is. your thoughts on the matter have very little weight. To be honest. You base most of you information on fallicy. yet tell me to stop lying? How better to prove how vicious someone is then to rip right back into them. The only difference was she was not ripping into another person. Your opinion holds for some but in the end it is just a ignorant point of view. that is my opinion BTW :). Just because you are uncomfortable with something does not make it wrong in any light. maybe the problem resides with the listener rather than the talker. but self blame is a hard pill to swallow. I hardly seeing you taking the high road in any situation.(once again opinion) and the term narcissism does not hold true to her in any light. I could just as easily say it to you for your thoughts and the way you push them.. and the post you made does nothing about educating on the topic. you are no better than anyone else anyone can have people listen to them about just about anything. its the drama I see in you that I feel attracts people.(opinion) The way you talk about people is down right despicable. RANT ON.

            Your words hold no weight in my ears. it just spreads everything I am against.

            but.. you love the attention it prolly makes you feel good. makes me think the narcissism term fits you a little better.

            Good Day

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            August 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

            My thoughts on the matter obviously have tremendous weight; you and your wife have spent about 8 continuous hours on the site today.

            What Elicia has said about formula is WRONG and VICIOUS and she should apologize. Apparently she doesn’t give a damn about the millions of women she insulted merely to make her feel better about herself. She cares about her feelings and no one else’s. That makes her a narcissist and a mean one to boot.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

            you contradict yourself Amy, you push your thoughts very rudely to the people on the other end and step on them with no thought or care how they feel but when you skew someone else’s opinion into something hurtful you get upset? and write a big post on it. yet she is wrong? you are no better than how you depict her and the best part is you find her to need to make the apology the things you say do not need to be skewed to be offensive you do it flawlessly and without one care. you are the narcissistic one and prove it with every post. and I would have to say you do it in a very open a rude way. but… when someone else says something you perceive as the same as how you would do it or go about it, it is wrong and mean? that is very contradictive. A good saying is practice what you preach and you are going way against what you are preaching right now so i will blatantly go out of my way to say it is a sham. you say you have someones interests at heart but show nothing of the sort yes to a few but not all the same as you are saying about her and lactivists… in my eyes what you say now holds nothing.. i repeat NOTHING. your opinions are not facts maybe one day you will learn it. but the difference between her and you is she never meant it the way you are taking it.. you mean it the way you say it. narcissistic rude and all and wear it like a badge.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            August 7, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

            Both Elicia and you have expressed ZERO concern let alone remorse for the way she has insulted women who don’t breastfeed. I’m calling you on that. You don’t like it. No surprise. It’s much more fun to make other women feel bad than to feel bad.

            She insulted other women. She can whine that she didn’t mean it, but it is obvious that she did. She can whine that it’s their fault that they feel bad, but it is obvious that she intended that they feel bad. She can whine that everyone misunderstands her, but I suggest that she spends a lot more time thinking about how she comes across to others than feeling sorry for herself because she isn’t being praised for her stunt.

            Am I rude? What’s rude about the truth besides the fact that it isn’t nearly so satisfying as a fantasy.

            She was no educating anyone; she was insulting them. She should own it and apologize. Anything else reeks of narcissism.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

            The same is said about you. you insult people and all the ideas they have because they don’t mesh with what you perceive to be correct. it is a joke. and feel bad honestly I don’t anymore. If you want to take it negatively go ahead no matter how it is stated you will.but the only reason it will cause you to say anything is because it hits a nerve gets you worked up so that is not someone else’s problem that is your own to work on. she was not hurtful or direct to anyone just very broad. yet you on a high horse tear into her not just about her ideas or thoughts because the conflict with your feelings but as a person which is a very low spot to be… I tried to dig deeper and talk but the biggest concern or problem isnt about the stance itself people take it so personally from guilt or whatever it is that they stoop down and attack her for where she sits if it was planned or not what she is wearing… is that really the problem? no its the fact people don’t want to feel bad about choices. the same way you make people feel bad about home birth. point all the facts and you will be OPENLY mean and condecending. My problem with you isn’t that you dislike or don’t agree with the picture but how unprofessionally attacked and ridiculed someone you don’t even know and made up opinions to add to the cruelty. You can debate all day and disagree but really? you take it to home by making it very personal and bringing the child into it. that is very low. and as you can see I have not brought your children into it. as a mother you should be ashamed of the way you treated another woman and child with no regard to how they would feel. she never personally attacked you otherwise I would understand the Rant. You know it is possible to be debate your beliefs without making it a battle of what you loo like and who you are. that is just the cruel way to do it. I think you may do it to make yourself feel better about.. honestly I don’t know and neither do i care. but really you attack someone and call them everything that I see you to be. and then hide behind your slick comments off putting the real reason for a bigger problem the personal level. I would think you could try to be a bigger person and apologize for the personal attack. but you don’t have to because you will always be the person that walks over others because you and your beliefs are the best ones.. right? lol

            good day to you Ms. Amy
            you have proven me right on the narcissistic point ( about you) and also prove and continue to be the ignorance that slows and pulls down humanity.. sadly..

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            August 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

            And frankly, she owes formula feeding mothers and apology since she was deliberately trying to insult them.

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

            I disagree with that second part. Having read the blurb and comments under the photo, i don’t believe she really thought through and understood how her photo being shared all over facebook might affect formula feeding mothers. Is there evidence to the contrary?

            That said, i don’t believe good intentions or lack of awareness are any excuse for hurtful behavior. Unintentionally hurtful behavior is still hurtful. It doesn’t make her a bad person; we all hurt people sometimes. It’s an opportunity for her to learn and become a better advocate for women.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

            its the people who hurt people intentionally that are bad people. and that is what AMY has done. elicia is a good person and you can fix a mix up of meaning you cant fix the bad you say and feel in reality.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            August 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

            That’s nothing but self serving BS. Elicia made a vicious statement and insulted millions of women. She didn’t accidentally make that statement. She did it deliberately. It was mean and nasty, as is most of contemporary lactivism.

            Stop lying to yourself and to others and OWN your own actions. You have done more to prove my point than I ever could.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

            stop with opinions when trying to make a point about who she is and if that is what you want to do then own up to it and accept it as your own interpretation.. you have no point..

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

            Obviously i don’t agree entirely with Dr. Amy’s characterization of your wife. Your response reads to me like you are trying to evade your own responsibility by shifting the focus onto Dr. Amy.

          • S
            August 7, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

            It probably looks to you like people are digging into you and giving Dr. Amy a free pass. I can only tell you where i’m coming from. If i disagree with some aspect of her post or comments, i’ll speak up (if i care enough and have the time), but i don’t expect a response from her. That’s just how it goes here. I’ve said my piece and that conversation is over. You seem open minded, so as long as our conversation is going someplace, i’ll keep responding until real life calls me back. That probably doesn’t clarify anything. I just wanted to let you know that i hear you.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

            that again is your opinion. what is it with facts. do you have none? she never was aiming at the mothers yet you turn it probably for your own publicity. yet make her out bad for in your eyes doing it? you should get facts straight. arguing over an opinion is useless if no facts are present and so far YOU don’t bring many to the table.

            the apology should come from you.. for twisting it and making her out to be evil

          • prolifefeminist
            August 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

            “if someone comes i move.”

            That right there is part of the problem – people aren’t generally going to walk towards a woman sprawled out in the way nursing her baby. They’re going to avoid you – they’re going to walk the other way. And that means, in this case, you’re turning foot traffic away from Enfamil’s booth.

            Btw, mother of five kids here…breastfed for a total of 13 years and exclusively pumped for 1.5. Nursed in public ALL the time. Never found it necessary to sit in the middle of a convention floor to nurse.

          • Wren
            August 7, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

            I nursed for a total of nearly 4 years, spread over 2 kids. I have never, ever just sat down in the middle of the floor in a public area and nursed. Admittedly, not everyone is me, but in the US that generally is not considered appropriate behaviour for anyone. Even a toddler would be expected to move out of the middle of a walkway.

          • Durango
            August 8, 2013 at 9:22 am #

            I love this comment so much. So when Winnie needs to nurse, you guys don’t ever look for a spot to nurse? Standing in line (grocery store?post office?whatever) she is going to sink to the ground and nurse if Winnie gets hungry? I can’t imagine, then, that you ever cross the street because if Winnie gets hungry while crossing, she would have to be nursed right there in the intersection.

            Snark, but really, your comment cracked me up as justification for why Elicia just happened to plonk down where she did.

  21. fiftyfifty1
    August 7, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    I’m all for breastfeeding protests if they happen in response to someone getting kicked out of a public place for breastfeeding. That makes sense. That raises awareness. But breastfeeding in front of the Enfamil stand? That’s not promoting breastfeeding. That’s not raising awareness. That’s just denigrating formula feeding/breastfeeding moms.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      August 7, 2013 at 11:30 am #

      I’ve been trying to understand how this supposed protest/activisim works.

      1) She does a breastfeeding show in front of the enfamil stand
      2) ?
      3) ?
      n) More people breastfeed

      Can anyone connect the dots for me?

      • Wren
        August 7, 2013 at 11:32 am #

        I think the missing steps include guilting/shaming other women into nursing and somehow waking up all people to that breast is best message that has been pounded into our heads for years but we somehow don’t realise.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          August 7, 2013 at 11:36 am #

          waking up all people to that breast is best message

          Yeah, I was thinking about this. So apparently, those people who are not sufficiently big on breastfeeding, and would like to get some info (or free samples or coupons) from the formula display, are suddenly going to think breastfeeding is great because some breastfeeding mom blocked their way to the display? Or made them feel guilty for going to the display?

          It was when I got to that point that I realized that I was not going to reach the stated conclusion.

          • Wren
            August 7, 2013 at 11:39 am #

            You see, the rest of us (including those who breastfed but aren’t lactivists) just aren’t educated enough to know that everyone should be breastfeeding. Seeing her will change all of that somehow.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 11:41 am #

            I updated the list.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

            DING DING DING!!!!!

            We have a winner. See jb’s comment above…

            she just wants people to be educated

            Yep, those who are using formula are just ignorant saps.

          • jb
            August 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

            you should know all your choices before going down a set road. I believe that holds true to anything. that does not mean that one is more right than the others. by educate i mean in the terms of knowing all options.

      • fiftyfifty1
        August 7, 2013 at 11:53 am #

        Those formula feeding moms go “Hey wait a minute! If I had only known that women and babies who breastfed got to wear the sort of beautiful wreaths they sell at Renaissance Festivals I would have made a different choice!”

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          August 7, 2013 at 11:54 am #

          A-ha! I think we are getting somewhere.

          • fiftyfifty1
            August 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

            Ah yes, those wreaths hold powerful symbolism. They echo the laurel wreaths of the ancient Greek Olympians saying to everyone who sees them “This woman and her child are Champions”. They also harness the ancient wisdom of Ye Foreste Faeries of Olde. And luckily, these wreaths were rendered in real faux flowers so their magic will never fade! Really what mother could resist breastfeeding after viewing this remarkable tableau?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

            But what about the potential of driving away those who don’t have access to wreaths?

            Maybe she needs to start an information campaign on where to get flower wreaths? Of course, don’t let Big Flora get in on it, because that would make it evil.

      • August 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

        I think step 3 is “profit!”

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          August 7, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

          I haven’t said it yet, but yeah, this is basically a “Underpants Gnomes” approach to activism.

  22. Desiree Despen
    August 7, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Pictures say 1,000 words. I know this woman very well and she is an awesome mother who gives her life to her children. She did not just “pack up” and go plop down for a publicity stunt. She was with a photographer earlier in the day for a nursing shoot. The “photographer” that was with her was a friend. There are 2 sides to every story here, and everyones opinion here will be right. I think the above statement about Elicia is a bit snarky and one sided.

    People freak and get snarky when women walk around outside or in the mall with cleavage you can see for a mile around or skirts and shorts barely covering their rear– why not say that they are promoting sexual activity in public. Find something and someone else to rip on. You obviously have way too much free time on your hands.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      August 7, 2013 at 9:21 am #

      You’re right. Pictures are worth a thousand words. That’s how we know that this was a planned stunt. There’s no other “side” to this story; there’s just reality.

    • PJ
      August 7, 2013 at 9:55 am #

      Speaking for myself, I fully support the right to nurse in public. What this woman was doing was publicly showing her disapproval for formula. Whether she intended it or not (and given her own comments, I’m not really inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt), the message she gave was that she was judging mothers who choose to formula feed. She then chose to disseminate what she did to as wide an audience as possible. Criticism should not really be unexpected.

    • Awesomemom
      August 7, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      Nursing pictures are a thing? I though breastfeeding was totally natural and easy, why would you want to take artsy pictures of something so boring? I don’t ever hear about people getting a photographer for a bottle feeding session.

  23. PollyPocket
    August 6, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    What I find most disturbing about this picture is the people standing around ignoring the stunt. Someone, get this poor mamma a chair and a neuro exam stat!

  24. Amanda Kowalski
    August 6, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    Ummm, the woman in the photo didn’t “share” her photo over 2,000 times…OTHER PEOPLE “shared” her photo because they wanted to. She didn’t just sit there and spam FB all day, how silly. Learn how social media works lady!

    • BeatlesFan
      August 7, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      No, she just posted it and told everyone on her page to share it. While technically you are correct, you are splitting hairs and your comment does nothing to invalidate the point of this post.

      • Amanda Kowalski
        August 7, 2013 at 11:24 am #

        “While technically you are correct,” LOL yes, I am correct, thank you.

  25. letjoy
    August 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    personally I believe the breast is the best but when mothers have no other options formula is a great substitute. Reading this post I totally got your point and see where you’re coming from but at the same time you are no better than her the way you were talking about her at her motives when you don’t even know her. Maybe if you approach the subject in a different manner people would actually be able to look at your points in an educational view rather than attacking one type of parenting style and making them feel bad in their beliefs.

    • August 6, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

      I’m not entirely clear here, but are you blaming Amy’s snarky attitude for activists guilting mothers who end up using formula?

      Because literally no one on this blog is attacking breastfeeding. Seriously.

    • Captain Obvious
      August 7, 2013 at 8:39 am #

      “You don’t know me”, very Jerry Springer. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck. If the average person wouldn’t pre-meditatively pull out their breast and nurse in front of a formula booth to prove to the conference that breast is best, then she has an agenda to judge people. This woman didn’t consider what kind of women might rely on formula because they can’t nurse, so why should I give her the benefit of not knowing her? This woman didn’t consider to create her own BF booth or complain to her local BF agencies why more breast feeding booth were not already there. She just single handedly created a spectacle that really was inappropriate. I don’t need to know her or her motives, I can assess her appropriateness just fine.

  26. Claudia Weil
    August 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    I think this blog post is absurdly condescending. This demeans people who are activists by saying that they are self-centered and trying to build up their own egos, rather than acknowledging that they are trying to educate about or advocate for legitimate issues. Is it because the people who are being talked about are mothers? Since when does being mothers mean that we should shut up and sit back and let the “good doctors” tell us what is best for us? Oh, from your perspective, since ALWAYS. And no, I’m not a “lactivist” or natural childbirth activist, but I am an intelligent woman who finds the attitude expressed in this blog post to be dismissive and arrogant. People should have the right to raise issues that they find important, and not have aspersions cast on their characters just because YOU happen not to agree with them. Sounds like the blogger is the real narcissist here.

    • auntbea
      August 6, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

      Yes, Dr Amy, how dare you express your opinion on someone else’s opinion! Everyone should be free to express their opinions!

      • Claudia Weil
        August 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

        Yes, but she does it on a public blog, makes fun of people, and puts the handy little “Dr.” in front of her name to pretend that she isn’t just spouting her own opinion and being condescending.

        • auntbea
          August 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

          WHAT!?!?! A DOCTOR, you say? Claiming to be a doctor! Outrageous.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 6, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

            How dare she use a title she earned! Maybe she should call herself a “medical scholar” or a “public health scholar”? (Since apparently that is a title you can use if you haven’t earned it yet)

        • KarenJJ
          August 7, 2013 at 4:25 am #

          “makes fun of people”

          There might even be an argument to be made that they are doing a fine old job on their own without Dr Amy pointing it out.

        • AllieFoyle
          August 7, 2013 at 7:37 am #

          It’s a blog post, not a journal article. Of course it’s her opinion. Why does it bother you so much that she has an opinion and expresses it? Is it because she’s an MD? Should professionals keep their opinions out of the public domain? Is it because she’s a woman? Is it because she’s critical of natural childbirth and breastfeeding advocacy? Do you think those things are beyond criticism somehow? Or that women should never criticize or be criticized?

    • Cellist
      August 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

      ” Is it because the people who are being talked about are mothers? Since when does being mothers mean that we should shut up and sit back and let the “good doctors” tell us what is best for us?”

      Dr Amy is also a MOTHER (of FOUR children)!

      “People should have the right to raise issues that they find important…”

      Which is exactly why Dr Amy has the right to raise this issue!

      “…and not have aspersions cast on their characters just because YOU happen not to agree with them. Sounds like the blogger is the real narcissist here.”

      So, you didn’t agree with Dr Amy, and then you cast an aspersion on HER character (by calling her a narcissist!) and yet your not seeing this as ironic / incredibly hypocritical? I

      • Claudia Weil
        August 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

        She is the blogger, calling these people narcissists. I am just saying that she might be projecting. I’m not the person posting a photo of another woman on my public blog and making fun of her. She devotes an entire “article” to name-calling and ridiculing advocates of breast feeding and natural childbirth. I don’t care if Amy is a doctor OR the mother of many children, she is just being a b&%$ here.

        • KarenJJ
          August 6, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

          I’ve never met Dr Amy, so I’ve no idea what her personality is like and whether she’s a raving sociopath or a kindly wallflower. Her opinion is that narcissism is part of this protest. You’re free to disagree with that, but I thinking calling her a bitch gets to a personal level that isn’t justified.

        • AllieFoyle
          August 7, 2013 at 7:27 am #

          This is a blog, not a PTO meeting or a sewing circle. Dr. Amy posted and discussed a photo that the woman herself put into the public domain. If you disagree with her argument, fine, bring that to the table and say what you disagree with and why. You can actually do that here. Simply calling her a misogynistic name without addressing any of her points adds nothing to the discussion.

    • Kalacirya
      August 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

      You act as if activists and narcissists are mutually exclusive groups. I can say from experience that they absolutely are not.

    • PollyPocket
      August 7, 2013 at 12:04 am #

      Lots of activists throughout history have used ineffective means to try and convey their message. Take, for example, terrorists. Extreme, yes, but the point still stands.

      Dr. Amy is not saying that this woman’s message (or at least the “breastfeeding is good” part of it) is bad. The way it is delivered is awful. It is ineffective and counter productive. So much so, that it is strikingly obvious to most adults that this woman cannot be so delusional as to believe she is furthering her cause in any meaningful way. Therefore, the only conclusion left, is that she enjoys the attention for performing an outrageous stunt.

      Can you imagine a successful brand or professional marketing company pulling a similar stunt? Of course not! That is because they want to CONVINCE people to try their product, not shock them and garner attention.

    • AllieFoyle
      August 7, 2013 at 7:19 am #

      >>>>People should have the right to raise issues that they find important, and not have aspersions cast on their characters just because YOU happen not to agree with them.

      I think you’re confused about rights. People certainly have the right to raise issues they find important, but there is no right to do so free of criticism. She exercised her right to do whatever it was that she did, and other people responded to it, as is their right. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from disagreement or criticism.

      She is not being criticized because she is a mother, rather, she is being criticized because she is publicly advocating her beliefs in a way that other people find disruptive, alienating, stigma-producing, and counterproductive. Giving her a pass on her actions because she is a mother would be sexist, in my opinion.

      • auntbea
        August 7, 2013 at 9:26 am #

        This is a far more helpful comment than my sarcastic one.

    • Dr Kitty
      August 7, 2013 at 7:31 am #

      If someone stood naked in front of Monsanto HQ eating quinoa as a protest against GM Soy, I think many people would also suggest that that person should find a more helpful way to promote their cause.

      Some of those people may not be polite about it.

      That is life.
      If you cannot handle the entirely predictable criticism of your actions, then you should re-think your actions.

      Everyone has a right to peaceful protest and free speech, but I have a right to find their particular method of protest ridiculous and self serving, and to say so.

      • August 7, 2013 at 9:10 am #

        Yeah… I don’t buy THAT. If people were only to protest in instances where their protest would be met by cheers and honked horns, the world would look a lot different right now. Public breastfeeding specifically is an issue in large part because of the negative reactions of people who can’t handle the sight of a boob. Comparing it to eating quinoa naked isn’t a relevant argument.

        I don’t agree with the people who are up in arms about this blogpost (nor do I agree that the photo is especially offensive) but responding to critisism does not equal being unable to handle the backlash.

        • auntbea
          August 7, 2013 at 9:25 am #

          Huh? She’s not saying people should only “protest” in cases where they won’t meet criticism. She is saying if you are going to be UPSET about the — inevitable — criticism, you probably shouldn’t stage the protest. It is totally unreasonable to suggest that people should not publicly comment on something that someone else intentionally put into the public domain.

          • August 7, 2013 at 9:46 am #

            And I’m saying that’s BS.

            Getting jailed during sit-ins of the 60s was an inevitable and predictable consequence, but I’m sure no one today would claim that being “upset” by being arrested was inappropriate.

            This is just talk, and public breastfeeding really isn’t on the same level as race equality. I don’t even really consider the photo a protest so much as an injoke for breastfeeding lactivists. But it’s ridiculous to say that if you protest something you shouldn’t get upset by people bitching about it. If something is worth protesting, you’re going to get flack. And some of that flack is doubtless going to be upsetting.

          • auntbea
            August 7, 2013 at 9:53 am #

            The OP is not RESPONDING to criticism. She is saying there should be no criticism. And, seriously, we are not talking about firehouses and dogs here.

            Again, I repeat, “It is totally unreasonable to suggest that people should not publicly
            comment on something that someone else intentionally put into the public

          • August 7, 2013 at 11:15 am #

            If I were to write a post on why my family used CIO, and Dr. Sears (sorry, “Dr” Sears 😉 Picked it up and said I was a terrible mother blah blah blah, I would absolutely think he was an asshole (wait, too late, I already think he’s an asshole). Not only would I feel he shouldn’t say it, I’d feel he shouldn’t think it. That’s not the same thing as believing he shouldn’t be ALLOWED to say it. I haven’t seen a whole lot of arguments for censorship here (unless Gina parachuted in while my back was turned) just a lot of name calling.

            Dr. Kitty isn’t making an argument against censorship (an argument I would 100% be on board with) she’s saying if you get upset by criticism, you have no place making the protest. That’s utter nonsense.

            And yeah, jail was a bad example. I think I have a valid point in there somewhere, but I’m too sleepy to explain it clearly.

          • PJ
            August 7, 2013 at 11:35 am #

            Do you actually think through what you’re writing?

            There are activists right now campaigning for all kinds of human rights abuses. There are people who want, for example, to strip women of all rights. Are we supposed to exempt them from criticism because it might upset them?

            Lots of people consider, with good reason, that this woman’s “activism” is not only silly and founded on ignorance and misinformation, but an attempt to shame other mothers who make perfectly reasonable choices about how to feed their children. Yet everyone is supposed to be nice to her because it might hurt her feelings?

            If she had a completely different motive from the one that seems obvious here (which I somehow doubt), then yes, she should have taken responsibility for making sure it was obvious before deliberately making a public spectacle of herself.

          • Kalacirya
            August 7, 2013 at 11:59 am #

            You know honestly, I think this “protest” could have meant a little something if the person putting themselves out there would have been a typically unrepresented person in breastfeeding activism. But a young, attractive, thin, white woman from a solidly middle class or higher family? That just puts me to sleep.

          • fiftyfifty1
            August 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

            Yeah, but I can’t imagine somebody from one of those underrepresented groups doing that. For instance I have had some teen patients who are African American and who live in poor neighborhoods who have chosen to breastfeed. It has worked out really well for a couple of them. Would they pull this sort of stunt? No way.

          • Kalacirya
            August 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

            No, I think it’s unlikely that they would. But in an otherwise pointless demonstration, I think the only thing that could be brought to the table is representation for typically unseen groups. I think that with a lot of this self-validating breastfeeding stuff, and honest NCB as a whole, there’s not a lot of diversity.

          • August 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

            Do you read what you’re responding to?

            “There are activists right now campaigning for all kinds of human rights abuses. There are people who want, for example, to strip women of all rights. Are we supposed to exempt them from criticism because it might upset them?”

            Show me where I’m arguing anything remotely near that. Posters here are claiming, quite sincerely, that activists campaigning FOR human rights ought to have just stayed home if their feelings might be hurt by people who disagree with them.

          • auntbea
            August 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

            Show ME where I argued THAT. You are the one that took this from “it is lame that someone thinks that we shouldn’t cast aspersions because this lady is just expressing her opinion” to “are you saying that black people should just have accepted Jim Crow?”

          • August 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

            I didn’t say YOU argued that. Look above. Plenty of people are saying basically, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. I think it’s horrible to suggest that ANYONE shouldn’t express their opinion if they don’t like the likely reaction. In most cases, protests are only necessary on issues where hurtful personal attacks are a likely result. Saying “you put it out there, don’t get pissy that I don’t like it” is really a terrible idea.

          • Wren
            August 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

            No one is saying that.
            What people are saying, what you directly quoted me as saying, is that if the goal is to avoid criticism then maybe she shouldn’t have spoken out. If, on the other hand, the goal is different, then yes, she has to recognise that criticism is likely and cope with that.
            Protesters in the past have not been admired and respected for avoiding criticism and hurtful attacks but for knowing those were coming and going ahead anyway.
            And I don’t see a single thing wrong with saying if you are unable to handle criticism of your ideas then keep them to yourself. Put it out there, whatever it is, and you are either going to be ignored completely or face some kind of criticism. We’re not talking about small children here, but grown adults who need to be able to support their ideas if they are bringing them to the public arena.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

            One reason that activism is brave and difficult is that it means opening yourself up to criticism. It’s more or less inherent in the meaning of the word. When you sign on to be an activist, you (hopefully) realize that that means that people will disagree with you, often vigorously. Making a display of yourself for the benefit of receiving accolades from people who already agree with you is simply not activism in my book.

          • August 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

            “One reason that activism is brave and difficult is that it means opening yourself up to criticism.”

            YES! That’s kind of my point here. I don’t think THIS photo necessarily qualifies, either as a real protest, or brave, but what I’m saying is that protesting knowing the likely criticisms doesn’t mean you give up the right to be harmed by the fallout.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

            The right to be harmed? Huh? Being an activist means putting it all out there and being prepared to be disagreed with and criticized. I don’t think you can legitimately call yourself an activist if you put your opinion out there but then get outraged that other people don’t agree with your viewpoint or tactics. If you just want backpats from like-minded people (as I suspect is the case here) then you’re not an activist!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

            I’m reminded of the discussion with the Secretary of Transportation in “Dave” (great movie, btw)

            So let me get this straight. We’re spending [X] million dollars on an ad campaign to make people feel better about a car that they already own?

            That’s her “activism”

            (sorry, I’ve been failing on my pop culture quotes lately)

          • auntbea
            August 7, 2013 at 11:36 am #

            He would be an asshole, yes. But if you are going to take it personally that an asshole thinks you are bad mother, then you should make your posts about how you mother private and only share them with people you actually like.

          • August 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

            Uh no. If Dr. Sears called me, PERSONALLY a bad mother, that wouldn’t be me TAKING it personally.

            You are arguing that if a person is afraid of criticism, of negative consequences, they should keep their mouths shut. That is an AWFUL thing to say. I DO have the right to publicly blog my opinion. Dr. Sears has the right to call me a shitty mother. And my thinking that response is hurtful and unwarranted in no way means I shouldn’t have spoken out.

            I’m actually shocked that everyone is arguing this point. People are absolutely entitled to feel however they like, and saying you shouldn’t call me a shitty mother is not the same thing as calling for a restriction of your free speech.

          • Wren
            August 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

            So what is your point here?
            No one has argued she didn’t have the right to post this photo and claim it’s somehow helping the cause. She just shouldn’t feel exempted from criticism and if her goal is to avoid criticism then maybe she shouldn’t have spoken out.

          • August 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

            “if her goal is to avoid criticism then maybe she shouldn’t have spoken out.”

            My point is that this statement, this sentiment right here, is wrongheaded and dangerous. History is full of people who spoke out in spite of fears of the consequences, and we’d live in a grim world without them.

            Is this photo a shining example of standing strong against tyranny? No! I don’t even think it’s a protest, it’s a stupid meme for lactivists to post to their Facebook page. But so what? No one is arguing that this blog post should be removed. They’re saying it’s wrong/stupid/bitchy/ugly whatever and shouldn’t have been written. So what? I think a lot of people shouldn’t say the things they say, that doesn’t mean I want them to be shut down.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

            >>>History is full of people who spoke out in spite of fears of the consequences, and we’d live in a grim world without them.

            Ding ding ding. Yes, exactly. Speak out and deal with criticism, that’s the brave and right thing to do when you feel you are faced with injustice. But you seem to be advocating that we live in a world in which people should be able to speak without criticism. That somehow this woman should have been able to stage her public protest and post photos to fb along with screeds about formula being poison but Dr. Amy shouldn’t have blogged her personal opinion about it? Is that right? I’m totally confused what you’re trying to say here.

          • August 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

            To go back to my CIO example… I think I have the right to talk about my parenting choices without being called a shitty mother. I ALSO think Dr. Sears has the right to call me a shitty mother, and that right is one of the most important foundations in this country. The two statements are contradictory, but I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive, because the concept of “rights” is a bit nebulous.

            I am absolutely not arguing that Amy didn’t have a right to write this. I personally don’t even think she wrote anything particularly upsetting, but whatever.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

            But no one has the right not to be called anything. It isn’t a right. It may be shitty or unkind or unfair or hurtful, but none of us has the right to exist without criticism. I’ll take the risk of being called names over the security of living in a society where I can’t voice my criticisms.

          • August 7, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

            It’s certainly not a legal right. I’m not protected legally from criticism, and I’m not arguing that I should be, that’s what I mean about the concept of rights being a little fuzzy.

            When I say that I have the right to talk about my parenting without being called a shitty mother, it’s my way of saying that it is WRONG of Dr. Sears to call me a shitty mother. It’s what makes him an asshole. I’m saying I’d like to live in a society where a person’s parenting decisions are none of Dr. Sears’s business. (Ok I’m actually cracking up at the absurdity of my example as I write this comment, just FYI) I also want to live in a society where if Dr. Sears feels he needs to comment on my parenting he’s allowed to do so, because otherwise, as has been pointed out, how will anyone find out he’s an asshole?

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

            Well, maybe people should avoid saying something is a right if that’s not actually what they mean. I don’t think we even really disagree fundamentally, but it gets tiresome hearing women hold themselves to some stupid standard of niceness that is actually just a form of censorship. People shouldn’t be afraid of other people’s opinions unless they are slanderous, violent, or a threat to public safety.

          • August 7, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

            I also don’t think we’re largely disagreeing.

            I guess, I don’t think it’s a matter of misusing the word “right,” it’s just that “right” is ambiguously defined. Anyhow, I was using the word to illustrate a point… Did anyone actually use the word right? I heard a lot of “should’s” but don’t specifically remember right.

          • auntbea
            August 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm #


            Edit: I think Disqus put this in the wrong place.

          • auntbea
            August 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

            And in fact, the whole point of the peaceful protests during the Civil Rights Era was to PROVOKE a negative response so that everyone could see what douches the opposition were. I am sure it was scary for them. But that is why not everyone participates in protests, and we admire people who do.

          • August 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

            No, and the goal of the photo was… Well who knows really, but not to avoid criticism. If I wrote that piece on CIO, my GOAL wouldn’t be to avoid criticism. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get to feel attacked when someone, you know, attacks me.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 10:31 am #

            But she’s not being jailed for her activism, people are just using their own freedom of speech to express their opinions about her actions. Which she is then free to express her own opinion about…

            Criticism =/ being jailed.

          • Wren
            August 7, 2013 at 10:35 am #

            There seems to be some major misunderstanding of free speech lately. A lot of people seem to think free speech exempts them from criticism. It does not.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 10:38 am #

            You see this all the time, especially in internet discussion. It’s funny how many people don’t see the irony in trying to use the “I’m entitled to express my opinion” line as a means to avoid criticism.

          • Wren
            August 7, 2013 at 10:40 am #

            Oh, this one and the “there’s a study to show anything” as though all studies are equal seem to be the most common “arguments” on the internet, or at least on the mommy boards.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 10:47 am #

            I should mention that the “I am entitled to express my opinion” defense typically only shows up when the person does not have any actual justification or argument.

            You can even see it here. Instead of defending the actual criticisms (it’s meaningless grandstanding, and all about her), the defenders resort to “she’s allowed to do it.” Which no one disputes, of course, but doesn’t actually contradict the claim that it is a meaningless, narcissistic gesture.

          • Kalacirya
            August 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

            Statistics are just a way to lie with numbers Wren, come on, get with it.

          • Kalacirya
            August 7, 2013 at 11:09 am #

            I see this argument so often, I think all American adults should be forced back into a high school level government class.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 11:16 am #

            It’s not even government, it’s logic.

            If everyone has free speech, then “I am entitled to express my opinion, therefore, you can’t criticize me” is completely illogical. It is a direct statement (not just an implication, but it requires) that the person stating it is the only one who is allowed to express their opinion, and others cannot.

          • August 7, 2013 at 11:31 am #

            Yeah, I’m not seeing where anyone is claiming Amy shouldn’t be allowed to critisize the lady. they’re just saying she’s a jerk for doing so.

            There are so many idiotic arguments on this thread right now… we don’t have to invent a new one to make them look more stupid.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 11:33 am #

            See Clauda Wall above

            People should have the right to raise issues that they find important, and not have aspersions cast on their characters just because YOU happen not to agree with them.

            There’s at least one.

          • August 7, 2013 at 11:41 am #

            No, it’s not.

            I can say that I think Amy should be able to write a post like this without being called a bitch.

            I can say that she should be able to have this blog without being called a woman hater, and constantly suffering personal attacks.

            In fact, I DO think that.

            It doesn’t mean I think those comments should be shut down, that they should be censored. It means I think it’s a terrible way to argue a point.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 11:45 am #

            I can say that I think Amy should be able to write a post like this without being called a bitch.

            But that is not what she said. She said they “should … not have aspersions cast on their characters…”

            Whether Dr Amy is casting aspersion on her “character” is a matter of debate, but even if it is, Claudia is specifically saying that she should be free of criticism.

            Similarly, Desiree is claiming that Amy shouldn’t criticize her, and should be focusing on someone else.

          • August 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

            That’s EXACTLY what she’s saying. It’s not a call for censorship, it’s saying that “aspersions on character” are a shitty way to argue. The point is somewhat undermined when she calls Amy a bitch in the same breath.

            And there’s nothing wrong with arguing that Amy shouldn’t be criticizing her. It is absolutely not the same thing as claiming Amy shouldn’t be ALLOWED to criticize her.

            How many people here (including me) are arguing that people shouldn’t say nasty things about formula feeders? But no one is arguing that Margaret shouldn’t be ALLOWED to vomit that nonsense she’s spewing below.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

            And there’s nothing wrong with arguing that Amy shouldn’t be criticizing her. It is absolutely not the same thing as claiming Amy shouldn’t be ALLOWED to criticize her.

            Just like how Amy is not saying she shouldn’t be allowed to protest, and only criticizing her, so therefore it is ok?

            No, saying “they aren’t saying she shouldn’t be ALLOWED to do it” (begging the question of who “allows” it) doesn’t work, because that didn’t work for the examples I provided.

            And considering that the point of the post was about her character (saying that it was an act of narcissism), the objection that she shouldn’t cast aspersions on her character is, yes, pretty much saying she shouldn’t criticize.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

            >>>The point is somewhat undermined when she calls Amy a bitch in the same breath.

            Uh, yeah.

            As has been pointed out already, some posters did suggest that Dr. Amy was somehow infringing upon this woman’s rights by criticizing her. If you want to go beyond that and consider whether or not the criticism was valid in an ethical or moral sense, I think you should consider that this woman made a public demonstration designed to draw attention and then posted a photo of it on the internet along with her own opinions about formula being poison (clearly a criticism of anyone who feeds it to her baby). That it invited criticism should be no surprise to anyone. If activism meant spouting your opinions and then everyone being obliged to pat you on the back and congratulate you then we’d all be activists.

            And I’m happy when people say nasty things about formula feeders, etc. on a public, democratic forum. Far better for them to air them there and have to confront debate and dissent than to harbor them quietly and disseminate them via echo chamber.

          • August 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

            Really? You’re HAPPY when people like Margaret spread the horseshit she’s spewing below? Because personally, I think it’s harmful and misleading. Sure it makes her look like an asshole, but that doesn’t stop her from triggering post partum depression, as was also discussed below. I don’t think she should say it. And that still doesn’t mean I’m calling for the comments to be censored.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

            No seriously, I think it’s FANTASTIC when people like Margaret show up. For every internet Margaret there are probably 100 more people at home who believe and spread the same nonsense to vulnerable mothers who don’t have the resources on hand to immediately challenge and dispute those assumptions. It’s infinitely more valuable to have those views aired, debated, and discussed.

          • August 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

            Fine, great, you think it’s great when she exposes her opinions here.

            Would anyone argue with me if I said she shouldn’t tell exhausted new mothers to stop feeding their babies poison?

            If I said that (and I do) would you accuse me of trying to shut down her free speech?

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

            I’d say that was a beautiful example of the power of free speech, and I’d join you in saying it to her. If she didn’t come here and we weren’t free to challenge her on it do you think she’d ever have the opportunity to reconsider her obviously well-entrenched views? I don’t believe in miracles, but maybe hearing some well-reasoned dissenting opinions for the first time might have softened her position a little. And other people can read the debate and see that there are multiple sides to the issue and draw their own conclusions. Debate is a healthy thing.

          • August 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

            But that’s what I’m saying (I think… I’ll be honest, this comment thread has sort of gotten away from me)…

            Any one of us might say that Margaret ought not be saying those things to moms who are already vulnerable… That’s not the same thing as saying she should be put in jail for saying it.

            And when someone comes in and says Amy shouldn’t have written this post… that’s not the same thing as saying the blog should be taken down. They are arguing that the post is damaging, or inaccurate, or whatever. I’m not arguing that they’re RIGHT. I’m just saying its not censorship to tell someone to shut up, it’s only censorship if you seek out an injunction to SHUT them up.

          • August 7, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

            And yeah, I wouldn’t hold my breath on her views softening. I’ve been reading this blog for two and a half years… But Margaret’s comments may be the first time I’ve actually been utterly furious about what someone had to say.

            I’m not sure whether it was her implication that teen mothers aren’t trying hard enough to nurse, or her assertion that bottles are only warranted in emergencies that pushed me over the edge…

          • Kalacirya
            August 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

            Sure it’s just in general logic, but I think it’s safe to say that many Americans really don’t understand what exactly they have rights to or protections from. Ultimately, even if you are so criticized that you speech is effectively suppressed, then your legally derived rights don’t protect you from being shouted down by the citizenry, but you are protected from the government. I see misinterpretations of free speech rights all over the place.

        • Dr Kitty
          August 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

          I was trying to think of a gender neutral analogy of going after “big business” in a pointless way which involved nudity, which is why I thought of that.

          You may not be aware of this, but at the moment, in the UK Stella Creasy and Caroline Criado Perez are facing threats of rape and death on Twitter for protesting that the only female face on UK banknotes, other than the Queen, was about to be replaced with yet another DWM.

          Now, THEIR activism I support, and while I expect they were prepared for criticism and debate, I suspect they were entirely unprepared for the abuse they have got.
          But they aren’t backing down.

          I’m not against activism, I just think treating the world like an Internet forum where “non supportive replies will be deleted” is not effective.

          If you want to be an activist, may be actually try some activism that changes hearts and minds, instead of just
          making people ask themselves if you’ve really thought it through.

          • August 7, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

            But eating quinoa naked just has nothing to do with the issue the pretend man is protesting while a bare breast is obviously related to a breastfeeding protest.

            That said, I don’t consider this photo a breastfeeding protest. I think it’s a silly meme photo for breastfeeding activists to share on Facebook. I’m not arguing that its effective or meaningful.

            Let’s say Stella, after getting a death threat, said, you know, I have a family to think about, I’m out.

            By your logic, because she was unprepared to FACE the backlash, she should have kept her mouth shut in the first place.

            Now a death threat isn’t protected speech, and it’s not really a parallel case, but I don’t think it’s right to claim that if you get pissed off/hurt feelings from criticism, you shouldn’t speak out at all.

    • Meerkat
      August 7, 2013 at 10:38 am #

      This woman is not an activist. Activists pick an issue they are passionate about and work tirelessly to make a difference. Does she feel passionate about breastfeeding and have time and energy to spare? There are real ways she can contribute to make the world a better place. How about making meals for parents whose babies are in NICU? I have said that before, but starting to petition Washington for a longer paid maternity leave would help lots and lots of women with longer breastfeeding. She could become a lactation consultant and volunteer her services to underprivileged women. It took me 2 minutes to come up with these ideas and any one of these things would be a hundred times more helpful than her “advertising.” Unfortunately the things above are boring and require real work and effort.
      Everybody knows about benefits of breastfeeding, the public does not need these rogue “educators” and advocates.” I especially don’t need a girl 15 years my junior to do that.

  27. Cynthia Amber Downer
    August 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    “One of the themes of this blog is that natural childbirth advocacy,
    homebirth, lactivism and attachment parenting have little to do with
    birth, babies or children. They are about mothers and how they would
    like to see themselves, specifically how they would like to boost their
    fragile self-esteem by denigrating other mothers.”

    Um, I’m pro-natural childbirth and practice attachment parenting.. And yet, I don’t bring it up/talk to others about unless I am asked, or in this case where I am accused of having a fragile self-esteem and denigrating other mothers because of my own views/way that I would like for myself to parent/birth my own child. Just sayin!

    #MommyRights, be they home birth, hospital birth, c-sect, epidural, formula, BM, baby wearing, strollers, or what the hell ever!

    • Cynthia Amber Downer
      August 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

      And I guess my point is, moms have the right to parent/labor/birth however they want WITHOUT being judged, and I feel like this post is judging me!

      • I don't have a creative name
        August 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

        Clearly it’s not talking about you, though. If you’re okay with loving choices that are different than your own, than you are NOT one of the ones being spoken of. And welcome!

      • LibrarianSarah
        August 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

        To a point this is true. But lets be honest their are some parents that deserved to be judged. If a mother purposely leaves her kid belted into a hot car. I’m going to judge her. If a mother beats her kids to the point of leaving physical marks I’m going to judge her. If I mother neglects her kid. I’m going to judge her. And if a mother lets her kid die because she thinks it’s better to pray over a dying child than call 911. I am going to judge her. If a kid dies from a vaccine preventable disease because mom didn’t want to her special snowflake to get his/her shots. I am going to judge her and I’d judge her especially harshly if it was someone else’s kid.

        All parenting decision are not created equal and sometimes judgement is necessary. What we need to do is reserve our judgement for when demonstrable harm is done.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        August 6, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

        And I guess my point is, moms have the right to parent/labor/birth
        however they want WITHOUT being judged, and I feel like this post is
        judging me!

        Why? Do you make a narcissistic, grandstanding display of breastfeeding and advertise a picture all over the internet?

        Because that is what this post is criticizing.

        • Claudia Weil
          August 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

          It’s called activism. It comes in many forms.

          • Kalacirya
            August 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

            And some are ineffective an annoying. Do you have any evidence that this type of demonstration ends itself to its purported goals?

          • Box of Salt
            August 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

            I’m curious, Claudia Weil “It’s called activism”: what do you think the message is here (of the discussed photo)? What is the goal of this particular act? And who is the target audience?

          • August 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

            I actually DON’T think the photo is activism. I don’t think it’s really meant to convince anyone to breast feed. It’s more like a LOL cat. It is orchestrated for its viral potential, and it’s meant as a funny statement against “big formula.”

            At least that’s how I’m taking it, and I actually do find it sort of funny in that context. Though as I said before, the neon green bag kinda kills it artistically.

          • KarenJJ
            August 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

            That was my first impression and I thought the reaction was overkill, but she seems to be aligned with a side of lactivism that is well beyond the ‘breast is best’ message.

          • August 6, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

            I am WAY too lazy to research the earth mother in the photo. As an image, it’s got meme potential is all I’m saying.

            I remember she did leave some comments further down on this post… But they’ve been so overshadowed by Margaret or Martha or whoever that I don’t remember how out there they were.

          • BeatlesFan
            August 7, 2013 at 11:30 am #

            You had to mention LOLcats… now I want to take this photo and photoshop a word bubble above the baby with “nom nom nom” written in it.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 7, 2013 at 2:20 am #

            Can you imagine if she had been standing in front of the formula table with a petition for people to sign with a presentation that went something like “I am here to promote breast feeding, because I feel it best meets the needs of infants. I am seeking to call attention to the paltry amounts of paid maternity leave in this country. I feel that extended paid parental leave supports the needs of women who would like to breastfeed. Would you like to sign my petition to help families get extended parental leave?” THAT is a goal, even if what she wishes to see is more breast feeding and no formula, and most families would be on board with something like that. Again, it’s easier to pay lip service to the value of breast feeding, harder to promote values that actually support breast feeding.

          • wookie130
            August 6, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

            Claudia, you’ll have to break it down for us then. Because I’m a formula-feeding mom, and seeing the flower-child chick BFing in front of a formula advertising table does not inspire me to BF. It does nothing to further the cause of breastfeeding…if anything, it makes me roll my eyes, while I warm up a bottle for my daughter. How is she influencing anyone’s infant feeding choices? I didn’t see the picture, and feel remotely compelled to attempt to relactate, or to sing the praises of BFing from the rooftops. I guess this “form” of “activism” was of the lame variety, seeing as it’s probably not going to influence the behavior or beliefs of others.

          • Bombshellrisa
            August 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

            The woman in the picture stated that she felt public breastfeeding needed support. How does removing one’s top and breastfeeding in front of a formula table convinced people that public breastfeeding shouldn’t be judged?

          • PJ
            August 7, 2013 at 10:02 am #

            “Activism” isn’t a magical, get out of criticism card. You can be an activist with a questionable cause. You can be an activist who uses questionable means. Much like the subject of this post, in fact.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 10:18 am #

            You can be a narcissist and try to hide behind “activism”

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 10:26 am #

            BTW, where are all the “money grubbing” complainers in this?

            Note that this woman, apparently, has a thing about promoting “homemade formula.” Oh gee, and she opposes formula companies. Big surprise there.

      • Happy Sheep
        August 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

        No, they have the right to parent/birth/feed how they want, but clearly others can judge you for it.
        If you’re feeding your baby home made formula with raw milk – I’m going to judge you
        If you try for a freebirth – judge
        If you’re having an hbac7c against all medical advice – judge
        If you’re making how you feed you baby about YOU and not feeding the baby – I’m going to judge you.
        I won’t be mean about it, but I sure as heck will challenge you on your choices because they not just affecting you, there affecting someone who doesn’t get a say. I’m also not out to take your right to do the above away from you, but you don’t get a free pass to stupid town under the guise of “everyone is special and different”.

        • Cynthia Amber Downer
          August 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

          I’m not really sure where the other replies to my comment went, I’m not used to Disqus, but I guess those are all some valid points. Causing harm is worthy of judgement. And I suppose you can judge an individual on what she does. But i don’t think it’s fair to say ALL pro-natural child birth people, ALL attachment parenters, etc. “have fragile self esteem” and “denegrate other mothers”. I have never pushed my views onto others/told someone she was a bad mom because she had drugs during labor/etc. I talk with people about NCB, AP, BLW, BFing, CDs, etc. when they ask me to or bring it up.. And I mean, if I want to be proud of myself because of what I have done, and it boosts my self esteem, that’s on me – I don’t brag about it to others, so what does it hurt(again, as long as I am causing no harm)?

  28. stacey
    August 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    That there wasn’t a BF booth is a failure of the local BF community, or the manufacturers of pumps, etc. Not of FF companies.

    I am wondering why this mom was so upset about their being FF booths when there wasn’t a BF one, but was upset at the FF companies, instead of the local lactivists?

    There is NO reason why the local LLL, or a local IBCLC or LC, or even Medela, they couldn’t have put up a booth. They can pay to be there just like anyone else. So why not direct your ire towards them? THEY aren’t promoting BF- you cannot expect a FF company, or another unrelated company, to set up a BF booth.

    Really, it is NOT that hard. At just about every event here, there is a booth for BF, and often for AP parenting, and even NCB/HB MWs. Even at unrelated events! SO, why not at that baby fair?

    • Bombshellrisa
      August 6, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

      I thought there was a breastfeeding convention going on the same time as the baby expo, but in a different location.

  29. stacey
    August 6, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    What would happen if a mom sat in front of a LLL booth and FF her baby in this exact same way, then posted about it all over the web in “support” of FF moms?

    (Yeah, thats what I thought…)

    • moto_librarian
      August 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      The world would end, stacey.

      • stacey
        August 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

        I know. It makes me want to take my EBF 17 mo and give her a bottle in front of the local BF booth, or at one of the “big latch ons”.

        • momof4
          August 7, 2013 at 12:22 am #

          because you REALLY think FF is WAY better than breastfeeding, right?…even when there is so much research that proves the VERY opposite…of course..whatever is better for mommy, right?…yeah, this BF’ing mommy is the narcissitic one..NOT…

          • August 7, 2013 at 12:29 am #

            Wow. You are not even in the same zip code as Stacy’s point.

          • KarenJJ
            August 7, 2013 at 12:30 am #

            If she thought that then why would she be breastfeeding her 17 month old?

            Not sure you’re replying to the post you intended to here.

            When the slightly more crazy posts arrive on Skeptical Ob at this time, I’m never sure whether it’s because the poster is sleep deprived from the US/UK, drunk or just another Aussie.

          • rh1985
            August 7, 2013 at 12:55 am #

            sometimes formula is a lot better. you can’t just make the comparison in a vacuum because sometimes because of the individual circumstances of the mother and/or baby, formula will be better. knowing my health and personal situation, there’s no way breastfeeding would be better, and if I forced myself to do it my baby would not benefit as the baby would have a very unhappy, sick, depressed mother who struggled to cope with everyday care.

          • Wren
            August 7, 2013 at 6:46 am #

            You know, I do think there are loads of circumstances in which formula is better. It was much better for my firstborn after he quit breast feeding (mentioned elsewhere in these comments if you really want to know). When I quit trying to pump enough to satisfy him while also trying to look after a walking, heck, running toddler we had a much happier time.

            Most babies get formula now and most are absolutely fine with it. There are plenty of circumstances in which it is the better choice for the family as a whole and the baby as a part of that family. I went through a major lactivist phase, but then I grew up.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            August 7, 2013 at 7:43 am #

            because you REALLY think FF is WAY better than breastfeeding, right?

            Yes, because without FF, my wife would have had to have left work, drive for an hour to come back and feed our son, and then drive an hour back to work, and do that for every three hours.

            So my wife could not have worked if we did not have formula to feed our son. FF was WAY better than breastfeeding under those circumstances. In fact, it was the only option.

            Do you disagree?

          • BeatlesFan
            August 7, 2013 at 11:33 am #

            That’s not the point. Nobody here is debating the “breast is best” mantra. The issue here isn’t BF vs FF, or even public breastfeeding. It’s about shoving your choices into everyone else’s face, and then claiming you aren’t being judgmental.

  30. Clarissa Darling
    August 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Usually I prefer to try and debate people on a calm and reasonable level but, what is coming next is a full out emotional tirade brought on by recent and raw personal experience. Reader discretion due to cuss words is advised:

    Dear Sanctomommies; I could give a flying fuck regarding what YOU think is a justifiable reason to use formula. You are a complete stranger to me and as far as I’m concerned you and your opinions can go fuck yourselves sideways. The problem I have is that your not so altruistic “concern” for women and their babies is affecting the lives vulnerable of women who haven’t built up the same level of immunity to your bullshit as I have. One such woman is my only sister. I learned last night she was hospitalized as a result of her PPD. I don’t know all the details except her husband reported her missing and when the police found her she was on a bridge. I only have God or the universe or whatever you believe is out there to thank that she was found safe and her kids weren’t with her. She obviously has a mental illness which is distorting her thinking. And, part of the manifestation of this illness has been that she has extreme anxiety regarding the breastfeeding difficulties that she is having with her son. It’s no wonder
    to me that with so much breastfeeding bullying disguised as support that in her fragile condition she has internalized the breast is best message to the level it has become an unhealthy obsession. No, she doesn’t want to give her child unscreened donor milk (who can blame her) but, because of the kinds of pressure and lies spread by self-serving santomommies coupled with her susceptible mental state, she absolutely terrified of feeding him formula. She has done exactly what you wanted—she’s run herself ragged trying to keep up with exclusive breastfeeding at all costs. Now instead of being at home and being a mom to her kids she is spending time in the psych ward. Are you satisfied yet? It’s all very nice of you to sit around on the internet patting yourself and your friends with functioning tits the back. But, you while you sit on the other side of the screen and lactate there are very real women and their families who are dealing with the very real and very negative consequences of your message.

    Of course I don’t blame breastfeeding or people who support it for PPD. But, if you are one of those women who can’t seem to offer your “support” without judging other women either directly or passive aggressively, if you do denigrate formula feeding mothers in the name of upholding women who want to breastfeed, if you spread outright lies about formula companies and the product they sell, you are doing nothing but feeding into the hype and exacerbating the anxiety felt by some of the very mothers you claim to express “concern” for. If “educating” people that “the breast is best, your health, sanity and personal choice be dammed!” is your definition of supporting women’s (breastfeeding or otherwise) rights, you can take it and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Your message is distorted, dangerous and destructive PERIOD.

    Last but not least, Thank you Dr. Amy for being a woman, a doctor and mother who takes a strong stand against this message. I know some critics would like you to change your tone. I respect you all the more for the fact you don’t care to soft pedal you views which, in my humble opinion, should continue to be stated forcefully, and without apology. If those with opposing views find your tone to be too “meeeeeen” perhaps they should take a good long look in the mirror and ask themselves why what they are saying needs to be countered with such outrage.

    • Tim
      August 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

      <3.. nuff said.

    • AllieFoyle
      August 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

      I’m so sorry for you and your sister. I hope she gets whatever help and support she needs and is better and home with her family soon. You are completely right about the people who promote these all-or-nothing ideologies adding unneeded stress on women at a very vulnerable time.

    • moto_librarian
      August 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

      I am so sorry that your sister is suffering from PPD. I am so glad that she was found and will start getting treatment. Stories like this make me absolutely irate with the sanctimommy brigade and their willful spread of misinformation and lies.

    • Amazed
      August 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

      I am so sorry for your sister. I hope she’ll get adequate help to overcome her PDD and stop being influenced by unneeded stress.

    • Box of Salt
      August 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      Clarissa, best wishes for your sister and her family

      Well said, and thank you for speaking up.

    • I don't have a creative name
      August 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

      “with so much breastfeeding bullying disguised as support that in her
      fragile condition she has internalized the breast is best message to the
      level it has become an unhealthy obsession.”

      I did that too, and I missed most of my oldest son’s early months because I was trying so hard to ebf – a losing battle, I might add. Utterly obsessed, and hating myself so much for “failing”. Wish I’d known then what I realized with 2 and 3.

      I hope you can help your sister see that lactivism is horseshit, and that whether it’s breast or formula, her baby is fed and loved and DOES NOT CARE HOW HE IS FED. The only people who are “hurt” by not ebf’ing are the fundamentalist lactavists who are devastated by people making choices different than their own. I hope she gets better soon. Would she even be open to reading some of Dr. Amy’s posts on this topic? It lays it out in such black and white terms how much of what the lactivists say is a lie.

      • moto_librarian
        August 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

        I found Dr. Amy’s blog during the postpartum haze after my first child’s birth. H1N1 was the big health scare at the time, and I vividly remember sitting in front of the television bawling my eyes out because I was sure that my son was going to get H1N1 and die because I could not nurse him. I am quite certain that had I not remained on my anti-depressants throughout my pregnancy, I would have have succumbed to a depressive episode. Dr. Amy helped me to get some perspective on the situation, and the commenters were overwhelmingly supportive during a difficult time.

        It makes me so angry when lactivists parachute in here and claim that the reason that I’m angry is because I don’t “own my choices” or that I feel “guilty.” My guilt about not being able to breastfeed was based on misinformation that is routinely trotted out by lactivists. It was an emotional reaction based on a faulty premise. So yes, if you come here and start wringing your hands about the poor babies who are getting formula, you can expect a response in kind.

        I thought that I left cliques and meen girls behind in high school.

        • KarenJJ
          August 6, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

          I wish I had found Dr Amy’s blog in the early days with my youngest. I didn’t have PPD, but thinking back I had some pretty serious anxiety issues going on and clinging to whatever I could find to reassure me things were OK. Breastfeeding was sold as such a positive thing that I focussed on that a lot – to our detriment. Luckily I didn’t come across any ‘formula as poison’ rubbish and I also had a friend that breastfed into toddler hood who occasionally gave bottles of formula when she needed a break and reassured me it was fine.

          Your story of your sister took my breath away and I am so relieved to hear she is getting help and was found.

          “I thought that I left cliques and meen girls behind in high school.”

          This. I’m now hitting the school years with my eldest and seeing it all over again…

      • Claudia Weil
        August 6, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

        Post partum depression is another issue that we should bring to peoples’ attention and not shame women about. But clearly, if other people’s opinions about breastfeeding are spurring women to suicide, this has nothing to do with breast feeding advocacy and everything to do with chemical imbalances. There will always be people with differing opinions about everything, but we don’t blame other people’s points of view for our own mental health difficulties. Bullying is very serious. Trying to raise awareness about women’s and infants’ health issues, no matter how awkwardly it’s done, is not bullying.

        • Clarissa Darling
          August 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

          “Trying to raise awareness about women’s and infants’ health issues, no matter how awkwardly it’s done, is not bullying.”

          Except when it is.

          • Claudia Weil
            August 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

            Posting a photo of yourself breastfeeding in front of a formula table at a baby fair is not bullying. I’m not saying that I would do that, but exactly what behaviors are people defining as “bullying”?

          • Clarissa Darling
            August 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

            To quote myself: If you are one of those women who can’t seem to offer your “support” without judging other women either directly or passive aggressively, if you do denigrate formula feeding mothers in the name of upholding women who want to breastfeed, if you spread outright lies about formula companies and the product they sell, you are doing nothing but feeding into the hype and exacerbating the anxiety felt by some of the very mothers you claim to express concern for……. “educating” people that “the breast is best, your health, sanity and personal choice be dammed!” IMHO that behavior crosses the line into bullying territory.

            It’s not this woman’s picture or even the act of her dressing up and taking the picture I have a problem with, it’s the ideology she adheres to. If that ideology is not clear to you from her picture you can read her facebook page. If you don’t see how such an ideology contributes to bullying and marginalization of women who make other choices then I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree because you will not convince me that it doesn’t.

          • moto_librarian
            August 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

            The same woman who pulled this little stunt also called formula “poison” and said that it would be better to make homemade formula. Do you think that those types of messages are helpful to women encountering breastfeeding difficulties? If telling another woman that she is poisoning her child doesn’t qualify as bullying, perhaps you can tell me what is?

            Thanks for dropping by to illustrate everything that’s wrong with lactivists.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 8:13 am #

            It’s the aggregation of many people doing and saying similar black and white things about the “right way” to do things that sets up an environment in which many women feel they must strive for something which is unattainable or unnecessarily burdensome. It’s easy to dismiss depression as a chemical imbalance, but the reality is that, in most cases, there are cognitive components. When women receive the message that they must meet a certain standard (unmedicated childbirth, exclusive breastfeeding, co-sleeping, 24/7 baby wearing, etc.) in order to be a good mother or that things like childbirth interventions, formula, and sleep training are actually harmful to their babies, it sets them up for exhaustion, isolation, and feelings of failure.

        • Sue
          August 7, 2013 at 12:28 am #

          Claudia’s response shows an astonishing lack of insight. PPD is definitely a mental illness, but it doesn’t occur independently of outside influences. Every additional stress adds to the person’s burden.

          Why does activism have to exclude compassion and understanding?

          I would happily mount a campaign against any formula company that tried to undermine breast feeding in the impoverished world, where there is no clean water. In any of our countries, very different matter. Save your awareness-raising for where it makes a difference.

        • prolifefeminist
          August 7, 2013 at 12:48 am #

          You clearly don’t understand the role triggers play in PPD and other forms of mental illness.

          Picture this – a young, first time mom, prone to clinical depression and anxiety, trying her very best to be the BEST mom she can possibly be because she loves her baby so very much…and despite her best efforts and with help, breastfeeding is just not going well. She’s pouring everything into it, and failing. The whole time she’s trying over and over and over again, possibly feeling like her own baby is rejecting her, she’s hearing the message repeated, “formula is poison…your baby won’t be as smart if you give it to him…he won’t have any immunities so he’ll keep getting sick…he’s more likely to DIE if you so much as supplement…a good mom will just keep trying and not give up…”

          Do you really not see how that combination of things could push someone over the edge? Throw in the massive postpartum hormonal shifts and sleep deprivation, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. I breastfed four kids through toddlerhood and exclusively pumped for a year and a half for a preemie – I am a big supporter of breastfeeding. But I’ve also struggled with PPD, so I’m realistic. And a lot of the hysteria out there promoting breastfeeding at all costs is a dangerous and unhealthy message, and it absolutely plays a big part in PPD for some women.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      August 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm #


      Obviously PPD requires intensive treatment and merely reassuring her about breastfeeding is not nearly enough, but if you think she would benefit from corresponding with me privately, please give her my email address (DrAmy5 at AOL dot com) and I will be more than happy to write to her.

      My children are young adults now, and could not care less how they were fed when they were infants. Being a good mother has nothing to do with breastfeeding; it is all about loving your children and accepting them for who they are, not about what you feed them.

    • amazonmom
      August 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

      My heart breaks when I read your sister’s story. It is very close to my own. I hope with treatment she feels better. Thank God she was found in time because what children want is their living healthy mother to be with them, breastfeeding means nothing compared to that.

    • wookie130
      August 6, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

      I am so sorry to hear of this…my thoughts and prayers are with your sister, and also with you, and the rest of your/her family. I hope she finds some inner peace soon, and that things begin to improve for her soon.

    • Clarissa Darling
      August 6, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

      Thank you other readers and Dr. Amy for your support and kindness. My sister has been trying to manage with her PPD for while and hopefully her recent hospitalization will serve as a wakeup call and a turning point. I pray she will eventually come through this and, in a healthier frame of mind will to come to understand that the idea of perfection in motherhood, whether in regards to BF, A/P or other parenting options that some consider “best”, is a myth. I hope in time I can introduce her to this blog and maybe she can find some support here as well.

    • prolifefeminist
      August 7, 2013 at 12:38 am #

      Clarissa…sending my very best heartfelt wishes and prayers for a speedy and full recovery for your dear sister. Having been down the road of suicidal PPD and back again, my heart truly aches for the very real pain she is and has been going through. It really is hell on earth. Thank God she was found in time and is receiving treatment. What a scary thing to go through. Wish I could just give her a big hug right now and tell her it really all WILL get better.

  31. Gretta
    August 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    Why do the weirdos have the corner on the breastfeeding market? I mean come on. I nursed all my kids but there is no way I would sit on the carpet of a public place, put some kind of flower wreath on my head and my baby’s head and have someone take a bunch of pictures. WTH.

    • AllieFoyle
      August 6, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

      Exactly. Way to ruin it for the rest of us, lactivists.

  32. Jessica M.
    August 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    So many presumptions of intentions by the author about this picture and in the article in general. Such ignorance is shown about breastfeeding here and I am surprised that “someone” made it through medical school. Just poor writing. I quit reading when I got to “bullshit”, which this article seems to be. If the author knew anything about breastfeeding she would know what a “selfless” act it is and how difficult it can be. Formula was originally intended for mothers who couldn’t breastfeed! Now for my presumption! I believe that this “M.D.” may be the actual narcissist in this particular instance and wants to create a stir and gain attention about what an uneducated, close minded, supposed medical doctor thinks about breastfeeding. So in turn this article is about the author! Well played, because now everyone is talking about this lame article.

    • Bombshellrisa
      August 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

      Did you hear that Dr Amy? Not only did you earn an MD, have a successful marriage and have natural births, now you can add “selfless” to your list of accomplishments cause you breastfed.

      • Jessica M.
        August 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

        Good for her! Thanks for pointing that out. Yes, it is selfless and can be very difficult for some. I applaud anyone who has children and takes good care of them no matter the means of food, (breast milk, formula) as long as it’s healthy.

        • Captain Obviois
          August 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

          You are selfless just for choseing to have and raise a child no matter how you feed them. Caring for a child (or the elderly) is selfless. You have to sacrifice your time and resources to provide for them. Why would you ever state that BF is selfless while insinuating that FF isn’t? Judgey much?

          • Jessica M.
            August 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

            I formula feed and breastfeed, so I know both sides. I don’t have time to make excuses for getting things done and spending time with my family BECAUSE I am doing things that need to be done and spending time with my family. I did not insinuate anything. Maybe you just read or interpreted wrong. But I believe you are right about caring for a child is selfless.

      • CanDoc
        August 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

        Pfff. Selfless? No way, man. Breastfeeding was the most selfish feeding choice I could think of:
        1) “Sorry, can’t do laundry/make supper/walk dog right now honey, I’m feeding the baby.”
        2) FIVE HUNDRED extra calories per day for me. Woot woot! I’ll have those in M and M’s, please.
        3) No way I’m figuring out how to sterilize bottles/nipples/etc, and sterilize/measure out/etc formula. Easier to whip out a boob and go back to my ereader.
        4) Extra money saved to use for M and M’s. And other snacks.
        5) Since my kids have all the benefits of breastfeeding, I don’t have to stimulate or interact with them in other ways. More cartoons for the kids, more me time for me. Right?
        (This is meant to be humorous but not satire. Breastfeeding really was a lazy choice for me, because it was easy, fortunately. The real selfless women are those feed, love, and nurture their children – however they do that.)

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          August 6, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

          It is pretty funny how breastfeeding is
          a) cheap, convenient, and easy, and
          b) Selfless sacrifice

          Some day, I am going to figure out the message.

          • Captain Obvious
            August 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

            Selfless is a father having to spend less time with his family in order to go away to work to make money to raise that family.

        • auntbea
          August 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

          Also: GIANT BOOBS

        • Wren
          August 7, 2013 at 11:04 am #

          I switched to formula at 9 1/2 months. That was hard. Breatfeeding was easy. It came easy to me, I was at home (and could have been even if I had been working thanks to better maternity leave policies here) and I always had my breasts with me. For me (and that’s the important thing, I’m talking about my particular case) it was by far the easier option and not selfless.

          • rh1985
            August 7, 2013 at 11:17 am #

            Having had to prepare bottles for an angry, screaming, hungry baby back when I was a nanny, I can see where breastfeeding would be easier if it’s something the mother does not have trouble with.

    • moto_librarian
      August 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

      Do you want a medal for breastfeeding?

      • moto_librarian
        August 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

        And yeah, I know that was snarky. I am just really tired of the idea that people who formula feed don’t really care as much about their children as those who breastfeed do.

        • Jessica M.
          August 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

          For your information, I breastfeed AND formula feed. Gasp!!! I was making no remarks about people who formula feed. We ALL presume too much.

          • moto_librarian
            August 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

            You were making a big deal about how “selfless” breastfeeding is, so forgive me for not guessing that you combo feed. For the record, Dr. Amy DID breastfeed all four of her children. She’s not against breastfeeding, but against stunts like this that are intended to shame other mothers.

          • Jessica M.
            August 6, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

            Didn’t try to make a “big deal” about it being selfless. Just one mention of the word and that’s great for her. Maybe if she would have mentioned that in the article it wouldn’t seem so harsh and written without experience.

          • August 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

            It’s not an article, it’s a blogpost. I know this sounds like snarky nitpicking, but I’m making the distinction for a reason. An article, is an informative piece that contains as much perminant information as possible… A blogpost… Isn’t.

            Amy has talked plenty on this blog about the fact that she nursed all her kids. Sort of like she has mentioned, repeatedly, that when she talks about homebirth midwives, she is talking about direct entry or certified professional midwives, NOT certified NURSE midwives, who receive a much more comprehensive education and who she has spoken of respectfully.

            If she had to rehash every bit of background for every blogpost… They’d be unreadable.

            I think her attack on this particular photo is overkill, it doesn’t particularly bother me. But I don’t see anything in this post that would be read as anti-breastfeeding.

          • Jessica M.
            August 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

            Thanks for the distinction about this writing, I didn’t pay attention that it was a blog post. My mistake. I am not a follower of her blog so I didn’t know her background. I didn’t say in my comment that this blog post was anti-breastfeeding.

          • August 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

            Then what’s your objection?

            I don’t necessarily agree with the post, but if you don’t think it’s attacking breastfeeding, I’m not sure what’s bothering you?

          • Jessica M.
            August 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

            The presumption of the intentions of the girl in the photo as well as “lactivists”.

          • August 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

            I didnt find the photo particularly anti-formula mom either, and actually found it kind of funny. I said as much earlier, but I think my comment got buried a few hundred comments ago. 🙂

            I DO think there are lactivists out there who are absolutely anti formula. Militantly so, and it’s damaging.

          • I don't have a creative name
            August 6, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

            She refers to all formula companies as being “predataory”, wanting to ruin all bf’ing so they can make money. There was really no presumption needed as to what her intention was.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            August 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

            Ironic that she doesn’t see what’s really predatory: bullying other mothers over something as trivial as what they feed their infants. It is the mommy equivalent of middle school cliques.

          • Jessica M.
            August 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

            Weird I don’t know why that says Margaret C.? That was my comment. -Jessica M.

          • August 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

            I see your name. Maybe it was a momentary glitch… Disqus can be weird.

          • Box of Salt
            August 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

            Disqus has been particularly glitchy in the last few days. For some reason it likes to attribute Margaret C’s comments to everyone else. This usually resolves if you refresh the page.

          • Box of Salt
            August 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

            Hah! When I posted my comment about Disqus it came up on my page as Jessica M!

    • stacey
      August 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

      Oh noes, those silly Moms CHOOSE FF! They aren’t suppose to do that! The worlds gonna end!!!

      You do realize that they made FF not because Moms couldn’t BF, but because they weren’t doing it, and were feeding their babies deadly things like raw milk instead, right? Doctors of that day were begging moms to BF, and they wouldn’t! Its not as if pre formula, all moms BF no problem. Nope. Many did not, or couldn’t, and were giving solids early, or other dangerous things.

      And DR Amy is pro BF. She EBF all 4 of kids! You have a reading comprehension issue. She is anti lactivists that say ridiculous and shaming things, not BF. Get it straight.

      (I say this as the mom of a EBF toddler and a FF son)

      • ratiomom
        August 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

        I’m another one of those meeeen doctors who are close minded and don’t know anything about the ‘dangers’ of formula. I feed the vile poison to my poor baby because *gasp* I like to share night feeds with my husband and work full time. Because I don’t like spending the lifelong day on the couch with my boobs hanging out. And guess what. .. the world didn’t end. The baby didn’t drop dead of some horrible disease and didn’t end up as a mentally retarded stripper. Turns out all that anti formula hate speech is just that: sanctimonious drivel from those whose only achievement and source of self esteem is their ability to lactate, and desperately need to drag other women down to their level. The lactivist emperor isn’t wearing clothes and this blov is one of the few brave enough to point that out.

        • Claudia Weil
          August 6, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

          Guess what? Not all mothers who BF their children spend the lifelong day on the couch with their boobs hanging out. What a rude person you are to say something like that! I forgot, you are a doctor, so you’re allowed to be a b%$@, Wrong – that doesn’t make you smart, or right, it just makes you nasty.

          • August 6, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

            Calm down… She’s saying it for humor, not to disparage breastfeeding. No one on this blog, seriously, NO ONE, is anti-breastfeeding. I think she’s just trying to say that she CHOSE formula feeding because breastfeeding held no appeal for her, and as a doctor, the proven health benefits weren’t enough to convince her.

            Honestly though those first couple weeks? I know it FELT like I spent them with my boobs hanging out, sitting on the couch all day. Between a baby who wouldn’t stop eating, and boobs that wouldn’t stop leaking, I didn’t have the time or energy to do much else. Fortunately that didn’t last forever!

          • J. Braidz
            August 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

            Meagan, I agree completely. In fact, in our family this phase you described lasted longer than “those first couple weeks”. Although I stuck to exclusive breastfeeding (w/ pumping) for 6 months, I would never condemn anyone for making different choices than I did. In fact, results of a recent study here in Norway suggest that 4 months may be the ideal time to start introducing other foods! (Finding out about that AFTERWARDS helps a whole lot!)

            I have to admit that I did NOT have the leaking breasts as you described. But with an incredible number of feedings per day, 2-3 nighttime feedings and incredibly short breaks between most feedings, I was exhausted. Thankfully I did not have sore nipples, I was spared that. I can only imagine how that would have been. When mothers choose not to breastfeed, and generally for very good reasons, they deserve all of our support.

            J. Braidz

          • August 6, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

            Yeah, I had over supply, which as breastfeeding problems go, is sort of the best one to have. On the other hand, I think it was six months before I could leave the house without nursing pads or sleep without a towel shoved down my bra, and I think the oversupply probably contributed to me getting mastitis. My son went from exact 50th percentile at birth for height and weigh to 90th for both at TWO MONTHS so I blame the milk rush on his absurd appetite.

            I don’t really care whether moms have a good reason for not breastfeeding. It’s none of my business. There are so many parenting decisions that have a bigger impact on their children’s lives than breastfeeding… and for the most part even THOSE are none of my business.

            You know where I wish breastfeeding activists would spend their energy? Longer family leave. Paid family leave. Paternity leave. Family friendly policies when parents return to work. Because right now makes zero difference if formula companies are “targeting” poor women with their advertising. Nursing is a near impossibility for many people, and “education” won’t help them.

          • Wren
            August 7, 2013 at 11:00 am #

            Meagan, we are breastfeeding twins. I had serious oversupply and I’m pretty sure that’s why my son’s tongue-tie wasn’t noticed until much later. It was an unusual presentation and really all he had to do was latch for a few seconds to get let down then try to swallow all that poured out. He gained quickly, but then my daughter, who latched well, gained even faster. She went from under 25th percentile at birth to over 91st at 13 weeks. (She’s happily at 50th percentile now, 2 days before her 6th birthday.)

          • Ratiomom
            August 6, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

            I’m not anti breastfeeding. Many of my friends breastfeed and we all get along just fine. I’m against taking away a woman’s right to choose. The person who started this thread pointed out that she felt formula should only be available to those who cannot breastfeed. That means forcing all women into bf-ing at all costs. When someone wants to take away my right to decide what I do with my own body, and my right to choose what I think is best for my family, I get snarky.

          • KarenJJ
            August 6, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

            I did. It was one of the most fucking depressing times of my life, made only more bearable by my beautiful baby that I never saw because she was stuck to my boob the whole time. She was also going hungry and losing weight. Bottlefeeding made a happier mum and happier and healthier baby. That’s what matters, right Claudia?

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        August 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

        You do realize that they made FF not because Moms couldn’t BF, but
        because they weren’t doing it, and were feeding their babies deadly
        things like raw milk instead, right?

        Note that I asked Margaret if she knew why formula was invented yesterday, but she never responded. Those who did respond had a lot of fun, though. I enjoyed their responses. They were funny.

  33. June
    August 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    I don’t even know what to think about this article or the comments left here. It’s amazing that formula companies and mothers who use formula are allowed to do and say whatever they please but a breastfeeding mother gets bashed if she makes anyone aware she is a breastfeeding mother. If I’ve learned anything in my time as a mother who breastfeeds, it’s that the mere act of me breastfeeding is enough to offend someone. It doesn’t matter whether I am covered in public or not. It doesn’t matter if I make every effort to keep things hidden. If a person even finds out that I breastfeed they might get offended for many reasons. It’s absolutely ridiculous. And the crazy amount of misinformation here is just astounding. It’s amazing that as a doctor you are so horribly misinformed on the benefits of breastfeeding and the actual, real dangers of formula. Honestly, this whole thing sounds like it’s motivated by your own guilt about your choices than anything else.

    • tim
      August 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      Nobody is bashing anyone for being a breastfeeding mother. They are making fun of the immature spectacle of plopping yourself down in front of enfamils booth to bf with a photographer at the ready to capture the moment so you can get atta-girls from the rest of the people who think formula companies are the devil.

      It’s the same thing as someone stopping at a LLL booth to plop down their bottle and can of formula, mix it up, and then feed the baby while having it photodocumented so you can piss off BF activists online. It’s childish nonsense, and it promotes this stupid feeding war mentality that exists in america, because our lives are so frigging amazing that we have time and money to expend effort on caring what other people feed their kids like it makes a lick of difference.

      It’s the ultimate expression of spoiled white nonsense by spoiled white people who have no real problems in their lives.

      • June
        August 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

        Do you know why lactivists exist in the first place? Breastfeeding rates seriously declined because of the upper class being told it was barbaric. Who wants to look like a poor person? That’s one of the biggest reasons wetnurses existed. Then formula came along and it was advertised as superior and doctors jumped on that bandwagon because they get kickbacks from the formula companies. It became so uncommon that any woman who breastfed got ridiculed and harassed. And yes, that still happens frequently. Breastfeeding mothers need support. It’s a real need. There are many obstacles a woman might face because even though it’s a natural thing it doesn’t just happen for everyone. There is a real issue when a mother is given suggestions like ‘just use a little formula, you need a break’ instead of being given support and actual advice for how to fix the problems she is facing. When a problem exists, such as a person being harassed and discriminated against, it only changes when it’s addressed publicly. That is why lactivists exist. This is the response to breastfeeding mothers being told to cover up or hide in a bathroom or their car. It’s the response to mother’s being told what they are biologically designed to feed their child isn’t adequate. It’s the response to women being told repeatedly to not trust themselves or their bodies.

        Breastfeeding should stop being labeled a matter of choice also. There are real benefits to a baby getting breast milk instead of formula. Real benefits that have been proven repeatedly, such as lower risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart issues when they are older. Those are public health issues.

        • tim
          August 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

          Except the subject of Dr Amy’s post wasn’t protesting the organizers of the event, or anybody else telling her to cover up or looking down on her for BF’ing or anything of the sort. She was engaging in a childish stunt to stick it to enfamil because she thinks they are “evil” and bad. That’s counterproductive and stupid.

          If the owners of a restaurant illegally tell a woman she can’t breastfeed there, and a hundred women stage a feed-in demonstration to shame him/her into complying with the law and what is objectively “right”, I will rah rah right along with them. This wasn’t that, no matter how bad you want it to be.

          • June
            August 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

            Have you seen any of the stories about how babies in third world countries are doing these days after formula companies went in and told mothers that formula was better? Have you ever actually looked at the ingredient list of formula? Formula companies are terrible.

          • moto_librarian
            August 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

            Yup, I have looked at the ingredients in formula since both of my kids required that it have no cow’s milk protein or soy. Nothing terribly scary.

            If you want to take issue with formula marketing in the developing world, that is indeed a different issue. Lack of access to clean water is an issue, and breastfeeding is usually better (unless the mother has HIV). The point is that in the developed world, the benefits of breast vs. bottle are negligible.

          • Margaret C
            August 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

            It’s like the difference between telling someone to drink a cup of gravy or a cup of juice. Sure they’re both drinkable and if we really had to argue about it than sure graveyard is the same as juice in that they’re both liquids and have some nutrients. But in the end gravy is fat and flour and juice is for gods sake juice.

          • Margaret C
            August 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

            Gravy not graveyard. Autocorrect flew by me.

          • moto_librarian
            August 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

            So now we’re going to compare breastmilk to juice and formula to gravy? Formula is designed to have the same nutritional benefits as breastmilk (and actually exceeds it by including some vitamins that are often lacking in breastmilk, like D and iron). A more apt comparison would be orange juice fortified with calcium vs. fresh-squeezed. But yeah, let’s pretend that giving your kid formula is like feeding him gravy out of a bottle.

          • Tim
            August 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

            If you could only ingest gravy or juice, and nothing else, you would probably survive for a lot longer off the gravy than off the juice tbh.

          • moto_librarian
            August 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

            Maybe we should both start feeding our kids gravy to see if that helps them gain weight, Tim?

          • tim
            August 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

            Haha. I keep telling her GI that if she ever gets over her dairy allergy, I’m going to start putting heaping piles of butter onto everything she eats.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            August 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

            Now that is a seriously stupid argument, but then just about all the arguments you’ve made are moronic.

            When it comes right down to it, you have no idea what the science shows about anything. You believe what you want to believe and the science be damned.

            And then you, and lactivists like you, wonder why people think you are nothing more than judgmental fools.

          • Esther
            August 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

            Perhaps you didn’t get the memo, but juice isn’t very good for kids – or adults either. Unlike formula (see above), it can contribute to both overweight and underweight.

          • Tim
            August 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

            Have you ever looked at the ingredient list for human beings? Ew. Terrible. Carbon? That’s like, charcoal. Why do we have so many goddamn chemicals inside us? The last time they did bloodwork on me they said i had POTASSIUM in me. POTASSIUM, can you believe it? If you put that in water it explodes!

            Formula companies helped me keep my family going and my daughter alive when I was spending thousands of dollars on hospital admissions, outpatient copays, and cardiac medication for my child. Not only is my kiddo alive because hydrolyzed formula exists, but I’m not in debt because they gave me tons of gift checks and boxes of free powder after I talked to their call center reps about our situation and her condition, and how my insurance wouldn’t pay for the special formula.

          • KarenJJ
            August 6, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

            OMG and don’t forget the dihydrogen monoxide parents cut it with..

          • Esther
            August 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

            Lemme see…Putrescine, Spermine, Spermidine…oh wait, those are breastmilk ingredients!

            As for what the formula companies may or may not have done in the distant past, the anti-formula orgs have largely outgrown their usefulness. Most of their complaints nowadays seem to consist of screeching about complementary foods marketed to babies from 4 months old instead of 6 months (though the Europeans have long since gone back to recommending complementary feeding at that age) and enforcing the outdated, draconian WHO Code as if it were the Holy Bible.

          • VeritasLiberat
            August 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

            Fear of formula ingredient list = “I know nothing about food science or chemistry, and I don’t care. Words I don’t understand scare me.”

          • rh1985
            August 6, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

            The issue in third world countries is lack of safe, clean water, not the formula itself.

          • August 7, 2013 at 12:05 am #

            Still reprehensible for formula companies, fully knowing about water quality issues, to push formula in third world countries. I’m with them on that. But it’s entirely irrelevant to the mommy-wars breast vs formula crap that gets stirred up in this country.

          • rh1985
            August 7, 2013 at 12:59 am #

            Oh, I agree with both your first and second point.

          • AllieFoyle
            August 7, 2013 at 8:28 am #

            I know people like to believe that breast milk contains pure magic fairy dust for superior babies, but it’s full of contaminants too. Depending on what the mother has been exposed to in her environment, breast milk can contain concerning levels of organic compounds like PCBs, as well as heavy metals and hormone-disrupters.

          • Margaret C
            August 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

            So numbers make what’s right in this country, thank you, I was soo confused.

          • tim
            August 6, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

            It would be just as fine