Is The Alpha Parent a parody?

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I’m embarrassed to admit that it took this long for me to figure it out: The Alpha Parent is a parody!

You know, for a while there Allison Dixley had me going. But then I realized no one could really be that obnoxiously sanctimonious about something as trivial as breastfeeding or that exquisitely vicious toward women she claims she wants to support. She’s just satirizing militant lactivists by taking their tactics to absurdity.

Wait, what? What do you mean it’s not a parody? Surely you jest!

Do you mean to tell me that Dixley, who portrays herself in her logo with her breast being suckled and a halo on her head, is so insecure that she publicly pats herself on the head for a basic biological function she is fortunate to have no trouble accomplishing? Is she equally proud of herself for having a pancreas that makes it possible for her to regulate her blood sugar without supplemental insulin?

Are you saying that her cunningly honed viciousness accurately represents the way she feels? But that’s pathological!

You mean the woman spends hours creating text and artwork to deliberately wound other mothers? Remember when she wrote this?

Breastfeeding is like Marriage. You can’t cheat on it and expect it to work.

Do you mean she seriously views women who combo feed as cheating on their babies? Or more accurate, she hopes they view themselves as unfaithful?

Or how about when she depicted a bottle of formula in one of those emergency fire alarm boxes, with the caption “Break Glass in Emergency”? Does she really think formula is only appropriate in emergencies? Or is she simply trying to tear down women who use formula?

Consider today’s gem:

formula feeder excuses

I thought that she was just trying to illustrate the post I wrote earlier today, when I explained:

… Cognitive dissonance makes it impossible for lactivists to contemplate the high frequency of breastfeeding difficulties because, according to their way of thinking, breastfeeding is natural, therefore breastfeeding is good, therefore breastfeeding works perfectly. When confronted with women who have breastfeeding difficulties, lactivists face two choices. Either they can acknowledge that natural is not always best or they can pretend that women who are having problems with a natural function are doing it wrong or not trying hard enough.

I figured she was just trying to help me out by illustrating the absurd belief that there are no legitimate reasons for not breastfeeding. And now you’re telling me that she actually believes it?

Wow, I’m shocked. Apparently Dixley gets her jollies by mentally torturing mothers who make different choices than she does. Apparently her self esteem is so pathetically low that she can only feel good when tearing others down.

But then I guess she’s doing what comes naturally to her … being a jerk.

  • Nathan&Shelley

    You’re a jealous idiot! Yes, nature does know best. We’ve almost gone for formula a couple of times, but why substitute natural milk for synthesised milk? Would you eat a synthesised tomato? Swallow a tomato pill? The more generations that decide to bottle feed, the less genetically equipped women are going to be for breastfeeding. You don’t use it, you lose it – simple evolution. But then, evolution is blasphemy where you’re from. I agree there is a tinge of superiority to thealphaparent, but perseverance through the constant trial that is breastfeeding should come with some pride. We are human beings, we make free milk. Fuck all companies that try selling us fake, man-made milk.

    • Young CC Prof

      Actually, that isn’t how evolution works. Unless you are suggesting that women who don’t produce enough milk should simply allow all their babies to die.

      Are you suggesting that?

    • demodocus’ spouse

      use it or loose it? Like our tailbone and appendix? the wings on emus and ostriches?

      • PrimaryCareDoc

        And nipples on men!

    • fiftyfifty1

      “the constant trial that is breastfeeding ” … “We’ve almost gone for formula a couple of times” …!!???

      I can’t understand these statements of yours. Breastfeeding is natural and easy. It’s Nature’s perfect food and perfect delivery method. If you are doing it right it is not hard. If it is hard, you have nobody to blame but yourself. You are scare-mongering, pure and simple.

  • CanDoc

    I had avoided it until now, but finally I went to the Alpha Parent’s website, if only to see the described halo. Just, wow. It reads like a total parody, right down to the sanctimonious halo picture. Just another dumb site, flavour of the month, I think unlikely and unvaried enough to gain a large following for very long.

  • Busbus

    This is slightly OT: Lower down, someone mentioned boiling donor milk on a stove to “inactivate” HIV… To my horror, I just found that a popular (NCB promoting) mother-baby-center close to where I live recommends that on their webpage, too! (And they store and give out informal milk donations…) MDs or other experts here, could you please weigh in…? It sounds ludicrous to me…but what do I know? Can that possibly be safe??

    • Young CC Prof

      You can kill blood-born pathogens by boiling, but that’s a full rolling boil for 10 minutes, 20 to be safe. (Milk pasteurization exists and is effective.) Viruses are less heat-sensitive than bacteria, though, and “gentle heating” is crappy instructions.

      Even given proper instructions, it’s tricky to boil milk without burning it, and I think recommending that ordinary folks pasteurize their babies’ milk at home is pretty irresponsible. Look at the salmonella outbreak going on right now. We all theoretically know how to cook chicken safely, but doing it exactly right is very hard, and thousands of people are still screwing it up and giving themselves food poisoning.

      • Busbus

        Thanks, Young CC Prof! I just found these two articles about heat pasteurization of HIV positive breast milk..
        http://www.hindawi.com/journals/idog/2005/894027/abs/
        and a response here
        http://www.hindawi.com/journals/idog/2006/095938/abs/

        Since the results are so spotty, I certainly wouldn’t want to rely on it! Plus, even if Holder pasteurization works, the first article says:

        “Pasteurisation at 62.8C for 30min leads to a reduction in IgA, lactoferrin, lysozyme, cell number and function [14].
        Holder pasteurisation has also been shown to significantly lower the concentrations of vitamin C (36%), folacin (31%) and B6 (15%) [15]. Pasteurisation also reduces enzyme activity including lipase, amylase and lactoperoxidase [16] along with serumstimulated lipolytic and serum-independent lipolytic activity [17].”

        (Whatever that means… but I’d rather take my chances with Enfamil :-))

        • Young CC Prof

          So pasteurizing breast milk DOES make it less nutritious, including killing those antibodies that the natural types are so hyped about. (That’s the IgA). Interesting!

          *Please, anyone reading this, this is NOT a reason to feed your child questionable breast milk without pasteurizing it, it’s a reason to not use donor milk unless it comes from a properly screened milk bank!

          • Busbus

            The second article says that typically, Holder pasteurization (ie, low heat, long time) kills more nutrients than shorter, hotter (“flash heat”) pasteurization methods, though it doesn’t say how much difference there is. I believe that the private milk sharing internet sites recommend the Holder method because it’s the one that you can best approximate at home. So, I’d assume that government regulated milk banks use a better pasteurization method than this one, but DIY home pasteurization certainly seems to have a negative effect on the milk!

            (And of course I totally agree with your caveat – don’t feed your baby unpasteurized donor milk, or any unscreened donor milk at all!)

          • Busbus

            For the sake of accuracy, I want to add that the first article I linked is not a study, but a case report, and the second one is a response to that report.

          • lilouisianagal

            So better to give modified cow’s milk or non-milk than human milk with slightly fewer immune boosting properties? Flash heating is used in HIV positive nursing moms to prevent transmission and is easy to do with minimal damage to the milk.

          • Wren

            If it were my baby, no way in hell would I be giving potentially HIV infected milk when there are other options available.

          • Trixie

            In the case of risking HIV transmission, in a first-world country, yeah. Absolutely. It’s better to feed formula than feed HIV positive milk that’s been pasteurized at home.

          • An Actual Attorney

            Have any citations for that?

          • lilouisianagal

            In our area that knocks out anyone with a baby who is not a premie in the NICU (even regular NICU babies don’t qualify). You can screen your own donations (ask for medical records of tests). See Human Milk 4 Human Babies or Eats on Feets for more info on mom-to-mom milk sharing.

          • Trixie

            I’m saying this as a proud former milk bank donor. Getting donor milk from strangers on the internet is stupid and risky. Also, the online trade in breastmilk is diverting potential donors away from REAL milk banks who safely give screened breastmilk to the real NICU preemies who actually need it and are at risk of dying of necrotizing enterocolitis without it. If you want there to be enough left over for less critical infants to use, then the solution is MORE milk donors going through official channels.

            Because every time I see a Human Milk 4 Human Babies post where somebody wants breastmilk for her 9 month old because she’s not pumping enough at work, or whatever, it makes me want to scream. There are preemies going without because of a lack of supply, and 99.9% of the people asking for milk on HM4HB have babies who would be just fine on formula.

          • Young CC Prof

            Exactly, that’s as it should be. In preemies, donor milk decreases the risk of serious complications or death, and for preemies, death is a serious concern. In other babies, it does not decrease the risk of death. And most moms soliciting donor milk have normal healthy babies who are not at significant risk of death.

            I’m thinking of becoming a milk donor after the baby is born, if I manage to build up enough supply. But only for preemies, or other unusual medical situations. The other babies will do fine on formula.

          • Trixie

            I’m just seeing this now, but the type of pasteurization that HMBANA milk banks tend to use (Holder pasteurization) does retain most of the IgA. Of course that’s different than boiling it on the stove.

        • Guest

          What about freezing? Does it affect the quality?

  • Seattle Hannah
    • wookie130

      Thank you for sharing this. I used donated breastmilk to supplement my own miniscule supply of breastmilk the first two weeks of my daughter’s life. The donor milk was from a hospital-run milk bank about and hour away from my home. I am actually glad that I was unaware of these milk-sharing web sites at the time, because I was so guilt-stricken and depressed about being diagnosed with insufficient glandular tissue (IGT), that I probably would have bought into the woo, and purchased milk from these sites. Now that I’m comfortable with formula feeding, and am hormonally and psychologically in my right mind, I would NEVER purchase breastmilk from ANYONE, for the very reasons the article stated. I realize one could argue that the amounts of bacteria found in the breastmilk was too small to make a child sick, and that “back in the day” women used to breastfeed each other’s babies, and the availability of wetnurses, etc., but this is a different age, and there is no excuse for taking even a small gamble out on the health of your child by purchasing breastmilk from strangers. And yeah, TAP would be all over that article, ripping it apart, and doing her best to debunk it entirely.

      What I fail to understand about TAP, is that the central focus of her blog is mainly breastfeeding. Is the the only contribution she has made to her own children…her breasts? Why is breastfeeding the only thing that really seems to matter to her? It’s creepy, really. I would personally hate to be that hung up on something, that I fail to see the 65,000,000 other issues that are more important in my child’s life and future.

    • Guesteleh

      “We worried at first,” she said. “We wanted to be mindful that the donors were healthy, but there was never a moment when we were afraid. We’ve had the milk of about 30 women and have never had a problem.”

      Now imagine this sentence as follows:

      “We worried at first,” she said. “We wanted to be mindful that my sex partners were healthy, but there was never a moment when we were afraid. I’ve had unprotected sex with 30 people and have never had a problem.”

      Not the same thing? The hell it isn’t.

    • Anj Fabian

      TAP posted a reply to that article, but now I think she’s removed it. Her answer to unsafe donor milk was “Hypocrisy!”.

      I’d think the answer to that for someone who allegedly supports breast milk sharing would be to increase measures needed to ensure safety. But y’know, when ideology trumps everything, including health and safety – I don’t expect much more than chanting her mantra “Breast is BEST!” .

      • areyouserious

        yet you comment on all her posts on facebook…..

  • Guest

    Does Allison Dixley really exist? I mean, has anyone ever met her IRL? I wouldn’t be surprised if she was an online persona of some misogynist asshole, created to mess with women. Or maybe one of those AP/breastfeeding “experts” who wants to reinforce their agenda and sell books, accessory etc.

  • Paulette Gansberger

    Okay, is it just me or is every triumphant Tuesday on her a page a white lady? Breastfeeding is beginning to sound like it belongs on “things white people like.”

  • I don’t have a creative name
    • Young CC Prof

      Of course, all the comments are nonspecific ragging on formula. I think they already found it.

  • jenny

    OT – As a general rule, I don’t typically think people who choose home birth are selfish. I wouldn’t choose it for myself, I’m appalled by the misinformation that passes for fact, I think women in every state deserve a well-regulated and oversighted midwifery, and I’d like to see all that BS go away so people can make informed choices. But I don’t think it’s selfish in and of itself to plan a home birth.

    Then I stumbled over this video on youtube. Warning, it’s graphic.

    http://www.donotlink.com/bLQ

    Surely it’s been posted here before? I am sure this mom loves her baby, but holy HELL, she sounds self-absorbed. Her baby – first baby – is persistent frank breech, so she gets an ultrasound at 35 weeks and the amniotic fluid is so low they tell her they would like to do a c-section immediately. She leaves the hospital, never goes back, and hires a doctor to attend her breech home birth. That baby is so white and floppy when he is born, it’s terrifying. As she posts in her about

    >>”This is the story of my first birth. I am a devoted advocate of natural birth and despite many obstacles on the way we got our amazing home birth by standing firm in our beliefs. It is just like if the challenges along the way came in order for me to get a lesson in what women go through in the conventional care system.

    Last but not least important was of course the support we got from our wonderful midwife Mindy Levy and our doctor Avner Shiftan! Without your burning commitment to us women this would not have been possible. We are forever grateful! Sadly enough, Mindy could not even attend my birth as a fly on the wall, since it would risk her license as a midwife…

    Music: Beethoven’s Spring Sonata, Opus 24, First Movement.

    // So, at around 10,000 views we also reached the fear-mongers, the ignorants and the bitter ones who just like to spread toxic words around them. I will not waste energy on arguing with them since I have more joyful things on my hands. No response is the best response to such heartless provokations. And, just for everybody’s knowledge, this birth proceeded perfectly and Eden was never at any risk. His 1 minute Agpar Score was 9! We were there, so don’t try to evaluate it by merely watching this video! //”<<

    The baby ends up fine, but I am appalled that the whole focus was on the experience, they fought "against the odds" to get this home birth experience, and she is encouraging other women to do this. What if they aren't so lucky? She thinks she went through this so she could learn a less about the "conventional care system"?

    Also, against the odds? No. Just, no. Preemie babies and babies born with congenital illness, moms on bedrest for 16 weeks because of preterm labor, moms with pre-e doing everything they can to go as long into the pregnancy as they can to give the baby the best chance…. these people get to describe their struggles as "against the odds." Not someone fighting to do something risky and medically inadvisable. "He was never in danger." Just because he survived doesn't mean he was never in danger.

    • Turkey Sandwich

      I ran across this video on accident a few months ago and it haunted me for some time. Single most terrifying video I’ve ever seen on the internet. Needless to say it solidified my opinion that vaginal breech birth, no matter how the baby is presenting, is never a good idea.

      • jenny

        I ran across this on accident, too. A friend of mine told me she’d watched a breech birth video because someone in her birth class insisted it would be inspiring. Rather than being inspiring, it was one of the most terrifying things she’d ever seen. I was curious what she meant, so when this video popped up in my sidebar I watched it and immediately got it. My heart stopped when the baby was born up to the head.

        There are ways to make it less risky to deliver a breech baby….. Like doing it in an OR, after ultrasounds to check the positions, with a very experienced doctor. But in your house, without any recent ultrasounds???

        Anyhow, this convinced me that if my next baby is breech, we can just schedule that c-section, fine with me. The risk to the baby alone, and – I’ve had a very painful delivery with a huge headed posterior baby with a nuchal hand, and delivering a breech looked more painful than that.

        • Busbus

          Jenny, I am totally with you. I just watched the video (cringing all the time) and afterwards, I said out loud, “I’m NEVER going to do that. If I have a breech baby, I’m having a C-section.”

          It looked so scary with the body out and the head still inside…. (and painful, too!) It was obvious from context that the baby would be alive, but I still could hardly believe that he was, it just looked so dangerous. Wish I hadn’t seen that! Uuuh, urch, just… no.

          • Young CC Prof

            I’m NOT going to watch the video. I just refuse. But definitely, if my baby hasn’t turned by 36 weeks, I’m scheduling the section! (He’s still a squirrel now, scampering all over the womb.)

            This week’s Doctors Without Borders solicitation (I get a lot of mail from them) was about one of their doctors delivering a breech in a resource-poor environment, and what he had to do to get the baby out alive. It was graphic enough for me.

          • jenny

            Oh my gosh. I can’t imagine. Poor mom and poor baby. 🙁 Talk about traumatic birth. 🙁

          • Young CC Prof

            Actually, the mom in the story was pretty happy. Her baby’s arm was broken, but they were both alive. SHE understood just how dangerous the situation had been.

          • jenny

            Yep, and that’s why I call it traumatic. Having your baby come close to death, and having the doctor making the obvious but I’m sure still heart-wrenching decision to break the baby’s arm rather than let the baby die. No matter how great the outcome is, I bet that woman’s heart will skip a beat every time she things of it. Even though it was a happy outcome, no one should have to go through that, and if she’d had access to better resources, they never should have had to.

          • Ob in OZ

            Consider an ECV if it’s breech

          • schnitzelbank

            I had a (unsuccessful) ECV, done by two lovely OB’s that made the whole thing painless. Baby was head down for a week, and started spinning again when I was getting induced. Was about to get wheeled in for a CS, my OB wanted “one last” ultrasound for positioning, she was thinking I needed a vertical cut because he was transverse and spine-up. One last US on my way out the door and he was engaged again! On went the binder and they cranked the pit. Had him vaginally shortly thereafter! Ya never know!

          • jenny

            I guess the video did not have its intended effect, heh.

          • Lizzie Dee

            The baby was alive – and may or may not have the same number of brain cells that it would have had if born by CS. But that wasn’t really anyone’s idea of a hands off natural birth, was it? (Except for the mother, of course. “If I say the Apgar was nine, the Apgar was nine!”) Looked like it was wrenched out in the nick of time to me.

            The mother was lucky in that she did seem to have a reasonable pregnancy and a baby robust enough to come through this. But body out head stuck is enough to give the rest of us nightmares.

    • Guesteleh

      His 1 minute Agpar Score was 9! We were there, so don’t try to evaluate it by merely watching this video!

      Holy shit.

      • Young CC Prof

        I took out my child on the back of my motorcycle and popped a bunch of wheelies at 85 MPH with no helmets on. Because we didn’t crash, obviously this was a perfectly safe thing to do, and you should try it, too!

      • anion

        Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! Don’t believe your eyes, they LIE!

        I love how they act like an Apgar is something given from on high by the spirits of birth, and not a number they decide on themselves. I could give any baby, even a dead one, an Apgar of nine and run around telling everyone its Apgar was nine, but that doesn’t mean nine was actually accurate or that I assigned it correctly.

        • Susan

          I just timed it and in their defense that baby starts crying at 48 seconds and is screaming at 60. So at worst you could take two off for color and one off for tone. I would have probably given that baby an 8 and one and a 9 at 5. Not that I was there. A minute is a really really long time when you are looking at a apneic floppy pale baby! You don’t wait for a one minute Apgar either to start a resuscitation. That video was scary, and they were really lucky. Who on earth would look at that and think that was good for the baby????

          • Susan

            Also for those who don’t know you time it from when the whole baby is out.

    • Young CC Prof

      There are women in my birth month group on strict bed rest in the hospital, barely on the brink of 3rd trimester, just trying to hang on to the baby a little bit longer to give him a better chance. One of them delivered early this morning, but thanks to her 3 weeks of bed rest, he’s breathing well, over 1 kg, and probably going to be OK. He beat the odds.

      Then there are the women all over the world going through things like this idiot because they have no access to care. They’d do anything to be able to deliver safely in a good hospital.

      Disgusting.

    • Esther

      Avner Shiftan does breech primips at home?!!! OMG. So much for ‘low-risk’. Antigonos, get over here!!

      (he’s a OB/GYN from Tiberias who’s the medical go-to for homebirth in Israel – he published a series of some 700 babies born at home with no major complications IIRC).

      • Antigonos CNM

        I noticed the name, which is Hebrew, but was unsure if he was in Israel or not. BTW, I worked at the local hospital outside Tiberias, Poriyya Hospital, in 1978, when I lived on Kibbutz Lavi for 6 months. Back then it was really terrible there. I understand it is now much better, but that’s not saying much. Back then there was no option for a C/S between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. — the OR was in a different building, and there was only one anesthesiologist, and he was always occupied with regular surgery during those hours. Also, there was no fetal monitor, and we had to boil our instruments in a kettle as there wasn’t any autoclave. The hospital serves a huge [well, huge for Israel] area including part of the Golan Heights.

        Very, very scary. It will only be a matter of time. Israelis have learned from the US: they sue when they are unhappy.

        The claim of 700 deliveries is irrelevant, if patients are properly vetted and the doctor or midwife is lucky. Besides, that is still a drop in the bucket. Shaare Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem has over 1000 per MONTH, and there are three other hospitals in town.

        • Esther

          Apparently, he’s retired (willingly?) from Poriyya and only does homebirths now. Must be nice & pricey. Here’s a link (Hebrew) to a Q&A session with him on the Tapuz forums which states he also does HBACs and twin births in addition to breeches at home. All this in an area with a lot of remote villages and relatively few hospitals. Man’s been lucky, gotta give him that…

          http://www.tapuz.co.il/forums2008/viewmsg.aspx?forumid=1345&messageid=166324084

    • Jessica Nye

      “At some point my water broke, and of course there were plenty” Um, huh? How did she know how much amniotic fluid there was? She was in a POOL OF WATER

      • Antigonos CNM

        It is impossible to determine just how much amniotic fluid there is by the quantity which escapes when membranes rupture. That’s just the forewaters. Most is trapped behind the baby’s head [which, because it is pressed against the cervix, acts as a plug] and body. So, another case of thinking she knows what’s she’s talking about, but doesn’t, really. “A little knowledge is dangerous…”

      • araikwao

        It sounds like she’s bragging about the quantity of amniotic fluid???! “Take that, you oligohydramniotic inferiors!! This mama knows how to make fluid! ” (ok, I may have just made up a word, but it just seemed right, you know? 😛 )

  • Jeffrey Bell

    An example of Poe’s Law.

  • Momofone

    I don’t know why these women get so bent out of shape about formula is the devil. If it was a hundred years ago my baby would be dead most likely. I had GD which made my milk supply inadequate, even though I had been very strict about my diet/monitoring during pregnancy. I’m really thankful our friend SCIENCE has provided me with a safe, convenient, and nutritious way to feed my baby. I’m also pretty sure I’d punch someone in the face for implying I’m a crappie mom for formula feeding:)

    • Tim

      They would just tell you they were “so sad for you” that you couldn’t do the best for your baby, and suggest that you should have gotten milk off craigslist and boiled it on the stove to prevent disease transmission. And accused predatory marketing of making you think formula was a good fall back option.

      • araikwao

        So what’s the point of all that living goodness if you’re just going to kill it by boiling?

        • Tim

          /me puts on goalpost shifting lactivist argument hat
          you know, formula companies undermine breastfeeding
          did i do a good job?

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Breastfeeding is like Marriage. You can’t cheat on it and expect it to work.

    Hmm…feeding a baby is like a long term relationship: You can’t expect a formulaic approach imposed on you by someone who knows nothing about you or the other member(s) of the relationship and expect it to work.

  • Tim

    Wow, they’re oblivious to sarcasm too. Someone just called me sexist for my parody comment on how disturbed I was to see formula being wasted on female babies that were just going to grow up to be baby machines anyway, so why would they need the extra IQ points.

    • Tim

      And now I’m being told that saying “it’s so sad that moms don’t want to sacrifice to do what’s obviously the best for their babies” is not denigrating to women. I give up.

      • rh1985

        Because having unhealthy, depressed, anxious mothers is so good for babies… but I guess magical breast milk outweighs that.

        • Tim

          I’ve been told that formula companies “spend millions of dollars preventing breastfeeding ads from existing” , and my request for evidence of this conspiracy has been met with 20 some odd articles about how formula marketing is bad. And my repeated requests for evidence of the claim that they are “spending millions of dollars to prevent breasfeeding ads from existing” has been met each time with another article about how insidious and pervasive formula marketing is, and further vague claims that i’m “too dumb to read between the lines” and “they buy lobbyists who prevent them from making breastfeeding ads” with zero evidence to support it.

          • Amy M

            huh. What would be the point of a breastfeeding ad? Do they mean various ads for breastfeeding products? I see those in various appropriate places like parenting magazines and babies r us circulars. An ad for the actual act of breastfeeding? There’s no company selling that, therefore no direct marketing for it, unless you count all the insidious and OBVIOUS IN YOUR FACE breast is best messages we get bombarded with from our doctors, government, and the internet.

          • KarenJJ

            To waste money making breastfeeding a ‘public health’ message so that instead of just being hassled by a lactation consultant in a hospital and a couple of busy-body friends or neighbours, awareness is widened so that you can now be harrassed by the postie, shop keeper and old guy waiting with you at the bank…

          • Tim

            I don’t know what she meant. All I know is she insisted that formula companies spend oodles of money preventing breastfeeding ads from existing, yet could not offer a shred of evidence to back this up, and instead offered up tons of information about other things.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Jebus mobus, the breastfeeding calvary has become so dominant that they’ve got formula companies telling everyone that breast is best in their own commercials!!!!!

            That is about as far from suppressing BF as you can get!

          • Young CC Prof

            Indeed. In what other industry do you get commercials proudly proclaiming, “We’re second best!”

          • Mrs Dennis

            C S Lewis. That hideous Strength. P 477. Lololol. I’m so glad I can read! Bless you.

          • Clarissa Darling

            It’s totally ridiculous. Even if formula companies wanted to “stop breastfeeding ads from existing” they couldn’t. Coke can spend millions of dollars running ads claiming their product is the best but, it’s not as if they could stop Pepsi from running their ads. It comes down to freedom of speech and the almighty dollar. If these ladies stopped to think about it *surely* they would realize that the reason breastfeeding itself doesn’t have ads is because there is no product being sold to generate revenue to produce those ads! If someone wanted to put up the funds, they could buy BF ad space on the damn Superbowl if they wanted to! But please, no one give these women the idea of crowd funding a breastfeeding ad. It’s not that I’m against BFing but, I’m afraid to think about the kind of marketing campaign they’d come up with.

          • Mrs Dennis

            That’s the whole point, Matey-boy – when I take evil dastardly steps to prevent things from existing, no evidence exists either. I make it not exist. Mwahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!! (Cough cough splutter).

          • Amazed

            I suppose that at some point, such an add will include breasts. I am curious as to whether they would accept offering theirs. I sure as hell am not volunteering mine.

          • anion

            These are the idiots who cry “Censorship! Violation of the First Amendment!” when a TV network declines to carry a particular program, because they don’t understand the difference between the government and a private entity.

            If somebody wanted to pay for a breastfeeding ad, any TV channel would take the money, and there wouldn’t be a thing the government could do about it. But it’s more fun to cry conspiracy rather than understanding how advertising and free markets work.

          • GiddyUpGo123

            This! Misinterpretation of the first amendment is pervasive in this country and it makes me nuts. The first amendment only protects you from being censored by the government, it does not protect you from being censored by whoever the hell else wants to censor you.

          • Young CC Prof

            Including Internet companies. Servers, platforms, blogs, Facebook, etc all have the legal right NOT to host anything they don’t want to host.

          • A breastfeeding ad would be a PSA. I wouldn’t doubt that formula companies would do their best to thwart those, though I don’t know of evidence of the specific claim you are talking about. Its not that wild of a claim- crazier things have happened between cable and satellite companies trying to secure portions of the pay tv market. why would formula companies work differently?

            Its capitalism. Companies have to do whatever shitty, evil thing they can to get more profit. If they don’t their competition will. etc. Every company works that way. It doesn’t have much to do with the morality of individuals and the way they choose to feed their babies.

          • Young CC Prof

            Actually, I have seen a breastfeeding ad on TV. It was pretty weird, and it involved a pregnant woman riding a bucking bronco or something.

          • Tim

            No, enfamil prevented this from existing, stop lying. What you were really watching was a commercial for nutramigen AA disguised as a bizzare breastfeeding PSA.

          • Young CC Prof

            The commercial was so weird I think you might actually be right. Tried to find it on Youtube but I couldn’t.

          • Busbus

            No, this ad existed. It was part of a 2003 DHHS campaign, but as far as I know it was pulled after too much criticism.

            Here’s one blog post about it:

            http://www.fearlessformulafeeder.com/2011/05/the-bullshit-that-wouldnt-die-the-2003-dhhs-breastfeeding-ad-rears-its-ugly-head/

            I also read about it in “Is Breast Best?” by Joan Wolf, and “Bottled Up” by Suzanne Barston. NOW also issued a response, as did some other organizations and individuals.

            Or did I just fall for sarcasm? 🙂

          • Young CC Prof

            I was kidding about the “it didn’t actually exist” part. I was entirely serious about it being totally bizarre and inexplicable, however.

          • Busbus

            yeah, half way through writing my response I thought, I bet you weren’t serious… 🙂

          • Clarissa Darling

            As Bofa pointed out, formula companies have already capitulated to the BF is best message–they put it in their own ads! They haven’t been successful at keeping breastfeeding literature out of hospitals and doctors offices. They couldn’t even stop mayor Bloomberg from essentially treating their product as a controlled substance. I’m not suggesting I wish they had been more successful at these things, just that if they’re spending millions of dollars on it, they’re not getting a very good return on their investment. If I were Nestle or P&G, I would cut my losses, realize that some moms will breastfeed, advertise to those who don’t and focus on taking market share from my competitors in the formula business. Let’s not forget too that formula sales are a really a very small % of business for such huge conglomerate. They’ve got many, many other brands and products to focus on–most of which will result in longer term brand loyalty than formula will. If they can get you attached to their particular brand of formula, it won’t last more than a year or so. If they can get you hooked on their particular brand of toilet paper, it’s going to pay off a lot more for them in the long run.

          • Clarissa Darling

            And no, capitalism=/=companies have to do whatever shitty, evil thing they can to get more profit.
            I think I’m going to start a blog called the corporate skeptic. Just as “breastfeeding is healthier” is an over simplification of the issue by laypeople who do not understand medicine “corporations are evil” is an oversimplification of the issue by people who don’t understand business. I’m for regulations that enforce corporate ethics. Companies and the individuals who run them should be punished when they do something that causes great harm. But, like, Dr. Amy says “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. A bunch of BF activists on which hunt for maniacal formula manufacturers are not going to get my attention unless they can show me some proof.

          • Tim

            If someone is POSITIVE that this happened, they would be able to provide evidence of it happening – otherwise, how would they know for sure that it happened. This isn’t about vague speculation and conspiracy theories – this was presented as known fact. Known facts have evidence to back them up.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Formula manufacturing companies are very happy to proclaim that ‘breast is best.” Their chief competition is NOT breastfeeding; they know that breastfeeding is hard and most women will quit. Their chief competition is each other and they advertise to get a greater share of the formula market, not to sabotage breastfeeding.

            The emphasis on demonizing formula companies reflects the unwillingness of breastfeeding advocates to acknowledge the truth, that breastfeeding can be difficult, painful and inconvenient. For some reason, lactivists simply cannot tolerate that breastfeeding is not easy for many women, so they deliberately blame everything in the universe except for the real cause for low breastfeeding rates. The real cause is breastfeeding itself.

          • notimpressed

            “Dr” amy……formula companies must state that “breast is best” as they are required to do so by the International WHO Code. Breastmilk IS their main competitor and with all the sanctions and laws put in place about how they are allowed to advertise their product, they are VERY sneaky and crafty with the ways that they can undermine breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is actually very simple! Whilst there are genuine reasons why a woman may struggle, health professionals LIKE YOU (even though you aren’t anymore) are key to sabotaging women’s efforts to breastfeed……and lining Nestle and Danones pockets with more profit! Its all a very neat and elaborate web designed to keep a few companies and organisations rich! Think about the money that the government will lose in tax if women decided to breastfeed instead of purchase formula……I’m very surprised that someone as educated as yourself can’t grasp this!

            The only Jerk here is you. Women like Alison have a tough love approach which I think is needed. Her blogs are designed to inform women, not to emotionally torture them. Implying that women should not hear factual information because of guilt or bullying is incredibly patronising and as a woman, I find that offensive.

            I think that you should take a looooonnnnnnngggg hard look in the mirror before you publicly call people jerks and assholes! Your blog reeks of sanctimony and quite frankly, it’s all bullshit anyway!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Tell them that c-sections are best for babies. Not as good for mom, but she just needs to sacrifice a little, right?

        • Tim

          Obviously. What’s a little surgery compared to doing whats BEST FOR BABY. Mother’s aren’t people after all

  • Burgundy

    The Alpha Parent reminds me “Regina” from the movie, Mean Girl. She has nothing else to show for, so she made everyone’s life miserable to feel better.

    • KarenJJ

      Yep, or Ja’mie King, private school girl doing it tough in public school and making sure you poor people know about it 🙂

      • Burgundy

        I actually googled Ja’mie King. LOL, I will try to check out the show somehow.

      • Dr Kitty

        Summer Heights High is just the funniest thing.
        Ja’mie’s most relevant quote: “I try to avoid other cultures at all costs”.

        On a somewhat unrelated note, the idea of kids in juvie wearing superhero PJs is amazing.

        • KarenJJ

          I’ve been thinking what a nightmare Ja’mie would be as a mother.

          eg (a quote from Ja’mie):

          “People always go, “breastfeeding mothers create better citizens”. But I would say they create better quality citizens. Studies have shown that babies from breastfed mothers are more likely to get into uni and end up making a lot more money. While wife beaters and rapists are nearly all formula fed. Sorry, no offense, but it’s true. ”

          Swapping the words ‘breastfeeding’ for private schools and ‘formula fed’ for public schools.

          • yentavegan

            Life imitating art.

        • anh

          Where has this show been all my life?? There are full episodes on YouTube and I’m in love. Ja’mie is my new idol

  • Lynnie

    I’m looking at the Alpha Parent blog right now, and it’s giving me a headache. I think I’ll go back to watching Goonies and eating icecream with my son and husband.

    • kryssiecat

      HEY YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!

  • Randianne

    “The truly heinous people in this world are formula feeders.”

    “It’s NOT OK to be a formula feeder. It will damn the soul and destroy the life.”

    “All formula feeders are liars and murderers at heart.”

    Do those look like quotes from TAP and her followers? They’re actually quotes from the Westboro Baptist Church with the word ‘formula feeder’ inserted for the word ‘homosexual’. Different topic, but same delusional, hate-filled rhetoric.

    • jenny

      There’s a couple really appalling ones where posters stridently declare that if you are bothered by any of this stuff, you must have a guilty conscience. Oh, and it’s ok if you formula fed because that is what’s BEST for your baby, but any less than the best and you should be hanging you head. Incredible! I really do believe that if they weren’t latched on to the breastfeeding issue, they would have attached themselves to some other cause with the same hateful fervor.

      And when did “best” (and a dubious best at that) become the standard by which we all must parent or flagellate ourselves for not achieving? There are far, far worse things in the world than what these harpies wring their hands about. “Good enough” is good enough for me.

      • Tim

        If you’ve accomplished little else in your life, and you’re a naturally smug person, you have to find something to be smug about, and bodily functions can serve that purpose, as ridiculous as it sounds. Personally I’m super proud of my prostate – I’m going to go lord it over all the men who can’t hold it for 14 hours anymore. I win at life.

        • Awesomemom

          I am smug about my colon, I rarely get constipated and have awesome poos every day.

          • wookie130

            And I celebrate how empowered I feel that my mucous membranes work as well as they do.

        • Durango

          Awesome sphincter here

      • Bekah Sims Andrews

        I’m bothered by those comments and I’ve only ever breastfed.

        • jenny

          Oh me too. I find their comments revolting, and it has nothing to do with the manner in which I feed my children.

      • kumquatwriter

        Latched on! Hah!

  • Clarissa Darling

    I am really going to have to learn to let women like this stop pushing my buttons. It’s one thing to get all fired up after reading something like this on the net but, I honestly worry how I would handle someone like this IRL when I’m all hopped up on post partum hormones. I think the best thing to do would be not to offer ANY excuses to these breast obsessed bozos. I’m practicing the mantra “it’s my business and it’s not up for discussion”.

    • rh1985

      Yep, right now I can just roll my eyes and think how sad the obsession is. When my new baby who will be formula fed is here, I can’t guarantee with all the hormones that I won’t feel hurt/insulted even though I know my reasons are excellent and this is best for both baby and me.

      • jenny

        I could almost feel sorry for them. It must be really miserable being that judgmental, because they probably feel very judged themselves. They probably can’t imagine that other people might not care how they feed their babies, and that if other people do care, it’s none of their business. And it must be really miserable to feel like you always have to be doing your BEST (???) or else you are a failure and should be ashamed.

        Almost. I reserve my actual sympathy for stressed out new moms who could find this type of venom hurtful.

    • anion

      You could also try just looking blankly at them and saying, “Excuse me?” And then when they repeat it, look blankly at them and say, “Excuse me?” Stay calm, and just keep repeating that–no matter what they say, continue to look blank (even a little disdainful, tired, or annoyed). (“Do I know you?” is also useful here, but “Excuse me?” might make them think you don’t speak English, which can be fun.)

      There’s an amusement value to it that you might enjoy.

      • Dr Kitty

        “I’m terribly sorry you feel that way”
        “Really?”
        “I’m not sure why you felt I would want to hear that”
        “Your comment is noted”
        “Thank you, but I have a strict rule about ignoring unbidden advice from strangers”
        “I think you have mistaken me for someone you know”

        Icy politeness is the key.

        • Antigonos CNM

          And SO British, Dr. Kitty! 🙂

          • Dr Kitty

            True.
            The Irish solution to interfering busybodies is to swear loudly at them and throw a swift left hook if they don’t go away.
            🙂

    • An Actual Attorney

      Channel Carolyn Hax. Just flatly say, “wow.” With big open eyes and a straight mouth. Works for all kinds of occasions.

      FWIW, my wife (who did not gestate An Actual Kid) was looking forward to executing her plan if someone asked her why she wasn’t BFing. She planned to burst into tears, scream “I can’t!” and run away. But no one ever asked her. No one seemed to notice.

      • GuestB

        I find people don’t care that much in the DC area. Maybe in Takoma Park, but there’s not too much woo elsewhere.

        • An Actual Attorney

          We’re not Eugene OR by any means (thanks FSM), but there’s still the midwifery practice at GWU, which seems to be plenty popular, and other pockets of nuttiness.

    • antigone23

      Fortunately, most people know better than to be that rude in person. I wonder how TAP and her followers act when they can’t hide behind their computers.

      • rh1985

        Much less tough and a-hole ish, I imagine.

      • jenny

        Apparently, I live in crunch city. I know at least a few people in real life who are this sanctimonious. I once had a 20 minute argument with a woman who said, “And don’t you agree that it’s selfish for a woman who doesn’t plan to breastfeed to have babies?” I was like, “NO!” Twenty minutes, folks. But she really thought I was going to agree with her – that’s the common denominator. If I was a known formula feeder she just would have judged me silently.

        • amazonmom

          I would reply with “don’t you think people who don’t know what they are talking about should remove their head from their ass?”

          • jenny

            Twenty minutes of bodily autonomy, nobody’s business, everyone’s needs are different, and I eventually ended the argument by saying that I was done, and that I refused to believe she really felt that way because no one could possibly be that much of an asshole, and ha ha, I know you like to argue, but let this one go. Surprisingly, she did let it go. It’s a mystery.

            Next time I will skip straight to, “I don’t believe you really mean that, that would make you such an asshole and you seem like such a lovely person.”

    • Amy M

      Yeah, honestly, I’ve never gotten shit from anyone in real life. Maybe I’m just lucky. Maybe I live in a low-sanctimommy area. I know there are pockets of sanctimomminess here in MA, I read a publication called “Baystate Parent” which has some good stuff including an event calendar, but also has its share of articles about naturopaths and midwives. I work in science, so the woo maybe doesn’t penetrate so deep there? But yeah, the anonymity of the internet definitely gives people license to be orders of magnitude ruder than they would be in person.

    • KarenJJ

      I did come across one at work. Problem was she’d been friendly and helpful up until then, so I couldn’t be rude. I just answered briefly, politely and didn’t give much specific information. But it was awkward and she did bring up breastfeeding again the next time I was pregnant. She was a co-worker although not in my area, so I didn’t want to shut her down completely, but it was annoying.

      • Clarissa Darling

        These kinds of interactions are what I’m most worried about. It’s one thing to tell off a complete stranger but, it’s harder to do it with someone you are expected to frequently see and get along with. Luckily I grew up in the Midwest so I know how to to play polite even if I’m really saying “shut up you ass” on the inside. I just worry my hormones will overrule my upbringing at some point if I’m pushed to far!

    • Anka

      Oh, you’re nice! I can’t wait for someone to come up to me when I’m formula feeding in public (I combo-feed) and tell me straight out that “breast is best,” so I can tell them straight out to f**k off and die, in those exact words. And then threaten to call the police on them if they do not go away and stop harassing me. Lactivism was largely responsible for my postpartum depression (and that of many of the people in my PPD group therapy sessions), and I will always have a chip on my shoulder the size of a can of formula about it.

      Even when people I know and don’t dislike ask me if I’m breastfeeding, I always say I’m combo feeding, and if they attempt to even hint that breast is best, which often happens, I go into my hypothyroidism and my attempts to remedy my low milk supply in such excruciating, obnoxious detail, and I talk and talk until they regret having said anything and slide away at the earliest opportunity. Because really, they deserve it. They want to preach at me, they need to experience real consequences. Maybe if they experience consequences every time they offer unsolicited “support” or “advice,” they will eventually STFU. Maybe I’m an optimist, but I hope so.

      • Clarissa Darling

        I’m really not so nice. I’m trying to remain zen for my own sake not theirs. I KNOW how worked up I can get when I’m angry and I’m afraid a f**k off and die response would end badly for me. No baby needs a mom in jail for going Jerry Springer in the formula aisle! 🙂 Disclaimer: I’ve never done anything remotely close to that but, I’ve also never been so hormonal and you know what they say–prepare for the worst. I really think these women have given up their right to ANY polite response upon being so rude as to stick their nose in a stranger’s business. Luckily where I’m from, most people still have some shame about confronting people over personal matters directly. They might talk about you behind your back or post on a website how “sad” they are for you but, as long as I don’t have to hear about it, fine. Based on what I’ve heard, I would never want to move to a place like to Oregon/Washington–it seems like the crunchy/crazy has really taken root over there.

  • Regressive thinking that disempowers mothers…anyone who needs to tear down the choices of others in order to feel good about their own choices to that degree has serious issues.

  • AlexisRT
  • Bomb

    This week we found out my breastmilk has an avg of about 10 calories per ounce. That would be why my four month old weighs 10 pounds and is failing to thrive. Excuse, whatever, don’t care. I’m a fearless formula feeder now.

  • Rochester mama

    It’s sad that when searching for REAL breastfeeding info on the internet her site is big enough to come up on the first page of google. I admit to reading her and feeling awful in those first few weeks of sleep deprived, insomnia haze. I’m just glad I was keeping a nursing journal so I could see in black and white 10 hours at the breast each day got my baby no weight gain and less than expected/necessary diapers and made the decision to switch.

  • peanutmama

    how many kids does she have?

  • Burgundy

    I saw a milk sharing post on the Alpha Parent, the poster said you can inactivated HIV over the stove top at home. How do you do that? Wouldn’t heat kill everything else in the milk? Please tell me they are joking.. OMG, I totally wish it is a parody site.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      you can inactivated HIV over the stove top at home.

      Bad plan.

      • Mrs Dennis

        Do you get a refund if your baby contracts HIV?

        • anion

          If your baby contracts HUV, then you accept that’s what God intended/the baby wanted. Some babies just aren’t meant to not have HIV, you know.

          (God, it feels slimy typing that even as sarcasm.)

          • Mrs Dennis

            Maybe you can cure the HIV by warming the baby gently on the stovetop…

  • anh

    I remember going to see Margaret Cho perform in college, shortly after it broke that Rush Limbaugh was addicted to pain meds. She talked about how she was offended by him all those years, but now she felt like cutting him some slack, because hey, he was high ALL THE TIME.

    I always felt kind of bad for Alpha Parent. I assumed she was either a drug addict or perhaps had a borderline personality disorder. but maybe she just wrote the ultimate parody site. Sasha Baran Cohen may contact her soon. She’s the Borat of Breast Feeding

    • SkepticalGuest

      Sociopath. Seriously, I vote for sociopath. The mean-spirited manipulative way she attacks other moms is highly suggestive of it.

      • Anj Fabian

        The lack of funny suggests it as well.

        Someone who is trying to be funny usually pokes fun at themselves from time to time.

    • Busbus

      The Borat of breastfeeding – I love that! You made my morning 😀

      However, to be fair, Borat is much more likable… And I mean, “in character” 😉

  • SkepticalGuest

    As I pointed out in the comments of another Dr. Amy post, thealphaparent.com posted a story about a little girl born without a nose. Yes, without a NOSE.

    And what is The Alpha Parent’s FIRST words of wisdom about the situation: “How could this little girl ever manage to breastfeed with her mouth as her only airway?”

    You can’t make that shit up. Well, at least I couldn’t. Not even as a parody. Because it is just so cruel. I wonder if she’s a sociopath.

    In fact, I wonder if a lot of these breastfeeding nazis who berate other women’s choices are really just sociopaths at heart, sociopaths who maybe don’t even give a shit about breastfeeding.

    • wookie130

      Yeah, I read this story a little while ago. She’s a beautiful child, despite the facial deformity. What was sad to me, was how the story focused completely on how the child was going to breastfeed…Honestly, if that were my child, that would probably be the least of my worries.

      • SkepticalGuest

        She is a beautiful child, and I’m thrilled to see her thriving in spite of this really rare condition. It does seem the mom is going her best, her obsession with breastfeeding aside.

    • rh1985

      I just finished reading it. It’s sad how focused the mother was on breastfeeding. Pumped milk wasn’t even good enough.

      • SkepticalGuest

        I could almost have some sympathy for the mom’s obession with breastfeeding. I can imagine she was feeling helpless in the face of this situation and clung to breastfeeding as a tangible thing she could do to help her child. She wouldn’t be the first mom with a seriously ill child to do that.

        Also, to be fair, I’m sure she was asked to focus on breastfeeding for the “Triumph Tuesday” series at The Alpha Parent and not on anything else.

        All that said, The Alpha Parent’s inappropriate comment is utterly, totally inexcusable.

        • rh1985

          I can get the not wanting a sick/fragile baby to have formula. I’d try to pump if I had a preemie or sick baby (but I might not be able to due to medications, I’d at least discuss it with a doctor and see if it could be done) but why was the breast milk in a bottle so inferior?

          • Young CC Prof

            Exactly. Although I want to breastfeed, I don’t want to pump. However, if I had a preemie or sick newborn, I’d do my best to express milk for the staff to feed to my baby. (Breast milk actually has been shown to reduce the risk of at least one serious complication of prematurity.)

            However, direct breastfeeding of NICU babies is generally not practical, for one reason or another. The littlest ones can’t suckle and need to be fed through tubes. Some might have obstructed breathing, or be attached to various machines. You can’t nurse them, you can’t take them out to parties or dress them in the beautiful layettes you bought, not yet. DEAL.

          • Ainsley Nicholson

            Regarding “I want to breastfeed, I don’t want to pump”…I would like to suggest that you give pumping a try anyway. I don’t think I would have been able to breastfeed without my pump. With my first baby, my milk came in so strong that the baby was effectively trying to nurse on a brick wall. Without the pump to draw out the excess, she would not have been able to latch on. With my twins, I pumped and bottlefed for the first few weeks. The fact that the medical staff could see that my milk was in and sufficient allowed them to release the babies from the hospital at the same time as I went home, two days after the birth. When they were big enough to breastfeed directly, they did. With my youngest (who is just one month old), I felt OK about giving formula a few times before my milk came in (thank you Dr Amy!), but having the pump helped him transition to expressed breast milk more quickly, and allowed my husband to give me a few nights of uninterrupted sleep to recover after the birth. This baby is now breastfeeding just fine, but will be drinking expressed breast milk during the day after I go back to work, and nursing mornings and evenings, just like my older children did. The pump is a useful tool, and can definitely facilitate breastfeeding.

          • Young CC Prof

            Oh, definitely pumps have their place in building supply and getting around temporary problems or interruptions. But I don’t want to be feeding the baby primarily expressed breast milk, pumping on a daily basis for months at work, etc. The idea just does not appeal to me. Maybe it’s irrational, but that’s just how I feel.

            Of course, like I said, if I had a NICU baby I’d pump and deal with it.

          • Tim

            It’s not irrational – I don’t think there is a single woman alive who pumped continuously and thought it was in any way a positive experience. My wife thought the thing was a torture device that only existed to make her life miserable.

          • kumquatwriter

            I pumped during the few months I went back to work, mainly because it was too painful not to, engorgement wise. I hated it! I was lucky that nursing worked easily for us and we had no problems giving formula too. Pumping still sucked. I called it “the cattle cart”

          • Ainsley Nicholson

            Yeah, I wouldn’t want to exclusively or primarily pump either…I have lots of admiration for mothers that do that. My experience with pumping daily at work was that it was a huge hassle when my workplace didn’t support it, and no big deal once I was working somewhere that provided locked rooms for pumping. I was still very glad when that first year was over and I could put away the pump! After the first year, I was able to nurse mornings and evenings only, and keep up my supply until weaning. Don’t know if that would work in the first year…just tossing out the idea for consideration by anyone that wants to breastfeed beyond maternity leave, but not pump.

          • Young CC Prof

            I have a pretty long maternity leave arranged (7 months) so I’m hoping I can do that. The baby would have formula and baby food in the daytime, but keep nursing before and after work.

            We’ll see what actually works for us, but that’s what I’m hoping for.

          • Busbus

            I actually wonder about the long-time pumping moms (by that I mean more than a year). It seems to be based on a total fetishization of breastmilk. Why not just nurse evenings and mornings and have the toddler drink other liquids during the day? Honestly, I just don’t get it. The toddler is getting immunity benefits (as far as they are there) through the nursing after work, and they are eating solids anyway!

            And pumping is SUCH a pain and so limiting and kind of awkward at work in the best circumstances (who wants to talk about *that* with their colleagues!?) and positively horrible in the worst (and that assumes that you’re one of the “lucky” ones for whom it’s even possible in the first place). I don’t understand how anybody could think this was a good idea, or promote or encourage it in any way. It’s a constant bother; for many women, it cuts into their break times and keeps them from socializing with their co-workers; I’ve heard women say that they took lower-level jobs that make it possible for them to pump; and even where that is not the case, I am sure in most work places it will definitely not help your career. Working mothers have a ton on their plate as is, and a lot of things working against them in the work place, why add this huge burden for something that cannot possibly have more than extremely tangential benefits for the child?

            Given all this, I actually find promoting this practice almost evil. I don’t give “kudos”. I think it is a completely unnecessary sacrifice, period. The only reason people are doing it is because they have been duped by the breastfeeding propaganda and believe that “every drop” will make their child smarter and healthier. And because some AP/breastfeeding advocates make it seem as if it was a huge disservice to your child to be working at all, and so “at least” you can give him “your best” (ie, breast milk) to alleviate your guilt and show that you care after all.

            I see it differently when pumping serves to keep up a woman’s supply – if this is necessary to breastfeed at all, and breastfeeding is important to you – I get that. But pumping just for the sake of pumping..? I find it crazy that it has come to a point where some women have come to believe that this is what they need to do.

          • FormerPhysicist

            I pumped well over a year. Not because of fetishization, but because I had such an oversupply that I had to. I was nursing morning and evening (and sometimes night) and I wasn’t ready to give that up, but I blew up during the day. If I didn’t pump at least once during the workday, I was in pain, giant, and leaking everywhere.

            I had a lockable office, so it was no big deal.

            I do agree that it’s crazy if people believe that’s what mothers NEED to do. It just worked for me.

          • Busbus

            I hear you. Maybe there are more situations where people don’t have a choice if they want to continue to breastfeed than I am aware of…?

          • Busbus

            The other issue is pumping exclusively. I feel bad for every mother who has set her heart on nursing and it doesn’t work out, and I can understand why you would pump for a while, be it in hopes of getting BF to work after all or just to give this to your baby now. But pumping for months and months or even years? I do feel that most people wouldn’t do that if they didn’t have hugely inflated ideas of what the benefits of nursing are. In fact, I sometimes think that besides guilt-ridden formula feeding moms, pumping moms are another victim of unscientific BF propaganda. Not to mention that I don’t think there are any studies that have studied pumping per se – as far as I know there is debate about the nutrient composition of stored and especially frozen and reheated breast milk. Plus, if you pump exclusively, it takes away time you could spend cuddling your baby. So, you do all this…for what?

            I don’t mean this to be unsupportive towards other mothers, and I hope my post above doesn’t come across that way. But I think it’s a good idea to actually discuss if these things are really worth it – on a scientific basis *and* on an emotional/practical basis. Obviously, every mother needs to decide for herself what works for her. But I think it’s crazy to assume that pumping is “automatically good” (like most in AP/NCB/BF-advocacy circles do), especially since it involves so many downsides for the mother.

          • Young CC Prof

            A friend of mine had late-preemie twins. After two weeks of being fed rapid-flow bottles in the NICU, they had no interest in the trickle of milk coming from the breast. (One bottle won’t cause “nipple confusion,” but apparently exclusive bottle-feeding for the first few weeks of life can.)

            And there were two of them, and her supply was there, but not awesome. She pumped until a month after they came home, but finally she realized that they were never going to take the breast, and that there was no possible way she could continue to care for two tiny infants AND pump hours every day.

            She cried when she finally gave it up, but 6 years later she’s sure she made the right choice, both to pump when they were newborn and to stop trying when she did.

          • Ainsley Nicholson

            “Nipple confusion” is misnomer- “nipple preference” is more accurate. The baby is not confused…he has developed a preference for the faster/easier feedings from the bottle.

          • Elaine

            I work rotating shifts and so the solution of “just do formula during working hours” isn’t a good option for me. I either have to pump, or I have to do exclusively formula. I opted to pump because being able to breastfeed directly is so darn easy the rest of the time that it outweighs the hassle of having to pump.

            As for working moms who work a regular schedule, idk, but I do think it should be up to them. Pumping isn’t as challenging for some of us as for others. AND, some moms can’t not pump at work and still maintain supply during the off hours, so it is all or nothing.

          • Ainsley Nicholson

            Wow, that’s awesome! Good for you. Returning to work after the baby has started on solids will make pumping a non-issue, I would suspect.

    • Singularity

      The icing on the cake is that she’s circled “Incompetent Medical Staff” on the “Alpha Parent’s Boobie Trap Bingo” card at the bottom of the post. Because I guess SAVING A CHILD’S LIFE counts for nothing the moment you suggest that supplementing just might be a good idea for a baby that is vomiting and not putting on weight and just had a frigging trach put in.

      Sociopath for sure.

      • Tim

        That seriously makes me so sad. Everyone in the NICU was so, so, so awesome to us, and just so awesome in general. The nurse the first day who told us we could bring in clothes from home, and then showed us how to dress her with all the wires and tubes, made us feel like we had a baby.
        One of the nurse practitioners who argued with cardiology fellows to get an echo done, even though they thought she just had pneumonia and did not think cardiac disease was possible. She argued because a resident told us that she thought our daughter had a coarctation of the aorta, and that we “deserved” to know her heart was fine.
        The nurse manager who had an HLHS daughter who was transplanted, and talked to us about their experiences after our daughter was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.
        I just can’t even imagine badmouthing these people. They are all amazing humans, who did so much for us, and I have no way to ever thank them that could possibly express my gratitude.
        The fact that anyone could look on someone who brings their child back from the brink of death with anything less than awe is a sad commentary on humanity.

      • Mrs Dennis

        All those Triumphant Tuesdays stories are full of nasty digs at hospital staff – they lie, cheat, bungle the simplest tasks, are incompetent, ignorant and arrogant, and spend their time trying to sabotage breastfeeding mothers. It never fails; those parents must be a nightmare to work with. Ungrateful, entitled, aggressive, selfish, opinionated; just look at the subheadings in pretty much every story. Why not just celebrate their breastfeeding success? Why badmouth staff like that? Or does Allison edit every story?

        • Young CC Prof

          Maybe it’s just selection bias. Mothers who perceived the medical staff as interfering with breastfeeding are the ones who submit stories there. Mothers who were reasonably satisfied with their care, or who were upset by a different aspect of it, don’t post there.

  • almostfearless

    I just read the whole article, the sad thing is that her daughter had a serious medical condition and ALL she was focused on what how not-breastfeeding made her feel as a woman. Doesn’t she want the best care for her child? I saw none of that. Paragraph after paragraph of her fretting over how she felt as a mother. Totally self-absorbed and it’s rather scary how she fights against medical advice because it doesn’t align with her magical breastmilk is like unicorn dust fantasy world.

    • peanutmama

      that’s what i was thinking too! “this is all about the mother!” i said out loud. geez.

    • Amy M

      Seriously..it’s not like the breastmilk would grow her a nose. That poor baby. I read through the article, it looks like she can have reconstructive surgery at some point. Breastfeeding would be the least of my worries if that were my child…though I can see that in that position that a woman might obsess over the one thing she can control, in this case she can produce milk, she can’t fix her daughter, you know?

    • Awesomemom

      Oh wow I would have hated to have had to deal with that woman. Seriously if she had just consented to bottle feeding and fortifier the poor baby would have been out of the icu a lot faster. Having a hole in your throat to breath through is kind of a big deal and she does not seem to get it.

    • MonaLisa

      That post was so painful to read. First of all, the mom’s first thought is about herself and how her baby’s deformity relates to her ability to breastfeed- not, you know, how not having a nose will affect her daughter’s ENTIRE LIFE. I can imagine how difficult it must have been to be on that NICU team…a mom demanding to take a newborn with a trach out of the NICU? Geez louis. And the way they act like the people providing life-saving care to their baby are the bad guys… clearly they don’t understand the complexities of sick newborns. They were focused on making sure this child, with an exceedingly rare birth defect, didn’t have any of life threatening malformations! So sorry that their number one priority wasn’t how you were going to nurse. As a soon to be MD, I find that attitude so very very offensive….I must never go to that site again if I want to maintain my sanity.

    • Lynnie

      I couldn’t read the whole article.

    • Lisa Cybergirl

      I thought nursing was for the benefit of the BABY, not the MOTHER’S SELF-ESTEEM. Poor little thing!

      • Lizzie Dee

        You have put your finger on why these debates are so irritating. Not just about the mother’s self esteem, but about constructions of mothering that DON’T have all that much to do with the baby, but are framed in such a mealy-mouthed dishonest way that rational discourse gets lost.

    • Dr Kitty

      There was also the snide comment that none of the other parents were doing skin-to-skin or kangaroo care. Perhaps their babies were too sick, perhaps there was a good reason why those things weren’t possible.
      Any way, it read very much like “I’m so much better than all the other NICU parents” which is not nice.

      It was physically easier for the baby to feed from a bottle, but it was more important to the mother that she nurse directly from the breast.

      The mother was, also, still nursing an older child throughout all this.
      At which point I’d perhaps suggest that letting BF go with the youngest because of her unique needs and getting whatever validation she needed from extended BF the older child would have been better all around.

      • rh1985

        I feel kind of baby for that baby that she was made to learn to eat in a more stressful/difficult way.

  • moto_librarian

    She really should be thanking all of us formula feeders. Without us, she wouldn’t be the superior mama that she is today.

  • almostfearless

    “Is she equally proud of herself for having a pancreas that makes it possible for her to regulate her blood sugar without supplemental insulin?” WINS THE INTERNET. On that note, I am starting my “I am not hearing impaired and you should too” blog today. What is wrong with people? Hearing is AWESOME.

    • FormerPhysicist

      Oh good. Please tell me how to accomplish this. I need hearing aids, I feel broken, and the expense is just hideous.

      • KarenJJ

        The expense IS horrific. I need new ones. My existing ones are being held together with a sliver of alfoil between the battery and the terminals to keep them working.

        • deafgimp

          I don’t have the many thousands of dollars my hearing aids would cost (only the strongest ones on the market will work, and those will cost about 8k). I gave up hearing aids many years ago due to cost.

          I believe United Healthcare covers hearing aids, they did at one time but not everyone can get that company and I doubt the ACA insurances will cover hearing aids.

          • KarenJJ

            I’m not in the US but I’m sure your info will help others. I could get free ones from the government if I quit my job and went on disability benefits, but my job is worth more (not just in monetary value because I also like it) then a set of free hearing aids every three years.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Just don’t do it about not wearing glasses.

      But that’s got me thinking…kids give up mocking those with glasses and calling them 4-eyes by about 4th grade. This is basically the same idea.

  • jenny

    My first thought when I saw that was Poe’s law.

    • Rachele Willoughby

      Mine too. I STILL think TAP is satire.

      • SkepticalGuest

        What’s TAP?

        • SkepticalGuest

          Oh duh. Nevermind.

        • Rachele Willoughby

          The Alpha Parent.