If breastfeeding is so awesome, why do lactivists have to spend so much time convincing us of its awesomeness?

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Lactivists, help me out here.

If breastfeeding is everything you say it is, why do you have to write lengthy screeds touting its virtues?

You know what’s awesome? Chocolate is awesome. It appears that there is no need for blogs explaining its awesomeness to doubters. That’s the thing about awesomeness. It doesn’t need to be explained.

You know what else is awesome? Sex is awesome. I don’t notice too many people in need of convincing that sex is pleasurable. People figure it out for themselves without help.

In fact, if you need the purported awesomeness of something explained to you, perhaps it isn’t that awesome after all.

Consider this post, old, but filled with so many mistruths, half truths and falsehoods, that it is worthy of discussion as masterpiece of the genre, What Formula Is Not, by Martha Neovard.

It is also a masterpiece of inanity.

It leads with this witless gem:

Formula is not sterile

Actually formula is sterile. But let’s leave that aside for a moment. Apparently Martha has no clue that breastmilk is not sterile. It can pass pathogens as dangerous as HIV. Martha also is appears clueless that breasts are not sterile. They are covered with the millions of bacteria that live everywhere on human skin.

Then Martha offers this bit of idiocy:

Formula is not convenient

Not convenient for what? No doubt it’s not convenient for birth goddess/natural mother cred among your crunchy peers, but it’s damn convenient for a lot of other things.

Formula is convenient for mothers who want to/have to work. Formula is convenient for mothers who wish to share feeding with fathers or grandparents. It’s not merely convenient, but actually lifesaving for women who don’t make enough milk to supply their babies’ needs. It’s also convenient, and in many cases can preserve a breastfeeding relationship, for women who have agonizing pain while nursing or while nursing often.

Pro-tip for Martha: if something isn’t convenient, women figure it out for themselves. If you need to “explain” it to them, it suggests that you are not correct in your assessment of its convenience.

Formula will not save you from “breastfeeding problems” like mastitis, engorgement, breast pain, and leaking.

Regardless of whether you breastfeed or not, your milk will still come in, you will still get engorged, you may still get mastitis, and you will still need to buy breast pads and special bras. You will leak like mad. That milk has to go somewhere, and since the baby isn’t easing your pain, there will be several days to weeks of suffering while you wait for your milk to “dry up”…

Martha clearly believes that truth is overrated. While engorgement can be a breastfeeding problem, most breastfeeding problems have nothing to do with engorgement. If you choose not to breastfeed, it is extremely unlikely that you will get mastitis; you might need a few breastpads but you won’t need special bras. That’s just a lie. Moreover, if you choose not to breastfeed, you WON’T experience the breastfeeding problems that lead so many women to quit. You won’t get excruciatingly painful, bloody nipples. You won’t get exhausted by nursing every 2 hours. You won’t have to carry the entire responsibility for feeding your baby yourself. And most important, you will never have to listen to your baby scream from hunger because he or she is not getting enough milk.

Formula batches and ingredients are not approved by the FDA … No one inspects individual batches, no one even regulates the ingredients to ensure the same cocktail is made up for every can, or every batch.

Apparently Martha’s motto is “if at first you don’t succeed” lie, lie again. Those claims are bald faced lies. Formula is extremely heavily regulated at every stage of the manufacturing process and even after the formula is sold

You can find some of the regulations here:

(1) The results of tests conducted to determine the purity of each nutrient …

(2) The weight of each nutrient added;

(3) The results of any quantitative tests conducted to determine the amount of each nutrient certified or guaranteed …

(e) The manufacturer shall maintain all records necessary to ensure proper nutrient quality control in the manufacture of infant formula products. Such records shall include the results of any testing conducted to verify that each nutrient required by section 412(i) of the act or § 107.100 of this chapter is present in each batch of infant formula at the appropriate concentration. This requirement pertains to ingredients, in process batch and finished product from the time of manufacture through its expiration date.

(f) The manufacturer shall maintain all records necessary to ensure required nutrient content at the final product stage. Such records shall include, but are not limited to, testing results for vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), C, and E for each batch of infant formula. “Final product stage” means the point in the manufacturing process prior to distribution at which the infant formula is homogenous and not subject to further degradation from the manufacturing process.

(h) The manufacturer shall maintain all records pertaining to the microbiological quality and purity of raw materials and finished powdered infant formula…

(k) The manufacturer shall maintain procedures describing how all written and oral complaints regarding infant formula will be handled. The manufacturer shall follow these procedures and shall include in them provisions for the review of any complaint involving an infant formula and for determining the need for an investigation of the possible existence of a hazard to health.

Oops. It seems that Martha didn’t do her research.

You can read the rest of Martha’s “revelations” for yourself, but I do want to note one claim beloved of lactivists:

Formula Is Not Safe Or Easily-Available During Natural Disasters

I don’t know why this impresses lactivists so much. Breastmilk is not available at all if a mother is killed during a natural disaster or if a mother succumbs to a serious illness.

Let’s get back to the original issue.

If breastfeeding is so awesome, Martha, why do you have to explain its awesomeness? Maybe it’s because lactivists like Martha are well aware that for many women breastfeeding isn’t awesome at all. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be writing screeds that chivvy, lie to and guilt women into breastfeeding as Martha is trying to do.

Why do lactivists spend so much time proclaiming the awesomeness of breastfeeding? Because they are really proclaiming the awesomeness of themselves. See how dedicated lactivists are! See how educated lactivists are! See how selfless lactivists are!

Sorry Martha, but breastfeeding doesn’t make you awesome. It doesn’t make you anything other than a woman who chose to breastfeed her children because YOU think it is awesome.

Why isn’t that enough for you? If breastfeeding really is awesome, why do you need to spend so much time convincing other women of its awesomeness?

  • Keli Lindsey

    It’s not awesome. It’s a basic necessity. Mothers have every right to breast feed in public.

    The real question is: If breast feeding is so revolting, why do you have to defend your personal opinion so?

  • moiraesfate

    Because they want to be special, that’s why. They want to think that anything is acceptable because they want to do it. They are also the same people against disciplining their children.

    • Keli Lindsey

      That’s a load of bullshit. I’m pro discipline and pro breast feeding. So are most of my friends. You are obviously showing that you don’t like public feeding because people bring unnecessary attention to it. Well, here’s why that is ridiculous: THEY DON’T WANT ATTENTION. THEY JUST WANT TO FEED THEIR HUNGRY CHILD WITHOUT SOME JERK ACTING LIKE THEY ARE MASTURBATING AT A PLAY PARK.

  • Kevin Doyle

    Hey! The vast majority of women in this country give birth in hospitals, doing everything recommended to them by their OB/GYN. They get routine cervical exams, induce via drugs, get epidurals to manage the pain. They get 3 or more ultrasounds through the process.
    Sounds like the medical model of birth is very popular. If it’s so awesome, why does this blog exist?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      It exists to counter the mistruths, half truths and outright lies of the natural childbirth industry that make women feel unnecessary guilt and lead to preventable deaths.

      • Kevin Doyle

        I will respectfully disagree with your views on natural childbirth, yielding the expertise to my med student wife who has done her research and chosen an unmedicated birth in a birth center with a midwife who is a registered nurse. I think that you conflate an experience like that with someone laboring at home with little-to-no professional assistance.

        However, why then do you attack breastfeeding? Because so many children die from breastfeeding? Even you yourself acknowledge that breastfeeding has real benefits, even if you believe them to be “trivial.” You spend a lot of time attacking something that is actually beneficial. So to be clear, why do this and other breastfeeding posts exist on your blog?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          However, why then do you attack breastfeeding?

          Can you provide an example of any “attack” on breastfeeding?

          Saying that breastfeeding has trivial benefits in first world countries is not an attack.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I will respectfully disagree with your views on natural childbirth, yielding the expertise to my med student wife who has done her research and chosen an unmedicated birth in a birth center with a midwife who is a registered nurse.

          What did your “med school wife” learn in her “research” that led her to choose that path?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I will respectfully disagree with your views on natural childbirth,

          And one last question: Can you explain exactly what you think Dr Amy’s “views on natural childbirth” are?

          I just want to make sure we are all on the same page here.

          • Kevin Doyle

            She hates natural childbirth and thinks it’s little more than a deathwish for mother and child.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            She hates natural childbirth and thinks it’s little more than a deathwish for mother and child.

            So by making this statement, you are acknowledging that you actually don’t know Dr Amy’s views on childbirth? Because I am trusting you aren’t serious, and are saying that because you don’t actually have an answer.

          • demodocus

            From everything I’ve read, she doesn’t hate natural childbirth. Women can and do have a natural childbirth in the hospital, after all. Several of whom are regulars here. My mother did. My only “interventions” were pain relief and the magnesium stuff so I wouldn’t have a stroke.
            Natural birth is not mutually inclusive with home birth or going to birthing centers without obs and pediatricians on duty.

          • Gatita

            Amy herself had unmedicated births and breastfed all of her children. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            You don’t know what you’re talking about.

            As I note below, this has to be a sarcastic response, meaning he’s a troll. If it’s serious, he’s a total wingnut.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Because so many children die from breastfeeding?

          If you read a bit further you would realize that yes, children can die and be damaged from breastfeeding. It’s called “starvation” and it can occur when a woman who can not produce adequate milk tries to continue breast feeding despite the obvious evidence that the child is failing to thrive.

          And with all due respect to your wife, one of the things she needs to learn in medical school– and the sooner the better–is that when you’re the patient your medical judgement is NOT sound. Ever heard the saying “she who treats herself has a fool for a physician”?

          • Kevin Doyle

            No child ever starves except those whom are breastfed.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Unfortunately, plenty of children have starved for any number of reasons, including formula that is made up with unclean water and produces profound diarrhea. What does that have to do with the fact that women in the US and other first world countries which do have access to both well made formula and safe water are pressured into breast feeding whether it is working for them or not?

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          In other words, you will yield to someone who has far less expertise than I do. Not surprisingly since you believe what you WANT to believe and scientific evidence has nothing to do with it.

          • Kevin Doyle

            I’m sorry, have you met me and my wife, assessed our desires for this birth and our personal medical needs? She, in fact, DOES have more knowledge about this pregnancy than you do. You presume to dictate from on high the ONLY way to be pregnant and deliver a baby, not accounting for safe ways of delivery that are outside of a hospital. No no, you’re right, you do all of this out of love for women, not a disdain for people who disagree with you. Please, do not respond to me. You disgust me.

          • demodocus

            It’s only safe as long as you aren’t unlucky enough to have a last minute crisis like I did. My blood pressure was good all through my pregnancy and into the first few hours of labor. Then in the 4th hour, it shot up to 200 over something or other. Good thing I was already in the hospital.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Let me get this straight. You intentionally clicked on this blog, presumably knowing what it was about, read (I hope) the post, wrote a number of comments, including some that were quite derogatory, all without getting “censored” in any way, and now you feel the need and right to demand that the BLOG OWNER doesn’t respond to you? I’m just not sure what to make of that demand.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            I know what to make of it.

            Kevin just realized he is in way over his head and he’s made a fool of himself. Now he’ll slink out of here with his tail between his legs, but not before he tries to delete the evidence of his arrogant ignorance.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            So Kevin, I asked a couple of really simple (and I think fair) questions below, to try to make sure that I had all the facts before addressing anything more. Yet, you took a sarcastic tone with me, and haven’t addressed them.

            But hey, it’s a lot easier to play the martyr and complain about the negative feedback you get then to face a serious challenge.

          • Gatita

            Please do not respond to the comment I made on your blog!!! HDU?????

          • momofone

            “Yes, please just let me say what I want to, unchallenged, because I’m not prepared to be questioned.” Sure. That’ll work.

  • Nina

    The author is a doctor and she spews this crap! She should go back to school and never advise patients. The fact that she can’t even acknowledge that breastmilk is superior to formula makes her argument completely irrelevant. She sounds very bitter.

  • Cat

    I googled “benefits of chocolate” and found 1,690,000 results. “chocolate is awesome” got 152,000 results, “benefits of sex”, 1,660,000 results and “sex is awesome”, 980,000 results.

  • StopForcing GplusOnUs

    Who cares if one woman breast feeds while the other does not. They’re not YOUR children. It does not affect your life in the slightest way. Deal with it.

    Now public breast feeding I’m still on fence over. Mostly due to the indiscreet, self-entitled, confrontational and narcissistic attitude that comes with it… which is seemingly a pattern with lactivists to begin with.

    Some are comfortable with it and some aren’t, that will never change. The more you jump down people’s throats for it, the more you’ll just end up chasing away.

  • Vegan Midwife

    You know what? People should really start living theirs lives and stop giving a second thought to what other people say and do. Breast feeding awesome for some. Formula awesome for some. Enough judgement and condescension on both sides.

  • PreachingtotheChoir

    “Why do lactivists spend so much time proclaiming the awesomeness of
    breastfeeding? Because they are really proclaiming the awesomeness of
    themselves.” – Thank you for this; you put into words what I haven’t been able to do. Do I believe “breast is best”? I do. But formula isn’t bad when its the option that works for you and the option that keeps your children (triplets in my case) growing strong and healthy. So Dear Facebook Lactivist: We get it. You breastfeed. Breast milk is great. Here is your Mom-of-the-Year award. Surprise! You share it with many many other women! – While breastfeeding is great, it doesn’t make you special, and certainly not better.

  • Ladyof3

    Formula is not regulated in Canada, where it appears this woman is located.

  • just a regular mom of 4

    In my experience (and those of several other moms I have talked too), breastfeeding is definitely NOT awesome for the first few weeks, but after that, it does become awesome, or at least easier and more convenient. So, I think the reason that lactivists encourage mothers to breastfeed so strongly, is because it IS hard in the beginning, but for many moms it DOES get easier. Not for everyone of course, and some moms can’t make enough milk or just don’t want to breastfeed or prefer to bottle-feed, so whatever that’s fine. But if someone does want to breastfeed, I don’t think it’s bad to encourage them to get past the first initial weeks (which ARE difficult) because it really DOES get easier for *many* (not all, but many) moms. I’ve very glad I stuck through the first 3-4 weeks of difficulty with breastfeeding, because I went on to have over a year of breastfeeding ease, which was totally worth the initial difficulties…if anything just for the all the money I saved on not buying formula. That’s been my experience anyway…but I don’t think it’s that unusual an experience.

    • Dr Kitty

      I also had a very similar experience. I wanted to continue, my mum said it was the same for her and thence t got better, so I just carried on, because I wanted to.

      The issue though is that for many women the first few weeks are SO grim that it just isn’t worth it for the marginal benefits BF will give over FF.

      Instead of treating women as rational adult human beings who are able to interpret information, report problems, weigh up pros and cons and draw appropriate boundaries, the lactivist approach is to deny or minimise problems and overstate benefits to the point where women are shamed or guilt tripped into BF beyond the point where they find it acceptable. Not cool.

    • anion

      It was mine, too, with my second. I had an awful time with my first–I wasn’t making enough milk, it was horribly painful, I developed a scab on my nipple which was not only painful but kind of yucky, and I had PPD which made the whole thing worse. With my second I just kept moving the bar, telling myself I *could* give up but I’d aim for the duration of the hospital stay, then a week, then another week, then a full month, and so on. I knew I could do even something difficult for a week, so thinking of it in terms of short-term goals rather than long-term really helped me. (It also helped that it was way easier with my second: plenty of milk, much less pain, etc.) I loved nursing her and we ended up doing it for seventeen months. In retrospect I wish I’d tried a little harder with my first, but I don’t blame myself either.

      I always suggest the “short-term goal” thing to friends who are on the fence, though. (And we supplemented our second with one bottle a day so I could get up and make dinner or shower or whatever, which I think helped me, too.)

  • Anna

    Your blog is the worst thing I have ever read. Your opinions are not only anti-mother and child, they are anti-life. Why do you hate nature so much? Why do you love medicine more than anything natural? It is a waste of time to expound. Truly an offensive and tragic blog that most people probably just laugh at.

    • Mishimoo

      Thank you for wasting your precious time writing such an insightful and mature comment.

    • guestsguestxgu

      Wait, what? The woman who fiercely advocates for the lives of babies and women who needlessly die during homebirths. The woman who says hey, you can’t, don’t want to breastfeed, no need to go into a suicidal depression, it’s really no biggie. She’s anti-life? That’s just one of the most irrational things I’ve ever heard!

    • KarenJJ

      I don’t get it. Nature was trying to kill me. Modern medicine saved me. So that makes medicine anti-life and I am actually dead?

    • anion

      I suspect you don’t do a lot of reading, if a blog like this qualifies as “the worst thing [you] have ever read.”

    • I’m somewhat confused. Why is pointing out that nature kills people anti-life? Why is supporting practices that make sure women and babies live anti-life? You’re right, Dr. Tuteur is somewhat against nature. That’s because nature sucks. Nature is full of malaria and measles and cyanide and fire ants and lions and poison sumac and all sorts of things that can kill us. I mean, granted, we are all part of nature, but we make tools to protect us from the other parts that want to eat us and/or are just bad for us. Medicine is one of those tools. So are clothes. So are houses. Do you argue that clothes and houses are unnatural and evil too?

      • Lizzie Dee

        Slightly OT, but not much, today’s Guardian has an article about childbirth in Kenya which is instructive. It focuses on Nairobi, where the maternal mortality for those who cannot access modern medicine is 706 per 100,000. The writer says this translates to 300 mothers and 200 babies per year.

        I wonder if those who long for the good old days would be quite so nostalgic if they could actually get their heads round the idea that it was young women who died, not just their babies.

        And for those who smugly assume that nutrition and sanitation are the problem so not relevant to the modern developed world – the chances of even under-nourished women are greatly improved by modern interventions.

        • AmyP

          From Jeevan’s blog, it sounds like anemia is a major risk factor with the mothers he deals with–the anemia means that when things go wrong, they go much more wrong.

    • Lizzie Dee

      Don’t you just love the insouciance of the clueless?

      Quite likely those in love with NCB DO laugh. Right up to the point when some of them find out the hard way that it is no laughing matter.

      If it is anti-life to use science to combat the many negatives in Nature, I’d say that “Most people” are pretty happy about it.

    • Jocelyn

      Anti-life. Give me a break.

      “Why do you love medicine more than anything natural?” I personally love medicine because it has saved me from nature when nature tried to kill me. I think that’s a pretty good reason for loving medicine. And pretty much the opposite of “anti-life.” I would like to remain alive, thanks, and medicine helps me do so.

  • Hannah

    Do you like the work of the organization Best for Babes? I really respect them.
    Their mission is to help women be able to meet their breastfeeding goals. Most women want to breastfeed at least for some amount of time. Best for Babes is trying to get accurate and helpful information out there. Sometimes this includes publicizing the wonderfulness of breastmilk so that people like employers or spouses can understand why it is important to be supportive. For example, an employer might benefit from “allowing” a mom to pump at work because it increases morale and decreases how many sick days the mom will have to take from work for a sick baby.

    • Young CC Prof

      I read through their “booby traps.” I think the ones on top of the list are a whole lot less important than the ones on the bottom. Nowadays, most hospitals will bend over backwards to accommodate breastfeeding, and I doubt many grandmothers or other relatives are discouraging it. At this point, everyone knows the advantages of breastfeeding, and re-enumerating them isn’t so critical.

      The important “booby traps” are work, lack of paid maternity leave, and cultural difficulty nursing in public. Those are the things that stand in the way of women who want to nurse and are physically capable of doing so.

  • MichelleJo

    I am in the “tiny” percentage of women who simply cannot produce *any* milk. It just doesn’t come in. All I get is some greasy colorless liquid around the nipples, that’s it. Before I left the hospital once, they offered me a shot to stop the milk coming in because I was bottle feeding, and would be in “terrible pain” when it happened. To which I replied, that If I needed that shot, I would be breastfeeding. I wonder if they’ve worked that one out yet. And of course, I wasn’t in any pain at all, because if I don’t produce any milk, I’ll hardly get engorged by not feeding.

  • Karen in SC

    You can not tell in any classroom who was breastfed and who wasn’t. I wonder if researchers would visit the select math and science academies around the country and determine who was breastfed. Of course, confounders would be parents are doctors, went to private school, etc. But still, would there be anything to find?

    • Happy Sheep

      They could also go to a special needs classroom and do the same. I think in all cases they would find that the normal confounders would have more impact than breastfeeding

      • Karen in SC

        Good point!

  • thanksforthelaughs

    Bless you Amy, just a bitter little troll. I’m sorry you couldnt breastfeed. I’m sorry that you’re old, grey and ignorant. I seriously can’t wait until dinosaurs like you retire, its a known fact that your generation lack the ability to adapt to change and process new information easily. Hopefully the younger generation of mothers will stand a better chance when you are too old to spout your poison…… reading some of your posts, I think dementia may have set in already :/

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      The laugh’s on you. I breastfed all four of my children. That doesn’t make me superior, but it does make you look like a fool.

      • Thanksforthelaughs

        I would say that either you are lying or you are a big hypocrite…however we all know that dementia affects the memory……maybe it’s time to retire old timer!

        • Tim

          Why is it hypocritical for someone who breastfed to tell other women “yeah , it’s nice and all but don’t break your back over it because it’s not that big of a deal”
          She wouldn’t have to say anything about it at all if your “team” wasn’t driving women to suicidal depression because you’ve trumped up breastfeeding to such hyper levels that they think they are actively harming their children if they can’t /don’t do it.
          You know what you people have done? You’ve objectified women the same way a scummy horndog does – you’re turning them into a series of holes. Only instead of a series of holes for satisfying a man, they’re a series of holes for making and growing children. Well guess what? They’re people.

        • Jocelyn

          Hahaha…”Thanksforthelaughs” voted their own comment up.

      • ngozi

        Aw shucks. I thought you were going to call him/her an ignorant fool. I prefer to call people Fish-eyed Fool myself…

    • Happy Sheep

      Wow holy ageist strawman! What happened to the good old days? Wouldn’t a more experienced woman be someone to look up to?
      You do know that you are proving Dr Amy’s point about how lactivists are just narcissistic bullies right? You leave a nasty remark attacking her age instead of refuting any of her claims and yet she’s the one with no edge? Please, I will take the word of a retired OB over some random nasty commenter any day.

    • Captain Obvious

      Appears you are the ignorant one here. Dr T has clearly posted over the years that she breastfed and delivered vaginally with and without epidural. I like to think of her more as middle aged and she already publicly posted she stopped practicing to raise her children, that she breastfed. More ignorance on your part. The fact she did all that but can appreciate the hardships of nursing and empathizes with moms who choose to formula feed without chastising them shows that she can adapt to change because she does understand the evidence that breast feeding only has minor benefits in the grand scheme of raising a child. For trolls like you who are, I guess, young, ignorant, and attached to your baby so that you cannot work, I pity your generation.

    • LibrarianSarah

      Yeah screw doctor Amy! Doesn’t she know that a woman is no longer worth anything once she is out of her 20s?

      Get a life you bitter ageist troll.

      • dramysworstnightmare

        A person that can’t keep up with the advances and discoveries in the 21st Century certainly is not worth anything professionally. An “Dr” Amy isn’t actually a doctor. FRAUD!

    • Sarah Eilerson

      Hey, don’t just dip a delicate little toe in the sea of scorn and ridicule; what the heck, just go for it and do a big, fat belly flop.

  • FormerPhysicist

    Sigh. Some reason, but also many of the tropes.
    Why are we measuring “only 13% exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months” instead of how many are either doing what they want, or combo feeding? I hate this all or nothing.

    http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/mdmama/2013/09/we_arent_doing_enough_for_mothers_who_want_to_breastfeed.html

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Why are we measuring “only 13% exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months”

      Because the key word is “exclusively,” and there is nothing wrong with starting solids in the 4 – 6 mos range.

      I do not get why these folks are so hung up on “exclusive” breastfeeding. My kids were predominately breastfed until they quit around 9 mos. Yes, they had stuff besides breastmilk before they were 6 mos, but why should that be considered bad?

      Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

      • Young CC Prof

        I’m planning to go back to work at 6 months. Regular pumping does not sound like something I want to do, so he’s going to get formula during business hours and deal. Ideally, baby would get mostly breast milk for the first 5 months, and at least one nursing session a day for a year. 6 months EBF? Not going to happen, sorry.

        Exclusive breast feeding is just a dumb measure. Needed a couple ounces of formula in the hospital? You fail at EBF. Had to throw away your milk for a couple days due to getting sick? Fail at EBF. Primarily breast feeding at 6 months is a much more reasonable and practical measure.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Exclusive breast feeding is just a dumb measure.

          Yep. Why? Why? Why? Why does anyone, in western contemporary society, care about _exclusive_ breastfeeding for 6 mos? When the debate is still being held about whether beginning solids at 4-6 mos is possibly beneficial, why the obsession with EBF for longer than that?

          If it’s not unreasonable to introduce solids at 4 – 6 mos, why is not unreasonable to introduce formula?

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Unfortunately, we have allowed lactivists to set the agenda instead of scientific evidence.

      • FormerPhysicist

        You write well. That’s more or less what I meant to convey.

  • Wren

    I am so tired of this even being an issue. I breastfed both of my children and one never would take a bottle. I have breastfed in public, even, gasp, a toddler. I have absolutely no problems with breastfeeding if those who are actually involved (mother, baby, other caregivers) are happy with it. I am just so tired of attempts to bully and scare women into doing it if they aren’t happy to, for whatever reason.
    I have yet to see any test that can show you which 5 year olds got breastmilk and which got formula, let alone adults. It just does not matter for the individual in most cases, and is certainly not worth the risks involved in informal milk sharing, in women forgoing important medication or even just the negative effects of a mother doing it when she doesn’t want to.
    As for “educating” women, are there honestly that many women who are unaware of the “breast is best” message and the umpteen oft-claimed benefits of breastfeeding?

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    Oh, I forgot to comment on this little gem from Martha’s article:

    ” It’s (breastfeeding is) free. No, you don’t have to buy a pump. Have you heard of hand-expression? It works just as well (and in many cases, better than), and is entirely free.”

    HA! Hand expressing instead of pumping? Has she ever actually hand expressed? I’d like to see her hand express the 30-40 oz that I pumped per day when I went back to work. I’m picturing myself sitting in my office with my shirt off hand expressing into a bowl all while trying to dictate my charts and having office staff run in and out with orders to sign off.

    • PJ

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha!! (She’s joking, right?)

    • Young CC Prof

      Actually, my mother did hand-express. She didn’t go back to work until I was 3 months old, and only part-time, so it wasn’t a lot of milk, but it is possible to get a reasonable stock that way.

      Of course, if most of the baby’s diet is expressed breast milk, then a hands-free pump is kind of necessary.

      • Ceridwen

        It’s possible to do. But it takes a lot longer than pumping (for almost all women) and it’s really tedious with a high potential for mess. I’ve done it when I absolutely had to but it’s certainly not a reasonable alternative to buying a pump for working mothers.

        • Mominoma

          I lost probably more than I collected trying to hand-express. Thankfully, I usually only did that if I’d gone too long between feedings and needed a little “room” to latch baby on!

    • Anka

      )@#($*#$ing hand expressing! (No offense to anyone who likes it or finds it a good option.) This one lactation consultant, who was very reluctant to check whether I needed a larger flange for my breast pump than the one I had (because “nobody” really needs larger flanges, supposedly), pressured me strongly into trying hand expressing. I already had painful carpal tunnel issues from holding my big boobs and big baby with small hands for hours on end, and said “no thanks, I did it before and I don’t like it. Plus my hands already hurt.” She chirped, “JUST TRY IT.” I did for a minute or two, and said, “hey, I’m going to stop now, this hurts.” She said, “SEE, IT’S GREAT–WHAT DID I TELL YOU.” I said, “but it’s painf…” and she said firmly, “women have been doing this for thousands of years. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. I’M GLAD YOU THINK IT’S BETTER TOO.” Incidentally, after this entire pregnancy-and-birth experience, one sentence that now makes me despise the other person forever is “women have been doing this for thousands of years.” It’s never good–“natural” birth, hand expressing, EBF when you can’t or it doesn’t work for you, etc.

    • MichelleJo

      ” It works just as well (and in many cases, better than), and is entirely free.”
      If it works just as well, they why were pumps invented?

  • antigone23

    It’s funny because lactivists try to sell breastfeeding as easier and more convenient for women yet at the same time shame women who don’t breastfeed as lazy and selfish. Well, which is it? Why would it be lazy and selfish to do the harder and less convenient thing, if that’s what formula feeding is? By denigrating formula feeding mothers as lazy and selfish, they subtly acknowledge that breastfeeding is in fact difficult for many women. I think ultimately what is easier and more convenient depends on your specific situation, which is why this is a personal decision.

  • Anka

    Apologies for the potential OT-ness of this question, but does anybody know how many women actually do have real supply issues? I’m one of them; I have subclinical hypothyroidism, and was originally taught incorrectly how to breastfeed in the hospital by incompetent lactivist nurses, and I have an enormous, skinny baby who always wants to eat about twice as much as any public health nurse says he needs per feeding, so I don’t know which of these factors (or maybe it was all of them) contributed to the combo feeding situation. I really do have low supply for the demand, there’s no doubt about it. But I heard so much from LLLI and a few breastfeeding clinic nurses about how it is *super-rare* to have a supply issue and it’s really a matter of patience and dedication, because the odds of my being in that 1% or whatever of low-supply women are super-unlikely, etc. Yet it seems like most of the women in my moms’ group formula feed or combo feed due to supply issues. And this is urban Canada, so it’s not like lactation consulting sessions aren’t free and available to all here, or that we haven’t all been to them.

    • yentavegan

      Combo feeding is what my smart and savvy sister-in-law did. Breastfeeding does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. Do what makes you happy, don’t measure your self by the lactavist yard stick.

    • PJ

      I think Dr Amy did a post fairly recently on a paper that concluded that supply issues may be more common than previously thought?

    • KarenJJ

      I’m interested too. I have an condition that causes chronic inflammation (and was chronically anemic and iron deficient from it).

    • Burgundy

      I did combo feeding for my both kids. I had 3 tumors removed from my breasts before I was 20 and those surges mess up my milk supply.

    • Maya Markova

      I also had to combo-feed both my children. I was over-tired, had tears and the second time had a respiratory infection, but no chronic health issues. Personally, my explanation is that my babies were fairly long and my breasts are small (there is a meme that “breast size is unimportant for breastfeeding success” but my anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise.) I don’t know about actual studies on this matter. However, from evolutionary point of view this is a clear “conflict of interests”: the baby is interested to get enough breastmilk but the mother is “interested” in managing the task with as little breastmilk as possible, in order not to exhaust herself. I’d wish to read an expert opinion.

      • Anka

        Interesting! My breasts are large, proportionally speaking, but I’ve also read that that can be a problem (more breast composition out of materials other than milk glands or something? Dunno). Maybe both large and small breasts can present difficulties for similar reasons? How did your tears affect you? I had some third-degree ones, as well as inadequate pain management advice (“just take Tylenol!” UURRGH…), and I feel like that might have been a factor, but the first month or so was such a scary blur that I have trouble remembering specifics.

        I also feel that “conflict of interest;” I would have been willing to do anything for that magical perfect exclusive breastfeeding relationship, including go without sleep or adequate nutrition and turn into a raging hell-beast as a result, but it was such a relief to get five, then six, etc., now nine hours of sleep at a time at night, probably due to the formula part of the combo feeding, that I don’t know now whether I would change that if I could.

        • Tim

          My wife had a hell of a time finding a way to hold both the baby securely and her breast so that the baby wasn’t being smothered. That’s definitely a drawback to being large chested and BF’ing.

          • Anka

            Is it ever! Did she ever manage to get proper help for it? The lactation consultants (7 in total, I think) I saw were very reluctant even to sell me the next size up of flange when it was painfully clear that the “medium” one that came with my breast pump was not working for me. “Oh, we carry those, but nobody ever REALLY needs them.” They even seemed taken aback and slightly disturbed when they measured my breast with their little Medela fitting device and found that the next size up was indeed my correct size. They also refused to believe that my (small) hands hurt from holding up my large boobs for hours on end. And I know I can’t have been the only large-breasted person they’ve ever encountered.

          • Tim

            She did manage to sort it out, but it took a lot of experimenting, and tbh the way she had to do it, made it very difficult as she had to be sitting with her legs up so she could support the baby with her thighs, so all the “so convenient you can do it anywhere!” went right out the window. Ended up stopping entirely at around 5 months due to other reasons that everyone here is probably sick of reading about 🙂

          • Anka

            Ha! I do that too! It sure isn’t convenient–either conditions must be perfect (I keep hearing Flight of the Conchords in my head–“conditions are perfect!”), or I get massive leg cramps from attempting that position without putting my feet up on something.

          • Young CC Prof

            Huh, that’s very good to know. I was a medium-sized lady, but the pregnancy boobie fairy has been rather overly generous, and at only 5 months pregnant I’m at a size that most nursing bras aren’t made in. Interesting to learn that there can actually be down sides to breast-feeding with very large breasts. And different sizes flanges for pumps. Who knew?

          • Anka

            Oh, the boob fairy! Before pregnancy I was…already a size not found in regular stores. I should be grateful that she didn’t pay me very many visits at all during pregnancy, because there probably wouldn’t be enough letters in the alphabet (though for all I know, that is a symptom of my breastfeeding troubles). But if you’re pumping and you find that your nipple always feels like it’s being chewed on (sorry) and not all of it even gets sucked into the pump and there’s a perpetual ring of protein residue inside the flange, those are apparently all signs that the flange isn’t big enough. It’s also been a little bit of a challenge to wrangle my breasts in public while breastfeeding, but now that the weather’s cooler I find that a jersey fabric shirt under a zip cardigan (lift up the former, unzip the latter) works best for me (though easiest of all is the formula feeding, which I also do in public). Congratulations, and may you find what is best for you!

          • Jessica

            I was using the standard size flanges and the first thing the LC said to me was that I needed a larger size. I ended up using the 36mm on one breast and the 30mm on the other for most of the time I pumped. I can’t believe your LCs would be so reluctant to help you find the proper flange fit!

            I’ve heard suggestions of using a rolled up towel to support a large breast. I was a 46D when my son was born – I actually never supported my breast when nursing him, but I did use a nursing pillow and the football hold to avoid smothering him until he was a little bit older.

          • Anka

            That’s a fantastic idea–thanks! I will definitely try that next time around (if there is a next time).

        • Maya Markova

          My tears also caused pain that was managed only locally by Cotinus, plus blood loss. Also, my abdominal organs had moved downwards, and my subjective feeling was that they were going to prolapse any minute (which did not happen, however). Every visit to the toilet was an adventure.

          When my first was newborn, I also worked too much, including unnecessary chores (e.g. sterilizing the bottles for water and the pacifiers). I am sure this is also a factor. Farmers say that cows used to plough are not great milk producers.
          In fact, I think lactivism may be beneficial by persuading family members that they must do part of the housework so that the mother can breastfeed. Because, if the mother is not helped, the alleged choice whether to breastfeed turns into a farce. I am afraid that, when everybody gets to know how tiny the real breastfeeding benefits are, dads will feel reassured, “Oh, she is OK working like a workhorse and bottle-feeding, while I can very well watch TV.”

    • batmom

      Suppose it’s true that only 1% of women will have a physical problem that prevents their making milk. How many babies are born per year? That’s a *lot* of women, even if it’s only a small percentage.

      The other thing is that (and I say this as someone who has an oversupply and an easy time aside from managing engorgement) is that it is VERY hard work to manage a milk supply especially if one can’t nurse on demand during growth spurts. The boobnazis call it “insufficient dedication”; I call it “one needs to be lucky enough to have a generous maternity leave.” Some women don’t respond well to pumping.

      My son is five months old, seventeen pounds, and not on solids, and eats voraciously. This is extremely physically hard on me, and manageable because I’m still on leave. Had I a different job/circumstances, I could easily see combo-feeding.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        Ironic, isn’t it? The number of women who have a problem with supply is far greater than the number of women who want a homebirth, but advocates of “natural” parenting insist that supply problems are “rare” but homebirth is “popular.” Logic is not a strong point for this crowd.

      • Jessica

        I sometimes suspect that if mom is able to nurse baby at breast on demand that most mothers won’t have supply issues. The more feedings baby takes from a bottle, the more likely one is to have supply issues at some point, and preventing that is a lot of work and may not be possible depending on how well one responds to a pump and what kind of pump you have.

        • Happy Sheep

          Without generous maternity leave and help and support at home, how is it reasonable to expect that a baby will never get a bottle? Plus, lower down there are comments about how women regret not giving a daily bottle so that when mom has to leave baby will still eat.
          I have low supply, it was low even in the weeks that my son had no supplementation, it did not increase as he grew and no amount of herbs or pumping changed that as he got bigger I had to supplement more and more, he would empty the breast and still down 4 ounces. I was not willing to have him scream in hunger to try and get him to nurse more often when formula is safe and present.
          Your suspicion comes off as sounding like “if only they tried harder, they did this to themselves” and I think that you are mistaken. Even if you are right, the factors that lead parents to supplement need to be examined, otherwise it is just more handwaving.

          • Jessica

            I think you misunderstand what I’m saying.

            Lactivists think nearly all women can produce enough milk to feed their babies. And this might be true if nearly all women were able to feed exclusively from the breast. But that is not the world in which we live. A majority of mothers work outside the home, and their babies will need to take feedings from a bottle, and so mothers must then be able to pump enough milk to feed their babies while they work. And pumping rarely works as well as a baby in maintaining a milk supply long-term. In other words, they set women up for failure from the very beginning, because what they expect of women is probably impossible. And many women don’t realize this and then feel extreme guilt for not being able to meet an unattainable standard.

            I’m not even touching the issue of women who have low milk supply even baby is fed at the breast early and often – I think that happens far more often than lactivists will admit, too.

      • MichelleJo

        I heard from a rare normal feeding counselor that 4-5% of women cannot produce any milk, save for a few watery drops that they have to manually squeeze out, and up to 20% of women cannot produce enough milk to sustain their babies. If this is true (because I don’t know where she gets her information from), then while certainly not the norm, it is quite common.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Think of it this way: if 20% can’t produce enough milk to feed their babies, than it is twice as common as being lefthanded.

          Is left-handed abnormal? It’s unusual (as in, not the usual), but how does that make it “abnormal”?

          Abnormal is a pretty silly concept.

          • AmyP

            Not being able to produce enough milk to nourish your baby is a variation of normal.

        • Certified Hamster Midwife

          So according to lactivists, those babies were just meant to die/be let out to wet nurse.

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    I was thinking about this post today as I saw a new mom for sinusitis. Her baby is 3 months old. I asked her if she was breastfeeding. She immediately got a look of panic in her face as she explained, no, she wasn’t, she tried, but he wouldn’t latch on…she looked so cornered, and I felt terrible. I said to her- “Hey, that’s fine! I don’t really care if you breastfeed or not- I just need to know so that I can pick the right antibiotic!”

    She was relieved, but I still felt bad for her. To ProChoiceRN down below- don’t sit there on your high horse and tell me that formula feeding is the cultural norm. Don’t sit there and tell me how important it is to support breastfeeding mothers. All new mothers need support, encouragement, and pats on the back. No one should be made to feel guilty about feeding an infant a perfectly healthy, safe food.

    Spend a little time on Planet Earth with the rest of us mere mortals, and you might learn something.

    • AmyP

      I think there’s a real danger of new mothers treating medical apts. as exams to be passed, rather than opportunities to share and gain information. Looking back, with my first two kids, I totally fell into that trap. My oldest turned out to be mildly autistic, which we finally found out when she was 6. No harm, done, but maybe we would have found out earlier if I hadn’t been so eager to say “sure she does XYZ!” to every developmental question the doctor asked.

    • Mishimoo

      “No one should be made to feel guilty about feeding an infant a perfectly healthy, safe food.”
      I completely agree!
      I wish I’d been able to catch the name of one of the ward nurses when I was in hospital with my last. Simply because a quiet complaint to the right person may make more of a difference than exhaustedly telling off a lactivist for taking advantage of a captive audience. She was loudly explaining the dangers of formula to a new mother that she was hand-expressing – including such gems as “Have you looked at the ingredients? I can’t pronounce most of them.” and “You know there is metal in formula, right?”

  • Zornorph

    I think what’s most funny about that article is the claim that formula is not convenient. She deliberately presents a number of obstacle that are not even real – you don’t have to boil water – to make it seem harder. From the moment I sense my kiddo needs food, I can have a bottle ready inside of two minutes. I don’t mix it before I go out – I just carry a (very convenient) tin of formula and have a couple of bottles pre-filled with water. I bought enough bottles so I can go two or three days without washing and then it takes me half an hour max – I have a system down. Nor is it expensive – Lord knows, when he starts eating people food, I’ll be shelling out a lot more than I pay for formula. I think I actually spend more money on food for my pets than I do for my son.
    I feed him in my office and if a client comes in, I’m happy to talk to them while feeding. If I was a woman and had a boob out, I can’t imagine I’d be trying to conduct business that way.
    I think it’s the convenience of formula that gets so many people to use it. Trying to lie and say it’s not just makes you sound stupid.

  • ProChoiceRN

    I’m sorry, are you practicing? Are you conducting research? Are you of childbearing age? You’re a Harvard graduated MD (yes, even though it was half a century ago-you still get credit) and you’re out trolling blogs on the internet. GET A LIFE, enjoy your retirement instead of bitterly fighting some battle with your dated research!

    • T.

      So, tell me: how come that much of your identity has been hickjaked by your boobs that you feel somebody not agreeing with you generates such a strong response?

      Repeat after me: women are more than their boobs… women are more than their uterus.. it get easier with practice. Trust me.

      • ProChoiceRN

        I care about the health of the public as a professional. I base my practice on science and the evidence supports promoting breastfeeding. Breast-fed infants are less likely to suffer ear infections and diarrhea. As breastfed children grow they are less likely to suffer diabetes, obesity, and asthma. They have higher IQs and better emotional regulation. These are important benefits to society and individuals.

        I’m very happy that baby’s can be sustained on formula. I have so much compassion for women who try to breastfeed and have a hard time (and I help those women professionally). Formula is not breastmilk. It’s composition is NOTHING like breastmilk.

        Why make this post against breastfeeding? Not all women have those problems you’ve outlined, and most often it is influenced by mismanagement (that often begins with birth practices). To use your educational title to rail against one of the most important and influential health practices is unethical (are you licensed as a physician)?

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          If you cared about public health, you’d spend a lot of time encouraging vaccination and very little time encouraging breastfeeding. The benefits of breastfeeding, while real, are tiny. That’s what they scientific evidence shows. I should know; I read the actual papers (not just the abstracts and not someone else’s summary of the papers).

          You’ve avoided addressing the main question: if breastfeeding is so awesome, why do you have to try to convince other women of its awesomeness?

          • ProchoiceRN

            You believe I don’t support vaccination? That’s quite an assumption, an inaccurate assumption as well.

            The benefits of breastfeeding are not tiny. I am a master’s prepared nurse and I also read the papers (and understand statistics). Are you aware they’ve used human breastmilk to sensitize drug resistant bacteria? This is amazing stuff, and you are on the wrong side of history!

            The reason women need to hear the benefits of breastfeeding is that when people like you were training they were taught not to care about breastfeeding. Their mothers were taught not to care. They were taught it was fringe. It takes a long time and a lot of work to make a cultural change that is this big.

          • Amy M

            Ok, but do you suppose the article that Dr. Amy cited here, by Martha Neovard, is a good way to go about teaching people about the benefits of breastfeeding?

          • KarenJJ

            I hope she answers this question. That is the crux of the matter, isn’t it?

          • Amy M

            Yeah, I think she left a while ago. Too bad, I want to know too. Why do they insist on white-washing everything about breastfeeding and lying about formula feeding when their main audience will find out for themselves eventually? By the time they do, many will have given up due to the “all or nothing message” and been totally turned off by the obnoxious attitude. They are shooting themselves in the foot and then wondering why more women aren’t breastfeeding for longer. We are screaming it in their faces and they don’t want to hear the answers. (And it’s not just their fault, but they aren’t listening to the other real reasons either. Instead they insist that women are just lazy and uneducated and that formula companies are insidiously brainwashing us. Oh well, they know best after all.)

          • thepragmatist

            I’m a bit behind (catching up while babe has a bad fever and has me up) but you know, the all-or-nothing message was something I attacked ferociously. My approach eventually got me socially ostracized. Sorry, if you’re STILL having supply issues at 3 months, then you know what, you might be happier just supplementing like me. If you are miserable, just supplement. When my husband and I separated recently, my son went back to the boob for about three months– guess what, I lactated. Everyone said to me, Just let him do it. He did. I made a little milk for him. He went through his grieving process and is not interested in “mama’s buba’s” as he calls them. I am meanwhile flabbergasted that, although I am a COMPLETE FAILURE in the eyes of the lactivist movement, my boobs are so rad that they made milk to satisfy my toddler son when he was comfort nursing through a bad time. I don’t need to be sold on breastfeeding. It sucked and it was wonderful. Like most of the best things in life, it was both. I’m glad I stuck it out but I could’ve done without the guilt for the first months.

            Comfort nursing him after his dad left was a sweet experience for both of us and healing for him. He also started sleeping in my bed. And then it was over. I doubt any of that would’ve happened had I listened to the all-or-nothing crowd and given up. They ONLY REASON I didn’t give up on breastfeeding was because I had formula. Had I had no formula, I would’ve got a FTT baby who may have even died, who knows. Or he would’ve been on some sort of concoction like they used to make. Or wet-nursed. Because that child was NOT thriving on my breasts alone. Because of formula, he was healthily fed and not only that, I was able to keep nursing. I was able to find the right combination for me. And what a surprise when I was nursing a 2.5 year old who hadn’t touched my breasts 8 months! (Dear Son, I am not nursing you when you get dumped for the first time though or lose your first hockey series or again… You’ll have to figure out the rest of life without my boobs, as rad as they are… LOL…)

          • Zornorph

            Ah, yes. Mama’s milk is so awesome, if you put it in rockets we’d be on Mars already.

          • Suzi Screendoor

            I think The Pediatric Insider said it best here: http://pediatricinsider.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/does-breastfeeding-improve-the-intelligence-of-babies/#comments Promoting breastfeeding on a wide-scale is beneficial and can improve the overall health of the population. But on an individual level, it probably won’t make a big difference to a child… genetics and environmental factors probably have a much bigger impact on intelligence, obesity, infections, allergies, etc.

            I think the public health message shouldn’t focus so much on these small individual benefits, but rather encourage mothers to try it without the side-helping of guilt if it turns out that formula is a better fit. New moms have enough problems without believing that their choice will make their baby fat, stupid, and sick.

          • Clarissa Darling

            Lactivists (not calling pediatric insider one) who promote the public heath angle are often guilty of looking only at the benefits to the healthcare system. They argue that increasing breastfeeding rates would result in significant public health savings from fewer instances of ear infection, diarrhea etc… This is true to a point but, let’s say you could set BF rates at 100%. Well, we know that 100% of women are not able to breastfeed problem free. These problems whether physical like mastis and trush, mental like stress and sleep deprivation and other indirect issues like lost wages from a job that is not conducive to breastfeeding also COST society something. So, while up to a point breastfeeding may be a net benefit there is likely going to be a point at which even the population level benefits are outweighed by population level costs. I don’t know what that point is but, I’ll go out on a limb and say I suspect it’s lower than 100%. However, in order to truly determine the optimal level of breastfeeding, lactivists would first have to admit that there are costs to breastfeeding which they never will do. I agree that the public health message should find a way to encourage breastfeeding without making it an all or nothing proposition. Certainly this would be better for individual women and probably even for the population as a whole.

          • Mishimoo

            “Are you aware they’ve used human breastmilk to sensitize drug resistant bacteria?”
            That is a very simple view of what happened, spread via online meme. I would expect someone who reads the papers to understand that the substance being tested was actually a lab-created compound made of some breastmilk components. Here’s an article about it: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/35430/title/Re-sensitizing-Resistant-Bacteria/

          • yentavegan

            I used to believe that breastfeeding and breastmilk was the potent elixir and if every mother breastfed exclusively all society’s woes could be alleviated. I used to believe that it was only lack of education that impacted a mother’s ability/desire to breastfeed. I could not get my mind around why an educated well adjusted mother would choose not to breastfeed. and then I grew up. I expanded my world and I fell off my high horse/unicorn. Thank you Dr Amy.

          • wookie130

            Ms. Nochoice, I don’t recall Dr. Amy stating that you didn’t support vaccination. I do believe what she was getting at, was that your time and energy would be better-spent worrying MORE about vaccination as someone in the field of healthcare, and less about the magical mystical powers of the Almighty Teat.

          • KarenJJ

            Right, and what about the culture now? You don’t have mums in tears trying to breastfeed screaming, fighting infants, you don’t encounter mums depressed and miserable on little sleep because the baby is feeding and catnapping all day and night and still losing weight?

            If not, who the heck are you talking to these days and what are you doing to support these mums? I was one of them. I am invisible to you. I “undermine” your breastfeeding message. The more of us there are, the more the message you tell new mums will ring hollow and untruthful. Listening to these mums that are experiencing breastfeeding failure and their emotions around it might even help breastfeeding advocacy.

        • PJ

          Why does a certain section of the population find it impossible to regard an honest look at the drawbacks of breastfeeding and the benefits of formula without declaring that it is “against breastfeeding”? If breastfeeding was so awesome, people wouldn’t get so terrified by the slightest hint that breastfeeding might be slightly less than 100% awesome and inferior to formula feeding in some ways. Kind of proves the whole point of the piece, you know?

          • ProChoiceRN

            Breastfeeding is not what is culturally expected. That in itself creates an obstacle.

            I object to Dr. Amy presenting herself as an obstetrician and giving information that would discourage women from breastfeeding. We know it is the healthiest choice. The American Peds Academy says so, the AMA says so, ACOG says so, and the World Health Organization says so. I believe what she is doing is unethical.

          • PJ

            I disagree; there is a huge amount of pressure on women to breastfeed. If breastfeeding isn’t “culturally expected,” why do 77% of women in the US initiate it? And why do so many women report feeling guilty for discontinuing or supplementing?

          • PJ

            Oh, and you know what I bet would encourage women who wanted to breastfeed? Actually being honest about its drawbacks! Many women share my experience of suffering huge amounts of pain in the early months of breastfeeding and being made to feel like it is our fault because breastfeeding advocates just can’t admit that sometimes it freaking hurts and that’s normal.

          • Burgundy

            100% agree with you. My 2nd consultant explained to me about the drawbacks and what I could do. She was really honest and did not paint a rosy picture like other woos did. It actually helped me and I ended up breast feeding (not exclusively) my first baby longer than I planned.

          • Isramommy

            “Breastfeeding is not what is culturally expected. That in itself creates an obstacle.”

            Really??? In what world? I know I can’t speak for all women in all situations/socio-economic backgrounds, but the pressure on educated middle- and upper- class women to breastfeed is intense. It is absolutely expected that women will breastfeed. That is the default position. Women who bottle feed are regularly asked to explain or justify their feeding choice, as though what a woman does with her breasts is anyone’s business but her own.

            Dr. Amy is not discouraging breastfeeding. She is pointing out that while it does have real but tiny benefits, babies are perfectly fine and healthy being fed forumla instead of or in addition to breast milk. What is actually unethical is the relentless pressure to breastfeed without regard to mothers’ and babies specific needs. What is unethical is guilting and manipulating mothers into making the choice you want them to make through dishonest over exaggeration of the risks/benefits of formula vs breast.

          • Anka

            I have a theory that the ability to breastfeed has come to be used as a marker of class and wealth in the same way that being able to be extremely thin (if that is not your natural body type) or groomed in expensive ways, etc. is, since many women can’t afford to breastfeed exclusively for as long as is recommended, or devote resources and time to solving breastfeeding problems.

            I also suspect that it–and the woo-filled alternative medicine phenomenon–only gained so very much ground, at least in the US, because the health care system is so dysfunctional. When resources are being hoarded at the top and there isn’t much of a safety net, this sort of “do it all yourself/be healthy and perfect, and if not then you’re broken” attitude gets more pervasive and extends to breastfeeding. I could be wrong, and I wouldn’t be surprised, but I’ve lived in four other countries with much better safety nets (including two developing ones) and spent lots of time with mothers and babies in each one, and none of them had this degree of pressure or censure with regard to breastfeeding.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Not what’s culturally expected? Which planet are you currently living on? That is such BS; it is culturally expected by doctors, nurses, public health officials, politicians, every major medical organization, you name it.

            Why can’t you wrap your mind around the truth: it’s culturally expected but it is too painful, inconvenient and insufficient for many women and their infants.

            You object to me presenting myself as an obstetrician? Who are you to object to anything, let alone that?

            The single biggest obstacle to lactivists encouraging breastfeeding is that they are so desperate to stroke their own egos that they don’t listen for even a milllisecond to what women are actually telling them. Lactivists would be much more successful if they closed their mouths and opened their eyes.

          • KarenJJ

            “The single biggest obstacle to lactivists encouraging breastfeeding is that they are so desperate to stroke their own egos that they don’t listen for even a milllisecond to what women are actually telling them. Lactivists would be much more successful if they closed their mouths and opened their eyes.”

            THIS. A million times this! If I bring up any issue with breastfeeding advocacy or my own personal problems I had breastfeeding it’s not a problem with either breastfeeding education or breastfeeding advocacy it’s a problem with me.

            Well thanks very much lactivists. I won’t waste my time with you anymore.

          • Jennifer2

            Breastfeeding may be the healthiest choice on a population-wide basis. Breastfeeding is only the healthiest choice for a specific mother-baby dyad if the baby is getting adequate nutrition and the mom isn’t miserable. If the baby is not getting enough to eat and the mom is having intrusive thoughts of cutting off her breasts with a kitchen knife because it would stop the pain of raw, mangled nipples (yet the LC says baby has a great latch so just keep putting baby to breast and it will get better) is breastfeeding still the healthiest choice? If the mom is spending 75% of her waking hours pumping, cleaning bottles, and feeding baby, such that baby spends most of her time in a swing or crib, is breastfeeding still the healthiest choice? If the baby has so many digestive problems that the mom has eliminated wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, and a bunch of other things from her diet forcing her to eat a completely different diet than her partner and older kids (and baby is still sick and struggling to gain weight) is breastfeeding still the healthiest choice?

          • wookie130

            What you seem to be missing, is that Dr. Amy is not discouraging anyone from breastfeeding. If you want to breastfeed, fine with her, fine with me…I don’t really give a rip. What she has done, is provide reliable data-supported medical evidence that proves that formula is not the “poison” that it is made out to be, and that it is definitely a viable option for women who want to use it for whatever reason. She has done so on more than this blog entry – there are MANY entries where she has accomplished this.
            Breastfeeding can be a wonderful way to feed your baby, and bottle-feeding formula can be great as well.
            One thing that was said recently on here that really stuck with me, is that there is a difference “between being educated, and indoctrinated.” I really think this is something that lactivists are not grasping.
            And as far as formula feeding being the “cultural norm”…well, this just really chapped my hide. Is that why I felt such horrendous guilt and shame upon being diagnosed with insufficient glandular tissue while trying to nurse my daughter? Why isn’t there a “World Formula Feeding Day”? Why aren’t formula feeders holding “formula bottle-ins” in parks and other public places? Why is it not considered cool and artsy-fartsy to create photographic displays and coffee table books of women bottle feeding? Why are there no images floating about the web and in the blogosphere of women bottle-feeding in fields of daisies, and in other scenic landscapes? Why do some mothers recoil in embarrassment when asked about breastfeeding?
            I will tell you why. Because the pressure to breastfeed is monumental right now for new mothers, and a lot of it is brought on by the crunchy, Mother-Earth worshipping naturalists, in addition to a great number of medical practitioners, such as yourself. You are made to feel like a big fat whopping failure if you don’t even attempt breastfeeding, and you’re practically treated like a pitiful CPS case if you chose formula out of convenience. Why do you think most mothers feel the need to explain why the formula feed, even if no one asks? It’s SOCIETAL PRESSURE.
            So, Ms. “Prochoice”…you may want to consider a chance of screen name. How about Ms. Nochoice? That would be more fitting, I’m thinking.

          • Clarissa Darling

            I think it’s kind of precious you call Dr. Amy outdated and then say “Breastfeeding is not what is culturally expected”. Maybe you have Mad Men confused with a reality show?

          • Susan

            “maybe you have Mad Men confused with a reality show” ! LOL that’s so great I hope Dr. Amy makes it the title of her next blog post!

          • KarenJJ

            “I object to Dr. Amy presenting herself as an obstetrician and giving information that would discourage women from breastfeeding. ”

            With all due respect, women aren’t that fucking stupid.

          • moto_librarian

            “Breastfeeding is not what is culturally expected.”

            BULLSHIT! It is impossible to be an American woman and NOT be given the message that “breast is best.” Even the formula manufacturers include that message on their packaging!

            I am really, really tired of sanctimonious twits like you. I had a horrible experience with the hospital LC after my first child was born (repeatedly grabbing my breasts and twisting them into position without asking permission, telling me not to use a nipple shield despite the fact that I have extremely flat nipples, and recommending fenugreek despite the fact that I am an asthmatic). I was so exhausted and ill from a pph and cervical laceration after a “natural” delivery that I couldn’t advocate for myself very well. It was clear that my milk wasn’t coming in (no engorgement, no pain, no feeling of “let-down”), yet the message was keep trying because it’s best for your baby. Switching to formula was so hard for me because of the bullying tactics of lactivists, but it was what had to happen if my child was going to eat.

        • Burgundy

          Somehow I found your common very condescending. The breastfeeding problems were real and for some reasons the “professionals” like you loved to make new mothers feel belittled when they can’t EBF as easy as you preferred. The first breast feeding consultant from my hospital had the same attitudes as you. Despite that both sides of my breast ducts were messed up from fibroadenoma tumor removal surges (3 surges total). She insisted on that I should not have any problem supply my baby with enough milk. If I couldn’t satisfied her, IT IS BECAUSE I DID NOT WORK HARD ENOUGH”. (What a nice crap to tell a first time mom). It almost drove me into depression because my baby were crying from hunger every night. It was until I went to a different lactation consultant that things got better. She encouraged me to feed as much as possible, but supplement a bottle or two if necessary.
          Dr. Amy is not against breast feeding, she is against attitudes like yours that belittled new moms.

          • ProChoiceRN

            I’m sorry you had such a bad experience.

          • Amy M

            I think it is the presentation of information (or lack of it) that is the real issue. I’ve seen over and over on these threads and others like it, when women who wanted to breastfeed and had issues were asked what would have helped them they said:
            Being told the truth. That breastfeeding could hurt, it could take a long time to learn, that tongue tie exists, that low supply exists, that flat nipples exist, that mastitis and thrush exist. That one bottle of formula will not wreck everything, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

            Being told the benefits of breastfeeding is great, BUT the spin is important…no one wants to hear “..your baby will SUFFER if you DON’T do this.” And that’s part of the truth too…your baby WON’T suffer if you don’t breastfeed, at least not if you live in a first world nation. But breastfeeding should speak for itself, no? If it is so great, there should be no need to tell lies about the safe alternative available in the Western world. Just tell the truth about breastfeeding.

          • Burgundy

            You can promote the benefits about breast feeding as much as you want to the public. You or your peers have no rights to belittle women who can’t. Honestly, no one is against breast feeding here. But we shouldn’t be smeared at just because we chose not to BFE or not at all.

        • Amazed

          Spare me. The people around here are too nice to break it to you but I’ll do it: since you spent so much time writing bullshit here (starting with your hypocritical name, you AntiChoiceRN, because your first post shows that the only choice you support is YOURS), you could have at least read a post or two. Dr Amy supports breastfeeding. She breastfed her children and – gasp! – enjoyed it. She just can’t stand the lies and exaggerations pouring down from the mouths of people like you.

          You’re very happy that babies can be sustained on formula? You fool. They can and do THRIVE on formula. You’re very happy? You liar. You are dying inside because Teh man made something that can function just as fine as your precious boobs.

          You have so much compassion for women who try to breastfeed and have a hard time? What about women who choose not to breastfeed? They don’t fit into your little world where you are the professional savior, so let’s not mention them, huh? Right. So much about being ProChoice. And you know what? These women don’t need your compassion or your ‘professional” help. They are confident and happy with the decision they make.

          Maybe you think this rant was a personal attack? Damn right you are. But I admit it. I was being nasty and I don’t conceal it behind my carefully constructed image of the Angel of Compassion.

          Pity for all the women you supposedly “help” that you cannot say the same.

          • They don’t fit into your little world where you are the professional savior

            This mindset is strongly indicative of covert narcissism which, unsurprisingly, occurs disproportionately in healthcare and allied fields.

          • Amazed

            I thought the same thing!

        • Captain Obvious

          How much vitamin D and vitamin K does breast milk have?

          • Young CC Prof

            And Iron! I hear breast milk has lots of that! (sarcasm.)

            Of course, newborns shouldn’t need much iron, but the stores sometimes get depleted before they’re ready to eat solids.

          • Mishimoo

            Doesn’t that depend on how many kale smoothies the mother drinks?

        • KarenJJ

          “Breast-fed infants are less likely to suffer ear infections and diarrhea. As breastfed children grow they are less likely to suffer diabetes, obesity, and asthma. They have higher IQs and better emotional regulation.”

          Your first sentence, yes. The last two, I don’t believe it and as far as I understand it studies that are continuing to control for confounders are finding less and less of an effect.

          Ultimately, do you know the reasons why some mums are choosing to supplement? Why some mums are choosing to not breastfeed? Do you really think that more information about the benefits of breastfeeding is going to help? Do you think exaggerating and lying, as in the article above, is going to help more women to breastfeed? Finally, wouldn’t you admit that it is entirely a woman’s choice to breastfeed or bottle feed her infant and that coercion is unethical in a medical provider?

          • Tim

            They’re all crowing about that last study still, after reading the awful press releases about it, and not bothering to read the actual study itself. One of the researchers , Dr Belfort (from Boston Children’s Newborn Medicine dept) was interviewed on their own blog, and straight from her mouth

            “But it’s also important to note that these improvements per month of
            breastfeeding were small. At an individual level, I don’t think the differences
            uncovered in our study will make a large difference in how a single child
            develops.”

            “Breastfeeding is one of many things parents can do to promote cognitive
            development in their infants, but it’s certainly not the only thing,” she says.
            “Turning off the TV and talking and reading to babies is very important and can
            make a big difference in their development as well. Regardless of which feeding
            practice you adhere to, an engaged parent will always be the most important
            factor in promoting a child’s future.”

            MAGIC BREASTMILK FOR THE WIN FOLKS. they should try listening to what the researchers have to say next time, rather than a paid by the word writer contracting for huffpost.

          • KarenJJ

            So a good reason for policy makers to support paid maternity leave and to set up policies where more women are able to choose to breastfeed if they wish to. Not a good reason for an individual to choose to breastfeed if they don’t wish to.

            I am looking forward to the day where women’s choices are honoured and do not need to be controlled by people like ProchoiceRN in case women make the “wrong” choice. Is a woman’s brain so weak and her abilities so easily controlled by others that she will fall apart the minute she hears a different opinion?

          • Tim

            Indeed but it will never happen. The US is the greediest society in the history of humanity, and it would take a massive massive event to change that – everything top to bottom in this system is setup to game it in favor of capital holders, and they will never pay women to sit at home and not work. If we can’t even get our (extremely generous to private corporations) healthcare law enacted without half our lawmakers threatening to shutdown the entire govt and default on our debts over it, there’s no way we’re going to have first world maternity leave. Sorry if that sounds pessimistic , but it’s just reality. Most people won’t even bother to fight for better benefits, because the people at the top of the system have convinced those propping them up that they’re not even worth the benefits they have now, and that we should be grateful for the scraps they toss our way.

          • Karen in SC

            Tim, so true. I was listening to talk radio and the healthcare law was being criticized. No word against the companies that are discontinuing group insurance for their employees and NOT giving the money saved back in raises or other benefits.

        • RN who has seen too much

          The obesity study has been debunked. I did a paper on this subject last year and let me tell you it was NOT received well…but you can’t argue with the research. Correlation does not equal causation. I believe the IQ study was also debunked recently. The ear infections have more to do with baby positioning while eating…and I know nothing about the asthma connection. I had low supply, and tried with each child, I have 3 kids. I know it wasn’t something I made up in my head or that I didn’t get the right information about, I had low supply and was given bad advice by an LC which ended up with my first born being dehydrated. I am now a labor and delivery nurse, and i do ANYTHING I can to help a woman who WANTS to breastfeed, or who is on the fence about it. I do believe that if it’s possible and realistic, that breastfeeding is the logical choice. However, if I have a mom come in and say to me, I have no interest in breast feeding, I am never ever going to guilt her about it. I am going to support her with safe bottle feeding techniques, and care for her the way I would care for any other laboring mother. We are a baby friendly hospital, the “birth practices” you speak of are in place, yet I still had low supply. It happens. Please don’t diminish your patients with your scorn. It’s hurtful, and it can end up with a baby who is dehydrated like mine was because I was SO afraid to give formula.

        • theadequatemother

          This isn’t a post against breast feeding. It’s a post against the illogical, false and overly emotional arguments used to pressure women to breastfeed. Read it again.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            It is interesting to note that lactivists believe that any piece about breastfeeding that don’t include illogical, false overly emotional claims isn’t “supportive” of women who breastfeed.

      • Zornorph

        Hey, from the standpoint of a guy, I think a woman’s boobs are often the only part of her that matters. 🙂

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Apparently you can’t answer the question, either.

    • Spamamander

      If you were really pro-choice you would support women’s decisions in all things- including how they choose to feed their infant.

    • ratiomom

      As a practicing healthcare provider, you agree that telling women blatant lies to get them to breastfeed is ethical? The majority of that post is made up of untruths.
      And more importantly, given the fact that you are a RN and educated on syphilis, hepatitis B and C and HIV, how can you possibly defend a publication that promotes informal milk sharing with strangers?

      • Burgundy

        Informal milk sharing with strangers tops my most disgusting things to do with a baby list.

    • anion

      Sorry, are you an RN who is unaware of the continuing education medical professionals must undergo annually to keep their licenses? Or have you not seen the amount of current research on the blog?

      (I know Dr. Amy chose to stop practicing to raise her children, but still. Giving up her practice doesn’t mean she forgot how to read and analyze data.)

    • Maya Markova

      Tell this on the blogs Dr. Amy is trolling, if there really are any. I don’t read those (alleged) blogs, I read this blog where she if free to write anything because this is HER blog, and here it is YOU who are trolling.

  • carriecnm
    • KarenJJ

      “I think about how we know that for about 99% of human history, breast milk was the primary or only source of nutrition for children up to two years old and that breastfeeding continued after this (supplemented with other foods) for years.”

      Where do articles like this get these “facts” from?

      • Young CC Prof

        I was under the impression that, once babies were old enough to swallow thicker textures, even in the stone age mothers fed them “baby food” by pre-chewing their own food and putting it into the baby’s mouth, kind of like birds do.

        • ngozi

          My grandmother did that for her children in the 1940s.

        • Clarissa Darling

          I read somewhere that the actress Alicia Silverstone does that for her kids. Some nonsense to do with better bonding or transferring good bacteria or the like *eyeroll. So much for baby food having to be sterile.

          • jenny

            S mutans, don’t do this if you are cavity prone! If you have perfect teeth without doing anything, it might not be a bad idea.

          • Poogles

            She even posted video of her feeding her son that way. Something about the smug look on her face as she looks back at the camera after depositing the pre-chewed food into her child’s mouth just really rubbed me the wrong way…

            http://thekindlife.com/blog/2012/03/home-video-breakfast-with-baby-bear/

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          My 95 year old aunt was telling me how they used to give their kids mashed potatoes. In the first week.

      • PJ

        Well, it’s not like the technology for safe, healthy formula existed or anything. This is as dumb as saying that for 99% of human history, quack remedies were the primary or only source of medical care (since modern medicine only arrived in the 20th century).

        • Tim

          For 99% of human history ghosts and demons were the cause of infection. Only as of late have a bunch of backwards thinking do gooder “SCIENTISTS” tried to claim that it was actually tiny creatures that were responsible for illness.

          • ngozi

            How many of this 99 percent died early because of diseases that are now easily treatable?

      • PJ

        Plus, for 99% of human history, life expectancy was low and health was comparatively poor. The putative decline in breastfeeding has accompanied a dramatic rise in health outcomes. Maybe the past 99% of history isn’t the best place to look for health advice.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          This is the thing I never understand. Why would we want to use practices that were not nearly as successful as what we have today? Yes, for 99% of human history, children were primarily breastfed for a long time. And lots of children died. Not necessarily from malnutrition or anything, but it was obviously NOT a great approach to protect children from dying before the age of 2. So how does that make it desirable?

          • ngozi

            Do you think breastfeeding would have been better for infants in the past if overall nutrition had of been better?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            No, because the problem was not nutrition, it was disease. Sure, most babies were getting fed, it just wasn’t making them superbabies. It was modern medicine that actually made a difference.

            Feeding is necessary but not sufficient. And the significance of it pales compared to other things. Get your vaccines, for starters.

        • Anon1

          Yes, my great grandmother never made milk. Her first 2 children were stillborn (also common 100 years ago), her third child survived the birth but died within a week due to lack of food/fluid. The 4th time was a charm- the child survived and he and all the subsequent children were immediately sent to a wetnurse. Glad my children don;t need to die from lack of nutrition!

    • Isramommy

      You know, I’ve been reading this blog regularly for over a year and I’ve never seen Dr. Amy say “ew” to breastfeeding. I’ve never seen her categorize breastfeeding as something gross or shameful. As far as breastfeeding goes, what this blog does is advocate for women to make sane, rational, evidence based choices that are best for themselves and their families, without being shamed by lactovists and “natural” advocates who put their misinformed, unscientific agenda above the physical and mental well being of mothers, babies and families. Sometimes that means breastfeeding, sometimes formula. As long as mothers feed their infants healthily (ie not potentially diseased unscreened donor milk or goats-milk and celery juice), they can find genuine support from this blog and the community of commenters.

      And for the record, that doll is stupid. Not gross, just stupid. My two year old “breastfeeds” her dolls and stuffed animals all time, without needing a special toy to “educate” her. Also, the design is flawed; my kid always lifts her shirt to do “nurse” her toys. She would think the halter top bit needs to go off in order to feed the baby. And what’s with the slurping sounds? Sounds like the dolly has a bad latch, no? Someone should really call LLL to come educate those doll mommies on proper technique.

      Seriously, I have two kids, I know there are lots of really stupid toys on the market and I don’t normally care much. But very few other toys are openly trying to indoctrinate my daughter or shame other women.

  • carriecnm

    Because of idiots like you.

    • Wren

      Breastfeeding is good when it works for mum, baby and any other caregivers. Formula feeding is good when it works for mum, baby and any other caregivers.

      Babies getting enough food is good.
      For the record, I breastfed both of my children, the younger for 35 months. I’m not offended, bothered, scared or in any way upset by breastfeeding, either in public or private. I also have no problem with bottle feeding either breast milk or formula. Feed the baby, that’s what counts.

      • ngozi

        Well said

      • Antigonos CNM

        But what intrigues me is that so many who support formula or supplemental feeding have to add the disclaimer “but I breastfed…”

        That shows the level of guilt that the lactivists have already managed to create. The same thing with vaginal and/or NCB: “I wanted an unmedicated birth” or “I had my first child without any pain relief but for #2…”

        It’s not about what the baby is eating/drinking or has eaten or drunk, it’s about how he/she, and his/her mother, are thriving.

        Happy, healthy mother and babe — that is the ONLY goal that matters!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          I went through this with my wife. With our second, she would say that we had a scheduled c-section, and she would always add that the OB wasn’t willing to do a VBACS, and to do it we’d have to go to the hospital farther away. I was like, what are you talking about? You wouldn’t do a VBACS even if she gave you the option, so why bother with this “she wasn’t willing” crap?

          That was before I learned about the guilt that comes with it. Why did she choose a scheduled c-section for the second? Because she COULD!

        • fiftyfifty1

          I don’t think Wren added that disclaimer because of guilt. She added it because the NCB types immediately and out-of-hand dismiss what non-NCB moms say as “sour grapes” or “excuses”. I think it can be powerful for them to hear from somebody who chose what they chose, but supports (or even occasionally chooses herself) the non-NCB way.
          Of course I think it’s also important that moms who never even considered the NCB way also speak up (e.g. moms who *chose* formula rather than resorted to formula, moms who *chose* C-section rather than resorted to it etc.) But I think that those sorts of stories are helpful for moderate moms who are considering the same choices themselves, not for hardcore NCB types.

        • Wren

          Actually, I don’t throw that in there over guilt or anything, but to cut off the “of course you would think that because you used formula” arguments. I have seen too many claims that only those you use formula could possibly think it is acceptable. Look at how many commenters here assume Dr Amy never breastfed, because otherwise she could never say these things.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      Well, since no one here thinks breastfeeding is icky, who is the idiot here?

    • Sue

      carriecnm – did you imagine that a post like that would make you come across as anything other than idiotic?

    • auntbea

      Ooh, burn! Dr. Amy is sure to shut down her site now!

      • ngozi

        After she finishes crying in a corner, HARF!!!

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      That’s funny. You can’t manage to answer the question so you substitute it with a kindergarten level retort. Guess the question hit you pretty hard and you couldn’t think of an answer. Thanks for demonstrating my point.

  • Rebecca

    “However, it is not widely known that you should not switch your baby from brand to brand unless it is medically indicated! Feeding a baby a new type of formula every week because there was a sale is not a medical reason. This is very hard on your baby’s gut. If you are formula feeding, you must pick a brand and stick to it, regardless of cost, unless baby becomes ill or rejects the brand and type you have chosen.”

    Of course it’s not widely known. You just pulled this out of your rectal spincter.

    • Sue

      SO, does this work for solids too? If your baby’s gut is so sensitive to change, shouldn’t you feed them the same thing at every meal, unless medically indicated? What nonsense!

    • Leica

      And one of the purported benefits I’ve heard about BFing is that the child is exposed to more flavors and potential allergens through the breastmilk and will be less picky and prone to food allergies later. So are babies able to handle changing flavors/compositions or not?

      • anion

        Ha, I was told that, too. My breastfed child is the world’s pickiest eater. My formula-fed child will try anything and loves almost everything.

        • Karen in SC

          I have a breastfed picky eater, too. Extremely picky.

      • Antigonos CNM

        Mothers who overindulge in chocolate or orange juice when breastfeeding can [and have, in my experience] give babies stomach aches and/or diarrhea. [the key word is “overindulge”; everything in moderation is OK]

        • Mac Sherbert

          No OJ! Not even in small amounts for my newborn. In all the food I was told could cause problems for some reason I hadn’t heard that one!

  • Bodnoirbabe

    Humans by far are well known to take the course of least resistence. The meer fact that people choose formula over breastfeeding speaks for it’s ease of use and convenience.

    • fiftyfifty1

      I do think that formula feeding can be very convenient for many women. But humans being well known for taking the course of least resistance? Quite the opposite. Sure humans like their activities to end in benefit for themselves and their kin. But if anything sets humans apart from other animals it is our ability to plan and take a path that is NOT initially the easiest. If we as a species were known for taking the path of least resistance we would still live in caves. Instead, we are the animal that sends humans to the moon. Seeing what’s on the other side of Activation Energy and going for it!-That’s what we humans are known for.

      • Kerlyssa

        …are you saying the difference between humans and animals is that animals are lazy? o.0

        Plenty of technological progress was and is fueled by, “wouldn’t it be easier if..?”. Being intelligent enough to throw a rock and knock down a beehive for honey doesn’t make throwing that rock more work than a bear hauling hundreds of pounds up a tree and shimmying out on a branch.

        • fiftyfifty1

          So you read my post and concluded that my take-away message was “animals are lazy”? Wow.

  • ratiomom

    The hypocrisy, it burns…. How can you fearmonger about the extremely rare possibility of bacterial contamination in formula, and at the same time promote informal milk sharing with strangers?! This is not about what`s best for babies. This is a cult.

    If BF is really that convenient, why the compulsive need to make formula sound as unattractive as possible? It`s so sad how she tries her hardest to make formula preparation sound much more complicated than it really is. Does she honestly believe that formula feeding parents need to bring an electric kettle and a cooler bag when they go shopping?

    Does she really think that women who don`t initiate breastfeeding will somehow still experience breastfeeding complications?

    • Tim

      Maybe she’s never heard of a thermos? Steve Martin has a song about them, maybe it will help her out.

    • Older Mom

      I think a bigger problem is that formula is so taboo that no one talks about how to make it easier.

      We *were* getting up in the night to heat up water with an electric kettle. Yup, it was exhausting.

      Then we talked about buying a thermos to store warm water by the bed.

      Almost did that, but then realized that room temperature water was just fine.

      Tip for new formula feeders: Measure out formula beforehand into bottles. Leave on your nightstand (or in your baby’s room, depending on your sleeping arrangements). Leave out pre-measured containers of water or have a thermos with warm water next to it.

      Seriously, I have laid in bed and made formula, then passed the bottle to my husband, who was sleeping on the side next to the kiddo’s bed. So freakin’ simple.

      Premeasuring formula powder and water (in separate containers) for being out and about with baby was also super helpful. Wish it didn’t take me so long to figure all this out!

      • Antigonos CNM

        According to what we were taught, there is no need to heat formula; indeed, it can be given straight from the fridge. By the time the swallow has hit the baby’s stomach, it is warm.

        My daughter has a cute little partitioned container that can hold three pre-measured amounts of formula powder, and when she traveled she had an equally cute little thermos for water boiled earlier and cooled to the right temperature which fit into an insulated leakproof pocket of her diaper bag. She also got a supply of “bottle liners” from my son in the US, so the only thing she had to wash after feeding my granddaughter was the bottle nipple. Pop liner in bottle, add correct amount of water, flip open the lid to one of the partitions and add powder, screw on nipple, shake, voila! At the end, throw away empty liner [btw this was supposed to lessen air swallowing but Shir always burped easily], rinse the nipple in a restroom, all ready for next time!

        • Older Mom

          My understanding from our pediatrican was that the water does need to be boiled first for safety reasons, though the actual temperature of that previously-boiled water when mixed with formula can be whatever you want.

          We didn’t do straight from the fridge: a) because that would require getting out of bed (my son slept in our room and given that I have awful insomnia, I was loathe to leave the bedroom and turn on the lights); and b) my son wouldn’t drink COLD milk (though room temperature worked fine).

          • fiftyfifty1

            Sounds like you received bad advice. Water for formula only needs to be boiled first if the water you are using is unsafe, such as in a developing-world country or when you are camping. In normal circumstances it can be used straight from the tap.

          • VeritasLiberat

            We used tap water too when we were at home. (Both our kids were combo fed; daddy fed them formula on evenings that mommy was at work. We always kept a bottle, a sealed single serving packet of formula, and a small sealed bottle of mineral water in the diaper bag, in case of emergencies.

          • FFing instructions are incredibly confusing and seem to differ from country to country. In the UK, it seems increasingly to be the case that you are advised to use 70 degrees water to make up feeds to kill off bacteria which can occasionally contaminate powder formula, OR use liquid ready to feed. Although personally I think this is overkill except for in the case of newborns.

      • Mac Sherbert

        Yes! Not all babies have to have a warmed bottled. I have never warmed a bottle and my babies never seemed to cared. My first would take one right out of the fridge in the middle of the night!

        I always tell new moms I know that are formula feeders to give bottles room temperature or cold from the beginning. Don’t start warming bottle unless you have to.

      • ersmom

        We would mix up a day’s worth in a pitcher. Leave pitcher in the fridge. All we had to do was pour into bottles as needed.

        And I was bad and put back into the fridge the undrunk formula/breast milk. Wasn’t going to waste it!

    • Lisa Cybergirl

      I don’t know how you’d sterilize a breast…

  • PollyPocket

    On the sterility of formula:

    When I circulated in a level 1 trauma center, I got a very complex ophthalmology case (I NEVER did ophthalmology. Ever.). A couple of hours in, the surgeon asked for sterile infant formula. The OR is full of people who do not feed people ever, and won’t even care for people who have recently been fed, so we had no clue whether or not infant formula was sterile, and whether “commercially sterile” meant “ok to pour onto the sterile field.

    If you want to confuse a WHOLE LOT of nurses, randomly ask for sterile infant formula for irrigation in the middle of surgery!

    Or: a sterile hair dryer (ENT surgeon)
    Sterile window screen (neurosurgeon)

    • theadequatemother

      !!!!

      But breast milk cures everything…why didn’t he ask for THAT?

      • PollyPocket

        LOL!

    • ratiomom

      I`m intrigued. Why on earth would you want to rinse a patient`s eye with infant formula?

      • PollyPocket

        There were too many other things going on for me to ask. My guess is the pH, osmolality, sugar, and protein content were close to whatever he wanted to irrigate.

        Or he was messing with me. But since we had never worked together before, I doubt that.

        • I don’t know about the eye thing, but I have heard that in certain gyno procedures infant formula will be injected inside the woman’s body–like, into her womb and fallopian tubes.

  • auntbea

    Well, actually, there *DO* appear to be 1,102 people in the world who feel compelled to point out that chocolate is awesome .https://www.facebook.com/pages/CHOCOLATE-IS-AWESOME/270276487897

    • guest

      Chocolate IS really really awesome

      • ngozi

        So is sex!!

    • Yes, but there is a difference between: “Chocolate is awesome and let’s talk about how awesome it is”, and “I think breastfeeding is awesome, and that makes me an awesome person and if you don’t do what I do you’re not as awesome as me”. That being said, chocolate is really awesome. Breastfeeding is also awesome for me, but it works and we both enjoy it and it’s easy for me. If formula was easier for me, I’d be using it without even thinking about it! Oh yes, chocolate…

    • fiftyfifty1

      Do they also devote most of their posts to railing on and on about how terrible caramel is?

      • auntbea

        Hard to tell. It is possible that posts extolling the virtues of caramel are deleted.

        • ngozi

          Should I start a blog demeaning people who like coconut in their candy?

          • auntbea

            Definitely. If they really cared about their chocolate, they wouldn’t dilute it with outside materials.

  • Clarissa Darling

    Really, lactivists should thank formula feeding moms. If all moms were EBFing who would they have to feel morally superior too?

    • Zornorph

      The mothers that don’t use elimination communication.

      • Older Mom

        OK…let’s not knock EC or those of us who used it. I formula-fed (well, actually combo fed but mostly formula) AND we did some mild EC (not hard-core, we ALWAYS used diapers too).

        Just because you breastfeed or EC doesn’t mean you are a jerk who thinks you’re morally superior to everyone.

        EC was super helpful for us for many reasons: cut down on diaper use (unemployed when baby was born, so super helpful), helped immensely with diaper rash, helped with fussy baby who hated even a drop of pee in his diaper, helped with early potty training (before 2, except for night-time dryness, which we are still working on).

        Like with breastfeeding, YMMV with EC. But please don’t assume that just because a family EC’s, the feel morally superior because of it.

        Like with breastfeeding, I know moms who are smug jerks about EBF-ing and moms who breastfed exclusively who couldn’t care less that I used formula. Ditto with EC.

        Some people are just jerks.

        • Zornorph

          Well, I didn’t mean to knock all people who do EC. I mean, I would never do it, but if it’s convenient for some (as you say, saved on costs and LO hated being wet), then why not? But many who do it carry on as if they are the Best Parent Ever and people who don’t use EC are lazy people who could care less if their baby is sitting in their waste.
          There are a couple of things I do that are calling cards of the proverbial Best Parent Ever (baby sleeps in the room with me, though not in my bed, I sometimes use a baby carrier) but like you, I do them because it’s convenient for my specific lifestyle. I certainly don’t go around acting all smug about it or think that doing those things makes me better than anybody else.
          As you say, some people are just jerks.

        • Renee Martin

          We also did EC because I hate poopy diapers. I never met anyone that did Ec/baby potty training that did not use diapers too. I found it really easy- It was always so obvious when DD was about to poo, and she peed every time we took a diaper off. I figured might as well!

          I will say *we* used SO MANY MORE diapers while EC, many more than with just diapering. It’s counterintuitive, but babies pee a lot- frequently, in small amounts. When you EC and put baby over the potty at regular intervals (like after eating, upon waking), and you will have missed a little bit of pee, so you change that diaper. The more times they potty, the more diapers you change.

          However, if you weren’t putting them on the potty, they would go a few more times before the diaper was changed. I never realized how often they went before EC, I thought they just peed like adults do, less often, but more volume. I found this with CDs too- they get changed more often, because they feel wet faster, so you need more. A good quality disposable will still feel dry after several pees.

          • fiftyfifty1

            My second kid showed clear “I’m going to poop” signs too, so I would put her on the potty for that. But then I would just put the same diaper back on her even if it was wet. I figured if it was good enough for her 5 minutes before, it was still good enough. But I was using disposables which stay dry on the surface right up until they have absorbed enough to puff up like crazy water balloons. Did I let my kids sit all day in the own waste? I sure as hell did! Just as long as that waste was only urine instead of stool. And never a diaper rash. I washed enough poopy cloth diapers for my younger sibs growing up to last me a lifetime. I love disposables!

          • Older Mom

            You are so right. They pee all the time. Every 15 to 30 minutes when they are really small, then the span between pees gets longer as they age.

            We never could catch poop, only pee. And I guess if you had the typical baby who only needed a wet diaper changed every couple of hours, this system could lead to MORE diapers.

            For us, our little guy fussed (in cloth or disposable) about even a slightly wet diaper. So we did a LOT of diaper changes anyway. For us, EC cut down on diaper usage, though YMMV.

            And yes, virtually all EC-ers I know used diapers all the time too. For those who are so inclined, EC is a nice tool to have in your infant care repetoire.

            And for the record, I couldn’t care less whether or not anyone else EC’s as long as they don’t judge me for it, make assumptions about me because of it, or slam me as an “abusive” parent because I do it.

  • MichelleJo

    My own rule of the thumb: if a fact needs studies to get anyone to believe it, it is suspect. If a fact/book/way-of-life needs the approbation of well known persons in the given field it is suspect. I need no studies to tell me that if I eat I will not longer be hungry. If something is good, I’ll know about it. I don’t need some star to convince me.

    • PollyPocket

      But so many studies disprove long-held “common sense” dogma in medicine.

      • Kerlyssa

        /coughcough Ulcers /coughcough

    • fiftyfifty1

      I think your rule of thumb works well when the facts can be verified by myself, in my own life, in real time, in a straightforward manner. But when it’s not so obvious, I need studies! I think about Vitamin C and the prevention of scurvy. Genetics. Germ Theory. Evolution. None of these would have been intuitive for me or would have been conclusions I could have come to on my own. I am thankful for the scientific method. And I am glad there are experts in fields of knowledge other than my own whom I can turn to for an expert opinion.

  • Sarah

    I myself was breastfed until the age of four and grew up close to the natural birth culture of The Farm (TN early 1980s.) I was so woefully ignorant about the possibility of breastfeeding difficulties. It had never occurred to me that I would do anything other than exclusively breastfeed. I chose to have my daughter with a CNM in a large hospital, still managing to have one of those comically disastrous “natural births gone wrong” despite positive energy, essential oils, and hardcore spiritual tripping etc. I was injured from forceps, incontinent, weak from blood loss, and suffering from infection. Of course there was great deal of “well, if you had the baby at home none of this would have happened” from many friends an acquaintances … and complete strangers who had heard my story second hand as a cautionary tale about hospital birth.
    My daughter was gloriously healthy and alert though, and took to latching on. A small amount of colostrum was there to satiate her the first couple of days. By the third day the milk had not come in. I asked the lactation consultants at the hospital if it was time to supplement. The concept of formula was foreign to me. My daughter had already lost 10% of her body weight. They insisted that breast milk was infinitely superior, suggested any supplementation would sabotage our relationship, her health … possibly her soul. The pediatrician agreed and we were discharged with the advice to continue nursing without supplementation. By the following day her very temperament seemed to change, she seemed furious with my breasts, agitated, and restless. We took her to our new pediatrician, a sensible of not sympathetic man who told us “lactation consultants are religious fanatics; you are starving you baby.” She had lost several more ounces from the day before. We immediately began formula. Two days later I as re-hospitalized due to infection.
    Despite herbs, teas, hospital grade breast pumps, unsolicited prayer and meditation circles in honor of my poor failing breasts, only tiny droplets of milk. I collected them 1/8 of an ounce at a time from long pumping sessions to add to the bottles of formula. It contributed to my post partum depression, that I was unable to provide this “magical elixir”. Somehow I felt those fractions of ounce were the very crux of my daughters immune system, her intelligence, our relationship. It took months to accept that I was simply unable to breastfeed. I felt immense and irrational guilt.
    I now have a much more balanced view of childbirth, of breast feeding, of mothering. My daughter is four and I am pregnant with a son. People from our social and religious circles still have retroactive advice about the hospital birth of our daughter as well as the future birth of our son, who will absolutely be born in a hospital. I will attempt to breastfeed him, but packed into his hospital bag are tiny bottles of sterile, prepared formula. It seems to me that even if only 1-2% of women legitimately cannot breastfeed, not to mention many more with low supply, pain, infection, prohibitive work responsibilities etc., there are a significant number of us who are being emotionally attacked by “lactivism.” I have been so disgusted with the lies associated with pro-breastfeeding propaganda and the criticism- often form men- of my “choice” not to breastfeed. It is often not a choice, but a necessity to formula feed and I will not hesitate to give my second child a bottle at the first sign of a problem.

    • Sue

      Thanks for the touch of reality, Sarah.

      There have always been mothers who have been unable to breastfeed (or chose not to) – throughout history. Either their babies starved, or they used wet nurses, or substituted goats milk, or made up some sort of ”formula.”

    • anion

      Oh, your story makes me so angry. How dare those people make you feel so inferior, and harm your baby, with their dogma?

      I exclusively breastfed my second at birth, and mostly breastfed until she was 17 months old (one formula bottle a day so I could make dinner/take a break). It really was a wonderful experience. But my first was formula-fed–like you, I had problems with my milk coming in; there were also problems with correct latching and it was incredibly painful. And my formula baby thrived, and was (still is) beautiful and healthy (she just turned twelve).

      I remember sitting in the “new baby care” class at the hospital with my second, and the instructor basically turning the class into a lecture about how if you give your baby formula you’re uncaring and wrong and setting up your baby for a lifetime of misery and inadequacy etc. etc. I was LIVID. I mean, first I made faces, then I made worse faces, then I sighed loudly and rolled my eyes, then I turned to the poor girl behind me who was crying because she was formula feeding and told her very loudly not to listen to that crap because it wasn’t true and her baby would be fine. I was so angry I almost got up and walked out of the class. I could not believe this woman was using her position at the hospital to shame new mothers in that fashion and make them feel, immediately after giving birth, that they were bad mothers and didn’t love their new babies enough. Disgusting.

      (Of course, this woman was the same one who gave the birthing classes I attended with my first, where she insisted that the minute you walked into the hospital in labor you’d be given IV pitocin whether you wanted it or not. My doctor–the head of obstetrics at that hospital–was not pleased when I told him that. It wasn’t true.)

      I am so sorry that happened to you.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      Sarah- that was an amazing post.

    • Sarah

      Thanks everyone for the kind words and my apologies for many typographical errors as I didn’t bother to proof read. I’ve been following Dr. Amy’s blog as sort of a counterweight to all of the nonsense surrounding NCB that one has to endure in pregnancy. It’s difficult to escape the woo. I especially love reading the comments section- it often makes me laugh until I pee myself, but that’s easy to do when you’re eight months pregnant.

  • Karen in SC

    OT: I bet Allan is chomping at the bit reading all these posts about breastfeeding lately. Who thinks he still reads here?

    • Sue

      I’m guessing no – I don’t think he could resist chipping in.

  • Renee

    I cannot stress enough how peoples situations and bodies make feeding choices and benefits totally different. IDK why lactivists cannot understand this. My everyday responsibilities made all the difference in my choice to FF vs combo vs BF. I wish the hardcore lactivists would read my story.

    My living and working situations were radically different with each kid, and each feeding option worked fantastic for the situation I chose it for. I EP for both kids during the 6wk/4wk NICU stays, which is common practice here. Once they got home, DS got all FF, and DD got EBF (no bottles even).

    With DS, I was the only income provider, and DH was the SAHP, so FF worked great. I never had an issue with bottles, and neither me or DH found making them any trouble at all, and because he could take nights, I always got to sleep (he didn’t). We also were able to have a nanny feed and help to get DH a break. With FF, when I had work related travel, I had no worries about milk drying up or DS getting fed.
    I sure didn’t miss the boob related hassles, like leaking at work or engorgement, like I did when I had pumped at work. Pumping itself was a real hassle, but had to be done frequently, as I was away from home 8-12 hours at a time. I found it to be very disruptive to my workday, and the frequent attention I had to pay to my breasts was irritating. And I had a good job, with flexibility, and plenty of time and privacy. I cannot imagine what it would have been like had I worked a retail job, or in a factory.

    Totally opposite of my experience with DD….
    With DD, I was the SAHP, and DH was always at work, and EBF worked great. I wasn’t getting any help, so I didn’t need the flexibility of FF, and we couldn’t afford FF, or bottles (even with WIC). DD was a BF pro right away, and I made plenty of milk, so it was smooth going. She was always with me, and I wore her out of necessity all day, everyday, so BF was no problem at all. I never had to pump, and since she fed on demand all day, I never had engorgement or anything. Never had pain or mastitis, nothing. It worked from day 1.
    I thoroughly enjoy BFing her, and she is still going strong at 18 months. I love it so much, and find it pretty enjoyable about 95% of the time. I will be sad when it’s time to stop.

    Both kids are healthy, and growing well, you would never know who ate what just by looking at them.

    • anion

      Sounds a lot like me, although I stayed home with my first, too; breast just didn’t work for us. Breast worked great with my second, and yeah, I wore her everywhere, heh; she screamed if I wasn’t holding her. (I mean, she’d fall asleep and I’d put her down, and she’d wake up screaming a minute later, so we started giving her one bottle a day so I could make dinner and get a break.)

      We stopped nursing at seventeen months. I cried when we stopped.

      They’re twelve and almost-nine now, and you wouldn’t know by looking at them, either.

  • rh1985

    Formula means I won’t have to argue with doctors and debate the risks vs benefits of needed medications once I am no longer pregnant – seems pretty darn convenient and amazing to me!!

  • Josephine

    Apologies that this is OT, but I feel this is one of the few places on the internet where I can ask this question and get 100% legitimate, reliable answers. I don’t comment a lot, but I read several times a week and trust you all a bit more than I do BabyCenter forum commenters.

    I found out a few weeks ago I am expecting twins (I’ll be 10 weeks tomorrow), and I simply cannot tell which books about multiple pregnancies are crap and which are science-based, straightforward, and helpful by browsing Amazon reviews. Naturally, there is so much conflicting information on the internet and people harping on the virtues of the Brewer Diet (ugh) so I really need a book (preferably by an MD!) with up-to-date info. Does anyone have any recommendations?

    • Karen in SC

      I can’t help you but hopefully one or two of our MDs and/or mothers of twins will chime in.

    • Amy M

      The Barbara Luke book is pretty good (she’s a doctor, a real one.) There is a new edition, not sure what they are up to now. I was pregnant with my twins in 2008/09 and I read an edition from 1999 then, so its probably updated, but I bet the basics are the same.

      AVOID anything by Elizabeth Noble, absolute quack, and she’ll give you a stroke, even by coming within 3 ft of the book. She’s not a doctor and she never had twins, she has no idea what she’s talking about.

      I only read one other while I was pregnant, but I really liked it, it was: The Art of Parenting Twins, by P Malmstrom and J Poland. It is also from 1999 (both books were given to me by someone who had twins several years before me). I don’t remember if they are doctors, but it had a lot of practical information, no woo, and it extended way beyond the first year, well into the school years, which I have yet to see in any other book. I’ve browsed other twin books in the book stores and library after I had the babies, and never another that did that.

      Anyway, good luck, it can be pretty scary and challenging. Most of the first year is a blur for me at this point (my boys are now 4.5yrs), but they are my only children so I don’t know anything else. Having gotten through a difficult pregnancy, and dealt with ppd issues, I can honestly say I love having twins.

      • Josephine

        Thank you so much! I’m not usually a “consult the book” sort of parent (at least I wasn’t with my first), but this is a whole new world for me. That’s a helpful start.

        • Amy M

          Well, if you already have one, at least you know infants, so that won’t be a surprise. I suspect having two infants at once will seem harder for you at first, since you’ve dealt with having one infant, but you can do it. How old is your first? If he/she is old enough to help (by bringing you things, etc) and if you don’t have to worry that he’ll kill himself while you deal with the babies, that will be huge. Meanwhile, the best advice I can come up with is: if you can get them synchronized with sleeping and eating, that’s ideal and easier on you. If you can’t, don’t make yourself crazy, it’s not always possible, but keep track of who eats/sleeps when and figure out their individual routines, so you can plan for naps for you/plan shifts with your partner.

          • Josephine

            He’s 19 months now and very much into “helping”, so probably by the time the babies come he can be of some use, especially with bringing diapers/clothes/ready to feed bottles. Thankfully he’s also excellent at amusing himself for reasonable bouts of time (~45 minutes or so), so that’s going to be a plus as well.

            I’ve heard some people suggest that if one wakes up to eat, I should wake the other one and feed him/her at the same time so I’m not up all night long. Did you do that or something similar?

          • Amy M

            We would have if we had to…they generally woke at the same time to eat on their own. My twins are identical, so we always attributed it to that, or just dumb luck. They’ve always been about the same size, and eaten about the same amount as well, so preparing bottles was easy…we made two of the same. We made up a crap load of bottles ahead of time, and put them in the fridge, so we didn’t have to mix them up at 3am (we usually made up about 3 feedings worth of bottles in the fridge ready to go at a time). We’d microwave them for 10sec (and shake!) so they weren’t ice cold, but when the boys were 5-6mos old, and it was summer time, they would drink it right out of the fridge, so that helped too.

            Other methods to prep ahead of time: keep bottles of water at room temp in the baby’s room (or your room if they sleep there), with formula measured out in those little containers with the three compartments. Dump into the bottle, shake and go. You can feed two at once, obviously if bfing, one on each side. But same if you are bottlefeeding–in your lap (we had them on a boppy in our laps when they were infants, they were small enough for this). Then, when they got too big for that, we’d put them in bouncy chairs and either sit between them or in front of them and simul-feed them that way. Of course it’s nicer if there are two people to feed and then you can cuddle one baby, but if you are doing shifts so only one person has to get up at 3am, it is doable.

          • Josephine

            I’m saving this comment for future use! I think I’m also going to splurge and buy a few cases of those 2 oz RTF nursettes for the first couple months. What a lifeline those were for just one baby, much less two.

            Given my difficulties with BFing last time, I am going to SKIP that little detour into depression/feelings of failure and go right for the formula…maybe I’ll even bring a sign to the hospital that says “No LCs, please”, though I don’t know if that’s just a little confrontational.

            Thanks again for taking time to share your wisdom.

          • Amy M

            No problem! I love talking to other twin parents! Now that my boys are getting near school age, if we see parents with older twins and get into a conversation we ask about keeping together/separating, sharing rooms and stuff like that, that we haven’t dealt with yet. It’s always nice to be able to talk to someone who has btdt. We went to a multiples birth class too, led by a woman who had twins. (Sadly, one of hers died at age 3 in a furniture tipping accident. Bolt all of your furniture to the walls.) She asked us what we wanted to know, and we all asked about the logistics of dealing with twin infants. No one cared about techniques for dealing with labor, we all assumed we’d be having C sections anyway.

            Oh..and get a double snap-n-go, used is fine. Those twin groups often have tag sales, usually spring and fall. It corners like the Titanic, but is excellent for being out and about. If your babies are little, you could get almost a year out of it.

    • PollyPocket

      Not sure about pregnancy books, but, as a mother of 3 preemies, I like Jennifer Gunter’s Preemie Primer. She is an OB/GYN and mother of triplets who were born prematurely. I would hope that you wouldn’t need that kind of book, but if you do, it’s great.

      • Josephine

        It seems more likely than not that they will show up at least a few weeks before term, so that’s great to know. Thank you.

    • Rebecca
      • Rebecca

        Oh, sorry… books about multiples specifically. Don’t know.

        • Josephine

          Nah, links are great too!

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            Something that helped a coworker of mine was the local Parents of Multiples group (they lived in San Diego but there are groups all over) They had preemie triplets and were active duty military. The local multiples group parents help with advise, common questions and also had tag sales several times a year for people who wanted to sell or trade baby equipment (twin strollers, etc). I suggested to my co-worker to also looked up the web sites of major diaper and bottle/formula/baby product manufacturers and write to them. They got a bunch of free samples and coupons in the mail.

          • Josephine

            I’ll look into that. My hospital also offers a multiples class so I’m definitely going to participate in that. Thanks!

    • anion

      Don’t have a rec, sorry, but congratulations! Best wishes for your healthy pregnancy and wonderful babies!

      • Josephine

        Thank you so much. I’m still in the shocked/anxious stage, but I’m sure that will pass soon enough. 🙂

  • Jessica

    What I tell friends is that the first few weeks of breastfeeding can be very hard, and it can be a steep learning curve for mom and baby. Thereafter, it CAN be a very rewarding and enjoyable relationship – and it has been for us. But I also point out that I had a few things in my favor, like a private office for pumping at work and the freedom to choose when and how often to pump; access to a hospital grade pump at no cost to me; a generous milk supply; and in 15+ months of nursing I have never had mastitis, clogged ducts, thrush, or biting. Had I faced some or all of these challenges, I probably would have switched to formula.

    • Ngozi

      Well said

    • JC

      In 3 months of breastfeeding I had mastitis that wouldn’t go away after one antibiotic so I had to have an US to rule out an abscess. I had clogged ducts and cracked, bleeding nipples. I had a friend who had not troubles with #1 and had mastitis with #2 and was complaining. When I told her about all of that she said, “Well, no wonder you gave up.” Yes, exactly. There is only so much pain one person can handle!

  • Isramommy

    Ot but anyone else having some serious discus weirdness on this post?About 95% of all the comments are showing up for me as having been made by Awesomemom, giving the somewhat entertaining appearance that she is having a series of long conversations with herself. Funny, but I’d like to actually find out who’s actually saying what. Maybe if I refresh again things will improve.

    • jenny

      yes same thing is happening for me.

    • Kerlyssa

      Maybe she’s just that awesome.

      • HM

        Mine is also saying that Kerlyssa’s post will happen in a minute. Now it just changed to in a few seconds. I must be imagining that I’m seeing it!

      • Awesomemom

        Lol! If only I could use my powers to do more than monopolize the conversation on a blog. I have a giant pile of laundry I wish would be folded with out me having to lift a finger.

        • HM

          Can you do mine too? Please? A few dishes too (if you count practically overflowing the sink as a few, of course) would be nice!

          • Antigonos CNM

            For dishes, there is always the alternative of using disposables, even if it isn’t very economical. But so far, disposable clothes don’t seem to have been invented, apart from diapers.

        • Antigonos CNM

          “There must be an app for that”

          One of the great mysteries of the universe is how everyone suddenly remembers to put their dirty laundry in the laundry bag AFTER I’ve just begun a new cycle in the washing machine…

          • Jennifer2

            Or how my husband always finds a stack of dirty dishes just after I fit everything from the sink into the dishwasher.

          • ngozi

            Another great mystery is how people expect for their dirty clothes to be found and washed when they leave them all over the house, sometimes in not so obvious places. I give up on trying to find them.

  • Lynnie

    Formula isn’t convenient?? Well, it sure as heck beat fighting with my son for hours to latch on or pumping with a double breast pump on the highest setting for 45 minutes at a time to get barely enough breast milk for the next bottle that for some reason always gave him horrible diarrhea and made my baby cry. It took me like a day to dry up. I know this because I quit pumping for a day because I was frustrated and over come with guilt, I tried to start up again after a day or two, my supply was down to nil, never to refill again.

    • Josephine

      Precisely. It took me about three days to fully dry up, and by the end of the first day I was already beginning to get more comfortable and less engorged. Does anyone know of any woman with a newborn child who took “weeks” to dry up? Please.

      Formula was extremely convenient compared to the three to five hands it took to help the baby get latched, get my extremely inverted nipples into the right place, etc. We never successfully latched without at least one person helping. I’m pretty sure that’s highly inconvenient compared to popping a sterilized nipple onto those 2 oz nursettes and then taking a nice catnap instead of pumping for forty minutes right after feeding the baby and feeling like a caged animal.

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        With my son I donated milk to the hospital. They gave me a shot as soon as I was finished and I was completely dry the next day. With my oldest daughter I just wore my bra that hadn’t fit since I was 4 months pregnant with breast pads a breastfeeding friend gave me and I was dried up in about 3-5 days.

    • Renee

      BF is only more convenient if you have baby with you all day, every day, and zero help. It may be easier (for some) to whip out a boob, but this is easily cancelled out by not being able to sleep all night, or having to pump anytime you aren’t with baby.

  • Zornorph

    I think a lot of it seems to be some type of Mother Earth worshiping thing – the fertility goddess with her massive mams. Mother Nature and I are not good friends so she can keep her tits – I don’t need them. But breastfeeding has been turned into this whole ritualistic form of worship with lactation now being considered a ‘superpower’. I don’t care at all what other people’s religion is – I’ve got mine and if you ask me about it, I’ll share. I don’t think you breast feeding in public is any more offensive or notable than me quietly praying in public, but if you try to force your beliefs on me, I am going to push back.

    • Clarissa Darling

      Yes! There is a big difference between respectfully practicing your beliefs in public and standing on the street corner shouting fire and brimstone at the non-believers.

      • ngozi

        I could be wrong, but I can’t remember an instance in the Bible where Jesus Christ did that.

        • Clarissa Darling

          Not sure I understand…I wasn’t making a reference to Christ, I was equating zealous lactivists to obnoxious people of any faith who stand on the street corner and shout that all non believers are going to hell if they don’t start believing as they do.

  • Isramommy

    You know what isn’t awesome? Having a breastfed baby who refuses to take bottles AT ALL when he starts daycare. Women are never warned about the possibility that their ebf babies may refuse a bottle when a time comes that bottle feeding is necessary (because of the mother needing/wanting to work, or a mother’s illness, or any other reason).

    My eight month old has been in daycare for over a month now and only this past week finally agreed to start taking formula or pumped milk at daycare. He would drink water from a sippy and that’s it- not interested in any milk-like liquids unless they were coming from a breast. It took months of me trying unsuccessfully at home and a month of struggling and unhappiness at daycare before his teachers finally got him to start regularly taking a full bottle of formula. He does great with solids but at this age clearly needs some kind of milk too and thus was just cranky and hungry at daycare until his hunger finally beat out his stubbornness over the bottle. It has been a tough month for him, me, the daycare teachers and probably the other babies in his class, too.

    I love breastfeeding, but all my future children are going to get daily supplementation to head off this kind of bottle refusal. I very deeply regret having moved my son to exclusive nursing around two months; we’d all have been a lot happier if we’d kept up the daily bottles throughout his early infancy.

    • Older Mom

      At eight months old, I wouldn’t worry too much about refusal to take a bottle. If your kid is hydrating through a sippy and eating some solids, he can get the milk at home.

      Good luck. And sorry it’s been so tough for your little guy.

      • Isramommy

        Thanks. It was really a bit rough for him. I know he could physically get by with just water and solids, and he gets excellent food at his center- homemade Yemenite soups, veggies and meat supplemented with a formula based grain baby cereal. But he is much happier when he gets milk. Since he finally started taking a bottle he’s been a much happier little camper. Nine hours is a long time for him to go without milk when a baby is used to nursing every three hours or so.

        • Older Mom

          Glad he’s getting the hang of the bottle!

    • Renee

      Here, the nurseries/daycares will cup or syringe feed a bottle refusing baby, if needed.

    • Ceridwen

      We introduced the bottle at 1 week and began using it regularly at about 3 weeks. There have been a few times that my daughter has insisted on milk from the bottle or milk from the boob specifically, but 99% of the time she doesn’t care where the milk comes from as long as she’s getting milk. I’m glad we did not wait to introduce the bottle because I need to be able to be away from her for school, and ultimately that is more important for us than her breastfeeding.

      It seems like in their rush to make sure the nursing relationship gets established a lot of breastfeeding advocates forget that for some (many?) women and babies it’s better for the baby to take a bottle even if it does cause some issues at the breast than for baby to not take a bottle. They assume that because for *them* the baby eating from the breast is more important that must be true for everyone.

    • Petanque

      Yes, by not telling women this it’s a great way to keep them at home and attached to their babies for as long as possible!

  • PJ

    Has there been any research done on the reasons why women stop breastfeeding? There’s such a big push for breastfeeding, yet large numbers quit. There are certainly a lot of assumptions out there about the reasons why they do so.

    • Ngozi

      I stopped because I didn’t have the support I needed in my household, but of course, that is not scientific.

    • burgundy

      I stopped with my first one because she had her front teeth out and she bit hard. The 2nd one refused my breasts because it was too hot for her when she was 3 months old (she wants cold milk). I could not pump enough to supply them so I just switched to only formula.

      • VeritasLiberat

        Mine would bite hard and then laugh. She thought it was hilarious getting mommy to yell like that.

        • KarenJJ

          I had one like that.

    • jenny

      Psychological healthiness? Ability to weight cost vs benefit? I’m being a little tongue in cheek here but I breastfed my oldest child until she was past three and by that time we had good boundaries and it was no longer painful (uncomfortable, yes, but not painful), but to be honest, if I had been more psychologically well, I probably would have quit breastfeeding some time in the first eight excruciating months. Basically I was in a place where I wasn’t able to appropriately respond to pain cues and that combined with the message that I would know I was a good mom if I was breastfeeding, kept me doing something that was probably not so good for me, for not that much benefit to my child.

      I later met with a researcher from Cornell who was studying this very topic. She wondered if needing to go back to work would be a primary cause but said she was interested in what her research would turn up.

    • Amy M

      I was trying to exclusively pump, hoping to combo feed (because I was going back to work after 12wk), and was getting maybe an ounce, if that, after 40min on the pump every 3hr. I had to split that between twins, so after about a month, all that effort and loss of sleep for such little return, plus increasing appetites made it not worth it. Plus I had constant (and I am not exaggerating) plugged ducts, and a round of mastitis.

    • SF Mom & Psychologist

      I quit with both of my kids at around 8.5 months. Actually, they quit. At that point, they preferred the autonomy of holding a bottle, and I suspect they preferred the flow from the bottle as well. Four months of pumping at work and no more night time nursing meant my supply was decreasing. They weren’t into it anymore, and I saw no point in doing mommy acrobatics to increase my supply. I felt about 5% bittersweet-ness and about 95% elation at getting my body back.

    • Leica

      With both of mine I stopped because I hated pumping. Loved breastfeeding itself. I pumped with my first, but just didn’t with my 2nd. I’m a nurse – IF I can squeeze 15 minutes at work, I want to go to the bathroom and eat some food, not pump! Both got just breastmilk for the first 5-6 months, then combo fed, then just formula. It’s much easier to leave the nanny with formula than having to pump milk, but it’s more of a pain for me personally.

      I miss the convenience of not having to pack bottles, formula, water to leave the house. I recently did a weekend camping trip with the kiddos and had to leave and find a store because I miscalculated how much formula to bring. Similarly, night-time feedings were much easier when I could just pull baby into bed. Now I have to get out of my cozy bed and go prep a bottle. Plus, I hate doing dishes and I feel like all I do is freaking wash bottles (my other reason for hating pumping – all the washing of formula feeding plus the pump parts).

      • Renee Martin

        You don’t have to get out of bed, just leave dry formula in a bottles, with a bottle of water, on the night stand, and pour together, shake, and feed. Easy!

    • Renee

      Everyone I know that didn’t, or quit, did so because BF was not workable with their schedule. Almost every EBFer I know, myself included, is a SAHM. There are a few that pumped at work for long periods, but that was rare. This is just people I know, not representative of everyone.

    • FormerPhysicist

      I extended nursed, but quit earlier with each child due to their dental issues. Baby bottle mouth can too happen with breastmilk.

    • LovleAnjel

      I quit for a number of reasons. My milk barely came in (pumping only got me about 15 mL total per session), I had shooting pains every time, developed clogged ducts right away, and ended up with huge blood blisters on my nipples. The biggest reason, though, was having anxiety attacks every time I fed DD because I knew I wasn’t making much milk and she was always hungry. I was uncontrollably crying multiple times a day, had lost my appetite, and was overall just miserable. Switching to formula was the best decision.

    • Carolyn the Red

      Some don’t quit, but are defined out. I am still nursing my 10 month old, but she got some formula for hypoglycemia and I tapered that off, and since the “not one drop” ship had sailed, she got occasional bottles when she was hungry and there wasn’t enough pumped milk. Really, she’s got >99% breastmilk, but by many definitions we’re not counted as exclusive breastfeeding.

      • araikwao

        Yes, and because i dared to consider more recent research in my decision to introduce solids before six months, that defines both my kids out, despite one BFing until 17 months and the other still going at 10months. So although neither have had formula (because i have the luxury and the option of being home with them except when I want to work), I don’t think we make the cut either

      • Ceridwen

        I believe I won’t qualify for the “EBF until 6 months” category either, even though we haven’t needed to give any formula, because we chose to start small amounts of solid food before 6 months.

    • ratiomom

      I`m one of those mothers who tried very hard then quit. My reasons:
      – It effing hurt. My nipples looked like raw hamburger. I cried in anticipation of the pain whenever I heard my sleeping baby stir.
      – Not enough milk. Latching was a nightmare, an hour of diligent pumping got me less than an ounce (5 days in!)
      – Flat nipples (what was left of them, that is)
      – All those pretty BF-ing brochures skipped neatly around the fact that I would be the one to carry ALL of the sleep deprivation burden, while my husband would be catching full nights of sleep. Once that reality dawned on us it made me feel resentful and him feel useless and sidelined. That`s not the way we do things in our family.

      So formula it was. We never looked back.

    • Happy Sheep

      My first had undiagnosed reflux and I had low supply so by 4 months he refused the breast.
      My second self weaned just recently at 7 months due to teething and again, my low supply. Both had been combo fed anyway so it was nbd.
      I was able to bf both for any period because I am Canadian and I had the year off so I didn’t need to work, and since I was being “paid” to be with the kids, it was cheaper than formula, not free, but cheaper.

  • The box says formula isn’t sterile. Maybe some kinds are for nicu infants or something? I don’t know for sure.

    I think breastfeeding is really awesome for some people and not for others. Each way of feeding the baby has inconvenient aspects.

    • Awesomemom

      Powder isn’t but the ready to feed is.

  • ngozi

    Even though I breastfeed for as long as possible (because I want to, not because I am a sheep that is following the crunchy crowd) I am still waiting for these lactivist to explain to women what they are supposed to do when they are trying to breastfeed, take care of other children, and have no support taking care of the household. That makes breastfeeding a whole lot harder.
    And I am not knocking formula, but what about all the allergies infants experience with it. Can someone explain that? I am not trying to start a fight.

    • ngozi

      Oh, and it seems as though my breastfed babies slept better, but I am not saying anyone else’s will.
      My son that I breastfed the longest is by far the smartest of all my children. Some would say that is a slamdunk win for breastfeeding. I don’t think so. I think his intelligence has a lot to do with the fact that I wasn’t working during most of his babyhood, so I had a lot of time to spend with him. He never saw a daycare until 5 years old. But of all my children, he usually gets the sickest with colds and sinus problems. My oldest child, who received probably the least breastmilk of all, rarely gets colds and when he does recovers from them in record time. He even licked the flu in about 3 days.
      I think women who want to breastfeed should be supported. I think women who do not want to breastfeed should be supported. People beat their drum about America’s freedom of choice, until they disagree with those choices.

      • PJ

        For the record, going to daycare doesn’t mean a child will be less intelligent. From the age of 2 years, quality early childhood education is actually associated with improved academic performance. Your child’s intelligence probably has nothing to do with anything you did. Also, it’s the quality of the time that a parent spends with a child that matters, not quantity. Parents who spend less time with their children tend to make sure that the time they do spend with them is better quality overall than that of those who are with them all the time, so it evens out.

        • ngozi

          GAAAAH! I didn’t say daycare children are less intelligent!! I am certainly sorry if that is what it sounded like. But name one daycare that can provide one on one care (or even 2 or 3 on one care), or would even be willing to do it. And who could afford it? Donald Trump? Professional athletes?
          But you are right in one way. If I was the kind of parent who had my son at home with me, but he spent all his time watching Cartoon Network and eating junk then no, I don’t think I would have had the same results with him.

          • jenny

            Actually, many NAECYC centers use a primary caregiver model for children. For infants this may mean one caregiver for every 2-3 infants, and it’s always the same caregiver so the children can bond. This is the setup in the amazing childcare center at my college.

            http://www.zerotothree.org/early-care-education/child-care/primary-caregiving-continuity.html

          • PJ

            Why do you assume one on one care is inherently more beneficial? It’s not the amount of time spent with a child that matters, but the quality. (And apparently, parents are generally quite bad at recognising what “quality” early childhood education looks like.)

          • ngozi

            Well I can tell you from my experience that the quality at a lot of these daycares could use some help. I think I can do a better job at home, period. Is that always possible? No. There are good daycares, but one on one care is usually better.

          • Amy M

            To what age though? At some point, a child would benefit more from interacting with peers in small groups as well as with a caregiver/teacher.

          • ngozi

            My personal opinion, between 3 and 5 years old. I am just talking about my experience.

          • jenny

            I think it is very hard to generalize the quality of the care to the number of caregivers when the legal ratio for infant childcare is 1:3 (one adult for every three infants). Centers are required to adequately staff so that they are always in ratio even when one caregiver is sick, out of the room, etc. If the center is not up to legal standards then that is clearly a problem. But one adult to three infants? That’s pretty close to one on one, and in some families, that is the ratio, whether because of multiple births or closely spaced siblings or what have you. Are you going to also say that SAHP of more than one child are providing inferior care?

          • PJ

            Much better to look for things like how well trained the teachers are and what kind of curriculum they are following. At some point, of course, the ratio of teachers to children makes a difference, but beyond that other factors are more important.

            On an individual level, if you are well-educated, middle-class parents (the children who make the biggest gains from early childhood education are those from deprived backgrounds) and use quality daycare (if you use it), you are probably not going to influence your child’s outcomes all that much whatever you do.

          • jenny

            Yeah, I think there are a lot of factors that affect the quality of the care, and ratio is only one tiny part of that. I just hate the common misconception that day care is like baby farming when it’s really, really not.

          • Clarissa Darling

            The daycare I chose has 2 infant teachers and currently only 4 or 5 infants enrolled. I figure it can’t be any worse than if I were staying home with twins! And, like I was saying about my Great Grandma on another post a few days ago, I think the notion that children must have X amount of their care givers undivided attention is a pretty modern concept. Just think of all the women in previous generations who had back to back pregnancies and also had to run a home without modern conveniences. I don’t have any studies but, common sense tells me most of those kids were just fine.

          • Renee

            I hate to say this, but my sons preschool (he is 3), and the related daycare, do a much better job than I do. I wish he could go more than 2 days a week.

            One on one can be great, groups can be great.
            Both can also be awful.

          • jenny

            Renee, this is exactly how I feel.

          • theadequatemother

            The provincially mandated ratios for daycare here are 1 caregiver to three infants (to 18 mo) and then 1 caregiver to 5 toddlers (18-36 mo).

    • Jo

      Allergies aren’t exclusive to formula. Some babies are allergic to breast milk.

    • grenouille

      And I am not knocking formula, but what about all the allergies infants experience with it.

      Are you referring to food allergies or to environmental allergies?

      My third child needed hypoallergenic formula because he was reacting to something in my milk. I cut out milk and soy but nothing improved and I did not want to have him suffer while I tinkered with my diet. I hear that claim a lot, that formula causes food reactions, but not much evidence. In fact, one of the doctors we saw was convinced that my child’s digestive issues were from the single bottle of formula he received in the hospital. No theories as to why his exclusively breastfed cousins had the same issues.

      I always heard that breastfeeding prevented asthma and environmental allergies. My husband was breastfed, I was breastfed–both of us have bad environmental allergies and some degree of asthma. One of our kids sneezes his way through every fall and spring–apparently breastfeeding wasn’t enough to counteract the bad genes he received 🙂

      • ngozi

        I have talked to a lot of people who have feed their children formula and they claim their children was allergic to the formula. I know I people who had to keep changing kinds/brands of formula because their child was allergic to all of it. Does that happen a lot, or are people exaggerating, or something else?

        • jenny

          Could be a milk protein intolerance. These could be the people who need to feed their kids soy formula or the expensive elemental predigested stuff.

          • jenny

            Which is to say, if that is the case, breastfeeding wasn’t necessarily going to be easier. Dealing with food intolerances is a ginormous pain in the ass, especially when you are talking about things as ubiquitous as milk protein or gluten.

          • grenouille

            Yes, that could certainly be it. But a lot of babies with milk protein intolerance will react to dairy products the mom has eaten. So, the same thing happens to breastfed babies.

          • jenny

            haha, jinx!

          • GuestK

            Is milk protein intolerance more likely to develop when there is a high exposure (ie: formula)? My youngest had this problem, it is my only remaining guilt over giving up breastfeeding.

          • jenny

            I have heard so many different things about this. You know, lots of exposure causes it, waiting too long for exposure causes it. My SIL is a nurse and she says that the trend is it’s genetic. I spent a long time wracking my brain over why my daughter is gluten intolerant and why I didn’t have real symptoms of being gluten intolerant until after I gave birth to her. I used to think it was something I did but now I think it’s probably just genetics. /not a doctor

          • HM

            Anecdata: I think some kids are also misdiagnosed. My son got lots of rashes as a baby and the doctor told me it was probably from the formula and told me to switch to soy. Eventually the rashes stopped, and I also switched doctors. This one told me she didn’t think that the formula was the issue, and I put him back on milk based formula after she told me that- I’m allergic to soy, and I was tired of getting itchy every time I made it! He was fine the second time around on the milk based formula.

            My stepdaughter was considered lactose intolerant as a baby, but now she is not. From what I have heard (I could be wrong, and I’m sure someone on here will know!), it’s unusual for kids to grow out of lactose intolerance, so I think she was also wrongly labeled with that.

          • KarenJJ

            I had a lot of rashes and it was thought I was allergic to all sorts of things (I got soy formula as a kid). It turned out to be an underlying genetic mutation that caused an auto-inflammatory syndrome. Unusual though.

        • Karen in SC

          there can be a Milk-Soy-intolerance, so most formula would cause problems. The breast feeding mother must go dairy and soy free.

        • Rochester mama

          People that don’t have problems with formula don’t talk about it. A most of the time when formula is discussed it’s the people with problems speaking up. You probably also know more people that used formula and had no problems.

          • ngozi

            Good point.

        • araikwao

          The Pediatric Insider (link on the sidebar) recently did a series on formula. I love his blog!

          • Karen in SC

            the latest one is about the vitamin K shot, it’s excellent.

        • Sullivan ThePoop

          Of all my three formula fed babies only one has any allergies at all and that is my oldest. She has an allergy to penicillin and a molecule that is commonly found in deodorants which they said has something to do with her penicillin allergy. I also only have one allergy and it is to Salicylic acid and some compound salicylates. I never had to switch formula at all.

      • jenny

        Anecdata here. I was breastfed, as were my mom and uncles and we all have terrible allergies. My oldest child was exclusively breastfed. She has a severe gluten intolerance such that I had to remove gluten from my diet in order to keep breastfeeding her (ended up being NBD for me since it turns out I am also gluten intolerant). She really might have done better on formula since all formula is gluten free and we can know exactly what is in it. I dunno, I kind of feel like it is six of one and half dozen of the other. Breastfeeding is cool, but formula is being improved by science all the time, and in the average situation, either breast milk or formula will be an adequate food for an infant.

      • anon

        My husband was breastfed and has asthma. I was breastfed and have terrible hay fever

        • Amy M

          The biggest risk factor for a child having asthma is a parent having asthma. My mom has asthma. So do my sister and I…she was BFed, I wasn’t. My husband also has asthma. Another risk factor is prematurity, another is smokers in the house. My husband was a preemie and his mom smoked. I think his Dad did at the time too. Our children, born to two asthmatic parents, prematurely, shockingly, also have asthma. I think formula was the least of our problems.

          • Amy M

            I’m sorry, I was wrong. The biggest risk factor is hay fever and other allergies.

            http://www.emedicinehealth.com/asthma/page2_em.htm

            That’s one source, though I found others saying the same.

            However, immediate family member having asthma is up there, about number 2 or 3 on the list depending which list you are looking at, and formula isn’t on the list at all.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            Yeah, I was going to say if the parent has any type I sensitivities that puts their child at greater risk for asthma.

          • Ob in OZ

            Now THAT is how you use the internet to answer a question. No anecdotes and a proper website that references proper research. You are an example to us all. Not putting down the anecdotal stories before and after, but a real question deserves factual answers. Thank you

          • anon

            My husband is just a fluke. He has no risk factors for asthma

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        Allergies are highly genetic. Also, a baby breastfed by a mother with uncontrolled/not well controlled asthma has a much greater risk of developing asthma than a formula fed baby.

        • Young CC Prof

          Yup, definitely genetic. My husband and I both have all the allergic diseases: food allergies, eczema, environmental allergies and asthma. This baby I’m carrying doesn’t have one living relative without some degree of allergies. He’s going to have allergy issues of some kind, and that’s OK, I’m just going to deal with it as it happens, and hope he doesn’t wind up with the more severe kinds.

    • I know someone whose baby was allergic to almost every formula, her mom wasn’t interested in trying breastfeeding. It took a lot of unhappy poops before figuring out what one was safe for her. So that was kind of horrible, but not common. Shes fine now, has common allergies (pets, grass, etc).

    • moto_librarian

      Both of my children were allergic to dairy and soy as infants. Since I wasn’t producing more than 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of milk per pumping, they were exclusively formula fed. My older son outgrew both of these allergies by the time he turned one. His younger brother is almost 17 months, and is still struggling with dairy. Since he is doing fine with cheese and yogurt, it seems likely that he is lactose intolerant now.

    • Tim

      Our daughter had milk protein allergies – she ended up on extensively hydrolized formula (the same kind the author of this article laughingly claims don’t actually help babies with allergies. i guess the red weeping eczema on my daughters skin that went away was fake or something)
      Lots of babies are allergic to cows milk proteins – those same babies would have the same reaction (but lessened) with moms milk unless she cut all dairy out of her diet. Hydrolyzed and elemental formulas help with that, since the immune system doesn’t react to extensively broken down proteins the way it does to whole ones. They often go to hydrolyzed/elemental formulas rather than soy for these kids, as milk and soy allergies usually go hand in hand. Kids with lactose intolerance go to the soy formulas.

      • Ceridwen

        I would be shamed for this by many lactivists but my husband and I agreed before the baby was born that if she had issues with dairy we would have to go with formula. I’m extremely thin and have difficulty keeping weight on at the best of times. One of the main ways I am able to do it is by consuming a lot of high-fat dairy. Switching to a dairy-free diet is just not an option for me because of that and mine is just one of many reasons a mom might not be able to do a dairy-free diet. Yet I regularly see women chided for not doing dairy-free or other elimination diets in order to be able to continue breastfeeding a child with an allergy. I just don’t see the logic when formula is easily available and addresses the issue faster and more directly.

        • Young CC Prof

          I absolutely understand this. I have food allergies myself, and severe upper digestive problems, and I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to gain enough weight to support this pregnancy. I’m on track for a really good weight gain, but breast-feeding will also be an issue. Without dairy, there’s no way my baby would be getting enough nutrition, I just don’t see how it’s possible.

          Here’s what doesn’t make sense about those more extreme elimination diets: How is the milk produced by a woman eating only 5 foods superior to nutritionally balance formula?

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            Not only is it not even close to as nutritionally balanced as formula those infants would be at extreme risk for developing food allergies.

          • Ceridwen

            The breast milk would likely still be nutritionally balanced…for a while. Only because it’s stealing from mom to make it so. Which is something most of the natural birth crowd seems to think is totally fine and risk-free for mom. Most of the stuff I’ve seen suggests it’s not *too* big a deal, but I worry that that does not apply to everyone. Especially those with special dietary needs of their own (like you) or who are underweight (like me).

            Glad you are doing well with the pregnancy weight gain! I worried about that myself (especially since I had severe morning sickness for the first half of the pregnancy) but ultimately did OK. Keeping weight on while breastfeeding is no joke though. I actually visited the campus dietician today to get help with that issue.

        • Tim

          They’re idiots who would rather see you break yourself than be a person with her own needs.

    • Renee

      Some babies have real allergies or issues, and they often have them with b milk as well.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      exclusively formula fed infants get less antigens to challenge their adaptive immune system early in life whereas breastfed babies get many antigens from what their mother eats as long as she is not on a restrictive diet. Some foods have proteins that are so different that if you delay feeding it to an infant until they are over a year, like peanuts and shellfish, they will be at a higher risk of developing an allergy to it. If you feed them more variety when they are still under a year then every protein is strange and the really strange ones will not seem so strange to their system and they are at less risk for developing allergies.

      • Mac Sherbert

        So, why does the baby book tell me to delay feeding certain things until after a year to help avoid food allergies??

        • Sullivan ThePoop

          Because it is out of date. Your pediatrician will tell you when the time is right.

    • me

      “I am still waiting for these lactivist to explain to women what they
      are supposed to do when they are trying to breastfeed, take care of
      other children, and have no support taking care of the household.”

      I’m not a “lactivist” but I imagine you do the same thing you would do if you were trying to formula feed, take care of other children, and have no support taking care of the household. Not trying to be snarky at all. Yes the learning curve is steeper with bfing, but by the time you are on your second (or third, or more) kid, you likely find bfing pretty darn easy. I’m a military spouse. I go long stretches playing ‘single mom’ (not really tho, I get the luxury of staying at home). I take care of three kids, the youngest is “still” bfing (just turned one). I run the household, oftentimes single-handedly, and even when my husband is not on orders, since I SAH and he works full time, I do most of the household running. It’s really not that big of a deal.

      I believe Roseanne said it best: Give me a little time, and no other choice, and I can be a remarkable woman. 😉

      My point is simply that taking care of multiple children, especially when one of them is an infant, while running a household, is not going to be “easy” no matter how you feed the youngest one. Under those circumstances (multiple kids, little to no help), there will be pros and cons to either method. Personally, I found bfing to be pretty easy. I also didn’t have any supply issues, pain, or other common problems. I don’t see how formula would be easier with no one around to help, unless you are experiencing those issues, IYKWIM.

      • ngozi

        Thank you for your good points. But people are more likely (not always) to have problems with breastfeeding than with formula feeding. I think there are far fewer issues with children latching on to a bottle than to the breast.
        Even when breastfeeding is going well, it usually takes more time to breastfeed a child than formula feed them. Infants pretty much can drink easier and faster (not always saying faster is better) from a bottle. If you factor in the time it takes to latch the child on and the time they take to drink enough to be satisfied, for some families that is a lot of time. This is time that is not spent doing laundry, cooking dinner, etc. If you don’t have someone willing to help, oh well…
        I guess my personal experience has been not getting much help at home. I literally have been breastfeeding my baby and have my other children standing around upset because I didn’t pour them a cup of koolaid and my husband POUTING because dinner wasn’t served exactly when he wanted it. When you have to take care of a newborn under those circumstances it is difficult no matter how you feed your infant, but especially hard when you (or your infant) are getting over the learning curve of breastfeeding.
        My problem is the lactivist are always going on and on about how easy it is, but I haven’t heard many really address all the difficulties a woman can experience while breastfeeding. It is like they think all breastfeeding moms have only one child and a line of ready and willing help.

        • me

          I hear you. Fortunately my husband knows better than to pout about dinner not being “on time”. (holy cow, really??!!) At that point you tell him to either start lactating or, you know, fix dinner himself (and pour that kid a cup of kool-aid while he’s at it, dammit!).

          Yes, it’s a struggle prioritizing the kids’ needs at times. Most of the time the baby “wins” as her needs tend to be more immediate, but there are times when the baby just needs to be set down in a safe place while you attend to the older kid(s). Crying for a few minutes will not scar them for life (despite what the hardcore APers have to say about it). Yes, occasionally my second and third children’s feedings were interrupted. But at least with bfing I had no prep, no clean up, and didn’t have to worry about misplacing a breast or my middle child (the household prankster) hiding it 😉

          I will say that in my response I am assuming that the first child(ren) were bf, and so the learning curve with subsequent babies is generally much flatter. In my case, things were pretty tough with my first – partly getting used to/learning how to bf, and partly (mostly?) getting used to/learning how to take care of a new baby overall. I found everything, bfing included, MUCH easier the second and third time around, despite having the older kid(s) to take care of. But I do understand that it is perfectly possible to have difficulties even after “successfully” nursing your first.

          As for taking care of the house, that got much easier after I accepted that so long as I have young kids it’s not going to look like Martha Stewart lives here. Yes, the laundry is done, but I don’t iron anything. Ever. I focus on the kitchen and bathroom, but I turn a blind eye to the dust bunnies in the bedrooms/living room. Windows? Who really cares? Five minutes after I clean them they’ll have little hand prints anyway 😉 I do spend a lot of time on dinner, but that’s because I truly love to cook (I find it stress-relieving). However I try to save the more complicated or time intensive meals for days when DH will be home to mind the kids while I am cooking.

          Anyway, long reply, but what I’m getting at is simply that under the circumstances we’re talking about there are serious pros and cons to either way of feeding. The way I looked at it (keeping in mind I didn’t encounter the common problems of pain/latch/supply issues with my second and third child) the few weeks where the baby wants to nurse “constantly” pass pretty quick, so I chose to deal with that for a few weeks, rather than deal with the ‘cons’ of ffing for at least a year. Not saying there is only one “right” choice at all. Just that this is what worked for me.

        • Mac Sherbert

          I think I understand where you are coming from. When all you do is nurse a baby it is hard to care for other children. It doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but it’s hard. My littlest one nursed every 2 hours round the clock, so I was also exhausted.

          One day when I went to nurse the baby my oldest said “Mommy please don’t nurse!.” He wanted my attention. That’s the day I let him help me make a bottle and we sat on the couch together and fed the baby. So, yes to a certain extent I feel like I missed out on some things with my oldest child during those first few months breastfeeding and he played a lot of angry birds. While I was breastfeeding I would come up with games we could play like pretend to be the big red bird, send him across room and play mother may I.

          In those first few months nutrition at our house went down. I put container in the pantry that he could reach and filled it with snacks. He could put a straw in a juice box/pouch, so I bought lots of those and put them where he could get them in the fridge. (And yes that only works if the kid is old enough and you can afford those juice boxes). I also started telling him advance when the baby was going to eat and that if he needed anything now was the time! That really helped because I think it made him feel like he came first!

          My standard of clean also went down. However, I’m fortunate to have an understanding husband. If supper wasn’t ready he was fine with a pizza. If the house was dirty he ignored it. Plus, I would always remind him that it was temporary and babies are only babies for so long!

          I know it is hard to jungle these things. For me the solution was for my husband to give the baby a bottle when he got home from work. That gave me time to cook supper and he got to bond with the baby. It sounds like your husband doesn’t understand that nursing is really like having a full-time job.

          • ngozi

            Oh but believe me, he is the first one to start complaining when nursing isn’t working out well. I am somehow robbing the baby. In the past he has helped out very little. But it is all talk and no action on his part.

  • Karen in SC

    I believed all that woo and breastfeed my two sons for about two years each. I was very lucky in the only problem I had was the second one didn’t take a bottle for anything so we were never separated for the first year. Since I was a stay at home mother and had a group of mom-friends, that didn’t bother me.

    My sons were not perfectly healthy and so far (twenty yrs) we have not noticed significant benefits to the breastfeeding.

    So glad I have learned the truth so I can be accepting and supporting of all ways to feed a baby. In fact, I kinda hope my grandkids are formula fed so I can help!

    • ngozi

      I pump breastmilk in bottles, but don’t tell anyone. The breastfeeding activists might come to my house and beat me up!

    • Zornorph

      Hey, if you try really hard, perhaps you can ‘re-lactate’ so you can help breast feed your grandkids.

      • Karen in SC

        thanks for the laugh!

  • Awesomemom

    I never leaked or had any issues while drying up which is why nursing didn’t work for us, I was not producing enough but you know I probably wasn’t doing the “right” things and had fallen prey to a boobie trap because not producing enough milk is so very rare. *roll eyes*

  • Young CC Prof

    I came across the following on LLL’s website: “[I]f your baby has come in contact with something which you have not, (s)he will pass these germs to you at the next nursing; during that feeding, your body will start to manufacture antibodies for that particular germ. By the time the next feeding arrives, your entire immune system will be working to provide immunities for you and your baby.”

    What the HELL? How can anyone believe that’s possible? If the human body could produce antibodies to new germs in 2-3 hours, no one would ever get sick! And they’re basically saying breastfed babies never get sick. How can they not recognize how downright dangerous a myth like that is?

    • Gretta

      I read that too. I wonder if Dr Amy would comment on that? It seemed dubious.

    • Guest

      Also, even if that were true, most antibodies in breastmilk will be destroyed by the infant’s digestive system.

    • araikwao

      Well that’s a lie, it takes about a week to produce antibodies to a novel pathogen

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      This is so wrong on so many levels. What does the baby have and how is he passing it to his mother? Unless he is passing through her digestive tract the first mature antibodies are not going to IgA and depending on the illness there might never be any IgA antibodies for the illness. Also, infants are susceptible to a lot of cold virus strains that adults are not. If the baby passes one of these cold viruses it will be cleared by the mother’s innate immune system and she will not make any antibodies to it at all. Also, it takes can take days for an adaptive immune response to start and weeks for mature antibodies to be developed. Most likely whatever your child has will be passed before you ever make any IgA antibodies for it. Now, if you had already been exposed to said illness then mature antibody production would happen within 2-3 hours. Not to mention hopefully we all know that IgA antibodies are the main defense for GI infections and some lower respiratory infections. In most common infections it is only a helper and cannot protect you from getting the infection, not to mention the antibodies from breast milk stop circulating and only act in the gut after the infant is producing enough mature antibodies of their own (anywhere from 4-9 months depending on the gestational age at birth and the individual child).

      • Young CC Prof

        Yup, people who know science know that.

  • EllenL

    Having bottle fed my children, I consider myself an expert on bottle feeding (at least, as much of an expert as Ms. Neovard is on breast feeding). So, here is what you need to know about bottle feeding:

    *Breasts of bottle feeding mothers do not become painfully engorged, get infected or leak milk. (If they did, I think I’d remember it, and I don’t)

    *Bottle feeding is convenient, especially if you like or need to use babysitters or have help with feeding.

    *Bottle fed babies are good sleepers. They typically sleep 4 hours between feedings, and will sleep through the night at about 6 weeks old.

    *Bottle feeding mothers can eat or drink whatever they want. They can take medication without worrying if their baby will be affected.

    *Bottle feeding mothers can have careers, whether out of choice or necessity.

    *Formula is safe and nutritious.

    *Formula fed babies love their mothers (just as breast fed babies do).

    *Formula fed babies can grow up to be bright, sociable, normal people.

    • Amy M

      I’ll agree with you on all but number three…mine were good sleepers but they didn’t sleep all the way through the night until 6mos. Boo. Granted, they weren’t waking up every 2hr to eat either, so there’s that. If I recall correctly, from about 3mos to 6mos, they only woke once in the night to eat, but still, it kinda sucked. 🙂

      • theadequatemother

        I would love to see something scientific on this “sleep through the night” thing. I could get off my ass and get on medline, or I could just ask this community here if they’ve come across a reasonable study on sleeping and feeding method.

        My EBF dude slept through the night from 10 weeks (where sleeping through the night is defined as a stretch of at least 5 hours…in his case 10-11 pm to 5 am). He nursed every two hours during the day though. I used to think this was all due to my ah-may-zing parenting…but I am thinking that having baby #2 will prove to us that it was just “him” rather than anything we are doing. This is the gift of having more than one child – you get to see how little it has to do with specific micro-parenting choices and how much it has to do with “nature.”

        • Antigonos CNM

          Every child is different. My #1 was a laid-back, “the world is cool” kid; #2 was the World Champion Picklepuss and Jewish Princess, a.k.a. The Curly-Haired Monster [and still is, at age 31], and #3 burbled with ecstasy from the day she was born. The only real difference in the way I raised them was that by #3, I’d thrown all the books away and did as I pleased.

        • araikwao

          I can’t remember the source (Pediatrics??), or its quality, but I do remember seeing an abstract or summary of a study that suggested BF infants were significantly worse sleepers in the first year, as measured by more night wakings. I think it was supposed to start evening out after that. Both my kids seem to have read that study, in fact DS has been citing it MANY times a night of late 🙂

    • Antigonos CNM

      I would point out that it is breast-feeding that requires special bras, as well as remembering never to wear clothes which open down the back. Also, the worst cases of mastitis I’ve ever seen were in nursing mothers who had cracked nipples, a perfect entry portal for bacteria [ditto breast abcesses]

      While every woman does have her milk come in, if she hasn’t provided any stimulation by nursing at all, it generally takes 48 hours or less to dry up, and there are strategies to deal with engorgement. AFTER a woman has nursed, however, it can be another story entirely — prolonged and painful to suppress milk production.

  • Amy M

    Powdered formula may not be safe after a natural disaster if clean water cannot be found, but ready to feed would be fine. Relief organizations could help people in need by sending ready-to-feed formula for babies who need it. Plus, if clean water cannot be found to clean bottles, they can send it in the nursettes.

    • Awesomemom

      I kept a supply of ready to feed on hand as part of my emergency kit. Plus we have ways to purify water in it as well so I figured I had my bases covered. I am glad I never had to use it all though.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        I kept a some cans of the ready to use in my emergency kit when we lived in San Diego. When we got transferred to Guam I was given a couple sixpacks of the pre-made ready to use 6 oz bottles and sealed ready to used nipples. It made the 14 hours of plane ride a little easier. I was lucky as my mom and dad bought them as part of my going away basket. Flying with a 10 week old was easier than flying with a 2 year old when we came back…

    • Elle

      And in a severe natural disaster, a mother’s milk would only last as long as she had food to eat too… either way, natural disasters are bad for babies!

      • Nnie

        Or in a severe natural disaster mother could be dead.

  • anion

    I have two children (both c-sections, btw, which thrilled me then, and thrills me now–I loved my sections and recovery was very easy!).

    I tried breastfeeding with my first. It was incredibly painful and I wasn’t producing enough milk after a couple of weeks. We switched to formula. All was well.

    With my second I decided to give breastfeeding another go. I told myself I’d just do it for a week, and see how it went. It went well. She screamed if I wasn’t holding her and nursed almost constantly, but that was okay with me; I thought (sounds crunchy, I know, sorry) that this was like nature telling me to slow down and just BE with my baby. However, after that first week I decided that in order to enable myself to make dinner and get a break from the constant holding, we’d give her a bottle a day, which my husband could give her.

    That worked great, too. I decided since I’d gone a week nursing, I’d go for two weeks. After that I aimed for a month. After that, six weeks. Then three months, then six months, and so on. The upshot was she was nursed for seventeen months; always with that one bottle per day (sometimes it was formula, sometimes expressed breastmilk–and of course she followed a normal solid-food schedule). (We also engaged in very careful co-sleeping, which enabled me to nurse her all night. I got great sleep and so did she, and we had no trouble getting her into her own bed.)

    I took bottles of breastmilk along if we went out so I could feed her “on the go.” She never had any issues with nipple confusion, and she never refused to take the breast because the bottle was faster or any of that other stuff the lactavists insisted would happen if we ever let her experience bottle feeding.

    I loved breastfeeding my baby, I really did. Way more than I thought I would. I do wish I’d tried a little harder with my first.

    (Here’s a funny thing: the lactavists will insist that breastfed babies, because they’re exposed to different “flavors” from infancy, are much less picky as eaters. My girls are the complete opposite. My formula baby will eat anything and loves almost everything, whereas my breastfed baby has always been incredibly picky. I know lots of moms who say the same thing, too.)

    When I have friends who are pregnant, I do encourage them–once–to try nursing, and to try it with the “I’ll do it for X days and then see/X weeks and then see” philosophy if they’re intimidated or reluctant, because it helped me.

    But you know, if they’re not interested, I tell them formula feeding has its joys, too, and is perfectly fine. If they have a hard time nursing, I tell them there’s no shame in switching to formula or supplementing with formula. Just because I loved nursing doesn’t mean everyone will. Just because it worked so well for us with my second doesn’t mean it will for everyone–heck, my first is evidence of that. It’s not my place to shame or judge anyone. I’m tired of seeing lactavists do it, and all in the name of some ridiculous rose-tinted image of what “good mothers” do. Was/am I a bad mother to my first but a good mother to my second? Or are all kids different and all situations different?

    This militant outlook serves only one real purpose: to shame, hurt, and bully women for not being “perfect.” It’s horrifying and wrong.

    • burgundy

      Funny, my kids are like that. The first one had breast milk until she was 9 months old, and she is a very picky eater. My 2nd one was on formula after 3 months and she eats everything.

      • anion

        Ha! Like I said, I know a lot of others who’ve said the same thing. I won’t argue the idea that breastfed = less picky for the majority if there’s evidence to prove it, and I won’t argue that it’s probably true for some, but all the breastfed kids I’ve ever met have been picky as heck, whereas all the formula babies are happy to try new foods and love almost everything they’re given.

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        I imagine that is just the kids. I was breastfed and never a picky eater. My brother was breastfed and an extremely picky eater. All three of my were formula fed, one ate anything, one was extremely picky and one was in the middle.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          All four of my children were breastfed. I like to say that they all ate like birds: 2 like sparrows and 2 like vultures.

          • ngozi

            HA!!! PRICELESS!!!

          • auntbea

            Given that vultures only eat dead things, this image makes me concerned that you are zombie.

          • KarenJJ

            Dunno about you but all the food I feed to my children is dead.

          • auntbea

            You obviously do not live in some parts of East Asia. Live octopus FTW!

            Also, you ruined my zombie joke.

          • KarenJJ

            Well if it’s any consolation I ruined my husband’s zombie joke first. He made the same joke when I read Dr Amy’s comment to him.

          • auntbea

            It DOES make me feel better, thanks. And also makes me feel like we should have you and your husband over for dinner (which will be dead.)

  • Tim

    Lolling @ “Hydrolyzed formula not suitable for babies with milk allergies” – I guess all those allergists and immunologists must be wrong again. Thanks for making me see the light Marty, you are so so much smarter than them.

    • anon

      Breast milk isn’t always suitable for babies with milk allergies. My daughter was lactose intolerant. The second ingredient in breast milk is lactose

      • Tim

        Miss Marty would claim otherwise – she heard it from a LLL class, so she’s “educated”
        Forget those pediatric allergists – they only did 4 years of medical school, a 3 year pediatric residency and a 3 year peds allergy fellowship. How can that possibly compare to the glorious knowledge one can obtain in a 1hr LLL sponsored lactation class?

  • Same can be said for the volumes written on the wonders of “normal delivery” and the “horrors of cesarean”…

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    I always wonder what is going through the head of people who write like Ms. Neovard. What possesses someone to write bald-face lies like that. The one that really stood out to me was how she says that formula is not regulated by the FDA.

    • Amy M

      I know, right? That’s the easiest one to refute too. Of course it’s regulated, most food and drugs that are manufactured in this country are, and those that aren’t have disclaimers all over them. Those that are have to adhere to certain standards, including transparency about what is in them, putting the same thing in each batch, quality control, standards about the factories in which they are made, etc. They KNOW that babies are going to be ingesting this stuff and god forbid a baby dies or get injured directly from the formula, that company gets shut down.

    • Antigonos CNM

      Truth is what you choose to believe for people like that, and unfortunately, there are a lot of them around. They may be slightly more sophisticated than those who think the world is flat, but not much. Usually, no amount of solid evidence will make them change their thinking.

      You do know, of course, that man has never set foot on the moon? The landings were all staged at a movie studio somewhere.

  • anon

    I found the engorgement with breastfeeding much worse then with the child I didn’t breastfeed when my milk came in. The baby taking the milk made my body produce more milk which led to me almost in tears in the kitchen with a bag of frozen peas. I did enjoy breast feeding, but I also enjoyed cuddling my baby and bottle feeding. Breast feeding was damn hard the first two weeks. Very painful even though I had the right latch. I had a friend explain it to me when I was asking her about the pain, suck on your thumb every two hours for three days it’s going to hurt. What they don’t tell you is that babies will reject anyone else putting them to sleep after months of night feeds.

  • Burgundy

    I breast feed my both daughters but never exclusively. Without formula, both of my kids would die in
    starvation due to my medical issue.
    One of my girlfriend had her baby last
    year. She bought into woo’s claims and
    insisted on breast feeding her baby exclusively. The problem was, she loved her baby but also
    loved her beers. She did not drink
    during her pregnancy. Two months after
    her daughter’s birth, she asked me if I drank any alcoholic drinks while breast
    feeding my kids. She was surprised that
    I did not and said she missed her beers.
    Another month pass, she went back to her regular drinking (2 – 3 bottles
    a day) and bought a “breast milk alcohol detection” gadget from Amazon. She would pump and test to see if the milk
    was ok for her daughter to drink. After
    a while, the baby would scream murder after each feeding. Also, the baby was extremely tiny and not gaining
    weight (under 5% on the scale). The
    doctor could not figure out why. After 6
    months of trying different diets, (couple friends and I were also trying to persuade her about formula meanwhile). she finally switched to formula. Now the baby is gaining
    weight and does not scream after each feeding.
    One might wonder…..

  • Stenvenywrites

    I tried it. Didn’t find it awesome, didn’t hate it. Bottle feeding also was not awesome, but someone else could do it as well as I did. Being able to sleep for four hours at a time? Now, that, was awesome.

  • anonymous

    “Formula Is Not Safe Or Easily-Available During Natural Disasters”

    Yeah, so those helicopter drops of baby formula after the Japanese tsunami were all just staged propaganda?

    • GuestK

      Seriously. Many things are not available during natural disasters. If you want to be prepared you keep a stock of formula and distilled water. Then even if you are injured or sick the baby could still be fed.

      • anion

        We lived in Miami when ours were born, and went through quite a few hurricanes. You bet we had a supply of water stocked up, along with other necessities. We knew where we lived.

    • Bombshellrisa

      It’s mentioned in every disaster prep book or handout-make sure you have enough food to feed every member of your family for three days! That means formula and bottled water (and bottles packed in the kit) or the ready to feed stuff. It means your go bags and car kits have to have the same as well.

  • moto_librarian

    “Regardless of whether you breastfeed or not, your milk will still come in, you will still get engorged, you may still get mastitis, and you will still need to buy breast pads and special bras.”

    Um, not always. My milk did not come in after either kid. No engorgement, no pain, only the occasional drip. I tried nursing both kids and pumped. When I quit pumping, I had no pain at all. I’m sure that in Martha’s world, people like me must not exist.

    • mom4474

      I agree. Three babies, very little milk, no engorgement, never felt that infamous “let-down” my friends talk about. I remember the most I ever got in one pumping session: 1/2 oz. after over 40 minutes. Of course, this woman would claim that I’m part of a minuscule 1% who truly can’t breastfeed, or that I didn’t really try hard enough. I really hate it when these women speak their opinions as if they’re the gospel. My youngest is 15 months old, so I have just purchased by last can of formula. I have been listening to this garbage non-stop for the last 4 1/2 years, right about the time I realized I was starving my first baby and had to start supplementing when he was 4 days old. Thankfully, I have a much thicker skin than I did back then as a brand new, freaked out mother, but I just wish these women would give it a rest. I remember how it felt early on, and I hate the idea that vulnerable new mothers come across this and start making choices out of fear, rather than what’s best for them and their families.

      • Antigonos CNM

        Ditto me, with all three children. No engorgement, no let-down reflex, and when I stopped nursing, my milk dried up immediately.

        It took a while for the penny to drop with my first child, who was exclusively breast-fed, almost every hour, for the first 6 weeks, that I simply do not produce a lot of milk. One day I was in a place where it was impossible to nurse, and he downed 250 cc of formula, burped, and slept for an unheard-of 3 hours.

        • mom4474

          I still remember the feeling I had when I gave my oldest formula the first night home from the hospital. I hadn’t gotten him to latch since before midnight. It was now 6:00, and he had been crying most of the night. My husband mixed up two ounces (from one of those evil packages we got in the mail; thankfully, we kept it). He downed it as if he had been starving for 4 days (which, I figured out later, he had been) and immediately fell asleep for about 4 hours. I, on the other hand, cried for the rest of the day.

      • Jen

        Me too! I had no engorgement and have absolutely no idea what “let down” feels like. My supply was next to nothing . When I stopped pumping/trying to breastfeed, I had no pain at all. I figured it was all because of my PCOS. The other possibility is that my breasts are actually made of marshmallows.

    • Amy M

      Yeah, I had some milk, but only minor engorgement, no leaking ever. I did get mastitis, must have been from pumping (well that and the constant plugged ducts) since I didn’t nurse them directly after we left the hospital. When I stopped after a few weeks…it was no big deal. No real engorgement, what little was there quietly dried up. Honestly, it never really bothered me that my boys got very little breastmilk, though I do wonder exactly what went wrong….likely a combination of factors.

    • jenny

      Totally agree. I had far, far, far, FAR more pain and problems with engorgement and oversupply with the baby I did breastfeed – I am talking months of problems – than with the baby I pumped milk for. I gradually lost interest in pumping and began to do it only to relieve engorgement, and my milk dried up easily and painlessly in less than a week. I suspect if I had never pumped in the first place, my milk would have dried up pretty painlessly all on its own.