Do attachment parents love their children as much as I love mine?

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Dear attachment parents,

I’m beginning to wonder if you love your children as much as I love mine.

Why? Lots of reasons:

As I wrote last week, natural childbirth advocates seem to have a very difficult time bonding to their own babies. That’s the message that I take away from your endless whining about how epidurals, C-sections and bottlefeeding undermine the mother-infant bond. Why do you have so much trouble doing what every other woman does naturally?

I also wrote that I don’t understand why lactivists, who insist that letting a baby cry it out (CIO) causes brain damage if you are trying to convince that baby to go to sleep, appear to have no problems letting a hungry breastfed baby CIO rather than supplement with formula.

But there are other reasons, too. For example, why do natural childbirth advocates insist that a healthy baby “isn’t enough”? It was more than enough for me and for most women who really love our babies. Don’t you love your babies that much, too?

And why do you joke about the “dead baby card”? Is it really a joke if your baby dies during childbirth?

Who in the world cares so little about their babies that they take immunology advice from Jenny McCarthy instead of from a pediatrician, immunologist or public health official? I love my children enough to be sure I get medical advice from medical professionals. Why don’t you care about your babies enough to do the same?

My four children are grown up now, but I love them enough that I would have given my right arm to spare them serious pain or illness, and my very life to save theirs. I still would. It’s not something I planned or sought. It just happened naturally when they were born. So it truly baffles me that you apparently don’t feel the same.

Don’t bother telling me that my words makes you angry. That’s what happens when you feel guilty and defensive about the fact that I am a better mother than you, and you know it.

Wait, what? I’m making you feel guilty? Puh-leese!! No one can make you feel guilty unless you truly are guilty.

I’m not trying to make you feel guilty. I’m just stating the obvious. You clearly don’t love your children as much as I love mine, and if that makes you feel bad, you have only yourself to blame.

*****

Have I gotten your attention, attachment parents? Is your blood boiling at my insinuations?

It ought to be, because those insinuations are deliberately nasty, vicious, and meant to wound in the worst possible way. So why did I write it?

Simple. I wanted to show you what the bilge you spew in your blogs, websites and message boards feels like to those you target. It doesn’t feel good to be targeted in this (highly effective) way, does it? So why are you doing it to everyone who doesn’t mirror your own choices back to you.

Why do natural childbirth advocates insinuate or state that women who choose pain relief in labor are “drugging” their babies?

Why do lactivists imply or state that women who don’t breastfeed are lazy and selfish?

Why do attachment parents muse that the peace would reign across the land if only everyone else were an attachment parent, too?

And, why, in the ultimate irony, do the uneducated fools who are vaccine rejectionists insist that denying their children life saving vaccines is an educated and loving choice, when it is the exact opposite?

Why? Because they want to wound other mothers in the worst possible way. And, much to their glee and self-satisfaction, it works just as intended.

*****

I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here. Perhaps you didn’t know. Or maybe you didn’t truly understand what it feels like to have your love for your children questioned. If so, you can always apologize.

Remove the snarky illustrations and language from your websites. Stop insinuating on message boards that everyone who doesn’t mirror your own choices is lazy and selfish. Stop accusing women who tell you that they were wounded by the memes you posted on Facebook that they feel bad because they feel guilty.

Are you capable of that? Are you able to acknowledge that women who make different choices love their children just as fiercely as you love yours?

I have my doubts. Prove me wrong.

  • Serene Johnson

    Referencing your own articles in no way makes you appear any more credible…

  • jiy

    It is clear from this article that you do not understand attachment parenting. The core of attachment parenting is respect for your child as a person. Read The Continuum Concept and you will understand that attachment parenting has little to do with the traits you mentioned and everything to do with parenting from a place of love and respect for your child as a person instead of property. Breastfeeding is an aspect of AP because it is the natural and normal way to feed a baby. However, it’s about more then vaccines choices, more then birth choices, more then feeding choices. It’s a core belief of respect. It is the golden rule applied to parenting.

  • Kae Murphy

    This article severely lacks maturity. It is purposefully inflammatory, pitting women against one another. Perhaps the intention was a backlash against all the women who had the audacity to express joy at having a wonderful birth and healthy relationship with their children (however that was achieved), but all it leaves is a bitter impression of the author.

  • pinkyrn

    I am actually amazed that Feminist are not all over the push to force women who dont’ want to breastfeed into breastfeeding. Just did a paper for school and I used Feminist theory and breastfeeding promotion. I am happy to help assist any woman who really wants to breastfeed to make it happen. But don’t we need to respect women’s choices?

  • Alyssa

    There are a lot of attachment parents who are none of those things. Many of us supplemented our own newborns and had babies in hospitals, even with pitocin.

    But you can throw us all under the bus with the wolves if it makes you feel better about yourself.

    • Box of Salt

      From Dr Amy’s post (third to last paragraph): “Remove the snarky illustrations and language from your websites. Stop
      insinuating on message boards that everyone who doesn’t mirror your own
      choices is lazy and selfish”

      If you don’t have a website and don’t make rude or snide comments to other mothers about their parenting (internet or real life), this isn’t about you.

      Does your own behavior put you under that bus?

      If not, can you to try to understand why these folks are drawing criticism?

      • Box of Salt

        ^ugh. Extra “to” above.

        • Alyssa

          Because she addressed it to me. 🙂

          I definitely understand the criticism, I am generous with criticism of the sanctimonious posers myself.

  • Dr Kitty

    Hang on, is fed up/peaceful mama now “me”?

    Because if so, it takes a certain type of person to be told not to sock puppet, realise their comments in their current avatar are being modded…and respond by sock puppetry.

    • I thought it was obvious. I assume as well thay Dr. Amy will use the Banhammer next time she’s online. I don’t think this collective of Socks is Ellie (as she posted during Elliegate) but I am requesting Dr A also compare ip addresses to be sure.

      • Susan

        I don’t think it’s Ellie either, and I believe I was the one who may have suggested it, more because I was rolling my eyes like I did with Ellie, than that I believed it was her. Different method to the madness. Though I did notice that Ellie could blog coherently when she needed to when I was trying to figure out if she was real and found her teacher page.

        • Exactly – I requested the ip comparison just to rule it out

          • me

            Yes, please, doc. Tell them that I am not associated with whomever it is they think I’m associated with. TIA!

          • And she has – my apologies for the error.

          • me

            No pblm. These things happen.

    • me

      Um, no. I’ve had the handle “me” for a long time. But thanks for asking.

      • S

        Yeah, “me” comments pretty regularly.

        • I think that there is “me” who comments regularly and also “me” who is a sock.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            This is the real “me.”

          • Thank you! And my aplogies to “me”

      • Dr Kitty

        Good to know, thanks.

  • Dr Kitty

    OT: because I think the Fed up fiesta is coming to an end…

    My daughter asked me what her clitoris was for…
    I dodged it and asked her what SHE thought it was for.
    Apparently, it makes sure that gravity works on your wee wee, so it goes down instead of up.
    I told her she was exactly right…

    Does this make me a bad mother?

    • Lisa the Raptor

      No. I didn’t know what the clit was until I was about 18. So there 🙂

      • Mishimoo

        I learned what it was in a rather comprehensive sex ed class when I was 11. I look back at that class and can see how safe sex-positive + egalitarian it was, but I hated it at the time. (I’d been homeschooled by a hyper-religious mother, then had a year at a private school and finally wound up in a public school. Yay, cultureshock.)

    • Eddie Sparks

      I think that openly and honestly answering kids questions about sex is always a good thing. Although, when they are little I don’t think that it makes much difference to the child. In your example, your daughter is probably completely satisfied with her gravity theory (pretty good theory, by the way!).

      Personally, I found that I was completely incompetent at answering this type of questions, and the practice that I got answering their questions when they were little helped me to overcome MY ISSUES. I was able to develop some skills in the area, which made me better at it when they were older and it was actually important.

      If you fumble an explanation about the clitoris to a four-year old, get embarrassed, stumble over an explanation, can’t find the right words, etc. it doesn’t really matter. Chalk it up to experience and learn from it. Practice again at the next opportunity. If you mess it up when they are teenagers it might mean they are more reluctant to come to you with future questions. Just MHO.

    • Trixie

      I’d just explain that it’s a place where there are a bunch of nerve endings that make it sensitive and sometimes when you’re all by yourself if you feel like touching it, that’s okay. I guarantee you she’s already figured that much out anyway.

      • Dr Kitty

        She’s four.
        We’ve got a call and response thing ( Who wants to see your bottom ? Nobody! What are your private parts? Private!) which came about because she was running about bottomless at every opportunity.

        It can be difficulty trying to stay sex positive and non shaming, but being very clear that you need to keep stuff private.
        My husband is very uncomfortable about the whole thing.
        I’ve told him that there would be no judgement if we told our son he had a lenis and testicles, and telling our daughter she has a clitoris and a vulva is no different. He worries she’ll say something to the wrong person and we’ll be judged, but I’m a lot more comfortable telling her the correct anatomical words rather than making up a baby word.

        This is a child who told a doctor that she had nipples and an umbilicus at age 2. I don’t Some of us have kids who hate slings, some of us have rheumatological and neurological issues which mean that we cannot use slings once our kids hit a certain size.
        I’m a little from column A, a little from column B.

        It doesn’t matter if you use your arms, a sling, a carrier, a carseat or a buggy to get from A to B, and it doesn’t matter if your kid is in your arms, on your lap, on the floor, or in a bouncy chair or buggy once you get there. As long as you and the kid are safe and comfortable there is no reason to be proscriptive about the method, and in fact it is rather ableist to be so sure that no other options are good enough.think “va jay jay” is a winner her.

        • Dr Kitty

          argh ! Copy and paste attack!
          Sorry.

        • Trixie

          Yeah, I think 4 is a perfectly appropriate time to have that conversation. She sounds very bright and like she likes to know the proper names for things and what they do. My point is that she’s probably already observed that it’s there and what it feels like to touch it, and she’s wondering about it. All kids touch their genitals. I had the same conversation with my DS about his penis at around 3.5-4. Saying that it’s private is of course part of the conversation.
          I’d much rather have a daughter who understands her own body and what it’s capable of. And (in the long term, after puberty), a daughter who is capable of making herself feel good without a partner and without shame about it.

        • Eddie Sparks

          “He worries she’ll say something to the wrong person and we’ll be judged”

          Be wary of making parenting decisions based on what other people might think. You could end up catering to the lowest common denominator. Which is setting the bar pretty low indeed …

        • This is just me, but if a four year old told me proudly she had a clitoris and vulva, I would be very proud of her parents for not pretending that her “private parts” are anything to be ashamed of!

  • Lisa the Raptor

    This attitude in itself is unnatural. It is not natural for creatures as smart as humans to let things progress naturally if it leads to a bad outcome. It is not natural for creatures as smart as us to be unable to bypass our hormones and love our kids after any type o birth. A pain-free, safe childbirth is the epitome of a species that has the smarts to carve out their environment. It is unnatural for humans to not fight nature. These people rarely realize how much they do shit on true human nature by evading interventions. Adaptation for the win!

  • Tiff

    I often get just a little offended at this type of attitude. In three of my births (out of four), everything “unnatural” that could’ve happened, did. I had emergency c-sections and because all three were premature, they were whisked away immediately, only giving me enough time to give them a quick kiss. Not one spent under two weeks in the NICU (one at six weeks, four weeks and two weeks). Oh, how could we possibly ever bond? I mean, my babies were bottle fed in the hospital, held by multiple people, “hatted” and all sorts of blasphemy. I did have one child vaginally and full-term and I can truthfully attest to the fact that the bond was no different between any of my children.

  • Antigonos CNM

    Perhaps I am alone in this, but I have serious issues with breastfeeding a child until the age of five, especially if the child is male. Children are NOT asexual beings, and for a woman to continue to nurse to that age implies, to me, that she has sexual feelings toward the child who is no longer an infant, which are probably inappropriate, and in any case the child is capable of recognizing the sexual element and be stimulated by it. I also wonder about the woman’s partner’s feelings. By five there is a competition between son and father, even if both don’t recognize it.

    Perhaps I just have a dirty mind, but I don’t think so.

    • fed-up mom

      “Children are NOT asexual beings, and for a woman to continue to nurse to that age implies, to me, that she has sexual feelings toward the child who is no longer an infant, which are probably inappropriate”

      Do you realize that over half of the world breastfeeds children into and past toddlerhood and the global cut off is 5? Are you saying that across the world women are pedophiles who use their children to stimulate their nipples?

      Why are you Americans so sick in the head? Why do you oversexualize everything including women? Why do you think children are these sexual creatures who like suckling their mother for sexual joy? you don’t think that’s a little twisted???? This commenting post would be the last straw with me. I now know Amy’s followers are delusional rude perverted idiots with no credibility.

      My son never got erections when feeding, nor has he touched my private parts or my butt like his ADULT AND SEXUALLY MATURE father does when we’re having sex. He curls up and sleeps like he has since he was born.

      The only reason why your sick mind thinks breasts are sexual, is because media has turned them into a second vagina. In other societies women walk around with saggy breasts, openly and freely while the men walk around with flat chests. The only thing they cover is their genitals (their actual SEXUAL parts).

      only the sickminded would think this image was sexual. I feel very sorry for you, and others like Amy Tutuer who thinks this way.

      • Antigonos CNM

        My, my [sez I mildly], how defensive you are…

        In traditional societies, breastfeeding stops when the child eats solid food. Further, it is often taboo for a woman to have sex while nursing a child, so the men don’t let it persist indefinitely. 2 years is the average.

        Do you go with your son to kindergarten to give him his 10 a.m. snack?

        • me

          Solids tend to begin after just a few months of age. Certainly by six months. Even conservative estimates put “natural” weaning around age 2-3 (many biblical references depict children nursing until age 4 or beyond). So, obviously children continue nursing after the start of solids (especially considering a 6 month old simply cannot get everything they need from solids alone). Okay, there probably are some societies where a lactating woman isn’t “allowed” to have sex, but that seems like it would be an exception, not what is typical. You would need to define “often” here. I’m thinking that “taboo” isn’t believed as “often” as you seem to think. For many (most) traditional societies women will breastfeed one child until they become pregnant with the next – obviously that isn’t happening if sex during lactation is “taboo”.

          As for your assertion that children are sexually stimulated by nursing…. just wow. You sound really sick and I hope you never nurse your children, regardless of their age. Sorry, but you got problemz. Yuck.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            The bible is not a history book, just for the record. It also has people living 900 years and turning into salt pillars. And I’m going to need a source for that 2-3 years reference.

          • me

            I just mentioned that because Dr Amy likes to point out that even in Biblical times people regarded childbirth as being so awful that they likened it to a “punishment from God”. I happen to be agnostic. But thanks anyway.

            http://jn.nutrition.org/content/131/10/2707.full

            This involves “nonindustrial societies” defines as “one(s) that remained marginal to the emerging capital-intensive industrial world system at the time of ethnographic or ethnohistorical description”

            The average age of complete weaning appears to be sometime between 2 and three years.

            Now. Where’s the reference for it “often being taboo for a woman to have sex while nursing a child”? (Unless she meant with the child actually latched on, but I don’t think that’s what she meant). Where is the reference for children deriving sexual stimulation while nursing? Where is the reference for the notion that women who bf past a certain age having “inappropriate” sexual thoughts/feeling about their children? Where is the reference for her assertion that “the child is capable of recognizing the sexual element and be stimulated by it.”

            But, hey, I won’t hold my breath waiting for someone with deep disturbances to reference her sick rantings. She was right when she said this tho: “…I have serious issues…”

            That one I don’t need a reference for. It’s pretty obvious that she does.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            I didn’t say I agreed with her, but the bible reference was a automatic cringe for me. I’m looking for the excellent article I had read with sources talking about the real world wide breastfeeding rates. It make take me a few if you’ll wait.

          • Lisa the Raptor
          • Lisa the Raptor

            “Only about one-third (36%) of newborns are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. Current breastfeeding patterns are still far from the recommended level and considerable variation exists across regions. Based on data from 37 countries with trend data available (covering 60% of the developing world’s population), the rate of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life increased from 34% to 41% across the developing world between 1990 and 2004. Significant improvements were made in sub-Saharan Africa, where rates more than doubled from 15% to 32% during this same time period. Exclusive breastfeeding rates in South Asia and the Middle- East/North Africa also increased from 43% to 47% and from 30% to 38% between 1990 and 2004, respectively. Western and Central Africa, in particular, experienced significant improvements with rates rising from 4% to 22%, and Eastern and Southern Africa also showed improvements with exclusive breastfeeding rates increasing from 34% to 48%. Rates remained roughly constant in East Asia and the Pacific during this time (9).” http://apps.who.int/rhl/pregnancy_childbirth/care_after_childbirth/yscom/en/

          • Lisa the Raptor

            At those rates it’s not possible that the global average is past two years. If only 41% of babies are fed past 6 months. And these are the improved rates. So it was not a cultural thing as claimed.

          • Lisa the Raptor
          • me

            Again, that’s current rates. Not focused purely on “traditional” societies. And that is what I meant by “natural” weaning – what age would we wean at if formula wasn’t readily available, and we had to hunt/gather all our food? Sure, there will be vast differences between cultures, but 2-3 seems reasonable based on what I’ve read.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            Name some places that qualify as “Traditional societies”. Because I don’t think that they exist anymore. No society is untouched. It’s the basic fallacy of anthropology. The fact is that if we didn’t get his information when societies were “traditional” then we won’t get it back.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            Secondly the claim made above was that the global weaning rate was “Even conservative estimates put “natural” weaning around age 2-3″. When this simply is not possible using the numbers we have. Again, Natural in humans is whatever efforts we need to make to survive. That’s what’s cool about us is our adaptable nature. So it does not surprise me one bit that the “natural age of weaning” changes vastly based on conditions.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            I once spoke with a Muslim woman who told me that her son’s had an inherent right to nurse for two years. That might be traditional, but it’s not natural by any means. SO they are not mutually exclusive either.

          • Tirzah

            what is your definition of “natural”? My daughter was 2 years old and 4 months when she was weaned. WEANED. Meaning: I told her it was time for our breastfeeding relationship to end. Meaning: If I had not told her, it would have continued. Do you not feel as though children act instinctively? Do you feel as though they begin to understand that what they have done since they were born is no longer OK by the time they are 6 months to a year? My son will be 2 next month and at the rate he is going, will be nursing much longer than my daughter. The fact that breastmilk NEVER begins to lose it’s benefits is evidence that it’s what human children are intended to ingest, especially with all the sickness that happens to occur in youth. But phooey on that, right? Because it’s just sooooo unnatural.

          • Young CC Prof

            There is some evidence that breastfeeding in infancy reduces infections, especially stomach bugs. That benefit is gone by a year, no matter how long nursing continues.

            It’s a widespread myth, that breast milk is just packed with antibodies and does a lot to fight infection. In fact, true milk (not colostrum) is fairly low in antibodies. Worse, antibodies are large molecules, very large. They are broken down by the child’s digestive system and cannot pass into the bloodstream. I’d been raised on the idea that breast milk was chock-full of antibodies, and was shocked when I learned the truth, in microbiology class.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            In the first 6 months the maternal antibodies do circulate, and after that they seem to have some activity in the intestines. After a year they are just digested because if they weren’t they could interfere with the child making their own mature antibodies.

          • me

            So it seems we’ve gotten way off topic here. No, bfing beyond a year or so probably doens’t confer a whole lot of “benefit”. But that’s not the point. Antigonos made the claim that it causes HARM. And none of you have provided a single shred of evidence to back that claim. She likened it to some perverse method of gaining sexual gratification by exploiting one’s own child, and that the child would also experience a sexual response. That’s a pretty harsh accusation. One that requires actual proof. Otherwise she needs to retract her BS statement and apologize to everyone that ever breastfed in the history of the world (if it’s sexual to bf a 5 year old, what about a 4 year old? 3 year old? 1 year old? 1 day old? what makes is okay in infancy but suddenly a perverse deviant act at the turn of the page of a calendar?).

            That is all.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            I never said anything like that and I do not believe it to be true, so I am not sure why you are addressing this to me.

          • me

            I just tacked it on to the last post in the thread. I was addressing it to everyone involved. Sorry for the confusion.

          • KarenJJ

            That’s what I was told by an Immunologist at the Children’s Hospital. Antibodies can be absorbed into the blood stream via an infant’s gut but this diminishes over time until the anti-bodies just get processed by the gut like any other protein (eg steak).

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            I would say it is more likely that there is some process by which they are shuttled to the immune system before they reach the stomach, but no one knows yet. All that is known is that for 6-9 months you can find maternal antibodies circulating in an infants lymph and the protective effect can be seen for respiratory and GI infections. Then for a few months more the protective effect is only seen for GI infections. By 15-18 months mature antibodies produced by the child is all that can be found in the circulating lymph.

          • Wren

            Far less confused now. Disqus was trying to tell me Dr Kitty posted this.
            My kids were very capable of learning. My son learned at about 6 months that with teeth he could not get away with biting while nursing. He learned at 7 months how to crawl and with that that touching certain things (sockets, cords, the cats) were not OK. He was maybe terribly advanced though, as he also told me at 9 months that it was time for our breastfeeding relationship to end. His sister kept it up until 35 months, but I seem to remember her learning loads of things in that first year too. Both of them learned that waking me 6 times a night to nurse like they did every day from the day they were born was no longer OK before 6 months.

          • Box of Salt

            Tirzah “especially with all the sickness that happens to occur in youth”
            For your child to be protected by antibodies in breastmilk, you have to get the sickness first.

          • Trixie

            If you’re taking care of a sick baby or toddler, in my experience, you always get the illness too 🙂

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            I actually rarely got what my kids had until they started school. Even if you do it doesn’t matter. By the time you make mature IgA antibodies it will be too late to benefit your infant.

          • AmyP

            Right–the kids don’t have an independent source of really yucky germs until they go out into the world by themselves. You have to go to preschool or daycare to meet the really bad bugs.

          • Box of Salt

            The second kid can outsource germs from his/her older sibling at school. That’s what happened at my house – and the younger one always had the bug worse (the older one might briefly have a runny nose; the younger one would also run a fever then end up with an ear infection – and yes both were breastfed).

          • AmyP

            Yeah, we had the same thing. My husband made me pull our 3-year-old from preschool after our infant was hospitalized for a night with the rotavirus the 3-year-old brought home from preschool.

          • Trixie

            In my house, the older kid who isn’t nursing gets sicker than the toddler who is.

          • me

            With mine, it is pretty independent. My husband and my middle child always get it the worst (even when my middle was still nursing). Me and my oldest are never down for more than a few days, and she rarely misses school, despite not having gone to daycare or preschool. My youngest is still nursing, and even when the older two bring home colds, she only seems to get it if I do, and it is generally milder. If I were to guess, my oldest has my immune system, and my middle has my husband’s (oversimplification, I know). The youngest is yet TBD 🙂

          • S

            Completely off-topic, but can someone explain how some people don’t get sick easily? Does your immune system just not respond to the germs at all? Do you get the illness, but subclinically, and still end up with all the antibodies? Do you have so many similar antibodies floating around that they just do the trick? (Or none of the above, and my understanding of immunity is obviously simplistic, but hopefully you get where i’m going with these questions.)

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            It is kind of hard to explain, but it seems to be mostly genetic. Some people just have a wide variety of immune system associated genes.

          • S

            I imagine it’s not easy to simplify such complex systems without losing meaning. I can never remember anything past the little things that look like Y’s. =)

          • Young CC Prof

            Well, there is something called the passive immune system, that keeps germs from getting in and getting a foothold. It consists of both simple barriers like skin and mucus, and of certain kinds of white blood cells that attack any intruders. I would imagine that some people have a more effective passive immune system than other people.

            There are also subclinical infections. Some studies found that at the end of flu season, about a sixth of the population has had a flu, and another sixth has generated antibodies without any illness that they remember. With polio, about 99% of infections show up as an unremarkable stomach bug. The 100th causes paralysis, frequently ending in permanent nerve damage or death.

            I do not understand subclinical infections, why some people’s bodies do this and some don’t. As far as I know, no one has a completely satisfactory understanding of subclinical infections. It MIGHT have something to do with the person’s general health at the time of exposure, but that does not entirely explain it. With some viral illnesses, subclinical infections are more common in young children, but again, doesn’t entirely explain it, as subclinical cases can easily happen in adulthood and severe cases in children.

          • S

            Very interesting, thanks! I didn’t know that about polio… that freaks me out a little, because i can just hear the antivaxers saying, “Polio, what’s the big deal? It’s just stomach flu.”

          • Young CC Prof

            Epidemiology geek time:

            This is actually the reason why the first polio epidemics didn’t appear until after the development of urban sewer systems. Pre-sanitation, it was a virus everyone caught as a baby. Most fought it off, and those few that didn’t, well, babies died a lot in those days, and parents didn’t always get a definite reason why, other than “fever.”

            Post-sanitation, you had a generation that reached several years old without ever being exposed, and in 1916, the USA, mainly New York City was hit with an epidemic that killed 6,000 people.

            Unfortunately, these mild infections means that polio can spread under the radar for quite a while before anything happens to attract the notice of public health authorities. Measles, mild or not, is unmistakable if you’ve ever seen it. Polio and pertussis can hide away as mild infections, and spread and spread and spread without creating a ripple, until people start dying.

            Subclinical polio is a bit of a problem in Israel right now, due to the epidemic in Syria. Because most Israeli children are vaccinated with the killed-virus injection, no one is getting paralyzed, but studies of the sewers suggest it’s circulating quite a bit below the radar. Now they’re talking about giving the oral vaccine to all young children in Israel, just to make sure.

            But the last polio survivors in America are growing old now. In another generation, they’ll all be gone. Let us not forget the hell they went through. Perhaps by then it’ll finally be wiped off the planet for good.

          • KarenJJ

            My immune system issue is a problem of the innate immune system – the first response part of the immune system. It causes chronic inflammation which also has its downsides…

          • auntbea

            I don’t know if this passes scientific muster, but I have always described my immune system as “overeager”. The good side is that I seem to be able to fight off things that fell other peopl; I think I’ve taken one sick day in the past five years. But the bad side is that my body tends to attack things that *aren’t* actually germs. So I spent a lot of time and energy dealing with allergies and eczema.

          • KarenJJ

            My immune system is also over-eager. I rarely got much sick from colds etc. But my over-eager immune system has caused all sorts of other issues and damage. A few more colds a year would have been preferable.

          • Lisa Cybergirl

            I have a congenital condition called Common Variable Immune Deficiency, so my immune system mostly shut down sometime in my late 30s. I got EVERYTHING. Finally got diagnosed at 50 – now I do infusions of immunoglobulin (basically antibodies from plasma donors) weekly and I’m almost never sick. Yay modern medicine!

          • KarenJJ

            I was diagnosed at 34 with a rare auto-inflammatory syndrome. I’d had it my whole life and ended up losing a significant part of my hearing due to it. Luckily I’m on a medication now that should prevent further issues.

          • Lisa Cybergirl

            Yikes! Nature can pull some nasty tricks on us!

          • rh1985

            I don’t tend to get seriously ill, but I get minor illness (bad colds) a lot. It sucks.

          • Box of Salt

            “you always get the illness too :-)”
            That wasn’t always the case for me. But if you get it from them, they still won’t be benefitting from the antibodies before your own body starts making them (by which time the kid has usually recovered anyway).

          • Trixie

            I’m not following this. If my kid and I are both exposed to a contagious person at roughly the same time, wouldn’t we both start fighting the disease at the same time? And wouldn’t my body therefore put antibodies into the milk at the same time as my child is fighting the illness?

          • Young CC Prof

            Most of the time, the kid catches the bug, then passes it to the parent. Also, with a lot of viruses, children can actually fight them faster than adults.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            Breast milk does lose it’s benefits. By 18 months it loses most of its fat content and after 1 year the antibodies are just digested and give no benefit at all.

          • Trixie

            No, breastmilk fat content increases in toddlerhood. And sure the antibodies still help after age 1. Why would the WHO emphasize breastfeeding til 2 as a way to prevent life threatening diarrhea, if on day 366, all the antibodies were gone?

          • Young CC Prof

            Breastfeeding protects toddlers from diarrhea only by preventing them from drinking bad water. That’s the problem with the WHO breastfeeding guidelines, they wrote one set for everyone, rather than separate sets for rich and poor nations. And no, the antibodies don’t all vanish on day 366. There’s a gradual fading of benefit, on average around 12 months.

          • Trixie

            No. Have you ever breastfeed a toddler? There’s no way a mother breastfeeding an almost 2 year old is that child’s sole source of liquid. In the first 6 months, hopefully, maybe close to a year, yes. But after that, kids are drinking the water too. It’s the breastmilk they do receive that’s protective.

          • Wren

            My daughter rarely drank water by her second birthday. I had to really push her to drink it. Over the next 11 month she slowly shifted her liquid intake from me to a cup. She didn’t voluntarily drink any liquid but water from a cup or breast milk direct from the source until she was nearly 6.

          • me

            And mine all drank water (and other liquids) with great gusto from a sippy cup starting at 7-8 months.

            Anectdata….

          • Wren

            Oh, I totally agree it is anecdata. It was also in response to the claim that” there is no way a mother breastfeeding an almost 2 year old is that child’s sole source of liquid”. Unless my daughter was secretly getting herself cups of water I didn’t know about (doubtful, as she couldn’t reach the tap), my one anecdotal story pretty much shows that claim is not right. I would add that solid food can provide a fair amount of water to the body, but I figured that fact was being ignored in the original argument.

          • me

            I think that has less to do with antibodies and more to do with an easily digestible source of nutrition, especially during gastro illness. In the developed world, we give our young kids with the stomach flu pedialyte. Elsewhere, they give them breastmilk.

            At least this is my understanding. It’s a way of making sure they don’t get dehydrated, they keep their electrolytes in a healthy range, and get some nutritive calories, even when they can’t keep anything else down. JMO tho.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            WHO an APA both say that feeding until 6 months maxes out the benefits of breast milk in first world infants in clean water. They can’t prove it is better after 6 months. WHO says until two because they make recommendations for third world countries with bad water.

          • Trixie

            Yes, I know that WHO recommendations for the developing world don’t apply to the first world. I’m not arguing that they do. But it’s also not correct to say that breastmilk loses all its fat content. It doesn’t. Although there has not been a lot of research in this area, the research that exists has found increasing fat content with duration of lactation. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/117/3/988/F1.expansion.html

            It’s still a significant portion of the caloric intake of a toddler who’s only nursing a couple times a day. Also, the benefits of breastmilk in areas where diarrheal illness is still a real risk are not simply that it provides hydration. It’s also because the immune factors in breastmilk still have an effect on the gut of a 1 year old.

            It’s also not correct to say that the WHO and AAP claim that breastmilk benefits “max out” at 6 months. That’s not at all the language that they use. AAP recommends breastfeeding with complementary foods up to 12 months, and thereafter as long as desired.

          • Trixie
          • me

            “WEANED. Meaning: I told her it was time for our breastfeeding
            relationship to end. Meaning: If I had not told her, it would have
            continued. Do you not feel as though children act instinctively?”

            This. I also weaned my children at age 2. They would have happily continued on for who knows how long, had I let them. I was done. Purely selfish reasons. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Yes, the average age of weaning has likely dropped in modern society, with the wide availability of formula, appropriate solid foods, and cultural mores making longer term bfing “taboo”. But kids haven’t changed. There hasn’t been enough time for us to have evolved to the point where our average weaning age (outside of “civilization”) could have dropped significantly.

            My daughters would have been happy to nurse well beyond age two. And not because they are sexual deviants. But because they are human children.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            I feel that children will act any way they feel they can get away with. They have parents to teach them an draw lines for them. While I think breastfeeding is fine, I think it’s dangerous to say we should let kids follow out their instincts. I mean, kids would likely let you clean poop off their butt until they are ten if you don’t offer any toilet training. It’s not a reason to let them.

          • me

            “…kids would likely let you clean poop off their butt until they are ten if you don’t offer any toilet training…”

            It might depend on the kid, but I really don’t agree with that. Most kids develop a sense of modesty before age ten and they would be mortified at the thought of mom helping to wipe their butt or bathing/dressing them.

            I get, and fully agree with, gently nudging children in the “right” direction. But to suggest that moms who allow longer term bfing are “holding their kids back” is just as insulting (and untrue) as accusing moms who wean their children at more culturally accepted ages of imposing their will on their children without regard for whether the child is really ready for that next step. I think most parents muddle through (I know I do, lol) and try to find that line between pressuring an unready child and holding back a child who is ready, but just needs some encouragement/direction.

            And, I also believe that no one knows a given child better than his/her parents. A woman who is still nursing a 4 or 5 year old has very likely set limits on bfing (night weaning, no nursing in public, only certain times of day, etc, etc), but maybe she is simply waiting for the child to decide to be “done”, because she is comfortable with that.

            Last night I began the process of transitioning my 18 mo to her own bed. I put her in the crib, and let her cry for about 30 minutes, after which time she fell asleep for 6 hours. Is she “independent”? Heck no. She was PISSED. She wanted nothing to do with this solo sleeping business. Had I left it up to her, she would have much preferred to come to bed with me. The fact that she only cried for about a half hour tells me that she is ready to be guided into this next step. Had she cried much longer I would have waited and tried again in a few weeks. I suppose I could allow her to decide when she’s ready to sleep alone, and that wouldn’t necessarily “hold her back”; she would eventually sleep alone without my prodding. I just want to be done with cosleeping soon. I’m ready to be done with it. I’m trying to be considerate of her needs, and won’t push her too hard, but I’m also not content to leave it entirely up to her.

            And I think that this is what most parents do. Some may have a higher threshold for when they are ready to give their child a nudge, and what they are willing to wait on, but I don’t see extended nursing as “holding a child back” anymore than I see earlier weaning as forcing a child to do something he/she is not ready to do, regardless of how the child reacts.

          • Wren

            It is possible, even probable, that no one knows a given child better than his or her parents, but I don’t think that means the parent is always right. There are parents who do push a child to grow up too quickly and others who clearly hold their child back from independence to meet their own needs, rather than those of the child.
            I do know one woman who chose to homeschool because she did not think her 5 year old could handle going all day without nursing. To me, that child is being held back.

          • me

            well, of course there are always ‘extreme’ examples, on both sides, and, no, parents aren’t always right. That’s why I said I think most parents are muddling thru, trying to find that balance between pushing vs encouraging, and protecting vs smothering. And it’s not always easy or clear cut, and often it differs from one child to the next.

            And often there will be the simple matter of picking and choosing your battles – my parents didn’t try to force me or my siblings to eat foods we didn’t like (we were expected to try things, but if we didn’t like it, it wasn’t forced on us); my husband’s parents were definitely into the ‘clean plate club’ and he and his siblings were expected to eat everything served to them and clear their plates, having to remain at the table until they did so, even if it meant being up all night/having it served to them at breakfast. We all turned out okay 🙂 I guess my point is that, barring actual abuse/neglect, there is no clear cut right and wrong with most of these decisions. A lot of it boils down to what is important to you, what works for you and your child(ren), and the intentions.

            Your example? If that is really the sole reason that child is being home schooled, yeah that sounds like the kid may be being held back. And while I cannot imagine making the commitment to home school over something that the child will likely not be doing much longer anyway, I’ll take your word for it. Whether he will truly be “held back” by this decision will be determined more by how homeschooling is implemented and whether he gets ample opportunity for socialization. If she is refusing to take him over to friends’ houses, or on outings at all, because of bfing, then yes, he is definitely being ‘held back’. Of course, it sounds like your friend would likely be homeschooling anyway… not that homeschooling is necessarily a way of ‘holding back’ children (plenty of parents home school and are not overprotective), but certainly helicopter parents seem more inclined to want to be ‘in control’ of their child’s education.

            Anyway, long winded way of saying that I don’t think it’s fair or right to assume a woman who bfs (or does any number of things) longer than you (universal ‘you’ here) is automatically holding back her child for her own ‘selfish reasons’; and more than it’s fair or right for her to assume that because you weaned (or did anything else) earlier than she did that you must be a cold, unfeeling mother who is imposing your will upon your children, with no regard for how they are handling it. Are there people that do that? Sure. But let’s not paint everyone with the same brush.

          • Burgundy

            My daughter weaned herself off breastfeeding when when she was 3 MONTHS old. Thanks God for formula or she will be starved to death.

          • me

            And this is no more (or less) unnatural or perverse than a 5 year old “still” nursing.

          • Young CC Prof

            I would imagine, for example, that weaning occurs faster in a society where a variety of foods are available year-round, either readily available or through cultivation and storage. Adult bodies cope with irregular food much better than toddlers, so if the food supply is irregular, nursing until 3 or 4 makes sense. On the other hand, if the child is enjoying fruits, veggies, meats and grains every day, plus maybe animal milk foods, he’s not going to be as motivated to nurse.

          • me

            No, they probably don’t exist anymore. But that doesn’t make what they did sick and wrong either.

          • More stinky socks! Shenanigans!

          • me

            Beg pardon?

          • AmyP

            That does sound reasonable, especially if a lot of the feedings were a one-off when the hunting or gathering wasn’t going well or during illness. That’s more or less what I’ve been doing with my 13-year-old with baby food. She doesn’t need baby food at this point, but since we sometimes run low on fresh supplies, I try to keep a stash of baby food so that I always have something safe to feed her.

          • Young CC Prof

            I assume you mean 13 months, not 13 years?

            (Although I have eaten baby food as an adult, when recovering from severe digestive problems.)

          • AmyP

            That was a terrible typo, especially given the context. Yes, 13-month-old. I just weaned her this past week.

            Gerber used to make fantastic baby puddings that they don’t sell anymore. Yum!

          • Lisa the Raptor

            We had so much leftover baby foo that I was still feeding it to my 14 month old. Who had just weaned himself. I guess no one told him he had to go to 2.

          • m

            An average doesn’t mean all children will wean at the same time. Like anything else, it’s a bell curve. Yes, some children will wean earlier, and some not until later. And that is all perfectly “normal”. And that’s kind of what I was getting at, but maybe this explains why the miscommunication. I didn’t mean that all children MUST breastfeed for at least 2 years and no more than 3 (that’s obvioulsy nonsense); but rather that, in cultures where prolonged nursing is accepted, most children will wean sometime between ages two and three. There will, of course, be exceptions in BOTH directions. It is no more “unnatural” for a 14 mo to wean than it is for a 4 year old to “still” be nursing. That’s all I was getting at.

          • Esther

            Here you go:

            http://mainstreamparenting.wordpress.com/2008/01/17/biological-determinism-the-natural-range-of-weaning/ Range in [re-industrial societies is 29 months, range 1-5.5 years.

            http://mainstreamparenting.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/and-yet-more-on-the-natural-age-of-weaning/ – Estimate of past weaning ages based on bone isotope studies.

          • me

            Thanks for finding that! Very interesting.

          • me

            Again, that doesn’t really speak specifically about traditional societies. These are all modern statistics. When people talk about “natural” weaning and “traditional” societies, I tend to think more like hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago.

          • Mac Sherbert

            But here’s the thing with the 36%…It doesn’t include women who breastfed, but had to supplement for any reason. I’m not included in the 36% because I had to supplement in the first week. It also doesn’t include women who give solids before 6 months. Where I live it’s pretty standard for the pediatricians to tell women they can give rice cereal at 4 months. Even the mom I know that didn’t do solids until 6 months doesn’t coudnt because she became very ill after her baby was born and had to supplement for about a week. Thus all the breastfeeding women I know don’t count.

            I would love to see the numbers for women who breastfeed, but don’t meet the “exclusive” standards.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Exactly. I’ve mentioned this before, what is the obsession with “exclusive” breastfeeding? What’s wrong with “mostly” breastfeeding? My kids were mostly breastfed through 9 – 10 mos, when they quit. The variation from it came in formula when they went to daycare. My younger guy, especially, would NOT take a drop of breastmilk from a bottle, even if it was 90% formula and only 10% breastmilk. So he had formula a couple times a day, a couple days a week from when he was about 4 mos old to 10 mos. He also started solids around 5 mos, but that was not his main diet.

            They never count in the exclusive breastfed stats, but I’d like to hear someone tell me in what way they were lacking? What benefit would they have had from breastfeeding more than they did? Of course, my wife couldn’t have worked, so there was a downside to that, but what would the benefit be?

          • Lisa the Raptor

            It is universally agreed on that real Breastfeeding stats are hard to come by. Mainly because of all the variations of feeding, even within small communities.

          • me

            Neither of those really give an estimate of the weaning age (the first only tells how many are still partially bfing at 24 mos (at the latest), and it seems many are, and the second only talks about how the benefits of extended nursing tend to be overstated – no real surprise there, lol). I’m not saying it is *usual* for a five year old to still be nursing. I think Detweiler probably overstated things, and people tended to split the difference between the 2.5-7 years and came up with 4.5, when in reality I’d say 2-3 seems more logical. But, again, I’m not really trying to debate the average age of weaning, only to say that Antigonos has a kind of a demented attitude about nursing in general….

          • AmyP

            I don’t know the history or the anthropology of nursing, but it seems not unlikely that nursing would get cut off either 1) once mom is pregnant again (horribly sensitive pregnant breasts or sudden decrease in milk quality are common in pregnancy) or 2) once the new baby is born (not that the old baby wouldn’t get an occasional pity nip now and then). In a traditional society, frequent pregnancies would offer a very logical end point for the nursing relationship. It’s in our modern culture that reliable contraception makes the end-point less obvious.

            I know from personal experience that the appearance of a new baby makes one reevaluate the toddler. I’ve probably told this story before, but when my middle child was an infant and his big sister was all of 3, I remember looking at her and thinking, hey kid, isn’t it time for you to move out and get a job and an apartment? That was a ridiculous thought, but at the time, my mind was so full of BABY that a mere toddler wasn’t very compelling. I was really over dealing with the toddler. I think this particular reaction must be fairly common–distaste at the interloper who is butting into the maternal romance with the new baby.

          • AmyP

            Also, a lot of babies seem to toddle off and forget about nursing around 1 year.

            I had to do a speed wean of a nearly 13-month-old because of mastitis this past week, and (knock on wood) it’s gone really well. I had some concerns about how naptime and bedtime were going to go, but she seemed to instantaneously pick up several self-comforting behaviors. I put her down to sleep, she sticks a thumb in her mouth, twiddles her hair with one hand, and somehow also manages to hold onto a sippy. Combine that with a blanket and a musical aquarium crib toy with lights and bubbles, and you’ve got one happy, sleepy baby.

          • me

            I totally relate. When my youngest was born, my middle child was 2 and a half, and still in diapers. Her butt looked HUGE at that point! We potty trained shortly thereafter. But the week before DD#3 was born? DD#2 still seemed so little. 🙂

          • Lisa the Raptor

            I remember this feeling. My 6 year old seemed so big an scratchy after my second was born an I remember fighting off the urge to dump my two year old in the floor when she was climbing in my lap while I was nursing the new baby.This is very normal lol

          • me

            I get it. I usually cringe at Bible references too 😉 But there was an awful lot of “extended nursing” going on in the Bible… so much so that it leads me to believe it was pretty common practice long ago, at least in the Hebrew culture.

            My point in posting wasn’t so much to debate the “real and true” age of weaning (we likely will never really know as it would vary a lot culture to culture anyway) as to debate the idea that nursing in inherently sexual and there is something terribly sick and wrong about nursing to age 5, or 3, or 6 months, or at all, or whatever. That attitude is pretty detestable and says more about the person who believes it than it could ever say about nursing mothers.

          • Wren

            A lot of things were different in the Hebrew culture long ago though too, so I don’t see that as particularly relevant.
            I don’t think breastfeeding to 5 is a problem if both mom and child are up for it, as long as it isn’t interfering with other things. Breastfeeding at school, for example, does seem problematic to me.
            My daughter stopped, encouraged by me, at 35 months but still remembers it (or remembers talking about it?) now at 6. I personally would not be comfortable still breastfeeding now in the same way that I wouldn’t be comfortable with changing diapers for her at 6, barring an actual reason. She does have bladder issues, so diapers could be an easy solution for that, but we both prefer to deal with things in a way that allows her to be as independent and socially “normal” as possible.

          • me

            “I don’t think breastfeeding to 5 is a problem if both mom and child are up for it…”

            And that’s all I’m really saying. Suggesting it is perverse is pretty ridiculous. If it is outside your personal comfort zone, fine (mine is about age 2), but that doesn’t automatically make it weird, sick, and wrong if others are comfortable with it.

            “Breastfeeding at school, for example, does seem problematic to me.”

            And that begs the question – does that even happen? I know Anitgonos threw out that little comment about going to the kindergarten for “snack time” (which is perhaps the most ignorant comment I’ve ever seen her make, and I usually like her comments), but the reality is, by the time nursing child is 4 or 5, they likely are only nursing once or twice a day, it that.

            “…we both prefer to deal with things in a way that allows her to be as independent and socially “normal” as possible.”

            That’s understandable, and makes a great deal of sense. That being said, most 3, 4, or 5 year old nursing children don’t do it in public. I “public weaned” my kids by age 1. I suppose if bfing long term was more socially accepted, I would have allowed it a bit longer, but there is no rule that says you MUST nurse your child in public. By the time mine were old enough to be pacified with a sippy cup until we could get somewhere private, that’s what I did. Not saying there is anything wrong with nursing an older child in public, but it has to be what mother and child are comfortable with.

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC

            This. By the time I weaned my three-year-old and 4.5-year-old, they were only nursing at bedtime. There is no more anything sexual about breastfeeding than there is about kissing your child. Just because the breasts or the lips can be used in a sexual context does not mean they are always sexual. The “ew gross” argument is not rational and smacks of “truthiness.”

          • m

            Exactly! I kept expecting Antigonos to claim that bfing past age 2 causes the gayz, lol.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            I don’t think nursing is inherently sexual , but the global weaning age has been discussed on other comments on this post. I think they are all running together for me.

          • S

            Antigonos tends to have a rather old-fashioned and outdated view of sexuality, in my opinion. I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about her personally.

          • Trixie

            How about Shakespeare, then? Juliet was weaned on her third birthday.

          • Box of Salt

            Juliet had a wet nurse.

            And yes: Act I Sc iii.

          • Box of Salt

            To clarify: My point about the wet nurse is that I don’t think we can use one play character who is clearly upper class to infer what was common practice across 17th century Europe.

          • Trixie

            Oh, I’m not arguing that one example means that it applied to all of Europe. Just that there are many, many references to breastfeeding to age 2-3 in religious, literary, and historical documents, and that’s a fairly well-known one.

          • Wren

            Wouldn’t wet nurses have a good incentive to keep the job going for longer? I wonder whether your average child was actually breastfed as long.

          • Trixie

            Well, in the case of Juliet, the nurse stayed on the payroll through her whole childhood anyway, so I’m not sure it mattered. If you were a well-respected wet nurse in a royal court, there was always plenty of new business being born.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            Thomas Wolfe was weaned at three and he used it in Look Homeward Angel as an example of how his mother kept him a perpetual baby. That was late 1800s. 🙂

          • Lisa the Raptor

            And in “River of Earth” baby Greene died because his mother could not produce enough milk and they could not afford a cow.

          • Trixie

            Same thing almost happens in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when her mom gets pregnant again when she was 3 months old.

          • Trixie

            It’s pretty hard to make a kid keep nursing who doesn’t want to. Anecdotally, our German relatives who were born in between the world wars, or shortly after the second world war, were all breastfed for a long time, which makes sense because food was scarce. One nursed until past age 3. Many of the women in East Germany breastfed well past age 1, because they got additional rations that way.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            While that is true, it is an example that it was embarrassing for the time an that it was not the norm socially. She also kept his baby curls him in a baby gown.

          • Trixie

            They don’t seem embarrassed about it. They seem pretty proud.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            I’m talking about Tomas Wolfe, who lived in the mountains of NC during the late 1800s. It was odd for that to happen in his society or he would not have mentioned how odd it was in his book. If the idea is that we are using popular literature to decide what normal breastfeeding rates were during certain societies, it was abnormal to Wolfe’s society.

          • Trixie

            Ah, okay. I misunderstood you.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            It’s cool 🙂

          • Lisa the Raptor

            And I fully support women nursing as long as they and baby want to, but I can’t get behind the noble savage idea that we should nurse as long as our ancestors did when clearly there are as many different reasons to nurse or not nurse as there are societies and time frames. We really need to stop looking to the past for how we should act. My history professor always said the worst mistake we can make is to assume the people of the past thought like we do. They didn’t

          • Trixie

            Oh, I completely agree with you on that point. And I wasn’t defending whatever idiot started this segment of the thread. I hope that’s clear.

          • me

            It wasn’t my intention to imply that. I only pointed out that, historically, nursing past infancy was pretty normal. Just because our society has changed doesn’t automatically make the practice perverse. We, by and large, don’t ride horses anymore. We have cars, buses, subways, etc. Riding horses is kind of unusual nowadays. That doesn’t make horseback riding perverse, or a form of bestiality. Antigonos may disagree, lol.

          • Wren

            It’s true that society changing doesn’t automatically make the practice perverse, but at the same time it can. Marrying off 13 year olds was once perfectly acceptable pretty much everywhere, but adult men who want to marry 13 year olds, or just sleep with them, are now considered perverse in Western society.

          • me

            I agree with that. Certainly a great many things that were accepted as “normal” way back when have now been deemed unacceptable. And rightfully so, in many cases. But for some things I really think we need actual evidence of harm before we go accusing people of being perverts/deviants just because they are different than we are. Since it is pretty uncommon for women to be pedophiles (yes, it happens, but it is not common), it seems a stretch to accuse all women who have nursed past infancy of pedophilia. If that is the case, the abuse would not end at the age of weaning, correct? Can Antigonos provide any sources showing that female child molesters are disproportionately practicing extended nursing? that might give some credence to her argument…

          • Wren

            Of course, what was done historically is not always considered acceptable now. At what age was Juliet considered marriageable?

          • me

            IIRC she was 14. In some states you can get married at 14, with parental permission, of course.

          • Wren

            I actually thought she was a year younger, but same principle. I do not grasp the idea of marriage at 14 being cool but sex at the same age being a statutory rape situation, but that’s a whole other issue.

          • me

            It’s only statutory rape if the older partner is over 17. And most states allow teenagers to get married, without parental consent, if the girl is pregnant, provided the boy is under 17 (otherwise it’s statutory rape).

          • Trixie

            Yeah, I don’t think anyone would argue that the Capulets and Montagues were dysfunction-free. But the relationship between Juliet and her nurse is one of the sweeter relationships in the story.

          • VeritasLiberat

            Where exactly are these biblical references to four year olds nursing?

          • me

            Here’s one of a three year old:

            “I carried you nine months in my womb, and nursed you for three years, and have reared you and brought you up to this point in your life, and have taken care of you” (2 Macabees 7:27).

            That may be the only reference to nursing that gives an actual age. Other references to nursing suggest nursing past infancy was pretty common, for example:

            Hannah: “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may
            appear to the presence of the Lord, and abide there for ever.”

            Elkanah, Hannah’s husband: “Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him” (1 Samuel 1:22-23)

            And then Hannah left Samuel to stay in the priesthood, suggesting he was at least past the pre-verbal toddler stage.

            There are also numerous works of art depicting Mary nursing Jesus, and while in some of him he is clearly an infant, in others? He looks to be closer to 3-4 years old:

            http://www.stpeterslist.com/11884/our-lady-of-milk-20-images-of-mother-mary-nursing/

            See, specifically the 8th image, the 9th image, the 12th image, and the 17th image. Most of these are pretty old works of art.

        • Trixie

          That’s not exactly correct, though. Weaning starts when the child starts eating solid food. But solids and breastfeeding continue on side by side for quite some time. Somewhere between 2-3 seems to be a pretty typical weaning age in many historical cultures.

      • Lisa the Raptor

        She’s actually not American and your stats are wrong. The fearless formula feeder has a great post about the real global breastfeeding rate, which is actually a LOT lower than many think

    • me

      “Perhaps I just have a dirty mind, but I don’t think so.”

      I think maybe you do.

    • rh1985

      I tend to assume it’s more that the mother doesn’t want the child to grow up and no longer need that from her.

      • me

        I’m not so sure. Are overbearing mothers more likely to allow nursing to continue beyond infancy? Perhaps. But I certainly don’t think that mothers who allow their children to continue are necessarily trying to hold their kids back. You could easily make the argument that by allowing the child to decide when to wean, the mother is abdicating control of the decision to the child, thereby fostering independence, where those who decide for the child are taking full control, stunting independence. Allowing children to make their own decisions is guiding them into independence, where making all the decisions for a child keeps them dependent upon you.

        That being said, breastfeeding is definitely a relationship, and the mother should absolutely have a say in how long it continues. But I don’t see how forcing “independence” (if it’s forced, is it really independence?) makes for independent children. Seems to me that could easily back fire.

    • Trixie

      If you have to use Freud to defend your position, it’s probably a sign that you’re on shaky ground. Son in sexual competition with the father for the mother’s attention? Smh.

    • Teleute

      And how about this recent trend of extended “dry” nursing?
      http://tinyurl.com/mq7n8we

      • me

        I don’t get it. I thought “dry” nursing was nursing after there ceases to be any milk left. What you linked to didn’t describe that at all….

        • Teleute

          You’re right; she doesn’t explicitly state that she doesn’t have any milk, I just assumed this to be the case when she said that her almost four-year-old “doesn’t nurse to eat, he nurses to comfort himself to sleep and bond with me.”

          But here’s another one, and this woman apparently even posts pictures on Facebook of her three-year-old suckling her.
          http://tinyurl.com/mxzr99f

          Dry nursing 4-year-old:
          http://tinyurl.com/mxmj9hb

          This one waits until the milk is out before letting her 3-year-old latch on:
          http://tinyurl.com/n9sdchu

          Just Google it. A lot of the time they’ll be dry-nursing throughout their pregnancies because they’re not yet emotionally ready to wean their toddlers and preschoolers.

          Someone sent me a link a few months ago (wish I’d saved it) of a woman who was “comfort nursing” her five-year-old… only without any milk and without a baby on the way.

          • Wren

            I wouldn’t have assumed the first example was talking about dry nursing. My daughter certainly nursed for comfort rather than food by the end, though she did get milk from it.

          • Antigonos CNM

            Nipple stimulation can produce uterine contractions, although it is an ineffective method of labor induction, so I would think that “dry nursing” by a pregnant woman would be fairly uncomfortable for her. As for the “comfort” aspect, a child of 5 should be beyond the pacifier stage.

          • me

            “I would think that “dry nursing” by a pregnant woman would be fairly uncomfortable for her.”

            Dry nursing by anyone would be uncomfortable. How uncomfortable would vary I suppose.

            “As for the “comfort” aspect, a child of 5 should be beyond the pacifier stage.”

            Do you know what a pacifier is? In some places they call them ‘dummies’, as in ‘dumb tit’. A fake breast. All a pacifier is is a breast substitute. the only reason there is an upper limit on them (being discouraged after age 1) is because, unlike a real breast, they can cause dental problems. Is it okay for a 5 year old to have a security blanket or a special stuffed animal they sleep with every night? why/why not?

          • Wren

            I think it has to do with development.
            I have a number of friends with kids in the 1-3 year range right now. All have security blankets or loveys of some sort and it is not a surprise to see them insist on carrying them when they are out. By the time they start school, at 4 here, they will all have moved past that stage and be OK without it during the day. At 6 and 8 my kids still sleep with their special items (a Cuski for one, a particular blanket and stuffed panda for the other). I doubt they will ever throw them out, but I expect they will stop sleeping with them every night before they are 18. In fact, the 8 year old has already stopped holding his during the night and can fall asleep without it, though he prefers to have it.

          • me

            This kind of reflects what I’m saying wrt bfing – by age 3 or 4, they don’t need their lovey (or a boob if they are still nursing) during the day, only at night. My oldest (almost 7) didn’t have a lovey until I weaned her (no surprise there) and she only needed it at night, and has been without it for over a year now (she still has it, just doesn’t sleep with it). My middle child also acquired a lovey when she weaned, only needs it at night; she’ll be 4 in about a week. My youngest is still nursing, so no lovey, not yet anyway :). Probably will need one when I wean her in 6 months or so. None of them ever used a binky or sucked their thumbs either.

            Those kinds of things (binkies, thumb sucking, security blankets/object) are taking the place of the breast. If it is developmentally appropriate for a 6 year old to sleep with a ratty stuffed cat for comfort, why is obtaining comfort at her mother’s breast inappropriate? There is no difference.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Wouldn’t that mess up a kids teeth? I know that parents are encouraged to “wean” their kids off pacifiers and bottles sometime during toddlerhood because of concerns for the kids teeth. How is the breast any different?

          • me

            No, it wouldn’t. The breast isn’t made of plastic. It’s softer, more pliable. That’s why there is no upper limit on bfing, the way there is with bottles and pacis.

          • Trixie

            Because a nursing toddler older than, say, 18 months generally is on the breast for maybe a total of 30-45 minutes a day. And the muscles and tongue position used to nurse are different than using a pacifier.

          • S

            Anecdotal, but the kids i knew who had a messed up mouth shape were sucking on a bottle or their thumb for a much longer time. Like age 9 or 14.

          • me

            Interesting. When I got pregnant with #3, #2 was still nursing. At first all was fine, and I continued on for a few months, tho I had no desire to tandem. When my milk dried up at the beginning of the second trimester, and nursing became uncomfortable (dry nursing), I weaned #2. It made my decision of ‘when’ a bit easier. Yes, I found it kinda painful, but I guess that would vary… if a woman doesn’t find it painful I can’t see any real harm.

            About a week after my oldest weaned she asked for a boob. At first I said no, there’s no milk. She asked again the next day, and was more insistent that time. So I let her try. She attempted for a moment, realized she wasn’t going to get anything, and never asked again, lol. So certainly some kids will stop on their own when they realize there is no milk available. But some might not be deterred by that.

            I have heard of the practice of men dry nursing babies to provide comfort (kinda like a human pacifier, when one isn’t available). Obviously not something we see in our culture, lol.

    • me

      After reading through all this thread (and it has been an interesting discussion!), I’d like to reiterate, and clarify, my response. The brass tacks of it? In the modern, developed world, there is absolutely zero “need” to bf full term infants at all. With easy access to affordable, nutritious formula (and programs to help those who have trouble affording it), clean water, refrigeration, sanitation, and an abundant variety of baby- and toddler-appropriate solids available, bfing has become completely optional. That means, at least IMO, that if bfing a 5 year old is a perverse act of pedophilia, then bfing a neonate is also a perverse act of pedophilia (unless Antigonos is suggesting that pedophilia is okay, provided the child is too young to remember it?).

      Your argument, Antigonos, that there is some magical age where bfing ceases to be a normal method of feeding/comforting your child, but becomes a deviant assault on that child, has a couple of problems. First, who died and made you Queen of the Universe? Who are you to decide what the “magic” age is? What are your qualifications, exactly? Second, since it is impossible to determine the “magic” age for everyone (do we adjust it based on gestational age at birth? what about kids with developmental delays, do they get to nurse longer? what about those who are advanced? do they get less time?), you risk that “magic” age getting lowered to the point of absurdity (see above).

      Fine, you think bfing past X number of months/years is “icky”. Cool. Then don’t bf that long. No one asked you to. But unless and until you have some compelling evidence, keep your accusations to yourself. You sound foolish, and a touch, well… touched.

      • Wren

        I largely agree with you, except that if I’m perfectly honest there is a point beyond which I think breastfeeding is perverse. It may not be sexual, but it is a perversion of the normal course of things. What that age is I’m not sure, but I would certainly have a problem with a pubescent child being breastfed, regardless of the absence of any sexual feelings on the part of either mother or child.

        • me

          I can see that; perverse in the sense of being contrary to what is expected standard practice. Not necessarily perverse in the ‘sexually inappropriate’ sense of the word (which is what Antigonos obviously meant; heck, she never used the word perverse, she did say sexually inappropriate).

          And yes, I would be shocked to hear about a pubescent child nursing. I also have never heard of such a thing actually happening. 6 year olds? Sure. Even 8 year olds. But not pubescent children. So if we are limiting our point at which bfing becomes ‘perverse’ to something that never happens anyway, doesn’t that mean it’s never perverse? 😉

          • Wren

            Assuming no 8 year olds are ever pubescent, I guess it never is in practice.
            Personally, I don’t find it sexually inappropriate to breastfeed a 5 or 6 year old, or even an 8 year old, but I do think it is unlikely to be necessary or particularly beneficial. I fail to see what needs of an 8 year old are best met by nursing.

          • Antigonos CNM

            Well, this is it, isn’t it? Certainly any needs “met” aren’t nutritional. One has to wonder about the motives of the mother who wishes to continue it, or the child who continues to demand it, if indeed the child does. And how does that go down with the child’s peer group, and the way other children, who are way beyond their nursing days, relate to a child who is still behaving the way “a baby does”.

            It is simply my contention that there are other forces at work in extremely extended nursing situations than the simple wish to provide adequate nutrition. Perhaps the mother is getting gratification; I’m not sure the child is, although I suppose it is possible. I’m not a psychologist; I am a midwife. Another thought occurred to me — is this a phenomenon that occurs only when there is one child, or is the mother nursing a number of children at the same time for years and years? And how does the father relate to this?

          • me

            “Certainly any needs “met” aren’t nutritional.”

            Since nutritional needs can easily be met with formula, or later, solids, why nurse at all? Why subject innocent children to an (apparent) act of pedophilia when there is a perfectly appropriate substitute that doesn’t involve anyone’s boobies (gasp)?

            “One has to wonder about the motives of the mother who wishes to
            continue it, or the child who continues to demand it, if indeed the
            child does.”

            Why? Do you wonder about the motives of mothers who read to their children, even after the child knows how to read? Do you wonder about the motives of mothers who cook for their children, even after the child is old enough to cook for himself? Do you wonder about the motives of mothers who tuck their children in bed at night, sing them songs, maybe even give them hugs and kisses, past age 5? I know you have your mind firmly planted in the gutter here, but mothers (and fathers) do lots of things to comfort and care for their children, even after the child is “old enough” that the parents need not do those things anymore. And the problem with that is?

            I’m 33, my mom is 61; she still greets me with a big hug and a kiss on the lips every time she sees me. Does that make her a sexual deviant?

            “And how does that go down with the child’s peer group, and the way
            other children, who are way beyond their nursing days, relate to a child
            who is still behaving the way “a baby does”.”

            Does the peer group even know about it? My daughter is in first grade. She doesn’t talk with her friends about her bedtime or bath time routines. They talk about My Little Pony and Winx Club and Barbie dolls. They talk about horses and flowers and sparkly shit. Yes, my daughter was weaned years ago, but if she was still nursing, I can’t see that coming up in conversation with her friends. Any more than how many hugs and kisses she gets before bed would come up. You seem to be assuming that older children still nurse like infants (multiple times a day, all day long). That is simply not the case. By the time mine were weaned (at about age 2) they were already down to only a few times a day. By age 4 or 5, it would be even less often.

            “It is simply my contention that there are other forces at work in
            extremely extended nursing situations than the simple wish to provide
            adequate nutrition.”

            You’re probably right. It’s not about nutrition at that point. Of course, it’s never about nutrition, is it? We have formula, a perfectly nutritious substitute. No full term child needs to be breastfed in the developed world. And even preemies don’t *need* to be bf, it only has a greater benefit for them; many do just fine on formula. So what is it about? The same thing hugs and kisses, cuddles and stories, lullabies and nursery rhymes are about. Love. Affection. Are there other ways of expressing that? Of course. But that doesn’t make any given way wrong.

            “Perhaps the mother is getting gratification; I’m not sure the child is, although I suppose it is possible.”

            Of course both are getting gratification. Just not sexual. If it didn’t make them happy, they would stop doing it. The child usually obtains the most gratification in the equation.

            “Another thought occurred to me — is this a phenomenon that occurs only
            when there is one child, or is the mother nursing a number of children
            at the same time for years and years?”

            You’re a midwife and you’ve never heard of tandem nursing? Where did you get your training?

            “And how does the father relate to this?”

            Do you tell your patients that lactation precludes a normal sex life? News flash – it doesn’t. Having a baby/young children in the house can certainly put a damper on things, but breastfeeding, in and of itself, need not mean the end of normal marital relations. Now, like any other parenting issue, I’m sure some men would disagree with the practice, while others would be okay with it. Not all men are the same.

            “Just as “baby-wearing” can be a means of keeping a father at bay, so is
            very extended nursing a way of creating a child-mother bond that
            excludes the father.”

            What makes you say that? Do you discourage all of your patients from nursing? Because I don’t see how nursing a toddler a few times a day is somehow MORE exclusionary of the father than nursing a newborn a dozen times a day is. Explain that to me.

          • Trixie

            And, — ahem– there are some fathers who think a lactating wife *improves* normal marital relations….

          • S

            Yeah, i’m sure some guys will be squicked out (I knew one, he was a “boob guy,” though he might’ve got over it once he had his own kid), but i don’t get why it would be a general concern. It’s always up to the individual couple to work out their parenting strategies amongst themselves.

          • S

            Okay, i didn’t have any reason to respond to you specifically except your post was right there. Sorry i’m too lazy to pick a disqus username.

          • Trixie

            Baby wearing as a means to keep the father at bay? Huh? Why would those two things be related at all?
            You can’t force a child to nurse who doesn’t want to nurse. It doesn’t work. When they are done, they are done. Your assertion that it must be the mother forcing the child makes no sense.

          • me

            “Baby wearing as a means to keep the father at bay?”

            I wondered about that too. Does she not realize fathers can wear their babies too? Derp de derp.

            And baby wearing/extended nursing as a means of keeping the father “at bay”? Wouldn’t it be vastly easier to say ‘not tonight honey, I have a headache”?

          • Trixie

            When the father babywears, it’s to keep the mother at bay. Obviously.

          • me

            ROFL.

            Great now I have to clean the coffee off my laptop…
            Thanks.

          • Antigonos CNM

            I personally know of two marriages which ended in divorce because the mother used the excuse that the children needed her to the exclusion of the father, and he simply went elsewhere. In one case, his increasing “attendance at sports events”, encouraged by his wife, only became suspicious when he transmitted an STD to her.

            There is such a thing as sexual etiquette, and also sexual politics. I’ve had husbands tell me that milk-dripping breasts are a turn-on, and others who tell me that it is so repulsive they cannot approach their wives as long as they are nursing; I’ve had women who use baby-wearing and extended nursing as a means of keeping husbands at bay, and others who are very happy to let their husbands wear the baby and feed it.

            I do think it is naive to correlate breastfeeding a school-age child with reading a bedtime story or whipping up a batch of cookies for the family. But I’m not going to take the space to write an essay on it.

          • Eddie Sparks

            “Baby wearing as a means to keep the father at bay?”

            I’ve seen this too – compounded with various combinations of extended breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, refusal to leave children with babysitters, etc.. These are mothers who are quite adept at making themselves indefensible to the baby/infant/toddler/preschooler. The fathers are never allowed how to figure out how to soothe a baby, because at the first squark the mother swoops in and takes over. So the baby doesn’t soothe with the father. And the cycle continues. Everyone loses.

          • Antigonos CNM

            I think you meant “indispensable” rather than “indefensible” — although mothers of this ilk are generally unable to say “no” to any demand from their children

            And I’ve watched quite small toddlers smirk happily when they realize that they have got Mommy all to themselves and have ousted, for the moment, siblings and Daddy. Especially Daddy, if it’s a boy.

            BTW, as someone mentioned tandem nursing, yes, I’ve seen it, but only with newborn twins, and generally with supplement, as most women have difficulty producing enough milk for two hungry babies after a couple of months. Often an older sibling, who has already been weaned, however, will demand a return to the breast when he or she sees a new baby in the family getting so much maternal attention. It’s a political move, not based on hunger.

          • me

            You’ve neer known a woman who continued nursing an older child thru pregnancy, that continued to do so after the new baby was born?

            And, no, at that age it’s not about hunger, per se. It’s a method of deriving comfort from his/her mother. Are there other ways? Sure. And if you, personally, are uncomfortable with certain ways of comforting your children, by all means, find another. But there is more than one way to skin a cat. Pedophilia is a very serious accusation. Before you go tossing that kind of accusation around, you’d better come up with more “proof” than, “gee I speculate based on my limited understanding and ignorance”.

          • Trixie

            There you go with that weird Freudian analysis of male toddlers and their sexual desire for their mothers thing. You realize that, like, Freud just made that shit up, right?

          • Antigonos CNM

            What does Freud have to do with it? You have brought his name into this discussion, not I. There is such a thing as simple jealousy. Children compete with each other as well as with parents to get individual attention. And husbands very often unconsciously compete with their children for their wives’ attention. And women compete with each other in the Mommy Olympics all the time as a means of justifying themselves.

          • Wren

            Honestly, I think NCB strongly encourages mothers to make themselves indispensable. I did it at first with my first, and we all had a hard time changing that once it was the set pattern.

            Yes, nursing is a way for a child to get comfort from a parent, but I do think that somewhere along the way it should be given up in favour of other methods. The argument that 5 year olds would only be nursing once or twice a day somewhat undermines the nursing for comfort plan anyway. When my almost 3 year old was nursing I found she wanted comfort from nursing if she was upset. That didn’t happen only at bedtime or when we were at home. It was one reason I encouraged her to stop.

          • me

            “I personally know of two marriages which ended in divorce because the
            mother used the excuse that the children needed her to the exclusion of
            the father, and he simply went elsewhere.”

            Oh. Well. As long as you personally know two people that that happened to, it must be universally so.

            Derf.

            And you know, had you simply expressed concern that a prolonged nursing relationship might take its toll on a marriage, fine. That’s a legitimate opinion, based on your experiences, and certainly women should include their husbands/partners in the decision making when it comes to parenting; he is an equal partner afterall.

            My issue was more with you likening nursing past a certain point to pedophilia. That’s an ignorant, and immature, response.

          • Antigonos CNM

            You are the one using the term “pedophilia”. I never have.

            You cannot imagine the questions I’ve been asked, and some of the situations I’ve had to deal with, such as, when a student nurse in my pediatrics rotation, having to take care of a 9 day old infant whose father had picked it up by the heels and smashed its head against a wall, “to stop that infernal crying”. It may be “et in Arcadia ego” in your house, but it’s far from paradise in lots of others.

          • me

            “You are the one using the term “pedophilia”. I never have.”

            No, you’ve not used the term pedophilia. You did, however, insist that women who bf beyond a certain point (which, again, who gets to define that point?) must be deriving some sort of sexual gratification. Since pedophilia is defined as sexual feeling towards children or sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object, it certainly sounds like you are equating the two.

            Now, I realize there are a lot of sick people out there. And certainly far too many children are born into abusive homes (truly abusive, not gee mom nursed “too long” according to Antigonos). Here’s the thing: Had you simply said, “Ew. That’s gross. Why would anyone want to do THAT??!!” I wouldn’t have taken such issue with your post. That’s a typical reaction. A human reaction. A forgivable reaction. In fact, that pretty much sums up my reaction the first time I heard of nursing past infancy. I think those were my exact words when I was young and first learned what was involved in sexual intercourse. It’s normal to have that knee-jerk response to something so foreign to you.

            But you didn’t leave it at that. Thus far, you have accused these women (whom you admit to have never encountered one of them) of being permissive parents, allowing their children to run roughshod over them and get away with whatever they want, of being cold, distant spouses, using their children to keep their husbands “at bay” and not allowing the father to have any say and/or participation in the upbringing of the children, and, most detestably, you have accused these women (whom you have never met even one of these women, remember) of having inappropriate sexual feelings toward their children, essentially accusing them of pedophilia.

            By telling yourself and convincing yourself of all this, guess what? You also get to tell yourself that you are not only a better mother, and a superior spouse, but a better human being, as well.

            Congratulations. You just won the sanctimommy trifecta. I’m sure, as a regular, you are familiar with Dr. Amy’s posts about sanctimommies:

            http://www.skepticalob.com/2013/08/am-i-a-sanctimommy.html

            And it fits: You think your way is the “right way”, and are extremely critical and denigrating of those who do things differently (what’s more critical or denigrating than calling someone a pedophile?). And it seems you actually WANT women who nurse beyond whatever “magic age” you believe is “right” (probably close to however long it was that you nursed your kids, not uncoincidentally) to feel bad about themselves and their decisions.

            Perhaps you should be asking why you have such a need to denigrate other mothers.

            As for you viewing breastfeeding as a sex act and seeing children, young children, as sex objects? That’s what is truly disgusting here. Perhaps you should talk to someone about that.

            I don’t think there is much left to say on the topic. Good luck, madame.

          • Antigonos CNM

            From Wikipedia: “As a medical diagnosis, pedophilia or paedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in persons 16 years of age or older typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest
            toward prepubescent children (generally age 11 years or younger, though
            specific diagnostic criteria for the disorder extends the cut-off point
            for prepubescence to age 13).[1][2][3][4]
            An adolescent who is 16 years of age or older must be at least five
            years older than the prepubescent child before the attraction can be
            diagnosed as pedophilia.[1][2]

            The term has a range of definitions, as found in psychiatry, psychology, the vernacular, and law enforcement. The International Classification of Diseases
            (ICD) defines pedophilia as a “disorder of adult personality and
            behaviour” in which there is a sexual preference for children of
            prepubertal or early pubertal age.[5] It is termed pedophilic disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and the manual defines it as a paraphilia in which adults or adolescents 16 years of age or older have intense and recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about prepubescent children that they have either acted on or which cause them distress or interpersonal difficulty.[1]

            In popular usage, the word pedophilia is often used to mean any sexual interest in children or the act of child sexual abuse.[3][6][7][8] For example, The American Heritage Stedman’s Medical Dictionary states, “Pedophilia is the act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children.”[9] This common use sometimes conflates the sexual interest in and sexual contact with pubescent or post-pubescent minors.[10][11]
            Researchers recommend that these imprecise uses be avoided because
            although people who commit child sexual abuse commonly exhibit the
            disorder,[6][12][13] some offenders do not meet the clinical diagnosis standards for pedophilia and these standards pertain to prepubescents.[10][14][15]

            You claim that I said that extended breastfeeding is pedophilia. It isn’t. But it isn’t done for altruistic reasons, either. It is used for control and power issues in a range of aspects, because, by preschool age, it certainly ISN’T about nutrition.

            You assign to me thoughts and expressions I don’t have. I think you are overly defensive about your own behavior, frankly, because you have deep seated doubts about it and need justification, and I think you try very hard to project onto others what you have trouble with yourself. Aggressive, ad hominem [and inaccurate, because you do not know me] attacks only undermine your position.

            I find your propensity for tossing terms around without any clear understanding of what they mean to be amusing, just as your assumption that you know how I raised my children is ludicrous. In any case, it is a moot point, since my youngest child left home a decade ago, and my oldest nearly 2 decades ago.

          • me

            From your own definition: “In popular usage, the word pedophilia is often used to mean any sexual interest in children or the act of child sexual abuse.” I am not incorrect in using the term pedophilia to describe what you are accusing women of doing, in your initial post. It may not be some clinical definition (although, your cutty pastey only said that the popular usage “should be avoided” in a clinical setting, not that it is entirely inaccurate), but, really, don’t give me the babe in the woods routine. You knew EXACTLY what you were implying with that nonsense. Don’t play dumb now.

            “You assign to me thoughts and expressions I don’t have.”

            So, you don’t think, “…for a woman to continue to nurse to that age implies, to me, that she has sexual feelings toward the child who is no longer an infant, which are probably inappropriate…”? Then why did you say it? Now you are back-peddling, saying it is about “control and power” (a shred of evidence, please. oh, wait you’ve not been bothered to back up any of your prejudiced, narrow-minded blather thus far, why would you start now? it’s easier to just make shit up as you go along). But your post is right there in black and white, dear. Don’t back-pedal. It makes you look not only foolish, but like a liar.

            And we can debate all day long about what the definition of the word “is” is, but the bottom line remains: You made some pretty heinous accusations about a group of people, whom you have never actually met even one, without any sort of basis, other than your own weird sense of sexuality and sick preconceived notions.

            And now you are feebly attempting to turn it around on me, lol. As I’ve stated, my personal comfort level was age 2. That’s when I chose to wean my children. I stand by that decision. Heck, that’s “even” within the bounds of what Her Highness, Queen of The Universe, and Grand Poobah, Antigonos deems “appropriate”, unless I’m missing something. So, sorry, nothing for me to feel “defensive” about. But it does look like I struck a nerve with you .

            Now that I know you are about 60, I’d make a crack about old, uptight biddies, but you are about my mother’s age, and she’s not that way, so I can’t attribute it to simply being a geezer. See – this is why it isn’t safe or fair to make sweeping generalizations about a group of people simply because they are different than you are. Just a tip.

            You’re welcome.

          • Siri

            Me, with your last, ill-judged paragraph you yield the moral high ground and make yourself look stupid and ill-mannered. It’s NEVER OK to call someone an old, uptight biddy. This group of commenters will not tolerate misogynistic, ageist insults, and I would advise you to go back and delete the paragraph in question if you want to be regarded as a serious participant in these discussions. An apology to Antigonos would also be appropriate here, regardless of your differences of opinion.

          • Teleute

            Here’s something that really oughtta to churn your stomach: nursing/dry nursing adopted preschoolers and toddlers WHO HAVE NEVER PREVIOUSLY NURSED. I wandered onto the La Leche League boards the other day while looking for more examples of extended dry-nursing for Me.

            http://teleutemania.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/wet-or-dry-nursing-your-adopted-preschooler-is-sexual-abuse/

          • Antigonos CNM

            One has to wonder, in light of opinions by lactivists who believe that breast milk is some sort of magic elixir, and mothers who believe that extremely extended nursing [it is worth noting that breastfeeding beyond the end of the first year is defined as “extended” in the literature; I would think it would be beyond two years of age] is beneficial, and those bloggers, like Dixley, for whom it is essential that the child’s mouth and the mother’s nipple make contact or the magic elixir stops being magic, would realize that they are supporting what are essentially two different issues. One is the inherent superior quality of breast milk, the other is that the act of putting the baby to the breast confers some special benefit in itself. Too bad it isn’t possible to “dial up” the preferred beverage; there were times when I would have happily expressed whisky from my breast just to get the kid to go to sleep, rather than innocuous non-soporific milk.

            BTW, those mothers who believe that they should act as pacifiers for infants who wanted a lot of sucking apart from food, constituted a good part of my job on postpartum, as the nipples broke down, cracked and bled from literally unending hours of use. I spent a lot of time at night trying to repair the damage overzealous LaLeche instructors did in the daytime.

          • Siri

            Antigonos, why are you so quick to judge those women and condone the men’s actions? How is it ok for a husband and father to sleep around and bring home an STD? Perhaps the wives were seeking comfort in their babies because the husbands were cold and neglectful; perhaps the husbands had a history of cheating and would use anything as an excuse.

            The men’s behaviour in those two cases were, in my opinion, much worse than the women’s, and I’m curious as to why you choose to blame the women. I’m sure you remember how vulnerable you felt as a new mother, and how desperately you needed love, support and reassurance from your husband. Had he not given it to you, where else would you have sought it? In the absence of a mother/sister/friend, from your children, that’s where.

            And how pathetic and feeble would a man have to be simply to ‘turn elsewhere’ rather than try to fix the problems in his marriage?! His wife is tired and preoccupied and busy caring for a new baby, and his solution is to f+×k someone else? And you blame the WIFE?

            It’s the worst form of misogyny; a woman saying that unless another woman can be a mother, and a whore, and a chef, and a lady in heels and lipstick, and a laundress, and a mistress, all at once, while newly delivered of an infant and still bleeding, SHE DESERVES TO BE CHEATED ON AND GIVEN AN STD. Bloody hell, Antigonos, I normally agree with you, but I think you’ve

          • Siri

            bollixed up this one.

          • Antigonos CNM

            Men who are neglected by their wives will usually find other outlets. Women don’t choose to devote themselves so exclusively to their children that they force their husbands out of the equation because the husbands are not giving them the support they need. It is a weapon against the men: you can’t have sex with me; the child needs my total devotion; no we can’t have a life together, the child requires 100% of my attention, and so on. Do you seriously think that a man should meekly give in to being neglected in just about every possible way by his wife for years and years? What is a man going to do: “yes, dear, I will be celibate indefinitely; yes, dear, can I book 15 minutes of your time Wednesday next? No, of course, I’m not a human being, only our child is — and you, of course” Seriously?

            Perhaps you feel the men should have announced one evening “I’m getting a divorce, since you are no longer a wife” before finding comfort elsewhere. [In one situation the wife actually encouraged her husband to take a lover to “free” her from his unwelcome intrusion into her relationship with her child, btw. She then regretted what she’d done, after the relationship with her husband was destroyed]

            And no, I never had those kind of vulnerabilities. Quite the opposite. My husband was a huge help with the kids, and we very carefully planned quality time alone together. The children were important, of course, but they never were allowed to take over our lives to that extent. I never “wore” any of my children; they slept in their own room, not in bed with us. There has to be a healthy balance: one does not exclude the husband in favor of the children any more than one excludes the children because they impinge on the relationship with one’s spouse.

            These women went to extremes; so did their husbands. I’m not saying it was a good way to behave, but I certainly do understand it.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Women don’t choose to devote themselves so exclusively to their children that they force their husbands out of the equation because the husbands are not giving them the support they need.”

            Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Yes, I have met a few women who just dislike sex. They may use excuses to avoid sex and one of those excuses may be the children. But I also know women who do like sex, but are in a dysfunctional relationship with their spouse. After the kids get born it gets even worse, and then the marriage falls apart with one or both members making themselves sexually unavailable. The woman may submerse herself in work or the children, the man may submerse himself in work or expend all his sexual energies on porn, even if his wife is willing to have plenty of sex. Then one or the other cheats, and this is a catalyst to end the marriage which was dysfunctional to begin with. Other cases involve a man (less commonly a woman) who has a longstanding pattern of infidelity. He may be faithful early in the marriage, but the babies coming often coincides with the maximum amount of time he can be faithful anyway. Then he uses the excuse of being neglected by his wife to do what he had a pattern of doing anyway.

            Lots of different people in the world, every couple’s story is a little different. Without knowing the whole story we can’t say “Oh the mom caused this by neglecting the husband”.

          • Wren

            No, you cannot force a child who does not want to nurse to do so. Well, not without withholding all other sources of food and liquid, as I was advised to do by many at MDC.

            It is very possible to encourage a willing child to continue though, especially if nursing is the main way a child gets comforted by the mother. I could probably still be nursing my 6 year old if I were willing to and my mother jokes my sister would still be nursing (as the child) if my mom would let her. Most of the extended nursers I have met personally, past the age of 3, have been willing to nurse their child at the drop of a hat and had not developed any other strategies for comforting their child. Seeing that actually was part of why I chose to wean my daughter. I knew we needed to develop some other

          • Trixie

            I mean, I’ve met so few people who have nursed that long that I can’t generalize. My sister nursed basically once a day for the last year or so that she nursed. My mom definitely didn’t nurse her at the drop of a hat. It was like 5 minutes at bedtime only. Maybe one other time during the day if she was sick/hurt. One day my sister just announced that she was done, and that was that.

          • Wren

            I got in with a very crunchy group for a while, who all assumed I agreed with everything they said and did because I used cloth diapers on the kids and nursed them. Most of them nursed longer than I did and seemed to nurse their 4 or 5 year olds the same way I nursed my 18 month old.

        • Karen in SC

          I wonder what older children and adolescents think about having memories, actual memories, of nursing?

          • Trixie

            My sister remembers nursing (weaned at age 3). She remembers it fondly if you ask her about it, but it’s not like she thinks about it all the time or anything.

          • Wren

            My daughter was weaned at 35 months. She is 6 now and does talk about it sometimes, but I’m not really sure if she remembers it still or just knows about it and assumes she remembers, if you get what I mean. She does sometimes pretend she’d like to try again, but she wouldn’t really. I called her bluff once and told her she could try, but she backed off that quickly. Funnily, all of her baby dolls drink from bottles and she told me they don’t want “mummy milk” from her. My son remembers her nursing, but not himself.

  • The fed-up mom

    Hang tight, I have a lot to say.

    It’s
    a wonder why no one in the professional world takes you seriously, and you’ll never be anything more than an angry bitter blog poster with nothing to do with your lonesome expiring existence in this beautiful world.

    1) I never whined about epidurals, I simply chose not to induce my children
    with drugs when they were coming out of my stomach (the second one). I neversaid anything about c-sections and formulas, my first baby was c-sectioned and supplemented with formula because she was in the NICU for three days before I met her. But she was breastfed afterwards til this very day (she’s now five). Breastfeeding had destroyed the stomach problems she had when she was feed synthetic lab nonsense; it’s also protected her body from a number of germs, and the painful discomforting ear infections.

    2) As a actual pediatrician has told me, CIO releases stress hormones and is detrimental to a baby’s mental health. If all the babies needs are meet, and he’s still crying then he either has a tummy ache from the formula he’s feed (formula babies have higher instances of colic than breast-fed on demand babies do), he’s in pain due to birth trauma (hospital births have higher degrees of birth traumas), he’s hot, uncomfortable, upset about parents fussing, overstimulated, needs a walk (in his sling of course), need to poo, ect. It’s the parents job to communicate with these little ones with the only language they know how to; weeping.

    3) I don’t ever remember saying that healthy children aren’t enough. And as
    seen with many of your ridiculous posts, what you said was taken out of
    contexts. You are confusing ‘healthy’ with ‘alive’ there is a clear difference.
    My first born was an alive child, born and saved in a hospital c-sectioned, but she had a slew of medical complications due to genetics and my own health at the time, my second baby was healthy. He was a low risk, healthy bouncing fetus who was good enough to be delivered in a tub (YES a tub) at a birthing center. He did a breast-crawl and slept in my arms, quietly. If babies are healthy like my son, then yes low tech births or HBs are healthier options. And no an ‘alive’ baby is not good enough; especially when they are screaming for their mothers, being whisked away by strangers they never knew and handled like a factory object. What about their emotional health? Their instinctual health? And their spiritual wellbeing? Do you care?

    4) I do not joke about dead children, you are a very; very sick woman…

    5) My children all have pediatricians; along with acupuncturists and masseuses. I don’t know who the woman you quoted from is.

    6) I don’t feel guilty, I feel very sorry for you.

    7) women who opt for epidurals, are indeed putting drugs into their children,
    whether they are good mothers or not. What? Do you want me to tell you you’re feeding your children magical potions that make them happy? I had an epd. too, due to my C-section but I accepted it was a drug. I wasn’t super happy about it, but i accepted what was put into my little girl. Epidurals are drugs, Amy. As someone who supposedly studies OB gynecology you should know that. If you want the side-effects you can read here (
    http://chriskresser.com/natural-childbirth-v-epidural-side-effects-and-risks)

    8) IDK what a ‘lactivist’ is, but I do know women who formula fed, and the main reason many of them didn’t breastfeed was because they didn’t want saggy tits, it was too hard, the suckling was uncomfortable, formula was more convenient. I’m not going to label what you would consider these reasons for not breastfeeding are, but if you think they are considerate and selfless, suit yourself. Now, I do know some mothers who simple weren’t producing enough milk, and I do know women with medical problems who couldn’t either, but these reasons for not breastfeeding were extremely low.

    9) I don’t think peace with muse across the land if everyone did exactly what
    attachment parenting does. However, attachment parenting is a very minimalist and environmentally conscious approach to parenting, especially those APs I know who are vegans. Cotton slings/wraps are biodegradable and not the infamous plastic,machine manufacturing, and resources than strollers; care-seats; bottles; cribs and all the other plastic toys and nonsense I received on both my baby showers. Breastfeeding is the #1 environmentally friendly way to feed an infant up to a year. The amount of factorizing, agriculture, and processing is used to make formula, and the amount factoring and processing is used to make cans; bottle-filters; plastic nipples and bottles is a lot of Co2 into the air and a complete waste to our resources. To add to that since these materials aren’t biodegradable they end up in landfills, and pollute our world. Baby slings are designed as external wombs they are elastic and form around the children so
    they can curve their spine into a comfortable C shape, unlike what they can do in car seats or similar baby holders who’s forms are unchanging and accredited for flattening babies head. They also get to hear a lot of what they heard in the womb; their mother’s heart beat; her breathing and talking. They also feel the rhythm of her move. In other words, the children are comforted; warmed and get skin-to-skin with their mothers constantly. When they are hungry they don’t have to wait for their food; the perfect food in the world that soothes them and makes them happy is right there. It gives them no belly aches (like formula) it’s never too hot or cold, it constantly changes overtime to meet the baby’s evolving nutritional needs, it tastes like what mama is eating (so has a lot of flavors), and it has special hormones that relaxes them. Elimination Communication is also eco-conscious and helps babies pass stool easily + cuts infection rates, along with cloth diapers which has been reported to ease the baby from the painful and discomforting diaper rashes, and isn’t loaded with harmful chemicals. EC also strengthens the bond with the babies, for the babies are communicating with you more so, and you have to pay extra attention to their needs. Co-sleeping with children at young ages reducing the risk of SIDs, and it makes the children feel safe until they’re big enough to fend for themselves. So no,perhaps we’ll never bring peace to the world, but we’ll make our babies very comfortable and tended to, along with helping the environment.

    10) I’m an on-the-go stay-at-home mom. I live near a lot of trees, and love the great outdoors. I don’t have time for messaging boards, blogs, and sites. I go to nurse-ins, support groups, parks, trails, restaurants, baby swim classes, baby read classes, and baby socializing classes. In other words “ain’t nobody got time for ‘dat”. Perhaps you’ve been spending too much time on the internet Amy, and you’ve never meet APs or ‘offbeat parents’ in real life. We’re not the horrible stupid monsters you seemed to convince yourself we are. One very outspoken AP is actually a a neurologist (Mayim Bialik) and wrote a book about attachment parenting from a neurological and anthropological standpoint. A lot of our babies survive homebirths or natural drug-free births just fine; in hospitals birthing
    centers; our front lawn–wherever. I’ve heard of children born in earthships,
    cob houses, under an oak tree, in a yurt, in a tipi, near a lake, caught in the
    hands of their fathers, and so forth. All these beautiful stories you can
    embrace, but for whatever reason you simply choose not to. I don’t understand! Instead you regurgitate the same dated stories again and again as if each are new “baby dies in water-birth from poop ingestion”, “IQ test for breastfeeding is false”, “Yes, it’s your fault your baby died in a homebirth” and you chew on the same dated studies about homebirths. But what about the many many many children who die in hospital births, and lived in a natural homebirth gladly telling their birth stories to others? And what about the crises in the American childbirth care? We’re the worse of all the developed countries—that all use midwifery care for low risk mothers!!!

    11) Why don’t you stop the attitude, why don’t you stop calling AP mothers crazy,weirdos, stupid, goofy and naïve? Why don’t you get rid of that ridiculous poster that says 1/3 babies die in homebirths, when you know damn well that isn’t accredited by any pediatric journals or studies in the world? Why don’t you get rid of that juvenile level Homebirth Bingo, so people can actually take your ‘skepticism’ seriously? Get over yourself, Amy. You’re not a member of the American Pediatrics Association, you don’t write for their journals; you aren’t a researcher,dietitian, a licensed physician for corn sake! You’re just a blogger who hasn’t practiced in your short-lived profession in over ten years. Not only are you dated, you’re lacking in credibility. When I read about actual doctors criticizing
    homebirths, I don’t hear any quotes from Dr. Amy’s joke of a blog, nor do I see anyone taking your kitchen-counter ‘research’ calculations seriously, either. You’re a joke. And you mean nothing outside your insecure group of followers (possible all you, who knows…) who cling onto your ‘research’ to feel better about themselves, while they know nothing about medicine, pediatric care, and credible sources themselves.

    I wrote quite a lot but I hope you understand my point Amy, good day.

    • Trouble

      “Why don’t you get rid of that ridiculous poster that says 1/3 babies die in homebirths”

      Oh lord, is that what you think it says? Let me explain: of three babies who die in homebirth, two of them would have been saved in hospital.

      • Susan

        Is Ellie back?

        • fed-up mom

          Is this post directed at me or at the user “Trouble”?

        • fed-up mom

          Oh wait, I see. Never mind. I’m sorry.

      • fed-up mom

        So yes, it says 2/3 babies die in the home-births. I’m sorry i typed in 1 when i meet 2.

        • S

          This reply makes my heart sad. =(

          Maybe try reading more slowly.

        • Trouble

          No. The poster doesn’t refer to the absolute odds of death at home birth, just the difference between those odds and the ones in hospital.

    • Lisa from New York City Suburb

      Reply longer than original post. Doth protesteth too mucheth.

      • fed-up mom

        hmm?

    • Mishimoo

      “When they are hungry they don’t have to wait for their food; the perfect food in the world that soothes them and makes them happy is right there. It gives them no belly aches (like formula)”

      So, want to try telling that to two of my kids? The eldest had reflux that stopped when we transitioned to formula at 7 months due to biting issues. Turns out that she was stubborn enough that none of the anti-biting things worked and since blood is an emetic, it just added to her vomiting problems. The youngest? Well, he only latches when I’m laying on my side. I’d love to carry him around and feed him whenever he’s hungry because he is hungry all the time* and I can’t get anything done at the moment.

      (To be fair, it has gotten a bit better now that we have introduced solids at 4 months after seeking medical advice. I’m actually getting more than a few hours of broken sleep at night now!)

      As for vegan lifestyles being more environmentally-conscious, that’s something I’m curious about. Are all vegans locavores to cut the foodmiles? Do they all eat organic and thus require animal inputs to maintain soil health? How do they rationalise the ethics of using animal by-products to produce food which is therefore helping to sustain one of the industries that they rail against?

      • fed-up mom

        In response to first response: as said to another poster, I cannot tell if you are telling the truth to me or if you are lying to make a point. I can only tell you what is observed from studies, and not anecdotal evidence

        In response to second response: a lot of vegans do with they can. Plenty try to be’ locavores’ (lol, thanks I just learned a new term) and the ones like me (who are very into the permaculture) do a lot of vertical, rooftop and greenhouse gardening. A lot of off-grid counterculturalist vegans, like myself, develop ways to make our own compost so we can use it into our gardens without using livestock wastes. I use my cat(who was a rescue)’s litter, and I have a composting toilets (and a composting chamber pot; since I’m ‘elimination-communicating’ with my infant) to add to the compost. If you have a baby, you will be blessed with a great harvest!! These shorties are pooping machines! It’s amazing, within a year I have this rich dark soil (that doesn’t smell of poo), that i fill with earthworms for added nutrients; and to give them a safe place to stay. What I don’t have, I trade with my ‘community’ (more like village). And for a year, when i started gardening, I had to constantly borrow others soil for my own garden until I could get the composting started.

        It’s a lot of work to the mainstream world, but me and my partner don’t work (off-grid’ers don’t work) so we have plenty of free-time to garden, and unschool our children. So then again, I guess it isn’t hard work after all. lol. 🙂

        (Cute chamber pot for early infant potty training)

        • Mishimoo

          By that token, how do I know that you’re not lying to prove a point? I have no reason to lie, no precious methodology to protect. I would have preferred to breastfeed until 12 months because then I could have made the switch to cows milk without the bother of formula. My older kids had different ideas, so we adapted. Keyword ‘adapted’, because that’s what we as a family do in order to hopefully produce healthy, happy, independent, community-minded individuals.

          As for composting, are you running a hot pile? Also, how/what are you feeding your cat?

          • fed-up mom

            –mmmm excellent point. I’ll just send you vids; blogs; and sites about people who live like me just so you know at the very lease it’s plausible.

            –Don’t know what a hot pile is. I can show you a video on how it works. It’s nothing more than emptying a garbage can into a herby kurby; and isn’t as complicated as you think.

            –My cat eats field mice usually, and the chicken from the next door coop. We get about two a day, he’s satisfied usually for the week.

          • Mishimoo

            But that’s only anecdotal evidence, where are the studies to back this lifestyle? (Couldn’t help it! 😛 )

            Ideally, I’d prefer an integrated system, using the best of everything with a minimal footprint. Cutting animals from the system completely would not work for me. Right now though, I’m working out what works in my climate so that if/when we do get the farm we want, I won’t be throwing away money and resources.

          • happier mom :)

            first off, Lol.

            second, Awe you’re building a farm, how exciting! 🙂

            If you can’t find the farm with the right climate there’s always greenhouses, and better yet there’s these babies (I wanted to live in one but couldn’t afford it)

            —Here is some more info about it: they are VERY self sufficient:

            http://www.dreamgreenhomes.com/plans/earthship.htm

          • Mishimoo

            It is really exciting! 😀
            Its a long-term vision though, hence the smaller scale experimentation in our yard.
            I love earthships, they look so awesome and seem like a great idea. I am concerned about what the tyres are leaching into the ground though.

    • Alenushka

      Formula is not a synthetic nonsense. Your post, however is. Ms Bialik is not a neurologist as she never went to medical school, by the way.

      • fed-up mom

        Really? Are you sure?

        • Alenushka

          Yes, I am . She is a Ph D. You can google it yourself. PhD makes her a neuro scientist . . As a former breastfeeder I also still read up on scientific studies. I was really disappointed when my kid came down with asthma since he never had a drop of formula. Do you know why? Because breast milk provides no protective benefits against asthma and whatever you child does or does not have asthma is related to the genes. Breastfeeding increasing IQ by 2-4 points, which is margin of errors and can be a normal daily fluctuation depending how well one slept the night before. There is also no decrease in obesity and many other long term benefits did not pan out according to latest very impressive studies. Breast milk may make life and death different to a premature babies as far their bowel . For a term baby, it does not matter what you feed him or her. There is zero benefit and a lot of social liability from breastfeeding a 5 year old. I breastfed for slightly less than a year and my kid have IQ that put them in top 5%. It has nothing to do with my milk or parenting. We as family won genetic IQ lottery . not much else thought.

          • K&R’s peaceful mother/ The fed

            Well (excuse me if this comes off offensively) this is coming from a user with absolutely no scientific credibility to back up their claims. I can’t take your word for it, because I have absolutely no proof that you aren’t lying to make a point. I can only go by journals what my baby’s registered nutritionist; pediatrician; and nurse-midwife said. These observations were written by the American Pediatrics, and the World Health Organization. I hope that didn’t come off rude, but the World Health Organization along with the American Pediatrics Association all are trying to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies, worldwide. Doesn’t that speak enough? According to their studies and findings it stops environmental damage and gives a bunch of benefits to the babies. Furthermore it was what the babies were biologically designed to eat.

          • Alenushka

            When WHO discourages women to use formula in the Third World is it because of the clear water issue. In the Third World even an HIV positive mother should breastfeed if there is no clean water supply because chance of the child dying from diarrheal illness are much higher than from HIV. In US, for example, it is exact opposite. In the First World counties there is no issues with clean water or safe formula supply. Yes, breastfeeding has some benefit but those are small. Decrease in 0.5 incident of ear infections does not make any difference to me, but it makes huge difference time and $$$ wise on the public health scale. What irks me is the idea that breast is the best. Breast is the Best if:

            Mother has adequate supply of milk

            Mother does not need to stop her own medication which would put her mental and physical health in danger in order to breastfeed

            Mother will not loose her source of income because of time off needed for breastfeeding and pumping resulting in family ending up homeless on meager public assistance

            Mother will not be deprived of education opportunities because of time off needed to breastfeed or pump

            Baby is not allergic to maternal milk.

            This is whole a lot of IFs. I had not Ifs, so breast was the best for me but when my now adult son brings home his co -worker , I can’t tell you who was formula fed or breastfed.

          • fed-up mom

            Miss, if the benefits were as minute as you are saying then we wouldn’t be putting nurses into seminars to teach them about encouraging their patients to breastfeed their children and the promotion of it as a whole. Formula companies are billion dollar world wide industries, trust me if the U.S can get away with ok-babies who are formula fed, breastfeeding wouldn’t be a big deal (no more than veganism is). Formula has been found to have BPA, and a slew of other chemical compounds that aren’t good for children some that was found in rocket fuel; nor does it have nearly the same amount of fats and nutrients found in breastmilk. Besides the ear infections, there are other added benefits in breastmilk that isn’t in formula. You can take it or you can deny it a thousand times. It doesn’t stop the American Diet Assocation from writting about it

            “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that exclusive breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition and health protection for the first 6 months of life and breastfeeding with complementary foods from 6 months until at least 12 months of age is the ideal feeding pattern for infants. Breastfeeding is an important public health strategy for improving infant and child morbidity and mortality, improving maternal morbidity, and helping to control health care costs. Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of otitis media, gastroenteritis, respiratory illness, sudden infant death syndrome, necrotizing enterocolitis, obesity, and hypertension. Breastfeeding is also associated with improved maternal outcomes, including a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and postpartum depression. These reductions in acute and chronic illness help to decrease health carerelated expenses and productive time lost from work. Overall breastfeeding rates are increasing, yet disparities persist based on socioeconomic status, maternal age, country of origin, and geographic location. Factors such as hospital practices, knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes of mothers and their families, and access to breastfeeding support can influence initiation, duration, and exclusivity of breastfeeding. As experts in food and nutrition throughout the life cycle, it is the responsibility of registered dietitians and dietetic technicians, registered, to promote and support breastfeeding for its short-term and long-term health benefits for both mothers and infants.”

            It doesn’t stop the American Pediatrics Association from writing about it:

            “Breastfeeding and human milk are the normative standards for infant feeding and nutrition. Given the documented short- and long-term medical and neurodevelopmental advantages of breastfeeding, infant nutrition should be considered a public health issue and not only a lifestyle choice. The American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant. Medical contraindications to breastfeeding are rare.”

            Or the World Health Organization

            “WHO recommends mothers worldwide to exclusively breastfeed infants for the child’s first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, they should be given nutritious complementary foods and continue breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond.”

            The reality is most women can indeed breastfeed, the issue that stands in their way is the discomfort and inconvenience. Most women did not suffer economic collapse breastfeeding their children, an most of your cases seem very far fetch rare and very whinny. Just give your kid the boob, please. Yes, it’s just THAT simple.

            Here’s a pdf of all OBGYNs have to learn about breastfeeding:

          • Young CC Prof

            “nor does it have nearly the same amount of fats and nutrients found in breastmilk.”

            Mind being more specific? Decades ago, formula companies measured the quantities of fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in breast milk and duplicated it, starting with cow’s milk as a base and adding other ingredients. It’s since been refined to match the specific types of fat and protein more precisely.

            Think about it logically. If commercial formula was missing specific nutrients, someone would make a new infant formula that offered them, and promptly dominate the formula market.

            And as for your claim of toxins, unfortunately mother’s milk has toxins too. Unless the mother has lived in a bubble since birth and consumed only organic veggies and distilled water, her bloodstream is not going to be pristine.

            “trust me if the U.S can get away with ok-babies who are formula fed, breastfeeding wouldn’t be a big deal”

            Actually, we can. The best studies find no long-term differences between breast and formula fed babies, and the country is filled with happy, healthy, successful formula fed adults.

            Is breast best? Sure. But if breast milk is a 10 out of 10, formula is about a 9.5

          • fed-up mom

            Sweetie, formula companies have been trying to mimic breastmilk for decades and have thoroughly failed. Their claims were admitted propaganda and if you watched the documentary (made by pediatricians) called “Formula fed America” they’ll tell you the fabricated lying history of formula companies and what they were feeding babies. In addition, Formula companies were booming in the same era of time when it was encouraged for women to smoke during pregnancies and use babywalkers to train their children to walk. It was also popular when the most popular methods of human childcare was documented by the observation of how we treat livestock. Now we know better; we’ve advanced; we have iphones now, and 3D ultrasounds; modern knowledge and advances.

            Because of breastfeeding, formula companies are going to loose a rapid amount of profit; that doesn’t boast the economy. If something is so bad, every globally recognized health and childcare organization is encouraging you not to do it, then obviously (like the discovery of alcoholism and cigarettes during pregnancies) it’s not good for the child, and the only people who find the claims exaggerated are those who need a good enough reason not to breastfeed their children.

            The ‘best studies’ aren’t the ones recognized by the WHO, ADA, and APA, obviously. Only for women who need some justification for not feeding their infants according to standards. So as far as what the actually professional physicians and nutritionist are saying, your claims are nonsensical.

          • Young CC Prof

            Again, please name one recognized macro or micronutrient which is found in breast milk but not in infant formula.

          • fed-up mom

            there you go, a whole list

          • Young CC Prof

            Fascinating. It’s a bit biased, however, since it tends to use the friendliest names possible on the breastmilk side and use scary chemical names for exactly the same substance on the formula side, Vitamin C, for example. It also lists every possible amino acid found in breast milk, falsely implying that these amino acids are not found in formula. (Of course, they are. Some formulas consist entirely of naked amino acids.)

            Also, I do not see any macronutrients (that’s fat, protein or carbohydrates) which are missing from formula. The chart claims that cholesterol is present only in breast milk, but again that’s simply not true.

            It kind of looks like someone took a full chemical breakdown of breast milk and compared it to the label ingredients of formula, while conveniently ignoring the fact that many of the ingredients in formula (like cow’s milk) have the same substances.

            The only important component of breast milk that we can’t duplicate are the IgA antibodies.

          • Box of Salt

            Young CC Prof, you beat me to it. Are you use you teach math, not chemistry?

            I really want to know why polysaccharides are in the breastmilk list along with amylase (under enzymes). Perhaps fed-up mom could demonstrate her scientific knowledge by explaining why I’m wondering that.

          • Young CC Prof

            One college chemistry class, like 15 years ago. What I found wrong with it was basic ground-level stuff. Someone who actually knows organic chemistry could no doubt tear it to pieces far more effectively.

          • Box of Salt

            Oh dear, it’s worse:
            choline is listed as a mineral.
            Again, I’d like the person who posted this list to explain to me why choline is listed as a mineral.

          • Mishimoo

            I thought HAMLET was created *from* breastmilk in a laboratory, not naturally contained *in* breastmilk? I’m happy to be proven wrong with a proper source though.

          • Alenushka

            Many of the thing you list there including obesity have been disproven because original studies were not good studies. There is Big Formula and There is Big Milk. There is now entire industry around breastfeeding. I guess you never have been poor in US or worked for a business that does not provide pumping rooms for mom. You never suffered from illness that requires serious meds. You sound like a typical privileged AP parents.

          • fed-up mom

            Again i say this: The ‘good studies’ aren’t the ones recognized by the WHO, ADA, and APA, obviously. Even though these organization are comprised of over 70,000 members who have advances in medical degrees, nutrition health, and research. Only for women who need some justification for not feeding their infants according to standards. So as far as what the actually professional physicians and nutritionist are saying, your claims are nonsensical and are weak.

            Privileged? I’m black!!! and was raised by a lower middle class singled mother who breastfed both my brother and me until we were 5, while provided for the house, feeding us vegetarian foods, and was homeschooling us. Why? because she was a RN and knew everything she was doing was good for us. Yes she was cranky a lot of the time, yes she spanked us (unlike a lot of attachment parens), but that woman taught me a lot about sacrificing for children. Meanwhile she was constantly criticized, along with feeding us vegetarian foods and homeschooling us holistically. Don’t talk about struggles, when you grew up in the Bronx, for i will have no issue cussing your little ass out in a minute.

          • Alenushka

            Yes, thats right , sister.

          • fed-up mom

            I’m not your sister, I’m a stranger on the internet. Keep your nonsense and your white trash to yourself.

          • Teleute

            What exactly is your purpose here, arguing with nonsensical, white trash strangers over the Internet? You don’t seem to be engaging in a very constructive debate. I’m not trying to be facetious; I’m genuinely curious as to why you made the decide to come here and whom you are trying to convince.

          • Box of Salt

            fed-up “Bronx, for i will have no issue cussing your little ass out in a minute”

            In case you are unfamiliar with veganmom’s posting on this site: verbal abuse of other posters (i.e., not Dr Amy) is considered a ban-able offense, along with sockpuppetting.

            You’re still here now, but given the fact one of my posts which included links seems to have moved to moderation, I double that Dr Amy (who lives in Boston) is reading the comments here right now at 11:30 pm Pacific Time.

            I’m not Dr Amy, either.

          • Box of Salt

            Wow. Don’t type while annoyed: Corrections to my warning.
            No need to include “Bronx” in the quote.
            for “double” read “doubt”

            And if I were Dr Amy, I’d be able to edit my post to fix those typos.

          • fed-up mom

            1) don’t know who you’re talking about again. Are you one of those people who thinks I’m ‘Ellie’ again?

            2) I’m not sure why you’re commenting on me, you’ve insulted me and now I want absolutely nothing to do with you. You’re rude and not worth my time. Goodbye.Get a life, and leave me alone. Go pick a fight with someone who actually spoke to you.

          • Box of Salt

            fed-up mom, your reading comprehension is poor. I have never mentioned Ellie.

            Are you are insulted by the fact that I told you cussing someone out in the comments has resulted in commenters getting banned? You’re the one who threatened to do that to Alenushka. You would not be the first.

            Or are you insulted by the fact that upthread I used your own words to show that you are a liar, who pretends to know nothing about the internet, yet already announced she will switch email accounts in order to continue posting should she be banned?

            Oh, I just read your other comments upthread in reply to that. That is it, isn’t it?

            I am not Dr Amy. I don’t believe Alenushka is Dr Amy, either.

            But I can see how someone who has demonstrated the level of integrity (or lack thereof) you have in your comments today (including the ones on the Waterbirth thread) would not understand how honest people behave.

        • Karen in SC

          You can say all those things about ANY toddler and many of them are determined by genetics.

          • K&R’s peaceful mother/ The fed

            Not according to what we know about breast milk, and the science behind it.

          • Karen in SC

            Still it is NOT guaranteed. I breast fed both of my children for two years each. One got so many ear infections, he is now deaf in one ear from losing the middle ear bones. He also needs glassed. And he is an extremely picky eater with low muscle tone. The other is obese (and so are many in the family). They haven’t been sick very much except for strep throat during childhood. But they are both fully vaccinated.

          • MichelleJo

            And anyone who tries to attribute every single healthy thing a normal child has to one thing has got to be bluffing. It’s the same when a herb is going to heal you from a list of things a mile long. If you point to one or two things, you sound far more reasonable.

      • fed-up mom

        —-“You may remember her as the title character from NBC’s “Blossom,” or recognize her as brainy Amy Farrah Fowler on the CBS hit comedy “The Big Bang Theory.”

        Mayim Bialik has made a name for herself in the entertainment business, but she’s also had a lesser-known career in a similar field as her “Big Bang Theory” character: neuroscience.

        Bialik, 35, who will attend her first San Diego Comic-Con next week, studied neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles. She’s also written a book about parenting based on the science of hormones involved in parent-child bonding, to be released by Simon & Schuster in 2012.

        “Not that you need a neuroscience degree to be a good parent… but my reflections on parenting are absolutely informed by my understanding of the hormones of attachment, which were the subject of my
        thesis,” she said.”—-

        http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/07/15/mayim.bialik.big.bang.theory/

        Enough said about your post. Wrong two times in a row. Sigh…

        • Alenushka

          PhD means she is neuroscientist. Neurologist is an M.D She did not go to Medical School. I see how words that sound alike can be confusing to you.

        • Box of Salt

          fed up mom

          Bialik has a PhD.
          The term neurologist describes an MD specializing in the nervous system.

          Exactly who is wrong here?

          • K&R’s peaceful mother/ The fed

            damn you autocorrect! That would be my mistake, I meant nuroscientist… sigh.

            Nonetheless she’s ‘studied neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles. She’s also written a book about parenting based on the science of hormones involved in parent-child bonding, to be released by Simon & Schuster in 2012’

            Point blank, there are APs who are very educated and that was the point about me mentioning Mayim

          • Alenushka

            There non AP parents who are highly educated. So what? Many people do stupid things despite their education. Myaim refuses to get professional help for her kids who are clearly delayed.

          • fed-up mom

            I never said they’re weren’t dear, I think you missed what I was saying. I was saying that Miss Amy potrays AP parents are idiots, and I was saying no that isn’t the case because there are educated natural attachment parents, then I used Mayim as an example. Do you get me yet? Hope I cleared the miscommunication.

          • Alenushka

            You are doing a good job yourself here.

          • fed-up mom

            Why are the unnatural parents of this blog so rude and self-righteous?

          • Alenushka

            Actually, I had vaginal births and I breastfed my kids. I confess, I did not eat my placenta because that was idiotic. Unnatural is to think that there is only one way to feed the baby or to raise a child. You should take an anthropology class to see in how many diverse ways humanity raises its offspring and majority of people turn out good enough
            .

          • insulted mom

            Amy, if you’re Alenushka, how do you know if I ate my placenta or not?

            You seem like a liar to me, sweetie. Someone who is desperately trying to prove a point. But I cannot prove if you’re Amy or not, all I can say for someone who breastfed and vaginally delivered children you seem to have a strong stance against a group of parents who advocate it. Nonetheless, I did take anthropology; though we learned about different customs, we learned nothing about parenting methods; all we gathered is that most women carry children on slings; by default breastfeed them into toddler-hood and by default had to sleep near them. You should look at the breastfeeding rates in the rest of the world; the tables speak for themselves. Attachment parenting can be found around the globe on almost any continent. So again bad claims, and a senseless rude temperament. Can you explain to me again why you’re insulting me when I’ve been polite to you in this entire conversation?

          • Alenushka

            You definitely did not take anthropology. I do not know where you did tour gathering but this is just a bunch of nonsense. I do not think that the way I gave birth or fed my kids made me a better mother than other who choose different path. As a feminist, I do not think of my biological function as my biggest achievement in life. Please, do not call me sweetie. This is very offensive. I think it is very clear from my syntax that not only I am not Amy, I am not even a native English speaker.

          • fed-up mom

            And you’re a feminist too? Alright Amy.

          • Kara

            You, insulted mom, are desperately defending your parenting choices. Yes, in history parents carried their babies in slings, not because they’re following the AP fad, but because it’s easier while they’re working. And yes they breastfed for a long time, but not because they were told it “strengthens the bond” or that it will strengthen the child’s immunity or whatever, but because there isn’t access to clean water and food. And yes, lots of cultures coslept and still do, but not because they read Dr Sears’ book and it said they should but because theres only one room in the house or because they needed to stay warm.

          • fed-up mom

            Omg! Why do I bother? Humans carried their children because it was instinctual; and thus served a evolutionary purpose along with breastfeeding and co-sleeping. Since we were designed to do these things; it was more convenient for our primitive ancestors just like since apes are designed to climb trees; tree-climbing is easier, just like fish are designed to swim; swimming is easier. Do you not see how that works?

          • Dr Kitty

            Some of us have kids who hate slings, some of us have rheumatological and neurological issues which mean that we cannot use slings once our kids hit a certain size.
            I’m a little from column A, a little from column B.

            It doesn’t matter if you use your arms, a sling, a carrier, a carseat or a buggy to get from A to B, and it doesn’t matter if your kid is in your arms, on your lap, on the floor, or in a bouncy chair or buggy once you get there. As long as you and the kid are safe and comfortable there is no reason to be proscriptive about the method, and in fact it is rather ableist to be so sure that no other options are good enough.

          • Young CC Prof

            Possibly because you started this thread on a confrontational note, like telling women who tried to breastfeed and failed that they are selfish and whiny. Ask honest questions, start a reasoned debate, see a different side of things.

          • fed-up mom

            And when exactly in quote did I say that? Oh right, I didn’t! You’re lying and fabricating to play victim, AGaIN!

          • It’s a wonder why no one in the professional world takes you seriously, and you’ll never be anything more than an angry bitter blog poster with nothing to do with your lonesome expiring existence in this beautiful world.

            When you start your very first post with that, people are going to get annoyed at you. You came in guns blazing- people responded in kind. If, next time, you wish a more reasoned discussion, perhaps you could begin without gratuitous insults?

          • fed-up mom

            Insults? After all what Amy wrote, I was the one making insults?

            She’s made false accusations of me throughout the entire post and was sarcastic arrogant and condescending about it too, but I’m the bad guy right?

            “And why do you joke about the “dead baby card”? Is it really a joke if your baby dies during childbirth?”

            You all are hypocrites and you absolutely hate it when someone has enough guts to defend themselves.

          • fed-up mom

            Amy writes like this all the time, so she wasn’t teaching anyone a lesson, she comes off rude and condescending. You can see that in her home-birth bingo or some her posts about natural parents:

            “I can’t decide who are the bigger fools. Those who eat their placenta or those who leave it attached to the baby to rot off.”

            ” You have to be the most gullible rube on the planet to be or use the services of a “placenta encapsulation specialist”

            http://www.skepticalob.com/2013/06/unnatural-childbirth-5-goofy-things-that-natural-parenting-advocates-do-that-never-occur-in-nature.html

            You lost your point.

          • Rude and condescending, yes. Often. Mean, too.

            Deliberately trying to make you feel guilty, lesser, like you’re going to ruin your child forever? No. Trying to wound? Never. Dr. Amy is the harshness of the person calling you out to your face. It sucks, but it’s honest. What she criticizes is the poison of emotional manipulation and false sweetness and concern trolling. You know, saying things like ‘all moms who truly love their babies breastfeed, even if they never sleep for three months and their cracked, bleeding nipples are on fire and every time their baby eats, they sob in pain. If you gave up because of such minor problems, I’m so sad you didn’t love your baby enough to continue.’ While nothing you have said here is that egregious, you have continually insisted that breastfeeding is not only best, but that formula feeding is actively harmful. You have also heavily implied that you are a better mother than others because you breastfed your child to five years old. If you’re better, then someone else is worse, right? That message is toxic.

            And to be honest, eating one’s placenta or leaving it to rot off are both really weird things to do. Doing either has no known benefits whatsoever and could be harmful. Calling someone who eats their placenta or leaves it to rot off their newborn baby a fool is mean, but fairly accurate. Letting someone encapsulate it, thus destroying any possible benefits it could have, is falling for a con. We call people who fall for cons gullible. It’s not nice, but it is true.

          • Happier mom

            I ate mine, it’s been used for Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and is usually taken by hospitals (along with foreskin) for cosmetic purposes, so I’m not sure which is weirder.

            We also drink the expressed milk of another species, leave it to spoil it until there’s mold on it and consume it. (Well, I’m vegan so I don’t do this) but YOU do. People also consume fish sperm and fish eggs. Isn’t that weird and gross? Futhermore this odd practice of comsuming another species rotten ‘breastmilk’ causes us health problems. At least with placentas there are mammals who actually do the practice, and science suggests it may serves a evolutionary purpose.

            Ms. Amy is just an blogger, I asked my child’s pediatrician about her and she didn’t even know who she was. I asked a OBGYN about her as well, and all of the physicians were puzzled. I’m sorry but the way you all follow her (like she’s The One, or some accredited source) is a little bit insane, she’s not apart of the American Pediatrics, she doesn’t have a physician’s license, and isn’t referred to in any journal. Again she’s just a woman with an opinion.

          • Well, Dr. Amy is a woman with a medical degree, past OB/GYN experience, and ability to break down statistics pretty well who also has a blog. She’s not a major celebrity or anything, nor would I expect her to be. I check what I read here with other places (Google Scholar is my friend), and so far she’s been right, so I don’t double check her often any more. She’s shown herself to be credible. She also cites her sources.

            As for things people eat- yeah, there’s lots of weird things people eat. Moldy milk from another species is delicious and nutritious. Was your placenta delicious? Also, people are generally against cannibalism for all sorts of really good reasons. Why cannibalize part of your baby? The theory on mammals who eat placentas (none of whom are very close to us, evolutionarily speaking) do so to 1) get iron out of it, and 2) eat the bloody thing so predators don’t come around. Unfortunately for people, the iron in our placentas isn’t actually in a bioavailable form, so eating it isn’t going to help very much. As for placentas in cosmetics- what they actually do is extract certain hormones from the placentas, process and purify them, and then put those hormones into cosmetics. Weird? Yeah. But then again, I think most of those cosmetics (which tend to be skin-smoothing creams) are full of pseudo-science and bullshit claims, so you’re not helping your case to point out that pseudo-scientists use derivatives from human and animal placentas to sell their snake oil.

            As for Chinese medicine- yeah, that’s not helping your case at all either. While some herbal bits are probably useful, most traditional Chinese medicine is purely superstitious bunk that does an incredible amount of harm to the environment and sometimes to its practitioners. The fact that people have done something for a long time doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to do. You have to provide evidence that it works.

          • drsquid

            my ob knows who she is … yay anecdata

          • Young CC Prof

            She was invited to speak at the last ACOG meeting, so clearly someone respects her. No, she doesn’t have such a high profile that I would expect most doctors to know who she is, but her posts cite sources and she has the background and training to make sense of them.

          • fed-up mom

            “reastfeeding is the preferred method of feeding for newborns and infants. Nearly every woman can breastfeed her child. Exceptions are few and include those women who take street drugs or do not control alcohol use, have an infant with galactosemia, are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I or type II, and have active untreated tuberculosis or varicella or active herpes simplex virus with breast lesions (3, 4).

            The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly supports breastfeeding and calls upon its Fellows, other health care professionals caring for women and their infants, hospitals, and employers to support women in choosing to breastfeed their infants. All should work to facilitate the continuation of breastfeeding in the workplace and public facilities. Health care professionals have a wide range of opportunities to serve as a primary resource to the public and their patients regarding the benefits of breastfeeding and the knowledge, skills, and support needed for successful breastfeeding (5). In addition to providing supportive clinical care for their own patients, obstetrician–gynecologists should be in the forefront of fostering changes in the public environment that will support breastfeeding, whether through change in hospital practices, through community efforts, or through supportive legislation.”

            http://www.acog.org/Resources_And_Publications/Committee_Opinions/Committee_on_Health_Care_for_Underserved_Women/Breastfeeding_Maternal_and_Infant_Aspects

            Obviously not the right ACOG since They disagree with Amy.

            Can’t have your cake and eat it too.

          • Box of Salt

            “I ate mine”
            Cannibalism.
            Frowned upon in most societies.

          • Box of Salt

            Again, “I ate mine [my placenta]”

            Oh, are you for real? You claim to be vegan AND you claim you ate your own child’s placenta?

            How does that make any sense at all?

            It’s an animal product!

            How is being a cannibal is consistent with being a vegan?

            I don’t get it.

            And you suggest others are “unnatural parents.”

          • Young CC Prof

            Well, my vegan friend has no objections to oral sex. Maybe this falls under the same exemption? (Kidding, sort of.)

          • Box of Salt

            “falls under the same exemption?”
            Maybe she spits it out. No issues in that case!

          • Mishimoo

            The explanation I’ve heard for both is that it’s not exploiting helpless animals, so it’s okay.

          • Box of Salt

            “it’s not exploiting helpless animals, so it’s okay.”

            Well, that really depends on each individual martial situation, doesn’t it?

          • fed-up mom

            I answered this stupidity, moving along…

          • fed-up mom

            Box
            of Salt, why are you so obsessed with me? I’ve seen you comment multiple times to one answer and I must say, your fondness is a little disconcerting. You’re coming across as a troll, who senselessly just hates. I’ve seen you jumping up and down to get my attention so I’ll answer to your ridiculous threads just because I know you love chatting so much:

            “Placentas aren’t vegan”

            Yes they are. Please stop the foolishness, veganism is the practice of not eating OTHER sentient organisms who are slaughtered; kill; and processed for food.News flash; placentas don’t have a heart-beat; a consciousness or are any more sentient
            that a bump on a log. I ate something that
            is considered bodily waste; and would have decayed into the earth otherwise! It wasn’t a living breathing organism, with feelings and emotions. It wasn’t a bodily organ! It was something that grew
            in me when I was pregnant and quickly discarded from my body once the use was served. Nonetheless placentophia itself isn’t cannibalism, nor more than the ingesting semen or feeding an infant breastmilk:

            · Cannibalism is the eating of human flesh. Flesh is defined as being
            muscle and fat; placenta is neither.

            · Cannibalism, by definition, is consumption of the flesh of someone or something that has been recently killed. Placentas, again, do not qualify.

            · Arguments against placentophagia state that
            we are not supposed to consume anything that comes from our own body. Except, we feed our infants milk produced from our breasts, which is perfectly designed for that purpose. So is the placenta perfectly designed for consumption by the
            mother.

            “Cannibalsim can be divided into to categories – (a) killing a person in order to eat theirflesh and (b) eating the flesh of a person who has died on their own. Let us consider (b) in which the person is not maliciously killed, as this more closely pertains to placentophagia. There was the case of the soccer team that crashed in the Andes mountains. The survivors ate the flesh of those who had died either in the crash or b/c of freezing to death. There was no malicious intention, in fact their intention was the preservation of their own lives, which is a moral good. However, since the morality of a human act depends upon three factors: the object (act itself), the intention, and the circumstances (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, line 1755), we cannot say that their cannibalism was perfectly okay. Their intention may have been good, and their circumstances were indeed mitigating, but the intrinsic evil of consuming dead human flesh remains unchanged. The personhood of those who had died was in some way violated because their bodies were not properly respected. We cannot judge the souls of those who ate the flesh, but we can say that the act itself was wrong, even though the circumstances were mitigating. “


            See more at: http://blog.placentabenefits.info/index.php/2011/11/is-eating-placenta-cannibalism-and-what-about-god/#sthash.lKRhBhiS.dpuf

          • “Happier Mom” – another sock puppet I assume? Dr. Amy is excellent at finding these, given that it’s her site and she has access to all the I.P. logging. Because that doesn’t change when you change email addresses.

          • Box of Salt

            I have to ask this again:

            What is an “unnatural parent”?

          • Mishimoo

            Well if @Zomorph is an anti-natural parent, maybe it’s something like that?

          • Alenushka

            You are the one who is wrong. PhD is not the same as MD. If you can’t understand such simple thing, why would anyone listen to anything you have to say? Here”

            A neurologist is a medical doctor or osteopath who has trained in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders, including diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.

            Neurologists perform neurological examinations
            of the nerves of the head and neck; muscle strength and movement;
            balance, ambulation, and reflexes; and sensation, memory, speech,
            language, and other cognitive abilities.

            They also perform diagnostic tests such as the following:

            CAT (computed axial tomography) or CT scan

            MRI scan or MRA (magnetic resonance angiography)

            lumbar puncture (spinal tap)

            EEG (electroencephalography)

            EMG/NCV (electromyography/nerve conduction velocity)

            To become a board-certified neurologist several requirements must be met.

            Neurologist Education Requirements

            Four years of premedical education in a college or university

            Four years of medical school resulting in an MD or DO degree (doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy degree)

            One year internship in either internal medicine or medicine/surgery

            At least 3 years of specialty training in an accredited neurology residency program”

        • S

          I’m by no means a Mayim Bialik expert or even a fan, but i thought her research centered on Prader-Willi syndrome

          • Wren

            That’s what I thought as well.

    • BTDT

      I almost said “Oh, F&@k off.” Then I remembered what site I was at. So, instead of that, I’ll say “The lady doth protest too much.”

      • fed-up mom

        It must hurts to be wrong insecure and wrong, lol.

        • BTDT

          I don’t think I’m wrong. But you’re free to think whatever you like.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      K&R’s peaceful mother/ The fed-mom/realist:

      Stop changing your screen name to make it look like there are people agreeing with your nonsense. One screen name only or you will be banned.

      • K&R’s peaceful mother/ The fed

        I’m not ‘pretending’. I openly admit to being these posters. I’m a a off-the-grid mama I don’t keep up with the posting names very well (openly admitted when chatting with another user who saw me switch from peaceful mama to K&R’s peaceful mama), and I like privacy so I’m not going to post my true story with my children. Are you angry that you’re wrong Amy? And that’s your issue? Because changing guest post names doesn’t negate anything I wrote about you.

        Amy, i have a gmail, a yahoo, and a hotmail (though i’ve not used the hotmail in the while), so if you block me I can simply switch. It’s that simple.

        • Mishimoo

          “I’m a a off-the-grid mama I don’t keep up with the posting names very well”

          So…how do you keep up with 3 email addresses then?

          • K&R’s peaceful mother/ The fed

            Ez, guest post names, are nicknames you use to comment on a article or a blog post; you write your opinion an go on with your life. like me, I haven’t posted on this blog in months, I’ve been too busy living.Yahoo and gmail accounts are things you’ll actually need in life; especially to connect with others. I hope that answered your question

          • Mishimoo

            Why not set up a Disqus account to save the trouble of remembering which guest name you normally use? It’d certainly cut the drama of being accused of running sockpuppets, which detracts from the point you’re trying to argue.

          • Box of Salt

            She just deleted her DIsqus account. Her name is no longer in blue.

          • Mishimoo

            I noticed that. Did you happen to notice that she only seems to argue about semantics or insult others in regard to her points, instead of actually answering questions?

          • Box of Salt

            Anyone else notice Disqus behaving funky tonight? Like lots of extra “fed up mom” comment atttributions? Did it seem to correlate with fed-up mom’s screen name color changes, or am I inferring patterns where there are none?

          • Eddie Sparks

            I’ve come in late to the conversation and it certainly seems difficult to follow. Sometimes it seems as if you (“Box of Salt”) are carrying on both sides of the conversation, and sometimes “Fed Up Mom” is doing both sides. But Disqus is mostly stupid, so that might explain it.

          • Box of Salt

            I’ve been bouncing on and off all night while working on other things on my computer.

            From my end, I’ve never seen my own comments show up as fed-up’s – just other people’s. I sincerely hope Eddie can tell the difference between my voice and fed-up’s.

            My question relates to the timing: she has gone back and forth on having the accounts, based on being able to click her blue-colored handle, and the extra “fed-up” attributions seem to go along with those changes.

            But hey, it’s Disqus. Who knows?

          • Eddie Sparks

            Sorry, should have made it clear that I can definitely tell who wrote what from the style. 🙂

            I was just referring to the name tags on the top of the posts. Young CC Prof is right that reloading the page seems to put everything in its place.

          • Disqus did some updates which have made it buggy as all get out. I’m getting rage hives because I can’t load it on my phone – which is the main place I read/comment here. I’m sure this is related.

          • Eddie Sparks

            I couldn’t use it on my phone for nearly two weeks. Then, an update seemed to come out which provided a “mobile” version of the discussion. You have to click on the link at the bottom of the article and it loads in a separate window. It eliminates the turning black phenomenon, which is absolutely fantastic. But it means that the links that go directly to an individual post don’t work, and there is no search feature, so you have to scroll through the entire discussion to try and find the new comments. Which is frustrating.

          • The app is extremely buggy on a Windows phone and the direct website comments are literally inaccessible. I am really looking forward to getting a new phone next month >:-(

          • Young CC Prof

            Yes, and it’s a Disqus issue. Reloading the page sometimes fixes it.

          • Mishimoo

            Yeah, it has been doing that for me too.

          • fed-up mom

            I never had a disqus account. I just created one, but Amy (being I’ve proven her wrong several times) blocked me from it.

          • fed-up mom

            You know what, I might, thank you for your suggestion. I’ve posted on other blogs too, but I always hated making an account whenever I wanted to just drop off my opinion and leave. I’m just so lazy 😛 lololol

          • Dr Kitty

            And didn’t you flounce off last time, swearing never to return?

            Can’t say you’ve been missed.

        • Box of Salt

          Wow fed up K&R peaceful momma declaring you will continue to use sock puppets increases your credibility so much!
          /sarcasm

          • K&R’s peaceful mother/ The fed

            I don’t use sock puppets for anything. When did I say that? I said I may post different names but if you ask me “Hey are you ____(insert name here)” I’ll gladly say, “Oh yes,certainly that was me. If you hear anything about cob houses, earthships, veganism, countercultural living, and if you see pictures of indigenous mothers at the end of my long lectures, it’s me :)”

            No puppets here, it seems you’re simply diverting topics.

          • Box of Salt

            Sock puppets = using different screen names to make it look like other posters agree with you.

            It makes you appear dishonest, and therefore damages your credibility. Is that clear enough for you?

            I am not diverting topics – just making it clear why I am not particularly interested in having much more conversation with you after you declared your intention of behaving dishonestly.

          • fed-up mom

            I said I may post different names but if you ask me “Hey are you ____(insert name here)?” I’ll gladly say, “Oh yes,certainly that was me. If you hear anything about cob houses, earthships, veganism, countercultural living, and if you see pictures of indigenous mothers at the end of my long lectures, it’s me :)”

            That’s what i said, and that’s what I meant. I did not use multiple screen names to make it appear as if i were different posts. I cannot figure out who would have the time in the world to do that. If it appeared that way, I apologize. I’ll do my best to keep up with a blog guest post. Okay, sweetie? My credibility isn’t damaged, because all I did was quote from health organizations and pediatric organizations as well. I was also honest, and gave you hints on when it was my comments to a post. Furthermore this a commenting section on a internet blog, you talk as if we’re debating childcare on global TV. Please, take a chill-pill, sir.

          • Box of Salt

            fed-up mom “I said I may post different names but if you ask me “Hey are you ____(insert name here)?” I’ll gladly say, “Oh yes,certainly that was me.”

            No. Don’t try to act all innocent now.

            What you wrote and I am cutting and pasting here) is:
            “if you block me I can simply switch. It’s that simple.”

            By the way, I have a screen shot.

          • Box of Salt

            oops.

            ^insert opening parenthesis before “and’

          • fed-up mom

            —“if you block me I can simply switch. It’s that simple.”
            –By the way, I have a screen shot.

            So this is Ms. Amy again. My, my, my how many accounts do you have?

          • Trouble

            If you’re really off the grid, you might not realise that anyone can screenshot what you’ve written, not just the blog admin. Or that blog admins can get your IP address so it doesn’t matter if you have 18 million hotmail accounts if you’ve only got one internet connection.

            I vote block. She’s had her say, and she’s clearly here to abuse rather than discuss.

          • fed-up mom

            I mean to say why would you go around taking screen shoots of a guest post on a commenting thread? Unless you’re the owner, you don’t think that’s a bit too obsessive?

          • Lisa the Raptor

            I don’t know. This post went from 60 comments to over 100. She’s kinda fun, for a fruitcake. Of course I just got here and y’all have been at it all night. I’ll likely get bored myself in a few.

          • “cred·i·bil·i·ty [kred-uh-bil-i-tee] noun the quality of being believable or worthy of trust:”
            (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/credibility)

            You cannot judge your own ability to be believable or worthy of trust. Using multiple names inherently makes you less believable. And that doesn’t even address your fantastical, easily disprovable claims.

    • S

      Why did people throw baby showers for you against your will, babydoll?

      Is that a photo of you at the end of your post, cupcake?

      • the fed-up mom

        You are a very rude, sweetheart. And if this is how you talk to people off the internet it’s a wonder why you spend so much of your time on it, and alone. Please learn to chit-chat, and please stop coming off with an arrogant and very condescending temperament, it’s very unnecessary and makes you look like a jackass, especially since I’ve been polite enough to apologize and reason with you several times as you continue to senselessly insult me.

        As I say in the back of my head to the vast majority of internet dwellers, what a botch.

        • S

          Are you saying that you find it offensive and impolite when people address you in an overly familiar tone for no reason? That’s surprising.

          I otherwise have no idea what you’re talking about, since this is the first time we have conversed.

        • S

          I asked my first question because i genuinely don’t understand why, if you don’t want a lot of plastic crap, you would agree to having a baby shower (apparently more than one). Why not do what i did and say no thank you? (I don’t mind plastic, but i got all my stuff dirt cheap secondhand and didn’t want people spending money on new stuff, except then they did anyway.) But maybe yours was a surprise baby shower.

          My second question — I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, and hoping you were not actually using a stock photo of an indigenous woman to demonstrate how in touch with the earth you are. Do you have any idea how incredibly offensive that is? PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE NOT PROPS.

          Thanks for the etiquette lesson.

    • Dr Kitty

      TL;DR

      DNFTT

      • Lisa the Raptor

        He he he. It like every mothering dot com thread ever compiled into an Omega or our pleasure. Except no professor would accept this paper because the sources are not mentioned and wrong. I didn’t want to read my own Omega. And it was factually correct. Pffft.

        • I couldn’t believe the post wasn’t a poe – but she’s still here. That’s…really disturbing.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            Apparently she’s been here. Concern troll might hang around long enough to learn something. Or bore us all to tears.

    • Trixie

      I’m going to ignore the rest of this and just comment on this one: car seats are nonsense? So, you just use your natcheral cotton sling in the car?

      • fed-up mom

        I meant in scenarios like walking to places; or sitting in a restaurant; or more so when you’re in the house and you put the baby in something so you don’t have to hold him. I live in an area where I walk everywhere so my baby doesn’t need a car seat.

    • Lisa the Raptor

      Your babies came out of your stomach? Mine were in my uterus. I think the ones that come from your stomach are called “food babies” and I don’t think you’re supposed to play with them. Let alone feed them.

      • Young CC Prof

        I think my baby’s giant head is in my stomach. Or squeezed up against it, squashing it flat, anyway. I keep telling him he’s going to have to move over if he wants me to feed us, but he doesn’t listen.

        • Lisa the Raptor

          Mine liked to play bladder soccer.

          • Jennifer2

            I think my son tired to give me a c-section from the inside.

      • fed-up mom

        I love it when people pay so close to arbitrary aspects of a entire point they miss the entire point. Usually I see this when people stupid and have no rebuttal when corrected. Prime example.

        “stom·ach

        a. The enlarged, saclike portion of the alimentary canal, one of the principal organs of digestion, located in vertebrates between the esophagus and the small intestine.
        b. A similar digestive structure of many invertebrates.
        c. Any of the four compartments into which the stomach of a ruminant is divided.
        2. **THE ABDOMEN OR BELLY**

        So obviously I meant the second definition of stomach (the abdomen or belly), my dear. I’m sorry you lack a dictionary at home. Babies grow under the skin of their mother’s abdomen, stomach of belly, whatever you want to call it. If you want to obsess and become unnecessarily technical over definitions like a first grader, at least care enough to google it before blabbing nonsense.

        When the baby came out, she was pushed from her destination; under my abdominal skin, through the birth canal and out of my vagina. However, she was originally inside her amniotic sack with is located in the third trimester in my stomach:

    • wookie130

      There are just too many gems here to not reply to. So, here it goes:
      1) Babies don’t come out of your stomach. Unless you’re 4 years old, and this is how your own mother explained how birth happens. And synthetic lab nonsense = perfectly good and nutritious food for babies. Ask my daughter.
      2) Some babies just cry because they…cry. And hospital babies do have more birth traumas, simply because there are more babies born in hospitals. Rightly so, really.
      3) No one involved in my hospital birth treated my child like a factory object, ever. I was grateful that the medical staff were professional, available, and actually very gentle with me, and my daughter. My daughter probably didn’t have a “spiritual well-being” at birth, but hey, thanks for caring.
      4) So glad to hear you didn’t do this. Today.

      5) Why do your kids have masseuses?

      6) Oh no!!!! You’ve pulled the “pity” card!

      7) Sometimes these drugs are necessary. In fact, I am highly thankful that I live in a country where these drugs are widely used, and available. That lady in that photo you posted above is probably thankful that she’s here, and alive to the tell the tale…and I’m sure if something had gone wrong for her, she would have wished she had those drugs. Oh, the things we take for granted.
      8) Why would you know why women choose to formula feed? I don’t know one women who did so because they wanted to avoid “saggy tits.” Me, I did try. And yeah, it was too hard. But you’ll have that with IGT (insufficient glandular tissue). I guess when your breasts weren’t genetically designed to produce milk, you’ll try hard, and not succeed, like me. So, the alternative was formula. And it’s been a God-send.
      9) There was so much misinformation here, I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll just say that I used a sling and a carrier, off and on. It came in handy. Had I NOT used one, it would have not been to my daughter’s detriment. I’m pretty sure after a child is born, the womb is no longer necessary, so there’s really no need to try to recreate that for the rest of their infancy and toddlerhood. But hey, to each their own.
      10) “I don’t have time for message boards, blogs, and sites.” Yeah, we can see that. *snort* And I am no more inspired by your descriptions of natural birthing scenarios than I am of Mayim Bialik. I still choose what is best for my child, as most people choose to do.

      11) You post all of that insulting nonsense on Dr. Amy, and then you follow it with some stock photo of an indigenous mother nursing her child. Ummm….???? And you’re here why? Because you think she’s going to read all of that, and say, “Oh, you’re right. I now think differently thanks to your compelling arguments.”

      Okay.

      • rh1985

        I find the comments about “drugging” a bit ridiculous considering that every time I’ve mentioned one of the reasons I’m not going to breastfeed is because I will be on a lot of prescription medications and a lactivist responds, they will say “Oh don’t worry about the drugs, just breastfeed, it’s perfectly harmless!” So I guess drugging is only bad if it’s not accompanied by breastmilk. :-/

        • Nashira

          Sfkjaljwtiowafnska omfg I hate those people and they make me hate that stupid book by Dr. Hale, all because of them. Do you ever have them demand to know what exactly you’re taking so that they can look it up for you and PROVE you can totally breastfeed?

          You know, up until you reach the part about, say, incredibly high risk of sedation causing your infant to stop breathing…

        • Young CC Prof

          Absolutely. Taking medicines and then breastfeeding every single day, that’s totally fine. But an epidural, a single dose of medicine applied to the spinal cord (very little reaching the bloodstream) THAT will mess up the baby!

        • Clarissa Darling

          Before my son was born I was trying to evaluate the risks and benefits of breastfeeding while taking a medication that I planned to start using after pregnancy. I came across one article that said something to the point of “the effect on infants due to exposure through breast milk has not been widely studied but, most health professionals believe that the benefits of breastfeeding are so great that they outweigh the risks” So most health professionals believe it’s OK even though it has not been widely studied, how does this even begin to make sense? Lactivists will have to excuse me if I don’t take their word for it that the risks of the medication are outweighed by the “risk” of formula.

          • rh1985

            My doctors pretty much told me all the data was on each medication alone, on their own each did not appear to hurt the baby but might lower supply. There was no data on so many together and I should consider that. So I decided I was more comfortable with formula.

          • Clarissa Darling

            That is the conclusion I came to as well. I’m more comfortable with formula than “It’s probably OK but, we’re not really sure”.

          • Young CC Prof

            The simplest study is to measure whether the drug is actually getting to the milk in the first place. If it isn’t, no worries. If it is, then you actually need to do some work, figure out how much and what exactly that’s going to do to the child.

          • Clarissa Darling

            The drugs I take do get into breastmilk. It’s the how much and what does it do to the child part that I don’t feel very comfortable with. I’ve heard of all the evil things that BIG BAD Corp. puts in formula but, but I’m pretty sure the prescriptions I’m taking are not included.

          • Young CC Prof

            That is such a weird conspiracy theory, putting Evil Chemicals in baby formula. There’s no need to add extra sugar or salt or MSG to make the taste addictive, since the person buying it isn’t tasting it and the purchase decision mainly IS about nutrition. It’s independently tested and monitored by the FDA, and if product tainting or adulteration were found, the scandal would ruin the company.

            Remember the melamine disaster in China? People were actually literally executed over that one, the public outrage was so great. And Western product-safety protocols are about a hundred times less corrupt and more effective than Chinese.

          • rh1985

            Yeah, the drugs I take also would pass into breastmilk. Whether the combination would have an effect different than each medication on its own is what there isn’t any data on. Plus I’d likely have to supplement anyway due to the ones that often cause supply issues, so ultimately I didn’t think the risk was worth it, especially since it was likely to be very frustrating with supply issues.

        • fed-up mom

          Drugging is bad when you’re pushing out a baby and the drugs get into the babies.

      • fed-up mom

        Someone’s very angry today, lol.

        #1)
        I love it when people pay so close to arbitrary aspects of a entire
        point they miss the entire point. Usually I see this when people are
        stupid and have no rebuttal when corrected. Prime example.

        “stom·ach

        a.
        The enlarged, saclike portion of the alimentary canal, one of the
        principal organs of digestion, located in vertebrates between the
        esophagus and the small
        intestine.
        b. A similar digestive structure of many invertebrates.
        c. Any of the four compartments into which the stomach of a ruminant is divided.
        2. **THE ABDOMEN OR BELLY**

        So
        obviously I meant the second definition of stomach (the abdomen or
        belly), my dear. I’m sorry you lack a dictionary at home. Babies grow
        under the skin of their mother’s abdomen, stomach or belly, whatever you
        want to call it. If you want to obsess and become unnecessarily
        technical over definitions like a first grader, at least care enough to
        google it before blabbing nonsense.

        #2) No babies cry simply for crying. There is always something wrong, but the baby cannot communicate this.

        #3)
        Says you, but not my experience or many others’ mother’s experience. I
        think your standpoint is a little bit biased and again, more anecdotal
        testimonies, when you already dislike what i stand for.

        #4) That’s taking it too far. You’re already quite stupid, and hotheaded don’t make yourself a bitch too.

        #5) Children need masseuses it fights colic and has a slew of health benefits.

        “In the Physiological/Physical Growth Domain

        Benefits to the infant of receiving massage:
        -Improves body awareness
        -Improves relaxation and release of accumulated stress
        -Stimulates circulation
        -Strengthens digestive, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems, which can lead to weight gain
        -Reduces discomfort from teething, congestion, gas, colic and emotional stress
        -Improves muscle tone coordination
        -Increases elimination, circulation and respiration
        -Improves sleep patterns
        -Increases hormonal function”

        http://www.healthyfamily.org/cs/user/print/article/2

        #6)
        I think formula feeding unnatural
        parents get credit for enough of this. PS: feeling sorry for Mr. Amy
        insanity is not feeling sorry for myself. I know I’m a good mother.
        Also, if you want to come across as an adult, putting exclamation marks
        obsessively at the end of your sentences is not going to higher your
        logos or pathos.

        #7) Drugs are harmful, and yes sometimes necessary but rarely. Most
        women get epidurals because they can’t stand the pain. Not because
        they’re in some life threatening position.

        Epidural side-effects on mothers:

        -They lengthen labor.
        -They triple the risk of severe perineal tear.
        -They may increase the risk of cesarean section by 2.5 times.
        -They triple the occurrence of induction with synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin).
        -They
        quadruple the chances a baby will be persistently posterior (POP, face
        up) in the final stages of labor, which in turn decreases the chances of
        spontaneous vaginal
        birth (see below).
        -They
        decrease the chances of spontaneous vaginal delivery. In 6 of 9 studies
        reviewed in one analysis, less than half of women who received an
        epidural had a spontaneous vaginal delivery.
        -They
        increase the chances of complications from instrumental delivery. When
        women with an epidural had a forceps delivery, the amount of force used
        by the clinician was almost double that used when an epidural was not in
        place. This is significant because instrumental deliveries can increase
        the short-term risks of bruising, facial injuries, displacement of
        skull bones and blood clots in the scalp for babies, and of episiotomy
        and tears to the vagina and perineum in mothers.
        -They
        increase the risk of pelvic floor problems (urinary, anal and sexual
        disorders) in mothers after birth, which rarely resolve spontaneously.

        Epidural side-effects on babies:

        It’s
        important to understand that drugs administered by epidural enter the
        baby’s bloodstream at equal and sometimes even higher levels than those
        present in the mother’s bloodstream.

        However,
        because babies’ immune systems are immature, it takes longer for them
        to eliminate epidural drugs. For example, the half-life of bupivacaine, a
        commonly used epidural analgesic, is 2.7 hours in an adult but close to
        8 hours in a newborn. 2

        Studies
        have found detectable amounts of bupivacain metabolites in the urine of
        exposed newborns for 36 hours following spinal anesthesia for
        cesarians.

        Some studies have found deficits in newborn abilities that are consistent with the known toxicity of drugs used in epidurals.

        Other
        studies have found that local anesthetics used in epidurals may
        adversely effect the newborn immune system, possibly by activating the
        stress response.

        There
        is evidence that epidurals can compromise fetal blood and oxygen
        supply, probably via the decrease in maternal blood pressure that
        epidurals are known to cause.

        Epidurals
        have been shown to cause fetal bradycardia, a decrease in the fetal
        heart rate (FHR). This is probably secondary to the decrease in maternal
        CA caused by epidurals which in turn leads to low blood pressure and
        uterine hyper-stimulation.

        Epidurals
        can cause maternal fever, which in turn may affect the baby. In a large
        study of first-time moms, babies born to mothers with fever (97% of
        whom had epidurals) were more likely to be in poor condition (low APGAR
        scores) at birth, to have poor tone, to require resuscitation and to
        have seizures in the newborn period, compared to babies born to mothers
        without fever.

        Older
        studies using the more exacting Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral
        Assessment Scale (NBAS, devised by pediatricians) rather than the newer,
        highly criticized Neurologic and Adaptive Capacity Score (NACS, devised
        by anesthesiologists – can you say “conflict of interest”?) found
        significant neurobehavioral effects in babies exposed to epidurals.

        In
        one such study, researchers found less alertness and ability to orient,
        and less mature motor abilities, for the first month of life. These
        findings were in proportion to the dose of bupivacaine administered,
        suggesting a dose-related response.

        URL: http://chriskresser.com/natural-childbirth-v-epidural-side-effects-and-risks

        #8)
        Because I know women who choose formula, and openly told me why they
        did it. There are statistics on this issue as well. The most common
        reason women quit is not because they can’t do it, it’s because formula
        is more convenient. Like fast foods…

        “Convenience

        The
        main reason that women bottle feed rather than breast feed their babies
        is for convenience. It is much easier on a mother, especially if she
        also works outside of the home”

        URL” http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/14968/1/The-Advantages-of-Bottle-Feeding.html

        #9)
        You’re very uneducated then. Some child psychologist call the newborn
        state The Fourth Trimester for a reason: all human babies are born
        prematurely due to our large brains. This is why babies come into the
        world extremely helpless.
        (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=human-babies-long-to-walk)

        There
        are also medically recognized benefits to baby wearing that does
        address the spinal C newborns have, and that slings cater to:

        –By Dr. Andrew Dodge, DC:

        “We
        will take a look at why baby wearing is one of the best things you can
        do for optimal structural, neurological, physiological, and emotional
        development for baby.

        Structurally,
        your newborn baby’s spine is a big c-shape. Their posture is completely
        flexed, just like they were inside the womb. As their postural muscles
        get stronger, they are able to hold their head up and your baby develops
        the proper curve in their neck. Likewise, as baby begins to move around
        and crawl, they develop the proper curve in their low back. These
        curves develop over the
        first
        year of the baby’s life and are important for your baby’s developing
        spinal cord and nervous system, as well as their spinal joints and hip
        joints. When babies are worn properly by
        their
        parents and/or other caregivers, they are in a better biomechanical
        position for spinal and muscular development. In the properly worn
        position, gravity will aid in the development of
        postural muscle tone.

        In
        contrast, when baby is laying flat on their back in a car seat for a
        prolonged amount of time, the gravitational effects on the spine begin
        to straighten the developing curves. With prolonged time on their backs,
        babies can also begin to develop plagiocephaly (or flattening of the
        bones of the skull) causing deformation.[i] Both of these changes can
        affect proper spinal joint alignment and weight-bearing biomechanics,
        ligament development and strength around the spine and hip joints,
        muscle tone and biomechanical development, and neurological development
        of the child.[ii] Shorter amounts of time will not ultimately lead to
        drastic changes, but limiting the time your baby is in the car seat is
        structurally what is best for your baby. So put them in the car seat
        when they are in the car, but when you get to where you are going have a
        wrap, sling, or soft structured carrier ready to go! This way you can
        keep hands free and give awesome support to your little one’s developing
        body.”

        URL:http://onyababy.com/blog/2012/06/benefits-of-babywearing-vs-carseat-carrying/

        #10)
        So apart from today and yesterday, can you count how many times I’ve
        visited this ridiculous site? No? Exactly. Box Of Salt LIVES on this
        blog, so why not criticize him?

        #11)
        My post was telling Amy the truth a lot of you women don’t want to
        hear. I’m sorry your parenting is mediocre; you don’t do what’s best for
        your children; and to make yourself feel better you mock those who go
        out of their way for their kids. Breast are best ask the APA, ADA, WHO
        and the ACOG (Amy should know all about the ACOG “strong stance in
        support of breastfeeding”, allegedly she spoke for them at a meeting).
        Slings are better for babies; babies don’t need to CIO it causes stress,
        and attachment parenting is better parenting. Cloth diapers are better
        for babies, and veganism is better for children. It’s supported by
        globally recognized health organizations, and environmentalists.
        So there you have it. Have a wonderful day, babydoll.

        Oh,
        and no Miss Amy is very full of herself, usually when she sees
        something she can’t combat she blocks it or ignores it. Or she signs in
        one of many of her fake accounts to attack
        it.

    • MichelleJo

      I know that I am coming intois discussion has more or less wound down, but there is something I would like to say.
      You obviously believe that Dr Amy is wrong, wrong, wrong, and you have the correct information to counter all her claims. What puzzles me then is why do you care?
      Let me explain. I am Jewish, and I am sure that there are scores of anti-semitic web sites out there spewing hatred, and commentators who are only too happy to join in the hate fest.
      I also *know* that Jews have never done or caused the things that they claim, in fact I am 100% sure of it. I am also sure that these sites are downright dangerous, because they incite ‘violence’. I should do everything I can to show them they are wrong, and see that the site closes down. But that is the last thing I would do.
      These people are 100% sure they are right, I am 100% that they are wrong, and *that’s why I would never go near them*. Why bother and for what purpose? I would never get anywhere.
      Now if I was a Jew that wasn’t comfortable with the anti-semitic claims because maybe there is some truth to them, or they believe some but not all, or they want to put them right about some of the things they claim, then they might go there for an argument or discussion.

      From your rhetoric it is pretty obvious that you are 100% sure that you are right, and 100% sure that Dr Amy is wrong but thinks she is 100% right. So *why did you bother coming here*?! For what purpose? You aren’t going to change anything, and are just likely to make a fool of yourself.If however you were ambiguous or confused, it might make sense to come here and bring up what you thought was true for clarification, to argue a point, to support your contradictory information that you have.

      So you did one of two things: 1)Came along to have a fruitless fight and waste everyone’s time including your own, or 2) You’re not so comfortable with what you “know”. It is obvious that you are in the first category, so my advice to you is to stay away, and go troll a website where you’ll be more comfortable.

  • Guest

    Baby-wearing, extended-breastfeeding, bed sharing mother WILDLY APPLAUDING! There are as many right ways to raise kids as there are kids. Do what works for you, love the heck out of them. That’s all. Oh, and back each other up. There are very few parents actually worthy of your condemnation. Those rare few need real help, not sanctimony.

    • HeyHeather

      “There are as many right ways to raise kids as there are kids.” Fully agree.
      I think the most interesting point here is that it is a personal/family choice. While it is great to to try to share and educate on different strategies, it is wrong to be nasty, condemning and guilt tripping people who do not choose your choices. Kinda like the problem with religion.

    • Wren

      I agree Guest. Heck, even kids in the same family can need a different approach. My son was not a fan of most AP practices, while my daughter loved being in a sling and would likely still be nursing if I hadn’t decided I was ready to stop. Funnily, she was never a co-sleeping fan though and took herself into another room to sleep once she was big/old enough to physically do it.

  • Felicitasz

    I have read the first paragraph. Satire-o-meter got stuck at max so now I take a break, catch my breath and then come back and will read on 🙂

  • Siri Dennis

    I may be wrong, but wouldn’t ‘fishing stats’ include species as well? You know, Grayling, 4lb 2oz? And the fish’s ultimate destiny – as in, cooked whole on the BBQ, or turned into an amazing fish pie, or: Too small! Released back into the water. ??

    • ScoobyDOODOO

      Once a baby is born, no. It cannot be released back into the water 😛

  • CanDoc

    Love, love, love this well-constructed post. Thank you!

  • This is a great post. The problem is that a level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence is needed to undestand this point of view and that might not be abundant. It takes a very emotionally mature person to be tolerant of others, to value autonomy and diversity of opinion – and unfortunately many people just aren’t there. The culture isn’t there. The most you can do is highlight why the approach is wrong, the most you can do is hope that at some point there is growth – just do your part to make it better. Overall, this blog does that – even if at times the tone is harsh . Thank-you.

  • Lisa the Raptor

    Well my body did what it was intended to do and I’ve loved my kids since day one. No amount of artificial anything could get in the way of that. My love is perfectly natural. Neener neener booh!

  • Zornorph

    I recently came across a post on the Alpha Parents message board where some woman was talking about how put off she was by a facebook post with a picture of a young girl (about 10) bottle feeding a baby and the various replies to is describing it as ‘cute’. Now, you would think it was bottle feeding in and of itself that she objected to (though it could have been pumped breast milk, I suppose) but no, she was saying that only the mother should be feeding the baby and she shouldn’t be ‘outsourcing’ it. That if the baby were asked, baby would only want mommy to feed it.
    I make a point of letting anybody who wants to feed my LO. I mean, I do 95% of it, but I want him comfortable with other people. I don’t feel threatened if somebody else is feeding him and while I certainly don’t mind feeding him (enjoy it most times, really), I can’t say I mind having somebody else do it every now and then. He seems to enjoy getting attention from different people – I think it’s a good thing, not a bad thing. But that’s just how some of that thinking is. I think that the extreme APs consider anything that lessens the burden on the mother to automatically be a bad thing. I do not understand why they want to view motherhood as this long, endless sacrifice. Do they actually enjoy that? Or do they enjoy being martyrs for their children?

    • IDHACN

      “I don’t feel threatened if somebody else is feeding him”

      I think that’s what this all comes down to – these are very territorial, possessive women, and making sure that baby likes them best is the point of parenting. I remember seeing some idiot post on a board once, bragging that her almost 4 year old had NEVER been away from her, ever, and taking huge satisfaction in describing how hurt her mother in law is with never being allowed to have the child without the mom there.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        These are the parents that will never let their kids participate in school activities that let them be away from school. My daughter had a friend who’s parents insisted on being chaperones on every school trip or their daughter could not go.
        Even when she was in high school. Now the daughter can only go to colleges that she can commute to and live at home. She and her boyfriend live with her mom and dad.

        There is nothing wrong with living with your parents as an adult for a while. But I don’t think they ever want her to be on her own at all.

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          My kids friend’s parents were horrified when I let my daughter go stay with a German friends family in Germany for a month when she was turning 16.

          And honestly I was scared to death in some ways but she wanted to go and worked for almost a year to get the money for the plane ticket. She had the best summer of her life.

        • Zornorph

          I know some parents like that. Often their kids miss out because their parents can’t go along to help supervise. In one case, the moment the kid was 18, he got as far away from his parents as he could.

      • Jennifer2

        I wonder if all the talk about the vital importance of bonding and all the focus on the mom doing all the things for the child is not so much about ensuring that the child grows up to be a physically healthy, emotionally well-adjusted adult and to have good, appropriate relationships with others, but is about the mom trying to ensure that her child loves her enough.

    • BeatlesFan

      My 8-month-old LOVES to eat. If someone were to ask her, I can guarantee she would say that she doesn’t give a damn who feeds her, as long as she gets fed. When we visit my parents, I don’t even ask anymore- I just mix the bottle and hold it out for whichever one of my parents wins the “I’m feeding the baby” argument. She’s been fed by her father, her grandparents, and her aunts- and she doesn’t seem to love me any less. I feel pity for any mother who is so insecure she’s afraid her child will love someone else more.

    • Lisa the Raptor

      I have a picture like that of my 10 year old son feeding his baby brother. The milk in the bottle is breast milk that I pumped out because he had wanted to feed the baby. It was freaking cute. The obvious issue here is that people have no idea what is in the bottle and it honestly does not matter, however I love how they always love to jump to the conclusion that if must be formula. What about the special bonding that my husband, son and daughter got from feeding the baby? Or the bond the baby made with them? I guess that does not count 😛

      • Zornorph

        They feel that they can bond with the baby in other was such as bathing, but that it’s doing a disservice to the baby to pump – that the milk is better if it comes fresh from the boob. I’ve had people say this to me.

        • Teleute

          They also claim that expressed breast milk is less nutritive than “straight from the tap.”

          • Lisa the Raptor

            When both my last babies were close to one I had my appendix and my gall bladder taken out(One with each baby). You cannot imagine how nice the hospital was about providing pumps so that I could keep up my supply but I had to dump it all, not because of the pain meds but because of the antibiotics. After this experience (going days without breastfeeding, only to find out my babes didn’t forget and everything was fine after I got home), I was so happy that I insisted all my kids learn to use a bottle no matter what. What is worse than having your wife in the hospital? Having your wife in a hospital and a baby that refuses to take a bottle. What a horrible thing to do to your husband /MIL/ Mother /friends just trying to help you.

          • yentavegan

            Right. because the unquantifiable superiority of breastmilk clings to the sides of the bottle.

          • Teleute

            I’m thinking it has to do with aura. If Baby isn’t feeding directly from Mamabear’s nipple, it isn’t able to taste her aura. I mean, sure you can use a pump to express the aura, but good luck getting it to stay in the bottle!

        • Trixie

          I never felt I’d be doing the baby a disservice to pump — I just felt I’d be doing ME a disservice, because pumping is annoying and I’d have to pump anyway if I was missing a feeding so it created more work rather than save time.
          I’m not sure I buy that you have to feed a baby to bond with it. I don’t buy it that breastfeeding is what causes a mother and baby to bond, and I don’t buy it that it causes babies to bond with the people who feed them bottles. At least, not to a greater degree than any other activity you engage in with the baby. My husband or my kids’ grandparents never fed them, at least until they started solids, and everyone seems to have bonded just fine.

    • rh1985

      Once my baby is here, if a friend or family member wants to feed her, I’m pretty sure I’ll be happy to let them so I can get a break for a short time or go get something else done that needs to be done. But my poor baby *gasp* will, like yours, be getting only formula anyway.

    • Mishimoo

      I think they enjoy the attention that they get for choosing to be martyrs. If they didn’t, then they wouldn’t be bragging about it nor would they be so competitive about it.

    • anh

      this makes me insane
      We recently lost my beloved cousin to breast cancer. Last Christmas Eve I was sitting next to her 10 year old daughter. She was really having a tough time, was missing her mom, and was silently crying at the dinner table. Any attempt to cheer her up was futile until I asked her if she’d like to help me feed my daughter after dinner. 10 minutes later she was happily cuddling my 3 month old and giving her a bottle of devil juice that she’d helped me mix. We all snuggled together on my aunt’s bed and I told her stories about watching her mommy nurse her and how I’d gotten to give her a bottle when she was a baby.
      She spent the rest of the night smiling.
      I wasn’t freaking outsourcing. I was sharing the joy of feeding my child with another child who needed a pick me up. let those Alpha Parent twits judge me; they can go sit in syrup.
      Up until that point I’d been all surly about needing to supplement with formula, but I realized that night what wonderful advantages it had

      DD is MY daughter, but she was also that little girl’s second cousin and I was more than happy to share her for a little while.

      • Zornorph

        That’s a wonderful story.

      • Siri Dennis

        I LOVE the expression sit in syrup! Never saw that one before.

      • Josephine

        I have something in my eye.

    • Young CC Prof

      That is so profoundly UNnatural. In every traditional society that I know anything about, babies are raised by extended families, with grandmothers, aunts, older siblings and neighbors all helping with infant care. Modern APs are the only people who seem to believe it’s necessary or desirable to make one individual solely responsible for an infant.

      • Courtney84

        I mean unless mom has supply issues, than an unscreened wet nurse is totally appropriate. Really the best you could do for the baby at that point.

        • Siri Dennis

          I’ve always heard the best substitute was butter with some sugar and brandy mixed into it…

      • araikwao

        Agreed. In the traditional society I spent a while in, the mother goes back to work in the subsistence garden and the grandmother and siblings do a lot of the child-rearing (and others, as you have mentioned). The lack of exclusive mother-and-baby time was quite striking to me.

        • Antigonos CNM

          Doesn’t have to be a traditional society. My husband, one of 11 children, was largely raised by his older sisters, who were teenagers when he was born, and I see, and take care of, my granddaughter on nearly a daily basis [indeed, during summer vacation of her preschool, it was every day] so that my daughter could go to her job — and now that she’s in the first trimester of a new pregnancy and feeling worse than a limp dishcloth, I’m taking care of both of them. Mothering doesn’t stop when one’s offspring get married and leave home.

          • Young CC Prof

            Indeed. I think it’s a great thing, when the whole family helps raise babies. My mother has already offered to stay with us for a few weeks after the baby comes, and I have eagerly accepted.

            It lets the mother have help (and guidance from more experienced mothers) and lets the younger family members learn something about infants before being saddled with primary responsibility for one.

          • Courtney84

            Indeed! My Mommy is coming to take care of me and my husband while we learn to take care of baby J. She generously planned her vacation and holiday leave around his expected arrival.

          • Amy M

            Mine came for 2wks after my boys were born, and she was very helpful. My mom is a night owl, so she easily stayed up for the midnight feeding, and allowed my husband and I to get some much needed sleep. She also perfected the simul-feeding technique we used when they were newborns, which was immensely helpful.

          • KarenJJ

            My mum flew across the country to care for my toddler when baby #2 was born. It was one reason I preferred RCS to VBAC. It was lovely they got to spend time together. We ended up moving back for the kids to grow up near family. They are great friends with their cousins and adore their grandparents.

          • Lisa from NY

            Alpha parents would have told your mil to raise all eleven kids by herself and have a nervous breakdown.

          • Josephine

            Too true. i have several much younger siblings and I changed diapers and bathed and/or bottlefed each and every one of them at some point. I find the mom only mentality to be totally foreign. My littlest sister and I are still quite close because she came to be my sister when she was four months old and being a 12-year-old girl, I was quite eager to rock her, dress her, feed her and we have a really special bond.

            I hope that at least one of my children has children of their own and I’ll be able to share in responsibilities if they and their partner want that. 🙂 My son has four grandmothers and a grandfather and a bazillion adoring aunts and I’m happy to hand him off for quality family time or mom break time nearly always. I don’t understand wanting to be so very possessive that you exclude everyone else. It makes me sad.

    • moto_librarian

      One of my favorite memories from when my firstborn was a newborn was watching my mother give him a bottle. Her love for her first grandchild was so apparent, and I still tear up a bit thinking about it to this day.

    • Lisa from NY

      Outsourcing is a problem because siblings don’t love each other?

    • HeyHeather

      “It takes a village” includes feeding the baby sometime, too.

      Over-thought and under-instinctive parenting could cause a wonky ill-adjusted generation in need of psychiatric support. Bewary.
      Great article, and great point Zornorph. I think some Moms do enjoy acting like martyrs, both for the attention and to be irreplaceably needed. Childbirth is indeed a miracle :), but it does not make you the center of the universe.

    • Fed-up mom

      Dear, I believe the issue was more about bottle-feeding isn’t as great as breast-milk, nor is it natural, nor is it good for the environment. Certainly there is more ways to interact with a child than feeding him or her formula, and you must remember as the child ages, Dads, and children can help feed the baby baby food too. Bottles don’t come from trees, they’re manufactured.

      Also, if you hate the messaging board for Alpha Parent so much, why are you obsessively visiting them? Usually, unless I’m confronting someone (like I did just now with Ms. Amy), I do my best to avoid the sight of them all together.

      • Zornorph

        If you were to read the post, the objection is clearly that the poster felt only the mother should be feeding the baby. As for why I visit the forum, mostly curiosity and a desire to engage in a respectful way. I don’t troll the place.
        As for the environment, I am in favor of earth-rape as not only do I use bottles, but also disposable diapers.

      • Guest

        Meh, there’s nothing wrong with formula. You just can’t claim crunchy points with formula.

        • happier mom :)

          All the major health organizations of the world disagrees.

      • 1) Not as good as, but pretty damned close. All other things being equal, breast milk is best . Since all other things are never equal, formula is a perfectly valid substitute for the many situations in which breastfeeding just isn’t going to work. This applies only in those places where access to clean water is taken for granted or possible, of course. Formula mixed with dirty water is unhealthy.

        2) Never, ever use the naturalistic fallacy. Just because it’s natural doesn’t make it good, and just because it’s “unnatural” doesn’t make it bad. We’re tying on computers for FSM’s sake- you can’t get more unnatural than that. I haven’t died of typhus, diarrhea, pneumonia, the common cold, smallpox, polio, measles, whooping cough, or any number of other diseases. That’s entirely due to my very unnatural lifestyle. If you aren’t going to condemn all unnatural things for being unnatural, you really can’t condemn any unnatural things on that basis alone.

        3) Bottle-feeding is not a major strain on the environment. Most bottles are made of glass- glass is melted sand. It’s quite environmentally friendly. Nipples are made of synthetic rubber, which is made from petroleum byproducts for the most part. That’s not good for the environment, but in the end it’s all carbon polymers, and carbon is extremely common. Also note that if reused a lot (and they will be), each rubber nipple is a very minor blip in the environmental damage anyone living a Western lifestyle will do. Drive a bit less for a week and the carbon footprint is more than accounted for.

        4) It’s awfully hard to interact with an infant other than feeding it, burping it, or holding it while it sleeps. Spreading around the feeding encourages dads to bond with their babies, which leads to far healthier relations between both child and father and mother and father. Baby food isn’t introduced until 6 months at the earliest. Dads and siblings would generally like to bond with the new baby before that.

        • fed-up mom

          1) Nowhere near close: (see poster at bottom for in-depth look) If you want to keep telling yourself that though the WHO, ADA, and APA all disagree go right ahead. Even the ACOG (which Amy proudly spoke for) knows
          the truth, sweetie:

          ADA stance: “It is the position of the
          American Dietetic Association that exclusive breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition and health protection for the first 6 months of life and breastfeeding with complementary foods from 6 months until at least 12 months of age is the ideal feeding pattern for infants. Breastfeeding is an important public health strategy for improving infant and child morbidity and mortality, improving maternal morbidity, and helping to control health care costs. Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of otitis media, gastroenteritis, respiratory illness, sudden infant death syndrome, necrotizing enterocolitis, obesity, and hypertension. Breastfeeding is also associated with improved maternal outcomes, including a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and postpartum depression. These reductions in acute and chronic illness help to decrease health carerelated expenses and productive time lost from work. Overall breastfeeding rates are increasing, yet disparities persist based on socioeconomic status, maternal age, country of origin, and geographic location. Factors such as hospital practices, knowledge,beliefs, and attitudes of mothers and their families, and access to breastfeeding support can influence initiation, duration, and exclusivity of breastfeeding. As experts in food and nutrition throughout the life cycle, it is the responsibility of registered dietitians and dietetic technicians, registered, to promote and support breastfeeding for its short-term and long-term health benefits for both mothers and infants.”

          APA stance: “Breastfeeding and human milk are the normative standards for infant feeding and nutrition. Given the documented short- and long-term medical and neurodevelopmental advantages of breastfeeding, infant nutrition should be considered a public health issue and not only a lifestyle choice. The American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.”

          WHO stance: “WHO recommends mothers worldwide to exclusively breastfeed infants for the child’s first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, they should be given nutritious complementary foods and continue breastfeeding up to
          the age of two years or beyond.”

          ACOG stance: “Breastfeeding is the preferred method of
          feeding for newborns and infants. Nearly every woman can breastfeed her child. Exceptions are few and include those women who take street drugs or do not
          control alcohol use, have an infant with galactosemia, are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I or type
          II, and have active untreated tuberculosis or varicella or active herpes simplex virus with breast lesions (3, 4). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists **STRONGLY SUPPORTS**
          breastfeeding and calls upon its Fellows,
          other health care professionals caring for women and their infants, hospitals,and employers to support women in choosing to breastfeed their infants. All
          should work to facilitate the continuation of breastfeeding in the workplace and public facilities. Health care professionals have a wide range of opportunities
          to serve as a primary resource to the public and their patients regarding the benefits of breastfeeding and the knowledge, skills, and support needed for
          successful breastfeeding (5). In addition to providing supportive clinical care for their own patients, obstetrician–gynecologists should be in the forefront
          of fostering changes in the public environment that will support breastfeeding, whether through change in hospital practices, through community efforts, or
          through supportive legislation.”

          2) Funny thing, GMOs, modern electronics, and
          computers all have alarming links to cancer and health problems. And all of the illnesses you listed could be cured with natural medicinal herbs, have they
          have been cured with for many many many years.

          3) That’s a terrible lie. Try harder

          Excerpt: How Breastfeeding is Eco-Friendly:

          “. Breastfeeding is plastic-free

          Most baby bottles on the market contain various forms of plastic.Plastic, usually made with oil, is one of the world’s worst environmental scorns. There are no hard-and-fast numbers about just how much petroleum is
          used to make plastic, but most studies estimate that it accounts for about 8 percent of the world’s yearly oil consumption. Besides draining fuel resources,
          plastics produce harmful and toxic wastes such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and more, all of which are taking a toll on the air, water and soil, not to mention our health. Lastly, as much as people love to talk about recycling, many plastic bottles never even make it to the recycling plant, and even when they do, they aren’t typically recycled into new bottles. Plastics are not part
          of a closed-loop recycling plan. Instead plastics are downcycled into other products, a process that may not be energy or cost-efficient.

          — Breastfeeding is biodegradable

          Baby bottles are a very specific product. While you may be able to repurpose some for other household applications (think paint dispensers and marble jars) they’re really only useful for one task — feeding your baby. You can buy plastic, glass or even Earth-friendly bottles, but in the end, you’ve got a product on your hands with limited usefulness and a limited lifespan. You can recycle some bottles, sure, but even with recyclable ones, not all parts are recyclable (such as the nipples and liners), and that contributes to our overstuffed landfill issue. We’re not ancient Greeks, but like them, our baby bottles do not biodegrade.”

          http://www.mnn.com/family/family-activities/stories/6-green-reasons-why-breastfeeding-is-the-best-feeding

          4) You honestly think there is no possible way to
          engage with your baby without shoving plastic nipple into their mouth full of a different species’ milk and chemicals?

          “This is SUCH a strongly perpetuated myth, so many mothers express or give a bottle of formula so that
          their partners “can feed the baby and bond a bit”, but really, it is totally unecessary, there are so many wonderful ways for partners to bond, including:

          BabyWearing: Nothing is more
          amazing for a father to hold their baby close to their chest, facing inwards naturally, nuzzling their head and talking softly to their infant as the hold
          them, arms free to carry on with their day. This is bonding at its best!

          Skin to Skin: Naked cuddles are
          amazing, they generate the release of Oxytocin (the love hormone) in both father and child who get to know each other through touch and smell as well as
          sight.

          Co-Bathing: Sharing a bath with a
          baby is such a special experience, it is skin to skin and then some! holding your baby in warm water, chest to chest and watching how much your baby enjoys
          the experience is one of the best parts of being a new parent.

          Baby Massage: Massage is wonderful
          for relaxing babies and parents alike, again it stimulates the release of oxytocin and reduces stress hormones, it’s a great way to get to know your baby
          by touch and also helps with sleep too.

          Reading: Reading to babies is an
          amazing thing to do, it helps to build a real connection and a love of books for life, as well as forming a vital part of a good bedtime ritual.

          Practical Care: Changing nappies,winding, getting dressed, these may seem boring, mundane tasks, but they all provide wonderful opportunities to bond with babies, talking or singing as you dress or wipe little bottoms definitely brings you closer to them.

          http://sarahockwell-smith.com/2013/02/08/do-fathers-need-to-bottlefeed-to-bond-with-their-babies/

          So many wonderful ways to bond and
          not a bottle in sight!

    • Wren

      I loved helping out with all 5 of my younger sisters, including feeding when needed. If nothing else, it meant I had some experience before I started babysitting other people’s children for money and before I had my own baby.

  • R T

    I grew up with attachment parenting and have carried a great amount of it over to parenting of my own child. However, I don’t feel offended by anything you have said and I don’t think you’re talking to me. I honestly don’t think what I do is “right” for every family or even every baby. I also give my child the occasional Gerber cookie which has High Fructose Corn Syrup in it and that probably disqualifies me from being a good attachment parent. The first time I handed him one I thought I could almost hear my mother shriek across the country, lol! I’m surprised she didn’t “sense” something wrong and call me! He loved it of course!

    • CanDoc

      Thank you. Yours (and many of ours) are the voices that need to be heard instead of the vitriol!

    • Spiderpigmom

      No offense, I can’t help wondering what HFCS has to do with attachment theory…

      • Courtney84

        Attachment theory and attachment parenting aren’t the same thing. Attachment parenting is rooted in Dr. sears 7 Bs. However, attachment parenting often spills over into natural parenting and alternative “medicine”. Thus there is a portion of AP parents whi tend to also be anti HFCS, big on probiotics, and might even eschew casein and yeast, etc etc.

  • stenvenywrites

    I know they say that they do, but I really don’t think the hardcore sanctimommies want everyone to adopt their parenting choices. If everyone were doing it, their little precious snowflakes would enjoy no advantages in the healthier/smarter/better-adjusted/more-loved competitions they’re running. If ALL children were well-nurtured and content and healthy, it would be a disaster, because then what would the poor dears have to feel superior about? Much better, to be a misunderstood and persecuted (albeit morally and intellectually superior) minority, and have a select few people to gloat with. For some of them, this parenting lifestyle represents their one and only opportunity to be one of The Cool Kids. You’re actually quite mean to try to take that away from them with all your petty recitations of fact.

    • Felicitasz

      WOW. Just – wow. I wish I could “Like” this ten times.

  • Alicia

    Love this! I may post a link to this any time I see someone being sanctimommies.

  • Amy M

    My best friend is currently pregnant with her first, and she one of the 4 people left in America who doesn’t have a facebook account, so she is pretty much completely unaware of the “mommy war” phenomenon. She didn’t recognize a sanctimommy when she came across one recently (an acquaintance of hers that recently had a baby.) My friend and her husband were making fun of the birth announcement and some of the behaviors of the new mother, and I started asking “Well does she do X? How about Y?” and it was classic Sanctimommy-Attachment-Internet Perfect stuff. My friend was laughing that I was able to predict with such accuracy what this other woman was doing, but its such a cliche.

    Anyway, I warned her about overzealous nurses in BFHI hospitals, and I told her that CIO does not cause brain damage and don’t let anyone tell her otherwise, and she was kind of laughing because she doesn’t know yet, that people really say and do these things. She a confident, good-humored person, and I don’t think she’ll be too upset by the sanctimommy brigade. Certainly, by avoiding facebook, she’s limiting her contact with them, though there’s no getting away from them entirely. But yeah, I was doing my best to let her know to not take those people seriously. She’s a scientist and quite anti-woo, so I’m not worried that anyone will convince her to do anything stupid.

    • SkepticalGuest

      Why would anyone be making fun of anyone else’s birth announcement?

      • R T

        Yeah, that seems cruel and juvenile no matter the circumstances! I’m trying to imagine a scenerio where it could be acceptable and drawing a blank.

        • brit

          Any time I see a birth announcement with phrases like, delivered “on land” (to differentiate from a water birth I guess?) or “after a drug free labour”, I admit, I side-eye a bit.
          It just seems to miss the point so much- you just brought a human into the world, what an amazing gift! why on earth would you even mention anything else?
          It brings to mind a person being handed a cheque for a million dollars and then harping on about the colour of the ink used to write it!

          • R T

            Oh, okay! It’s strange I have never seen a birth announcement like this and I’ve lived in SoCal for over 10 years. The majority of my friends have had homebirths and not one has mentioned it on a birth announcement. I wonder where this is popular to do?

          • SkepticalGuest

            I haven’t seen anything like this either, though I have seen things in SAHM meetup profiles about their baby being born at home. It was odd enough that I remembered it, but I didn’t care or judge them for mentioning it. Even if I had seen it in a birth announcement, it wouldn’t have caused me to snicker or poke fun.

            Now if there was something about “on land”, I don’t know. I might have snickered, not to make fun of the birth announcement but because I would’ve assumed it was some sort of boating joke from the sender. You know, like going from the water (of the womb) to the land.

          • Jennifer2

            My great, great grandmother was born at sea. Not in a fecally-contaminated kiddie pool in my great, great, great grandmother’s living room, but on a ship on the way to the U.S. from Norway. I think that’s pretty freakin’ sweet (and amazing that she survived).

          • SkepticalGuest

            Amazing story. My great grandmother almost had my grandmother at sea. She was trying to immigrate to the US and had to hide her pregnancy with a corset and a baggy dress. Baby was conceived on going-away night when husband was leaving to immigrate. She was supposed to join him after he was financially established, but had to hurry instead because they didn’t used to let small children on the boat.

            Being born “on land” instead of on the boat was a good thing for great-grandma (and my grandma) indeed.

          • Young CC Prof

            One of my grandfather’s sisters was born at sea, also, coming from Riga. In steerage (cheap immigrant tickets.) Oh, and my great-grandmother was basically alone. Her husband went first and sent back tickets for his wife and two small children. She got on the boat hugely pregnant with a child on each arm, then went into labor in the middle of the freaking Atlantic.

            Then she got off the boat and was like, “Hi, honey! Surprise! We have THREE kids!”

            Apparently, people were born on ships a lot back in the Great Wave.

          • Allie

            Love it! These born at sea scenarios remind me of my private international law exam and trying to figure out someone’s domicile of origin on virtually no sleep after cramming for exams all week.

          • Young CC Prof

            Actually, I had quite a number of relatives who suffered from domicile of origin or citizenship issues, one way or another. The early 20th century scattered us on the four winds. (Or they had fake passports and birth certificates, another whole issue.)

          • Amy M

            Yeah, it didn’t say “on land” but it was along those lines…that’s what they were laughing at because they expected a picture of the baby, and the basic stats like weight, length, time of birth, and this one was rather prosy and expansive I guess. I didn’t see it myself, my friend lives several states away.

          • An Actual Attorney

            I remember I got one years ago that said that [beansprout] was “born at home with two midwives, a doula, mom and dad.” I mocked it.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            That deserves mocking.

            I mentioned the other day, what people want to know are the fishing stats. Good, the baby’s healthy. Congrats!

          • Samantha Anderson

            For many women, a good birth experience also matters. A “healthy baby” shouldn’t proclude a healthy, happy mom. Mocking someone for excitement over her birth experience makes you an incredible jerk.

          • Stacy21629

            If their excitement includes choices that directly increase the risk of death of the baby, oh well.

          • Samantha Anderson

            Since when does having a “drug-free birth” risk death???? Or is there some “Dr. Amy message board inside joke” that I don’t see, like she was giving birth in the cave of a grizzly bear or something?

          • Stacy21629

            Didn’t say it did.

            These stories however:
            “born at home with two midwives, a doula, mom and dad” and “brought earth side gently in the water”

            Do.

          • Sue

            Let’s not get too sanctimonious about making fun of what Sanctimommies do…I’m sure the laughter did not occur in the parents’ presence. It’s OK to be amused by something that is…well, amusing, without directly hurting the feelings of the person.

          • Vyx

            I think the risk-death was more a response to the at-home rather than drug-free.

          • Amy M

            I wouldn’t mock someone for her excitement over her birth experience, I would mock her choice of words though, should she choose to say “brought earth side” instead of “born.” ‘Cause that’s just silly.

          • Young CC Prof

            Good to know Mom was present at the birth. I totally would have wondered about that if they hadn’t said.

          • Amy M

            We never did an official birth announcement. Now I’m going to try to come up with one as goofy as possible:
            “N, brought earthside, as gently as possible while being yanked by the head with a vaccuum, high on pitocin and epidural. Followed shortly by his brother G, even more gently, and then their womb-spirit-triplet Placenta, which slid softly into the doctor’s waiting arms. Present were mom, dad, at least 3 nurses, an OB, a resident, an anesthesiologist and a pediatrician.” What do you think?

          • R T

            It’s beautiful!

          • Dr Kitty

            Kiddo, ripped untimely from her mother’s womb, 6lbs 3oz, nursed like a champ!

            No?

          • Bombshellrisa

            The announcement I had to mock “brought earth side gently in the water after a drug free birth”. It was too much. And yes, I am from the Seattle area.

      • PoopDoc

        We did not have a announcement. We called family and a few close friends and told them feel free to spread the word if they wanted to. I cannot figure out how anyone has time to mail out cards when you have a new baby at home…

    • Peppa

      I’m one of the 4 people without a facebook account, and people are almost as horrified about that as they were my choice to bottle feed my FPIES/severe GERD infant ; ) The judgement & smut people post (i’m told) on facebook is as poisonous to ones mind as my rice/soy/milk tainted breast milk was to my intolerant babes digestive system…Good for your friend for rejecting the facebook bull, she and her little one will be better off for it ; )

  • Allie

    I guess I’m wondering how you define “attachment,” although it sounds like you are referring to a specific group or groups and the material they post on their website. I do some “attachment” things, such as bed-sharing (because it works for me, my husband and our baby and it’s what we prefer, not because I think everyone should do it), but I don’t consider myself an attachment parent and even if I did, I would not be offended by what you have written. Every “school” has their self-righteous idiots and they should be called out. Self-righteous indignation helps no one. In fact, I think it is one of the most dangerous and evil forces in the world. I hope it gives pause to people who attempt to shame and humiliate others in order the feel better about themselves, and that those people who consider themselves attachment parents but don’t use or agree with the tactics you have attacked will understand this is not directed at them.

    • I always compare it to criticisms of extreme fundamentalists like the Westboro Baptists – it isn’t *about* every person who considers themself Christian.

  • Monica

    I think the problem is that they have doubts about themselves and their own love for their children so that’s why they have to make themselves appear better than others. Well, at least I don’t do THAT sort of thing when they feel they aren’t living up to someone’s standard of parenting. It’s really their own guilt that causes them to lash out at other mothers trying to turn the attention away from some pretty major character flaws and in the meantime unknowingly I suppose, showing some even worse character flaws about themselves.

    • Amy M

      And then modeling that for their children, thus continuing the cycle.