The narcissism of lactivism

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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!

Bullshit!

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.

  • Jeanette

    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.

  • Jennifer Summers

    I cannot possibly tell you how much I love this.

  • Roberto

    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

      (add) still she went a little overboard

  • kelster

    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

      What’s sad about it?

      • RakishLass

        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

          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

          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.

  • roddy

    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

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

  • Lisa

    Apologies if someone else has posted this: http://interruptingearthmother.tumblr.com/

  • Anonnymommy

    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

      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

        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

          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

            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

        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.

  • PrimaryCareDoc

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

    http://www.mommyish.com/2013/08/08/10-places-breastfeed-elicia-binman-formula-booth/

    • Box of Salt

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

      • Clarissa Darling

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

    • An Actual Attorney

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

    • Pharmacist Sarah

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

    • GuestB

      The one on the escalator was hilarious!!

    • Sue

      That made my day – thanks!

  • Gedi

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

  • JoannaDW

    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

      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!

  • yentavegan

    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

      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.

  • Sarah, PharmD

    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.

  • JoannaDW

    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

      A-freaking-men. Thank you!

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

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

  • Wren

    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

      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

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

      • Wren

        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

          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

            ” 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

            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

            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

            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

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

          • Karen in SC

            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

            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

            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

            Elicia,
            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

            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

            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

            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

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

          • Box of Salt

            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

            …and for goodness sake, where was your blouse?

          • Wren

            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

            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

            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

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

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            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

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

          • Bombshellrisa

            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

            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

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

          • Tim

            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

            I’ve never seen those covers.

          • Tim

            Here’s an example of that kind:

            http://www.amazon.com/JJ-Cole-Original-Bundleme-Graphite/dp/B003KN27C8/ref=pd_cp_ba_0

            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

            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

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

          • Bombshellrisa

            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

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

          • rh1985

            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

            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.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAYL5H46QnQ

            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.

          • 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

            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

            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

            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

            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.

          • 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

            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

            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

            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

            Got anything to back up those claims?

      • Captain Obvious

        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

          jb is Elicia (or her husband).

        • S

          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.

  • yentavegan

    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

      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

        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

          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

            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

          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

            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

            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

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

          • S

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

          • BeatlesFan

            *sprays coffee all over keyboard from laughing*

        • prolifefeminist

          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.

  • JoannaDW

    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

      “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

        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

      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

      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

        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.”

  • picklepicker

    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

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

      • picklepicker

        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!

  • Christine Martin

    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

      “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

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

        • LibrarianSarah

          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

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

          • Happy Sheep

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

          • LibrarianSarah

            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

            Does he chase moon shadows?

          • Happy Sheep

            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

        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

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

        • LibrarianSarah

          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

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

      • Christine Martin

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

  • Brandi Mac

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

    • LibrarianSarah

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

      • Kalacirya

        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

          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

            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

            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

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

          • Happy Sheep

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

          • Meerkat

            I have a goof one- baby hatter!

          • Happy Sheep

            Or patter or chatter.

          • Meerkat

            Haha!

          • Bombshellrisa

            I like douche waffle. It’s gender neutral.

          • prolifefeminist

            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

            I have to get that for my husband!

          • Awesomemom

            Everyone has one, just like opinions.

          • AllieFoyle

            also: old.

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

          • Kalacirya

            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

            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

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

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

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

    • Jocelyn

      And get back to work in the kitchen!

    • prolifefeminist

      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

        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

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

  • jb

    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

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

      • jb

        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

          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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

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

          • theNormalDistribution

            I’m afraid you missed my point completely.

          • AllieFoyle

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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.

          • 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

            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

            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

            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?

          • 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

            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

            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

            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.

          • 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

            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

            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

            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

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

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            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

            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

            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

            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

            good point, honestly.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

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

          • theNormalDistribution

            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

            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

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

          • Kalacirya

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

          • jb

            🙂

          • Box of Salt

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

      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

        Elicia’s ignorance about formula has now gone viral.

        • jb

          🙂

    • AllieFoyle

      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

        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

          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

      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

        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

          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

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

          • BeatlesFan

            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

        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

          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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            jb,

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

          • jb

            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

            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

            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

      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.

      • jb

        Thank you!

    • PJ

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

      • jb

        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

          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

            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

            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

          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

          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

          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

          she just wants people to be educated

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

          • jb

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

      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

        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

        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

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

          • S

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

          • jb

            lol. i have seen the same thing

        • jb

          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

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

          • jb

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

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

          • S

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            “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

            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

            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.

  • fiftyfifty1

    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

      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

        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

          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

            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

            I updated the list.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            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

            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

        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

          A-ha! I think we are getting somewhere.

          • fiftyfifty1

            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

            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.

      • I think step 3 is “profit!”

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

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

  • Desiree Despen

    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

      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

      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

      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.

  • PollyPocket

    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!

  • Amanda Kowalski

    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

      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

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

  • letjoy

    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.

    • 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

      “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.

  • Claudia Weil

    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

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

      • Claudia Weil

        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

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

          • Bombshellrisa

            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

          “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

          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

      ” 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

        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

          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

          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

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

    • PollyPocket

      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

      >>>>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

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

    • Dr Kitty

      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.

      • 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

          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.

          • 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

            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
            domain.”

          • 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

            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

            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

            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

            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.

          • 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

            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?”

          • 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

            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

            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.

          • “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

            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

            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

            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.

          • 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

            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.

          • “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

            >>>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.

          • 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

            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.

          • 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

            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.

          • 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

            ARGH BUT THOSE PEOPLE’S GOAL WAS **NOT** TO AVOID CRITICISM.

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

          • auntbea

            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.

          • 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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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

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

          • Kalacirya

            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

            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.

          • 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

            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.

          • 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

            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.

          • 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

            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

            >>>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.

          • 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

            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.

          • 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

            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.

          • 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.

          • 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

            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

          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.

          • 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

      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.

  • Cynthia Amber Downer

    “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

      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

        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

        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

        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

          It’s called activism. It comes in many forms.

          • Kalacirya

            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

            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?

          • 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

            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.

          • 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

            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

            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

            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

            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

            “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

            You can be a narcissist and try to hide behind “activism”

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            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

        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

          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)?

  • stacey

    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

      I thought there was a breastfeeding convention going on the same time as the baby expo, but in a different location.

  • stacey

    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

      The world would end, stacey.

      • stacey

        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

          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…

          • Wow. You are not even in the same zip code as Stacy’s point.

          • KarenJJ

            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

            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

            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

            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

            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.

  • Clarissa Darling

    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

      <3.. nuff said.

    • AllieFoyle

      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

      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

      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

      Clarissa, best wishes for your sister and her family

      Well said, and thank you for speaking up.

    • I don’t have a creative name

      “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

        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

          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

        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

          “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

            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

            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

            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

            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

          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

          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

      Clarissa,

      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

      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

      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

      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

      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.

  • Gretta

    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

      Exactly. Way to ruin it for the rest of us, lactivists.

  • Jessica M.

    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

      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.

        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

          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.

            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

        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

          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

            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

          Also: GIANT BOOBS

        • Wren

          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

            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

      Do you want a medal for breastfeeding?

      • moto_librarian

        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.

          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

            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.

            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.

          • 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.

            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.

          • 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.

            The presumption of the intentions of the girl in the photo as well as “lactivists”.

          • 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

            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

            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.

            Weird I don’t know why that says Margaret C.? That was my comment. -Jessica M.

          • I see your name. Maybe it was a momentary glitch… Disqus can be weird.

          • Box of Salt

            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

            Hah! When I posted my comment about Disqus it came up on my page as Jessica M!

    • stacey

      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

        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

          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.

          • 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

            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

          • 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

            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

            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

            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

        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.

  • June

    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

      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

        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

          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

            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

            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

            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

            Gravy not graveyard. Autocorrect flew by me.

          • moto_librarian

            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

            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

            Maybe we should both start feeding our kids gravy to see if that helps them gain weight, Tim?

          • tim

            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

            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

            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

            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

            OMG and don’t forget the dihydrogen monoxide parents cut it with..

          • Esther

            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

            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

            The issue in third world countries is lack of safe, clean water, not the formula itself.

          • 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

            Oh, I agree with both your first and second point.

          • AllieFoyle

            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

            So numbers make what’s right in this country, thank you, I was soo confused.

          • tim

            It would be just as fine if it was one woman, it just sounded more epic to say a hundred. (Seriously, a small army of moms overrunning a restaurant to have a nurse-in would be pretty newsworthy)

            What matters is the INTENT OF THE ACT, which if you’ll notice in my example is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from the stated intent of the mother who took this picture. Reading comprehension, try some.

          • GiddyUpGo123

            I good lord, you’re making yourself look like you really *are* confused. Tim’s point had nothing to do with numbers. Reread it … maybe you’ll understand it the second time around.

          • BeatlesFan

            They do when it’s 3 IQ points.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          That’s right; breastfeeding rates declined dramatically in the early decades of the 20th Century. Can you offer any evidence that the decline in breastfeeding rates was accompanied by a decline in health, well being or IQ of children?

          You can’t because all measures of child wellbeing INCREASED at the same time that breastfeeding rates decreased.

          So why do you care if other women don’t breastfeed when it’s obvious that children do not suffer as a result?

          • Margaret C

            Children don’t suffer from colds and ear infections the way parents do. Kids grow up and forget but for parents it’s a life altering trauma. No breastfeeding doesnt stop all ear infections but any measure of protection can be empowering to parents. It isn’t just the fats, proteins, and carbs that are missing from bottle formula it’s passive immunity. What I don’t like about your article is that it attacks everything and gives no solution to anything. Your like a child saying “hey everybody, look at the dirty naked hippy! She’s doing something bad! Everything associated with her is bad! Lets all point and laugh!”. God forbid if any of that criticism turns back on you. All the venom and indignation that anyone dare give information or normalize breastfeeding helps nothing. How is anything the girl pictured above did any more childish than your attempt to use it as a call to arms for everyone who hates the system but don’t think they’re part of it or want to do anything to change it. Rather than just saying “we hate lactivists” try something productive.

          • tim

            You think a baby with a cold or an ear infection is a life altering trauma for a parent? Seriously? Look, I don’t want to play the “compare how scared you were” game, but seriously. This is as patently ridiculous as calling a cervical check upon hospital admission rape.

          • Margaret C

            So I’m to ignore to stress of chronic ear infections but accept that somehow a well breastfed baby became dehydrated in a span if eight hours and that justifies not giving any information about breastfeeding. Don’t try to pick and choose your ridiculous because I already think you are.

          • moto_librarian

            Um, did you actually read Gene’s response? She said that the baby was NOT dehydrated, but a bit hypoglycemic and very hungry.

            You know what works well for kids with chronic ear infections that are caused by anatomy problems? Tubes.

          • Margaret C

            Brilliant idea! Surgery on every baby ever born! You’re a marvel. Really. FYI without numbers it’s a bit subjective to say a baby is hypoglycemic because while 50 is pretty standard for a baby it’s a crisis for an adult so no, not sold on that bs.

          • tim

            Wait, every baby has chronic ear infections? I must have missed that memo.

            Pretty sure that an ED pediatrician knows what are normal blood sugar levels for a newborn, so pardon us for taking them at their word. They were a) there and b) a trained pediatrician after all.

            Unless you believe that claptrap about how they force formula into all babies who dip below 45mmol/dl for 5 minutes at all these evil anti-bf hospitals. I heard that’s the latest fear mongering claim out there.

          • amazonmom

            Bwahahaha! We “force supplementation” into all symptomatic babies at work even if their numbers are 40 and above! Still have our Baby Friendly status too!

          • moto_librarian

            Yeah, I’m recommending surgery for every single baby ever born. Kids who get chronic (6+ infections over the course of a year) usually have an anatomical issue with their eustachian tubes. As children grow, the problem usually corrects itself. No amount of breastmilk is going to correct a structural issue.

            I’m not saying that passive immunity isn’t helpful, but IIRC, once the baby’s gut seals, the ability to absorb the mother’s antibodies is greatly diminished. This happens fairly early in a child’s life (6 weeks?).

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Again.

            GENE
            IS
            A
            PEDIATRICIAN

            She knows more about hypoglycemia and baby medicine than you.

          • amazonmom

            Not sold on that BS, you are comedy gold.

          • BeatlesFan

            Holy moly, your hyperbole is astounding. No, not surgery on every kid ever born. How about tubes for kids who suffer chronic ear infections. It’s no different than removing tonsils for kids who get strep throat 3 times a year. Stop being dramatic.

            And yes, my son had tubes put in. It was not trauma-inducing, and I’m fairly certain he doesn’t even remember any of his ear infections.

          • Tim

            A) You’re talking to two different people

            B) That Dr said the baby was not dehydrated, the parents were just worried that s/he was

            C) That Dr didn’t tell the parents to stop breast feeding, they helped the kid and parent get some rest so they could try again. Stop acting like one bottle is going to destroy the entire thing.

            D) You didn’t say stressful, you said “life altering trauma” which I find personally pretty repugnant , being that I have friends who have lost children while waiting on a donor organ, and friends who have babies that have undergone multiple open heart surgeries before they were six months old.

            I don’t want to denigrate the stress or worry that any parent feels for their child, but I think “life altering trauma” is strong words to use for something like chronic ear infections. I don’t even consider what I went through traumatic, because I have seen a lot of people go through a lot friggin worse, and I can always be thankful for how lucky I am.

          • GiddyUpGo123

            Jeez if I thought colds were “life altering trauma” I’d be on Prozac right now. You want life altering trauma? How about six people in the same house with a particularly nasty strain of Norovirus. Which, as far as I know, doesn’t have anything to do with breastfeeding.

          • KarenJJ

            My mind is blown. Life -altering trauma from this thread maybe.

            Did she not read about your daughter’s life threatening issues, and I see some other regular posters below responding, including one who is quite open about having cared for her child who was brain damaged at birth.

            The hubris of someone lecturing parents about what a life-altering trauma is, especially after the posting of “horror stories” below, has astounded me. I can’t comprehend this one at all..

          • Box of Salt

            Margaret C, “Children don’t suffer from colds and ear infections”
            Then why has my son screamed all night and moaned “owie” over and over while pointing at his ears? Are you honestly going to sit with a straight face and claim he was not suffering?

            “Kids grow up and forget” How do you know what my child might remember later? I sure don’t.

            Was it “life altering trauma”? Get over it, Margaret. No parent likes to see his or her child suffer needlessly, but now you’re back in the realm of nonsense.

            Should I have reduced his risk of ear infections by breastfeeding? Guess what: he was. It’s not the mode of delivery – it’s the shape and size of the ear canals. Deal with it.

            I’m sure you have good intentions, but your constant assumptions and over generalizing everything ends up offensive.

          • GiddyUpGo123

            All four of my babies were mostly formula fed, despite all my best efforts. And the only ear infection any of them ever had was when my six year old got swimmer’s ear from spending too much time in the pool.

          • As a feminist, I’m a bit bothered by you referring to the mother in the photo as a girl.

            I’m honestly not trying to be ironic… I just thought we were past the point of calling women girls. Something I noticed in my childbirth class when I was pregnant… The nurses teaching it always referred to the men in the class as “dads” and the women as “girls.”

            I was much more amused by it than offended, but it makes it hard for me to take the person saying it seriously. I’m a mother. The woman in the photo is a mother. She’s not a girl.

          • Amazed

            Kids grow up and forget but for parents it’s a life altering trauma.

            Really? So, an ear infection is a life altering trauma? I am seriously scared for you. How do you function in everyday life with such a fragile psychics?

            Let me tell you what a life altering trauma is, lady. Watching your seven year old suffering a life threatening complication. Being told that he would die. Watching the same kid eight years later in the same condition after being repeatedly assured by many doctors over the years that your child was completely healthy now. Getting a menopause at 41 as a result. Starting to forget because the shock and concern affected your brain cells.

            That’s a trauma that’s life altering to a parent. It happened to my mom. So now go to stick your boob in your five-year-old mouth and shut up until you bloody know what you’re talking about,

          • rh1985

            If an ear infection is the worst thing I ever have to deal with my child having, I will consider myself blessed.

          • Lizzie Dee

            An ear infection is a life altering trauma?

            Given that the rest of your post contains more than a little hyperbole, I will assume you do not seriously believe that.

            However, if you believe that it is parents who suffer more from such things, do people like this young woman breastfeed for the sake of their infants or themselves?

          • Wren

            Hmm…my nephew who saw not a drop of formula, thanks in large part to his mother having a job with a pumping room, and who had breastmilk both from the tap and from bottles/cups until he was over 2 had plenty of ear infections (plus tubes in his ears twice). My husband’s nephew who never saw a drop of breastmilk had none.
            The benefit to any individual child on ear infections is pretty small. It’s only really seen in large groups and certainly is not a reason to breastfeed if other benefits, like working or a happy mother, are lost.

          • DaisyGrrl

            People have rightfully lambasted you over the idea that watching a child suffer from an ear infection is a life altering trauma and giving you examples of what real life altering traumas are. I want to respond to the ear infection comment from the child’s perspective.

            I had chronic ear infections as a child due to anatomy (not formula). They lasted until I was 16 (had tubes twice). I remember the pain, the antibiotics, the hospitals, the specialists, etc. It was never fun and I will not forget.

            My hearing has been permanently damaged and I suffer from tinnitus. I have extensive scarring on my eardrums and the middle ear is probably damaged as well.

            How do you think my mother would feel if she been told the ear infections and resulting damage were her fault for not breastfeeding? It’s not fair to put that kind of guilt on a person when the evidence just isn’t there.

        • AllieFoyle

          “Lactivists” (god, I hate that word) should really consider whether their activism actually promotes a positive public image of breastfeeding or whether it actually makes breastfeeding look like something only fringe, exhibitionist weirdos do. The people you are trying to convince are not, in my opinion, likely to be attracted by the image of a half-undressed person sprawling on the floor blocking the walkway of a public space.

          I nursed my kids and I think breastfeeding is a great, healthy thing to do in general and that it should be supported and encouraged. It’s to no one’s benefit, however, to overstate the benefits of breast milk or to compare formula (a perfectly adequate, nutritious food, and in many cases a good alternative or supplement to breastmilk) with poison.

          The answer to all public health ills is not to shame and frighten mothers into breastfeeding. As others have pointed out, addressing the lack of paid maternity leave and the difficulty of mixing paid employment and breastfeeding would be a better use of your time.

        • GiddyUpGo123

          “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.”

          Good lord, do you really believe this? The whole “everyone can breastfeed” line? Did you have any trouble with it yourself? I’m guessing not, because it’s so easy to say “trust your body” when yours actually works. Guess what, despite what all those lactivists tell you, not everyone can breastfeed. Not everyone makes enough milk. Trusting your body is a mistake, because no one’s body works perfectly, and milk production is just one of the things it can get wrong.

          I “trusted” my body and all those lactivists who told me “don’t worry, just nurse more!” I ended up with a baby who was losing weight. But instead of persevering with starving him (which is what everyone told me to do), I gave him formula. Now he’s a healthy, smart 8-year-old.

          And I got way, way more flack for formula feeding him in public than I ever got for nursing him. Not everyone’s experience fits into your model of biological design.

          • prolifefeminist

            And not only is “trust your body” a dumb thing to do for yourself, but it’s a dumb thing to do for anyone. My sweet little premature baby who was born with an airway defect underwent three oral surgeries that should have (among other things) made breastfeeding possible for him. No dice. Some women can’t breastfeed, and some babies can’t nurse. It’s just the way things are sometimes.

        • Jennifer2

          “Who wants to look like a poor person?”

          Thank you! This is what it’s about. This is what it’s all really about, isn’t it? Nobody wants to look like a poor person. So if poor women breastfeed, formula becomes all the rage. When poor women get formula, breastfeeding becomes trendy. If poor women co-sleep because they can’t afford a crib, it’s a public health disaster on par with letting your baby sleep with knives. But if rich women co-sleep it promotes breastfeeding and is good for “bonding.” When poor women were giving birth at home because of lack of access to hospitals, rich women were giving birth in hospitals. Now that just about anybody can give birth in a hospital, the new trend is birth centers and home births.

          I’m not saying that “avoiding looking like a poor person” is the only motivation for these trends, but it sure seems to be a big one. Along with looking down on poor people for being “uneducated.”

        • KarenJJ

          “Breastfeeding should stop being labeled a matter of choice also. ”

          Of course it is a choice. Why wouldn’t it be? These are real women and real babies. What are you going to do, legislate to ban formula feeding?

          • Wren

            Breastfeeding is a matter of choice. How could it not be?
            I breastfed my 2 children for a combined 44 months plus pumped and fed my son that for an additional 3 months. I have only ever received any overt negative reaction for bottle feeding my then 10 month old, and the bottle happened to contain expressed breastmilk though he was combo fed by that point because I couldn’t pump enough. Oh wait, I did once have someone look at me funny while nursing my 2 year old on take off of a flight, right up until she decided it beat a screaming toddler and said it was a good idea.
            Support changes in legislation to give longer maternity leave, to ensure women who work have someplace safe and secure to pump and the time to do it and to create places women who do not want to feed in public can do so in a discreet area. I had no problem feeding wherever but still loved the malls that had baby feeding areas with comfy chairs and a nice spot to change a baby rather than sitting on a bench in the middle of the mall with a distractible 7 month old.
            Don’t make women who do not breastfeed, for whatever reason, feel guilty and inferior. That doesn’t actually do much at all to support women who breastfeed or even increase their numbers.
            Oh, and formula as a product came into existence because women were feeding their babies all kinds of unsafe replacements for breastmilk. The current formula is so much safer, and closer to breastmilk, than the options my grandparents used it isn’t even funny.

    • Bombshellrisa

      If you are worried you “might be” offending people when you have a baby, there plenty more ways than breast feeding to accomplish that. Just look at your fellow passengers on an airplane-they see you have an infant and they are sure your kid is going to ruin their flight by crying and needing diaper changes. Same goes for restaurants, the DMV or the grocery store.
      It’s doubtful that Dr Amy is motivated by guilt about breast feeding all of her children. At least she doesn’t gloat that she was able to do that, and tell the rest of us we could if we “did our research” and “had more information”.

    • Box of Salt

      June “the actual, real dangers of formula”
      Please do tell us what you think those are in areas with readily available clean water.

      • June

        Such as it increasing the chances of obesity later in life? Maybe the increased odds of necrotizing entercolitis in premies when they are given formula instead of breast milk?

        • PJ

          Quantify your claims.

          • June
          • PJ

            Can’t lactivists read? Why is posting a hyperlink the only thing they can ever do upon being challenged for evidence?

            (And for the record, I’m not particularly interested in premies, as they are a special group with different needs from the general population. If you want to make an argument for premies only, then fine. But that’s not what you’re doing, is it?)

          • Margaret C

            Why aren’t any of you pulling up evidence? What’s keeping you from looking up proof? Are you in a third world country without Internet access or just can’t be bothered to be anything more than righteous indignation?

          • amazonmom

            Evidence. I do not think it means what you think it means. Link salad is not evidence.

          • AllieFoyle

            No one has to post links because the topic has already been discussed and debated and rehashed ad nauseum on this blog. Every time a new study is released it is analyzed and discussed and criticized in great detail.

            The thing you aren’t getting is that no one here really thinks breastfeeding isn’t a positive or healthy thing. It’s simply that many sensible people who actually read the studies and understand research design and statistics come to the conclusion that the stated benefits are actually rather small in most cases. We also see that there are other factors at play, like the effect of breastfeeding on the woman’s career and the family’s finances, or physical, pharmacological, or psychological factors that make breastfeeding difficult or unsafe. And of course, all of us know from experience and simple common sense that people who were fed formula are generally perfectly smart and healthy. Lactivists would have us believe that any amount of formula is wrong and unhealthy–dangerous even–and anyone with an ounce of sense knows that just isn’t the case.

            People want to do the best thing for their babies, of course, but lactivism pushes this to the extremes, and in the process alienates people who might listen to a more sensible approach.

          • Sue

            The evidence is already on the site. Here ‘s just one example: put ”world-health-organization-no-long-term-benefits-to-breastfeeding” into the search box. You will see that that post starts with Amy saying:

            Breastfeeding is a good thing. I heartily endorse it; I did it with four children; I really enjoyed it.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I suggest that resorting to premies is pretty much an indication of the LACK of any real argument. So far, all we have is the now refuted obesity claim and it’s good for premies. Seriously, June, that’s all you have for us?

          • Box of Salt

            Summarize in your own words the point you are trying to make by posting this link, please (for clarity you might want to include reposting the link).

        • moto_librarian

          Premature babies are the one group in the developed world who are demonstrably aided by breastmilk because it reduces the risk of necrotizing entercolitis. This is why I believe that NICU babies should be given priority access to screened donor milk.

          The studies about long-term health benefits for term infants are rendered useless by the inability to control for confounders.

        • Esther

          The PROBIT study (which is as close to an RCT as we’ll ever get on the subject) doesn’t support the idea that BF prevents obesity: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1667089

        • fiftyfifty1

          The Belarus PROBIT study showed that obesity was actually 17% HIGHER in the randomized breastfeeding group than in the formula group (and yes it was statistically significant).

      • June

        The idea that it’s actually equal to breast milk is ridiculous. If it were so perfect why would the chances of reflux and GI issues be higher for a formula fed baby? A formula fed baby needs to be given vitamin supplements at an earlier age because they aren’t getting everything they need, which isn’t usually the case with a breastfed baby.

        • moto_librarian

          Actually, it is breastfed babies who require Vitamin D supplementation…

          • PJ

            And they have lower iron.

          • June

            Also not true. If the mother wasn’t anemic during pregnancy and the baby is exclusively breastfed any iron supplementation for the baby is unnecessary until about 6 months. The iron in breast milk is more easily absorbed than iron in formula so a breastfed baby will actually get more iron than a formula fed baby.

          • Esther

            Nope. It’s true that the bioavailability of iron in breastmilk is higher than in formula, but the absolute amount absorbed is still low and puts babies at risk for iron deficiency anemia once maternally-derived iron stores are depleted at 4-6 months (post written by a PhD in nutrition which raises why this might be so – http://scienceofmom.com/2011/10/12/why-is-breast-milk-so-low-in-iron/).

          • lessismore..

            this makes a good case for delayed cord cutting…babies are less prone to anemia when there is delayed cord cutting…of course most of the “standard practice” jab babies with vaccines first day of birth, quick cord cutting, antibiotics in the eyes, etc folks wouldn’t even read the literature on this…doesn’t jive with there medical school indoctrination..

          • Esther

            You really should read Dr.Amy’s posts on the subject of delayed cord cutting (use the search function). And it sounds like you’ve got quite the case of “earth mama indoctrination” yourself…

          • I never supplemented iron and my BABY was fine, but I’m guessing that’s why I ended up at my doctor’s office with anxiety attacks and fatigue… Caused by MY anemia. My son stole most of my iron. 🙂

            I’d still prefer to take supplements myself than give it to the baby (the vit D drops were enough of a pain in the ass) but, if either one of us, on an American meat heavy diet, ends up anemic, it’s not a perfect system.

          • tim

            Someone told me on here a few weeks ago (not joking) that she doesnt give her babies any multivitamins and that she just takes them out in the sun, because that’s just fine, and you only increase your skin cancer risk if you get burned. Again, not joking. Apparently if your chiropractor charges you 30-40$ for a jar of probiotics that is good and natural supplementation that is worth having, but giving enfamil 15$ for a bottle of multivitamin drops is the great satan.

          • June

            Probiotics are good for everyone, especially in our society of eating highly processed foods and overusing antibiotics. A baby being fed formula would benefit much better than a breastfed baby so you should really be adding that onto the cost of formula.

          • Tim

            I’m not saying probiotics are bad. I’m saying that it’s ridiculous that people automatically assume that “natural” supplements recommended by a D.Chiro are valid while one recommended by an ALLOPATH are bad. And then back that up by saying she can just take her baby in the sun to get it enough vitamin D, because only sunburns contribute to skin cancer, not general UV exposure. (wrong wrong wrong)

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Probiotics are good for everyone”
            Show me the proof.

          • KarenJJ

            Probiotics are bacteria, right?

            My kid chewed on potting mix and dead cockroaches and would suck on the cat’s tail.. None of that seemed overly processed in my mind.

          • June

            Not true if the mother has adequate levels of Vitamin D.

          • Jessica

            A significant number of people in this country are Vitamin D deficient. I live in Oregon – high latitude and nine months of rain. I am Vit D deficient. I take supplements and so did my EBF baby.

          • June

            And that would apply to a formula fed baby and a breastfed baby. moto_librarian claimed it was breastfed babies who need that supplementation, which is a false claim.

          • moto_librarian

            Formula has sufficient Vitamin D in it already. FF babies don’t need to be supplemented because there formula makes up for the general lack of D.

          • Captain Obvious

            Nice June, first you say BF doesn’t need Vit D supplementation. Then when proven wrong , you state that FF babies as well BF need Vit D supplementation. Haha. You are spirally down the path were your ignorance cannot save you.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Seattle too-and the crunchies here claim that it’s a contributing factor to our high C-section rate (couldn’t possibly be anything else)

          • Esther

            You really shouldn’t get your breastfeeding information from sites like Kellymom. They (and you) are way too invested in the “breastmilk is perfect” meme. And What % of the population of mothers has adequate levels of Vitamin D and iron, pray tell? (hint: far, far less than you think).

          • Esther

            Also, are you aware that in order to penetrate breastmilk in adequate quantities, a woman needs a very large daily intake of vitamin D? (Hint: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18689394)

          • Really? I found Kellymom pretty helpful… Including the need for supplementation… Honestly it’s been a while since I visited, and I wasn’t exactly at my top mental retention when I was looking for breastfeeding help, so I could be misremembering, but I don’t remember reading anything that contradicted info from my doc or the pediatrician.

          • Kalacirya

            I’m a healthy 23 woman. I had an almost critical level of Vitamin D deficiency, my healthy and athletic 25 year old partner had levels low enough to be at the bone softening stage. That’s what we get for working on computers all day and not consuming a lot of supplemented foods. I find it unlikely that the majority of women are walking around with adequate vitamin D levels for breastmilk generation.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yep, it’s the mom’s fault if they require Vit D supplementation.

          • fiftyfifty1

            nope, still not enough is passed.

          • rh1985

            My vitamin D levels are terrible without me taking supplements. I think it’s because I am so pale – I just can’t stay in direct sunlight for long without getting burned in the summer, and it’s too darn cold here in the winter.

        • PJ

          If breastmilk is so perfect, how come it can infect babies with HIV and other diseases?

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          There is NOTHING in human physiology that is perfect. Not breastmilk and not anything else.

          • June

            I didn’t say breast milk was perfect. I said it’s what we are designed to feed babies, because that’s the truth.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Kind of like pregnancy is “designed” to produce a healthy baby yet 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, right? Is that what you mean?

            Kind of like we were “designed” to live to 70+, but the average life expectancy in prehistoric times was 35, right? Is that what you mean?

          • Tim

            We were designed to have hearts that have their arteries in the right place, valves that open and close properly and no holes in the muscle tissue, and 4 chambers, but somehow 10% of babies don’t have those things. Perfection is rough these days

          • Tim

            Oops Typo. 1%

          • auntbea

            1% of babies have something structurally wrong with their hearts!??! Holy crackers, that’s a lot.

          • Tim

            1 in 100 babies are born with a congenital heart defect, yes. In the US, that’s approximately 40,000 every year.
            10% or 4,000 of those children will not live to their first birthday

            🙁

          • amazonmom

            🙁

          • Captain Obvious

            Bodies were “designed” to deliver babies but infertitliy and miscarriage rates say otherwise.

            Number of women ages 15-44 with impaired fecundity (impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term): 6.7 million
            Percent of women ages 15-44 with impaired fecundity: 10.9%
            Number of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile (unable to get pregnant after at least 12 consecutive months of unprotected sex with husband): 1.5 million
            Percent of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile: 6.0%
            Number of women ages 15-44 who have ever used infertility services: 7.4 million

          • LibrarianSarah

            It’s the truth if you are a creationist. To all of us that live in reality no so much.

        • fiftyfifty1

          “A formula fed baby needs to be given vitamin supplements at an earlier age because they aren’t getting everything they need”
          Actually, you have that 180 degrees backwards. Formula is nutritionally complete until 1 year of age (of course you want to introduce solids anyway at 4-6 months so the child can learn how to eat, but from a nutritional standpoint it is not required). It is *breastmilk* that has nutritional deficiencies. In particular it lacks vitamin D, iron and vitamin K.

        • GiddyUpGo123

          Wow, that is astonishingly ignorant. All four of my babies were getting straight formula by six months and I never had to give any of them vitamin supplements. I have never even heard of this, and I’m pretty sure you just made it up because you felt like you were on the spot.

          • moto_librarian

            Of course she did! She has it completely backwards. Breastfed babies are the ones who need vitamin supplements. I don’t think that’s an argument against breastfeeding, but it is a fact.

    • PJ

      Bah, I’ve breastfeed in public in three different countries (including the US), never used a cover, and only once I have encountered anything vaguely like disapproval (and since they were a couple of teenage girls I couldn’t have given a shit what they thought).

      But please enlighten us on the “actual, real dangers of formula.” I bet you’ve never read a single scientific paper on the subject and I bet once pressed to give specifics you won’t give any.

    • Formula feeding moms get plenty of flack. They’re called lazy, told they are abusing their children. I certainly believe breastfeeding moms get the occasional flack for feeding in public. But me? I breastfed my son for 17 months, in public when he happened to be hungry in public, never covered up because it always seemed like too much trouble. I live in the Midwest, not exactly an ideal of liberal pro-feminist values. I have NEVER gotten so much as a stink-eye for feeding my child.

      EVERY mother is subject to judgement, but I’m pretty sure, on the judging choices scale, breastfeeding comes out much lighter. I’m sorry that you’ve carried some of that judgement. But it doesn’t mean everyone who formula fed was free of it.

      • prolifefeminist

        I breastfed my first four children until they self-weaned at 2-3 years old, and I very frequently nursed in public – in restaurants, doctor’s offices, waiting rooms, parks, malls, you name it. I never got so much as a dirty look, nevermind an actual comment. I know it happens (and I HATE that it does – everyone should feel free to NIP whenever, wherever), but it didn’t happen to me.

        Fast forward to my last baby – a preemie who couldn’t breastfeed. I can’t tell you how many dirty looks I got when I pulled out a bottle OF PUMPED BREASTMILK to feed him with in public. For the first time, I felt the shame that’s directed at FF moms, and it made me so angry! Why should ANY mom who’s TAKING CARE OF HER BABY be given a dirty look? Because really, that’s what it comes down to – it’s not about breast versus bottle. It’s about why the hell ANYONE has any business passing judgement on how a mother feeds her baby in the first place.

    • Kalacirya

      If you want to breastfeed, with both breasts hanging out, right in front of me, have at it. I care so very little. But if you’re going to deck yourself out, and plop yourself on the floor in front of a formula table? I have no respect for that.

    • GiddyUpGo123

      Honestly, I wish the trolls would read the rest of the blog before leaving these comments. Dr. Amy breastfed all four of her kids, so it has nothing to do with “guilt about her choices.” Dr. Amy never said that breastfeeding doesn’t have benefits, just that they are small benefits. And please, let’s see some examples of the “actual, real dangers of formula.” Because short of its use in the absence of safe water and sanitation, I have not heard of any “real dangers” associated with formula.

    • Playing Possum

      So because you have been “bashed” for your choices you think it’s ok to turn around and “bash” someone else for theirs? What happened to the sisterhood? What happened to “choice” when all things are equal? Why can’t you say “geez that person made me feel terrible. I hope no other mother had to feel like this for their choices”?

      Actual real dangers of formula? Haven’t yet seen any hospitalizations related to formula yet. The most amazing epidemiological study on the safety of formula has been going on for decades, it’s called “a large proportion of full term humans in the developed world”, and there is currently no hard data that there are dangers, or even visible trends associated with formula.

      Actual real dangers of breast feeding? Six or seven cases come to mind straight away. Both mother and baby in danger, two deaths I know of. These are cases just at my hospital campus.

    • Wren

      Where are you that you receive such a bashing for breastfeeding? I have breastfed in the UK, Spain and various parts of the US without a problem. I even breastfed my 2 year old a few times in each of those (except Spain, she was 20 months old then) without any issues.
      I am absolutely fine with breastfeeding when both mother and baby are happy to do so. I live in a country with a nice long maternity leave which makes it easier to do it too. I still don’t see these huge dangers that formula presents for most children in the developed world.

  • Burgundy

    I had 3 fibro adenoma surges for both sides of breasts
    before my 21st birthday. My
    doctor told me at the last surge that I could never breast feed normally. Unfortunately I bought into woo’s claim that
    you could breast feed exclusively no matter what and felt like a big time failure
    when I could not produce enough milk with my first daughter. Fortunately my mom convened me to supplement
    with formula and gave me the support that I really needed. (Despite my dad being a MD, we just fight a
    lot during that period). I was able to breast feed my first born with formula bottles
    until she was 9 months old. My 2nd
    daughters just wean herself off my boobs when she was 3 months old. She only wants cold milk. (It was during the heat weave). My breasts could not produce enough milk with
    pumping along so she went on full formula when she was 6 months old. They are both healthy and happy kids.

  • (Not) Just a Mom

    Have you ever breastfed an infant that didn’t want to eat? Not possible.

    • Wren

      So true. My son quit cold turkey at 9 1/2 months. Nothing would make him nurse again. I will admit I didn’t actually go as far as starving and totally dehydrating him, as some of the lactivists on MDC suggested, but I didn’t immediately supplement either.

      His sister more than made up for him stopping early though, and I have no clue what feeding her when she didn’t want to eat would have been like because she always wanted to eat.

      • Karen in SC

        I successively got my son to re-breastfeed after a week away from each other. But it wasn’t guaranteed, and I think I would have been okay with weaning at that time (9 months). And it was difficult to haul around a hospital grade pump while on vacation with my husband. 🙂 I was a regular LLL attendee at the time, too, so may have felt some peer pressure.

        • Wren

          In our case it was after hand, foot and mouth for both of us. Painful blisters in the mouth that, at least for me, we’re worse when I tried to eat or drink. I think it formed at permanent bad association for him. Given that he had recently gotten into solids and had an undiagnosed (at that time) tongue tie that caused problems from the start, I don’t know now why I didn’t give up right then rather than go through all the stress plus trying to pump for a walking toddler who was busy getting into everything, severely cutting down on pump time.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            HFM sucks. Man, I would love if they made a HFM vaccine. Both our kids went through it, it was a miserable time.

          • moto_librarian

            I believe there is HFM vaccine in the works. I would also welcome it to the schedule. My little guy was utterly miserable when he had it and wouldn’t eat. Since this is the child who is slow to gain weight anyway, I dread anything that contributes to weight loss.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            My younger guy always used milk to soothe himself. He got HFM and was miserable, took a drink of milk and SCREAMED in pain. I felt so awful for the poor guy.

      • AmyP

        “I have no clue what feeding her when she didn’t want to eat would have been like because she always wanted to eat.”

        Oh, yes! My baby is like that. It’s up to me to figure out when we’re done nursing, because she would go on indefinitely.

    • fiftyfifty1

      I’ve seen it. I have a friend with an anxiety disorder who puts her toddler to the breast extremely frequently. As often as every 15 minutes. From what I observe, this isn’t child led. She will walk across the room and pick him up off the floor where he is playing happily and put him on the breast. He will feed for a minute or two and then get off the breast and go play. I have my theories of why she does it–she fell into a depression after weaning her first, and perhaps this is a way to ensure that breastfeeding goes on as long as possible. I think she finds it calming herself. She does sometimes complain that it is exhausting to have a kid “who needs to feed so often”. But it’s none of my business. If she asks my opinion I’ll try to point that out in a gentle fashion, but she hasn’t, so I haven’t.

  • Margaret C

    For the woman who had a practical question. I’m sorry I missed you.

    Breastfeeding or The bite in the wall, the nipple on the nose, the pez dispenser, water balloon, and the understuffed sandbag

    By Margaret Colgan RN

    What’s the baby’s take on all of this? Do they have an opinion?

    Here’s a little bit of silliness you can try when nobody’s home. Put on some lipstick sweetheart. Now, tape a piece of paper to the wall with a seven centimeter circle drawn at the center. Now open your mouth wide and try to place a perfect lipstick circle around that ink circle. Did you do it? Good job! Now imagine the wall trying to rub the circle against your face and moving when you move. That’s the challenge babies face. What they want is a static object that conforms to the shape of their mouth and what moms tend to want is to imitate what they see on postcards. The traditional hold (head at the elbow body in the forearm) can work and some people can intuitively move to the baby’s comfort but some people need more couching and need to understand what exactly is the goal. Basically it’s to keep the boob still and the baby still. The baby can and does move of their own free will but that doesn’t mean they have the strength to stay in any one spot for long. Remember you cannot force a baby to eat from the breast on your timeline the way you can with a bottle. Nobody can pry open an infants mouth and wrap the lips around the breast, it just doesn’t work. Even if, hypothetically, you were successful the pressure left on the nipple would eventually lead to blisters and there would be a good amount of pain which may actually make even pumping out of the question for the rest of the day. You actually have to take care of yourself when feeding the baby you’re not just the “vessel” holding the baby’s food. Some moms do feel uncomfortable at first when feeding but outright pain is not normal. The baby should be getting a larger amount of the nipple in his or her mouth to lessen the amount of pressure on the nipple. Breastfeeding is a team effort between you and baby. The baby needs to learn how you move and how your boob moves (which we’ll talk about again later). You need to learn how your baby moves and how to keep baby comfortable as baby eats. Every pair needs to go through this learning curve because a mom with an A cup and long arms is going to have a completely different experience than a mom with a D cup with a bit of sagging. Yes, your boobs do make a difference in how you’ll need to move but it doesn’t make any difference in how much milk you make. An A cup is perfectly capable of feeding her baby more than enough milk.

    So what’s the ideal position?

    First off look at what you’re working with (your boobs ladies) and remember that they are going to stay where they are hanging right now. You cannot pull your boob to the baby, the baby has to come to the boob. Before you do anything think of where the baby’s body is going to be and how to keep the baby’s spine straight (it sounds obvious but most people actually forget that). The baby’s shoulders, body and hips should be facing the boob and the arms should be hugging the boob for maximum comfort for the shoulders. You can support the baby’s body several ways and depending on your situation different holds may be better. Many people want to head straight for the cradle hold and it’s comfortable if you can manage it but it sacrifices a lot of control. Remember the point is to keep the boob still and the baby still. Not everyone has the hand-eye coordination to control the baby’s head with the inner elbow especially when the baby is moving (which they would be for the rooting reflex where they shake their heads side to side looking for the boob). It’s not a failure or that you’re not “mom enough” to do it the “right way”. (You’re not going to lose mommy street cred for doing whatever works). There is no right way to hold the infant as long as your supporting the head. There is a right way to get the baby on the nipple but that comes later. For the first day I find it’s actually easier to go with the football hold or the cross-cradle hold. The football hold is holding the infant with one arm at the nape of the neck in your hand (so you can be turning the baby’s head from side to side) and the body wedged between the mother body and forearm. From there you just push the baby up to the breast holding the breast with the opposite hand. This is ideal for c-section moms who don’t want any pressure on their stomachs. The cross-cradle hold is basically the same but the baby goes to the boob opposite from the arm holding the baby and can be a bit easier since it puts some of the baby’s weight on the moms stomach rather than totally on the moms arm. Remember the hands should be at the nape of the baby’s neck not the back of the head. When babies feel pressure to the back of their heads they instinctively push back against the pressure. Why is not exactly clear yet but it’s frustrating for new mothers who don’t understand why their kids are doing this and being “difficult” for them. Remember to relax and keep trying.

    So the baby’s face is at the boob, how is it going to get into his mouth?

    First off try for an asymmetrical latch. Again babies do move but not necessarily how we expect them to. Their heads are sort of like pez dispensers. The bottom tends to stay in one place while the top comes up and down. Think of the baby’s chin as an anchor since it really isn’t going to go anywhere. If you go perfectly centered at the lips the baby will probably get more of the top of the nipple than the bottom and that’s more painful than useful. Starting where the nipple is basically at the baby’s nose or a little below will get more of the nipple into the baby’s mouth. This is where baby meets “the wall”. Not everyone has the perfectly protruding nipples that pop into a baby’s mouth. Very few do actually. What we think of as normal boobs looking at a Hooters coffee mug (maybe it was only just my dad that kept those around but I’m sure you can look it up) isn’t perfectly suited to pop into a baby’s mouth. The nipple would have to be five times that size and some regularly breastfeeding moms do have them but new moms starting out usually do not. They need to mold their boobs with their free hand. In other words they need to hold their breast so it becomes a more obvious shape so their baby isn’t trying to bite a wall. Look at your boob like a water balloon. If you pinch any one spot it shrinks into nothing but if you grab from the back you can mold it into an oval and keep everything firm. Firmness is really important to minimize stress. Breasts tend to be like under stuffed sand bags that fold in on themselves. Every movement the mother and the baby makes shifts everything just a little bit which can be frustrating for a baby who really just wants the thing to stay in place. Again never pinch your nipple into the baby’s mouth. Your fingers should be nowhere near the nipples in fact. Try to make the boob flatter at the bottom of your breast. A lot of moms want to make the boob flatter at the top so they can see their baby’s face and ensure breathing (even if you don’t see the nose the breathing should be fine. The nostrils point more towards the sides when we’re infants) but what the baby wants is something to wrap their tongue around and it does them no good if they can’t get the bottom of the boob. Again the baby is a little pez dispenser, the bottom isn’t going to move much so if baby can’t get their start there it’s just not going to happen. Flatten the bottom of the boob to make it easier to start. By bottom I mean whatever angle of the boob that is facing the baby’s bottom lip.

    Ok but how do I make the baby open his mouth?

    You can’t make a baby eat. You watch the baby and wait until he acts hungry. Don’t try to constantly push the nipple into the baby’s mouth wait until the baby opens their mouth and tries for the breast. It’s not give!-give!-give!-give!-give! when the baby needs to start eating it’s wait-watch-open-give!-relax and Don’t…Move…Anything…. By give! I mean quickly press the baby to the breast. The baby doesn’t leave his mouth just hanging open for food, when he does open his mouth it’s to cry, yawn or feed and its all a fairly short period of time (1 or 2seconds) Take whatever opportunities you can but don’t ever think you can pry the baby’s mouth open. Breastfeeding relies on a baby thinking which can feel miraculous and devastating because you can’t say to a baby “lunch time!” you have to stimulate their reflexes until they realize theres a breast nearby which can take longer than people like to think. Leave the baby skin to skin, especially during that first hour of life. Leave the baby skin to skin all day if you can. There’s no such thing a spoiling the baby and it helps the baby learn the “terrain” that is your boobs. You can stimulate the baby to wake up and cry if its been a while since the last feeding but remember the first thing to do when having trouble getting the baby to eat is to take off their clothes. They learn exponentially faster if they can feel their mothers skin.
    Don’t wiggle the boob in the baby’s mouth once the latch is in place or ever. A lot of moms make the mistake of thinking wiggling the boob will make the baby eat faster. This works with bottles so why not with boobs? Because 2/3rds of the work with breastfeeding is getting started. Moving the boob could break the suction and therefore the latch and all the frustration that went into getting the baby on has to be restarted. Make it easier on baby and yourself and play with the baby not the boob. It’s ok if baby is taking breaks to breath. When adults sit down to eat they take breaks too. Nobody is hovering over them expecting a constant suck and swallow for 30 minutes. If baby takes long breaks you can encourage a faster feed by rubbing the ears or back or feet or anything really. If you can’t reach the ears ask your mom or husband to do it for you and watch baby start up again. Having an extra person to stimulate the baby can be a great bonding experience for fathers so don’t ever let them think they can sleep through the first night. They have a job too.
    Overall you cannot force an infant to breastfeed. You need to give them the opportunity which means a lot of naked time for mom and baby. There is a common mistake many new mothers make and trick themselves into thinking their child is abnormal for not understanding how to get food. There’s a difference between instincts and understanding. Infants are born with a variety of instincts to help them breastfeed. This does not mean they understand that the food is only there for a limited time depending on their mothers patience. Infants learn through experience and opportunity. This is one of the benefits of skin to skin contact, it allows infants the chance to learn how to move on the gelatinous quicksand that is a pair of breasts and be rewarded for their efforts.

    My baby just ate 30 minutes ago, why is he crying?

    There is no one answer to why a baby cries. Look at the baby. Could the baby be cold, hot, wet, lonely, gassy, sleepy, etc. and maybe the baby really could have an appetite again. That’s a good thing, let them eat. Let them eat as long as they are able but don’t assume food is the only answer each and every time. You’re going to have to look at the baby and try to figure it out everyday, every hour, every minute and the answer can be different every time. Try to get baby to eat at least every 3 hours and if you’re having trouble ask for help.

    In summary

    Practice moving a baby’s head side to side in your hand or a dolls head in the football hold and in the cross-cradle hold.
    Don’t put pressure to the back of baby’s head if you can help it.
    Use the opposite hand to mold your boob into as flat an oval as possible keeping your fingers as far away from the nipple as possible.
    Level the baby so the nipple should be just at or below the nose of the infant.
    Imagine where the baby’s lower lip would be and make that spot the flattest angle for an easy latch.
    Don’t press the baby to the boob constantly. Stay back a centimeter until the mouth is as wide as possible and quickly push the baby to the boob.
    Don’t move the boob or the baby once there’s a latch.
    Watch the baby for signs of hunger and feed the baby.

    • Gene

      We had a newborn (just 48hrs old) come to the ED the other day for breastfeeding problems and concern for dehydration. New parents, just discharged from the hospital 8 hours previously. Baby had BF ok at the hospital, but was refusing the breast at home and was just SCREAMING. He was so pissed off that he wouldn’t latch. Parents at their wits end. Mom’s milk not in yet and she had fairly flat nipples (harder to latch). So they came to the ED.

      We had, to help them, a nurse who was currently nursing her 8-9 month old, me (recently BF two kids over a year each), and two female residents (neither had kids). We tried several latching positions without success (he was to mad/hungry to latch). Tried a nipple shield that sometimes helps with flat nipples. Still no dice. So I said, let’s try formula (could try an ounce then try latching again or just the whole bottle – parents went with latter). He sucked down three ounces and went to sleep.

      I gave the parents four bottles (to get them through the night) and recommended trying again in the morning if they wanted. I also said, “Look, our goal is happy/healthy mom and happy/healthy baby. Formula is not poison and one bottle today does not mean that you will never breastfeed. Pissed off babies and stressed out mothers do not lead to a good breastfeeding session. Go home and get some sleep. Try again later. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, that’s fine. But a stressed out mom is not a happy/healthy mom.” Mom was incredibly grateful and dad was so happy (he felt so useless).

      Now, would a lactivist freak out over the formula and insist mom just keep trying? Probably. But what if that single bottle (or the extra four) let mom and baby relax enough or get through that night until her milk came in and it led to a happy breastfeeding relationship for as long as was mutually desired by parent and child (the AAP stance)? Being a new parent is stressful enough without your choice of feeding styles being maligned.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Don’t you bring your reality based facts around here. It’s a lot easier making insulting generalizations if you don’t talk about real people.

      • Jessica

        I have shared this story several times before, but we had BFing problems in the hospital, and when we requested a discharge for 24hrs post-birth, the nurse was reluctant to talk to the pediatrician about it. I said, “My mom breastfed me, so I have support at home. I have a hospital grade pump. And if we have to, we’ll use formula.” She replied, “Well, we don’t like to see that.” I thought my husband was going to lose. his. shit. So I was sent home with a supplemental nursing system and a bottle of donor milk and a serious grudge against the hospital and its ineffectual breastfeeding support services (so much for BFHI!).

        We still ended up using formula for a couple of days until my milk was in and I was pumping enough. He finally did figure out how to latch and at nearly 14 months old he still nurses once or twice a day. I have loved BFing and am glad it worked out. Formula didn’t ruin BFing for us – but it did keep my son healthy and fed until my milk was in.

      • KarenJJ

        Oh that kid is just ruined now. They might as well just put a hat on him too.

        Doctors get a bad reputation for ‘not understanding the breastfeeding relationship’ and parents ‘for not being tough enough to persevere’, but having been in a similar situation myself, is the formula really so bad? And do breastfeeding advocates, who mostly seem to have found breastfeeding so straightforward and simple that they are at a complete loss as to why other people find it difficult, really understand what it is like as a new mum – with an overwhelming instinct to calm and nurture their baby – to deny their baby food in the name of ‘exclusive breastfeeding’.

        Breastfeeding advocates are asking new mums to often go against their own instincts. They do not really have an answer to these moments except to ‘keep persevering’ and ‘keep trying to latch him on’ and ‘hang out in bed all day and breastfeed a screaming, over-tired and hungry infant’. Until breastfeeding advocates can come up with some better information for these moments and some better coping mechanisms and accept that some judicial supplementation can help everyone’s mental health, then I believe they will find it hard to improve breastfeeding rates.

        • Gene

          Yeah, which would have been better: a few ounces of formula for an otherwise healthy newborn or an IV for fluid with glucose (his sugar was a bit low as well)? Seriously, that single bottle of “poison” may have SAVED the almighty breastfeeding relationship, not hindered it.

          • KarenJJ

            You are not going to like this, but I have heard from breastfeeding advocates on a mainstream Australian baby forum, that they would prefer the IV to the baby getting a bottle of formula. I don’t know why they think the formula is more of a risk then trying to get an IV into a tiny, distressed, dehydrated infant. But that is the level of information and ideology out there.

            I couldn’t believe it myself. Having my dehydrated toddler have a blood draw was that distressing I needed a quiet lie down after to calm down myself. Why they’d prefer that to a bottle seems incredible to me.

          • Tim

            Not to mention that having IV fluids for a neonate managed by people who are not neonatologists is very risky. Newborn kidneys don’t work the same way as even a 4 week olds kidneys do, and they do NOT maintain electrolytes when urinating the same way. You can very easily end up with a hyponatremic baby if the pediatrician and nurses don’t have a lot of experience in administering IV fluids to neonates.
            Again. Personal Experience talking.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            As I’ve said many times, clearly these people and I live in completely different realities. It’s why I have suggested there really is no common ground, since core precepts are so completely different. They act like it is a game or something. No, this is your BABY you are talking about.

          • amazonmom

            I hear that all the time. It’s better to spend days in the NICU on an IV than use supplementing. Now there are babies for whom eating (or OG/NG) doesn’t fix the problem and NICU with IV is needed. Isn’t oral feeding the physiologic way to take in needed nutrients? If we can prevent an expensive NICU stay with a few dollars worth of formula why is that bad? If we can shorten the NICU stay with supplementing until breastmilk intake is adequate why is that bad? Once my hospital gets their donor milk stock running I want to see if the resistance to supplementing decreases. If it doesn’t I will need a helmet so I can bang my head on the wall.

          • rh1985

            I had to have an IV after drinking and eating nothing for 12 hours so that I could get anesthesia. it was agony. I had a bruise the size of the entire back of my hand for a good three weeks after that. I can’t imagine how a baby would feel in that situation, not even understanding why. 🙁

          • realityycheque

            Even having a blood draw as an adult when you’re dehydrated can be painful and distressing! I can’t imagine what the experience would be like for a poor baby that didn’t understand what was going on.

          • prolifefeminist

            I had to help hold down my just-discharged-from-the-NICU preemie through four IV sticks. I still don’t know how I managed to keep my senses intact enough to help hold and comfort him. Why anyone would choose that over a warm bottle just boggles my mind. Virgin gut be damned. That’s just cruel.

          • Tim

            I had to leave the NICU at one point because I was crying like a child after watching every nurse in there try to get a new IV into mine because the guy with the ultrasound cart was busy and couldn’t get up there quite yet.

      • Margaret C

        Everyone is bringing their horror stories to the forum but seem to forget that most babies are healthy. Just because its a possibility doesn’t mean all the parents out there are dropping their kids on their heads so why outline every possible nightmare to people. Great the kid breastfed afterward that’s nice but what I want is for people to make it ok to breastfeed too. Somehow breastfeeding past a certain point is weird or snobby. Breastfeeding should be the norm. Bottles are for emergencies. Lots of people feel isolated, overwhelmed and stressed when they first bring their kid home and there’s no shortage of people in their family ready and willing to tell them a crying baby is not normal and they should be getting a bottle. It’s not extreme to see 70% of the country’s 3 month olds on formula and think something is wrong.

        • Gene

          “Bottles are for emergencies…It’s not extreme to see 70% of the country’s 3 month olds on formula and think something is wrong.”

          Wow…all those times I went to work and took care of other people’s babies were EMERGENCIES (slight pause for irony here). And maybe there is a reason that at three months (when the US’s pathetic “maternity leave” policy ends), women switch to formula.

          When will you ACTIVELY start supporting longer maternity leave policies and increased support for working breastfeeding mothers instead of just blindly saying more women should breastfeed?

          • Margaret C

            You people keep asking me to change the maternity laws as if I actually have anything to do with it. Why aren’t all of you changing the laws? Seriously there’s a heck of a lot more of you than there ever will be of me. There are laws in some states that require employers to have a breastpumping room but they dont all actually follow those laws. why arent any of you holding them accountable. You say I’m this extremist for thinking human infants should drink human milk. How is that? Yes people should be aware of emergencies. A lot of people aren’t bothered to learn baby CPR and fine I know that sounds judgemental but its true. You can’t use emergencies as a justification to do something that doesn’t help the babies health. And yes breastmilk does make a difference.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Because it’s one thing to pay lip service to the value of breastfeeding, quite another to actually promote values that support breastfeeding.

          • Margaret C

            So this is supposed to happen overnight by myself? Wow I’m so flattered.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            It’s not going to happen at all unless you try.

            What have you done to make a difference? Don’t turn this on us – you are the one who is complaining and is making the big deal of it, but instead of doing something to help make things better, all you do is try to make it harder on others.

          • AllieFoyle

            So promoting breastfeeding is very, very important and taking on public attitudes toward breastfeeding and sticking it to formula companies through lactivism are things you guys can handle, but advocating for meaningful change is beyond your abilities? Ok then.

          • prolifefeminist

            Quit complaining about it then, if the solution is too hard.

          • rh1985

            As the parent, I get to make the decision that formula feeding is better and healthier for myself and my baby based on our individual circumstances. You don’t know me or my life or my health and you don’t get to make that decision for us.

          • KarenJJ

            You live in a democracy? You can make submissions to politicians and lobby for improved family leave. I was successful at negotiating paid maternity leave for the women in my company. You’re not a victim of outside forces. Empowerment is a wonderful thing.

          • You have something to do with it because inadequate family leave is the single largest hurdle to widespread breastfeeding. Not lack of education. Not predatory advertising or unsympathetic labor nurses, and certainly not free formula samples. People aren’t suggesting that you work towards better family leave policies because its within your power or scope of responsibility, they are suggesting it because pushing mothers to breastfeed is completely useless until they have workplaces that make it possible.

          • prolifefeminist

            If you’re not going to do anything to advocate for better leave policies, then the least you can do is stop railing against moms for turning to formula when most of them have to go back to work by three months postpartum, and for a variety of reasons, aren’t able to fit pumping in their schedules.

            Seriously, quit railing against moms when the real problem lies elsewhere.

        • Tim

          Margaret you invited the horror stories by boldly declaring that nobody had a good reason to breastfeed. What the heck did you expect?

          I personally post horror stories to raise awareness, because seriously, 99% of people have no idea what kind of fire they are playing with by neglecting proper medical care. It means something to me.

          Nobody is going to disagree that BF is nice, and that there are tangible (but severely overblown and overhyped) benefits. The point is that there is nothing WRONG with formula. It’s just different.

          Most babies are healthy, but a ton aren’t, and who are you to judge?

          • Margaret C

            What I want is to hear that people actually thought about it rather than just saying they thought about it. What I deal with day to day are teenagers that think that there’s no difference between bottles and breastmilk and that there’s no problem with feeding a day old baby 50mls of formula. Yeah the kid is still crying that doesn’t mean he’s hungry. His stomach was only ready for 10mls. Yeah hes going to keep sucking on things. its called oral fixation. Everyone wants an easy answer and there are none. The bottle is somehow the answer to all the horrors of parenthood and that idea keeps getting perpetuated. So yeah when somebody is criticizing breastfeeding I rant because not everybody is thinking about what’s happening. They don’t think about the 300,000 kids in china that got sick in 2008 because of tainted formula. Don’t say that could never happen here in the US after all the horror stories you’ve all clung to.
            No I don’t have a personal problem with someone breast and bottlefeeding so long as the breastmilk came first. Milk doesn’t just appear it depends on a hormone cycle to continue producing and people should know that they’re at a higher risk of mastitis when they combo feed. These aren’t judgements its how the human body works.

          • Tim

            China, the same country where they sell fake milk and fake eggs? I do realize that things can and do happen in the US with formula manufacturing that are not good, but comparing it to China, which is basically the equivalent of robber baron capitalism like we had here a hundred years ago is a bit of a stretch.

            Again – nobody here is bashing BF’ing, or saying it’s bad. We’re saying this stunt was childish and immature, that shaming formula feeding parents is foolish and not helping anyone, and that feeding a baby by breast or bottle is a difficult task sometimes.

            It would be great if everyone BF, I agree with you 100% there. But not everyone can, and not everyone wants to, and that’s ok too. We can try to make people aware of the positives, and then let them make the final decision for themselves because that’s life. Pushing, shaming, forcing, etc are not effective means of getting adults to change their minds about this stuff.

          • moto_librarian

            So Margaret C, what’s your stance on pacifiers? Or thumb-sucking for that matter? When either of my boys were full, they would stop eating and use thumb or paci.

          • AllieFoyle

            I’m still stuck on “bottles are for emergencies”!

            Really?

            So basically in your world mom needs to be exclusively available to care for the baby 24/7. No career or paid employment, no chance for any other caregiver to share the burden and joy?

            Why do you get to decide this?

          • VeritasLiberat

            Emergencies can be more common than you think. When my oldest was three weeks old, I got a UTI. Tried to treat it with lots of cranberry and amoxicillin. Evidently the UTI was not susceptible to amoxicillin, because after a week it had turned into a kidney infection. I ended up in the ER on a serious amount of IV antibiotics that were not compatible with breastfeeding. I took more antibiotics for two weeks, during which time I pumped and dumped and the baby drank formula. I went on to nurse that kid until she was almost two, but I guess it doesn’t count because she was not EXCLUSIVELY breast fed. Even a single bottle is enough to defile the purity of the “virgin gut.” It reminds me of the medieval attitude toward virginity in general, only instead of a bloodstained sheet, or lack thereof, there’s… what? An Enfamil canister?

          • Tim

            That little plastic scoop that tells the world the story of your shame

          • Bombshellrisa

            Are the teenagers you deal with still in school? I just wonder because I can’t imagine being a teen parent and having to focus on breastfeeding while studying for school and (maybe) having to work too. The main thing would be that the baby gets enough nutrients to thrive, so the mother is able to do things like study and do homework. Not knowing the difference between breastmilk and formula would probably be the least of their worries.

          • AllieFoyle

            Right. Whether or not the baby of a teen parent is exclusively breastfed seems like pretty small potatoes compared with the other issues they are likely to face. Actually, convincing a teen mom that she needs to exclusively breastfeed and avoid bottles seems like a setup for poverty. How is she supposed to get and education or a job that will provide a good life for that baby?

            And also, what bearing does the perceived ignorance of teen parents that Margaret C deals with have to do with the decisions that other people make?

          • auntbea

            “What I want is to hear that people actually thought about it rather than just saying they thought about it.”

            Read: I will know you REALLY thought about it when you tell me I am right,

          • KarenJJ

            “What I want is to hear that people actually thought about it rather than just saying they thought about it.”

            I thought about it.

            Wait, you need more evidence then that?

            I really, really thought about it.

          • amazonmom

            Yes please explain how the human body works because none of us here have any clue.

          • KarenJJ

            “Don’t say that could never happen here in the US after all the horror stories you’ve all clung to. ”

            Oh good grief. LIVED through. not clung to.

            You know one of the biggest horrors of parenthood is? The idea that your child might die. It is horrific to face that and there are people on this board who have dealt with this, are dealing with this and support others that are dealing with this. You have no idea.

          • Do you honestly believe lactivism is the best way to help a teenaged mom?

          • PJ

            Teenage mothers (and their children) as a group have such poor outcomes–face such obstacles–and you’re obsessing over the fact that they don’t appreciate BREASTFEEDING enough?!

            And really–you’re comparing the tainted formula scandal in China with the situation in the United States?! That’s just … bizarre.

          • amazonmom

            Yeah I tried only supplementing 10 cc at a time after breastfeeding because I listened to nuts like you. My kid lost 16 percent of her body weight before I realized supplementing to satiety was the only thing that was going to help her avoid a readmission. My milk came in on day 10 and she did breastfeed well until I gave it up to take lithium. Do you talk to teen patients like you talk to us and expect them to listen? OMG ROTFL BWAHAHA

          • KarenJJ

            Hungry babies don’t like it when you stop feeding them. I was astounded by how much my baby could drink. I thought she was supposed to be satisfied at a smaller amount after I’d tried breastfeeding her first but she drank almost a full bottle. I had a friend over at the time and looked at her blankly and said ‘are they meant to do that?’. She was a breastfeeder herself but suggested I was probably meant to feed her until she felt full. I was worried about the obesity link, which in light of the fact that she had been slow to put on weight was a stupid worry at the time…

          • prolifefeminist

            Here’s something funny – I pumped (baby was in NICU) and from day one I was getting 40-60 mls of colostrum with every pumping session. I was sending those little 80ml medela bottles 2/3 full down to the NICU every couple of hours. My nurse was seriously impressed. So if I’d been nursing my baby instead of pumping, he would’ve gotten at least 40-60ml colostrum (maybe more – aren’t babies more efficient than pumps?). So are you saying that wouldn’t have been good for him? Should moms be limiting their early nursing sessions so that the baby doesn’t get more than 10mls? Or could it just be that the amount of colostrum a mom makes varies, and likewise the amount a baby’s stomach holds varies too? And that sometimes the two don’t match up too well?

        • moto_librarian

          Okay, I am going to say this one more time. WHAT I CHOOSE TO DO WITH MY BREASTS IS MY BUSINESS, NOT YOURS. Nobody here owes you an explanation. We are just trying to point out that breastfeeding often isn’t easy, nor does it always work despite a woman’s best efforts. And if the only reason that a woman doesn’t breastfeed is simply because “I don’t want too,” it’s still none of your godamned business. I don’t need to be educated. I don’t need for you to pity my children. They’re doing just fine, thank you very much.

        • Bombshellrisa

          “Bottles are for emergencies” Or for other parent to feed baby, or grandma, grandpa, best friend, uncle or auntie or whoever wants to try. Being able to delegate can be life saving.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I still question your claim that 70% of the country’s 3 mo old are “on formula.”

          The last statistics I saw were that something like more than 50% are still breastfed after 6 mos, and I just heard a press release that said that BF rates are increasing. Yes, it could be that 70% of 3 mo old babies have had SOME formula, and only 30% are exclusively breast fed, but I don’t know why that is a problem.

          As has been pointed out to you, if a baby gets 2 oz of formula in the hospital while waiting for milk to arrive and then only breast feeds for the next year, they will be counted in the 70% of those “on formula.” Does that make sense?

          You seem fixated on the exclusive breast feeding aspect, but why? Why must they by exclusively breast fed? Especially considering, as others have explained, the challenges faced by working moms, you should be happy that a large number of them continue to nurse while they work, which is what the data indicate.

          I’ve described our situation below. My wife couldn’t pump enough to keep up with our older son’s needs when she went to work, so I gave him bottles of half formula, half breast milk. Do you think there was a problem with that? We did that arrangement for 6 months, until he was 9 mos old. My younger son refused breastmilk from a bottle, and so when he went to daycare, only had formula, but outside of daycare, he breastfed all the time. That went on from ages 4 mo to 10 mo, when he quit nursing. Explain what was wrong with either of those? What should have been done different?

          Notice that they breastfed for 9 – 10 mo each, although neither were exclusive after about 3 mo. So what’s the problem?

          • PJ

            The funny thing is that breastfeeding rates in the USA are actually better than in New Zealand, where women get a year’s maternity leave, formula advertising is banned and breastfeeding is HEAVILY promoted by the government. If you want to know how to formula feed in an antenatal class in NZ, you should expect to have a private talk after the class so the other class members don’t get tainted with pro-formula talk.

            I only know about NZ and don’t know how other countries compare. Seems to me that US breastfeeding rates are actually not that bad.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yeah, a year’s maternity leave really, really helps.

          • auntbea

            DUDE. I was SO HAPPY to go back to work after eight weeks. I would have gone back at six if it wouldn’t have made my husband’s head explode. You know what they don’t have at my office? Colic.

          • prolifefeminist

            LOL!

            I returned to work part time with my first when he was 7 months old. LOVED IT. It felt like a mini vacation!

          • PollyPocket

            With my second, I took three days off (the day I delivered and two postpartum days). I was in nursing school and was dropped a letter grade for missing class.

            I can’t imagine a year off to recover and get settled and focus on the baby. Like, really can’t wrap my head around it, it is so abstract. I think the majority of American women are the same.

          • I think they’re pretty low in France as well.

          • KarenJJ

            I’ve heard in France they’re not that big on supporting breastfeeding. If it’s not working out it’s a case of ‘here’s a bottle’. That was a n=1 story from a friend though.

          • LibrarianSarah

            She’s fixating on the exclusive breastfeeding aspect because other people aren’t doing things her way and that gives her a sad.

          • “As has been pointed out to you, if a baby gets 2 oz of formula in the hospital while waiting for milk to arrive and then only breast feeds for the next year, they will be counted in the 70% of those “on formula.””

            Is that true???

            I guess my son was formula fed then. I nursed for 17 months, but he had jaundice at birth and got about an ounce of formula after each breastfeeding attempt between UV light sessions. I also gave him a few ounces of formula when he was around 2 months, after flying home from Oregon, cluster feeding too frequently to allow me any time to recover and too wound up/disoriented to sleep (finally slept after the formula).

            So my formula fed son has had maybe 5 oz of formula in his lifetime?

          • Jennifer2

            See, that’s what gets ridiculous when some of the lactation advocacy is taken to the extreme. Common sense would say that you breastfed your baby. But for some of the most fringe lactivists, any formula is enough to diminish that “exclusive breastfeeding” label. As for Bofa, I think he’s referring to studies of breast and formula feeding and how they categorize combo fed babies. Some will count a baby who was breastfed for a week as “breastfed” if they are looking at whether the baby was ever breastfed at all. Others will count the baby who got a few formula bottles as not exclusively breastfed because technically they weren’t. It all depends on what the study is trying to measure.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Everyone is bringing their horror stories to the forum but seem to forget that most babies are healthy.

          I want to reiterate a comment that was mentioned below, but needs to be repeated:

          YOU were the one who asked why someone had to use formula. YOU ASKED FOR IT!

          So where do you come off complaining about anyone bring their “horror stories to the forum”?

          BTW, you whine about the lack of breastfeeding, maybe YOU are the one who needs to remember that most babies are healthy? Including those that are getting formula.

          “Not enough babies are breast fed”
          “Most babies are healthy and are able to breast feed”

          So if most babies are healthy, why is breastfeeding so important again?

          As usual, you are deep over your head, flailing around at anything to salvage your position, even if it means contradicting yourself.

        • prolifefeminist

          “It’s not extreme to see 70% of the country’s 3 month olds on formula and think something is wrong.”

          It also doesn’t take a genius to look at those numbers and realize that most working moms have to return to work by 3 months. Do you have ANY idea how much realistic paid leave policies would boost breastfeeding rates??

      • Suzi Screendoor

        In retrospect, I think supplementing with formula earlier could have allowed me to nurse my baby longer. I started exclusively pumping at one week because my nipples could no longer take it. I had just reached the breaking point. I literally had nightmares about putting her back to my breast because it was so painful. She’s now two months old and formula fed.

        I just wonder what difference it would have made if I had just given her a few bottles. With a little more sleep and a little more time for healing, we may have been able to work at the latch problem more efficiently. I had lots of milk, so I don’t think my supply would have been effected. Gah, live and learn, I suppose. I just hope that HCPs can become a little more moderate about breastfeeding so that mothers can escape the immense pressure to succeed at it.

        • amazonmom

          The May 13 edition of the journal Pediatrics has an interesting study about supplementation and breastfeeding. It would be great if we had more studies that could help clarify if early supplementation could be a tool to help families breastfeed.

        • Happy Sheep

          I know for a fact that I am still partially breastfeeding my 6 month old baby because of supplementing at the beginning to relive the pain of flat nipples being pulled out and to tale the edge off of the hunger of a voracious baby that was too worked up to nurse without an ounce or even half ounce of bottle feeding first.
          Guess what Margaret and June? Lactation consultants at a baby friendly hospital suggested this, and their whole career is based upon encouraging successful breastfeeding.
          Before you focus on my combo feeding as “proof” that supplementing ruined my supply, I have pcos which gives me low supply no matter what. My first was ff after 4 months due to this, so to the LCs and to me, 6 months of mostly breastfeeding is a success. I’m sure to you I’m a failure feeding poison because I refused to let my days old baby scream in hunger and frustration in the name of some ideology.

      • Margaret C

        Also if it only took the baby 8 hours to get dehydrated how was the kid eating ok? He probably wasnt. What drives me insane is how all these visitors storm in and treat the baby like a doll rather than a human being. The baby needs the opportunity to learn to breastfeed. Instincts and understanding are not the same thing so a mother has to be patient and let the baby eat when he’s ready. You can’t dictate the baby’s feedings like you can with a bottle and people just don’t seem to understand that. No you can’t feed a baby that doesn’t want to eat. You need to wait until he’s ready. That means having him on your naked skin and letting him learn. This is a thinking living being you’re dealing with. You need to cater to the baby not your friends.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          As I said earlier, they act as if it is a game. It’s a living, breathing baby, that needs to be cared for.

        • Jessica

          How well do you learn something when you’re exhausted and starving?

        • Amy M

          You can’t make a bottle-fed baby eat if he doesn’t want to either, just so you know. Any baby that doesn’t want to eat doesn’t eat. Not sure where you get this idea that bottle fed babies are eating machines and will automatically suck down any amount of anything in a bottle that is shoved in their mouths any time. ‘Cause that’s what bottle-feeding mothers do, right? Shove bottles full of nasty stuff in the babies’ mouths all day and force them to eat when the mothers want them to, and more than the babies should eat, and that’s how they get so fat, right?

          • tim

            If you could do that , I wouldn’t have a 17.5 pound 16 month old. Oh the magic I wish existed.

          • PollyPocket

            My first went on absolute hunger strikes occasionally. We. Tried. Everything. By the time he was two, he had such a clear understanding of “eat, or you will go to the hospital and get an IV,” that he would take minimal amounts of PO fluids.

            So yeah, some magic way to make babies eat when they don’t want to, short of a feeding tube, would be really really nice.

          • amazonmom

            If I had a magic way to make the babies at work eat when they don’t want to I would be considered a miracle worker.

        • Gene

          Baby was not dehydrated. Parents came in to the ED because they thought he was. BIG difference. He was, however, a bit hypoglycemic and hungry. Both of those issues can make a latch difficult.

        • auntbea

          I’m beginning to wonder: have you ever actually interacted with a baby?

      • June

        A newborn took 3oz of formula and you think that is a good thing? The baby’s stomach wouldn’t be physically capable of holding that much at that point. That’s one of the dangers of formula so early, overfeeding. Suggesting a bottle or two of formula is detrimental too. It might work out fine for some mothers, but it can also start a woman on a downward spiral that destroys her chances of successfully breastfeeding. Any feeding that is replaced with a bottle is a time that the body isn’t signaled to make milk. Breast milk works on supply/demand so if the body isn’t told to make the milk, the body won’t be making the milk. I’m not a crazy lactivist who thinks all formula is totally unnecessary either. If a baby is getting dehydrated and needs nourishment then yes, do what you need to do. A better suggestion and something that actually would have been helpful is using an SNS so the breast is still stimulated to make milk and the baby gets what the baby needs.

        • Amy M

          Gene’s a doctor…I’d take her suggestions over yours any day.

        • Jessica

          Have you ever actually used a SNS? They’re a pain in the ass. I gave up after two days and switched to bottles.

          • amazonmom

            Even the LC team at my hospital agrees that SNS has a limited use. They only see success with it when the baby’s latch and ability to transfer milk is good. SNS is a lot of work and we don’t use it for more than a day or two even with ideal candidates. By then most moms have their milk coming in and the baby no longer requires help feeding.

          • sourpea

            Far out, I used one for about a month and it was the worst epoch of my life. Baby loved to ignore my nipple and just suck on the SNS like a straw, the cheeky little sod.

          • amazonmom

            Hehe Babies are creative problem solvers! I use SNS tubing along my gloved finger for finger feeding and the babies love it.

          • prolifefeminist

            Omg the SNS…I truly hated that contraption. It was one of many, many things I tried on my quest to nurse my preemie. It really is made for people with at least six arms.

          • Jennifer

            I used an SNS with my son and remember going to the LC visit a couple days after we were discharged and she was astonished that I had learned to set it up and use it entirely by myself (my husband had to go back to work). She said they don’t recommend using it unless you have a nurse or someone else there to help you.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Ah, Pablo’s First Law of Internet Discussion strikes again.

          Um, you realize you are talking to an emergency room pediatrician, there, don’t you? You don’t think Gene knows all this and more?

          Suggestion: stop talking now before you look even more silly.

          • Margaret C

            Doctors don’t necessarily know everything. They don’t all know how to be a chiropractor, write legibly, how to stitch a wound well (Frankenstein may approve but not everyone), read xrays outside of their field, or even (gasp!!) give practical information on breastfeeding. Go ahead, call me a lair. It isn’t any less true.

          • AmyP

            That’s funny about wound-stitching. My middle child does have kind of a Frankenstein scar between his eyebrows where the ER doctor stitched him up four years ago.

          • Gene

            1. Chiropractors aren’t medical doctors.
            2. My handwriting is fine. My non-doctor-spouse’s is horrid.
            3. I’ll put my stitching skills against any surgeon, let alone an untrained CPM.
            4. My field is Peds, so I’m not the best at reading a nonogenarian’s cardiac cath report, but I can still diagnose her fractured hip or pneumonia.
            5. Part of my general Peds training involved breastfeeding education and I went out of my way to take extra classes in lactation to improve my education. And I am a vocal supporter of breastfeeding in baby education classes (like the ones taught at hospitals) as well as public advocacy.

            So I’d say you might want to get a fire extinguisher.

          • Dr Kitty

            Oh Margaret, you kill me.
            I’ve worked in adult and paediatric ERs, cardiology, gynae, psych.

            I can read chest X-rays, skulls, facal X-rays, abdo X-rays, KUBs, spines and long bones. Admittedly not to the standard of a radiologist, but enough to see most of the things I need to.

            I can do pelvic and antenatal ultrasounds too-again, not to a great standard, but enough to find ectopics, cysts, twins and placenta previa.

            I can suture a wound, not like a plastic surgeon, but enough to close it and make it presentable.

            I’m not a chiro…because…duh.

            I will freely admit my handwriting is abysmal, but since the only thing I handwrite is my signature, and I can type 80wpm, who cares.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I think the word Margaret is looking for is…pwned.

          • auntbea

            Have you considered rounding out your skill set with Google?

          • Kalacirya

            I think it’s a bit insulting that you didn’t include its title. It’s Dr. Google auntbea.

          • auntbea

            Well, unless it’s retired and a little ornery. Then it’s “Dr” Google.

          • KarenJJ

            My handwriting is atrocious, my sewing skills non-existent and I don’t know everything either. Can I get my MD now please?

          • Bombshellrisa

            I hope my doctor doesn’t know how to be a chiropractor. I do know a couple chiropractors who tried to be doctors but seemed to complain about the same things you do and sited those reasons for dropping out.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Doctors don’t necessarily know everything.

            You, OTOH,…

          • Kalacirya

            “Doctors don’t necessarily know everything. They don’t all know how to be a chiropractor”

            Amen to that, I’m glad that my doctors are not also chiropractors.

          • PollyPocket

            Margaret, I am printing this off and hanging it in my office where the plastic surgeon I work with can enjoy it on a daily basis.

            I think you win for most ridiculous thing on the Internet.

          • amazonmom

            God I hope my doctor doesn’t know how to be a chiro. They would be diagnosing me with chronic lyme or telling me not to get vaccinated or giving me adjustments to keep my baby from going breech.

        • Gene

          Oh lord help me. Let me guess, SNS with donor breast milk? I recommended they try one ounce and try latching again OR the whole bottle. Parents made their choice. The combo of a pissed off and slightly hypoglycemic baby with a mom who has flat nipples is a DIFFICULT latch for anyone. I’m very glad that baby saw us instead of a judgmental lactivist who would give ineffective suggestions and let the baby continue on a downward spiral towards dehydration and hypoglycemic seizures.

        • amazonmom

          Sns only works when the baby has an adequate latch in the first place. How was this baby going to use an SNS when four healthcare providers couldn’t get the baby to latch at all? This seems like a great example of how supplementation can lead to breastfeeding success.

    • PJ

      “Some moms do feel uncomfortable at first when feeding but outright pain is not normal.”

      Lies, lies, lies, lies. SO sick of these lactivist lies.

      • Margaret C

        If there’s pain with the latch the infant isn’t getting enough of the nipple in his mouth. This is why it’s important to control the baby’s head and the shape of the mothers nipple. The baby should be getting the as much of the areaola (colored portion of the breast) as humanly possible not just the tip that sticks out. Way too many people just smack the kids face to their boob without any real goal. They just want to see sucking but they have to have control or the baby is going to slide away and destroy their nipples.

        • PJ

          No, Margaret–sometimes pain is normal. It can have nothing to do with having a poor latch. Thanks for the not-so-implicit blame on the mother, though. Brings back memories of how I felt in the first six weeks of breastfeeding my son.

          • Dr Kitty

            Bollocks Margaret.
            I hear so many times, again and again that the first four to six weeks hurt like a MF, and then, magically, it didn’t.
            The latch didn’t change, the supply didn’t change, it just suddenly stopped hurting.
            It was my experience, my mother’s, her mother’s, my friends’, my patients’, and several women posting here.
            Being told “it only hurts if you’re doing it wrong” is an unhelpful lie.
            It hurts more if you’re doing it wrong, but sometimes, at the start, it hurts when you do it right too.

            In my grandmother’s day they told women to pain, and to toughen up their nipples by scrubbing them gently with a nail brush every day from the sixth month of pregnancy-no joke, she gave me her 1940s baby manual to read, and it says just that!

          • prolifefeminist

            This was my experience too, with my first baby. Perfect latch, but for the first six weeks, the initial latch on and first few sucks made my toes literally curl from the pain. After about six weeks, it went away, and we nursed for almost three years without issue. Subsequent babies, I had no pain at all – just a tiny bit of mild sensitivity for the first few days.

            In retrospect, I wish I’d been told that the pain I had with my first was normal. I wouldn’t have driven myself crazy trying to adjust a latch that was already perfectly fine, or try crazy nursing positions to see if that made it better. I ALMOST gave up on nursing because I thought I couldn’t solve the problem – after all, there must’ve been something wrong because otherwise it shouldn’t hurt, I was told! Knowing all I needed was time would’ve eased my mind tremendously. I think my nipples just had to toughen up a bit. Makes perfect sense to me.

        • Gene

          My two kids were perfect and easy nursers. Quick latches, both of them. But the first three weeks of breastfeeding was incredibly painful with BOTH of them. Let down hurt, and the vacuum-like suck was just agony! So anyone who says that breastfeeding “right” doesn’t hurt is either lying, naive, or just clueless.

          • PJ

            I’ve since talked to lots of mothers who had the same experience of pain that I did. I really don’t understand why lactivists are so afraid to admit that it happens. It’s like they’re scared no one will ever want to breastfeed it the truth gets out, so it must be covered up at all costs. The end result is that mothers just feel discouraged and blamed.

        • AmyP

          “If there’s pain with the latch the infant isn’t getting enough of the nipple in his mouth.”

          No, even a really good latch can be so painful it makes you want to cry in the early weeks. With my current baby, it was like having a mousetrap snap shut on my nipple. Fortunately, it was just the initial latch-on that hurt–the sucking itself was not painful.

          Even nearly 10 months in to breastfeeding, there is pain first thing in the morning when I’m uncomfortably full and feeding the baby.

          Then there’s the whole teeth issue–my baby has eight teeth right now, and while actual bites are unusual, there are definitely abrasions.

        • Yeah, I have to agree that this is total crap.

          I had a GREAT experience with breastfeeding. My son was exclusively breastfeed for about 8-9 months (he was pretty resistant to starting solids) and we continued to nurse until he was 17 months old. And I would not have continued that long if it were a continually painful (or even uncomfortable) experience.

          But there was plent of pain in the beginning.

          You say there’s only pain if the latch is wrong? Fine. As you’ve pointed out, breastfeeding requires learning and practice for both the baby and the mother. And even with the help of a lactation consultant, that can be HARD. So guess what? Getting it “wrong” is part of normal in breastfeeding. And every woman is different, and every mother is different. When you’re exhausted from childbirth, and the baby isn’t necessarily reading the same handbook as you and the LC, sometimes you both say, “good enough” to that imperfect latch. And that leads to pain.

          And that’s assuming everyone has perfectly working parts. There’s also the undiagnosed lip lock, the funky shaped nipples, the low milk supply that too many LCs pretend doesn’t exist. There’s the breast pump with the wrong size of nipple shield because no one bothered to tell you that it matters, or if they did, no one told you how to tell what size you need, and hey, if you DO manage to figure out the right size, where the hell do you buy them?

          Then there are the endless possible complications that can occur from the slightest misalignment, even for one long feeding (cracked nipples) and the complications that can happen even if you are doing everything perfectly (thrush, milk blisters, mastitis). I had mastitis with a related milk blister, and let me tell you, doing everything “right” didn’t save me from long weeks of AGONY, followed by more weeks of mere pain, and more weeks still of milder, but still cringe worthy pain.

          Breastfeeding has all sorts of pain. Suggesting otherwise is disingenuous, and makes mothers, mothers COMMITTED to breastfeeding, who are doing EVERYTHING they’re told by the people who are supposed to be helping, feel like they are failures when they experience the TOTALLY NORMAL pain and are informed that if they were doing a better job, it wouldn’t happen.

          There are many reasons why women who intend to breastfeed end up using formula. But I suggest you take a look at yourself. You think women “give up” because of predatory formula advertising and non child-friendly hospitals, and a culture that discourages breastfeeding. Sometimes women give up because people like you pretend that breastfeeding is so natural and easy and magical. That an ounce of formula will ruin your baby and make you a failure. That pain won’t happen, and if it does, it’s yet another sign of how badly you’re failing as a mother.

          I loved breastfeeding. I have every intention of doing it again. But sometimes breastfeeding advocates just make me furious.

          Stop pretending there is no pain. We just went through childbirth, we can HANDLE the pain, as long as the people who are SUPPOSED to know what’s going on acknowledge that its normal, and won’t last forever. We aren’t weak. We don’t need to be lied to.

    • PJ

      For someone who can’t be bothered to actually read the scientific literature on breastfeeding you sure have an awful lot to say about it.

    • Amy H

      Oh. My. Lands.

      The nurses helped me latch him on in seconds, he ate, and fortunately it was much later when I remembered that it was supposed to be really complicated, and my brain was fuzzy, and I couldn’t remember all the things that were supposed to be in a line, or that his spine was supposed to be straight, and I’d never even held a floppy newborn baby before so getting his spine straight would have been well-nigh impossible, and I started asking the nurses if his latch was OK, and they looked at me kind of bewildered and said it was fine, and he never looked back and was exclusively breastfed until we were ready to stop around 9-10 months. (Yeah, I know, he missed an extra .6 IQ points.)

      I think this stuff needs to be saved for the moms who have trouble with it. Sometimes I wonder how much of the problems moms have are caused by making it over-complicated to begin with. I had a perception of BF’ing as somewhere between ballet and brain surgery, but I actually had a lot harder time getting him to drink pumped milk from a bottle.

  • Dr Kitty

    Do you know why almost none of my patients breastfeed (deprived inner city Belfast)?
    Because they tried it in hospital, found it painful and they like the
    freedom that formula feeding gives them.
    The freedom to have your mother, partner or friend look after your baby while you work, or go on a night out, or while you just try to keep some semblance of your social life intact (single parents under 21 can become socially isolated and depressed easily).
    The freedom to have more than 4 hours sleep a night (because formula fed babies will sleep for much longer, from much earlier), which is important if you or your partner work 2 jobs.
    The option of NOT having to choose between removing clothing in public or feeding a baby in a toilet.
    The reassurance of knowing exactly how much your baby is taking.

    Those are TANGIBLE benefits that bottle feeding gives. They beat intangibles like ” a slightly reduced risk of allergies and ear infections” or “maybe 3 extra IQ points” into a cocked hat.

    I know this, because I have asked these ladies about their choices, and those are the answers they give, time and time again.

    Some people weigh up the pros and cons of formula vs breast, and for them, the pros of breast feeding just don’t outweigh the pros of formula feeding.

    Which is fine, because the vast majority of FF infants won’t suffer for that decision.

    I EBF for over a year. It worked for me, but I’m not going to be so arrogant as to assume that therefore it must work for everyone.
    Nor am I going to deny that at times it was painful, frustrating, time consuming, inconvenient and that at times I questioned my choice.

    • Suzi Screendoor

      I love you.

  • Guilt-Free

    A movie is coming out that is going to be a like an adult version of ‘Mean Girls.’ It’s going to be: ‘Mean Moms.’ I’d love to see the ‘natural’ birth craziness and bullying of women/C-sections/medicated births/lactivism shown in this film.

    • Are you serious? I don’t know whether that would make a better comedy or documentary.

      • BeatlesFan

        Because you mentioned a documentary, now I’m picturing a group of homebirthing, exclusively breastfeeding, anti-vaxxing, babywearing, hemp-wearing mothers all sneaking up behind a mother who is bottlefeeding her vaccinated, stroller-bound baby, blissfully unaware that she’s being hunted the way wolves will hunt caribou.

        Tomorrow on the Discovery channel…

      • Guilt-Free
  • Lol… Yes, I can see the sanctimommy here, yes it’s staged and her kid is a prop, but honestly this photo cracks me up. I don’t see it as shaming moms who use formula (though I wouldn’t blame a formula feeding mom who felt that way) so much as a “Nanner-nanner-nanner!” at formula companies. Mature? No. Still funny.

    • Guest

      Artistically speaking, the neon green bag kinda ruins it though. What kind of earth mother carries around a neon green bag? Jeez.

      • Gene

        Agreed. Should be natural coloured hemp!

  • laura

    I am pro breastfeeding and have fed in public because my baby was hungry butbthis woman put on a ridiculous charade. She’s probably the woman who scolded me for having a repeat c-section.

    • Guilt-Free

      The flower-child free-birthing, free-love, free-milk scene is often home to the C-section critic. Try being psychopathically harassed by one of these drama queens. BTDT.

      • yentavegan

        And it is these same “everythings cool go with the flow” posers who invite you to join their food co-op which turns out to be an offshoot of their anti-circumcision, anti-medical establishment anti-semitic political action group. BTDT. shaken to my core.

        • Esther

          anti-semitic political action? Could you elaborate please?

          • Dr Kitty

            Any group that is vehemently anti-circ can become anti-islamic or anti-semitic if it doesn’t take care.

            “I disagree with your religion’s belief and practices regarding circumcision” can get ugly, fast.

            Is it just me, or does this blog have a particularly high percentage of Jewish posters? Maybe we’re just more skeptical and argumentative.

          • yentavegan

            This is going back 20 plus years…but the topic of leaving a little boy intact quickly spiraled into collecting signatures to support a law denying insurance payments for circs… “because those Jewish doctors will stop doing it if they can’t get paid.”

  • areawomanpdx

    Ah, yes. My favorite part is how this is such an obvious ploy for attention, but she pretends that she and her baby just happened to be there with matching flower child hairdos, photographer at the ready, when she was overcome with the need to show all those uneducated women that breastfeeding is an option. Get over yourself, lady. There isn’t a single pregnant or postpartum woman in the US who isn’t aware that breastfeeding is an option, and that it is the *recommended* one.

    I happened to be lucky enough to be able to stay home and breastfeed each of my children for more than two years. Some women don’t have the luxury, some women don’t make enough milk, and some women would just prefer not to, even though they’ve been “educated” up the wazoo. As long as they’re feeding their baby something appropriate, I don’t care what it is. I did happen to go to this woman’s Facebook page, where she originally posted the photo, and she was advocating that homemade formula was better, because ” Have you SEEN the ingredients in commercial formula, they’re gross, blah blah.” Not only does this clearly show just how uneducated she really is, it is dangerous advice. So not only is she a narcissist, she’s also a dangerous moron.

    • amazonmom

      If this was an art photo in a pretty outside setting I think it would be a cute photo even if it was being used to promote breastfeeding. Using to promote her crazy agenda by posing in front of a formula booth and saying you should use homemade recipes instead puts it solidly in the crazy lactivist camp. Your comment gets 5 stars!

      • Durango

        I don’t think it’s cute. It’s such a painfully awkward position that my old back starts to ache just looking at that pose.

        • Captain Obvious

          Haha, I thought kayaking would be fun. That position puts a lot of strain on ones back! Looking at her position sitting there, it hurts me too. She forgot to bring her portable chair for impromptu nursing sessions.

    • Guilt-Free

      It’s soooo mystical….she must’ve had a dolphin delivery to boot.

    • Gene

      Yeah, THIS is breastfeeding as art: http://www.theoilpaintingsaless.com/upimage/20110111/201101112027322343_s.jpg

      Your photo, not so much…

  • BTDT

    There needs to be a way to “Desperately Heart” articles on this blog.

  • wookie130

    I also think to add to the dramatic flair of the photo, little infant Winnie appears to be naked. This probably annoys me as much as anything with this photo. But, since Mother Earth is making such an ethereal display of anti-consumerism in front of the Enfamil table, why would she fill the pockets of those who work for the likes of Carter’s or Gymboree by slapping a onesie or a sleeper on the child? I suppose it would detract from the prop’s (oops! I meant the “CHILD’S”) crunchy naked woodland creature image she is trying to portray here.

    • realityycheque

      A lot of people have been saying this, but if you look closely the baby is actually wearing light coloured pants.

  • kgid

    Well she was going to feed at the breastfeeding booth but……
    oh wait…

  • pookietooth

    A bit of the pot calling the kettle black isn’t it? A blog that is dedicated to how great you the author is and how she is heroically saving women from the menace of natural childbirth pointing a finger at a lactivist as a narcissist is so ironic, I don’t even know where to begin.

    • BeatlesFan

      No, it’s not the pot calling the kettle black. Nobody has to read what Dr. Amy writes if they don’t want to. Having to walk around a woman breastfeeding on the floor in order to get to a formula table is both unavoidable and degrading, especially to women who physically couldn’t breastfeed.

    • Bombshellrisa

      How is it the pot calling the kettle black? If I remember, Dr Amy breasted four children and heartily endorses it, although I am pretty sure she didn’t take the opportunity to walk topless through the postpartum unit of a hospital trying to show women how natural breast feeding is compared to formula.

    • Sue

      ”A blog that is dedicated to how great you the author is”?

      Where did you read that bit?

      The only people I have seen here promoting how effective Amy’s blog has been are readers who have gained insight by participating here. I don’t see any of the hero worship or religious fervor that is so common on other childbirth sites.

  • I actually came to this blog before I got pregnant, and the way that you personally attack other people & try to denigrate anything associated with NCB (like the anti-elimination communication post, personal nasty things said about TFB, etc) made me think you weren’t trust worthy as a source of information about childbirth. This post is a perfect example of the problem- what does your opinion of this woman’s parenting have to do with skepticism? This post is nothing but conjecture, and needlessly mean conjecture to boot. Why imagine the absolute worst in everyone else?

    Do whatever you want with the information, I’m just letting you know. I did get convinced of various things because of other skeptics online so I had big hopes for this site. The better skeptics were ones that at least tried to create the appearance of impartiality instead of denigrating anything that they personally did not find appealing. The absolute best ones never gave the opposition a reason to dismiss them, and had compassion for the people caught up in things that were untrue. You are the most visible person in NCB skepticism. It would have been nice if there had been a ‘just the facts’ sort of site without all this kind of nonsense floating about.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Thank you for your concern.

      • is this the ‘your concern is noted’ talk for concern trolls, or genuine?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          False dichotomy

          • I guess you think I am a concern troll then? Maybe you should check out my blog and see what I went through because of a predatory midwife. I found out the hard way that there isn’t any accountability for these people. I am genuinely trying to add to the discourse here by sharing about why I personally ignored this website when I was planning my pregnancy.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Thank you again for your concern.

          • kumquatwriter

            I think it’s good that you said it. I don’t personally agree, but I know women who have dismissed Dr Amy for the same reason.

            I don’t think Dr. Amy should (or could) change her style. She’s authentic – its one of the things that makes her a good writer and “leader” (can’t think of a better term but there is one).

            What needs to (and inevitably will) happen is that someone will start a blog that is just as factual and authoritative as this one, but who writes in a different tone. Or a celebrity will take up the cause – I’m still rooting for Tina Fey or Maya Rudolph.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            “Better Midwifery in Michigan” or something like that is another blog that has the same message but with a gentler tone.

          • Karen in SC

            Yes, it’s Safer Midwifery for Michigan. Excellent blog, zero – five comments on each post. Other good ones are listed on the blog roll. None get as much traffic as SOB. I agree this cause needs some celebrity endorsement, though Dr. Amy does get a lot a press.

    • realityycheque

      I actually think that this is a really important post. The shaming on FFing mothers by lactivists is obscene. As much as they claim to be victimised for public breastfeeding, FFing parents are frequently compared to child abusers, told that they are feeding their babies poison, that they don’t deserve to have children and shown sensationalist “infographics” like the ones a few posts back which stated that formula fed babies are x times more likely to die within the first year of life without even accounting for the numerous confounding factors that would cause those numbers to be elevated in the first place.

      The woman in the picture can argue that this wasn’t an effort to shame FFers, but when she on her own page she is encouraging parents to make (dangerous) homemade formula and ignorantly criticising the ingredients in commercial brand formula as “scary”, it is obvious that she is lying and holds a negative view on commercial brand formula, and by extension the parents who purchase it and feed their children this “scary” substance.

      How are FFing parents supposed to feel approaching a stall with a lactivist making a sign of protest out the front in the name of “promoting” breastfeeding. We all know ‘breast is best’, it is shoved in our faces at every other moment. Can’t women buy their babies food or receive information on formula without running into this crap? This doesn’t serve to normalise anything and I don’t get how it “promotes” breastfeeding… if that was really her goal, she could have set up her own stall and spoken to people who were actually interested in her cause, not sat out the front of the formula stand creating a spectacle. It is an obviously antagonistic effort on her part.

      She’s kidding herself if she thinks we’re going to believe that she went to this conference with no plan to do this. The wreaths? Seriously? It’s so obviously staged, and to go to the effort of prearranging something like this says a lot about her position on the topic. I would never go to the effort of purchasing wreaths, dressing up like an earth mother, bringing a camera and uploading this to the internet if I didn’t have some serious moral opposition to the stall behind me.

      • BeatlesFan

        *Slow clap*

      • I don’t have a creative name

        Can’t women buy their babies food or receive information on formula
        without running into this crap? This doesn’t serve to normalise anything
        and I don’t get how it “promotes” breastfeeding… if that was really
        her goal, she could have set up her own stall and spoken to people who
        were actually interested in her cause, not sat out the front of the
        formula stand creating a spectacle. It is an obviously antagonistic
        effort on her part.

        YES YES YES YES YES!

    • Yes and no. I think it’s fair to call the photo a publicity stunt, I think everything else in this post is assumption, and yeah, it’s a bit mean spirited. I don’t think this is by any means the most important or central of Amy’s posts.

      But this kind of “nonsense” brings in traffic. It’s the REASON her voice is the most prominent skeptic voice and not lost under the NCB rhetoric.

      Her nastiest posts do turn some people off. But the traffic brings in far, far more people than would ever have found this information without it.

      It’s really unfortunate that the dominant voice of reason in this debate often sounds so unreasonable. But realistically, I think this is a flaw in the Internet, not the author who’s figured out how to take advantage of it.

  • Love Elicia’s pic!

    Maybe you should have done your research before writing your crappy blog. You don’t know why she was there or what led to her feeding there or the fact that she was wearing a wreath for something earlier that day. Who’s attention seeking here? Posting a dumb blog against a pro breastfeeding picture during World Breast Feeding Week? I guess your therapist might describe your need for attention as needy even negative attention will do! Classy “Dr.” Amy very classy.

    • BeatlesFan

      She explains what led to her feeding there, she felt the need to “advertise” breastfeeding because of the formula tables. Also, Dr. A wasn’t blogging against breastfeeding photos in general, but against this one because it was staged and used for sanctimommy purposes. Lastly, the fact that it’s WBFW makes not a bit of difference. Mere coincidence.

      • Breast Is Best

        Why Against this one because of the table behind her, really? I just think this Dr. Amy lady needed some attention negative or not. Sad for her.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Let’s see…
          Breastfeeding mom plops down in the middle of the mall for everyone to see

          Dr Amy posts comments on her personal blog.

          Who is seeking attention?

          Amazing how you complain that Dr Amy needed some attention, and then oblige her by coming to her website to comment.

  • Silly people!

    WHOA, I think I spy someone with a fragile self esteem herself.

  • Sonya Sierks

    Haters gonna hate, yo.

  • brandi

    wow your a lovely lady… NOT

    • Kalacirya

      Looks like Elicia got some of her clearly brilliant friends to drop on in.

    • Gene

      wow, you’re grammar skillz rock…NOT

  • L and J’s mommy

    Wow…. you are a mega bitch

    • amazonmom

      Fighting lactivist crazies, you aren’t doing it right unless at least one calls you a bitch daily.

      • Sue

        The lactivist hotline called the troops over. Must be a sign of success.

    • LibrarianSarah

      Nothing says “I am pro-woman” like using mysogynistic slurs

  • Elicia Binman

    http://doublethink.us.com/paala/2013/08/03/breastfeeding-image-of-the-day-nursing-in-front-of-enfamil-table/

    Maybe you should do a little research ‘Dr.’ Amy. I have nothing against FF Mothers. It’s the advertising of the companies that I find despicable and pathetic. Grow up and quit vlogging about things you don’t like and how about you blog about something positive for once!

    • Gene

      What is it about the advertising that you find so bad? I mean, as compared to any other product?

      • brandi

        All other countries have adopted the WHO code that bans the advertising of formula to babies under six months cause its NOT healthy and undermines breastfeeding thats whats wrong with it. The US just needs to get back on board with the rest of the world.

        • Tim

          How do you advertise formula to a baby? And given that you probably meant mothers, do you have special ads that only appear in magazines or the internet when they detect that your baby is old enough?

          • An Actual Attorney

            I think there were ads in the calc book my son was reading at 3 months.

          • rh1985

            Pfft, my baby is a true genius and can read in utero! In fact (s)he read the menu and made me order something really fattening at Cold Stone Creamery….

          • Bombshellrisa

            The L&D nurses sing it’s praises over breast milk while they wash the birthy smells away and put a hat on the kid.

          • Tim

            The same nurses who are apparently molesting everyone by squeezing their breasts and forcing their kids faces onto it? Which is it this week anyway – are they pinning kids down to force formula into them, or forcibly mashing them into breasts?
            At least we can all agree that the adorable pink and blue hats are a tool of the devil himself.

          • amazonmom

            You caught me red handed Tim! I’m trying to force breastfeeding on babies by getting them imprinted on their pink and blue hats, then making them desperate when I take the hat away. Mash baby onto boob and I have gotten the baby to cling to the breast in the vain hope of replacing the love only the hat can provide.

          • Tim

            Blofeld himself would be jealous of such a wonderfully devious plot.

          • Bombshellrisa

            The very same ones (the ones who are “forcing” women to get epidurals by asking if they want one more than once).

          • areawomanpdx

            The LandD nurses where I work can’t give formula without an order from an MD. They’re pushing Breastfeeding like you wouldn’t believe, to the point where Ive had several patients in the last month demand that it be put in their chart never to mention Breastfeeding again. This is what we’re coming to. Harassing new mothers, who have been thoroughly educated, after they’ve already made their choice.

          • amazonmom

            I am delivering at a similar place which also happens to be where I work. At least we don’t need an MD order to supplement, but I have called the baby’s pediatrician at times to have them order supplementation because the postpartum nurse refuses to do it (call the ped or supplement). I’m hoping getting a hospital stock of donor breast milk will help us avoid NICU admits because the nurse doesn’t want to supplement with formula. We have a supplementation policy written by the neonatologists defining medically necessary supplementation and the nurses don’t want to do it!

            My own physicians have told me NOT to exclusively breastfeed, that I have to supplement with bottles from the beginning. I’m already worried that I will have to disclose my mental health history to my coworkers to get them to stop pushing exclusive breastfeeding on me. I might just lie and say I’m exclusively formula feeding so they write me off as hopeless and leave me alone.

          • realityycheque

            That’s absolutely ridiculous amazonmom. This entire anti-formula thing is completely out of control.

          • prolifefeminist

            Hearing reports like this really pisses me off. My grandmother and my mom both recall how hard it was to breastfeed in the hospital when they gave birth in the 40’s and 50’s and early 70’s. They only allowed the babies out of the nursery every 4 hours for feedings, there was pretty much no lactation support, etc. I’m glad we’ve gotten away from that, but WHY did the pendulum have to swing SO far in the opposite direction??

            Why can’t these asinine mommy wars just be over already. There’s so much work involved in giving birth and raising happy, healthy kids… Just imagine what it could be like if we could just support each other through it all instead of judging and tearing down.

        • Box of Salt

          “The US just needs to get back on board with the rest of the world.”

          Such as paid maternity leave? Lack of leave undermines breastfeeding far more than advertising.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Such as paid maternity leave? Lack of leave undermines breastfeeding far more than advertising.

            But it’s so much easier to spout irrelevant measures that inconvenience people than to actually do something to make things better for them.

          • prolifefeminist

            “Lack of leave undermines breastfeeding far more than advertising.”

            It sure does. That’s what being baby-friendly and pro-breastfeeding really looks like – realistic paid family leave. The US is embarrassingly behind the rest of the developed world on that one. Why not advocate for family-friendly options in the workplace, instead of wearing flower wreaths and breastfeeding on the floor?

        • PJ

          What evidence do you have that banning advertising makes any difference to breastfeeding rates?

          Let me guess: you never bothered to try to find out.

          • PJ

            And no, “All other countries” have NOT “adopted the WHO code that bans the advertising of formula to babies under six months.”

        • BTDT

          Because only women are stupid enough to fall for advertising. Truly, just show us one can of formula and we’ll all throw our children to the wolves and start binge eating cheetios. It happens, just ask “lactivists”.

          • Kalacirya

            First you start with formula in the bottle, and it only advances to Mountain Dew.

          • prolifefeminist

            Cheetios…is that a combination of Cheetos and Cheerios? Cheeto-inspired breakfast cereal? LOL Excellent!

        • Sue

          Why is it that lactivists can’t distinguish between impoverished societies with lack of clean water and middle class USA?

          • Bombshellrisa

            Because it would require looking beyond their own ideal situation!

        • Clarissa Darling

          Umm, the formula companies do not advertise to babies. They advertise to MOTHERS. You know, grown women with kids and enough brains to make their own decisions regarding how to feed their child.

          • Gene

            So as a pediatrician, I have access to FREE formula. Totally and completely free. 100% free. I get samples in the mail, can get it from work, directly from Mead, etc. Yet still, I decided on my own to exclusively breastfeed each of my kids. All the formula samples in my house ended up donated to a food bank. And the ONE reason I was able to breastfeed after 12 weeks (and returned to work) was that I had a supportive work environment that allowed me to pump. So quick blaming formula companies for advertising to women and start lobbying the government to extend PAID maternity (and paternity) leave.

      • antigone23

        Well, you see, mothers are uniquely susceptible to advertising due to our inferior lady brains. I mean, any other type of advertising is a-ok, but we just can’t resist the siren song of formula advertising, so it should be banned unlike any other legal product.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Which is why nurses are abusive-they offer epidurals more than once during a woman’s labor. Everyone knows that a woman is going to “cave” with that much promotion and advertising of effective pain relief!

    • An Actual Attorney

      My favorite part is where you wonder why you got dirty looks. I will confess, when people unnecessarily plop themselves in obvious walkways, I give them dirty looks. If they stand on the left on the metro escalator, I use profanity. I did so while breastfeeding and I continue to do so now that Actual Son is weaned.

      • BeatlesFan

        I thought the same thing seeing the picture… if someone wants to very obviously breastfeed in front of a formula company’s table- I think doing so is pointless and attention-seeking, but fine, have fun- can’t that person at least stand up, or pull up a chair beside the table? Sitting in the middle of the floor is both immature and unsafe.

      • realityycheque

        Can you imagine the dirty looks that would be given to a mother if she sat out the front of a breastfeeding stall and gave her baby a bottle of formula to “support formula feeding mothers”? I can guarantee it would have been above and beyond anything this woman experienced.

        And agreed, perhaps she wouldn’t have got so many “dirty looks” if she’d just sat on a bench and fed her baby without a.) Making a spectacle and b.) Obstructing the walking space for other attendees?

        • prolifefeminist

          EXACTLY.

    • Meerkat

      You know, Elicia, this display was a waste of your time. Those of us who can and want to breastfeed – do. Those of us who don’t will not be swayed by a picture of a woman breastfeeding her child in public.
      Just a thought- if you have that much free time, perhaps you can start a grassroots movement for a longer paid maternity leave.

      • Kalacirya

        I think that would be too hard. Easier to work for your father’s law firm, study to get a CPM, and put on more hipster get-ups to get cute pictures of yourself doing lactivist sit ins.

    • mom4474

      I saw this picture on another page today, and you commented that you think formula is “nasty” and the formula companies “don’t give 2 shits about the babies they’re feeding”. Personally, I’m getting pretty sick and tired of the whole “I’m not against formula feeders! It’s the big, bad formula companies and their product I hate!” argument. So, you have nothing against formula feeding mothers, but we need to know that we’re feeding our babies nasty crap, and we’re very naive and being duped by the predatory formula advertising? In addition, you made a number of comments pushing donor milk as if it should always be the next choice after breastfeeding, which I feel is a very personal choice that a parent has to be comfortable with. Many are not comfortable with the idea, and for many valid reasons. As far as the picture goes, I do question the motivation behind it, but I support a woman’s right to NIP wherever, whenever she needs to.. I don’t, however, view this picture as inspiring or any sort of true activism.

      • BeatlesFan

        Like “hate the sin, love the sinner”…”I have nothing against formula feeding mothers, I just hate the formula they’re feeding with!”

        Yet, if someone says “I have nothing against breastfeeding, I just don’t like it when women breastfeed in public”, everyone loses their minds…

      • I don’t entirely agree. I think formula is vital to the health and survival of many babies. I think it’s safe, at least in most (maybe all?) first world countries, and a completely fine choice whether its made due to necessity or preference. I think there are health benefits to breast feeding, but that those benefits, in first world countries, are minimal and overstated.

        I ALSO think formula companies, like any company driven by profit, can be underhanded in their advertising (and no, I’m not talking about free formula samples… I am so all about hospitals providing free formula samples). I think formula companies are mainly concerned with safety as it impacts their bottom line.

    • PJ

      ” I have nothing against FF Mothers. It’s the advertising of the companies that I find despicable and pathetic.”

      Give me a break.

      • Sue

        Elicia – if you have nothing against formula being used to nourish babies, where do you think the parents should be allowed to get the formula? Must they make their own?

    • Kalacirya

      Just because you put the title Dr. in scare quotation marks, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t count. It doesn’t matter that she’s retired, she’s still a Dr., she earned the degree.

      You have a degree of cognitive dissonance that is really remarkable to me. You do have something against FF mothers. You plopped yourself on the ground in front of an Enfamil table, wearing a flower crown and using your baby as a prop. You rail against formula and view it as a vile substance, as if that isn’t judging formula feeding mothers. You remind me of a religious zealot that goes by “hating the sin and not the sinner”, when you’re really just hating the supposed sin and concern trolling the supposed sinner into submission.

      The photo, as much as your fellow breastivists love it, doesn’t make a point to anyone but those that are already indoctrinated by your way of thinking. Training to be a CPM? Why not obtain a real degree like a bachelor’s of nursing, and get the graduate degree to become a nurse midwife. The education you seek is less than useless.

    • Amazed

      And how, exactly, do you suggest formula feeding moms find formula except from stalls your boob did, you know, block?

      Hypocrisy much? Keep training, you’ll make a great CPM.

    • Playing Possum

      Love it when people use “dr”!! It’s as if you were referred to as “mrs” so and so, or “ms” so and so or “mr” so and so or “mother” superior. It’s a stripping of a value like you’re no longer a human. Granted, the honorific is weird that it’s a vocation based identifier, but if I introduce myself as Dr Possum, then I expect to be called Dr Possum. To use an expression of my grandmother’s, it is “coarse” not to use the correct title. It really only reflects badly on the person using the quotation marks.

      Sorry hijack….

      • PollyPocket

        That reminds me of the song Dr. Worm.

        I’m not a real doctor but I am a real worm!

    • AllieFoyle

      You know, I nursed my kids, and I think nursing is a good thing in general and that people should be free to do it in public, etc. but I have to say that I sincerely hated, as a breastfeeding mother, when people like you would do nutty stuff like that. Lying on the floor dressed up as a wood nymph making a scene? That shit does not appeal to mainstream moms who may be considering whether breastfeeding is the right option for them. It doesn’t make breastfeeding feel more normal and socially acceptable to people. It makes breastfeeding look like a weird, in-your-face, exhibitionist thing instead of a private action between a woman and her baby. Your actions were alienating, not inspiring.

    • moto_librarian

      Oh Elicia, you’re out of your league here. Your “I have nothing against FF mothers” seems a bit contrived considering all of the nasty things that you have to say about formula in the comments. Do you really think that homemade formula is a better option than commercial preparations that have to pass stringent guidelines for quality and safety?

      If you think that blocking the Enfamil booth was a mature statement, perhaps you need to reconsider your definition of the word.

    • stacey

      You should THANK her for all the publicity!

  • Guest
    • BeatlesFan

      Wow, what a well-reasoned, persuasive argument! I’m sure Dr. Amy will completely change her tune now. Go you!

    • Kalacirya

      Well at least it’s only “kind of”.

  • Meerkat

    Lactivists and NCB crowd really like referring to women as “mammas” which I find both patronizing and disturbing. We are not ladies, women, or even moms or mothers, we are “mammas.” I guess this word is all about reducing us to just one role. The only person who should be calling me momma is my son.

    • Christina Maxwell

      Ohhhh yes, I hate that. It’s so damn soppy.

    • LibrarianSarah

      That has always made me cringe. I don’t even call my own mother mamma or mama. It’s either mom or ma.

      • rh1985

        I don’t believe I have called my mother Mama since I was under the age of two… it was my first word but I haven’t said it in a LONG time. If I were to use a cutesy name I would refer to myself as my baby’s “mommy.”

      • Meerkat

        I am Russian, so I do call my mom Mama, but for me it’s something very personal and special. The only time I didn’t mind was when the nurses called me mommy after the birth of my son. That was nice.

      • Older Mom

        What is this issue that people have with mama? Some families use mom, others mommy, others mama. Who cares???

        Periodically, people here take offense with “mama”, like it’s some sort of hippy-dippy signifier. We use mama and papa at home because my husband is a relatively recent immigrant from a country where those are the terms. We like it,

        My own ancestors are from a different mama/papa land too, though my family got Americanized and we used mom and dad.

        So “mama” just feels right to us. Really, what other people’s kids call them is irrelevant. I also use “mama” when I’m talking to my son, who just turned 3 and can’t quite keep the names of all my mom-friends straight. So if he seems confused, I clarify with: “Bob’s mama, Ellie’s mama, etc.”

        I don’t see how saying “mama” is “patronizing and disturbing” while ladies or moms or mothers is not.

        My biggest gripe is when they can’t spell it: it’s MAMA, not MAMMA. And yes, I see the wrong spelling so much more often with the crunchy crowd.

        • An Actual Attorney

          My gripe is not with people using “mama” as you described, but when referring to an adult women as “mama.” As in “come one, mamas, lets all have a nurse-in” or “how are you doing, mama?” Referring to someone as mama in the case you describe makes sense, it’s communicating appropriately with your kid. When other people refer to me as “mama” it’s usually in a way that is infantilizing and trivializing me as a person.

          • Older Mom

            Huh…so is it offensive to have a “moms’ night out”? Is it offensive when a friend (whose husband is also from a mama/papa culture) sends out an email to a half-dozen close friends and says, “Hey mamas, shall we set up a Moms’ Night Out for Thursday?”

            In this case, I think it’s about the fact that we are all tired, overwhelmed moms of young children who really savor our time out, away from our kids, with other mom friends.

          • An Actual Attorney

            No, but it’s about context. If you are inviting me to a moms’ night out, presumably you know me. And I know you. But language is all about context and calling someone mama (or mom, but it’s never mom in those situations) if you don’t know them is offensive.

            Although, in my personal situation, I probably would be a little offended, since if you know me well enough to ask me out for an evening, you know that I am gay. But that isn’t the question you asked.

            Actually, as I think about this, I would be offended if a friend defined me by my gender and family status that way, but I don’t think anyone I call a friend would.

          • Older Mom

            Hmmm…this is even more curious. I have had gay female friends come to moms’ nights out. It’s usually the woman who is the SAHM, or only works part-time, rather than the full-time working spouse. Have also had a trans friend (male to female) join us a few times too.

            I never saw it as “defining” someone by their gender, though I guess it is a little bit about defining someone by their role as mom. If you’re a SAHM, even part-time, you desire a bit of a break, and moms’ night out, for us, is all about being happy-hour break for other moms (regardless of their sex at birth, regardless of their sexual orientation) who want the same sort of break too.

          • An Actual Attorney

            Oh yeah, parents need breaks, and time with friends. And I can’t speak for people who aren’t me, obviously. But if I were invited to a mom’s night, and it was clear my spouse wasn’t, I would feel odd. Maybe offended is too strong. Would you invite a stay at home dad? What if his female partner worked outside the home?

            But, let me give another example. A friend of a friend started a expecting / new mom’s group around the time my son was born. I asked if my wife was welcome, and got a lot of hems and haws because she wasn’t the birth parent and they had never thought of that and the paradigm was that mom = primary caregiver and there was only one of those in a relationship. I never went.

            I also have the same issue with Amazon’s Mom’s Club.

          • Older Mom

            Ah, OK, I think I see what’s going on here: Let me first state that our socioeconomic status is such that, in our social circle, anyone could afford a babysitter to just go hang out with friends and have a drink. Even those who are lucky enough to have healthy and willing grandparents nearby save their chips for private date-nights, kid-free weekend getaways, time for house projects, working in the evening, etc.

            Hence, it was exclusively one parent per family.

            With the gay women we hung out with, it was usually the SAHM (who, BTW, was not necessarily the birth parent or at least not the birth parent of all the children) who came out. I think that had more to do with the primary child caregiver needing a break and adult-time while the primary breadwinner tended to want some pre-bedtime child time.

            As for SAHDs, honestly, we just didn’t know many. The only one who was part of my social circle worked part-time during the day (naps, swaps, a small nanny share) but mostly worked at night (worked well for the nature of his job anyway), which is why we never invited him to join us.

            I think mostly SAHDs would’ve been welcomed. And in actually, the dad who became a mom WAS welcomed.

            Excluding a mom friend from a moms’ night out because she’s not the “birthparent” is unconscionable. I would never want to hang out with people like that. I totally understand where you are coming from.

            Excluding SAHDs, well, I *can* see that sometimes women just want to get together with other women. Bring a SAHD into the picture, and it’s hard to dish about infertility, post-baby sex, miscarriages, etc. But in my experience, the need for such get-togethers is rare. Most of our moms’ nights out were just a rip-roaring fun good time without a lot of heavy talk. But there is a place for heavy girl talk sometimes.

            And I totally agree about Amazon’s Moms’ Club. Though ironically, they let my husband join after mine expired. I wish they would just call it the Parent’s Club.

          • Guilt-Free

            I’m a devoted mother, but, when I go out, I’m tearing up the dance floor, throwing back a few shots, and ‘mama’ is not my name and anyone with me is going to be calling me by my ‘grownup’ name/nickname. There is a time to be ‘mama’ and a time to be oneself as well. Kids grow up. You’ve got to still have a self apart from the kids.

          • BTDT

            Even though all of my female friends are moms (and old), we still call it a girls’ night out.

          • AllieFoyle

            It’s two issues:

            One is just personal preference. I don’t like the sound of momma and so my kids don’t refer to me that way. Maybe it’s social or regional, but I just do not identify with “momma” and I’d rather not be called that. I don’t feel the same way about “mama” as it’s pronounced in other languages–it has different associations. I don’t care what other people have their kids call them. I assume they use what sounds good and seems appropriate to them, just as I do.

            But Ugh on the use of momma/mama/mamma as a group term for adult women. I find it infantilizing and kind of regressive to identify women that way, as though their most defining characteristic is their biological role. I mean, I really don’t care what other people call themselves and I don’t get het up about people calling each other “hot mama” jokingly or whatever. I’m just kind of turned off by any kind of group that advertises itself as for mamas–it sets a certain tone and experience tells me that I’m not likely to enjoy that kind of group.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            How high’s the water, mama?

            Three feet high and rising…

          • yentavegan

            I love Johnny Cash!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Got bad news for you, he’s dead.

            The one on the right was…on the left
            And the one in the middle was..on the right
            And the one on the left was…in the middle
            And the guy in the rear…was a methodist

            And none of them was Ira Hayes
            (Ira Hayes was, of course, one of the marines who erected the flag on Iwo Jima)

            And Frankie and Johnny were sweethearts…

          • yentavegan

            I know that silly!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Well, I didn’t know about the Ira Hayes thing until I went to the Iwo Jima memorial in DC. I knew the song long before that.

          • An Actual Attorney

            Obviously, every rule has a Johnny Cash exception.

        • LibrarianSarah

          My main gripe really is that women should refer to their peers as their names. Motherhood is just a single facet of a woman’s identity. It would be like someone calling my mom “banker” because that is what she did for a living or my dad accountant for that matter. Yes I can see the hypocracy in the last sentence.

          My secondary (and petty) gripe Is that mama sounds so juvenile to my ears and reminds me of the baby dolls that that say mama when you squeeze their bellies. Well at least they do until your older brother rips their heads off. Anyway, I know that it is common in a lot of cultures to refer to their mothers as momma but when I hear these women say “you go mama!” It just sounds like grown ass women talking baby talk to me and in a culture that already is too comfortable with infantilizing women for my liking. Did anything I wrote make since I’m typing this on a phone

          • Guilt-Free

            Could not have said it better LibrarianSarah. I loathe the term ‘mama’, not coming from my children, but coming from other moms referring to me as ‘mama.’ Makes me cringe because underneath is almost always guaranteed to be a steaming pile of b.s.

          • prolifefeminist

            “My main gripe really is that women should refer to their peers as their names.”

            But why do you care what I call my friends? That really isn’t any of your concern. Speak for yourself all you want – that’s of course your prerogative. But to concern yourself with the nicknames other women choose to give each other seems really silly.

          • LibrarianSarah

            I’m pretty sure the two paragraphs adequately covers the reasons it bothers me. I don’t like it when women affectionately call each other “bitch” either but I guess I don’t have the right to be bothered by anything any women say or do to each other. Good to know.

          • prolifefeminist

            The difference is, “bitch” is an inherently derogatory term. “Mama” is not. Although obviously it can be used in an infantilizing way, which I don’t think is cool.

        • PoopDoc

          My children call me mom, mommy, mama. Other adults do not. Nor are they welcome to.

        • KarenJJ

          As long as it’s the kids using it, it’s lovely. When grown women are referring to other mothers as ‘mamma’ I find it infantilising and annoying.

        • prolifefeminist

          A couple of my closest girlfriends and I often lightheartedly refer to each other as “mama”, among many other terms of endearment. A lot of times it’s “hot mama” “mamacita” “mamanoodles” or some other goofy title. And then there’s also “MILFY.” I’m totally comfortable with it, because a) there’s NO crunchy-mama bullshit behind it, b) nobody takes it seriously, and c) we’re a diverse handful of woman with accomplishments quite apart from being mothers. I think if any one of those things wasn’t the case, it would be mega-irritating and belittling. Nobody’s running around with their feelings hurt, feeling they’re being pigeonholed into one role by a nickname. And I would never in a million years say it to (or expect to hear that from) someone who wasn’t one of my closest girlfriends. Just like I wouldn’t give any nickname to someone I wasn’t really close to.

          Somebody here said it would be like referring to a banker as “banker”, but hey – we do that too! We call my psychiatrist friend “the shrinkmaster”, my Army friend is “captain”, and my friend who’s a biology professor is “teach.” And guys do it too – my husband’s friend recently became a grandfather and now he’s “Big Daddy Steve.” (I don’t know if I want to repeat the rest of the nicknames they have for each other though!)

          Bottom line: sometimes mama is just another term of endearment. Don’t let the crunchies take over the name. If you don’t like it for yourself, fine – but no need to stereotype everybody who uses the term.

      • Bambi Chapman

        I call my MIL Mama, just as her own children do and even my SIL does it. My mom has always been mom. I get called mom by my kids (unless the teen daughter wants something and then I am mommy). Calling someone Mamma is infantilizing, to me.

    • amazonmom

      The term “mama” seems to be a title bestowed upon the women who are doing things the approved AP/lactivist/homebirthmidwife way. I see it used the most when someone is being challenged IRL about their choices and has gone online to seek support . They get praised with statements like “you’re an educated mama”, “mama knows best”, “mama knows the real danger of vaccines/hospitalVBAC/etc”

      • Meerkat

        “Educated mama” phrase is making me slightly nauseated.

  • Margaret C

    For all the cyber stalking and experience here at the board I’m surprised this thought hasn’t occurred to anyone yet. Nobody gets paid to sell you your own breast milk. Breastfeeding activists don’t get a profit or wages to set up stands so they can hardly be expected to hunt down every site a corporation decides to advertise in and that’s the problem. Bottlefeeding has become the norm rather than the exception. Only 20% of America is exclusively breastfeeding at three months of age. They don’t start eating solids until six months of age so what are they eating? Gosh, a real mystery. There’s no reason a premie can’t drink pumped breast milk and a mom with mastitis doesn’t need to ever stop pumping so I don’t know why anybody would mention that. Nobody has given a real justification as to why they have to give their babies formula. If its a question of milk supply there is such a thing as galactogogues like oatmeal and fenegreek to increase supply. so many mothers have the impression that their kids are going to drown in milk during the first day and thats just not how the body works. the first day is for colostrum and theres maybe 5 mls of milk for every 30 minute feeding and thats perfect for a day old baby. they dont have these enourmous stomachs. If the organized enough to pump at all than what happened? And I do have issue about the assumption that this was about narcissism. Are average citizens expected to call the LaLecheLeague every time they see a formula stand being set up? Bottle feeding became normal during a time when it was normal to give mothers general anesthesia for a delivery and separating parents form their infant until discharge. So why is bottlefeeding still so prevalent? Because there’s a profit in it. So no I don’t agree with Dr. Amy, I consider this a type of peaceful protest.

    • Elizabeth A

      Box of Salt, you realize that if a baby has ANY formula, EVER, that baby no longer counts as exclusively breastfeeding? So my DS, given an ounce of formula on day 2 in the hospital, was never considered exclusively breast fed, despite the fact that, after that one ounce, he had nothing but breast milk for eight months.

      And my preemie? Hahahaha. No. We fortified my pumped milk with enfamil to get her extra calories, so she was non-exclusive as soon as she was off of TPN.

      I’d like to stop focusing on exactly what we feed babies, and focus on assuring that all babies are adequately fed.

      • Box of Salt

        Elizabeth A, there’s a Disqus error here! Although my children never drank formula and I did nurse in public (hopefully discretely), my views on the subject are not as extreme as Margaret C’s.

        I also don’t find much mystery in the prevalence of the formula feeding of infants whose mothers have returned to work. The “profit” motive does not belong to the formula companies.

        • Elizabeth A

          I thought it didn’t seem like you! Seriously, I considered checking whether you were being sarcastic.

          That Disqus error has hit me before, too, I should know better.

    • Bombshellrisa

      Fenugreek! Wow.

    • Kalacirya

      “Nobody has given a real justification as to why they have to give their babies formula.”

      A woman not wanting to is justification enough, for whatever reason she may not want to. The benefits of breastfeeding, those that have been suggested by the epidemiological research, are quite small in absolute size. There is no evidence that substantiates the claim that a mother is doing her child harm through the proper use of formula. So again, not wanting to, for whatever reasons those may be, is justification enough. If that isn’t sufficient for you, if you feel the need to grill mothers about their decisions, then you are anti-feminist, anti-woman, and I frankly don’t care to hear your sanctimony about it.

      • Margaret C

        Where are you getting your statistics? Any serious study will tell you the benefits of breastfeeding over bottlefeeding. If your not breastfeeding because you just don’t want to be honest about it but don’t ask everyone else to pretend its suppose to be normal. Cow milk is made differently from human milk because we have different needs.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17764214

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Why do you think you know more than me about the science of breastfeeding and its small benefits?

          • Margaret C

            How is it small? Show me anything that suggests that. And why do I have to paste qualifications. Facts can speak for themselves.

          • Kalacirya

            The facts do speak for themselves, and I somehow doubt that you’ve actually read them or that you are able to interpret them.

            So provide us some facts Margaret. Give us some odds ratios, relative risks, some actual numerical metric that gives us a sense of the relative risk, absolute risk, or both. What type of studies are those numbers based upon? What did the sample that the statistics are drawn from look like? What did the authors of the original study or the meta-analysis do to compensate for various biases? And make sure to include any notes provided by the authors about the in general quality of the data or analysis. I’m looking right at your cited meta-analysis, are you?

          • Margaret C

            Why don’t you post any studies since my paltry offering offends you. Why am I the only one who’s expected to rely on facts? Put your money where your mouth is and prove something.

          • Kalacirya

            How about the fact that this website features many articles about breastfeeding research already, and you come on here attempting to disprove our conclusions. Conclusions based on research that is expounded upon across multiple blog posts and their corresponding discussions.

            Do you realize that posting an abstract to an argument is not winning an argument? It’s not even an offering. Specifically state the point that you are trying to make, with numbers, and then provide the back up in the form of a reference. Then people here might take you seriously and have a legitimate discussion with you.

            I asked you, to refer to the very paper you cited, and give me some information from it on the points you are trying to make. You take that it is a conclusive truth that breastfeeding is greatly impactful on health. That’s a bold statement to make, so back it up. But you aren’t doing that, you’re whining about how I should waste my time to offer you well thought out research to prove to you something that I am already well aware of and more educated than you about. Thanks but no thanks.

          • prolifefeminist

            This exchange is reminding me of something I heard in (a real) courtroom one time. The opposing counsel was making mistake after mistake and just totally unorganized. She wanted the judge to grant her some motion or another, but she just didn’t know how to present her argument. Couldn’t find the papers she needed to refer to to back her position up. Couldn’t explain herself at all or cite the relevant laws. She just wanted the judge to agree with her. You could tell HE already knew what her argument was and kept giving her opportunities to argue her case.

            It was rather amusing to watch the judge finally lean back in his chair and say, “I’m not going to do your job for you. Go ahead – make your argument, counselor!”

            (PS – she lost (the motion AND the case!))

          • yentavegan

            Oh my dear sweet Margaret C, come sit here next to me for a bit. I was once as you are, and I know that its hard to be calm when its your sacred cow being slaughtered. I am a mother who breastfed my children well into tyke-dom. I also felt visceral and hyper aware of anything that even remotely related to breastfeeding. I have drawn over bottles in my children’s books so as to block them out of view. I too used to feel sorry for those”poor” moms I saw buying formula. “oh if they only knew the truth” I would mutter to myself.
            And then I grew up. And I got over myself. Breastmilk is great but its not “all-that”. It’s a choice. Not a calling, not a life style. And it doesn’t really matter. Not really.

          • Guilt-Free

            AMEN!

          • Elizabeth A

            Why do you have to paste qualifications?

            You don’t. We’re asking for sources that back the things you claim are facts. You aren’t obligated to provide them. We aren’t obligated to find you convincing.

            Many things that people take for granted aren’t true. Like the notion in your post, above, that anyone can breastfeed a newborn and problems won’t develop later.

            So – where are you getting your facts?

        • Kalacirya

          Margaret, what do you define as a serious study? Are you sure that you are able to adequately interpret the results of a study? I have a feeling that you are not, because I read the breastfeeding literature and I have not seen anything that conflicts with my statement that “the benefits of breastfeeding, those that have been suggested by the epidemiological research, are quite small in absolute size”.

          Regarding the paper that you cited: Did you read the paper past that abstract? When you see that it says that there was an association between the increase or decrease of risk of something and breastfeeding, how much risk are we talking about? How does this meta-analysis abstract prove your point? I am a statistician, talk to me about the data or the methodology, or I’m not interested.

        • Dr Kitty

          …and infant formula is not cows milk.
          Which is why breast fed infants require iron supplements and formula fed infants do not.

          For some people what is FF IS their normal. Get over it.

          • Margaret C

            Ok what is formula made of? Honestly.

          • Dr Kitty

            Made FROM Cows milk, is not the same as IS cows milk.
            A calf would not do well if fed infant formula.

        • PJ

          How many scientific papers on breastfeeding have you ever actually even read? I bet you haven’t even read the one you linked to.

          • Kalacirya

            I don’t think she has, because she came back to respond in a myriad of ways, but no responses on the links she posted. Too hard to read I suppose.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Who needs studies? The breastfed children are the ones doing algebra in second grade and the formula fed ones are their noisy counterparts who are busy chasing each other around with chainsaws….oh wait….

      • Lizzie Dee

        Maybe a business suit and a briefcase would be a more convincing image for many. Rather a lot of women are over 30 when they have their first child and we do not all aspire to be a flower child.

        Maybe a slightly more grown-up discourse might be more convincing? A different set of more realistic images? I found being attached to a human milking machine bizarre and hilarious, was interested that cracked nipples didn’t hurt as much as I thought they might – and then found that neither of my children were too interested in waiting patiently for a decent supply of milk, and preferred an easier way of satisfying hunger. Maybe if I had been a properly devoted mother I could have driven myself mad persevering, or starved them into submission, but it just never seemed that big a deal. Sorry. (But not very – no allergies, no asthma, not much in the way of ear infections or stomach bugs.)

    • Bombshellrisa

      “Nobody has given a real justification as to why they have to give their babies formula.” So you can’t imagine a two dad family? Two women who adopt? Any family who has adopted a baby? A single dad who has no female partner? Women who take medicine and need to stay on that medicine that would make pumping or breast feeding harmful to baby? Nobody has to justify anything, but it wouldn’t hurt for you to try and imagine how other people live and raise their children.

      • Box of Salt

        To continue on the theme “Nobody has given a real justification as to why they have to give their babies formula.”

        Mothers who have jobs which do not allow for pumping breaks.

        Women who are breastfeeding still need to buy their own food, and not all can be financially supported by others until it is time to wean.

        • Bombshellrisa

          And let’s not forget that there are many, many survivors of abuse who find breast feeding (or pumping) overwhelming and a trigger. They may not be able to say outright what they are facing either, which makes the judgement so much worse.

      • mom4474

        And lets not forget women with IGT or hypoplasia, both of which are not that rare, and for many women makes it virtually impossible to produce enough milk. But I guess in her eyes I should have bought donor milk from strangers off the internet, so that probably isn’t a “real justification”.

    • PJ

      Sooo … I assume you are also this judgmental of women who choose not to put their three and four year old children in quality early childhood education; who choose not to vaccinate; who bedshare; and who homebirth? Since you care so much about what the evidence says and all.

      • Margaret C

        This is the problem with the whole article. Everyone jumps to conclusions. No I don’t believe in home births and I don’t have to. I’m saying just this: breastmilk makes healthier babies. By the way there are no studies that suggest a link between vaccines and autism. They’ve all come up negative.

        • PJ

          I think you have misunderstood me.

          Personally, I find it interesting that the same people who are so fixated on the modest health benefits of breastfeeding also tend to endorse other things that the evidence shows to be much more unsafe than formula feeding. It seems quite clear to me that it isn’t the health benefits that are making them so zealous.

          • PJ

            Oops–I thought Box of Salt, not Margaret C had written this post–my mistake!

          • Margaret C

            I dont know who these people are that you’re comparing me to but the health benefits aren’t just modest. Only formula fed infants suffer from the kind of dental disease that comes when they fall asleep with bottles in their mouths (which is dangerous enough as a choking hazard). infants on formula have a much higher chance of ear infections thanks to the traveling of forumla up the eustacian tubes. The entire concept of passive immunity comes from breastfeeding. Any blood transfusion that’s able to pass along immunity would pass along any number of diseases. It’s unique to breastfeeding and in nature it’s vital for infants to stay alive. How clean do you think life was 10,000 years ago? It serves infants today but not many get the benefits anymore and that needs to change.

          • PJ

            All right then–quantify your claims (what is a “much higher risk of ear infections,” for example?) and back them up with actual research.

          • Margaret C
          • Kalacirya

            That’s citation salad Margaret. What are your conclusions? Make a point based on those papers.

          • PJ

            Posting a bunch of links won’t cut it here, sorry.

            If you had actually read it, you would have noticed that the paper you cited (the other is only an abstract) actually does the OPPOSITE of support your claim about ear infections.

          • KarenJJ

            So if these problems are so dire, why are you not lobbying for safer bottlefeeding practices and educating parents on bottlefeeding?

            My kids were largely bottlefed, and they didn’t get put in bed with a bottle and didn’t get ear infections from it. They were off bottles and formula by 18 months and 12 months.

          • Karen in SC

            I was informed by various sources that it wasn’t good for babies to sleep with a bottle in their mouths. This is already known and is not an issue, really.

          • FormerPhysicist

            ROFL. My EBF toddler had to have 2 teeth pulled and another 10 cavities filled. Because of the breast-feeding. I weaned my next two earlier, I tell you.

            And passive immunity. I don’t think you understand it very well.

          • FormerPhysicist

            To clarify acronyms: my child was exclusively breast-fed to 5 months, then extended breast-fed to 3 years. A serious mistake on my part.

        • PJ

          “I’m saying just this: breastmilk makes healthier babies.”

          In the developed world, it actually makes little difference at all on an individual basis. It has some short term benefits on a population level basis—which means it makes sense for government agencies who want to save some healthcare dollars to be interested in breastfeeding levels, but is a poor explanation for lactivist zealotry.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          “All else being equal…”

          …breastmilk makes healthier babies.

          However, rarely are all other things equal…

          • rh1985

            Exactly. There could be factors that make breastfeeding better or worse for an individual baby and factors that make formula better or worse for a particular baby, ranging from extreme prematurity (breastmilk’s benefit is larger due to protection against NEC, this is probably the only situation in which I would attempt to at least pump breastmilk) to the mother being unable to cope and care for her child without a medication that is bad for breastfeeding (formula is much healthier for that child). And then there is everything in between. A blanket rule of “breast is always best” just isn’t true.

        • Kelly

          Except for Dr. Wakefield’s study was flawed….

    • PJ

      “So why is bottlefeeding still so prevalent? Because there’s a profit in it.”

      Again, why do you think women are too dumb to make informed decisions about whether or not breastfeeding is right for them?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Margaret – do you know why baby formula was invented?

      Let’s see how aware you are.

      • Older Mom

        Wasn’t formula invented so that soda companies could branch out into the under-1 set? Or was it that the military-industrial complex needed women in the workplace so they needed to create an alternative to breastfeeding? Or maybe the pharmaceutical companies were just evil and wanted to encourage more diabetes to sell more insulin? Or maybe Kaplan wanted to sell more slots in its SAT prep courses, which is easier when kids are stupified from an early infancy diet of formula?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Wasn’t formula invented so that soda companies could branch out into the under-1 set?

          Not soda companies, it’s Nestle, remember?

          Their attempts at marketing Nestle’s Quick for Breast Milk (before the days of Nesquick) weren’t working, so they decided to make a powdered milk alternative. Kind of like what was done with hot chocolate.

        • Kalacirya

          You left out Monsanto, so your anti-corporate screed is jarringly incomplete. Just thought I would let you know.

          • Older Mom

            Ah, formula was invented by Monsanto in the homes that some day they could genetically engineer a cow to produce formula. Just pump, pasturize, and powder. Ready for market. High-value commodity.

          • prolifefeminist

            Oh, it’s not quite ready for market yet. Haven’t you heard about the new Monsanto genetically engineered cows? They’re call Baby Powder Cows…no, not because they smell like baby powder, but because they excrete baby formula in powder form that’s immediately ready to be canned and sold for consumption by human infants worldwide.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            All these great answers, and silence from Margaret. Apparently, she has me on ignore, because she hasn’t responded to any of my questions.

      • Amy H

        Ok, I seriously read (years ago, don’t remember where) and honestly believed that it was in order to have something to do with the byproducts of…I-don’t-remember-what, something dairy. If you have a better answer than that, I would love to hear it.

    • Tim

      “Nobody has given a real justification as to why they have to give their babies formula.” I goddamn well did, you just didn’t bother to read it or care.

      Let me spell it out for you again

      My daughter, at six days old, had a left ventricle ejection fraction of less than 25% due to cardiomyopathy. She literally could not put enough liquid into her and digest it, at 20 calories an ounce, to supply all of the calories her poor body needed to feed itself plus her dilated heart. She didn’t have the energy. She was drinking milk that was being foritified to THIRTY TWO calories per ounce with formula, and still struggled to put on weight even then. If she didn’t have formula, she would have died. Died.
      You see how much your breastmilk love affair means to you when you have a team of transplant cards telling you that they have to put your baby on digoxin like she’s ninety years old. You know what matters at that point? A baby that’s not dead, that’s what. Zero other things.
      Is that a “real justification”? Is it better than what should be perfectly acceptable , which is “I chose how to feed my own kid, because I’m an adult” ? Good enough for you?

      • Margaret C

        The problem with your situation is its not effecting 70% if the American population. Why is everyone else on formula? Plus I don’t know enough about the situation to say what the formula did or didn’t do or what was actually happening at that time. I’m not going to pander to emotional hysteria and let people say that formula is normal because its not.

        • Anj Fabian

          awwwww,,,,you couldn’t get your righteous indignation on with one person/target so you keep looking for others!

          That’s very passionately misguided of you. Happy hunting!

          • KarenJJ

            That’s been my experience in arguing about this on baby boards. When I describe my issues, I get told, ‘what you have is really rare, we mean OTHER people’. Completely discounting my experience. What I have is very rare, but my experience is not. Lactivists find plenty of reasons to ignore why others aren’t breastfeeding. The fact that they are not involved in lobbying for paid maternity leave (happy to be corrected on this – what is LLL doing about this issue?) tells me a lot about their understanding of the real difficulties of mothers and infants versus their desire to validate their own choices.

          • Tim

            One in a hundred babies born in the US have a congenital heart defect. That’s not rare in any case anyway. Many of them require supplementation or feeding tubes.

          • Tim

            And then there’s kids with digestive issues, thyroid or other endocrine problems, severe allergies, mitochondrial disorders, various muscle myopathies or dystrophies, etc, etc. Who probably all require feeding supplementation.

            When you spend a lot of time at a major pediatric hospital you stop thinking of those kids as rare. They’re the kids your kid plays with in the waiting room, they’re the parents you become friends with because they understand what you’re dealing with in a way others might not. They’re people too, and it makes me angry when I see people being so dismissive of it like you’re talking about “oh that’s so rare!” , “oh that barely ever happens!”

          • Older Mom

            I had one of those kids who couldn’t feed.Muscular problems in his face. Corrected now, but had to go for special therapy for the first couple of months of his life. Even his lame pediatrician said it was “rare” and dragged her heels about giving us the referral for the therapy, even though my kid couldn’t even take a bottle.

            But you know what? I joined a new parenting group, 7 families including myself. Another mom in the group was taking her son to the same occupational therapist! She refused to disclose her son’s particular problem, though he seemed fine and was released from care around the same time my son was. I bet his problem was “rare” too!

          • Tim

            Amazing how common rare becomes when you realize that there’s a million different things that could be “different” about a kid.

          • prolifefeminist

            To most people, kids with special medical needs seem rare. I think they expect the kids that have them to be either hospitalized all the time or in wheelchairs or something.

            One thing I learned after having a medically fragile child is how hidden to the rest of the world those needs are. My youngest was born 9 weeks early, and has a congenital airway defect, dysphagia, silent aspiration, severe reflux, an as-yet unexplained hemolytic anemia, and severe milk/soy allergies. He looks like a perfectly healthy toddler, but man oh man – the medications, therapies, monitors, food thickeners, specialist visits, and frequent testing it takes to keep him healthy are overwhelming at times. Even people who know us and know what he’s gone through will say, “but…he LOOKS so healthy…?” as if in disbelief that a child could have all those issues and still not “look” sick.

            I exclusively pumped for him for a year and a half. I was one of those moms the lactavists look down one when I pull a bottle out at the playground or in the waiting room. Little do they know…

          • Tim

            Yup. We see a whole slew of different Dr’s in different departments now, and for the most part, you would have no idea there is anything wrong with most of the kids there. They are playing and having fun and acting like normal kids, and nobody on the outside looking in realizes just how common this uncommon stuff is.

            I harp on and on and on, but it’s a very meaningful topic to me now. People have no idea just how often this stuff happens, and they discount it entirely as being in the realm of possibility of what could happen to them. (I was one of them before)

            Just speaking on the topic I have tried desperately to learn as much as I can understand about in the past year, heart defects affect one in a hundred babies born. That is a real, and very sobering statistic that I strongly encourage everyone who reads this to take to heart. You all know more than a hundred people – how real does that make it? It’s more prevelant than anything else that can go wrong with your pregnancy, and they kill more kids every year than every type of childhood cancer.

            Nobody should be going without ultrasounds while they are pregnant, because a lot of these can be detected by a good U/S and planned for or even dealt with before your baby is born.

            What would you do if your baby was born at home with transposition of the great arteries? Can your midwife administer prostaglandin to your baby to keep the ductus arteriosis open so they can get them to the hospital in time for surgery to correct it? Maybe you should ask.

            If you could have found out that your baby had a critical aortic stenosis when it was an 18-20 week fetus, and had a fetal catheterization done to make sure that the left side of it’s heart was able to grow, wouldn’t you want that? Instead of being surprised with a blue baby who has hypoplastic left heart and again, hoping to god your midwife can administer prostaglandin to keep the ductus arteriosis open long enough to get them into a CICU? That’s 3 open heart surgeries (at a minimum) in the first few years of your babies life , and a lifetime with a single ventricle heart doing the work of both, that could have possibly been prevented.

            What about serious valve abnormalities? If you knew your baby was going to be rushed into open heart surgery to replace or repair seriously compromised valves, wouldn’t you rather they were born at a hospital that has or is attached to one with a top notch staff of pedatric cardiac surgeons? Instead of sobbing uncontrollably while they lifeflight your newborn to a hospital hours away that you will have to somehow get to not knowing what is going on?

            I don’t want to sound overdramatic, but this stuff is real, it’s more common than most realize, and a lot of it can be detected with good screening during pregnancy. If you’re avoiding ultrasounds because you have some worry about autism or some other entirely speculative link of risk, please think long and hard about that decision. It breaks my heart to pieces to think about people worrying about very tenuous and unfounded risks, when there are very real and all to common ones right there in front of them.

            Please take a look at this video that was produced by the head of fetal cardiology @ BCH and some of his patients parents, and take the message to heart. It’s important that you get proper prenatal care, and it’s important that you know what kind of questions to ask.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv1pzL7g7JE

          • KarenJJ

            My specialist was very interested in how my family had lived their lives with an undiagnosed rare disease. I took my 2yo daughter to an appointment (she wasn’t on any medication for it yet) and she spent the entire time trying to climb onto my head. He looked at me at the end of the appointment and said ‘she’s not a sickly child, is she’.

          • Anj Fabian

            Thanks for a great comment.

          • prolifefeminist

            Brilliant, brilliant post, Tim. Thank you!

            My son’s doctors were concerned about a heart defect at one point early on, which is when I learned that 1 in 100 kids have a congenital heart defect. That really is an astounding number! I mean, really, truly it is! I just think of all the kids running around our neighborhood elementary school every day and wow…one in 100 is a lot of kids I know.

            What you said about proper prenatal diagnosis is so important. A simple 20 wk anatomy scan can detect many of these defects. One of the things that drives me nuts are when people refuse prenatal testing because they wouldn’t terminate the pregnancy no matter what. Well, I wouldn’t either, but good lord, I want to be prepared! If I’m carrying a baby with Down Syndrome or a heart defect or some other issue, I want to know asap in case there’s a possibility of fetal treatment, and so I can deliver in a hospital equipped to care for the baby at birth. Who in their right mind would want to find out that their baby has a severe birth defect while giving birth in a tub in their living room?

            Btw, have you read the book “Walk on Water”? It’s absolutely fascinating (and quite sobering too).

          • tim

            I have not, but it’s being downloaded to my kindle right now – thank you for the recommendation.

            I (obviously as I said) agree 110% with you regarding why you need to know ahead of time. In the example of a critical stenosis that is leading to hypoplasia – there is a good chance they can STOP THAT from happening before your baby is born. Even if they end up having to do a ross surgery still because the aortic valve isn’t salvageable , that is still so so preferable to what your child will have to go through if they are born with HLHS.

            When we have the technology to spare children from that… I just can’t imagine passing it up.

            The same with knowing ahead of time – this baby is going to have to be rushed into open heart surgery when its an hour old. I have to give birth at a hospital thats attached to a major pediatric center. Why would anyone not want to know that?

          • KarenJJ

            My experience of reading the issues that are tested for in the heel prick tests. For baby number one I read the leaflet half-heartedly and tossed it to one side. The issues sounded incredibly rare and complicated and I’d never heard of them.

            Between having baby number one and baby number 2 I was diagnosed with something that, at best measures, has a one in a million occurrance in the population. Suddenly how I saw the risk of a 1/40,000 changed and reading the pamphlet the second time around was eye-opening to the sorts of issues out there and I finally comprehended that these can and do happen to real people.

        • Bombshellrisa

          To be helpful, we made a list further down thread.

        • Box of Salt

          Something done 70% of the population sounds pretty normal to me.

          And please read and think about some of the responses to your demand for justifications down thread.

          What works best for you isn’t necessarily what works best for everyone else.

          • Bombshellrisa

            If we use her line of reasoning, we should be forcing the 80% of the US population that is right handed to “learn” how to use their left. Who says that being right handed is “normal”?

          • Margaret C

            It used to be normal to beat left handed children into writing with their right hand. That didn’t make it right or what was best for the child. What’s normal now doesn’t mean it’s the best thing to do. People accuse me of being anti-feminist but think I’m just empowering women with information rather than whining about how hard something is along with the crowd. Things that matter don’t need to be easy. Being debt free isn’t easy, finishing school isn’t easy, getting a job isn’t easy. So you still decided to bottlefeed, fine but don’t shut me up because you do something different. Other people deserve to know.

          • rh1985

            And parenting isn’t easy whether a baby is breastfed, formula fed, or combo fed. Choosing to formula feed is not about making parenting “easy.”

          • Box of Salt

            Margaret C, telling everyone who isn’t doing things the way you prefer that they are doing it wrong is not “empowering women with information.”

            Nor is being explicitly dismissive of someone who is thankful that his family had the option to keep their child alive through formula just because that story doesn’t fit into your fantasy world of everyone happily breastfeeding.

            Please try to think outside of your own situation once in a while, and find some compassion for those in other circumstances.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Who is saying that I bottle fed?

          • amazonmom

            I asked my mom if she thinks her left hand being beaten bloody with a ruler (it was) is the same as formula feeding a child. She asked me if I was drunk or crazy , why would I equate formula to child abuse? Histrionic comparisons to child abuse aren’t going to convince people to breastfeed. They are going to make people ignore your message. HINT OTHER PEOPLE KNOW WHAT YOU DO AND STILL PICK FORMULA. Why do you think that exaggerating and making up facts will make your case?

          • prolifefeminist

            Margaret – why don’t you take the all of that energy and enthusiasm you have and use it to advocate for real paid parental leave policies in the US? Not having to go back to work at the 6 week mark would go a loooooong way towards helping women to breastfeed longer, if they choose to do so. Lots of women want to breastfeed longer, but it can be really, really hard to do that when you have to go back to work, especially before your supply is well established.

            Demonizing formula and judging parents who choose to use it does absolutely nothing to increase breastfeeding rates – nothing! Do something that DOES count!

            Btw, this is all coming from a mother of five who breastfed the first four until they were 2-3 years old and self-weaned, and exclusively pumped for 18 months for the fifth, who was a preemie with birth defects. I’m a huge supporter of breastfeeding ***for women who want to nurse.*** That’s where the focus out to be – on women who WANT to breastfeed! Let’s make it easier for them to do so however we can, and stop harassing parents who choose a different method of feeding for whatever reason!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I’m confused by the numbers.

            She complains about 70% of families using formula, but currently, more than 50% are breastfeeding past 6 months. OK, not “exclusively” BF, but since when is that necessary? As has been noted, there are a lot of reason why folks might need to supplement. In our case, our younger son was in daycare, and refused to drink EBM from a bottle (don’t know if it was attitude or because it was bad). But he did nurse until he quit at about 10 months. How is that wrong?

            Similarly, with my older son, he started drinking milk/formula mixes with me at about 4 mos when his mom went back to work. She was pumping all the time, but wasn’t getting enough for him to have only breast milk, so we had to supplement. Nonetheless, he nursed until he quit at 9 months.

            I am trying to understand how either of these approaches should be considered unsuccessful? Just because they weren’t exclusively breast fed?

          • prolifefeminist

            Bofa, OBVIOUSLY your problems all stem from your wife going back to work after she had children and putting them in daycare. I mean, all you had to do was make your wife be a SAHM and all of these breastfeeding problems would never have happened.

            Snort.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Sadly, that’s about it.

        • auntbea

          Not everyone else is on formula. I’m not, for example. I prefer steak.

        • rh1985

          Because after weighing all the options, I came to the conclusion that in my individual situation, formula feeding would be the best for me and my baby. I can’t tell you about anyone else since I don’t consider it my business how and why others decide.

        • Tim

          You said “nobody” has given justification for why their baby needed to be on formula – not that 70% of america hasn’t given justification. Nobody. I gave you one that’s irrefutable.

          As far as what the formula did , it gave the extra calories that were required for her to gain weight and thrive somewhat. People in congestive heart failure lose weight because their heart is working much harder than a normal persons has to. It burns a lot more calories. They also have next to no energy because of the extra work their heart is doing just to keep their body alive. I’m sure that somewhere, somehow, there is a BF activist who has a comeback or excuse for some way this would possibly be not necessary, but given the life of my kid, I’m going to take advice from Dr’s and Nutritionists in a pediatric cardiology department, not BF activists.

          Accepting that some people have a valid reason to use formula, is not pandering to emotional hysteria – it’s accepting that saying “nobody” has a justification for using formula is wrong. Once you start there, you can start to realize that people who do so because they just feel like it, are completely normal too. Because it’s their choice.

        • prolifefeminist

          “Plus I don’t know enough about the situation to say what the formula did or didn’t do or what was actually happening at that time. ”

          Margaret, can you please reread the first eight words of your sentence above, and tell me what it means? Because “I don’t know enough about the situation” means you should IMMEDIATELY stop talking. Immediately. Right now. STOP.

          Do you know who DOES know enough about the situation, Margaret? Parents do. Parents know better than you, me, or any other onlooker what is best for their children. Some might even say they have “intuition” that helps them know what’s best for their little ones. So let’s all just slowly, carefully tiptoe back out of their sacred space and leave them to decide what is right for their own children and situations.

          Thank you, Margaret.

          • Tim

            You know who else knew about the situation more than Margaret, or us (the parents)? The #1 pedatric cardiology department on earth. Why on earth would I take advice from anybody else? Silly me for thinking that Dr’s who are on the UNOS thoracic organs committee might know a thing or two about heart failure, right?

          • prolifefeminist

            Oh but Tim, you were crazy to trust those surgeons with your child. You know all they ever want to do is cut cut cut and head off to their golf games, right?

        • moto_librarian

          Formula may not be normal, but nor are many of the things that we have in the 21st century. I will also take an “abnormal” feeding method over a dead child any day of the week.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Assuming that normal means “occurring to a sufficiently natural extent” and does not require being a majority (having red hair is perfectly normal, right?), then while formula may not be normal, but women not breastfeeding is absolutely normal. It’s been going on for who knows how long. Mothers have always been seeking alternatives to breastfeeding, long before formula came around (hint to my question to Margaret yesterday). If they couldn’t afford a wet nurse, they used all kinds of other things, including cow and goat milk options, or other homemade recipes.

            There is nothing abnormal about seeking alternatives to breastfeeding.

        • Wren

          So heart defects cover 1%. Other medical problems cover another few percent. Women who cannot produce enough milk cover another, what, 1-5%? Adoption covers some small percentage. Women on medication incomparable with breastfeeding covers another small percentage. Then add in major latch problems. Add in women who are psychologically unable or just plain do not want to breastfeed for some reason. Add in women who work jobs where pumping is incomparable with the job. Add in women who need, for whatever reason, longer breaks from their baby. Add in women who just cannot function in the rest of their lives if also on night duty nursing or pumping for a tiny infant.

          I think you’re getting close to that 70% and not one of those women deserves to be judged for their reasons, or even needs to explain them to anyone.

      • PJ

        I love how “breastfeeding caused me excruciating pain” is not a “real justification” for using formula.

    • BeatlesFan

      Not that you even have the right to expect it, but here’s a justification for you: they are MY breasts, and I didn’t feel like breastfeeding. Wow, that was easy.

      • pookietooth

        Did you also say “this is my uterus and I don’t like being pregnant” and hire a surrogate mother?

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          I love this stuff! Keep it coming. This is comedy gold and fodder for lots of future posts.

          • Margaret C

            You lead a sad, bland life.

          • Kalacirya

            Margaret, I’m still waiting for some salient points on the research! I’m really all hung up on you today. Are you going to just leave me hanging here?

        • rh1985

          LOL….

        • BeatlesFan

          No, I didn’t. Do you ask the same question to women who complain about their periods?

        • Bombshellrisa

          I wanted to, but we are not rich enough to be able to afford it

        • Box of Salt

          Why is using a surrogate wrong?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          My wife would have done that in a heartbeat if it were an actual option.

        • Bambi Chapman

          That is why many of us seek sterilization when done. Pure selfishness, damn us.

        • amazonmom

          I would have hired a surrogate if I had the money and knew my diagnosis before I was pregnant (I didn’t know until postpartum). Adoption and surrogacy are impossible for me due to many factors so I must risk my mental health to achieve my dream of parenting. (why am I having another child? I won the mirena failed for me lotto).

        • KarenJJ

          What I do with my uterus is also my right and none of your business.

          • pookietooth

            It’s just a bit ironic to say that you will deign to have a baby, but to then put that baby to your breast and allow the baby to gain nourishment from yours (as she/he did in the womb) is somehow too much for you.
            It’s amazing how fast women jump on the bandwagon to attack those promoting breastfeeding as anti-mom, or anti-formula feeding moms anyway, You’d think you were being paid or something.

          • KarenJJ

            It’s still none of your business. You choose to think it’s snobbery on my behalf and that speaks volumes of your judgement and your attitude to other women as well as a lack of imagination as to what issues I and other women might be going through.

            It’s none of your business. You choose to think badly of me. It’s your problem.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            You don’t appear to understand the meaning of the word ironic.

          • rh1985

            Let me guess, you don’t believe anyone could possibly have a physical and/or mental health condition where pregnancy is possible but breastfeeding would not be mentally or physically healthy?

        • moto_librarian

          If there was such a thing as an artificial womb, I might actually have a third child…

          Are you really going down this road, sweetie? Pretty damned insulting to those dealing with infertility.

          • pookietooth

            Don’t call me sweetie. And in fact you could hire a surrogate mother for enough money. My point being that once we feel that our bodies are to pure to be used for something as lowly as reproduction we have begun to lose touch with our humanity.

    • Jessica

      I suspect that anyone who thinks pumping is an easy option if breastfeeding isn’t going well has never actually pumped.

      • PollyPocket

        TRUE STORY!!!

      • OttawaAlison

        I think exclusive pumpers are close to sainthood.

        • Spamamander

          Which is why I never made it to be St Spam… I tried exclusively pumping for my daughter with Down syndrome because her lax muscle tone made it very hard for her to get a good latch, and she was a lazy eater (back then, anyway!). Within a week after being sent home from the NICU I quit in tears and wondered why the hell I put myself through it. And that was with me producing like a Jersey cow- I can’t imagine for someone with supply issues!

        • Older Mom

          No, we were just close to insanity! I pumped exclusively for 2 months until my son learned to suck. Even the best pump didn’t empty my breasts, so I couldn’t get enough milk out and eventually ended up with supply-killing mastitis.

          I stuck with it only because I had severe milk allergies as a kid and was worried my kid would have the same. Turns out he DID but his pediatrician missed it. It was diagnosed (too late to buy special formula) by a gastroenterologist who was shocked my pediatrician missed all the red flags.

          As it was, we only made it to about 6 weeks before I had to supplement with formula due to supply. And no, none of the “tricks” to empty my breasts work: not the best pump in the world (Medela Symphony), not hot packs on my breasts before pumping, not breast massage during pumping, not hand-expression after, not pumping on my hands and knees (yes, I tried it, wanted to see if gravity would help).

          And all of this was possible only because I only had one kid AND my husband and I were both unemployed.

          We calculated that I spent 5+ hours/day on pumping (set up, break down, hot packs, etc) PLUS the time I took to clean all the pumping parts.

          Anyone for whom breastfeeding was easy should STFU.

        • prolifefeminist

          I exclusively pumped for 18 months for my 31 wk preemie who had swallowing issues, an airway defect, and milk/soy allergies. The ONLY reason I was able to pump for so long was because I own my own company and work from my home office. I cannot imagine how moms who work outside the home EP. Even part time pumping while away at work sounds incredibly exhausting to me.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      “Nobody has given a real justification as to why they have to give their babies formula.”

      What makes you think they need to justify it?

      • Older Mom

        Thank you!

    • amazonmom

      Yup, exactly the response I expected. I laid out some troll bait and I seem to have caught one.

    • Bomb

      The derp is strong with this one.

    • rh1985

      I am going to formula feed my baby because I think it is the best for me and my baby in our PERSONAL, INDIVIDUAL SITUATION. I don’t see why any stranger needs to know anything more than that.

    • Meerkat

      Most women on this board are grown up educated professionals who are able to make their own informed decisions. Why do we need to justify our choices to anyone but ourselves?
      But I will bite and “justify.”
      1) Most women stop breastfeeding at 3 months because they have to go back to work. Many of them are breadwinners in their families, so staying home is not an option. Majority of companies do not provide them with time or the place to pump. If I stayed at work, I would be pumping in a dirty bathroom stall while sitting on a toilet. I was a member of the management team, so I could not just leave to pump, even for 15 minutes. But I am a white privileged woman, so with my husband’s and my parents’ blessing I quit my job to stay with my son, even for a little while.
      2) there is no profit in the breastfeeding? Of course there is!! When I was fresh from the hospital I tried to get a lactation consultant to come to my house. Their fees were ranging from $200 to $350.00 for one hour consultation.
      3) my friend had a poor supply and a baby who wouldn’t latch, what was she supposed to do? Yes, she tried all the oatmeal and fenugreek, pumping, etc.
      4) another friend had a baby with a surrogate mother from another state.
      5) yet another friend had to start a life saving medicine after birth and it wasn’t compatible with breastfeeding.
      Need I go on?
      What I feed my baby is none of your business.

    • wookie130

      Oh, for crying out loud, how is what I feed my child ANY of your damned business? I don’t NEED to justify any of my parenting choices to anyone, but if you MUST KNOW, here goes, and I’m here to tell you that all of the fenegreek, oatmeal, dark beer, milk thistle, yadda yadda yadda couldn’t fix the issue-

      I have a condition called IGT (insufficient glandular tissue), and my breasts could not produce the milk my baby needed to thrive, even after having her latch a gazillion times a day, and pumping my boobs to oblivion. So, I had to resort to formula, and I was very, and I mean VERY sad for a while about this, but I would have been even more depressed by the whole debacle had my daughter become dangerously dehydrated, and labeled as “failure to thrive.” I needed to feed her something, and I thank GOD we had the option of formula available to us.

      As it turns out, I like to bottlefeed. I feel much more bonded to my baby when I can see her face while I’m feeding her. It sure beats the heck out of both of us bursting into tears during another failed nursing attempt, which did more to IMPEDE the bond between us initially, I’m sure.

      Get off your high horse, Margaret. I am ALL about breastfeeding, and am well aware of it’s upsides. I also am all about having choices, and being realistic, and FEEDING THE BABY, so when my body couldn’t do that, well…I did what I had to do. As it turns out, my formula-fed daughter is (*gasp*) healthy, intelligent, and has yet to have an ear-infection, virus, or any other illness. She is every bit as loved as any breast-fed child out there…if that actually matters to you. And shocking as this sounds, if you met her, you’d never tell the difference between she and any other infant out there.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      So here’s my question for you, Margaret:
      Our pediatrician had no problem with the justification we gave for opting to formula feed, so why should it be a problem for you? And why should we care whether you think it is justified or not?

    • Esther

      Well, of course. Nobody EVER profits from breastfeeding. Not the lactation consultants (what’s the going rate these days? $200 a visit?), not the breastpump makers, not the people who write books and magazines on the subject, not even the makers of breastfeeding paraphernalia (boppy pillows, supplements, SNS’s, breastfeeding dolls for older siblings, etc.). No, no money to be made from breastfeeding AT.ALL. Riiiight.

      And we haven’t even started on the intangible rewards of pushing breastfeeding – self-validation, power over others’ decisions, and all those other very strong motivators.

    • amazonmom

      Your claim that people in the United States breastfeed because they are being duped by formula companies that only want to make a profit is hilarious. I’m not at all sure why you are wasting your time on SOB when you had to know that you weren’t going to win any converts.

    • moto_librarian

      You claim that nobody has given you “a real justification as to why they have to give their babies formula.” Have you actually read any of the comments? MY MILK NEVER CAME IN? I tried a lot of things to make it happen, but I wasn’t going to take domeperidone with my history of depression and fenugreek is contraindicated for people with asthma. My sons also both had dairy and soy allergies. Not that it’s any of your goddamned business, but I find your air of superiority to be extremely irritating.

      There is another parent on here with a child with heart problems who absolutely required supplementation. Of course, you probably have some herbal supplement or something to recommend, but I think that most of us would prefer to listen to real medical professionals rather than some sanctimommy twit.

      BTW, are you saying that Medela, Boppy, Lansinoh, and lactation consultants are giving their products and services away? Kinda blows the wind out of your “formula is all about teh money” argument, now doesn’t it?

    • Lizzie Dee

      Nobody has given a real justification as to why they have to give their babies formula.

      Why should they have to justify it, and who to, exactly? And do you seriously assume that women are so stupid that they can’g figure out for themselves that it REALLY DOESN’T MAKE ALL THAT MUCH DIFFERENCE and if they don’t like bf or find it difficult for whatever reason it isn’t the end of the world and absolutely should not concern other people.

  • Mac Sherbert

    How do we know she doesn’t walk around with flowers in her hair all the time? I mean maybe she is breastfeeding fairy bringing the joy of BF to all she comes in contact with.

    • KarenJJ

      Of course. I do that all the time at my job. I don’t need a hardhat, I just share my joy of life by wearing flowers in my hair to inspire others and show what a goddess I am.

    • wookie130

      I felt inspired by her breastfeeding wreath-wearing display of feminine maternal beauty, to the point where I almost put down my daughter’s bottle, and whipped out a breast myself. And then I thought, “Meh.”

  • me

    Whatever else, it’s a beautiful picture.

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    OT: I wish she could go back to a time when her self-esteem didn’t depend on others mirroring her own choices back to her.

    https://www.facebook.com/thefeministbreeder/posts/10151548935817727

    • Awesomemom

      Cackles? She is making up words along with making up science.

      • Jennifer2

        It should be “hackles.” My husband says the same thing. His excuse is that he had a hearing impairment as a child. I’m not sure what hers is.

        • KarenJJ

          Maybe the same thing. I have a similiar issue.

    • Older Mom

      This is exactly the element of this woman’s nonesense we need to focus on. Hard to know where to begin with the crazy here. Whether or not she wears flowers in her hair, or puts flowers in her baby’s hair, or exposes the top of her breast while feeding, or sits on the floor to nurse–Whatever!

      To complain about those things just makes us look petty.

      It’s the crazy that really matters. I really, really dislike her crazy. But I still think it’s a fabulous photo, she’s got great hair, and I adore the flower wreaths.

  • Kalacirya

    She’s not putting down formula feeding moms by placing herself in some kind of protest directly in front of the formula table? I’m sure those women at that baby fair feel super comfortable walking past the whimsical woman dramatically breastfeeding her baby to get to the formula table. She literally put herself in the way, give me a break that this isn’t somehow judging those mothers.

    • Bombshellrisa

      The fact that she is trying to get support for public breast feeding by sitting on the floor as opposed to sitting in one of the “soft seating areas” or the “newly renovated nursing mothers lounge” the mall website talks about speaks volumes. The mall is already trying to accommodate women who wish to nurse by providing a place for them to do that.

  • Margaret C

    What this article ignores is all the health benefits of breastfeeding to mom and baby. Nobody seems to see the problem with feeding infants watered down cows milk. Look at the ingredient list of most formulas and the first ingredient is skim milk. Breastfeeding needs advertisement because its the harder choice. Just because its natural doesn’t mean it’s easy and formula companies seem to prey on that. They brag about the one fat and a few vitamins they added and ignore that milk is literally the most complex food in existence. A lot of nutrients are lost to pasteurization and again when the milk is watered down (it has to be watered down or the high levels of protein would damage the kidneys) and some nutrients that humans need were never there in the first place. Infants get a good deal of their immunity from breast milk which is why infants who are breastfed are hospitalized less. Breast milk doesn’t go bad waiting in the breasts and can’t accidentally be prepared wrong. It does take planning and commitment if you’re going to go back to work, which most moms do. Dispite all of this most people still fork over their money for formula because than they don’t have to learn how to breastfeed and that’s what’s sad about this article. It’s puritanical to expect a woman to ignore the needs of her child because it immodest. That’s the most consistent comment here that its obscene to be showing so much of her breast which is laughable in a culture of thongs and bikini tops. Of course women are more than their breasts but the breasts were there for a reason and its not just some where for men to put their hands ladies.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I thought breastfeeding was so natural and easy that everyone can do it?

      But now you say it is really hard?

      Hard to keep up with the claims these days…

    • Amy M

      This is not about the health benefits. We know the health benefits. The woman in the picture is not talking about health benefits either…she is trying to get attention and she is making breastfeeding activists look bad. There are tons of people here, including LCs, some who breastfeed some who even consider themselves breastfeeding activists, who do not want to be associated with that woman or women like her because she is doing nothing helpful. She is embarrassing them.

      If you or she, or anyone wants to forward the cause of breastfeeding, work on making it easier for women who want to do it and who CAN do it, stop the shame campaign, stop demonizing formula and stop these silly “protests.” See the “I Support You” movement on Facebook, for a start, if you really want to get involved and make a difference. Maybe someone can get on this (the flower chick in the picture, not Margaret C) woman’s FB page and link her to the “I Support You” thing and see if she’ll put her money where her mouth is.

    • Elizabeth A

      To be fair, the photo of the nursing woman that we’re discussion ALSO overlooks the various benefits of breast milk. It’s all about the pose.

      I have no objection to the breast on display, my objection is to the overt preciousness of the entire thing. Associating breast feeding with wandering around the mall with flowers in your hair doesn’t help anyone do it, if anything, it sends the message that breast milk is a choice for people who don’t have practical concerns, ever.

    • PJ

      Why do you think women are too dumb and lazy to learn how to breastfeed? Maybe they just made an informed choice that was right for them.

      • I don’t have a creative name

        I would actually really like an answer to this question, but ole’ Maggie up there will probably never come back to answer it.

    • Bombshellrisa

      No, the woman in the article was focusing on making a statement about public nursing and how society needs to support it. She is one of the privileged who has a healthy baby who can nurse and she doesn’t have issues with supply. She also has no other demands on her schedule where dressing herself and her baby up and going to the mall is possible. It has NOTHING to do with adequate nourishment or “learning to breast feed” and especially has nothing to do with the needs of her child.

    • suchende

      “Dispite all of this most people still fork over their money for formula because than they don’t have to learn how to breastfeed and that’s what’s sad about this article.”

      No, please, tell me more about why I combo-feed. I can’t wait to hear.

      • Older Mom

        Me too. Maybe you can tell me about how my son couldn’t nurse due to a physical problem for the first couple of months of his life. Or how pumping just wouldn’t empty my breasts completely. Or how my supply slowly dwindled from no baby nursing and from mastitis from the incomplete emptying of my breasts with even a high-end hospital-grade pump. Or how maybe consulting 3 different lactation consultants and home plus two at the hospital where I delivered wasn’t enough.

        Yes, please tell me more.

        • suchende

          It couldn’t be that women have to work, struggled to establish a nursing relationship with preemies, had medication they elected not to expose their children to, had supply problems that couldn’t be solved despite all the herbs/LCs/LLL message boards in the world. It must be that they just didn’t feel like learning how. Makes sense.

          • PJ

            Or that breastfeeding often HURTS. One of the things that really gets under my skin is how lactivists cling to the idea that the only thing that can explain pain is a poor latch. I was made to feel responsible for the excruciating pain I experienced for the first six weeks breastfeeding my son because not one person could bring themselves to admit that sometimes pain is just a natural part of breastfeeding.

          • Mac Sherbert

            My first was very painful! Even after consulting and working on any latch issue it hurt worst that any pain I have every experienced including labor, c-sections and one other surgery. He was just a barracuda baby.

            With my 2nd no problems at all, very little pain. She had a great latch and there was no suction like a vacuum cleaner that could pick-up a bowling ball. Until around 8 months when she managed to bit a nip and leave an open wound. Then I remembered why I stopped BF #1. It hurt until it finally healed even with her super great gentle latch.

            I think it would be helpful for moms to know that yes a bad latch can cause pain and also that it’s going hurt even after the latch fixed…because there must be healing. If someone, had told me with #1 how to heal my nipples instead of only focusing on latch I might have BF longer. Just saying he’s latched on great it shouldn’t hurt is not helpful.

          • PJ

            My son also had a very strong latch! It’s not like you can tell a baby to suck more gently.

            The only thing that got me through the pain was using nipple shields (also, I discovered later, frowned upon by lactivists). Without them I would never have managed to keep breastfeeding until the pain eased up at six weeks.

          • KarenJJ

            Oh for me it was definitely because I was lazy, didn’t really like my kids and wanted them to become fat and stupid in later life…

    • Guest09

      A lot of what you have written in regards to the health benefits is undisputed, and many women on here (including Dr. Amy herself) have BF. Of course it is important to support breastfeeding-when that is the mother’s choice. Just as it is important to support women when that is not their choice. There is the misconception out there that if a woman is not breastfeeding it is because she is uninformed or unsupported, and it simply is not true. I fully support BFing, and plan on BFing myself. That being said, it’s not like this woman was handing out LLL pamphlets or info on BFing or even just plain BFing. She is posing in a very narcissistic manner, that does more harm than good for her “cause”. No one is expecting her to ignore her child’s needs or for her to be “modest”. But this is obviously about more for her than supporting BFing, and that would be attention.

      • Older Mom

        To be fair, a couple of people here have commented about covering up. I mostly bottle fed (some pumped milk, mostly formula), but I have zero problem with seeing a little breast when a woman is feeding her baby. Heck, I’ve seen women in bikinis that show more breast!

        Cover-ups and “hooter hiders” are fine if the woman prefers it, but the whole idea that those who don’t mind public breastfeeding should “cover up” to not offend anyone seems a bit much.

        • suchende

          I’ve nursed in subways, museums, libraries, stores, parks, malls, all without a cover. And yet I’ve managed to avoid a single picture of it landing on the Internet. Amazing!

          • Older Mom

            Ha! I don’t even mind that she put the photo on Facebook. I just mind the anti-formula propoganda. Like I said elsewhere, I actually think it’s a beautiful photo.

          • suchende

            It does bother me, but I can see how other people find it charming. I personally feel it appears that she’s exploiting her kid to make a statement about her personal feelings toward formula companies.

          • KarenJJ

            I feel the same way about people who take their kids with them to proselytise or when at a rally. I feel uncomfortable about putting their kids into the fray and wonder whether their kids share the same belief or not.

          • Older Mom

            But you could say this about anyone who exposes their kids to something you don’t agree with. In fact, this is especially true about religion, no? People take their young children to mass with them, but who knows what they really believe…or if they’re old enough to believe anything at all? Whether or not you take offense depends on what your religious stance is and how much you tend to worry about what other people expose their kids too.

            I might take issue with parents bringing little ones to a protest with a high chance of violence (WTO, KKK, etc.), but otherwise, whatever. It’s the parent exposing their children to their family belief system.

            It’s the same when parents drag their kids to mass. Personally, I disagreed with the Catholic thing I was raised with, and eventually, when I was old enough, I was allowed to decide to go to mass…or not. Though I was still forced to make my confirmation, which is rather ironic…though the irony won’t make much sense unless you were raised Catholic too 😉

          • KarenJJ

            I think I flashed half of Darling Harbour in Sydney during an accident as a new mum fumbling about breastfeeding my infant. I don’t think any pictures ended up on the internet, but I haven’t looked very hard either. I don’t tend to go to those sites anyway…

        • amazonmom

          She’s purposely making a show out of not covering up. I wouldn’t care about seeing this in public if she wasn’t posing in front of the Enfamil booth for attention.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I am an extremely outspoken critic of those who whine about women “shoving their boobs in our faces” while breastfeeding, such as the ones complaining about women who breastfeed sitting at a table in a restaurant. Seriously, if that is bothering you, then look away.

            However, even to me this is a case of “in your face” breastfeeding, and it is deliberate.

            I don’t care about covering up, or even being all that discrete about it. But grandstanding is a different issue. SHE is the type that is “shoving her boob in our face” breastfeeding. She is actually sabatoging my attempts to defend breastfeeding in public by being the counter-example. Thanks for nothing.

        • Gene

          I aspire to be on People of WalMart. When one pic made the rounds of a women breastfeeding, I clicked on the link with some trepidation as it could have been me. It wasn’t. I don’t perch my carseat on the cart like that (unsafe) and I’m much better at holding a kiddo in a more comfortable position while shopping for cheap mass produced crap at WallyWorld.

          http://media.peopleofwalmart.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/557.jpg

          • prolifefeminist

            Ohh groan…!

            How many babies does she have dangling there – it looks like two…? Am I viewing tandem Walmart nursing here?

          • Dr Kitty

            i THINK it is a onsie on the trolley hook (in blue) and the baby is in grey with white cuffs. Looks super unsafe and uncomfortable anyway.

    • moto_librarian

      “Dispite all of this most people still fork over their money for formula because than they don’t have to learn how to breastfeed and that’s what’s sad about this article.”

      Perhaps you can explain HOW I was supposed to learn to breast feed when my milk never came in? Or do you believe that women who aren’t successful at breastfeeding simply didn’t try hard enough? As I stated below, it is nigh on impossible to not know that “breast is best” in the United States. Even the formula companies say that in their advertising.

      The fact that her breast is exposed is not the issue for me. The issue is that she is blocking access to the table for Enfamil for parents who might like to get some information about formula feeding. It’s incredibly immature.

    • Box of Salt

      Margaret C ” It’s puritanical to expect a woman to ignore the needs of her child because it immodest.”

      This photo is a staged publicity stunt. It is absolutely not about the needs of the baby.

      • Esther

        Nor are nursing in public and modesty mutually exclusive, of course. Most NIPers I know (including me, back in the day) choose both.

    • amazonmom

      Yes I know all of the benefits of the breast probably more than You do. No amount of lactivist “education” can change the reality that exclusive breastfeeding is not the best choice for everyone and formula companies are needed to fulfill the need for safe substitutes. Parachuting in and making a comment that bears no relevance to the topic at hand is not helping your cause.

    • MaineJen

      Oh, I “learned” how to breastfeed just fine, thanks. Then I had to go back to work. So I pumped. Eventually I supplemented with formula. But thanks for assuming that I just didn’t want to breastfeed. And if it’s not painfully obvious to you that the woman in that photo is just looking for attention and praise, well, I’m sorry. I’ve breastfed in public before, and it can be done more discreetly than that. And I never had anyone even look at me sideways. Imagine that.

      • suchende

        If you haven’t provoked a judgmental comment, dirty look or at least sideways glance from a stranger, then posted about it to Facebook, you don’t get your nursing in public badge. Sorry.

    • InvisibleDragon

      Wow. I had no idea I was such a lousy mother for formula feeding. Kid grew up pretty well in spite of it, and you and all the other crunchy sanctimommies and just twirl.

  • Elizabeth A

    Heavens, that looks uncomfortable. Surely that woman would like a chair? Is that all her stuff off on the right-hand side of the frame? Was there nowhere more comfortable and practical for her to nurse?

    I’d be sort of shocked if there wasn’t, personally. Every expo I’ve been to has given some thought to their target market’s needs.

    Are we holding a nurse-in, here, or advertizing the community theater production of Midsummer Night’s Dream?

    • Jessica

      This event was hosted at a mall. If you look at an aerial shot of the “expo” on the mall’s Facebook page, it looks like a relatively small event. It certainly wasn’t held in a convention center or expo hall. Which means this woman probably could have very easily found a chair or a bench to sit down and nurse – it just wouldn’t have been in front of a table with the Enfamil logo on it.

      • Bombshellrisa

        The mall website mentions all the “soft seating areas” that are available. They also have a nursing mothers lounge.

        • Older Mom

          I just have to say, those “soft seating areas” never worked for me…except to sit on the floor and use the bottom of one of those “soft seats” as back support. I was super comfortable that way AND we got a good latch that way. I agree with the assessment that if you’re comfortable and the baby is gaining weight, that’s all that matters.

          So let’s not critique how other people chose to sit when they nurse. If it’s sitting on the floor, so be it.

          (FWIW: I didn’t look at that picture and think “why is she sitting on the ground?” I thought: “Why doesn’t she have her knees up?” Because that’s how *I* was comfortable–on the floor, knees up, knees & thighs used to hold the baby in place. My next thought was that I couldn’t wear a cute little sundress like that and breastfeed because unless the dress was really, really long, I couldn’t be lady-like and breastfeed in public. I couldn’t give a hoot about showing my hooters in public while feeding my baby, but I drew the line at flashing my undies!)

          • Bombshellrisa

            I am not judging how anyone sits. The point to me is that there are plenty of options, that public breastfeeding doesn’t have to be a lesson in martyrdom/discomfort/whatever else. If you are out and need to nurse and there is a perfectly good mothers lounge available and there is a floor in there, why not take advantage of it? Seriously, a nursing mothers area seems to be a way that public breastfeeding is being supported and refusing to use it so you can make a spectacle of yourself instead seems to be counterproductive.

          • Older Mom

            I realize there were only precious few times that I breastfed my kid in public. Breastfeeding just didn’t work so well for us. It seems that a nursing room is a great option for those who want it, but I would’ve hated to be relagated to a specific area to feed my kid. Sometimes I was hanging out with friends with older kids, or with other moms whose kids just weren’t nursing.

            Like I said, great option for moms who want additional privacy, but also not fair to expect that woman can ONLY nurse in such rooms. However you feed your kid, you shouldn’t be obligated to be isolated.

          • KarenJJ

            My baby spent hours feeding in the early days. If I didn’t feed in public in those early days, I’d have been stuck in one of those rooms for a very long time. I’m a big supporter of breastfeeding in public.

    • Older Mom

      I combo fed until my son was 10 months old, at which point, he weaned completely. Even to the extend that he got some breastmilk, it was often in bottles. I HATED the dirty looks and stupid comments I got about bottles. But…

      To the extent that I breastfed, I found it so much easier to sit on the floor. So. Much. Easier. Believe me, I would’ve loved to sit on a chair, but it didn’t work for us…the hold, the position, similar to what this mom did, but with my knees up, parted a bit, and my feet on the ground. Wouldn’t have worked in a dress unless the dress was long enough

      Really, no other position worked. And I got so tired of people trying to tell me how I should be sitting when I breastfed. Good god, like it was anyone’s business. Like any of them knew how hard I tried and tried and tried to make the breastfeeding work.

      Please don’t assume that this woman or this position is uncomfortable. Depends on the woman. And the baby.

      Also, while I strongly disdain lactivits, I happen to think it’s a beautiful photo.

      • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC

        I was once at a LLL conference at a talk on latching, and they asked participants to critique a mother’s position and latch, which looked a little awkward. Everyone had their 2 cents about what she was doing wrong. Then the speaker asked the mom “how does it feel? And how is the baby’s weight gain?” The answer was “fine” to both questions. Then the speaker said “congratulations, your latch is perfect.”

      • Elizabeth A

        My memories of breast feeding in that position were all about back pain, so I’m afraid that’s what comes to mind when I see the pic.

  • HolyWowBatman

    I wish I had known at 21 that a woman has intrinsic value apart from the things she does or doesn’t do. A person matters because of who they are, and any attempt to fill that sense of value and personhood with stunts isn’t going to make a body feel better. Would have made things less complicated, but i think that one was a school of hard knocks lesson…”What’s that sounds? That’s the sound of life getting ready to knock the taste out of your mouth!” I hope this Mommy gets that figured out soon. “You are more than the function of your breasts!”

  • Guilt-Free

    This is sadly how the mother feels like she is worth something. By inadvertently putting other women and their choices or necessities down in comparison to her martyred be-flowered splay. For someone to go above and beyond with the wreath and the exposed boob IN FRONT OF THE STAND FOR THE PRODUCT THAT REPRESENTS THE WAY MANY BABIES ARE FED says to the world: “This is what I have to do to find my place on the map of rabid crunch ‘mamas’ and receive their approval.” Similar to frat-house hazing. She put herself on the map alright, but in a sad and pathetic way. And, after this, it’ll be her homemade baby food. And, after that, it’ll be something about potty training or the types of toys her kid plays with. And, after that, her type of schooling (most likely communing with fairies) and after that, she’ll have a tween who hopefully will show her the other side of rebellion. One thing is for certain: It’ll always be about her ‘mama dearest.’ There are so many mothers who, regardless of how they choose to feed their baby, do so without making a public spectacle of HOW they’re doing it. I still can’t figure out how the ‘breast is best,’ slogan by these ‘lactivists’ reconciles with the deadly and irresponsible choices the same ‘mamas’ often make to bring those poor babies into the world.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      It’s not inadvertent. It’s deliberate. That’s the main problem.

    • Guilt-Free

      I think I was giving the nursing damsel the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she just passed out in front of the Enfamil stand. But, yes. Deliberate would be more likely.

  • Ivy Wilson

    Looking at that woman’s facebook page, she graduated from high school in 2010. She’s probably only 21 or so, and her relationship status is listed as separated. Most of her friends are possibly students or working and going to bars and clubs, dating, working on degrees or careers. It’s possible that being a good mother to that little girl and dressing her up in pretty flower headbands is just about the only thing that’s keeping her mother going. I can’t imagine the ridiculous things I would have done, had I been a single mother at 21. I hope that she gains a bit more maturity with time and experience, but I doubt she’s much more immature than most 21 year old girls.

    • LibrarianSarah

      Is it bad that I can’t even remember what year I graduated high school?

    • Elle

      I really think a lot of women see breastfeeding as “the great equalizer” or something. Go ahead and party all you want – as long as you breastfeed that will make up for it.

  • Certified Hamster Midwife

    I’m busy right now, but this appears to be the event – if anyone can dig up a vendor list, it would be interesting to see how many BF vendors there were.

    http://babytoddlerexpomaplewood.eventbrite.com/

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      But this kind of lactivism is notabout promoting breastfeeding. It’s about promoting breastfeedERS. That’s why it doesn’t matter whether LLL or any lactivist vendors were at the fair.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife

        Yes, but it would prove her commentary on the photo to be nonsense.

    • Dr Kitty

      It was an event “hosted” by Mead Johnston.
      And she was surprised there was an Enfamil stand?

      LLL or makers of Breastfeeding supplies can absolutely fund their own expo if they want.

      This one was hosted by a formula company, presumably out of their PR and advertising budget. There is no reason why they WOULD have a breast feeding stand, just as there probably wouldn’t be an Enfamil stand at the LLL expo.

      A heart health” expo funded by the makers of a cholesterol lowering butter-like spread probably won’t have stands saying “or see your doctor about statins, which work better”.

      There is no requirement for “balance” in advertising.

      • Esther

        Mind you, the last time I went to an event sponsored by MeadJohnson – a conference on infant feeding for medical professionals in Jerusalem held about 1.5 years ago – one of the speakers, the director of a local hospital’s peds ward, gave a talk which was essentially a rehash of Kathryn Dettwyler’s “natural age of weaning” (you know, the 2.5-7 year range). Oh joy.

    • Bambi Chapman

      Looks like she CHOSE to do this as a breastfeeding expo was taking place around the same time.

      http://www.pocketyourdollars.com/2013/08/free-weekend-events-and-activities-82-8413/

      • Certified Hamster Midwife

        OH FOR GOSH SAKES.

        So the lactivists are over at the BF expo, and this lady and her child are sitting around half-naked with her boob hanging out. If I were someone whose family and peer group didn’t breastfeed, this would be a huge turnoff. If you grow up with it, you know it’s possible to do discreetly.

  • Certified Hamster Midwife

    Yeah, she just happened to show up at the fair with a couple of flower wreaths and a photographer.

    • Bombshellrisa

      And I am pretty sure she just walks about topless with her baby naked as well.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife

        Wearing flower crowns.

  • suchende

    Whose fault is it that there was no breastfeeding table, lactivists or formula companies? If you want to be an advocate, buy a booth.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I know LLL had a display at our local baby fairs, and our local lactation consultant even had a breastfeeding presentation.

  • WKG

    What is wrong with these women? If they REALLY want to make a change for mothers overall, then do something real like campaign for better family-friendly policies in the workplace. Flex schedules, accountable working from home, paid maternity leave, etc. That would actually make an iota of difference to women in America, if all these nuts actually put the passion they have for “nurse ins” and such BS into trying to change corporate America.

    Oh, but that’s just too much WURRRRRRK and you can’t wear a flower crown while you’re doing it.

    • Bombshellrisa

      And extended parental leave might encourage more male partners to be the one taking the leave and we all know they can’t breast feed at baby fairs so it wouldn’t help “the cause”.

  • Antigonos CNM

    She is also making sure you see as much of her breast as possible. Over the years I’ve watched women breastfeeding in public, and they invariably try to minimize the exposure, often using a cloth diaper over the shoulder to hide the bare breast. Here in Israel [and maybe elsewhere] you can buy a kind of cape to “preserve modesty”, important for our ultra-Orthodox women, who generally breastfeed.

    • Certified Hamster Midwife

      That’s part of the problem here. This is what people who don’t want to see public breastfeeding picture when you say “public breastfeeding.” A mom with no shirt and her tit hanging out with the baby covering the nipple.

    • Dr Kitty

      Yup.
      I Breastfed in public A LOT. I didn’t use the nursing covers, but NOT ONCE did I ever have my boobs out.*
      There is “quietly feeding a hungry baby” and there is “making a public spectacle of yourself”. This is the latter.

      *I used button front shirts and henleys or deep V neck tunics over spaghetti strap nursing camisoles. No boobs on view.

      • Elizabeth A

        I was terrible at keeping the breasts under wraps, and my babies were distractable nursers, so I wound up flashing the world on a fairly frequent basis with my first. I wasn’t sitting around posing for topless shots, but there was a fair bit of quick and not all that discreet reshuffling of shirts and so on.

        With my second, I realized that formula meant never being topless across from a creepy dude on the subway. Never looked back.

        • Wren

          My first was distract able and had me flashing the public regularly. My second was so easy I fed her in a sling while shopping at less than 2 weeks old and in a much bigger carrier while standing on a train at about 14 months old while no one noticed. At home, I was fine with letting my whole breast hang out (assuming no guests) but at least attempting to cover up in public seems more respectful of everyone to me.

    • MichelleJo

      I don’t mean to diss the practice of covering up, but how does being covered with a cloth diaper and being unable to see anything including its mother, promote a loving relationship or good ‘bond’.?

      • MichelleJo

        As an aside, I am one of those ultra orthodox jewish women who did not breastfeed, but I see this cloth diaper business a lot. I can’t help comparing it to my bottle feeding sessions when the babies never took their eyes off me.

      • Bombshellrisa

        The covering up would just be for out and about.

        • MichelleJo

          Maybe for some, but many many women who have sons over about 8, cover up at home as well if the boys are around.

          • Bambi Chapman

            My boys have always seen me nurse. It’s not something I am going to hide in my own home due to a child’s age. Heck, my own dad has seen me nurse.

      • Esther

        To the extent breastfeeding promotes a good ‘bond’ – and there’s no evidence that it does above and beyond anything else you do for your baby – there’s the skin-to-skin contact,listening to Mom’s heartbeat etc. It doesn’t have to be all about gazing lovingly into each others’ eyes. My babies often nursed withe their eyes closed, anyway.

        Mind you, many of my patients (I work in an ultra-Orthodox area) wear ponchos year-round for purposes of modesty anyway, so they just nurse under that.

  • moto_librarian

    As a mother who has formula fed two children (one of whom is still getting some formula at 15 months of age because he is very small), I truly hate these kinds of stunts. Does anyone really think that it is possible to live in the United States and not have the “breast is best” message shoved in your face constantly? Are women sometimes shamed for nursing in public? Yes, and I will fight for the right of those women to feed their babies in public. This little stunt does nothing to help the cause though, because it gives the impression that every nursing mother is an attention-seeking lunatic.

    As Dr. Amy said, I too call bullshit on her “this isn’t to shame any formula-feeding mamas.” Anyone who thinks that unscreened donor milk or homemade formula are better options than commercial formula is at best insincere, at worst, an outright liar. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the same group of people who make it their business to judge how I give birth also think it is their right to tell me what to do with my breasts.

    • Bombshellrisa

      “it gives the impression that every nursing mother is an attention-seeking lunatic” It also works against women who would like to see more paid maternity/parental leave or flex time for working because it gives the idea that THIS is what women are going to do with that extra paid time, show up topless to a public event and sit on the floor nursing in front of a formula company’s table.

  • GiddyUpGo123

    How come you can’t see her face? It seems like if she was a proud mama just doing her part to promote public breastfeeding you’d be able to see your face and not just her boob. Does she have something to be ashamed of? Seems like she’s at least a little afraid to stand behind her own message (which by the way is a seriously obnoxious one).

  • I don’t have a creative name

    Does it surprise anyone that she is “studying” for her CPM?

    • Certified Hamster Midwife

      I thought maybe she was a lactation consultant. That’s even worse.

      • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC

        How so?

        • Bombshellrisa

          Because it would be pretty clear that she would push the breastfeeding at all costs agenda, not making nourishment the goal to be achieved.

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC

            I would say that’s more a lactivist thing. Most LCs are nurses, so are aware of the importance of eating.

  • Happy Sheep

    Dressing up in matching wreaths, stripping your baby down to nothing and sitting awkwardly in the freaking middle of the aisle and fully exposing your breast are not about promoting breastfeeding, it is about getting attention and showing how super special you are for breastfeeding.
    Lactivists need to choose, is breastfeeding normal and easy and everyone can do it, or is it something special and unique that only the bestest most perfect woman can do.
    Or how about the actual truth, breastfeeding can be easy, or hard, it can be great for babies and moms or it really really not good for anyone. Or even better, that it isn’t anyone’s business how another parent feeds their baby as long as it is fed.

    • MichelleJo

      Honestly, had I been there I would have thought she was a madwoman. And I wouldn’t be the only one.

    • Amy H

      Baby stripped down to nothing! Can’t you clearly see the cloth diaper?

  • OttawaAlison

    On her Facebook page she takes time to endorse homemade formula and donor milk, but denounce commercial formula. She’s an authority though, she’s studying to become a CPM – online .

    • tim

      Yes, curse those commercial formula manufacturers. Children with milk allergies should DIE OF STARVATION for having the audacity to require hydrolyzed or amino acid formulas. How dare they not conform to the perfect plan of life. They were not meant to live.

      • amazonmom

        But don’t you know Mom’s elimination diet can cure anything? At least that’s what I was told when my kid had milk allergy, just like her dad and uncle. It was a formula rep that ended up giving me the most accurate info about the problem. The pediatrician was the one who wanted me to eat turkey, rice cakes, and nothing else for weeks. The eebil rep gave me info on a better diet for me to try, and enough samples to feed my kid for two weeks, by then my milk wasn’t triggering the reaction. EEBIL FORMULA REPZ

        • tim

          Ahah, but what if you have to deal with both a milk allergy AND a medical issue that requires higher caloric concentration going into your kid? Death by starvation. Kids with j-tubes? Death by starvation! Kids who require TPN? Don’t even get me started, if you can’t digest food you are not a variation of normal! Down with medicine, just let everyone die.
          In all seriousness though, we had people tell us that our Dr’s weren’t interested in supporting breastfeeding, because obviously the problem with a baby in congestive heart failure losing weight is that she’s not breastfeeding properly, it couldn’t possibly be that she doesnt have enough energy to consume and digest enough calories to compensate for the additional work her body is doing. Fortifying EBM with formula powder to make it more calorie dense was a scam that they were foisting on us to send more money enfamils way. Obviously when you’re struggling to cram as many calories into a baby who stays awake for 10 minutes at a time, the only issue you have is latch, and a Dr who was interested in SOLVING THE PROBLEM would have fixed that!
          Evil enfamil who sent us case upon case of free nutramigen when they found out what we were going through and that our insurance wasn’t helping pay for it because it wasn’t going in through a tube. Evil evil evil.

          • moto_librarian

            Ah Nutramigen. I remember the smell of that well. Son no. 2 is on Alimentum, and I can report that it does not smell nearly as bad.

            I hope that your daughter is doing well now.

          • Tim

            She absolutely would not drink alimentum. We tried for weeks to switch the mix from EBM, enfamil, and beneprotein, to EBM, Alimentum and polycose.
            Wouldn’t stand for it – we ended up trying nutramigen in an effort to avoid having to go to a tube (everyone thought she would hate it, since their experience was always that they tolerated alimentum better) but she was a-ok with the nutramigen.
            Thank you btw – she is doing well. Still on nutramigen @ 16 months (she only weighs 17.5 lbs, very tiny, so we keep cramming more formula in around her food as she still can’t have dairy) , but insurance pays for it now because I guess being a toddler who still needs formula is a medical condition? (No real explanation on their reasoning to pay for it now vs when she was an infant, so that’s the best I could come up with)
            I just get so mad when I see people treating formula companies like they are parasites. Some people’s babies would die without it, and that is that.

          • moto_librarian

            I am so glad that they are paying for it now! My 15 month old is still getting Alimentum twice a day. He only weighed 18 lbs., 15 oz. at his one-year checkup. He goes in this week for his 15 month check, and I am hoping that he has actually gained something. If not, we’re probably going to have to move on to some testing to see why he is so slow to grow.

          • tim

            Best of luck to you both. Ours managed to get 1.5 inches taller between her 12 and 15 month checkups without gaining any weight whatsoever (I had noticed her pants were getting looser…) – They keep a careful eye on her height and head growth, and as long as those keep up (they keep climbing %’s actually) they don’t worry too much about the weight anymore. She’s got a ton of the best looking after her, so I just go with the flow 🙂

          • amazonmom

            Many of my patients face the same issues your family did. It’s sickening that highly expensive medically necessary items aren’t paid for by insurance because a child can feed orally. My best wishes for your child and family.

          • Tim

            Thank you. As I updated below, they started paying for it recently when we asked them to re-examine since she was a tiny toddler who still needed to drink a ton of concentrated formula every day. I guess they considered it a medical issue now, moreso than as a baby. I still maintain that it was incredibly kind of the call center people @ Enfamil to send us so much for free the way they did.
            I realize that companies are there to make money, but people should never discount that there are in fact humans working there, and humans have a heart even if they are part of a company. I’m sure some will poo poo this and say it’s a PR stunt, but it is genuine and I’m grateful to them for the help they could and did provide.

          • Dr Kitty

            This is why I’m glad that in the UK all the “special” formulas are free on prescription.
            Occasionally I do feel pressured by parents struggling to make ends meet to diagnose a CMPI or reflux so the kid can get free milk, but rather that than having a family with a sick baby struggling to find money to feed themselves and the baby who needs an expensive hydrolysed formula.

          • Ashley Wilson

            This just makes me love formula even more. Good on Enfamil!

          • tim

            It was super, super awesome of them. They sent us check coupons every week, and numerous cases of cans over the course of the year. It really helped considering all the hospital admission, outpatient and medicine copays we were facing. (“max out of pocket total” is a topic for another day…)

          • I don’t have a creative name

            That’s awesome. I’m so happy they were able to help you.

            Not really the same thing, but when my youngest was a few months old, we were really struggling financially. I was bf’ing around the clock, but I have chronic low supply and always had to top off with formula. The bank account was empty, the formula was gone, and hubs wasn’t getting paid for a few more days. It was late morning and she was getting hungry again. I put her on the boob, fighting tears, knowing that she would be lucky to get an ounce or two at most, not knowing what to do… and then the mail comes. 24oz of sample formula from Similac!!! I never requested it and don’t know where it came from, but it was like the heavens had smiled on me, and we made it through til that paycheck came and I was able to buy more. Yeah, I’m sure the lactivists would sneer that it was just marketing, but it sure made a difference to us at that point in time.

          • prolifefeminist

            Ugh don’t even get me started on the “it’s not going in through a tube so we won’t cover it” bullshit. My toddler is on Elecare Jr now and holy crap…the hoops we had to jump through for months before the insurance co finally agreed to cover it. And it’s like $50 a can. Ugh. It’s not like you exactly have a choice either – you either find a way to pay for it or your kid starves.

        • Amy M

          What I don’t get is why women are warned not to take advice about FORMULA from formula companies. Sure, they are probably not the best people to call with questions about breastfeeding, but if you have a question about formula preparation, ingredients, or which formula might suit your needs, why wouldn’t you call the company?

          They are very heavily invested in making sure the customers are happy and if they were giving out bad advice about formula preparation that was causing children to become malnourished, that would most certainly hurt their bottom line. They are certainly going to do their best to see that their products are used appropriately, if for no other reason than so that adverse events cannot be pinned on them.

          Their product is strictly regulated, therefore it is highly quality controlled and tested, and constantly improving…damn skippy I’m going to trust that over anything some goober could cook up in their kitchen.

      • moto_librarian

        Both of my boys had milk protein and soy allergies. Since my milk never came in with either child, it was a moot issue, but they absolutely needed special formula. I do have one friend who successfully eliminated dairy and soy from her diet so she could nurse each of her kids for 9 months, but she doesn’t brag about it and will readily admit that she weaned them when she just couldn’t take it anymore.

        • Therese

          Oh, don’t you worry! They have liver based formulas for the poor babies that can’t tolerate raw milk formulas.

    • GiddyUpGo123

      Wait, homemade formula? Seriously? Because you can do a better job getting just the right combination of nutrients at home in your kitchen than those evil formula companies did in their lab? I can’t even get the right combination of nutrients down my kids now that they eat regular food, I can’t imagine trusting myself to get that right with homemade formula.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife

        Homemade formula often includes raw milk, if memory serves.

        • GiddyUpGo123

          Oh, holy crap. That is terrifying.

        • me

          My mom fed us homemade formula (as her mother fed her and her siblings). It was an evaporated milk, karo syrup, and water concoction with vitamin drops added. Pretty simple, pretty frugal, and no raw milk involved. But something tells me that isn’t the homemade formula this broad is advocating….

          • Bambi Chapman

            My mom once mixed that up for my brother’s oldest (14). I don’t recall why.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife

            The person who introduced me to this site sent me to a paleo eating forum that suggested making formula out of liver….possibly raw….and raw goat’s milk.

      • Kalacirya

        Google the Weston A. Price foundation homemade formula recipes, if you dare. One includes liver for the dairy intolerant.

  • EllenL

    The fair took place in Minnesota, a state that already has strong laws in place supporting breastfeeding in public and breastfeeding mothers at work.

    http://minneapolis.about.com/od/cityservicesgovernment/a/breastfeedinglaw.htm

    So why, exactly, was her demonstration necessary?

    I think this is more about her than it is about supporting other women.

  • Guest

    I used to work in a shopping center, where I planned things like baby fairs all the time.

  • ArmyChick

    Would love for Enfamil to show up out of nowhere and set up a stand in the middle of a “breast feeding” convention. I wonder if these lactivists would be supporting of it, you know, showing other parents there are other options out there. But who are we kidding? There is no such thing as support from women who think their way is the only way and waste no time shoving that down other women’s throats.

  • yentavegan

    See.. once again I am at odds with the general consensus on this website. I actually like the photo of the mom nursing by the Enfamil table. It sort of says that Enfamil approves breastfeeding. That is what I see without the photographers blurb about what she sought to portray.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      But again, it’s not the picture that’s the problem, it is the motivation of the person behind it.

      • OttawaAlison

        She does it to denounce commercial formula. To be fair I think she was doing it to be lighthearted at first but with the attention has turned it into a more strident “protest”.

    • EllenL

      The photo of mother and baby is beautiful.

      If the backdrop were neutral, I would have no problem with it. But putting herself and her baby in front of the Enfamil table is sending a message that Enfamil is somehow evil. In fact, for some mothers and babies, formula is essential.

  • Are you nuts

    “Please remember that this is NO attempt to knock any non breastfeeding mammas.” No, it’s just an attempt to physically block and/or shame them from a vendor that provides sustinence to non-breastfed children.

  • Eskimo

    I can’t bring myself to look at the comments on her Facebook page – but I’d be willing to be she is referred to as:

    1. Mama
    2. A Goddess
    3. Brave

    at least 1,000 times.

    • Antigonos CNM

      Just as I never “birthed” my babies [“birth” is NOT a transitive verb], I am not a “mamma” to any but those to whom I gave birth. I am, however, a mother of three.

  • KarenJJ

    Looking forward to the day where people start doing cloth diapers on their kids on the floor in front of disposable diaper stands..

    Although maybe I shouldn’t give anyone ideas…

    • Gene

      It’s been done. I’m not kidding. I’ll see if I can find a link…

  • attitude devant

    I have half a mind to start a Facebook page to raise money for Winnie’s therapy.

  • lisa the raptor on a nook

    Oh i am so sure that evenflo, medela and lanseno had noooo tables there

    • FormerPhysicist

      I would be curious …

    • Suzi Screendoor

      Exactly! No booths with nursing attire, nursing pillows, breast pumps, and no other mothers nursing their babies at a baby fair.

    • I don’t have a creative name

      Exactly. The last baby fair I went to, when expecting our youngest, had TONS of nursing covers, “my breast friend” pilllows, lactation consultants, etc. I call BS on this whole thing. If she would reveal the date and location and I called the facility, I bet anyone here $1000 that breastfeeding was represented just fine. This is simply a pathetic needs for kudos over something that isn’t even real.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife

        I’m sure she wouldn’t be happy until there were no formula vendors at all.

        • Amy M

          But then there would be no table in front of which she could make a public spectacle of herself. I think people like this LOVE it when formula vendors come around so they have an excuse to pull this crap. What would they do if breastfeeding rates increased to 95%? They’d have a lot of time on their hands. I guess they’d find some other mommy cause to fight for, like banning hats or swaddle blankets?